This article is a cross-post from the Jacksonian Party.
The following is a position paper of the Jacksonian Party.
The principle precept of Jacksonianism is: you don't bother me, I don't bother you; you attack me, I kill you.
Simple, short and sweet. There is no 'proportionate' response involved.
There is no dilly-dallying about for 'what is the right response?' to be batted around and a 'politically acceptable' solution to be found.
There is no compromise. Wars are fought to victory or of compromise between honorable foes that STAND BY their agreements.
When you do 'other things' because wars 'drag on' or 'are too long' or it is 'not in your name' then you had best be asking yourself what YOUR surrender terms for the Nation will be.
Let us start with the litany of defeat and non-response by the United States and see where they lead. And since everyone loves pointing to Vietnam, let that be a nice starting point since the Korean War went on hiatus due to an armistice between foes willing to disengage honorably for their own reasons.
Vietnam had a death toll to it, no doubt. And it did drag on, from start to the ending of support of any kind to South Vietnamese regime on 30 DEC 1974. Unofficially US Armed Forces advisors had been in the area since the Truman Administration, but it was Eisenhower and then Kennedy that made that involvement official. The Kennedy Administration had Ngo Dinh Diem assassinated so that a leader with closer ties to the US could be installed. That, of course, was not a good nor honorable thing to do. Both the Kennedy Administration and the Johnson Administration increased troop commitment to South Viet Nam on the basis of supporting an Ally against Communism. Even once the Viet Cong were no longer a viable fighting force and the US was chewing through North Viet Namese military units, the war was seen as 'unwinnable'. The major problem was: not taking out North Viet Nam via ground forces and occupation. No Administration would sanction that against a Soviet Ally, thus North Viet Nam was able to get resupplied, continuously from its backers. At 6,999 days, all US support, including providing sea-based air cover for South Viet Nam ended by the US Congress. We could not even do *that*.
The results of this were many-fold and none of them good.
First, the US lost honor and prestige in the world by not supporting and backing a Friend and Ally. Our trustworthiness as a Friend and Ally was diminished. We had decided to feed a friend to the wolves so the bleeding from the scratches we were getting with a PEACE TIME ECONOMY would end. That gave enemies of the United States time to rework their concepts and now implement a fully VALID method of defeating the US: long war by proxy.
Second, in the unintended and basically unseen part of this is the amount of Soviet production that had to go for supporting the weak North Viet Nam regime. By most accounts two to three entire armies of supplies, trucks, tanks, support vehicles and other stores and equipment were used up this way. And while South Viet Nam was going under they were chewing up yet *another* of these and the North would need to be resupplied *again*. The USSR was relatively quiescent globally during Viet Nam as they had no resources to spare. With the end of that they were still quite weak economically, but had an unscratched military and new confidence that International Communism would *win* against the West.
Third, in 1975 the Khmer Rouge, backed by North Viet Nam seized power in Cambodia via Civil War. Cambodia became a Communist nation. Estimates of the dead and those killed to purify the nation range from 1.7 million to 3 million people or roughly 20% of the population of the Nation were killed because of US retreat. It was a 'domino' that fell.
Fourth, in 1974 the Laotian government, no longer getting backing from the US faced its own Communist insurgency and that was backed by the North Viet Namese military. The US had thrown this Ally to the wolves, too. The government negotiated a hand over to Communist Pathet Lao. The royal family was killed and untold numbers fled the country to escape the 're-education camps' that served as places to brainwash those that would serve the Communists or kill those who would not. This was another 'domino' to fall.
Fifth, since going overland from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam would entail a deadly cocktail of Communist forces and have a high mortality rate, those that could flee from those places did so by boat. These are the 'Boat People' and they told of the horrors in their Nations perpetrated by Communists from their refugee camps in various places. During the 1980's this continued due to the lack of living circumstances in those Communist Nations as they were burdened by debt to the USSR and had no local economy to support that debt burden. Many were called 'economic refugees' and repatriated back to their Nations of origin. Approximately 1 million people were allowed to emigrate to the West or to better circumstances. This migration is a direct effect of the US leaving South Viet Nam and not supporting Allies, no matter how awful, because what they were facing was *worse*.
Next up, Iran. In 1979 the Islamic Fundamentalists overthrew the Shah and installed themselves into power. The Shah had been put in place by removing the elected government that the Allies had instantiated during WWII after invading Iran. The Invasion of Iran was to remove a pro-Fascist Shah from the throne and keep the Western oil supplies open. The democratic government was highly factionated with problems dating back to the 19th century. The Eisenhower Administration thought it better to re-install the Shah and get a reliable backer on the throne. The 1979 overthrow of the Shah in February, solidified in March and then given popular hearing in November was another Ally the United States had decided not to back under the Carter Administration. The US hostage crisis, in which the US did NOT respond effectively nor forcefully to invasion of the diplomatic compound not only lowered the estimation of the ability of the US to respond, but it weakened all of established diplomatic interchange and the concept of International Law and respect for National Sovereignty that went with it. The effects of this were many, but two major ones need be pointed out.
First, is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Staged in December 1979 while the US was heavily distracted with ineffectual 'yellow ribbons' and oak trees, the USSR saw a prime opportunity to use its recovering economy and prove, directly, its military might by taking over Afghanistan. The Carter Administration, unable to find the wherewithal to back an OPEN opposition to the USSR had decided on the clandestine route of arming insurgents with high tech weapons and skills to slowly grind against the Soviet military. This would only begin to bear any fruit in 1985 when some organization to militias in Afghanistan gave rise to an effective anti-Soviet campaign. Until then the Soviet Union was emboldened by its victory and expansion of power.
Secondly, the non-response to Iranian Fundamentalist Islamism led to a long series of further withdrawals, pull-backs and non-responsive episodes for the United States. President Carter had set the tone of the US being unable to effectively counter Radical Islamism.
Combining these two defeats for US prestige and inability to respond militarily led directly to the Soviet quest for International expansion and to the rise of Radical Islam which would aim to overthrow the entire Western conception of Nations.
The first of these events was in El Salvador and its Civil War in the early 1980's. In that both the US and USSR gave light supplies to each side and let that proxy war simmer on its own. The Soviet strategy was to keep a viable resistance alive so that it could be supported by further expansion. This was a trivial drain to US resources, but, combined with Afghanistan, the USSR was stretching to its limits.
Secondly, during the period of Soviet expansionism they had also set sights on Nicaragua, which is a key geographic point in Central America. By supporting the Sandinista in the long term from the 1960's onwards, the USSR was able to oust the Somoza government via clandestine support for the Sandinista and Daniel Ortega. In the 1980's this victory for the USSR would lead to a regime which impoverished its people and supported the FMLN in El Salvador. Again, the USSR had to add this to its support list as Nicaragua had proven incapable, under Communist management, of taking care of its people.
Thirdly, the Non-Aligned Movement of Nations swung sharply to an 'anti-imperialist' stance and for the USSR in 1979 during its meeting in Havana. This gave much diplomatic credence to an ascendant USSR and an anti-US and Western bias which would play out in the following decades. By not indicting Soviet aggression the Non-Aligned Movement became a partisan movement that could not hold to its basis of respecting National Sovereignty. Litanies against the US were called up for Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos, but similar tracts were never brought up against the USSR in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Afghanistan, North Viet Nam and Nicaragua. This was a direct loss to not only the US, but global diplomacy, in which a patina of being 'Non-Aligned' could cover for overtly partisan viewpoints and attacks.
Fourthly, the Angolan Civil War which had simmered during the 1970's saw a large increase in US and Soviet support during the 1980's. Originally started in the early 1970's as a consequence of Castro's concept of spreading revolution 'on the cheap' by sending out 'advisors' to Nations with weak governments, Angola was one of those regimes that destabilized and fell into Civil War. The USSR increased support for their faction there and the US, realizing the USSR needed to be at least *matched* followed suit in the 1980's. This war would see a few truly huge battles but generally rumble on without victory for over a decade. Again, the USSR, by no longer needing active support in SE Asia, felt it could redirect manufacturing to support Communists elsewhere.
Fifthly, the Civil War in Mozambique, which had been going on for some time, saw increased Soviet Support and the regime turned harshly oppressive. Additionally famine struck the Nation and the number of deaths from the regime and famine were large. Here the USSR did not have the US to confront, but South Africa under its apartheid regime. While tacit support from the US did flow there, it was never as substantial as seen elsewhere in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Angola.
Sixthly, the destabilization of Somalia and Ethiopia led to the Ogaden War in the late 1970's and that simmering conflict continues to be a problem that is seen in the headlines to this day, long after the demise of the USSR. This was a direct proxy war of the superpowers between Somalia and Ethiopia and led to another of those conflicts that ended nowhere and still is fought even after the supports for it have been removed.
Seventh, the multiple attacks on the US in Beirut. The multiple Arab-Israeli wars led to a destabilization of the mixed ethnic, religious and social factions within Lebanon and saw Israel invade twice, in 1978 and 1982, to remove cross-border threats from the PLO. Under the Reagan Administration the US, in trying to stop the conflict, saw its Embassy bombed in 1983 with 63 killed, then the Marine Barracks bombing later that year with 241 killed, and then a SECOND attack on the US Embassy Annex in 1984 with 20 Lebanese and 2 US soldiers killed. The culprit for each of these was the newly formed Hezbollah that had grown directly from Iran and was being given tacit support by Syria if not direct aid by them. Because of that direct link with Iran, each of these incidents is considered in the realm of diplomatic niceties as acts of war that give cause and reason for Nations to respond to them via war. President Reagan did not do so, but there is no statute of limitations on those acts.
Eighth, the non response to these things led to further terrorist acts and further expansion against the US including: the Hezbollah Hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in 1985, the assassination of Alex Odeh in 1985, bombing of TWA Flight 840 in 1986 by the 'Arab Revolutionary Cells', the 1986 Berlin Disco bombing by Libya (to which the US offered a minor military reprisal to Libya), the 1986 Hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 by the Abu Nidal organization, the capture of the Japanese Red Army terrorist Yu Kikumura who had pipebombs while traveling on the NJ Turnpike on 12 APR 1988 on his way to NYC, the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 by Libya, 25 JAN 1993 killings of CIA employees waiting at a traffic signal by Mir Aimal Kansi, 26 FEB 1993 WTC bombing, stopping the 1993 NYC Landmarks Bombing plot in June. This litany goes on and on, but culminates in a few critical acts: 1996 Khobar Towers bombing by Hezbollah, the bombings of the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 by al Qaeda and the USS Cole bombing in 2000 by al Qaeda. These works demonstrate either separate or coordinated attacks across the network of Transnational Terrorist organizations emboldened by the lack of US response previously in Iran and Beirut and general weakness of the US as seen after Viet Nam. This litany continues on and on with some being 'lone deranged individual' or with attempted plots, like the Millenium bombing plot, that demonstrates organizational capability beyond a few individuals. All of this culminates to the 9/11 attacks on the US by al Qaeda.
Ninth, by not fighting Hezbollah and stopping its spread it had established itself in Argentina and attacked the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos, Aires in 1994. The current outgrowth of Hezbollah to Venezuela under strongman Hugo Chavez is aided by the growth Hezbollah has been able to do in South America since its establishment there. Hezbollah is also responsible for the Alas Chiricanas Flight 00901 in July 1994. Today Hezbollah operates via overt and covert means within the confines of the United States, as seen by the spate of arrests of Hezbollah and their sympathizers across the Nation. And those arrests indicate connections to Mexican narcotics rings and to Far Eastern goods counterfeiters on the grey and black markets.
Tenth, "Blackhawk Down" the Battle of Mogadishu. Some US Soldiers killed in a far off land trying to establish peace was too much for the Clinton Administration. Facing al Qaeda there was obviously more than America could stomach. Not that this became a recruiting point FOR al Qaeda... but it did.
All of these things are outgrowths or expansions due to the non-assertion of US power and sovereignty in support of its Allies and retreating before them.
Note that retreat from abroad does NOT bring security, does NOT bring peace and happiness and, generally gets a larger body count closer and closer to home.
The Jacksonian Party does NOT stand for US defeat and retreat on a global basis. Until folks stop attack the US, its Allies and its Friends, We the People will see no end to these attacks and will see more Nations fall to tyranny and repression.
Does a war go beyond three or four years?
"Run away! The bad men are too tough to fight, hide under the bed!"
If you do not want to fight NOW, then expect to pay a higher price year on year as others see you as weak and failing and unable to assert your rights. And expect to pay that butchers bill closer and closer and closer to home. When, exactly, will standing up to a bully be worth it? When the knife is at your throat is a bit late. Actually, so is within shooting distance of your home. Hell, firing distance of the Nation is a bit much. So, beyond that... for me at least. Others may enjoy the feeling of a knife at their throats, I do not.
"Oh, but those are good American Soldiers who are dying!" And they VOLUNTEERED for the duty of fighting the Nation's fights for it and are willing to risk their lives for the Nation. And not honoring them and supporting the FIGHT of the NATION dishonors them more than anything else on this planet because you have shown yourself not worth dying FOR. They die FOR VICTORY, not DEFEAT.
"But all wars are useless!" Tell that to the dead on Iwo Jima, the dead on the beaches of Normandy, the dead buried across this Nation to fight to establish the Nation. The dead who fought so that YOU could HAVE liberty. If you think all wars are useless, then what will you think when it is YOUR turn to have your head chopped off for your beliefs? Or will you convert and submit and have no beliefs of your own?
"There is no end to this fighting!" Correct. Until mankind has liberty, freedom and the willingness to get along and agree to disagree on things, those wishing to impose their will are given fair opportunity to do so. The end to this fighting is the end to Liberty... the end to Freedom.
"But is all OUR fault for being imperialist/Western/racist/etc!" Then let them complain VOCALLY and at length. The Nation listens to such, as we are stuck listening to YOU. The question of HEARING you or CARING about you is something else again. By saying it is the fault of those being attacked, you are blaming the victim.
"Israel is the CAUSE of this!" I see. A territory was carved up as an Empire left it, given to another Empire, which then sub-divided it and said to the folks there: 'Here you go! You figure it out yourselves, you each have enough room to live together. If you cooperate." Miscalculation? Possibly. But one side took the path to Nation, to Justice, to Law and abided by its agreements. The other side, having the exact SAME chance, did nothing save kill and kill and kill and kill. How is THAT the fault of Israel? And, if you want to turn back the clock, then where does that turning STOP? And how, exactly, does that explain the interconnect, non-Islamic groups like ETA, IRA, FARC, and the various 'Red' groups?
"But we are NOW the cause of the problem!" Yes, fighting for liberty and freedom will always get you tyrannical enemies, for some reason. Care to surrender now?
"This isn't about freedom! It's about...." Fill in the blank for oil/imperialism/racism/convoluted conspiracies/the Pope/whatever. So, which Nations, exactly, has the United States subdued permanently and coerced to join as part of the Nation? Or that we have held at gun-point and said 'Do as we say, or else'? List, please! Name them. And not some minor flyspeck island Nation in the Pacific or Atlantic or some such. No, REAL Nations with populations over a few million folks that actually are living under US tyranny. Come on! That should be *easy*. I have yet to hear that list from *anyone* making this argument. Because there is no list to make.
"We are forcing our values on other people and that is wrong!" No, we free them from tyranny and allow them to make their OWN damn fool decisions on what they like or dislike. We cannot help it if most of those like freedom for individuals and make choices different than their ancestors. So sorry to hand over that burden to decide for oneself.
Every thing I have heard as 'a reason to leave' is an excuse for cowardice and indecision.
If you do not like the way We are fighting then hand out a way that WORKS better. Retreating and calling barbarians to be 'misunderstood' has gotten us death and more death and death all the way to Our Shores.
Want to leave Iraq? Tell you what, lets leave Germany, Japan and South Korea FIRST! Support that so we can get more people to FIGHT and we may need to leave them in a time frame like those three: decades of being there and peace being established. Push for this FIRST and you may be able to stress something close to a valid case. There that is a valid construction of what to do that will not endanger the Nation and, possibly, put enough 'boots on the ground' to eliminate ALL enemies in short order in Iraq.
But to do so, that means that you would not mind seeing THOSE troops committed to fighting actively. Otherwise you are asking for another Vietnam. And no good has come at that, except to make Our enemies bolder and diminish the Union and undermine it to the point of near collapse.
If you have no honor for the FIGHT then do not tell me of your honor for those doing OUR FIGHTING FOR US. That is dishonorable in the extreme. We have civilian control of the military and We the People honor Our commitments until We change Our mind through valid means.
Too bad the enemy that started all of this is gone.
The current ones would still enjoy our demise immensely.
02 September 2006
This article is a cross-post from the Jacksonian Party.