An American Foreign Policy

Bismarck allegedly once said that there is a special providence for fools, drunkards and the United States of America. If he did say it then it was because he could see how very lucky the United State was and is: moated east and west by oceans and with harmless neighbors north and south, the United States could always pick and choose which foreign affairs to take an interest in. Meanwhile, Bismarck’s Prussia-become-Germany had to contend with Russia, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain and a host of smaller powers all on German’s doorstep or very close by. It was a nightmare maze to navigate through (made more nightmarish by Bismarck, but he didn’t see it that way). Bismarck died in 1898 – which, as it turns out, was the year the United States decided that being blessed by geography just wasn’t going to cut it.

There was nothing particularly wrong with ejecting the Spanish from Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898. There was also no particular need to do it. But at least it fell in line with the general idea of the Monroe Doctrine and a long-held American ideal that the Americas should no longer be the colonial possession of Europeans. But that wasn’t really why we went into that war: it was merely the excuse. The reason we went into the war was because a segment of American political leaders felt it was vital for America to enter global competition. The concept, boiled down, was that if we didn’t force our way on to the world stage, we’d start to decline as a nation. Cuba was the excuse – but all along what was wanted was Manila and the gateway to China.

And so we did it – and placed ourselves in the position of caring about China and that meant dealing with Japan and Britain and Russia and fussing about who would govern what in the western Pacific and east Asia. I think that most of us were taught that this was fundamentally a good thing – that the USA had to get involved. But now that I think back on those lessons in high school history, they never did get around to telling us why we had to do it. It was just an assertion that as a mature great power, we should be involved and if we didn’t, disaster would follow.

I try to think of what disasters would have been worse than Communist China, the Korean and Vietnam wars (not to mention things like the battles of Okinawa and Saipan) had we stayed home. Remember, Pearl Harbor was struck because it based the American fleet which was set to relieve the American garrison in the Philippines…but if there wasn’t an American garrison there? If the Spanish still ruled Manila or the Filipinos fully ruled themselves at that time? What would be the reason for attacking the American fleet at Pearl Harbor? Can’t really think of one.

Now, one can argue that Japanese rule of the Philippines and Indonesia would be bad. No real argument there. But China’s rule of Tibet is bad – anyone saying we have to go to war with China to free Tibet? The point I’m making: the supposed need for the USA to expend blood and treasure to save foreigners from oppression seems a little selectively applied. Either it is our policy, or it isn’t. If it is, then it is time to war with China. If it isn’t…then what the heck have we been doing for the last century? Being involved. And that seems to be it.

I bring all this up because now people are telling us we have to confront Russia in Ukraine. Saw a Tweet from a bluecheck Neocon today basically comparing the situation to Hitler’s rise to power. I’m really rather tired of that sort of thing – Hitler was a unique threat which will never arise again. The peculiar circumstances of his rise no longer exist and can’t be replicated. Hitler, of course, stepped into the European power vacuum opened by the overthrow of the Hoehzollern’s of Germany and the dissolution of the Hapsburg Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. That particular situation has now been absorbed into the European equilibrium (mostly by Stalin, as it turns out: he moved whole populations around in 1945 to make the nations of central Europe compact ethnic nations no longer having a biological title deed to lands outside their borders: some times brutality can get things done). It should also be noted that the power vacuum was largely created by us – it was our insistence on the overthrow of the Hohenzollern’s and the dissolution of the Hapsburgs which created the vacuum. Had we stayed out, the Franco-British would have had to engage in a negotiated peace in the middle of 1918.

Anyways – we’re once again being told we must get involved. The safety of the world is at stake!

Really? How so?

How, that is, does Putin absorbing the Donbas really alter the world in some intrinsically negative manner? That plenty of people in the area don’t want to be ruled by Putin I take as a given. But I don’t understand our interest in it. Seems to me that if Putin is trying to re-cobble together the Czarist Empire then Ukraine should be looking to Poland and the Baltic States to form a coalition to stop it. I doubt much that Putin wants a general war. He’d like to detach the Donbas with minimal fighting. But Poland and Ukraine with 80 million people against Russia’s 146 million is probably far more than Putin wants to tangle with. Ukraine can probably get at least some interest – if not direct help – from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Germany, France and Britain; all of whom have a varying interest in keeping Russia curbed (the closer they are to Russia, the greater the interest). A bit of firm diplomacy by Ukraine should easily be able to get Russia to back off.

That they don’t seem to be able to do this and that they lack sufficient arms to stand up to Russia is a problem. But how is it an American problem? Ukraine has been independent for 30 years: that was plenty of time for them to measure up a possible Russian attack and prepare the means to meet it. I get it that they are wracked by corruption (including corruption where they have paid off Americans – most infamously Hunter Biden – for influence) and have rather floundered around with an aging military force…but, once again: how is this an American problem? In fact – given how corrupt Ukraine is, what benefit to the people of the Ukraine in our propping up their corrupt system which didn’t even prepare the military means to defend Ukraine?

America needs an American foreign policy. That is: a policy which locates what the American interests are and then vigorously defends them. Far more worrisome for America than Russia attacking Ukraine is China buying influence throughout Latin America. It is a problem if, say, Panama’s government is purchased by China and closes the Canal to our ships. It is, then, in our interest to see to is that the government of Panama retains sufficient independence to prevent such an occurrence.

I’m completely done with this idea that America must be involved in this, that or the other foreign land. Outside the Americas, our interests are few and mostly relate to seaborne trade…which is menaced only by China’s rising fleet. We should be working on ensuring we can swiftly put China’s fleet at the bottom of the sea…but we’re working on whether or not to send troops to Ukraine, which doesn’t help us in any way against China. It isn’t like Ukraine will send troops to help us against China. Forget about that. We pull Ukraine’s chestnuts out of the fire here and then ten years from now we go to war with China, do not look for a Ukrainian army to help us out – more than likely we’ll see Ukraine selling war materials to China.

After 124 years, it is time to write off America as a global power. It hasn’t worked out for us. It has cost us a fortune in blood and treasure and those who don’t hate us despise us. Our position in the world couldn’t possibly be worse had we, in 1898, decided to not care about who ruled in Cuba. And it probably would be a lot better. At all events, it is time to give it a try. Try an American foreign policy: cross us in our interests and we’ll kill you. Not attacking our interests? Good luck and God bless.

12 thoughts on “An American Foreign Policy

  1. Retired Spook January 23, 2022 / 3:17 pm

    Saw a Tweet from a bluecheck Neocon today basically comparing the situation to Hitler’s rise to power. I’m really rather tired of that sort of thing

    There are a lot of us who are “tired of that sort of thing.” Hopefully those who would use sons and daughters, husbands and wives as cannon fodder to enrich their cronies in the defense industry will be given the double-barreled middle finger if they attempt to start a war with Russia.

    • Amazona January 23, 2022 / 4:07 pm

      Hitler was a unique threat which will never arise again. The peculiar circumstances of his rise no longer exist and can’t be replicated.

      Yes, Hitler the man was a unique threat. We don’t seem to have a personality that would generate the same kind of passionate following that Hitler did. Trump is close, but fortunately his ideology is the opposite of the consolidated-power top-down tyranny of Hitler, for which we can be very grateful, because the nation is so vulnerable right now that a Trump-like figure with his appeal who also represented the increasing fascism of our current government could be a very serious danger.

      The thing that simple-minded people think made fascism a right-wing construct was its relationship, in Germany, with industry. The simple-minded equated industry with capitalism which of course is the opposite of the Left’s socialist ideology, therefore shazaaam! fascism was “right-wing”. What they miss is the fact that the collusion of government and industry we saw in Hitler’s German was not a dilution of the Leftist ideology of a massively powerful Central Authority and top-down tyrannical government, it was the co-opting of industry INTO that ideology, with the Central Authority also controlling industry while promoting the illusion that industry was independently administered by its owners.

      Today we are seeing a collusion between government and industry in which it is impossible to know for sure which is the hand and which is the glove, but we have our government working against the interests of its own people by denying them the legal right to damages from a product the government is promoting, buying and trying to force upon the people, thereby enriching the industry involved. I guess we are supposed to believe that the money stream is one-way, from the government to the industry, and that none of these hundreds of billions of dollars are flowing back to the government heads in charge.

      • Mark Noonan January 23, 2022 / 11:51 pm

        It is hard to say what is really driving the train. And it could be that nobody is…that most of what is happening is happening because there’s no real direction. I’m reminded of Witte’s comment on late-Czarist Russian government: a combination of blindness, craftiness and stupidity.

        As for the Left (and, heck, some of the right) I doubt they could say much other of Hitler than he was bad…they likely don’t know what made him bad (I have a doubt that the Holocaust is sufficiently covered in public schools…its not that they don’t want to cover it, but anti-Israel animus is high on the Left and they wouldn’t want to generate any sympathy). They don’t know what he believed or what social conditions existed when he rose. There was, after all, a belief there. And while it is fun to tweak the left by pointing out the Socialist in National Socialist, we miss the larger point: that Nazism, like Fascism and Communism, was anti-traditional. It came straight out of Liberalism. A good deal of the racial dogmas which underlay Hitler’s ideology were developed by Progressives in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Eugenics only became unfashionable after the Holocaust.

      • Amazona January 24, 2022 / 6:03 pm

        According to the Left, fascism is the same thing as nationalism, which is the same thing as capitalism. The structure of the Left—the consolidation of power in the hands of a few at the top and little power left to the people as the government controls nearly everything and everyone—-is not part of their thinking. If you can call it thinking.

        But this allows the Left to demonize patriotism as nationalism, capitalism as fascism, and hide the fact that fascism is a Leftist construct. Easy to do with an ignorant populace.

        Whicn reminds me of a list of defintions Spook sent me, in which changing one letter makes the word more accurate. My favorite was “ignoranus” which means you can be stupid AND an a**hole.

  2. Cluster January 24, 2022 / 9:20 am

    Deep State Democrats are getting excited about killing people again. Slaughtering innocents in the womb, burning down police precincts and killing cops in the street, and now they are planning on dropping bombs on people thousands of miles away to secure someone else’s border. They’re doing a helluva job.

  3. Cluster January 25, 2022 / 11:54 am

    Here’s an anecdotal story on the level of ignorance and stupidity in this country and this is from my sons “father in law” – a long time Democrat. Yesterday, he wondered out loud why “Republicans” were initiating war in the Ukraine. Apparently oblivious to the fact that Democrats control every aspect of DC including the Pentagon and the media, in his quasi intellectual mind, he is convinced that Republicans are the driving force to go to war, because you know Republicans are the root of all evil.

    He is 60 years old. We simply have no hope in this country with people this profoundly stupid.

    • Amazona January 25, 2022 / 2:48 pm

      You can’t fix stupid—-but you can point and laugh. It probably wouldn’t make any difference to mention that the the first time this country was not involved in armed conflict in some other country was when Donald Trump was president, yet tens of millions of Americans evidently preferred the man with a history of promoting wars.

  4. Retired Spook January 25, 2022 / 11:59 am

    Jeff Childers at Coffee & COVID has an interesting post today.

    💊 Yesterday the Florida Department of Health announced it is closing ALL of the state’s monoclonal treatment centers. According to a press release, the reason is that the FDA abruptly, without warning, revoked the existing EUAs for the two most common mABs — Regeneron and bamlanivimab. The FDA’s rationale was that these two mABs are “not effective against Omicron,” although there is no clinical evidence showing the lack of effectiveness, much less a total failure to help.

    I might add that all the experts agree, and all the studies confirm, that the VACCINES are also not effective against Omicron. So we should revoke their EUAs too, to be consistent, right? Anyone? Bueller?

    • Amazona January 25, 2022 / 2:45 pm

      The heavy hand of Leftist tyranny just gets heavier and heavier. DeSantis is successul—-HE MUST BE STOPPED! Will people die because of this decision? What’s your point? The end justifies the means, and the end is to both slow DeSantis’ rise in the estimation of Americans and to discredit any treatment not approved by our masters.

      I would love to see a mass mailing to all Floridians:

      As you may have heard, all state-run monoclonal antibody treatment sites in Florida are being shut down after U.S. drug regulators revoked emergency use authorization for the two most widely used monoclonals. The FDA did not provide citations for the data in a press release, updated fact sheets for health care providers, or letters to the companies. An agency spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment and a call went straight to a voice mailbox that was full.

      Therefore, we are providing you with a protocol for early treatment of COVID-19 symptoms that cannot, at least at this time, be circumvented by the federal government. Do not take these recommendations as a substitute for medical care if your symptoms get worse. Monitor your temperature and oxygen levels —-oximeters will be made available to all who need them. Just call the numbers below for the sources of information and help nearest to you.

      SELF-HELP without a Doctor
      Zinc 50 mg daily (can take half twice daily if upset stomach)
      Quercetin 500 mg twice a day three times a day if sick (switch to HCQ/IVM if available)
      Vitamin D3 40,000-50,000 for five days
      Melatonin 5 mg – 20 mg nightly for 14 days stomach)
      Pepcid daily 14 days – women or Cimetidine daily -men
      Full Aspirin (325 mg) daily one month
      N acetyl cysteine (NAC) Up to 2000-2400 mg 1-2 days, then 1000-1200 mg for a week

      If you prefer to be treated by a doctor, there are doctors who will prescribe treatments not on the FDA approval list.

      How To Obtain Early Treatment
      Click on this contact a physician link. Fill out the form and pay $90. The physician will call you typically within 2-7 days (not counting weekends). Please keep your phone with you. After your telemed appointment, the pharmacy will contact you for your payment information and mailing address to send the prescription to you. If you have questions for the pharmacy, please use the pharmacy contact information which was provided to you in an email or text confirming that your prescription was sent to the pharmacy and they will be able to help you.

      Due to the extraordinarily high demand for AFLDS telemedicine services and medications, the pharmacy has been unable to meet demand as quickly as it would like. They are addressing this issue and it will be improved, however in the meantime please note the following.

      First – patients with symptoms will be prioritized. If you do not have symptoms, please do not say you do – you have time to receive your meds and you will still receive them relatively quickly. We are asking everyone to act honorably knowing they will be able to get what they need.
      Second – typically the physician is able to see you the same day or the next day, and the pharmacy typically sees you within 24 hours of that. Please be patient as it now may take up to 2-7 days.
      Third – as a reminder – our physician services are available for payment only because we still have a free market which is allowing you to buy something you want for a fair price. We have received thousands of emails from non-Americans who would pay exorbitant fees to stand where you freely stand: the ability to purchase something useful. So we do not answer any emails from people asking us about this service being covered by insurance. We are outside the insurance system specifically because the insurance system is blocking you from obtaining what you need for your good health.

      Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Ivermectin, and other COVID-19 medications can be obtained by prescription in the USA in almost every state. AFLDS-trained and licensed physicians are available via telemedicine for a short consultation. Our physicians know that Zinc plus either HCQ and ivermectin are effective both prophylactically and when used early. The telemedicine physician will review your history. Almost all patients can safely take these medications. However it is up each physician, in consultation with the patient, to determine the best course of action.

      • jdge1 January 25, 2022 / 10:50 pm

        Another supplement that has shown to have positive results in treating COVID is astaxanthin. It is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidant thought to be the most potent available. “The antioxidant activity of astaxanthin is reported to far exceed the existing antioxidants with ROS – scavenging capacity of 6,000 times that of vitamin C, 800 times that of coenzyme Q10, 550 times that of vitamin E, 200 times that of polyphenols, 150 times that of anthocyanins, and 75 times that of α-Lipoic acid.”

        It checks many important boxes when it comes to dealing with COVID-19 as a powerful antioxidant, immune booster, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotector and immunomodulatory with antibacterial and anti-apoptotic effects. Astaxanthin blocks oxidative DNA damage, lowers C-reactive protein and other inflammation biomarkers, and inhibits cell death in alveolar epithelial cells. Studies have shown it alleviates cytokine storms, acute lung injury, acute respiratory syndrome and sepsis, all of which are common in cases of serious COVID-19 infection.

        Aside from being useful against COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, astaxanthin has also been shown to provide broad-spectrum, systemwide health benefits. There are numerous websites detailing those benefits.

        As with any new supplement I recommend people start slowly with lower than “optimum” doses to ensure you don’t experience personal negative side effects. For example, quercetin has several potential side effects including:

        • Blurred vision,
        • dizziness,
        • dull ache or feeling of pressure or heaviness in legs,
        • fluid accumulation in the knee,
        • headache,
        • itching skin near damaged veins,
        • nervousness,
        • pounding in the ears,
        • red or scaling skin,
        • slow or fast heartbeat,
        • swollen feet and ankles.

        While it may be crucial to help improve your health, especially in light of the concerted effort to minimize or eliminate other zinc ionophores such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, be diligent in your approach to introducing it and other new things to your body. Fortunately, the items listed in Amazona’s post have a relatively long history of use and known benefits / side effects, as opposed to things like the jab.

    • Amazona January 25, 2022 / 3:10 pm

      In a letter detailing the horrible effects of the vaxx drugs on his system, Clapton also ‘,,,teased another collaboration with Van Morrison titled “The Rebels” that’s neither “aggressive or provocative. “Where have all the rebels gone ?/ Hiding behind their computer screens/ Where’s the spirit, where is the soul/ Where have all the rebels gone,”

      If we tack on a spin on the old “Where have all the flowers gone?” folk song we could finish that with “Gone to sheeple, every one…”

      I think one thing we are missing is the fact that the main attraction of the Left to the easily led is its promise of a shortcut to the Moral High Ground. (An adjunct to this is the conviction that they are also occupying the Intellectual High Ground, as we see in the smug lecturing by the self-satisfied who are convinced they are smarter than everyone else), but I think it’s the moral smugness that matters most to them.

      Anyway, it’s this whole cleverly concocted and marketed vax “debate” that feeds on that need to feel morally superior without actually doing anything, which forms the basis of most Leftist allegiance, because it takes those belief systems and amplifies them. The Faucists preen in their imagined moral and intellectual superiority, and these are difficult if not impossible to dislodge.

      It’s no longer about the virus. It’s about who are the Better People. Merely by standing on a certain soapbox on a certain corner, some people can proclaim their unshakable conviction that this makes them not just smarter but better. Any effort to introduce facts or into the discussion is not just a challenge to the prevailing “science”, it is a challenge to the very core of how these people define themselves, which is why the passions escalate as the facts pile up.

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