The enemy of my enemy

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Too often, that is the rational used in deciding foreign policy. The enemy of my enemy may be my enemy also. Case in point, the Iran/Iraq war when we sided with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. We should have washed our hands of that one and said a pox on both your houses. The US does not need to involve itself in every foreign dispute. There are times when we should let the warring parties settle the dispute between themselves.

Dumb idea

Bill O’Reilly wants to hire and fund a mercenary army to fight ISIS. Dumb idea. Doesn’t he know that Rome fell when its citizens stopped fighting for their country and hired mercenaries instead? The mercenaries eventually turned on Rome when they decided it was more rewarding and less dangerous to loot Rome rather than fight Rome’s external enemies.

US bombing

“A Problem from Hell” America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power, our current ambassador to the UN who previously was a reporter and then a student of law at Harvard. The book is about a variety of acts of genocide that the US either caused or ignored or both. This is what she has to say about Richard Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam war.

“British journalist William Shawcross and others have argued that the Khmer Rouge ranks swelled primarily because of the U.S. intervention. Chhit Do, a Khmer Rouge leader from northern Cambodia who later defected, described the effect of U.S. bombing:

Every time after there had been bombing, they would take the people to see the craters, to see how big and deep the craters were, to see how the earth had been gouged out and scorched…. The ordinary people…sometimes literally shit in their pants when the big bombs and shells came….their minds just froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told…That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over….It was because of their dissatisfaction with the bombing that they kept on cooperating with the Khmer Rouge, joining up with the Khmer Rouge, sending their children off to go with them.”

The Khmer Rouge murdered approximately 2 million people out of an estimated population of 8 million. Foreign journalists also were killed. Some people were shot, others stabbed and many bludgeoned to death with farm implements. That occurred in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. People in the Middle East in 2014 are likely to react to US bombing as the Cambodians did; humans have changed very little in the intervening years.

Tomahawk cruise missiles

The US Navy has approximately 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles in inventory and estimates that will be sufficient until a replacement is ready. Since the Tomahawk will be used extensively against ISIS and other targets, I doubt that the replacement will be ready before current stocks are depleted. Each Tomahawk is estimated to cost US taxpayers $1.4 million dollars. I predict that the replacement missile will be even more expensive. As the news reports on missile numbers used to attack ISIS, keep a running total in your mind of the cost. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spend that money caring for people here in the US rather killing both terrorists and the innocent in the Middle East?