Saturday, September 13, 2008

Guest Editorial: One Sentence Says It All

Courtesy of American Daughter where I frequently cross post.
By William Bradford Krones | Thursday, September 11th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Here, in one single elegant phrase, written two thousand years ago, we have the essence of the modern American conservative movement’s foreign policy ideal.

In the universities these days, we are assured that there is no such thing as absolute truth; yet, here we have it. “If you wish peace, prepare for war.” A timeless concept that was as valid when our ancestors were living in caves and fashioning weapons from sticks and stone as it remains today in our nuclear age. One could take every treatise on diplomacy or military history ever published, reduce it to that one simple idea, and not be far off of the mark with respect to the causation of the failure of diplomacy and resulting hostilities in any era, at any level, or in any geographic setting. The details and personages come and go, but human nature, human perceptions, and the concept of behavioral incentives rooted in risk/reward remain timeless.

For but one example, consider World War II. The English, Russians, and Americans did not follow our simple precept. The French tried, but made a hash of it. Thus, global warfare and fifty million dead. Sound too simple? Think about everything that you have ever read or seen about the years leading up to September 1, 1939, and try and name one other factor that predominates or even approaches the failure of the Allied powers to apply our little theorem. Yes, we have left out an analysis of “the bad guy” in Germany, but that is the point. There are always evil-doers who control rogue nation-states, or now, terrorist groups, and they are always prepared to feed off of their weaker neighbors if they calculate that the rewards trump the chances for a negative outcome.

Here in America today, and in Europe, the modern so-called liberals have bypassed this basic truism. The Jimmy Carters of this world believe that “If you wish peace, get rid of your weapons, get down on your knees and convince the other guy of your sincerity.” Not quite the same thing as our original precept, you will note. Obama is in this camp, as is Joe Biden, and much of the Democrat Party (and, sadly, even some of the Republicans). Bill Clinton knew better, but he eviscerated the DOD for cheap political gain so that he could declare a “balanced budget.” Which is the worse, the naive idealist, or the cynical politician who knows better but does it anyway? If you believe that I am all wrong with this, as I know that several of you will, I would enjoy responses.

On a final note, it occurs that Barrack Obama’s take on foreign policy is reminiscent of that of another Democrat politician, Henry Wallace, FDR’s Vice President who was dropped off of the ticket in 1944, for good reason, in favor of Harry Truman.

© William Bradford Krones, all rights reserved

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very general comment: Where I come from you balance budgets by cutting expenses.

The adminstration(s)seem to always try to balance the budget by raising or lowering taxes.

I live on a fixed income
and 'cutting expenses' is the only way I can "balance my budget"....

3:53 AM GMT+12  
Blogger Vilmar said...

Joe, if you haven't read Churchill's 6 volume set on the Second World War you owe it to yourself. He laid it out, he tried to warn the UK PM, the French, etc. He pleaded with Roosevelt for help. Belgium refused to allow troops into their country trusting the Germans not to attack. As did the Dutch. The French were their usual useless selves. The Norwegians. The Finns and Balkans got trampled by the Bear. Still, no one wanted to piss off Hitler or Stalin.


And we are doing the same.

Take a gander at what the Pakis are threatening to do if we continue to go in there to kill Islamic terrorists.

Never has the phrase, "those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it" been more appropriate.

8:24 AM GMT+12  
Blogger Joe Ramen said...

I'll check that out one day, Vilmar. I have read other articles and essays as well as numerous documentaries that have explained well how Churchill tried to warn the Europeans.

And yeah, the West is doing the same thing today with the muzzies. Pathetic. And when it is too late and war is inevitable, everybody will be sitting around wondering how it got to that point. That's even more pathetic.

8:54 PM GMT+12  
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8:51 PM GMT+13  

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