The key to all of these problems is being able to do the difficult — apply human common sense to the facts on the ground. Closing one’s eyes to what can evolve is never ever a good idea — particularly in a day and age of missiles and high tech. This is where Reid Smith and I disagree.
Jeff, in fairness, I’m not closing my eyes to the potential evolution of evil. Likewise, I’ve already expressed my “serious misgivings” with the extremity of Ron Paul’s positions. However, I have consistently emphasized constructive caution — perhaps in censure of the hyperbolic ramblings of several GOP candidates (and pundits) who have proven unfit to discuss foreign policy beyond their seemingly bottomless support for Israel, Obama’s “toleration” of Arab Spring, and some vigorous fist-shaking in the general direction of Tehran. I’d like my candidate to bring more to the table than empty bluster when it comes to foreign policy.
With that said, I’m not entirely sure why you point to the Continent’s intellectual dismissal of National Socialism in the ’30s, unless to suggest we should be culling the colorful mosques of Qom to track down the next Khomeini, today? Uh…okay?
But speaking of Iran, the application of “human common sense to the facts on the ground” and your apparent desire to nip Iranian nukes in the proverbial bud… as I’ve written right here, on this very blog, an aerial assault conducted by the United State or Israel would produce drastic consequences.
Let’s consider the blowback. *collective gasp* Such action would ensure violence against American and Israeli targets — both at home and abroad. Iran would shed the yoke of international isolation and bask in the hero-worship of a suddenly-sympathetic Arab street. Historic rivalries and ancient antagonisms in the Muslim world would crumble, as Iran ascends the stage opposite the United States, playing the role of “Bête Noir du Jour” — a dashing protagonist cast in the global tragedy of American Empire’s promiscuous use of preventive war.
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot. An attack on Iranian soil would immediately harden Persian consensus in opposition to intervention, and cement support for what has become an increasingly unpopular ruling cabal. Concurrently, support for a nuclear arms program — which is far from monolithic, at present — would skyrocket.
All this “blowback” to temporarily degrade — not demolish — Iran’s nuclear ambition.
Jeff, what I’m trying to impart is that there’s a teeny, tiny hint of “grey area” between handshakes with Hitler over Sudetenland at the ’38 Munich Conference and our decision to take the fight against communism to the jungles of Laos. Decisions have consequences, and our “war of choice” routine and exhortation of “conditional sovereignty” do us little favor in the international arena.
In conclusion, Jeff, I’d say your rousing extrapolation of imprisoned Austrian painters and communist intrigue during the twilight of the Romanovs has paradoxically channeled your inner ostrich.
Growing consensus in the national security community — and I’m talking about professional practitioners and academics, not talk-show blowhards on your radio dial — suggests the preservation of American security and hegemony hinges on our ability to rebuild economic stability at home by cutting the federal deficit that has exploded under the current administration.
If we’re going to have a serious conversation then you need to consider the facts: our $15 trillion federal debt approaches the size of the entire economy, without accounting for the liabilities hemmed to Social Security, Medicare and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The United States has never been so vulnerable to an international run on the dollar that could begin overseas. Foreign governments can absolutely use their Treasury holdings to coerce American decision-making.
Sadly, the restoration of fiscal solvency doesn’t jibe with a policy preference that prioritizes dropping JDAMs on Muslim countries. So I’m not sure what to tell you, Jeff. All I did here was “apply human common sense to the facts on the ground.”
Thanks for the advice.