In my ideal vision of the world, there would be unrestricted freedom of movement of goods, people and capital. People would be free to live and work anywhere they want, practice or not practice any religion they want, say anything they want, and pursue happiness in any way they want so long as they respect the lives and property of others.
We do not live in that world.
We live in a world where many countries are run by tyrants and other unsavory characters. We live in a world where most people face severe restrictions on what they can say, and what they can do. We live in a world where billions of people cannot even freely move in the country where they were born, let alone choose to move to places where they can best apply their skills.
In Cuba, farmers being allowed to set up vegetable stands and set their own prices is considered a threat to the regime. In countries such as China, Russia, and North Korea, people need internal passports to be able to travel from one city or region to another. In many places, people have to stay close to other people of the same ethnic, cultural, or religious backgrounds, or face immediate physical danger. I am sure you can come with other examples.
I am listing these to point out that in most places, people live under the thumb of a state apparatus designed to keep them as peons to be used by a ruler. Therefore, whether the subjects love their children, too is irrelevant to what the rulers will do.
Let's take a look at the Middle East and Africa. This region is important because of the existence of crucial resources, trade routes, and proximity to the crumbling Europe, which, once again, consists of countries that have neither the capability nor the willpower to protect themselves.
Along the Mediterranean shores of North Africa, we find Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt.
Morocco is run by a king, who is standing on top of a pressure cooker, and is trying to maintain his grip by allowing elections, and appointing a leftist Islamist, born of the Cold War cooperation between Islamists and the Soviets as the prime minister.
Algeria is practically at the mercy of Al-Qaeda. In Tunisia, the government is now in the hands of Islamists. In Libya, Muslim-brotherhood affiliated politicians are running the show. Ditto for Egypt.
Now, I should point out that I never thought that these dictatorships ought to have been supported. I am a firm believer in the idea that supporting dictators with the notion that they are "friendly to the U.S." is self-defeating. It tarnishes the ideals for which the U.S. stands, and ultimately, leads U.S. influence to go down in flames with the dictator.
These countries, along with many others, had been colonies of Western powers until after the Second World War. Prior to that, they had been under Ottoman influence of various degrees for centuries. At some point, internal conflict in trying to sort out the power structure was inevitable.
However, it is also natural to be worried about the form of the conflict and its spread. After all, why was it possible for East Germany to disintegrate in a much more orderly fashion than former Yugoslavia? Why are the countries born of former Yugoslavia still centers of conflict?
The collapse of East Germany came at a time when no one in the world doubted the supremacy of the United States and her willingness to fully stand behind German unification. If you believe for a moment that things would have worked out just as well with Carter at the helm, trying to convince the Soviets from a position of weakness, I have a few bridges I can sell you at a reasonable price.
By the time of the collapse of Yugoslavia, we had Clinton in office. Unwilling to commit to using force to enforce U.N. resolutions, following a policy of "let them kill each other", his administration projected weakness, his administration ceded the ground to the Russians. The void in Bosnia was filled with Jihadis from many countries. The Bosnian conflict along with the war in Chechnya was when the hard core Jihadist movements formed the backbones of their international infrastructure.
Sure, the Clinton administration did finally use force against the Serbs in the Kosovo conflict. But, by that time, the amount of force needed was much larger because the U.S. threats to use force were no longer believed. Unwilling to commit ground troops, he bombed Serbian cities, causing a whole bunch of civilian casualties. To this date, nothing has really been solved, and stability in the Balkans depends on a mixture of NATO and European forces, along with continued bribery in the form of foreign aid to prevent things from getting out of control. It would take very little for the Russians to push the region into turmoil again.
The sweeping regime changes in North Africa have been happening in an environment where everyone assumes that the U.S. has neither the strength nor the willpower to protect regional stability and intervene if needed.
In Iraq, the U.S. has ceded power to Iranian backed Talabani & al-Maliki co. In Iran, while various U.S. officials say things like "all options are on the table", no one takes seriously the threat of actual military action. In Afghanistan, the U.S. and NATO forces have increasingly withdrawn to bases, and do not project strength and determination. By relying on drone attacks that kill insurgents along with a number of women and children at a time, the U.S. has also given up the high ground, and any pretense of actually collecting intelligence on the ground.
In Syria, no one knows what to do. Contrary to various fictional stories of what a wonderful new dictator Assad was (do you remember Pelosi's visit in 2007 when Assad was actively taking out politicians in Lebanon and supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq?), supporting him is out of the question. But, because the U.S. has left a void in Iraq, that void is being filled with anyone who can put together a bunch of people with weapons. The Kurds in Northern Iraq are getting involved. The central government in Baghdad, whose interests are aligned with Iran's, is trying to prevent that. Assad is pushing PKK's Kurdish guerrillas to stage attacks in Turkey and cause general unrest, including kidnapping a Turkish member of the parliament.
So far, the only credible partner to the U.S. in the region is Turkey. Yes, I know all about the U.S.-Israeli partnership, but there is no way Israel can get directly and openly involved in the Syrian civil war without causing the whole thing to blow up. Only problem: There seems to be little Turkey can do other than protect her border, fight Assad's henchmen within her borders, hold some meetings and send some weapons. The fact that the U.S. signaled that they would not stand behind a strong Turkish reaction to the downing of a Turkish Air Force jet has emboldened the Russians, Assad, and the Iranians. While backing Assad, the Russians and Iranians are making plans to deal with the aftermath when he falls. They will be on the ground when that happens. Where is the U.S.? In Istanbul, having cocktails while taking in the view.
The Soviet troops occupied 777 barracks plants at 276 locations on the territory of the GDR. This also included 47 airfields and 116 exercise areas. At the beginning of 1991 there were still about 338,000 soldiers in 24 divisions, distributed among five land armies and an air army in what was by then the WGF.
I point this out because the existence of Soviet forces in East Germany did not stop the U.S. from standing firmly behind German unification back then. But today, the administration seems unable to do anything decisive for fear of angering the Russians. Meanwhile, the quagmire is extending, its tentacles reaching far and wide.
Where are the Europeans? They are just standing around, hoping that Russians give them enough natural gas to keep them warm during the winter months.
Let's look at a map and connect some dots:
The map does not include Pakistan and Yemen which I haven't touched. I have also ignored Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, and other groups in Africa.
But, just the map above should point out to you the dangers we (as people who do not want widespread war and destruction) face.
I am sure Ron Paul would say something like "Let'em kill each other. We're safe here. They won't hate us if we don't get involved."
Well, my friend, this is not about whether the People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad like "us" or not.
This is about the time of great transformation we are going through and the explosive environment we find ourselves in due to an insistence on the part of Democrats to project an image of mealy-mouthed weakness.
When the U.S. is no longer considered invincible, then the vacuum is filled by the Russians and their clients. What happens next will affect all of us. Just like you couldn't retreat to a cave in the Sierra-Nevadas and watch the Second World War instead of Jersey Shore, we will not be able to isolate ourselves when the chain reaction begins somewhere.
Humanity's only chance is for the U.S. to once again claim and own her leadership in the world. That cannot be done without a strong U.S. economy, and a strong U.S. military. The first step in signaling that the U.S. would not stand idly by as the imperial ambitions of the Russians are spread via Islamist client states is to put in office leaders committed to getting the U.S. economy growing.
The U.S. must have the resources to do what is necessary, but also, others must believe that the U.S. has both the willpower and the resources to do it.
When the U.S. has the strength to back up her words, others take them seriously. That is the only hope we have before all these "little" conflicts turn into one big explosion of war, violence, destruction, and destitution.