Damn Iraq, start caring for America first

“But we in this country have a right to think of the welfare of America first…. The time has come when those of us who believe in an independent American destiny must band together and organize for strength. We have been led toward war by a minority of our people. This minority has power. It has influence. It has a loud voice. But it does not represent the American people.” — Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, 23 April 1941

The fine strategic analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (ret’d) wrote in one of his early books that because the end of the Cold War had made the world safer for conventional war, insurgency, and terrorism, Americans would have to look after their own security and learn to watch others die with equanimity. Because we have not done the former, we can now only do the later. Our failure to secure North America — read, control our borders — ensures that the Islamists will bring their war here. President Bush’s argument that we needed to fight them overseas so we would not have to fight them at home was always meant to be a distraction, a plausible-for-the-gullible argument that allowed him to fight two wars he wanted to fight but never intended to win. President Obama used the same style of rhetoric, but like Bush never intended to win either war; indeed, he fairly panted in his frantic search to find a way to surrender to the Islamists.

At bottom, neither of these oh-so-sensitive, humane, 21st-Century men could state the clear and cruel truth — after all what would the media and their European friends say? — that the way to win a war is to kill the enemy and its supporters in whatever numbers are necessary to move them to acknowledge that the game is not worth the candle. Killing on this scale is a lousy option, but as long as our Islamist-motivating foreign policies remain the same — especially having forces on the Arab Peninsula and playing the always compliant, cowering lap-dog to the Saudi Arabia and Israel — we have no choice but killing until the Islamists quit (unlikely) or are eradicated (doable).

For now, however, the beginning of wisdom is to look at what is going on in Iraq and Syria and see it clearly. In both places all of those folks that multiple U.S. administrations have identified as enemies of America are killing each other. In Syria, the Assad regime, Iran, and Lebanese Hizballah are killing Sunni mujahideen from all over the world, as well as their local allies and supporters. In turn, the Sunni Islamists in Syria are killing Assad’s troops, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and Hizballah fighters. This is a perfect circumstance for the United States, all our enemies are killing each other and it is not costing us a cent or a life.

Over in Iraq, we see much the same marvelous phenomena occurring. Multinational Sunni mujahideen and Saddam’s former military personnel are fighting and killing Maliki’s dictatorial regime, its Shia military forces, and their Iranian military supporters. And, as in Syria, Maliki and his gang are killing our Sunni Islamist enemies. In Iraq there also is the potential for a delightful bonus coming to fruition. If the United States stays out of the affair, the renewed war in Iraq may trigger a widespread Shia-vs-Sunni civil war in which our Muslim enemies — as they are defined by our bipartisan political elite — may begin to kill each other for a prolonged period and at unprecedented levels, and, again, at no cost to us in lives or dollars.

So let us take both a deep breath and Lt. Col. Peters advice and sit back and watch what is going on in Syria and Iraq with equanimity and absolutely from the sidelines. Cheer for neither side, answer no one’s call for help — especially not one from the near-frantic Neocons who now know they sank their beloved Israel with the 2003 invasion of Iraq — and pray that Obama does not cooperate with Iran to restore Maliki’s Shia tyranny and thereby earn the eternal enmity of all of the Sunni world.

But even if this recipe is followed America is far from out of the woods. We have two options:

  1. A Sunni-Shia religious war would be a useful thing for U.S. national security interests — though the higher energy prices it brings will hurt more than necessary because Obama halted our move to self-sufficiency — but only because it would buy us some time to prepare for more war against the Sunni mujahideen. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are willing to stop intervening in the Muslim world in a demented effort to export that least exportable and so most useless of commodities — democracy. As a result, the time we garner from a sectarian war in the Muslim world must be used to rearm our broken military and to reinstate conscription so that we can field a million or more military men and women in a particular region — my guess is West Africa is next on tap — and, like the Huns of yore, desolate that region and inhabitants in a manner Kaiser Wilhelm II would have heartily endorsed, or,
  2. We can find an adult man or woman capable of being a leader who can deal constitutionally with reality. He or she must recognize and explain to Americans that Obama and his party — with Republican assistance — have wrecked this country economically and militarily; have all but destroyed its social cohesion; have deliberately stoked racial animosities; and have remade the federal regime nearly into a tyranny. This means we have a lot of work to do at home if the republic is to be resuscitated, and this reality makes mandatory a foreign policy of non-intervention, a quick contracting of our international commitments; and — especially — a drastic curtailing of the ability of foreign nations to dictate our international behavior. Four actions would constitute a first step in the right direction:
    1. Give 12-months’ notice to the Europeans that the United States is leaving NATO and then begin withdrawing our military forces from Western Europe. Seventy years of protecting Europeans who hate us, actively work against our interests, and who have gutted their national-defense capabilities because they prefer that the United States protect them is enough self-flagellation for all Americans.
    2. Build the XL Pipeline, issue as many drilling permits on federal lands as possible, and introduce additional tax incentives to accelerate the attainment of energy self-sufficiency. This would soon allow us to tell the Saudis and their fellow Gulf tyrants to do the only thing they might be capable of doing well — to go and pound sand.
    3. Immediately end all diplomatic, military, and economic relationships with Israel and Palestine. Ties to both undermine U.S. national security, motivate our Islamist enemies, and cost America lives and money; indeed, the disappearance of one or both would go unnoticed in terms of genuine U.S. national interests and would save us some money to boot. An essential corollary to this action is to constitutionally break the back of the disloyal Israel-First U.S. citizens and their organizations which have corrupted our political and media systems. One way to do this is to determine how many of them carry Israeli passports. With that data in hand, we should give them a choice to surrender the citizenship denoted by one or the other passport, and then permanently bar from any position of governmental or public trust those who choose U.S. citizenship but had knowingly obtained the other passport by pledging allegiance to Israel. (NB: This process, of course, should be followed for all U.S. citizens who have made the effort to obtain a foreign passport, be it a passport from Ireland, Armenia, Mexico, Lebanon, or anywhere else.)
    4. When steps a, b, and c are complete, Washington should declare America’s intention to end foreign intervention and war-making unless clear and irrefutable U.S. national interests are at stake, and also state that the United States henceforth will be neutral in all wars that do not impact those interests. At the same time, warn the world that if we are attacked or if military action is needed to protect genuine U.S. interests we will wage war quickly, without pity, and via the application of unrelenting and overwhelming lethal force. The U.S. Marines motto should become that of the nation: “No better friend, no worse enemy.”

A political leader cognizant of reality; capable of explaining it to Americans; and willing to execute the above actions through our constitutional system might just have a shot at pulling the shreds and tatters of our shattered republic back into whole cloth, as well as to avoid the catastrophic situation toward which both parties are now leading us; namely, an endless, worldwide war with Islam in which we would first complete our bankruptcy and then be defeated. But time is short because, as George F. Kennan once warned his countrymen, “[p]rovidence has a way of punishing those who persist long and willingly in ignoring great realities.”

Today in Iraq, Kenya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and across North Africa “long and willingly ignored great realities” are not just knocking at America’s door. Rather, the Islamists are preparing to tear it down and will continue to do so as long as Washington keeps intervening in matters that are none of its business, irrelevant to U.S. security, and of interest only to lobbies and organizations whose first loyalty is not to America. It is time for the United States to cut loose from outdated and unneeded international commitments; cynical, exploitive, and resource-draining allies; and disloyal citizens. It also is time to secure North America and to begin a national debate on whether we want to survive as a free and prosperous nation or prefer to die as fools by playing the avenging angel for countries and causes that do not merit the expenditure or an American life or dollar.

As Colonel Lindbergh said in 1941, Americans “have a right to think of the welfare of America first.”

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.