“I wish I could like Ron Paul more, really I do. But libertarian narcissism is as banal as any other strain. Ten years of desultory, inconclusive, transnationally constrained warmongering is certainly a problem. But know-nothing parochial delusion is not the solution.”
Uncle Sam has now spent a decade running around the Hindu Kush building grade schools and shoveling taxpayer-funded Viagra to every elderly village headman with one too many child brides. According to the World Bank, the Western military/aid presence accounts for 97 percent of Afghanistan’s GDP. And, within a week of the West’s departure, it will be as if that 97 percent had never been there, and all that remains will be the same old 3 percent tribal dump of mullahs, warlords, poppy barons, and pederasts, all as charmingly unspoiled as if the U.S. and its allies had quit 48 hours after toppling the Taliban in 2001.
It is two-thirds of a century since the alleged hyperpower last unambiguously won a war, and that ought to prompt a little serious consideration of the matter. Instead, we have Ron Paul, who says all would be well if we stopped “endlessly bombing” “these countries.” To which penetrating insight his fans respond with: “Bring them home! Bring them home!” For some reason, I attract a lot of correspondence from Paulites arguing that, if I truly mean what I wrote in the paragraph above, then Ron’s my man. A retired U.S. Army officer writes from South Carolina:
The US Military is a Peace-Making force, not a Peace-keeping Nation Building one. I am sure Dr. Paul would cut out the district military pork of Congress (whom 80% have NEVER served unlike him!), the $600 toilet seats, and $80 hammers, etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. . . . Quit playing whack a mole and other stupid social games, either utterly vanquish like against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan or DO NOT GO IN! They are for MacArthur: nuke the Chicoms if needed. . . . Send in Seal Team 6 to take out Bin Ladens, etc. None of this PC stuff, otherwise we would not have won WW1 and WW2!