Monday, June 18, 2012

Wars without frontiers (2)

I don't believe I have ever removed or retracted a post once I've put it up, though I have taken a few down for editing.   I will not do so with the last post, but after reading it, I see reason both to rebut some of it and to defend some of it. 

First, a couple of severe criticisms of how I wrote the last one:
1) It clearly has a stronger feel of warmongering than what I intended.  I am not recommending an incursion into Pakistan to hunt down the Haqqanis, but I do think under certain cirucmstances it could be justifiable.  It would need to be a very outrageous and dastardly provocation, but those have actually been plentiful; it would also need to be very near to the border (again, not rare).
2)  The "Nixon in Cambodia" reference was tossed off without explanation, but is a serious reservation to consider.  Nixon's incursion into Cambodia permanently disrupted an uneasy government and led ultimately to one of the worst regimes in modern history, that of the Khmer Rouge.  Without the incursion, the Khmer Rouge might never have taken power.  An incursion into Pakistan would make an enemy of an unreliable ally, with unforeseeable consequences; it might unify its fractious political forces, or it could cause the overthrow of the current civilian government for something far worse.

Now, a couple of points defending my previous posting:
1) When it comes to warmaking, I'm with Ron Paul:  if we're going to fight awar, we should be honest and declare war, and take on the burdens which come with it.  This war has never been conducted properly; even now, its legitimacy is questionable because of the hypocrisy behind our war effort.
2) I am serious in my advocacy of war without borders against a defined enemy, but that is not to advocate a resumption of Bush's "global war on terror"; indeed, ending that is one of the key planks of my original platform of support for Barack Obama.  If our cause is right, we should be willing to wage war to end it; and the fact that our enemy is not a sovereign nation-state is no limitation on our ability to declare war.

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