Wednesday, September 17, 2014

No Joke

A man goes to the doctor and says. “Doc, it hurts when I do this”.  “Then stop doing that,” says the doctor.


 A journalist goes into a hostile combat zone and is brutally murdered.  Then a second goes in and he is also murdered.  A third tries as well with the same outcome.  “Stop doing that!”

The murders of American and British journalists are no joke.  My prayers and sympathies go out to their families and loved ones.  Still, they are grown-ups freely and knowingly engaged in risky business just like mercenaries and gun runners.

A nation does not go to war over adventurous risk takers who also happen to be its citizens.  It does not risk the lives of its young men and women because a remote foreign nation is cruel to its own minorities and dissenters.  If that were the case, America should be at war with about half of the nations on Earth.

A nation goes to war when faced when with an existential threat.  Short of that, a nation commits to war only when its vital national interests are in jeopardy.

Since ISIS presents no existential threat to the United States, Americans must ask, what vital interest is it that we are defending?  The default answer is always, “oil”.

Middle East oil is no longer a vital concern for America. 

Time Magazine reports that U.S. oil imports are falling.  This is attributable to increased energy production driven by  fracking as well as to more fuel efficient vehicles.   Forbes Magazine goes as far to project that the U.S. will be able to fully meet its energy needs by the end of this decade

In the meantime as we move towards energy independence, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the preponderance of U.S. oil imports come from within the Western Hemisphere, not the Middle East.



So once again we ask, what vital interest are we defending if not oil?

Not only is it foolish to go to war without a clear interest to defend, it is criminally irresponsible to do so without definitive objective or a strategy for achieving it. 

Destroying ISIS will not solve the problem that the U.S. is held in low esteem throughout the Islamic world.  Bombing will not win the win hearts and minds let alone the war.  It will only kill innocents and invite blowback terrorism making life in America less safe. 

Boots on the ground can only lead to another decade long quagmire as in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Like Whack-a-Mole, America will “crush” one enemy only to see two or three or four more pop up.  Patrick Buchanan breaks down the futility in recent blog, The Forever War.

Unlike Whack-a-Mole, sending young Americans to die for no good reason is no game.  Wasting a decade’s worth of time, talent and treasure with no clear objective or realistic plan for victory is no joke.


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