Monday, December 6, 2010

You Say Iran, I Say Iraq, You Say Japan, I say Japaq

The essence of modern diplomacy is pretending that facts do not exist.  That is why diplomats around the world are scurrying for cover after the recent WikiLeaks dump has provided detailed evidence that diplomats know what everyone else in the world has known for the last decade. Iran's military "took advantage of the vacuum" left in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam and is a state sponsor of Islamic terrorism?  Wow!  Saudi Arabia is a "cash machine" for terrorists?  Bombshell!  Iran procured advanced missiles from North Korea?  Oh my God!  Russia is a "mafia state" and not a democracy? Dios Mio!  Ok, I have ran out of expletives.      

At least the WikiLeaks cables have provided a kind of foreign policy catharsis, like catching a pathological liar red handed.  In other words, at least they now know that we know. It turns out, that is very important to them.     

If you want to gauge the practical difference between a mind that acknowledges reality and a mind that doesn't, consider the difference between America's military technology and America's foreign policy, that is, between the physical sciences and the modern social sciences, or between reason and modern philosophy. 

Scientists, those that integrate their observations of nature to form abstract generalizations, can hurl rockets into space and explore the cosmos.  Our military can fly unmanned drones to attack our enemies or use an arsenal of nuclear bombs to destroy a continent. 

Meanwhile, the foreign policy crowd, educated in modern philosophy, are taught that generalization is impossible, that there are no black and whites, that ethics are relative and judgment impossible.  They are taught that reality is a fluid construct and that only pragmatic consensus can temporarily ameliorate conflicting geopolitical visions.  These are minds that literally watch the same thing happen over and over throughout history and in front of their eyes, yet draw no conclusions. 

Islamic terrorists continue to attack Israel and her western allies.  Maybe next time, the diplomats tell us, they won't.  History teaches that appeasement only emboldens the enemy.  Maybe this time, the diplomats tell us, appeasement will work.  Iran and Saudi Arabia support Islamic terrorism militarily, logistically, and financially.  There is nothing we can do, they tell us, so we can only allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb and acquire missiles from North Korea (a country that periodically lobs missiles into South Korea with impunity), while considering Saudi Arabia to be an ally in the war on terrorism!  A war, it should be noted, that began when America attacked the wrong country, Iraq, and continues to engage in hand to hand combat with tribesmen in the mountains of Afghanistan, a country where a recent poll shows that 92% of the population doesn't know that 9/11 occurred.

Reasoning minds can produce high tech weapons that can destroy the enemy in minutes.  Minds deadened in the abyss of post-modern realpolitik can not even determine who our enemy is!

Iran, Iraq.  It's one letter of difference.  If our foreign policy establishment intellectuals were around during World War II, would we have fought a war against Japan or Germany?  Who knows, right?  But, these intellectuals have united in their judgment of one enemy and will marshal all of their resources to bring him down - WikiLeaks beware.
                

8 comments:

madmax said...

Doug, I agree with everything you say except that I'm not sure if you are defending Julian Assange. The man is an American hating Leftist whose intentions are not noble. Its open for debate if he engaged in espionage. If so, punishment is warranted (maybe even death).

But yes, post-modernism has destroyed the West's ability to defend itself. What the WikiLeaks reveal is that America and Europe are governed by suicidally insane Leftists (or complicit Republicans like Bush) whose brains are so destroyed by egalitarianism and moral relativism that its doubtful if the Euro-American world will make it to the half-way point of this century.

We've got children running the asylum. Scary.

Doug Reich said...

Madmax,

Yeah I was intentionally ambiguous about Assange b/c I was hoping someone would bring it up and spark some discussion - and I didn't want to make the post only about him. I think the bigger picture is more important than Assange's methods, and that's what I chose to focus on in the post.

This is like someone illegally breaking and entering a building and stealing private information that reveals an evil government cover up but at the same time makes public info about good informants who now are in jeopardy. It's a bit hard to sort out.

I share your view that what he has done is criminal to the extent that it compromises U.S. security - and he is probably a really bad guy. We effectively "hire" these diplomats and entrust them to act in the best interests of the U.S. and it is not up to one guy to decide what should be made public. To the extent that he has put friendly's at risk, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

However, my point is that much of what he has "revealed" by surreptious means, at least in the headline stories, is knowledge that should be publicly discussed practically every day, by our leaders, such as the fact that Iran is at war with us on the ground in Iraq. How and why do the diplomats and their lackey's in the MSM not cover this?

If there was any kind of rationality to our foreign policy, these kinds of facts would not be concealed but bedrock facts to support an objective foreign policy or military response.

Theoretically, say the American government was concealing the fact that it knows Iran is killing our soldiers in Iraq and it has not responded? I would want to know that, even if the diplomats were covering it up. Again, I'm not saying his approach is correct, quite the opposite. But, given that it has happened, it is certainly enlightening to consider what it has revealed about our foreign policy establishment.

Some of what he has revealed borders on criminal cover up IMO but that shouldn't justify or excuse the wholesale dump of top secret info that could put allies in jeopardy.

Like to hear other opinions.

Ryan O. said...

Great post, Doug.

What was leaked, though, to my knowledge, is not Top Secret-everything was taken from Siprnet, which is Secret/Noforn material. Top Secret material is very hard to access.

I haven't read all the materials released, but I have seen nothing at the Secret level that is directly threatening to the nation or to particular soldiers. Any Human Intelligence would rightly be Top Secret, or higher.

garret seinen said...

Doug, while we’re focusing on the stealing and release of state secrets and weigh the morality of such an act, are we not focusing on the effect rather than the cause? As you worded so succinctly in the post, no new revelation have shed any different light on the despotic countries that have been named. All that we’ve been given is proof that officialdom is no less aware of the truth than the more perceptive journalists are. The release of this information shows us they are not stupid as we thought, just pragmatic and all their statements are riddled with duplicity.

But clearly America is at war in inappropriate places. Afghanistan contained Bin Laden’s training area and GWB, to his credit, said “we will go after the terrorists where ever they are” but he virtually granted Bin Laden asylum when he wouldn’t follow him into Pakistan. And after a 2 week war that defeated Iraq, the pathetic plan to create a peaceful Islamic nation has cost thousands of Americans their lives.

As you imply, since 1945 America has not fought a war with the goal of defeating the enemy. But you say about Punishing Mr Assange, “...that he has put friendly's at risk....” so let’s look at America’s treatment of her allies. When GHWB called on the Kurds to overthrow Saddam only to stand by when the gassing started, to what degree should we hold Mr Bush complicit?

An American president may have good intentions but few have the nerve to challenge the domestic intellectual opposition. So with that said, what would a diplomat’s memo say if America had a different, a rational, intellectual mind-set at home? Would there even be duplicity in the dealings with foreign despotic regimes?

America spent years fighting and wasting both human lives and wealth, trying to slow the USSR’s communizing of the world. While poking sharpened sticks at jungle bunnies, America’s pragmatic leaders shipped food to Russia. Meanwhile every American intellectual admired the Soviet strength until that marginal actor finally called Russia’s bluff, the smoke screen dissolved and the entire world could see what the perceptive critics had seen all along, the Russian economy was less developed than India at the time.

But is there anything that more graphically shows the deplorable state of American foreign policy than North Korea? That border has claimed lives for more than 60 years. By threatening to starve his own people Kim Ill Jong managed to have Americans pay for his dinner, all the while continuing to push his slaves into building nuclear bombs.

Now, while he sinks ships and shells towns, the response? The mightiest military power this planet has ever seen just meaninglessly says, “Naughty, don’t do that again.

Doug, truly America’s enemies are not running Wikileaks. You can maybe guess where I think they’re at.

Doug Reich said...

Thanks for your commments.

As I said, I did not want to put the emphasis on Assange, that's not the real problem.

I think Bolton had a good op-ed on this, and this sort of sums up what I was trying to say in so many words

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/05/obama-us-security-danger-threats

quoting:

"All of this underscores the real problem. It is not WikiLeaks that ultimately imperils our national security, but the failing Obama administration, which ignores the nature and extent of threats we face, and which is too often unwilling to act to thwart them. While our economic difficulties have dominated the national debate for two years, national security will inevitably again come to the fore, as Americans see the full extent of the devastation left by Obama's policies. That shift cannot come too soon."

Perplexio said...

I had a similar discussion regarding Wikileaks with a liberal gentleman in a writer's group I'm in.

It was interesting in that he was torn on this whole chain of events because on one hand he believes in a certain level of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, etc. But on the other hand he believes in a person's right to privacy and mentioned that he can see both sides and hasn't quite reconciled, in this situation, whether freedom of speech/of the press should trump the right to privacy.

What we were able to agree on was that the leaked documents weren't a threat to national security, they were merely embarassing.

As for your other point about what this says about the Obama Administration... I think one of Obama's biggest handicaps is that he wants to be well-liked by everyone (the Willy Loman factor). In particular he wants to be well liked by the "intellectual liberal elite" (the college professors and members of liberal think tanks) and generally that crowd lives in a vaccuum of theories that are largely impractical beyond the realm of college textbooks and lecture halls.

Now I like the idea of tolerance as much as the next guy... but unlike those that our administration is listening to, I realize that trying to be tolerant of the beliefs of those people who are intolerant of everyone else's beliefs serves no one.

Mark Humphrey said...

I read this blog article with a sense of disorientation. The theme of your article is that America's wars are primarily just and noble, but flawed by moral compromise of minds unwilling to acknowledge reality. Now here is a shining example of self delusion.

For example, anyone who still believes that World War Two was a noble American crusade is deaf and blind to well-established historical facts. A heavy preponderance of Americans--85%--consistently opposed entry into "Europe's war", until the Japanese "surprised" FDR with its murderous attack on Pearl Harbor. Of course, the attack was no surprise to the Roosevelt people, who had long worked to provoke first Germany and then Japan into "striking the first blow". Robert Stinnett's "Day of Deceit" proves beyond reasonable doubt that FDR actively sought and welcomed with foreknowlege the Japanese attack. The Good War was not fought in defense of American liberty and property; but it cost 500,000 young American lives, imposed military slavery, and rained down terror and murder on millions of helpless German and Japanese civilians.

I won't bother to recite equally damning facts concerning other American military adventures, except to note that, like WWII, these murderous crusades were not defensive, but aggressive in nature. The purpose of the aggression was the pursuit of megalomaniac "geopolitical vision".

If you were to characterize my criticism as "anti-American", that would be OK. Why? Because it would starkly illustrate the profound difference in what we see as the good, and what we desire for our country.

Doug Reich said...

Mark,

First, I don't want you to be disoriented.

Second, how in the world did you infer that the theme of this post was: "that America's wars are primarily just and noble, but flawed by moral compromise of minds unwilling to acknowledge reality."?