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This article was written by Larry Peterson a former reporter at Savannah Morning News

"Our foreign-policy seems to have the reverse Midas touch.

Everything we handle these days appears to go awry. Consider Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now Egypt.

In each country, we've faced damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't dilemmas.
We've been faulted---and have faulted ourselves for various failures, among them doing almost nothing, doing too little, too late and over-reacting.
But we often tend to measure our decisions with the wrong sort of yardsticks.
Be it oppression, climate change, religious intolerance, world hunger----you name it----we simply can't solve all the world's problems. If this sounds another way of saying that we can't be the world's policeman, thats because it is.

People often overlook this reality because most of the last seven decades has often seemed like a partial exception.

From the end of World War II until about 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed with a hard push from Ronald Reagan, there were just two superpowers. And, for about another decade or so only one---the United States.

By then---if not since 1945---it felt empowered to act as the self appointed sheriff of Global Dodge City.

But meanwhile, some lessons should have been relearned.

They're especially valuable now because, as has been the historical norm, we have multiple major world powers. Examples: China, Japan, the European Economic Community, India, soon probably Brazil, and in its own perverse way, Islamic extremism.

The first lesson: Actions have both intended and unintended consequences. For example, Reagan's arming of the Taliban against Russian occupiers likely hastened the demise of the Soviet Union.

But it also strengthened the tribal group and eventually helped it enable the monsters who brought us 9/11.

The second: The Liberties we enjoy are the product of our own unique history. So it's folly to urge hopefully, as did George W. Bush, neoconservatives and many liberals before them, that other countries mirror our concepts of due process or consent of the governed.

The third: Our policy should reflect the differences between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, as explained by the late Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

Petty dictatorships, like the current one in Egypt, are among the authoritarians.

They often brutally repress dissent, but mostly don't mess with groups that don't challenge their arbitrary or kleptocratic ways, Nor do they mess much with their neighbors.

But the totalitarians---like the folks who run Iran, used to run Russia, recently sought to run Egypt, and may well end up running Syria---stand in sharp contrast.

Inspired by political or religious fanaticism, they're driven to dictate details of people's everyday lives.

Moreover they seem compelled to inflict similarly repressive levels of control on other countries---including ours.

Such distinctions should influence how the United States wields its limited clout. Even while holding our noses, we can coexist with authoritarians.

Like them or not, they may be th only obstacles to worse and potentially more dangerous alternatives, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. A possible exception: Syria, which seems to pose hard questions and no easy answers.

That aside, we should resist and, when we have to, fight totalitarians.

The last lesson: Things change. Sometimes what once was wise no longer makes sense.

Case in point: Cuba, once a staging ground for Soviet missiles and long a sponsor of mischief in Latin America and Africa.

These days, it's eased up a bit on Catholics and dissidents. Moreover, having long lost its once-massive Soviet subsidies, it's no longer a threat beyond it's borders and has slipped from totalitarian to authoritarian status.

So there's little point in trying to isolate, undermine or harass it. That is, unless you count appeasing an aging, shrinking bloc of Cuban-American voters.

In any case, any successful American foreign police must do two things. First: protect vital American interests, such as preventing major powers from dominating areas near our borders; second Be acceptable to the American people.

As we ponder how to meet those criteria, here's something worth considering.


Adams, our sixth president, offered that counsel in 1821.

It's still good advice."

I thought some of our readers and contributors might enjoy reading the above. It was published in Savannah Morning News two or three weeks ago in the Sunday edition.

I am interested in all of your comments both pro and con, but please spare me, and the rest of us, the childish ignorance such as name calling and taunting me if you don't agree.

Latest Activity: Aug 30, 2013 at 8:38 AM

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JimmyMack commented on Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 21:41 PM

Where are the comments....

I will only quote a Rolling Stones lyric....who reads yesterdays paper? Who wants yesterdays News?

And I will ask...where is Padricks very own personal comments?

timeontarget commented on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 07:11 AM

"who reads yesterdays paper? Who wants yesterdays News?"

Although this is two or three weeks past when it was published in the Savannah paper I don't see it as yesterdays news.

I did not expect it to draw much positive commentary from our mostly hawkish participants on this site.

Thanks for your comment.

A friend of mine yesterday responded after reading and discussing the above article.

My friend said "Although I can't wait for Obama's tenure to come to an end and the past five years have been so difficult, I can only say thank God we didn't elect John Mccain".

We were discussing our feelings regarding the United States and our modern military history.

Our military is a far cry from just being a militia.

We now have a military of simply mercenaries.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 08:48 AM

I will extend the olive branch here Tot. If you quit bashing all those of Liberal thought, I will quit bashing you. You can still criticize issues without playing the blame game. You don't have to do that to make your point. Look at Funk and LMC. True Conservatives whom I respect greatly. You are capable of writing that way with out blasting Liberals.'

What say you?

timeontarget commented on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 08:55 AM

Well I appreciate the gesture.

I will do the best that I can.

I am a conservative but in reality I'm probably a Libertarian.

"What say you?" Lets give it a go.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Good. A cease fire it is then.

Now I must marinate some some burgers and get ready for the Dawgs tonight at 8:00 against Clemson.

BTW: Bradwell got beat 35=17 last nite.

Graeme245 commented on Saturday, Aug 31, 2013 at 14:19 PM

As one who enjoys their satire a tad on the dark side I couldn't help but think The Onion nailed it with their Op-Ed piece by Bassar Al-Assad;


timeontarget commented on Sunday, Sep 01, 2013 at 13:59 PM

If it does so be it.

If it is done by people of his country that is fair and as it should be.

It is not any Americans responsibility or duty to do so.

If we do we are simply being a bully.

That is precisely why those on both sides in all conflicts in the middle east hate all Americans.

We have brought all of this on ourselves with our mercenary soldiers who've been willing to go "OVER THERE" and throw our weight around.

We are scorned by virtually the entire world's people of all soverign nations around the globe.

In the years after WWII our draft Army of lowly paid citizen soldiers had made us the most loved and envied people on earth.

The corporate greed, coupled with elected officials who were not statesmen but politicians, and the military industrial complex have brought us to this sorry state.

I pity our children and grandchildren.

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Sep 01, 2013 at 18:46 PM

Hi Sebe and Tot: I am writing this while suffering profound DEPRESSION.
But I am trying to pull my self out of it by telling myself that when we beat SC, we, The Bulldog Nation, will again control our destiny.''

Sorry, had to get that out of my system as I have been darkly suicidal since last nite.

However, unless I am once again missing the sarcasm, I too believe our future will not be so bad'.

Yours in massive depression : I

\jmmyMack, the eternal optimist!!!

I am now going to wash down one Vicodin with a shot of Rebel Yell and go to bed...

timeontarget commented on Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 06:40 AM

"I suspect the future won't be so bad. Our parents and grandparents pitied US-and look how great WE turned out....."

I cannot agree with that.

We have not by and large turned out so well.

In recent times we have allowed our society to degenerate to the point that we have children growing up in homes with little or no regard for respect and honor as well as dignity.

We first allowed females in military positions previously thought to be properly male only.

We have accepted open homosexuaility.

We have ceased to be the most respected power on earth.

And the level of the national debt is increasing daily at an alarming rate.

Oh yes and we have legions of able bodied men and women living off of government pensions while they have multiple decades of life expectancy yet ahead of them and they contribute little if anything towards the gross national product.

timeontarget commented on Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 06:41 AM

I'd say we are well on our way to becoming a third world nation.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 13:43 PM

Hi Tot: I explained the difference between Pedophilia and Homosexuality to you on UP2's blog about the Judge and the place where you asked it.

Would like to know if any more clarity is needed.

your neighbor,

timeontarget commented on Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 16:30 PM

Yes please and thank you also.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 16:48 PM

Ok, good. And you are welcome. Sebe and Up2 went to where you asked the question of me and have posted there comments. Please read them. Bobby is a predator of children. He even describes himself as Bi sexual on his FACEBOOK Page according to a friend of mine. If that is TRUE then he is more than capable of molesting children of either gender. I have written TWO emails to FACEBOOK. Nothing back yet from them.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013 at 15:36 PM

He probably is bi-sexual but I have been made to understand that he has a grown daughter.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013 at 16:27 PM

Yes Tot you are correct. Bobby fathered a daughter in the late 70's.

timeontarget commented on Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 06:05 AM

Well I think we can have a thorough debate on this distraction on perhaps another blog.

I prefer getting back to the discussion of US foreign policy if that can be done.

I've not been supportive of any of our so called wars in the middle east.

The greater discussion is the wisdom or lack thereof of our All Volunteer Army.

At first it sounded wonderful but look what it has brought us to as a nation.

You JimmyMack and I as well as some others, who participate on this community blog site, can attest to the destruction of Hinesville by the Military Industrial complex which destroyed Taylors Creek and a number of other nice little towns.

Hinesville is no longer a fit place to rear children.

timeontarget commented on Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 06:08 AM

Sometimes some of us who enjoy blogging on this site get caught up in their delight in attacking the messenger to the extent that they fail to address the message.

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Gosh...all of us here and our individual perceptions. Sebe, my friend, Chicago during your childhood musta been one hell of an experience. Amazingly on this one, I agree with TOT!!! Can you believe that?!!!

First let me get this out of the way. I respect our men and women in Uniform serving our country and the ones at Fort Stewart. However, like Tot, having lived in Hinesville pre-70's FT. Stewart's buildup and living here now, is the difference between night and day.

Back before the build up Hinesville was the quintessential small, quite Southern Town. Everybody knew everybody. Our schools were staffed by incredibly talented teachers. Of course, at the time and as students, we did not realize this. Folks could get their groceries delivered to their home, your dry cleaning people would come by to pick up and later deliver your clothes back to you, medicine, doctoring, all stores would carry your purchases and bills by letting you charge them and no interest would be charged, the football stadium was backed to the gills with people every Friday nite; same with Basketball. I could go on but will just stop here.

Today, and please excuse the phrase, Hinesville is an Army town, replete with an ever dwindling "local" population replaced with soldiers from all over the country who are here for a very short time thus nullifying any 'bonding' between the civilian populace and them due to PCSing, Etsing, going to war, etc. Alas that is the nature of the beast.

True some of us have experienced monetary gains via rental and home purchasing and businesses ventures. But...Money don't buy happiness. I hate to use such phraseology but Hinesville sold its soul for handfuls of silver. And to put it bluntly I would not wish to raise my child here. My boys had a small taste of what I experienced growing up here but caught the initial surge of the transient population that quite literally wrought havoc to the educational experience and the overall quality of life.

I won't get into local government. Everyone here knows what that is like now. But, it was not always that way. Taxes were fair and reasonable and we had an abundance of quality in leadership positions.

It was a radically different time than it now is, which makes that condo down in Boca Raton look better and better to me and my wife, especially every time I manage to get out of Walmart.

timeontarget commented on Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 16:02 PM

"I won't get into local government. Everyone here knows what that is now. But, it was not always that way."

"Taxes were fair and reasonable and we had an abundance of quality in leadership positions."

I will get into local government if anyone here is so inclined.

If this blog site fails to shine a light on local government,------------then this blog site has failed.--------period--------------------------plain and simple.


JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 at 16:27 PM

Tot: I was addressing the "raising your child in Hinesville..." issue. I and many of us here have "gotten into the status of the local government" on these pages. I have done so many times. My emphasis was the point of contention that arose between you and Sebe.

I have written many a blog and wrote letters to the Editor regarding taxes local, state, and national government.

The point of my post revealed common ground between you and I! Something that is rare between the two of us. I was not addressing government in this post.

Again, another misperception....

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 06:24 AM

This blog is a condemnation of American foreign policy.

The all volunteer Army was in my opinion the wrong turn taken by our leadership in Washington.

If we had never abandoned the draft the voice of our people would have had greater influence on our willingness to engage or not to engage in affairs of foreign nations.

The young men of the last days of the draft era started to refuse to go to a rice field half way around the world and kill people that they did not know.

Some went to Canada and thank God we later let them come home.

The influential families managed to get their boys in the National Guard and assigned to safe duty.

The not so influential families sons went to Vietnam and returned as the first American soldiers to endure defeat in battle.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 06:38 AM

We were all taught to honor and respect those in uniform who served with pride and did so for modest financial reward.

Today mercenaries serve willingly and wreak destruction on third world nations.

Not so long ago some of them practiced what they had learned right here with the double murder in cold blood of the young woman from Liberty county along with her boyfriend who had just gotten out of the service. I think it took place near Morgan lake between Ludowici and Jesup.

Those folks were part of the new Hinesville society. A result of the military industrial complex.

I conclude that Hinesville is not a fit place to rear children.

Our military today are not all heroes although I know many of them are.

I hope we stay out of the mess in Syria.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 06:47 AM

The United States is virtually bankrupt.

Our military misadventures directed by misguided war mongers in Washington is the primary cause.

While our ultra right conservatives beat war drums, our ultra liberals on the left advocate ever increasing welfare and they jointly continue to spend trillions unwisely.

The by product is an ever increasing tax burden on free enterprise.

We are slowly killing the goose which lays the golden egg.

timeontarget commented on Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 06:23 AM

I wish this blog had attracted more discussion on the subject of foreign policy.

At any rate I appreciate the comments and I suspect it is time to move on.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 20:37 PM

Foreign Policy: we ain't the World's Police Dept. Can't and shouldn't be.

We should lead coalitions in reacting to poison gas, and North Korea's rocket development. As well as acts of genocide.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 16:19 PM

Sebe, If Obama had launched the Cruise Rockets all by his lonesome, you know his critics would rain down abuse upon him like no other. He is damned if he does or doesn't in some camps. Tot would even go so far as to calling BHO the anti-Christ since he disagrees with ANY U.S. involvement in the mid-east.

timeontarget commented on Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 17:01 PM

Yes, I do...................
And I might............


timeontarget commented on Sunday, Sep 08, 2013 at 14:15 PM

John McCain plays poker on his electronic toy while attending an enourmousely important committee meeting.

Obama is the director of an orchestra of an assemblage of fools and idiots who've been empowered by the votes of an uninformed electorate to drive over a cliff.

We are not the world police. We might should be but we've gone broke doing so.

We can't afford to launch another war with anybody who is not a threat to our national security.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:23 PM

Hate to be so negative here fellas but...If the crazies get hold of all them Syrian Chemical Weapons you know they will use them. Israel and America are their prime targets. It is generally understood that Israel has the bomb. Pakistan has the Muslim Bomb. Syria has chemical weapons. Al Quaeda relishes chaos. Things are in place for perhaps the second Big Bang.

Kinda ironic in a way, at least to some people regarding the first big Bang creating the Universe and this world and the second Big Bang destroying this world.


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