Skip to comments.What Should Americans Die For?
Posted on 05/17/2013 3:17:20 PM PDT by Kaslin
"The American people are weary. They don't want boots on the ground. I don't want boots on the ground. The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria."
That was the leading Senate hawk favoring U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war. But by ruling out U.S. ground troops, John McCain was sending, perhaps unintentionally, another message: There is no vital U.S. interest in Syria's civil war worth shedding the blood of American soldiers and Marines.
Thus does America's premier hawk support the case made by think-tank scholars Owen Harries and Tom Switzer in their American Interest essay, "Leading from Behind: Third Time a Charm?"
There is in the U.S.A. today, they write, "a reluctance to commit American blood."
A legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan "is an unwillingness of the American public to take casualties on behalf of less than truly vital challenges. ... While such concerns may be admirable ... they are incompatible with a superpower posture and pretensions to global leadership."
You cannot be the "indispensable nation" if you reflexively recoil at putting "boots on the ground."
"If a nation is not prepared to take casualties, it should not engage in the kind of policies likely to cause them. If it is not prepared to take casualties, it should resign itself to not having the kind of respect from others that a more resolute nation could expect."
About the author's premise, that Americans are reluctant to take casualties, is there any doubt?
To demonstrate this, we need only address a few questions.
Would we be willing to send another army of 170,000 to stop a Sunni-Shia war that might tear Iraq apart? Would the American people support sending 100,000 troops, again, to fight to keep Afghanistan from the clutches of the Taliban?
To ask these questions is to answer them.
Should Kim Jong Un attack across the DMZ with his million-man army and seize Seoul, would Barack Obama's America, like Harry Truman's America, send a third of a million U.S. soldiers and Marines to drive the North out? Or would we confine our support to the South, under our security treaty, to air, sea and missile strikes -- from above and afar?
Under NATO, the United States is required to assist militarily any member nation that is a victim of aggression.
If Moscow occupied Estonia or Latvia in a dispute over mistreatment of its Russian minorities, would we declare war or send U.S. troops to fight Russians in the Baltic?
Would we fight the Chinese to defend the Senkakus?
"America no longer has the will, wallet or influence to impose an active and ambitious global leadership across the world," Harries and Switzer contend. They cite Walter Lippmann, who wrote that a credible foreign policy "consists in bringing into balance, with a comfortable surplus of power in reserve, a nation's commitments and the nation's power.
"Without the compelling principle that the nation must maintain its objectives and its power in equilibrium, it purposes within its means and its means equal to its purposes, its commitments related to its resources and its resources adequate to its commitments, it is impossible to think at all about foreign affairs."
Though U.S. commitments are as great or greater than in 1991, the authors write, America is not so domineering as she was at the end of the Cold War, or when Bush 43 set out to "end tyranny in our world."
"The dollar is weak. The debt mountain is of Himalayan proportions. Budget and trade deficits are alarming. Infrastructure is aging. The AAA bond credit rating is lost. Economic growth is exceptionally sluggish for a nation that is four years out of a recession. And where 20 years ago U.S. military power was universally considered awesome in its scope, today, after more than a decade of its active deployment, the world is much more aware of its limitations and costs. It is decidedly less impressed."
Consider Syria, where the neocons and liberal interventionists are clamoring for U.S. military action, but "no boots on the ground."
Is there really any vital U.S. interest at risk in whether the 40-year-old Assad dictatorship stands or falls?
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been calling for Assad's ouster for two years and transships weapons to the rebels, has now seen his country stung by a terrorist attack.
But though he has a 400,000-man NATO-equipped army, three times Syria's population, and a 550-mile border to attack across, Erdogan wants us, the "international community," to bring Assad down.
But why is Assad our problem -- and not Erdogan's problem?
Harries and Switzer urge Obama to enunciate a new foreign policy that defines our true vital interests and brings U.S. war guarantees into balance with U.S. power -- a policy where the first question U.S. leaders ask about a conflict or crisis abroad is not "how" but "why"?
Why, exactly, is this America's problem?
If Muslim extremists captured New York City would Americans be willing to sacrifice American blood to save that foreign communist city?
We’re a third world hellhole run by lowlife thugs. Let the liberal die for the country for a change... they can join up and get their legs blown off so the IRS can bully citizens...
There he is again, hip deep in another national security issue, when he’s unfit to even hold office.
Over 4.5 more years of this.
Just DAMN IT!
With what is going on now in regards to the IRS, we are much, much closer to a second revolt.
If you ask me, tinfoil hat and all, I’m thinking that the global powermongers know that America is duty bound to the UN to protect allies and is intent on starting enough fires that we are left helpless.
If Americans are going to die, let it be for real freedom in America. In fact, if Americans are going to pay, let it be for freedom in America.
(I’ve just been flagged by the IRS.)
What should Americans die for? Their utter stupidity as an electorate.
No blood for Muzzies.
There’s not much left to die for. I used to be the most patriotic fellow ever, but what’s left to be patriotic about? The Left has destroyed national identity, national culture, and national language. I love the concept of the historic American people, but I no longer fell a love for America and the corrupt politicians who routinely sell out Americans’ interests.
A large, sugar buzzed class of inner city third graders with Glocks could drive the Norks back across the border. A million men doesn't do much good if you can't feed, equip, lead or move them.
Has anyone considered that mccain actually hates the military and that he is not a hawk, he’s a vengeful lunatic.
starve the beast...
Does the United States have any defense treaties with Israel? If Israel is attacked, is America obligated by treaty to respond militarily?
I’d fight and be willing to die for a free Texas. I have no interest in expending anything to save the US or any part thereof otherwise, it is a lost cause.
For virtually my entire life I never questioned whether or not I’d be willing to fight or die for my country. Now? Looking at what a pathetic, putrid sewer America has become, with the “blue states” happily voting for tyranny/statism, along with degeneracy like homo marriage... frankly, I don’t think I’d lift a finger. Indeed, any state that embraces homo marriage can particularly go burn in hell.
Better to ask what they should NOT die for.
Well I know of one person that has.
I suspect we’re not alone.
I still say he’s the Manchurian Candidate wanna-be.
The LLS doctrine:
“Just nuke them all”
I agree... AMERICA FIRST... ALWAYS! We should just destroy those who would destroy us... nuke the bastiges... end of story.
Heck, we do not have the moral strength to resist Mexican invaders of our own nation. California is gone, Arizona, Nevada and Texas are going. I’m surprised the Mexican flag is not flying over public buildings in California in place of the Stars and Stripes.
“No blood for Muzzies.”
I like the idea... we bleed them all dry!
It never ceases to amaze me the way Israel holds some kind of mystical power in the minds of some. People live in this bizarre fantasy world where we’re always facing some dire threat due to our “protection” of Israel.
When it comes right down to it in the real world, can any of us remember when an American has fired a single shot in defense of Israel?
Our defense of Israel comes largely in the form of trade deals which do include arms and intel. However we also sell arms to malevolent enemies of Israel so we aren’t really giving them nearly as much help as many seem to think.
Revolt is coming.
That is a key provision of the Camp David accords of the 1970s.
What should Americans die for? Defending the homeland against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
No more dying for citizens of other countries who should shed their own blood.
And especially NOT A SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD for muslims!!
It's a good thing that some of us love America so much that we will fight for her until our last breath. While we all live in wretched times, we have it so much better today that our Founders did. They never gave up... they faced far more danger and far harder times than we have ever faced.
They gave up their good names... their wealth and property... and if captured they would all be hung as traitors... grossly underarmed... on the verge of starvation... ammo running low... no money and little credit for trade... starving soldiers wearing rags for uniforms and wrapping rags and paper around their feet as shoes... many deserting... General Washington put his faith in GOD and his fellow Revolutionaries and against overwhelming odds... defeated one the world's only super powers at the time (perhaps France and Spain). So many are ready to just give up... not worth fighting for etc. Well thank GOD for Nathan Hale.
Hale was captured during an Intel operation and was hung as an illegal enemy combatant. He looked his British captors right in the eye and said, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”.
Hale... a 21 year-old man... knew what I and millions of others know and what Thomas Jefferson knew. If for no other reason than to show appreciation for and honor, respect and homage to these great men... we should all be willing to fight to the death to return America to her greatness.
“What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.” -
Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith
13 November 1787
Yes we do... but obama will ignore a treaty if he will ignore our Constitution. I stand with Israel and the GOD of Abraham. I may be a Christian but my savior is a Jew and GOD told us which side to take. GOD bless Israel and may GOD save America.
With 7-round magazine limits while the bad guys have full autos? If NYers themselves don’t find it worth saving, why should the rest of us give two sh*ts??
Damn well , not for OBAMA!
“Hale... a 21 year-old man... knew what I and millions of others know and what Thomas Jefferson knew. If for no other reason than to show appreciation for and honor, respect and homage to these great men... we should all be willing to fight to the death to return America to her greatness.
Too many forces are arrayed to prevent America’s return to greatness. Survival is the more realistic cause. Defending our homes and families should come first.
“With what is going on now in regards to the IRS, we are much, much closer to a second revolt.”
No, we are not. Until I see conservatives get off their fat butts, and stop barbecuing ribs, stop remodeling the stupid kitchen and stop worshipping Mammon, we are not close to a revolution.
When I see conservatives organizing a three-man revolutionary council to march to the village council and protest high property taxes, then we are on the road to revolution.
Thanks for listening.
Rephrase it a la General Patton:
“What should Americans KILL for?”
Make the other poor bastard die for HIS country.
Advice: Keep a close eye on the IRS scandal, it has a life of its own.
Those who think the recent run on guns and ammo portends a coming revolt need to look again... People want to protect their homes and families.
I love that scene!
I agree with you about home and family but I will not give up trying.
I see the country breaking up down the road as well.
As a Christian, I am rooting for Assad.
Overthrow him and the last vestige of Christianity in that country will be gone just like what happened when GWB overthrew Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Is that why this administration wants to step in and support the rebels? There is an article in a European newspaper that claims that nerve gas was used in Syria NOT by Assad but by the rebels.
I like the cut of your jibe
Like for instance Kosovo,Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on.
“Like for instance Kosovo,Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on.”
“You cannot be the ‘indispensable nation’ if you reflexively recoil at ‘putting boots on the ground’”
I’m perfectly fine with that. A country that refuses to defend its own borders isn’t in a position to play “indispensable” anywhere else in the world.
I agree. As they say, our fathers would have already been standing on the line.
If things don’t change soon, a fire will start they won’t be able to put out.
VERY well said