The Spectacle Blog

A Non-Con Response?

By on 1.4.12 | 3:58PM

Jeffrey Lord makes a fair point. We cannot perfect human nature. Human beings can and will be "extremely violent, psychotic, mentally unbalanced and a whole host of other." But, upon consideration of the policy options presented the world's lone superpower, does this flight of human identity demand equivalent response?

With all due respect, Jeff Lord's error is that he fails to recognize a profound variation in circumstance.

"Communists, Nazis, Islamic Fundamentalists, the Ku Klux Klan [and] the guy next door" not to mention "Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Osama, Al Capone, Lee Harvey Oswald or the husband in your town who beats his wife to a pulp" ALL exist… much to our shared chagrin.

Sure. They're all equally revolting -- but in their own special ways. But they don't present an identical threat profile and they clearly don't demand an equivalent response.

Precisely why the U.S. Marines don't police my neighborhood.

Conflating Neville Chamberlain's response to the menace of National Socialism -- let alone Oxford '33 -- with Ron Paul's criticism United States' unilateral, (nay, "bottomless") support for the "war on terror" is equal parts useless and inconsequential.

But first, let's all breathe a sigh of relief. Hitler's Panzer divisions are not flattening Vichy sod. We don't find ourselves huddled beneath school desk at risk of a Cuban missile crisis. For that, we should all be thankful.

However, if Mr. Lord is "unwilling or unable" to differentiate -- strategically -- between American response to Nazi genocide, Soviet Empire, and several thousand "freedom haters" scattered somewhere between Morocco and Malaysia, I'm not sure where to proceed with this conversation.

The fact is, sometimes the United States struggles under the burden of its own might. Despite public exhaustion with a robust military presence abroad, American policymakers are reticent to allow our allies and other nations to assume greater responsibility -- both for their own defense and for enforcing security in their respective regions.

I may be young, but I'm not dumb. Recognizing the fact that we're no longer duty bound to follow a foreign and defense policy committed to containing the spread of Nazism or communism around the globe, perhaps Ron Paul's perspective isn't quite so crazy -- and I mean for all of us, and not just those young folks out in Iowa Mr. Lord casually chides for their presumed, naïve pacifism.

Needless to say, it remains my sincere hope that this Cold War paradigm I previously mentioned dies with the armchair hawks who espouse it. I may be -- recently -- on the wrong side of thirty, but I can promise you my generation has already outgrown it.

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