Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Role on the World Stage as a Superpower

Superpower… What exactly does that mean? Is our country still a superpower?

Superpower implies that there are other “little powers” and we are above them.

Because our arsenal of guns and nuclear weapons is so much larger than other counties, I suppose you could argue that we are a superpower.

Or does it mean that we have the intellectual capacity to serve as the world’s policemen? The right hates that term but it is true in a lot of respects. We are kids on the block compared to other nations. We are a couple of hundred years old. Some of these countries are thousands of years old.

If we are a superpower then we must have noticed that there is a fire burning in the Middle East. You may have heard of it. It’s Israel against the Middle East. That begs the question, “Where is America?” We are a superpower right?

Israel is our friend. We have gone to great lengths to protect their little nation. We have supplied money, aid, guns, airplanes and just about anything else they’ve needed. They are at war and where are we?

The warmongers say that those to the left of middle are pacifists. Michael Graham compares this situation to Canada. (The Free Times - The Usual Suspects) How we would feel if we were in the same predicament?

I fully support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself and its people. But where are we?

There are much larger implications than this “small war.” Back in the 80’s we fought Russia through Afghanistan. Now we are fighting Iran and Syria through Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas. Brinkmanship and deniability are dangerous games to play. If you play it once too often someone is going to call you on it.

We’ve felt as though we have had the right to preemptively strike a nation who supposedly had nuclear or chemical weapons aimed at us or Israel. But this is a real war that can spiral out of control. When I first wrote this on Friday Condi had just decided to go to the Middle East but she wanted to make sure she wasn’t just going “to give people hope there would be negotiations that would lead to something.” Yeah it might lead to a cease fire or Israel cooling off a bit.

They say, Iraq is a better place because Saddam is gone. Ask the people dying in the streets each day, who have no power, who don’t have jobs or clean drinking water. I’m not saying that Saddam should still be in power but we have given away the compassion the world had for us on September 11, 2001 and created some seriously dangerous world stage situations. Israel is one of them. Our troops are bogged down in this war and the “forgotten war”, Afghanistan, so do we even have the resources to help?

For years every world leader that had been asked about the situation in the Middle East has had the same response, “solve the Palestinian question.” We have done everything but solve this question. Those in Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic Jihad live for war. Their ideas are of a world where everyone reads the Quran and the one true God is worshipped. Let’s not even get started on their ideas about women. This will never happen so they will essentially fight forever. However, those that believe in these organizations but live everyday normal lives want peace to raise their children, work and worship. I don't have any illsions about people of these countries wanting democracy like we know it. However, I would hazard a guess they don't want bombs falling on them everyday like the Jihadist's do.

War is not a necessity. It is something we do when all else fails. Are we admitting that all else has failed? Are we prepared to let this conflict spiral out of control?

It’s like we’ve decided to play a bad kickball game. We’ve all started to choose our teams. America picks Israel, Iran picks Hezbollah/Hamas, Iran picks Syria, and we pick…hmmmmmm? Who’s left that would want to be on our team? Something wicked is coming and the payback will be enormous. In the end, oil will be the least of our concerns.

13 Comments:

Blogger Max said...

War was not a necesity, but war is now a reality in the Middle East. Israel faces the greatest crisis in over twenty years, and America's debacle in Iraq has rendered the US incapable of extinguishing the flames. We are a superpower, but we've lost our moral high ground. Comments and "surprise visits" by Condi Rice will not solve the Middle East conflict, nor will they set the stage for a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. America must find a way to bridge the ideological gap with Europe and the moderate Islamists in order to prevent a full blown regional war.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Tara said...

I can't believe you actually signed your name to that blog. That was the biggest load of irrationality I've ever heard. Were you trying to make a point or just criticize the United States? You completely defy logic.
At first, you ask why we are not helping Israel and then question why we are in Iraq? Do you want our country to help those in need or not? You say you don't think Saddam should be in power, but do you honestly think he would have ever stepped down from power on his own? And you talk about the way women are viewed by those who follow Hezbollah and Hamas, but how do you think women were treated in Iraq? Horribly! Along with most of the people there! We need to be in Iraq, and right now it seems to me that Israel has its own fight under control, with support from the US.
I, for one, don't want to listen to you whine if we do help Israel (because believe me, if its Bush's decision to help Israel, it will be wrong for you Leftists.)
You liberalists really need to get your argument straight, or people are going to start seeing all of you as the cry babies that you are.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

The best thing we can do for Israel now is to allow them the ability to fight and defeat its enemy. If we broker a cease fire then the terrorists win. The terrorrists should suffer a military defeat that requires them to leave the area next to Israel and lose face with those who support them. They have proven that despite all the land Isreal has given up for "peace" they will not allow Israel to exist in a peaceful state. Israel must be allowed to win this war and no cease fire should be allowed until they surrender and leave the area.

Bill

8:41 PM  
Anonymous PalmettoCon said...

Superpower (n): a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world

Intellectual capacity doesn’t register in that accepted definition of the concept. A long history as a nation or a rich cultural are good and valuable things. However, no state or international organization can make up with intellectual capacity what it lacks in economic or military capability.

It’s not Israel v. The Middle East. It’s Israel v. those terrorist organizations or states that openly attempt to destroy her. In case you missed it, Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly singing Hezbollah’s praises right now. That’s not to defend other objectionable actions by that country, but to say that Israel is not at war with the Middle East as a whole as you have characterized.

While I am sure you would make a better Secretary of State than Sec. Rice, to achieve a cease fire you would ultimately have to convince Hezbollah to stop firing rockets with the intent of killing civilians, convince Hezbollah to return the abducted soldiers to Israel, and convince Hezbollah to give up its ability to threaten the Israeli people. I am quite sure you could achieve this. Oh and don’t forget: the reason for Hezbollah’s existence is to annihilate the Israeli state.

So exactly what are you saying about the Iraqi front in the global war on terror? I’ll grant we made mistakes in Iraq, but the only path forward requires us to maintain our commitment of troops while the Iraqi’s take over their country from Saddam’s former clients and the foreign terrorists. I’d like to know if you believe that Iraq is on the whole worse off than it was before. Your statements seem to suggest that position, but you leave yourself lots of wiggle room.

Of course most Lebanese don’t want bombs falling on them, but then neither do the terrorists. They would prefer to attack Israel and to have Israel “cool off a bit” and give in to international pressure not to defend itself. What Lebanon has failed to do is to control its own affairs. They are either unwilling or unable to control Hezbollah. Not only that, they have allowed a political party to conduct autonomous military operations.

You are quite correct that Hezbollah and Hamas are funded and supplied by Iran. If the international community is honest it will require Iran to stop this. I’m not holding my breath.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Tara,
I believe that if you check it out you'll find that Iraqi women had it better under Saddam than they do now. I'm not defending him AT ALL, but can't say that liberating the Iraqi's should have been a justification for invading the country. But, of course, we'd "rather fight them over there than over here". I'm sure that makes the Iraqi's feel better. Bottom line in fighting terrorism: we should have finished the job in Afghanistan.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Tara,
We didn't "need to be in Iraq". And if you check your facts I believe you'll find that, as a whole, women had more freedom in the old Iraq than they do now. Saddam was/is an awful human being, but we should have finished in Afghanistan. Remember those Saudi Arabians, led by Osama bin laden, who attacked us? They weren't Iraqi's.

11:01 PM  
Blogger The Body Politic - Joshua Gross said...

ON behalf of the SCHotline guys, welcome! I can see we'll have some good discussions (I prefer discussions to outright arguments) as we get this rolling...

Right off the bat, let me disagree with you on this point: Iraq is undeniably a better place than it was prior to invasion. You mention the problems that remain, and you are correct in pointing them out; the situation is far from perfect, but it still represents an improvement from the days of the dictator. Now we see people dying in car bombings and they die by the dozen. Then they were whisked off to secret prisons and tortured to death by the hundreds of thousands (and I mean REAL torture, not just unsavory interrogation techniques). We know this from the mass graves we've already uncovered there. This is the message I also get from some of our men on the ground, who truly resent the way the international press covers the war without showing the successes on the ground.

All that being said... welcome to the blogosphere! I look forward to many more discussions...

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right, "what are WE doing in this fight in Lebanon??" We should be there helping the Israelis crush Hezbollah. After Sept 11 it is our fight too. We declared war not on Al Quaeda, but on mideast terror and Bin Laden's allies. We will eventually have to go in and do this anyway. We will eventually have to crush Hamas in the same way. After that is done we will have to turn and go after the state sponsors of these orgs, Syria and Iran. This is going to be a long battle, but it is a required battle. The longer we let these two bit Islamic terror groups survive and build, the harder it will be to defeat them. They are bad, bad people and they will not be defeated with diplomacy or negotiation. Somebody is going to have to defeat them in battle. Like you said we are the superpower, we should start acting like one and take care of this.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous whill said...

These people want us dead, as well as the whole of western civilization, and have committed themselves to accomplishing just that, and you liken it to a game of kickball... Are you just completely out of touch, or just eating paint chips?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Bill Smith said...

This war is not any of our damn business.

Would you send your kid to fight and possibly die there?

We should let the Israelis defend themselves and not send any troops.

(Nor should we continue to send aid to Israel. I say this as a proud Zionist. They're a rich country. They can take care of themselves.)

There. Problem solved. Next!

9:25 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

The United States has considerable influence on the world stage and perhaps it is our influence rather than our military that should be applied to the most recent crisis in the Middle East.
There is concern that the harder Israel strikes Lebanon, the more recruits that the terrorists groups will be able to recruit. Perhaps our role is to try to moderate the sides and try to bring peaceful resolution to the situation, while ensuring that Israel is kept safe.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load of crap.

By the way...can you read????

On your profile you are supposed to separate your interests by COMMAS!

Tara - Right On!

This blog is a load of crap.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son,

You wrote a nice essay for your high school political sci class. I'd give you an 'A" for getting your brain in gear for adult dialog. Even pHd's have trubble with the grammar and commas. Reading a dissertation in the raw is only possible with a bottle of Scotch within reach.

Good show!!

3:49 PM  

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