President Obama Weighs In

President Obama expresses his support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas missiles originating in Gaza. He even says it would be OK for Israel to invade. Does the same rule apply to Pakistan, currently under fire by American missiles? Is it OK for Pakistan to invade the United States in order to defend itself?

7 thoughts on “President Obama Weighs In

  1. As Thoukydides observed a couple of millenia ago, «right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must». If Pakistan were more powerful than the United States, it would certainly, be «right» in attacking the the latter for the drones that continually rain down upon its territory (of course, if Pakistan were so powerful, it is unlikely that the US would be using drones to kill Pakistanis). And that is why at least 53 cents of every dollar that the US federal government manages to extract in taxes goes to the military and (in)security apparatus – to see that «right» remains on the side of the United States and, if permission is granted, that of its vassals, including that peculiar tail that is privileged to wag the dog….

    Henri

  2. The rhetorical question of the hour: “Is it OK for Pakistan to invade the United States in order to defend itself?”

    Answer: no, not given the current political geography. However, if Pakistan had transplanted it’s population into the eastern third of US and squeezed the US population into West Virginia, THEN it would be OK for Pakistan to invade and teach the uppity Americans a thing or two.

  3. Mhenriday makes a good point, but I’m going to argue that he’s reaching the wrong conclusion.

    “Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power,” is correct. But, the definitions of “weak” and “strong” are now far less absolute or permanent. In Thucydides’ day, 500 men beat 50 men pretty much every time. The exceptions? Bad leadership, freak weather conditions, incredible bad luck, fanatical devotion.

    Today? Any half-way intelligent person with 50 followers could tie up a city to the point where the mayor would have to call in armed troops to restore order. And most of the methods would NOT require sacrifice of those followers.

    It’s called “asymmetric warfare” and we all saw it on 9/11. All those billions on military, and 19 guys with some box cutters (and the benefit of a batch of morons in the White House) pulled off such a massive coup that we are still seeing the damage of it. How many countries have we invaded, and to what degrees of success? How many men rotting in Gitmo are — by their mere continued detention AFTER being found not guilty — generating even more terrorists in the Middle East?

    A standing military cannot handle terrorism. Never could. Never will. Terrorism can only be stopped at the source: you must remove the motivations of the terrorists. And in the case of 9/11, that would mean having frank, blunt discussions about Israel and Palestine, as well as the United States’ own hypocrisy in so many other international issues.

  4. We should abdicate and leave these people alone to sort out their own problems – they are tar babies, and all they produce is more terrorism and death. It would take generations to pass before the anger and hatred could cool down enough for them to “forget” that their moms,dad’s or kids were killed by the other side. With our own economy in tatters from overstretching ourselves to control the world and “right all wrongs” – we need to use our own military and resources to help ourselves first. I say fuck all these crazy angry losers and help ourselves first. Should they ever reach our shores again with another 911 – we should just turn them all into green glass immediately. The UN is useless and all the EU crap is simply useless. We waste our own kids and resources on them, and all they do is fight. I say let them blast each other out of existence. I wouldn’t spend a dime to help either or any of them.

  5. I thought about a more reasoned response, but if someone believes all our military interventions are truly intended to “right all wrongs” and can suggest that we turn all the “crazy angry losers” into “green glass” without the slightest realization of the irony, what would be the point?

  6. Alex_the_tired, the point here is that state leaders are, with rare exceptions – far more rare than our corporate press, which tends to refer to all adversaries as «unstable», when they are not portrayed as completely looney, would have us believe – rational beings, who needs must concern themselves with the massive resources (and the willingness of the US government to employ them) of the US military, which is capable of inflicting immense damage on their countries, even if it cannot ultimately pacify it. The official toll of US military dead in Iraq is some 4883 persons ; the best estimates of the excessive mortality suffered by Iraqis as a result of the US invasion is about 300 times as high. Hitler in his bunker may not have cared what horrors his poor decisions had led to for the German people, but Saddam Hussein certainly did not want to go to war against the United States and neither does the government of Pakistan. So, in Thoukydides’ words, they «suffer what they must». «Asymmetric warfare» is a classy (?) way of blaming the victim for daring to resist the strong, but it should be remembered that the so-called «Iraq War» took place on the soil of Iraq, not that of the United States. And even if one accepts the official US account of the events of 11 September 2001 (which I personally find extremely dodgy), no Iraqi was involved. The task of the US military is hardly to «handle terrorism» ; on the contrary, it seems more likely that the task of «terrorism» is to provide an excuse for the bloated size of the US military and security establishments and the humongous profits therewith extracted from the pockets of those US residents not rich enough to keep their fortunes in tax havens abroad or make use of such devices as «carried interest» to minimize their tax burdens….

    Henri

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