Talk:WG/Strategies/IR/Amendment for Peace

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I loved "War is a Racket" but. . .

user:BookofAmmon Oct 15, 2011 12:33 pm

. . . remember that Smedley Butler wrote this proposal in a very different geopolitical atmosphere than exists today.

What comes to mind is the fact that Kim Jong Il's government currently has over 5,000 artillery pieces pointed directly at Seoul, South Korea, ready to turn the entire city into rubble at the opportune moment.

While I don't like interventionism, I don't know if breaking all of our defensive treaties (this would essentially require us to drop out of NATO) is going to help our reputation abroad, nor will it necessarily make the world a safer place.

The vast majority of our overseas holdings should be abandoned, I agree. There's no reason for us to be in Germany, the UK, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, or of course Gitmo. And Afghanistan and Iraq need to be scaled down and de-occupied pronto. The populations of these countries don't really want us or need us there.

But the East Asian theater is still a tricky situation, and most South Koreans I've talked to are more or less glad about having us there as a deterrent. I don't know if abandoning that defensive pact would make anybody safer (at least as long as the DPRK is still around). I don't know if the SK people would rather a conflagration start, turn into genocide, and THEN we get involved.

So anyway, I'm just worried about how clear-cut this statement is, because each situation is different and the rules here are extremely restrictive and would probably just open the door for (even more) autocratic regimes to expand their own imperialism, because as long as whatever they do doesn't become "genocide" then we sit back and twiddle our thumbs.

And again, we do find ourselves tangled in a web of alliances. It's unfortunate, but backing out on them all isn't going to improve much, from my point of view.

Of course, it feels awkward, as a generally anti-war person, to argue this. But this statement just seems a little uncomfortably unrealistic.

re: I loved "War is a Racket" but. . .

user:reyraton Oct 16, 2011 3:52 am

I agree with the above... I'm more a fan of immediate restrictions and putting a throttle on the Dept of Defense budget than I am with a large-scope Amendment of this type.

re: I loved "War is a Racket" but. . .

user:BookofAmmon Oct 16, 2011 7:08 am

Here's a thought:

We should instead press for a "consent of the occupied" movement. As in, the US government should conduct a democratic vote of the people of a given country every five years, and THEY can decide if they want our bases to be in their countries or not. The representative governments will always be happy to let us foot the bill for protecting them, regardless of what the people of the countries think: I say we let the people of each country choose.

We are of course free to withdraw troops and bases according to our needs and finances, but this would give us a way of gracefully exiting our overseas commitments and obligations based upon the consent of the people.

Besides, it would be real barrel of laughs having the US military hold democratic elections in places like Qatar, where the people have no democratic elections for their government! They have a hereditary monarchy! Since the bases are US territory, we'd have every right to host elections on the base: there's no need for us to pander to despots when we're giving them free protection. Give the people a taste of actual democracy and stir the pot.