Maintaining a military empire is an impossible task. Austrian economic theory explains the reasons why, and human history has more than proved the fact in an empirical sense. Yet, despite the countless failures at world domination, a new batch of power-lusters are always ready to roll the dice that are permanently loaded against them.
In our times, it is the neoconservatives who have gained control of the state apparatus and have sufficiently bamboozled the public into believing their lies. What are the fruits that have been harvested from their poisonous tree? Complete and abject failure!
Look outside of the US and you see failure in Iran, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Egypt (to name a few). Not only did US “plans” not work out, but whole societies have been turned upside-down, with countless tragedies lying in the wake.
Turn inward to American domestic life and you see an economy that has been bled dry in an attempt to finance the foreign blunders. Mountains of bureaucratic red tape and a debased currency have squeezed the breath out of what was supposed to be the “land of the free."
What kind of mentality has led us to this predicament?
First it is the mentality that freedom can be spread from the barrel of a gun. It cannot. Freedom occurs from the inside. It must first be understood and desired internally. It does not come from the outside via fighter jets and drones. Freedom is born in peace...not war.
Second, you do not “bring freedom to a foreign land” while simultaneously giving up the freedom that you have. To use an analogy, you will not help people who are sick by first becoming sick yourself.
Since one cannot spread freedom from the barrel of a gun, one must do so by setting an example as to how free people live and spreading those ideas to others. Since about 1900, the US government, and the American citizens who believed them, have taken the exact opposite route. Freedom would be spread by tanks and fighter jets, and the liberties that Americans once enjoyed would be systematically and relentlessly curtailed. We now find ourselves with carnage abroad and a virtual surveillance state at home.
Once you find yourself in the abyss, the climb out is never an easy one. It requires change, and humans often prefer the status quo to change.
Neoconservative scribbler Jennifer Rubin provides a perfect example of the mentality that must be changed. In the above, I have listed a string of countries that have been ruined by interventionist US foreign policy. But without even the slightest hiccup, Rubin adds another country that must remain under the US president’s thumb: Burma!
The Obama administration until recently legitimately claimed at least one foreign policy success, the improved human rights situation in Burma. Now even that is getting crossed off the list.First of all, whatever it is that happens in Burma is the prerogative of the Burmese. It is not the job of the US government to right every wrong in the world. Such a philosophy has predictably led to only much more wrong!
Apparently, things have turned for the worse in Burma. However, take note of Rubin’s expectations:
...once again the administration’s short attention span seems to have impeded its ability to anticipate events, remain engaged in the process of building civil society and make clear that whoever leads the government must respect human rights or risk resumption of sanctions.This is the mentality that must be overturned for Americans to climb out of the abyss. There are an infinite number of variables at play in human life. The ability for anyone to “anticipate events” even in one’s own household is an impossibility, let alone in Burma. Also, the “process of building civil society” cannot be accomplished by a bureaucrat, let alone a bureaucrat in Washington D.C.!
Finally, the US government should have absolutely no say as to what the Burmese government looks like or how it is composed. And it certainly should not place sanctions on anyone in the world, which only hurts the target country’s citizens the most. A free country places no restrictions on trade.
Rubin’s mentality is precisely the mentality that must be changed; and not just for Burma, but for the rest of the world as well. A failure to do so will only lead to a larger pile of foreign failures, accompanied by an even worse economy here at home.
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