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US Diplomacy and Interventionism in the Age of Endless War


#1

US Diplomacy and Interventionism in the Age of Endless War

Conn Hallinan

While the mainstream media focuses on losers and winners in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a largely unreported debate is going on over the future course of U.S. diplomacy. Its outcome will have a profound effect on how Washington projects power—both diplomatic and military—in the coming decade.


#2

Samantha Powers is a clear and present danger to the United States.
And yet Hillary will make Powers her Secretary of State.
This country is heading off a cliff and there's no net at the bottom.


#3

Wall Street knows that Clinton will not only accelerate the endless occupations and wars, but will restart the cold war with Russia to add an additional profit center that has been sorely missed by Wall Street for the past quarter century.


#4

I thought R2P stood for "Right to Pillage"


#6

I rather fear that the idiots running the USA will take the rest of the world off the cliff with the USA.


#7

Your fears are shared.
More, the fears are compounded by some apparent lack of will on the part of the citizens of the United States to reject this condition of perpetual war and 'intervention' we are engaged in. The public complacency is the most frightening aspect as it assures the continuation and amplification of the process. That ostensible organizations devoted to so-called 'progressive' ideals continue to implicitly endorse and support a war mongering militarist while rejecting and virtually freezing out nearly all coverage of the sole peace candidate in this presidential cycle is appalling. And now, as the opportunities begin to fade with respect to promoting those advocates of peace and their message, objections to our suicidal course are only starting to begin to manifest. The short-sightedness of lesser evilism is thus revealed.


#9

I guess I should say "thanks" Mr. Hallinan, but even this essay is only mild criticism of an inhumane, immoral, and illegal world power. How the fuck can one claim "humanitarian intervention" when a large swath of the Middle East is destroyed, hundreds of thousands murdered by our humanitarian bombs, millions are either homeless or refugees, unexploded ordinance lies around everywhere and DU munitions have contaminated the countryside for centuries to come? Where, in any of that, is humanitarianism? The grand scheme of the Iraq invasion, in the slap-happy world of the neocon masters of disaster was to turn Iraq into some kind of privatization theme park. I've smoked some good stuff in my time, but what those sub-humans were inhaling was truly mind-altering. They apparently truly believed Fukiyama's thesis of the End Of History. It is often repeated on these threads as sort of a veiled threat, but I say this now as merely an observation of history: where there is no justice, there can be no peace. Witness our pressure-cooker cities.

If humanity survives, and it is looking ever more doubtful, future humans will read the history of this New American Century with as much abhorrence as we now read the history of Nazi Germany.

The term "US Diplomacy" is today an oxymoron. Threats, demands, and accusations do not equate to diplomacy. Nor does rank, naked, and continuing hypocrisy.

Not just as an aside: while clicking around the channels this weekend I happened to catch some of our best and brightest doing the USA! USA! chant at the Ryder Cup tournament. If I had had the ability at that moment I would have fled this insane asylum right there and then. For a brief time I coached pre-teen kids in a youth soccer league. I focused on the game and tried to enlighten my players that the other players were just the same as them and to always respect their worthy opponents. I know that made me an anomaly amongst my coaching peers, but many of those young players have since thanked me for promoting honor, respect, and civility. For most of my adult life I've felt as a stranger in a strange land. A very strange, and thoroughly perverted land, indeed.


#10

I don't recall seeing Conn's commentary on CD before but do remember his articles on CounterPunch. Welcome and I hope we'll see you again here.
I suppose most of us have had that dream where the headlights or the monster was upon us and we were paralyzed and unable to get out of danger's way. Who amongst us suspected it was prophecy?


#11

http://www.commondreams.org/author/conn-hallinan


#12

"The Chinese are intolerant of internal dissent"

Yes, they’ve a chip over their shoulders, especially when told that their economic “miracle” might not be so miraculous given that hundreds of millions of peasants were used as cheap labor under conditions not too different from the early Republican years (1911-1949). Or the fact that, because of pollution, one could travel from Shanghai to several adjacent provinces without seeing blue skies.

"China is acting the bully in the South China Sea”

Strange - it seems that the present Philippines president thinks that it’s the US that’s been acting the bully - from the period when his country was invaded and suffered more that a million dead under the US onslaught. President Duterte’s latest message is that he might want to end American bases in his country. Vietnam does have differences over the islands, but its prime minister has been insisting that they would settle the problems bilaterally with China. ASEAN countries have agreed with China to enforce a code of behavior over the South China Sea. ASEAN not only didn’t want confrontation but nearly all of them have strong trade relations and mutual investments with China. The odd nation out was the Philippines, but its new president is determined to join the party - he even wants to buy weapons from China and Russia.

"President Bill Clinton ... deployed two aircraft carrier battle groups in the Taiwan Straits in 1995-96”

Strange: if this event refers to the time when China was having military drills in the Straits, then it’s of course a - how might one call it - misstatement. The aircraft carriers were located at Eastern Taiwan, not the Western part. Not only was there a warning to foreign ships to stay away from the area, a PLA officer even threatened, quite unnecessarily in my opinion, to drop an intercontinental missile on Los Angeles (that was the limit of Chinese strategic missiles during those days).

"the aircraft carriers were very real, and they humiliated—and scared—China in its home waters.”

Nonsense. During the early 1970s, China had tested their SLBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles. After their successful tests, they announced that they already have second strike capability (and recently, reacting to American ships in the South China Sea, they did send a nuclear sub to patrol the Pacific, obviously too not far from continental US).

Around 2001, an American reconnaissance plane apparently intruded into Chinese air space and knocked down a Chinese fighter jet. Other Chinese fighters forced the spy plane to land in Hainan. I’d expected the American president (Bush Jr, I think) to apologize but, to my astonishment, there was a demand that the Chinese must not enter the plane and that the plane be sent back to the United States. Well, the Chinese not only entered the plane, but tore it apart and sent it back to the US in crates. The threats didn’t work, I think.

If China should be frightened, it should be during the early 1950s when the country just experienced a debilitating Civil War. The country was in ruins after nearly a century of invasions, massacres, and occupation and exploitation. Average Chinese life expectancy was around 25-30 years. It was a China that was called the “Sick Man of Asia.” That was the country the Communists inherited. No wonder MacArthur ignored Zhou En-lai’s warning - conveyed by India’s ambassador Pannikar - not to invade North Korea. Some Western media scoffed at the Chinese troops. “One Yankee can defeat nine Chinese” was one of the mantras. So it was a shock when these poorly clad and armed Chinese troops chased the GIs all the way back to the north/south border, in what Cold War warrior George Kennan called “the longest military retreat in American history.”

That incident (aircraft carrier to Taiwan) directly led to China’s current accelerated military spending and its heavy-handed actions in the South China Sea.<

Nope. In fact, until the early Hu Jin-Tao administration, China had been neglecting defense build-up until the South China Sea disputes heated up. And of course, because of the American “pivot” that build-up became real serious. Still, it seems that - a few months ago? - a cutback has been ordered by the Chinese government.


#13

I think it is the lead pipes in Washington that are the cause of the problem. Lead damages the brain, makes people aggressive and explains all. The Romans had the same problem, particularly Nero and Caligula. Low-grade heavy metal poisoning is not good for one, or those in one's vicinity.It is the only way I can rationally explain the utterly irrational.


#14

The Vietnamese fear and loath China.They just happen to have spent more than 2000 years living next door to a super-power and are aware of what diplomacy means. The disputed islands are technically in Vietnamese waters. Simply, there are 96 million Chinese and 1.2 billion Chinese and Vietnam does not have nuclear weapons. Therefore they tend to be polite, from long experience of living next door to an imperialist neighbour, and surviving. Whilst one Yankee might indeed be able to defeat nine Chinese, the next two Chinese would get that Yankee; I know Vietnamese who have had that experience.


#15

I have begun to understand the fears that the sane, thinking people in the UK and Germany would have had between 1910 and 1914.