"People have often been willing to give up personal identity and join into a collective. Historically, that propensity has usually been very bad news. Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought. Fascists, communists, religious cults, criminal 'families' — there has been no end to the varieties of human collectives, but it seems to me that these examples have quite a lot in common. I wonder if some aspect of human nature evolved in the context of competing packs. We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob." ~ Jaron Lanier
How to Win in Iraq and Afghanistan in One Easy Step
Exclusive to STR
In one easy step, here's how we do it: pull out completely. That's it. Just leave. The countries will do just fine without us.
I'll use history as a guide. In the 20th Century, America won just one war: Vietnam.
What's that, you say? We didn't win? We left in ignoble defeat, fleeing in our helicopters and pushing them off of our ships into the blue deep sea? How is that winning?
I'll tell you how we won over there. We left, and the place is doing just fine without us.
If the U.S. had won, do you know what Vietnam would be like today? We'd still be there, spending billions of dollars a year to maintain military bases. Probably to "contain China ."
Ever been to a military base? I have. They are surrounded by bars and pawnshops. Oh yeah -- and lots of whores. Most are disgusting places, and are certainly no place for a young man to be.
If we had won militarily in Vietnam , we'd have military bases there, surrounded by the same things as they are over here, only worse. Vietnamese hookers (and lots of half-breed kids), gambling, drugs, alcohol, crime, theft, rape, murder.
We'd have lots of dull-witted bureaucrats over there, screwing things up in their patronage jobs. The billions of dollars we'd funnel over there would be skimmed off by corrupt Vietnamese and end up in offshore bank accounts, and right before the crooks find the jig is up, they'd flee to the French Riveria, and spend the rest of their days in luxury, on my dime. And yours, too.
That's what would happen if we had won militarily in Vietnam .
In the 20th Century, we did not win one war except Vietnam , and that "win" cost us 58,000 casualties and a few million dead Southeast Asians. If we had stayed out in the first place, most of those people would still be alive and whole, and Vietnam would probably be more advanced than it is now.
We did not win World War I, which was a European War and none of our business anyway. The combatants over there had fought to a stalemate and were about ready to quit -- until we got involved.
Every country in that European war was equally guilty, yet all of it was blamed on Germany . Enter the utterly deluded Woodrow Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles, and the world ended up with Hitler, Stalin, and World War II.
After World War II, Christian Eastern Europe was delivered to Communist atheists for 50 years, Israel was founded in the middle of a 2000-year-old war, and the next thing you know, crazed fanatical Muslims are flying airplanes into our buildings to get revenge on us for supporting Arab dictators and Israel .
All those problems are what comes from the U.S. walking to and fro in the world, and meddling mightily in it, and certainly not following what George Washington said in his Farewell Address: trade with the world but stay out of their political problems.
Every place in the world where the U.S. Empire maintains bases has problems because we are over there and not over here. We even have bases in Portugal .
We still have bases in Germany . One of my cousins, who had been assigned to Germany when he was in the Army, said the Germans around the bases "hated us, so we hated them back." Now when did World War II supposedly end? Sometime in the middle of the 1940s, I think?
What problems do we have with Vietnam these days? None that I can think of. Why? Because we're not over there anymore!
I have decided a long time ago war is more the natural state of mankind than peace. Since at least World World I, we have been involved in a continuous war, with time off every once in a while for a breather. And none of it is necessary, if we would just pull out of other countries and just trade peacefully with them.
Fat chance of that, what with our worldwide American Empire trying to impose "democracy and freedom" on all those recalcitrant, ungrateful wogs. Mostly by killing them by the millions, like we did in Southeast Asia . Just kill enough of them, and they'll be our friends!
The only thing good that will come out of the American Empire is that sooner or later it will collapse (as all empires collapse) and we will come home. Of course, it will happen after oceans of mud and blood and folly.
Orwell had it right: when the State gets involved, it tells everyone that War is Peace. Orwell also said one of the most important things in his life was tending his vegetable garden.
As far as I'm concerned, he was right on both counts.