By DAVID BEILSTEIN
UNLESS something deters the present circumstances in the Middle East, Americans will soon awake, sleepy and fatigued, to an Israeli nation gone to war with Iran.
The Brobdingnagian tide of war awaits … the heat and arid lands in Iran and the lethality to be waged there haunts the soul and the mind. In the midst of this, U.S. foreign policy appears adrift in the over-reach of the past and the incompetence of the present.
American spirit is sapped. We dare not step forward — but stepping back appears hopeless. The important questions, therefore, appear to go unanswered.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been costly for Americans; they have likewise (due to the premise of the unconstrained vision of the Neo-con cabal) lacked tangible results to pin a cluster of a nation’s hope onto.
As someone once said, our precarious manner going forward is like pinning Jell-O to the wall.
The best minds and most astute policy prophets can only prattle about what will happen in the region if Israel attacks Iran. I’m sympathetic to Israel’s plight. And I certainly believe Israel has every right to destroy an existential threat to their existence. Frustratingly obvious, however, it seems inconceivable the Obama administration cannot find the brass to echo such sentiments to Israel, at the same time leaving avoiding military excursion into Iran.
But intelligence is never obvious. Gleamed always through fog and friction, Karl Von Clausewitz once wrote of it,
“Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.”
Questions arise. What is the intelligence situation on the ground in Iran? It would seem, however much spin can be spun, intelligence gathering is a risky business. Given Israeli’s intelligence lacks the sentimentality of American intelligence oversight, one can imagine this small Western slip of state is profoundly more accurate than American intelligence in their assessments.
But can Israel be sure?
Iran is run by Islamo-fascist theocrats. The left’s apologies and the radical isolationist libertarian right slip the bounds of reality when pontificating on such matters. Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul’s sentiments about Iran and Israel spewed at Republican primary debates were odorous. The business of the major source of terrorism in the world, corresponding with its threat to the West, is, in some sense, America’s business.
To shirk away from such awareness, ala Dr Paul — or Gary Johnson, is patently unintelligible. But that does not mean it is in America’s best interest to drop bombs on Iran. Or, worse, send in American infantry. And when hawking foolhardiness, it is never wise to double-down on jackassery by suggesting massive military cuts in America.
The problem with Isolationism is its radical narcissism. It bets on American ideas and actions as overly definitive when it would seem clear, Israel will attack Iran regardless of United States sanction. If Israel attacks, that will plant a seed in soil America has no control over, even if uninvolved. In other words, what America thinks — rightly or wrongly — does not norm reality. Ideas about our world and circumstances, are either in fidelity with reality, partially or otherwise, or not. America’s march into Iraq in 2003 is the tempo of such realism. We did not fight that war correctly, not until the surge in 2007, four years late — and by that time a nation’s confidence and support of the war was destroyed.
The isolationist betrays Burkeian classical liberalism — and the Founder’s philosophies — whose ideas (and actions) about the world and government animated from a constrained vision paradigm of reality. These ideas, and their influences, replaced the supposed ‘certainty’ animating the political left and radical isolationist libertarians — mistakenly presuming, it seems to me, the utopian notion of a uniformed peace between nations is the Raison d’être of earthly coils. History says otherwise, violently so, arising not out of lack of system, or education, but of an inherent moral impoverishment perpetuating human existence. Our Founders stood and wrote the U.S. Constitution on this ground and our world has yet to prove them wrong. If anything, they did not adequately see how impoverished man was morally.
Clausewitz talked often, too, of war being the natural intercourse between human beings and nations. With history proving Clausewitz to be right — it seems awful reactionary and strangely fundamentalist (for libertarians!) for the irrational anti-war flame to be flickering across too many of their numbers. Certainly, much of this arises out of their reaction against a GOP and conservative movement drowning in neo-conservative foreign policy desires to social engineer the world through military might. It is also, it seems, a reaction against a United States unable to fight a successful war in decades. That is a problem, but it does not rationally refute common-sense foreign policy and defensive philosophy.The Libertarian circle of Isolationists, quixotic and irrational, is neither of these virtues.
But it must be understood neo-conservativism is an apostasy from sound, conservative ideas about American foreign policy. Likewise, the neo-con tempest has been immensely unsuccessful — costing life and treasure, affording America little stability in the world. But isolationist tendencies in some popular libertarian circles arise from the same irrational thinking and inaccurate view of the world. We, then, don’t ride our political emotions on a seesaw — gyrating here and there — being carried off by every wind of ideological odor.
So the question follows … do we want a weak U.S. Military in light of what history teaches us about nations and their actions?
This is where Ron Paul and his auto-bots go from ripe to spoiled. Same is true with Gary Johnson’s grim foreign policy hoax. All players on this field seem to think gold has been snatched from the mine simply because they have rightly rejected the neo-conservative sophistry of Democracy Projects around the world (now in flames, literally) and the like. The problem is, isolationists, make the same mistake but in reverse. Both polarities misunderstand the ‘constrained visions’ (as opposed to unconstrained vision) paradigmatic roots of American liberalism in the classical sense.
Clausewitz also opined, ‘War is the province of danger.’ Men and women — and especially leaders of nations should never forget such wisdom. Israel will do what it thinks it must do. But anyone who can put a handle on the contours of tomorrow and their unfolding is lying to themselves and others.
We simply do not know what will happen … but something will. If anything, the question becomes what actions are in the best interests of America in the face of an Israeli attack upon Iran?
Because, it is coming … and America ought to recognise that.