Ramparts was a Leftist magazine of the 1960's and early 70's. As Peter Richardson notes (via Daniel McCarthy), on the cover of one 1969 issue was the words: "Alienation is when your county is at war and you want the other side to win."
Almost 70 years before, Herbert Spencer expressed a similar sentiment when he said "When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don't care if they are shot themselves."
What should be noted about the sentiments of both Ramparts and Spencer is that neither was talking about a war of defense. The former's concern was the Vietnam War; the latter's was a 19th-century British conflict in . . . Afghanistan.
I understand the alienation. Because it is clear that the foreign policy of the United States is deliberately evil, or very stupid, and I can prove it. And I will prove it by invoking the Conventional Wisdom, or "Everyone Knows."
1. Everyone knows that Al Qaeda wants to annihilate everyone - especially in the U.S. - with nuclear weapons if possible.
2. Everyone knows that Iran is also seeking nuclear weapons, and unlike all the other countries that have them, it is the only one crazy enough to launch them or give them away to terrorists. Therefore, any means are necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear program.
Why should we never mind the "Never minds" above? Because our politicians do not believe them and won't acknowledge them. Our politicians may be wrong on a lot of things, but, for our premise to work, we must never forget this: Since 9-11, the prevailing wisdom among politicians regarding Middle East and Central Asian politics and culture is omniscient and infallible.
They know that Al Qaeda wants to kill us all. They know Iran will nuke Israel if it had the chance. Because if they don't know these things, then they don't know anything.
In the same way, they knew that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction - and we must believe it too! Before the conquest of Iraq, Saddam's men must have smuggled the weapons to Syria or some other terrorist state. Believe! Believe!
Because if you don't believe, you might doubt our leaders' credibility when it comes to their charges against Al Qaeda and Iran.
And that would violate our premise, which is that American politicians know EVERYTHING about Arab culture, Islam, and Central Asia. We must trust what they say, and what the mainstream media says, on these issues, because they know what they're doing. Even when what they say goes against common sense.
Okay, so that was a lengthy premise to draw out the following conclusions.
Because American politicians know SO MUCH about this area, I charge that they deliberately and intentionally sought these outcomes in Iraq:
And in Afghanistan, original home of Al Qaeda, I charge that American politicians willfully sought:
Pope Benedict is under pressure to resign for some pedophile cover-ups. President Obama, on the other hand, is enabling the rape of young boys in Afghanistan.
And he must be aware that this is going on. If he knows so much about fixing other countries, he must know what takes place inside them, wouldn't he?
Obama and other politicians may say my charges against them are crazy. They may say that, surely, the persecution of gays and Christians (not to mention any absence of WMD's) were just "unintended consequences" of the well-intentioned cause of overthrowing Saddam.
They may also claim that the return of the poppy fields and child-rape were also "unintended consequences" of a well-meaning venture into Afghanistan to kill Osama and liberate women from their burqas.
But if they knew so little about that part of the world that they couldn't foresee these "unintended" consequences, what makes them think they know so much about the motives of Al Qaeda or Iran?
We can't have it both ways. We can't say that we know so much about the culture in that part of the world to know Al Qaeda's and Iran's motives, yet admit we know so little about the culture that we can't anticipate the consequences of our military actions.
American politicians really don't know what they're doing. They know so little about this part of the world, they can't even be believed when they say Al Qaeda wants to kill us all, or that Iran will ever use any nuclear weapons they will build.
They can't be trusted at all.
Either they are evil, or they don't know what they are doing.
If our politicians do not deliberately intend evil, then it is clear they are in over our heads, and the best thing we can do is get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The people we're fighting might declare victory, but they can never conquer us on our home field. If the U.S. ever becomes a caliphate, it will be through immigration, not terrorism.
It seems clear that the ethnic and religious disputes within much of Asia are as irresolvable as the conflicts in Africa, which the U.S. has generally had the good sense to stay away from. In either area, we cannot instill our values through bombs or military occupation.
All I know is I don't want my tax dollars going to the persecution of gays and Christians in Iraq, and the support of child rapists in Afghanistan.
Bring our troops home!