JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2010/02/quote-of-day-international-edition.html (34 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1267191336-331  jason at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 13:35:36 +0000

the Raymond quote sounds like a good one for qotd.

jsid-1267191943-472  bluesun at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 13:45:43 +0000

Unfotunately, I think that many Americans try to ignore it anyway.

jsid-1267197083-60  Matt B at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 15:11:23 +0000

Except we CAN'T help. We never will be able to. So all those men and women die in vain. And since we never can't help, we never leave (see Korea). 

Its time to bring all the troops home. Stop innocent soldiers deaths. A government big enough to fight wars overseas is big enough to restrict liberty at home. Warfare is not compatible with liberty. And with Ron Paul's victory at CPAC, people are starting to realize what is important- liberty here, not some fight we can't win overseas that hurts our national security more than helps it. 

jsid-1267208219-197  Britt at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 18:16:59 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267197083-60

Libertarian foreign policy will not work until every other country and non state actor in the world becomes libertarian.

Which is a complicated way of saying never.

Personally retaliating against state sponsors of terrorism, invading a known WMD producer, and stablizing an unstable and vital region meet the national security smell test.

Anyone ever read The Savage Wars of Peace by Max Boot? Kipling right in the title, you know it's good. It is. Very, very good. Written I think right at the start of the Iraq War, and predicts exactly how the war will need to be won, in the end. Talks about the destructive influence of the Powell Doctrine, and issues a huge reality check to the folks who say that there was some kind of isolationist age of America.

jsid-1267200030-419  dfwmtx at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 16:00:32 +0000

You're right, Matt, warfare never solves a damn thing.  All those deaths, and black slaves still suffer under the yoke in the Confederate States of America.  All those deaths, and Germania under the Nazi party stretches from the Normandy beaches eastward to where it meets the western territories of the East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere ruled by the Japanese somewhere in what our grandparents once called Russia or India.  And all those Americans and Koreans who died, only to have the enitre Korean penninsula ruled by Kim Jong Il.  Yep, warfare isn't compatable with liberty.

jsid-1267202066-181  Splodge Of Doom at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 16:34:26 +0000

Except that warfare is central to liberty.

In many cases, you have to fight fire with fire - a bunch of flowers and a hug won't cut it when someone wants to kill you.

jsid-1267205292-159  Guest (anonymous) at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 17:28:12 +0000

An old professor of mine, a retired Army Colonel, once remarked to a naive Lefty who questioned the need for higher defense spending (this was in 1980):  "You know, having all of the luxuries of life ourselves, and being able to give a bunch of free stuff to undeserving leeches on Welfare because we saved a bunch of money on defense spending is great.  Unfortunately, those luxuries aren't worth a bucket of shit if the goddamned Russians bomb us because they think they can get away with it.  What you don't understand, and never will until you get your lazy ass off of a couch and into a trench facing our enemies, is that liberty is a luxury that we can only afford if we're first safe."  Oh, and you might not be surprised that the kid dropped the class, nor that we called the prof "A-bomb Atkinson" - though the guy was 100% right, and was one of my favorites.

So, having not merely the capability to wreak enormous damage on an enemy, but also the will to use that capability, is absolutely central to the possibility of liberty.  The luxury of not being worried about being invaded/killed/tortured/imprisoned gives one the time to think "gee, how can we make this a better place?"

jsid-1267207931-976  Britt at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 18:12:12 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267205292-159

Sounds a lot like a certain Colonel Dubois from a certain novel to me. I always hoped he was based a real person.

jsid-1267215121-344  Aaron at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 20:12:01 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267207931-976

Interestingly, as I began to read this, I thought perhaps the professor/Colonel in question was Trevor Nevitt Dupuy, but apparently is named Atkinson.
Dupuy's Evolution of Weapons and Warfare is the book that got me interested in military history.  Always wanted to write to the man and tell him this, but he apparently committed suicide in 1995.

jsid-1267211167-358  Markadelphia at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 19:06:07 +0000

"To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace."

---President Barack Obama, Dec 10th, 2009, Oslo, Norway.

jsid-1267220782-714  Ken at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 21:46:28 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267211167-358

The horse he rode in on just committed seppuku. Sad.

Also messy.

jsid-1267211370-261  Stuart_the_Viking at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 19:09:30 +0000

Has anyone come up with a definitive view of what Libritarian Foreign Policy would look like?  I haven't come across it if they have, but admittedly I haven't exactly looked very hard for it since I don't consider myself to be a Libritarian.  Mostly I'm just curious.

jsid-1267225080-345  RC at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 22:58:10 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267211370-261

Basically, it's "leave us the fuck alone and we'll leave you the fuck alone.  Start shit and we'll end it."

It can also be stated as "having [economic] ties with everyone, entangling alliances with none."

jsid-1267212472-574  geekwitha45 at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 19:27:52 +0000

Well, since Obama said it, it must be true.

We're happy of that, because otherwise, Marxy would crap all over the place in protest.

Of course, that was from Barack's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Never was an award granted for so little actual achievement, the entire affair, both the award and the acceptance, was a disgrace that further devalued the Nobel, undermined its legitimacy, insulted the prize's deserving recipients, and generally confirmed that in modern times, the prize is more jest than anything else.

At least Al Gore actually *did*  *something* to earn his prize, even though it turned out mostly to be a scam.

jsid-1267217971-287  DJ at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 20:59:31 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267212472-574

You might find this amusing:


But, it is the lead story on Fox News, right?

Here is the lede:

"Al Gore won a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. But in the last three months, as global warming has gone from a scientific near-certitude to the subject of satire, Gore -- the public face of global warming -- has been silent on the topic.

"The former vice president apparently finds it inconvenient even to answer calls to testify before the U.S. Senate. You can call him Al . . . but he won't call back."

The last two paragraphs are denial incarnate:

"But Inhofe's critics said the senator's demands reflect his own agenda. "Senator Inhofe will never stop working to protect Big Oil by denying that global warming exists, and frankly he's an embarrassment to the United States Senate and the nation," said Kert Davies, research director for Greenpeace.

"This is just a continuation of his 15-year-plus smear campaign and clearly not a serious effort to discuss the increasingly urgent warnings from climate scientists about what is happening to our planet.""

jsid-1267219005-304  Russell at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 21:16:47 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267212472-574

Is there a Nobel Prize for pulling off a worldwide scam? Aside from the one in Economics, that is?

jsid-1267234736-810  DJ at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:39:04 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267219005-304

Could be fraud, considering that he profited from it.

jsid-1267214944-236  Unix-Jedi at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 20:09:04 +0000


Nicely done. The Cult Leader will be pleased.

Now, about all those other arguments you started and ran away from....  How about you get back to those rather than cutting and pasting something that's not really on the topical line?
(on the other hand, perhaps kudos are in order for actually getting CLOSE to the topical line - but I think it's accidental, and your random cuts and pastes and aphasia will resume shortly.)

jsid-1267217673-253  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 20:54:37 +0000

What's the matter Mark, there haven't been enough "Kudos for Obama" threads here lately for ya?

jsid-1267220356-980  longrifleman at Fri, 26 Feb 2010 21:39:17 +0000

Why we fight:round 847.

Still the same false choices put forward. Go completely turtle or keep invading the world to make it safe for democracy. There might just be some position in between that would work.
The most powerfull navy in the history of the world and two big oceans might be a good place to start. We will not be invaded unless we allow it; and we are. Deal with that before we worry about guarding other peoples' borders.

One other thing that will weaken us to the point we lose our country is fiscal stupidity making us so weak we can't defend ourselves. We are well on our way to that point. One aspect of that is wearing our military out defending everybody else. What will the cost be to replace the equipment that is being used up now? How long will it take?

Sure, sometimes war is necessary. Fight it and come home. There are also unintended consequences to fighting. A very good case can be made that our intervention in WWI led directly to the rise of the NAZIs. Before we entered the war, both sides had about exhausted themselves. The Germans were probably a bit weaker but a peace of sorts was likely.

Could there have been another war anyway? Of course. The europeans seemed to delight in killing each other. The Somme wasn't enough to learn em, they had to build Buchenwald and watch the eastern half get swallowed up by the commies to figure out war is a shitty deal, especially for the common folks.

What have we gained in Iraq? At what cost? These are not rhetorical questions. I know the stock answer is "we freed the people from tyranny". Have you read much of the Iraqi constitution? The north is a defacto separate country that treats non-Kurds less than kindly; sometimes with good reason. When the Turks invade who do we side with? The Shia and Sunni are still killing each other and the ethnic cleansing that preseeded the peace probably killed many more people than Hussein would have in the same time frame. No way to prove that either way so no point arguing about it. We also don't have any casualty figures I trust to go on. Both sides lied their asses off about it.
The Pashtun basically haven't lost a war for 6000 years. Invaders come, invaders go: the Pashtun stay. We're gonna build a few schools and roads and Elks clubs will spring up with Wednesday nite Bingo? Ok, if you say so. I guess.
But, but Osama attacked us from there!

The basic concept for 9-11 was put forward by Tom Clancy.
At least some evidence the operational planning took place in Hamburg, Germany.
The actual training took place in American flight schools.
I don't think blowing up stuff in Afghanistan is going to slow the jahidasts much.

There is a reason Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires. Yah I know we aren't an empire because we don't take slaves. That's so third century. Our empire is more subtle. It is financial and economic, and we aren't even all that good at that. It will probably be our financial weakness that brings us down.

Pax Americana is expensive to maintain. We won't maintain it much longer no matter what we want as the entitlement spending + military spending and resulting debt is unsustainable. Sorry Markadelphia. Sorry everybody else. Both aspects of spending money we don't have are going to stop. We could wind them down rationally or we can keep pretending until it crashes. Since we are collectively as bright as 8 year olds fighting over candy my money is on crash.

jsid-1267228978-433  Britt at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:02:58 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267220356-980

Sure, sometimes war is necessary. Fight it and come home. There are also unintended consequences to fighting. A very good case can be made that our intervention in WWI led directly to the rise of the NAZIs. Before we entered the war, both sides had about exhausted themselves. The Germans were probably a bit weaker but a peace of sorts was likely. 


Except Lenin had made peace, and 50 divisions worth of fresh German troops were heading West. The only reason the French held the Germans for three years was the fact that Germany was fighting on two fronts. Do you think the French army that refused to fight in 1917 could have held off the entire German eastern army without American help?

The rest of your post is the typical talk about war bankrupting the country. You would have a point, if the single largest expenditure of the government was war, but it isn't. It's welfare, it has been for decades. Military spending by the Soviet Union hit 25% of GDP in the 80s, and it bankrupted them. We have spent ~5% of GDP for quite some time, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future.

Iraq and Afghanistan don't even come close to the amount spent on the welfare state over the same period. The assumption so many on the left and some libertarians have that war is the most expensive thing is just plain wrong. It's been wrong for 50 years. I understand the left keeping up the drumbeat, but if you're a libertarian you're supposed to tell the truth, face reality. If you're really concerned about the fiscal structure of the nation, you should be complaining about the entitlement bubble.

You talk about free trade. Great. When South Korea is swallowed whole by the North, where will you get your Hyundai's? When the Kwanto plain is irradiated by the miniature madman in Pyongyang, who will build your Toyotas?

Hey, want to pay 10 dollars a gallon for Iranian gas after they nuke the Saudi oil fields? Gee, good thing we don't have an entangling alliance though.

This whole thing where we pretend that if you leave everything alone it will work out for the better is predicated on the belief that everyone else is interested in a stable world with free trade. That's not the way it is. I don't want to have Americans stationed in Baku or Samarkand, but if they aren't then the Russians or the Chinese will. So once again: the libertarian foreign policy will work once everyone else adopts it. Good luck with that.

jsid-1267230272-992  juris_imprudent at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 00:24:33 +0000

A very good case can be made that our intervention in WWI led directly to the rise of the NAZIs.

Balderdash.  The Treaty of Versailles was exactly what the French and British wanted.

Oh, wait, I get it - you are assuming that the Kaiser would've been victorious and a glorious peace of Greater Germany would have come into being.  [/snark]

jsid-1267234110-499  Bilgeman at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:28:37 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267230272-992

 No, I've heard this theory put forward before myself, and I frankly give it some credence.

 Had we not intervened, the Brits, the French and the Germans would have worn each other out and come to a settled peace, as oppose to the post-Armistice travesty that was Versailles Treaty.
 The Germans had a valid beef about the pranging they took at Versaiiles. The Brits didn't lift their blockade against Germany until 1919, loooong past the Armistice, (and blockading someone is a prima facie act of war...and long has been).

 The German offensives of early 1918 used the tactical innovation of "storm trooping", but their operational art and strategic doctrines had not changed, and above all, their logistics were a horse-drawn mess, so while they MIGHT have taken Paris, absent the US-stiffened resistance, it is highly doubtful that they could have held the place.

 So the short version is: No USA in WW1=negotiated Peae Treaty by equally exhausted belligerents=No Versailles for Adolf Hitler to use to stir Germans up about.

 It bears thinking about, at the least.

jsid-1267238017-254  Britt at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 02:33:38 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267234110-499

No, as I posted above, the massive amount of troops Germany was about to throw into the Western front, freed up by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, meant a negotiated peace would not have happened. Germany had 67 million people in 1914, the French had maybe 40 million. The only reason the Western front held is because the Germans had to fight on two fronts. That's the whole reason France allied with Russia: to have the mass of the steamroller ready at Germany's back.

To me the most tantalizing might have been of that decade is the aborted Allied intervention in Russia. The Japanese had thousands of troops in Siberia, and Allied equipment and advisors could have organized and aided the White forces in European Russia, strangling Bolshevism in its cradle. No Soviet Russia means no lodestar of socialism, to be bastardized by Mussolinni and Hitler and Pol Pot and Castro and all the others. An England not tired out by war would have maintained that lackadasial empire of theirs. Japan would still have been an issue, but they might have been coopted rather then allowed their own vicious little time of conquest and social engineering. Oh, and of course there'd be about 300 million human beings alive today. No economic blight and environmental devestation in Eastern Europe.No Korea, no Vietnam.
They should have listened to Churchill.

jsid-1267290522-143  DJ at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 17:08:42 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267238017-254

The collapse of Russia allowed the German Army to fight on a single front in the west, which led to an all-out push to win victory before the U.S. Army could make a difference. This effort failed with the German Army exhausting itself in the process. That exhaustion led to the Armistice, which was an agreement to stop fighting but was not a surrender. The Armistice led in turn to the Treaty of Versailles, which was a humiliation to be expected by a nation that had surrendered, not a nation that had simply agreed to stop fighting.  
The results of this were: 1) the German Army had not surrendered and so believed it had not been beaten; 2) the German Army had not surrendered and had marched home to parades, thus the German people did not believe Germany had lost the war; 3) the German nation was subjected by the Versailles Treaty to punitive punishments of the victors as if they had surrendered; and, 4) the fighting did not take place in Germany, thus the German population did not experience its direct effects.  
So, had the U.S. not joined the fray, the German effort in 1918 would probably have been less intense, the British blockade would have continued for a longer time, the economic suffering of the German people would have been much worse, and the war would have continued into 1919, at least.  The four results listed above could have been vastly different. The big questions are: 1) would the German Army have agreed to stop fighting without surrendering; and, 2) would the the German nation have been subjected to a harsh settlement without having surrendered?  If not, then the seeds of WWII would never have been sewn.  
The most curious question is, would Hitler have been killed before it ended?  
We'll never know, will we?

jsid-1267232618-859  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:03:46 +0000

A very good case can be made that our intervention in WWI led directly to the rise of the NAZIs.

You could make an equally good case that Naziism was a long term, but inevitable, result of Pope Clement V's ban on usury.

Don't oversimplify.

jsid-1267232830-116  cbullitt at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:07:10 +0000

Raymond quote? Five-by-fucking-five!

jsid-1267234540-957  Bilgeman at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 01:35:45 +0000

I was traveling in Europe a few years back, and some Euroleftie began blathering in my presence about America's desire to rule the world.

 It's been my personal experience that when a Euroweenie starts in on this shit, the best response is to nod your head, smile, and put your left on his right shoulder.
 Keep nodding and establish eye contact.
 When he smiles, use your left hand to grab the back of his neck and pull his head towards you while punching him in the mouth as hard as you can with your right fist.
(Reverse the hands if you're a southpaw).

 If you do this correctly, you will accomplish two things of benefit to society:

1) You will shut him right the fuck up.


2) With the usual manifestly apparent rsults of European socialist nationalized dental care, you will have VASTLY improved his dentition.

jsid-1267240853-555  Toastrider at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 03:20:57 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267234540-957

Alternately, you can remark on how things haven't improved since your grandfather did the world tour back in '44...

jsid-1267241205-630  emdfl at Sat, 27 Feb 2010 03:26:45 +0000

I remember my high school French teacher(who was himself from France) telling me that the reason the Parisian french were so unpleasent to Americans was because they all wished they were still speaking German; and the reason the provential French were so nice to Americans was because they remember WHY they AREN'T speaking German. 

jsid-1267331915-15  Bilgeman at Sun, 28 Feb 2010 04:38:43 +0000


"The Taliban will say things like why do you side with the Americans? Why do you sell out your country? You love Obama more than Afghanistan."

 Gee...y'know, when you put it THAT way, maybe my moonbat playmates are right, after all, and I AM an Amrican Taliban.

 I'm benignly ambivalent about Afghanistan, but I don't at all care for Obama.

"Then the shooting starts."

 Heh...'round the moonbat sweat-lodge I'm slumming at lately, this is usually when they all start hollering:

"Obama Akbar!"

jsid-1267401303-148  theirritablearchitect at Sun, 28 Feb 2010 23:55:05 +0000

"Well, since Obama said it, it must be true. 
We're happy of that, because otherwise, Marxy would crap all over the place in protest..."


I realize that this is YOUR place, and you can say what you will at any moment without anyone daring to reprimand you over it, but, next time, could you give a standard beverage alert before dropping that one?

Jeezis, that was funny!

jsid-1267403014-712  khbaker at Mon, 01 Mar 2010 00:23:50 +0000 in reply to jsid-1267401303-148

That was GeekWithA.45, not me!

jsid-1267475439-786  el coronado at Mon, 01 Mar 2010 20:30:40 +0000

"to me the most fascinating might-have-been of the 20th century was..." something about russia. interesting. but to ME, the "most fascinating might-have-been" is if somehow kaiser bill had been killed/died off before his crushing insecurity and childish desire to impress aunt vicky led to WW1, WW2, communist russia & china & korea & vietnam, and that whole messy little cold war thing.

put a german king in place who *doesn't* need to be a modern-day caesar ("kaiser"); a man with the morals to understand the schlieffen plan was no more moral than a bank robbery; and a man strong enough to restrain his arrogant foolish prussians....and you end up with a 20th century that just might have been the gate to paradise. instead, we got...this. way to GO, karma.

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