Cold War Debates

I listened to the Tom Woods Show interview with Kevin Gutzman today.  It was an interesting interview.  I have read a few books by Professor Gutzman which were excellent, and he’s clearly a much smarter person than I am.

But I need to take issue with some debate they had over the Cold War and Vietnam.  Gutzman is a conservative and defends both.  His argument seemed to boil down to a few points:

  1. If the US hadn’t “fought” the Cold War the Soviet Union would probably still be around today.
  2. South Vietnam would still be an independent country if it wasn’t for Watergate weakening Nixon and emboldening anti-war Democrats who abandoned them.
  3. South Korea and West Germany would have fallen to the Soviets if the US had abandoned them like they did Vietnam.

Although it’s impossible to know how history would have played out if American politicians had acted differently, I don’t necessarily think Gutzman is wrong about most of this.  But I still have a major issue with this line of thinking.

On point one, it seems entirely plausible that Reagan’s military buildup and SDI initiative hastened the collapse of the Soviet Empire.  But it’s not an argument to say that the Cold War was worth it because Russia now has a different economic and governmental system.  If Vladimir Putting called himself General Secretary instead of President would that mean I’m in danger all of a sudden?  Like many conservatives that came of age in that era he just takes it for granted that the USSR was automatically an existential threat to Americans and our way of life without having to actually justify it.

On point two, it’s basically a big fat who cares.  I’m sure the people of South Vietnam would have been better off if they hadn’t lived under communism all these years.  But they did, and nothing changed in America as a result.  However, the war itself led to great upheaval and an undermining of many of the values conservatives are supposed to care about.  So even if “we” had won, why would that matter to people who lived in the USA in 1964 who had never heard of Vietnam until their government invaded it?  Conservatives have no problem with people living under police states or dictatorships until the governments call themselves communists or Islamic.  Then all of a sudden it’s a moral issue or a threat to the world or something.

On point three, I’d have to argue that we, as Americans, would have been better off if our government hadn’t intervened to keep these half-nations “free.”  If South Korea had fallen to the damn commies, they wouldn’t be as prosperous as they are today.  But look what happened in Vietnam.  Maybe a united Communist Korea would have evolved more like Vietnam and the North wouldn’t be the horrible police state murder factory it is today.  And at any rate, from an American point of view, we wouldn’t continue to have 30,000 soldiers there acting as a human sacrifice to trigger a war should North Korea ever decide to invade South Korea.

As for West Germany, it’s basically the same argument as Korea.  But I would also say I have my doubts that a United Germany could have been held in check as a Soviet Satellite for forty years.  So maybe not dividing it up after WWII would have hastened the end of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe had the Soviets insisted on occupying the whole thing.  And if they didn’t try to occupy the whole thing, then the US didn’t need to defend them anyway  We’ll never know what would have nappened.  We do know, however, that the US wouldn’t have an incredibly expensive and permanent military beaurocracy in Europe that has far outlived its intended purpose if we hadn’t created it to defend West Germany in the first place.

And as a final argument against any of this meddling, I’d like to point out the following:

  1. The USA didn’t have to enter WWI.  There was absolutely no threat to North America as a result of the hostilities taking place in Europe in 1917
  2. Because the USA entered WWI, the allies didn’t have to reach a peace agreement with Germany, and Russia continued the unpopular war.  This allowed the communists, with the help of Germany, to take power and create the Soviet Union in the first place.
  3. It also allowed France and Britain to win a decisive victory and impose a harsh peace on defeated Germany.  This lead to economic chaos in Germany and a feeling of injustice that allowed the Nazis to take power.
  4. So US intervention in WWI lead directly to the circumstances that created WWII.
  5. The USA insisted on unconditional surrender in WWII so that the German government could not make peace without signing their own death warrants.
  6. The Soviet Union took over Eastern Europe and suddenly became a “threat” to the USA because they won an unconditional surrender from Germany in WWII (with the help of the USA).
  7. I’ll skip over all the bad things that happened during the cold war because I discussed some of them earlier in this post, but obviously it cost a lot of lives and money.
  8. To fight the evil commies the USA supported Arab terrorists in Afghanistan who were fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.
  9. Those same Arabs then turned on the USA over our government’s Middle East policy, itself a relic of the Cold War power struggle for resources.  They bombed the World Trade Enter in New York City.
  10. The Bush regime then launched the never ending Terror War that is still going on today.

No matter what motivations or reasoning anyone uses for an aggressive or militaristic foreign policy, it always leads to unintended consequences that then lead to calls for further interventions to counteract those consequences.  It never ends.  Don’t go to war (or fund a war) unless you are under a direct physical threat to your homeland.  It’s never worth it.  It never makes things better.

Trump’s best friend locks up teenage girl for slapping someone

Trump’s (and really, all Americans’) master, Benjamin Netanyahu arrested and continues to jail a sixteen year old girl for slapping and pushing some Israeli soldiers who were trespassing on her family’s property.

Let’s give him another couple billion. He needs it to protect his poor, innocent, weak, government from evil little girls.

Trump doubles down on stupid Jerusalem decision

128 Nations are against moving the Capital of Israel to Jerusalem.  Now I don’t care who lives in Jerusalem or where the Israeli government decides to put its headquarters.  And I’m all for cutting off aid to the UN.

But of all the things to take a stand on, why is the location of the US Embassy in some tiny country in Asia worth upsetting the vast majority of the world’s governments?  Explain how this benefits average Americans?  Wasn’t that supposed to be the whole point of a Trump presidency?  America first?  He was supposed to stop putting the interests of globalists, neocons, international banksters, etc. before those of normal, everyday American citizens.  So why is he making his biggest foreign policy initiative a totally symbolic move designed to pander to Sheldon Adelson and Bill Kristol while angering the entire Muslim world and just about all of Europe?

Related image

What happened to America First?

Explain to me how moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem benefits the average American citizen in any way. I can see how it could benefit war profiteers and a lot of American Israeli-Firsters might like it, but what is that, about 0.1% of the US population? So I’m not seeing much benefit, but I am seeing some serious downsides:

  1. The cost of moving the embassy.  How many hundreds of millions of taxpayer/inflationary dollars will it cost to move the perfectly good embassy that already exists in Tel Aviv?
  2. The cost of securing the new embassy in a much more dangerous place?  How many millions or billions in additional security will be flushed down the toilet so Trump can make our Israeli masters happy? Not to mention the increased risk to US diplomats if the security fails.
  3. Inflaming tensions all over the Middle East.  This has a number or potential repercussions:
    1. Makes our corrupt politicians hand over even more of our money to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, etc. to subsidize their militaries that will be stressed trying to put down possible riots
    2. Americans (or any Westerners really) trying to do any business in Middle Eastern countries will now be even bigger targets for Muslim violence.
    3. Blowback. Possible terror attacks on the home front.  Not only does this kill or injure random Americans who probably don’t give a shit about Israel, it leads to possible new overseas wars and increased surveillance/reduction in liberties here at home.

Now the upsides for non-Neocons and non-merchants of death:

……..

I’ll have to get back to you if I think of anything.

So anyway Trump, thanks for cutting my taxes, but stop sucking up to Netanyahu and put America First.

Image result for trump netanyahu

Freedom for Catalonia

Despite the central government in Madrid sending in their stormtroopers to rough up peaceful voters, the Catalans voted for independence from Spain.  Good for them.

Image result for catalan flag

Similar to the the failed Scottish independence referendum a few years ago, we hear from conservatives that the politicians who would rule Catalonia are Leftists that want to remain in the EU.  Since Leftism and the EU are bad, they should stay part of Spain.  Nonsense. It’s not like Spain is thinking about leaving the EU anyway.  The Catalans are valuable to Spain because they pay more in Federal taxes than they get back in government spending.  They’re richer than the rest of Spain so that seems to be why the government of Mariano Rajoy has chosen violent suppression rather than persuasion like we saw in the UK for both Brexit and Scottish Independence.

Of course even if they were dirt poor, I doubt very much they would be let go. Governments rarely allow people under their control to leave peacefully if they can stop it.  I just don’t think Madrid would be acting quite so desperate as they seem now to stop secession were Catalonia not the most prosperous region of their realm.

Well get used to it.  There will be much more of this in the years to come.  The various ethnic and linguistic groups in Europe, the true “Nations” on that continent rather than the multicultural States we know today, will increasingly look to go their own way.  And some will seek to leave the European Union.

I’m totally in favor of this, and I hope it can be done peacefully.  An independent Catalonia or Flanders or Venice isn’t worth dying for.  But it’s certainly worth fighting for.  Smaller states are more responsive to the will of their citizens, they tend to stay out of unnecessary foreign wars, and they waste a lot less money.

There is no reason why the borders of the various tax jurisdictions across the Western world currently in place have to stay in place forever.  That includes the USA.

Trump’s Betrayal

He’s committing more troops to Afghanistan. He won’t define victory. He won’t set a timetable to end the war. It will almost certainly continue to the end of his presidency whether he’s forced out by Christmas or he makes it through 2020.  It’s disgraceful.

Prior to his running for president, I hated Donald Trump.  I thought he was a smug jerk who was popular among the type of people who watch reality TV shows.  And of course he was just that.  When he would occasionally make political speeches he would often espouse a superficial philosophy on government that I felt was completely at odds with libertarianism.

But when he called out the entire political establishment on their bullshit beginning in 2015, it was a true Emperor has no Clothes moment.  He was telling it like it was.  I certainly didn’t agree with everything he was saying.  How could I when he constantly contradicted himself?  But he wasn’t afraid to stand up to the Bushes and Clintons, and their allies in the media.

I voted for Donald Trump.  I did it for three main reasons:

  1. Foreign policy.  He called the Bush and Obama wars failures that were based on lies. He said we should stay out of Syria. He said we could be friends with Russia.
  2. He promised to reduce immigration.
  3. He stood up to the PC bullies who seek to silence and humiliate anyone who doesn’t publicly appease the angry and increasingly irrational Left.

He’s betrayed his supporters on Foreign Policy.  He bombed Syria based on lies and because his foolish daughter felt more murder and destruction was an appropriate response to alleged murder and destruction.  However, I still held out some hope when he later abandoned the Obama-Hillary strategy of funding the no-win insurgency there against the Russian backed dictator.

But now he’s re-escalating Afghanistan?  Is there anyone outside of Washington, D.C. who doesn’t work for a military contractor that actually thinks this war benefits the average American citizen in any way?  Does anyone still buy the “safe haven” bullshit at this point when the 9/11 hijackers were all Arabs, mainly Saudis, who trained right here in the United States and received funds from other Saudis?  Are people still scared of the “Taliban” which at this point is really just a name applied to the Pashtuns who are the largest tribe in Afghanistan and are not going to be “defeated” (whatever that means) by a few thousand additional troops?

When it comes to immigration, despite the hysterics emanating from the Left and their media allies, I’m not aware of anything he’s done to actually reduce it.  I’ve heard estimates that illegal immigration is down slightly, but I don’t know how anyone verifies that.  There was a plan released from the Trump administration that would potentially reduce immigration so I suppose the jury is still out on that one, but I’m not holding my breath.

As for standing up to the media and the PC police in general, I’ll give him some credit for not totally caving.  I still get a kick out of him bashing CNN or seeing some Democrat/”Centrist” Republican get the vapors because he refuses to ignore Left-wing violence and focus exclusively on a few powerless idiots wearing Nazi flags as the main threat to our freedom.

But even on this point, he’s allowed his true allies to be forced out of the White House after only a few months seemingly to placate the people that hate him and propagate lies that he’s a secret Nazi colluding with the evil Russians.  He now has himself surrounded by a bunch of ex-Generals and standard GOP henchmen.  As a result you see his idiotic flip-flop on the never ending Afghan Terror war.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they talk him into sounding more and more like Mitt Romney when it comes to condemning the evil “right wing,” i.e. anyone who doesn’t believe in the latest insane leftist orthodoxy surrounding  tansgenderism, white privilege, or the ability of certain statues to harm black people.

It truly is a sad day in the once free United States of America.

Anti-Russian hysteria

What started as an effort to hurt the candidacy of Donald Trump by claiming he was a Russian “puppet” or “agent’ in 2016 has turned into an all-out campaign of hate against America’s former cold war adversary.  This is a country, that despite being relatively impoverished by Western standards, and having zero ability to attack the United States without committing instant suicide, is still a significant power in the world.  They can have a major impact on their region of the globe in both Europe and Asia through their control of resources and a military presence in their near abroad.

The effort on the part of the media, Democrat Party, and the Neocon wing of the GOP to turn Russia into a pariah state like they have with Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc. could be a disaster.  Remember, while those regimes have survived despite the hardships imposed on their citizens by US sanctions, efforts to demonize Mao’s China lead to the Korean War, and efforts to demonize Saddam Hussein lead to two disastrous wars in the Middle East in recent decades.  Muammar Gaddafi in Lybia and  Manuel Noriega in Panama both lead to full scale wars and the overthrow or their governments.  Attemps at overthrowing Bashar al-Assad in Syria has lead to the rise of ISIS.

Try isolating and overthrowing Putin and see what happens.  It won’t be pretty.