Remember: No nation has a ‘right to exist’

Most U.S. politicians have for so long shilled on behalf of Israel’s ahistorical and deceitful contention that a nation has a “right to exist” that it probably was inevitable they would come to believe the lie themselves. As noted here previously, every country has the right to defend itself according to its own best lights, but no country has a right to exist. Existence depends on national defense capabilities and a readiness to use war as a last resort to annihilate the few entities that pose life-and-death threats; a determination to avoid cultivating enemies at home and abroad; a prosperous economy that affords opportunities for all; and a cohesive social fabric that encourages free speech and welcomes an armed citizenry. Without these attributes a nation-state eventually goes up the spout, be it Israel or the United States.

President Obama’s 22 June 2011 speech on Afghanistan amounted to a declaration that the United States has a right to exist even if it refuses to defend itself. He is wrong. Certainly no country on earth has more human, economic, military, and historical assets at its command in attempting to survive than the United States, but if those assets are not used in an effective and timely manner Americans will eventually find that there is no one out there who will make sure that our country continues to exist.

Mr. Obama surrendered to worldwide Islamist forces on June 22nd. He and most of the U.S. political elite live in a world that does not exist and so make decisions that are uninformed by reality. In saying that the “wave of war is receding” Mr. Obama proved himself either ignorant or stupid, or perhaps just hopeful that those attributes characterize most of the electorate. America has lost its unnecessary war in Iraq. Washington accomplished nothing there that it set out to do; al-Qaeda and other Sunni Islamist groups have reformed and are on the offensive; and a Sunni-Shia civil war is shaping up that will destabilize the region — and perhaps oil production — even further.

America also has lost its war in Afghanistan. Even with the surge of U.S. soldiers and Marines the reality today is what it was before the surge: Karzai’s government and military/security services are not viable; the Taliban-led insurgency has the military initiative; and U.S. forces control a piece of ground only so long as they stand on it and are willing to kill to keep it. On this last point, when Obama, Gates, Mullen, and Petraeus say that the progress of the U.S.-NATO coalition is “fragile,” they are saying that there has been no military progress that can be sustained without the presence and combat activity of U.S.-NATO forces. The now ongoing movement of coalition combat forces from the Kandahar region to eastern Afghanistan, for example, will cede to the Taliban any recent gains in the former and demonstrates that the current level of forces cannot hold any territory unless they physically occupy it. What happens when there are 33,000 fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan is really quite easy to predict: Defeat countrywide for the Karzai regime and a return to the status quo antebellum under the Taliban.

What happens in Libya also is vital, even beyond the $700 million Mr. Obama has already wasted there in his unconstitutional war of presidential whim and monarchial ambition. A hundred days into the NATO-disguised U.S. war on Libya, we have proven that U.S.-NATO air forces probably will not be sufficient to beat Qaddahfi. We are thus in the midst of another lose-lose situation for America in the Muslim world. We lose because we singled out another Muslim country with oil that did not threaten the United States to be the target of regime change, and we lose because the most militarily potent nation on earth and its allies have so far failed to make that change. Thus, we have created another situation where the world’s only superpower may well again be unable to score a military victory against vastly inferior Islamist forces, making Washington 0 for 3 in Muslim-world wars since 2001. The impact of this outcome on the Muslim world’s perception of Western strength can be imagined when it is recalled — as one of my students mentioned in class last week — that Libyan forces have in the past been beaten by the mighty military machine of Chad.

Going to war, of course, should always be America’s last resort, a condition the Founders sought to assure by giving Congress the sole power to declare war. With the Congress’s supine abdication of its constitutional war-making prerogative, however, we now have presidents from both parties who believe war is a good first option for waging our governing elite’s democratic/cultural/feminist war on the Islamic world. As bad as this situation is, it is made infinitely worse by the last four presidents’ unwillingness to win the wars they start, as well as by the unwillingness of even one of their senior military advisers to resign rather then preside over the wasted lives of our soldiers and Marines in wars in which their leaders cannot define what “winning” means; indeed, wars in which so-called “great warriors” like Petraeaus and McChrystal will not even use words “win” or “victory.”

At a time in U.S. history when our country is bankrupt, our borders are uncontrolled, our elected officials routinely behave unconstitutionally and as sex-addled adolescents, and our murderously expensive military is a laughing stock among or current and would-be enemies, it is vital to acknowledge that the United States of America has no right to exist that comes from, or can be enforced by God or any other entity.

America, like all nations, can only assure its continued existence by the consistent application of common sense, by the work of its own hands, by acting in a manner Theodore Roosevelt once described as “fearing God and taking your own part,” and by knowing, as the Bible says, that “God helps those who help themselves.” U.S. politicians and generals who chant or, worse, believe an absurd mantra like “a nation has a right to exist,” while behaving in ways that erodes the rule of law by unconstitutional acts and believing that regularly losing wars for half-a-century is irrelevant to U.S. security, will eventually find themselves alongside Israel’s leaders circling the drain that at times helpfully flushes arrogant, militaristic, and hubristic fools from human affairs.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.