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The Unseen Costs of Humanitarian Intervention

Ryan McMaken
February 1st, 2019
Mises Institute
Comments (36)
Read by 1,358 people
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This article was originally published by Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute

In domestic policy, a time-honored strategy for ramming through ill-considered legislation is to insist that it is better to do something than to just stand around doing nothing. Are “too few” people earning advanced degrees? Then we are told we must increase subsidies for college tuition. Will that solve the problem? Who knows? What’s important is that we did something.

This sort of thing is politically valuable, of course, because the new program and the new spending can be seen and measured.

The true costs of the program, however, are not seen. We can, for example, easily ignore the fact that subsidies tend to increase tuition levels, which in turn increase student-loan debt levels. Students then put off purchasing homes and starting families until later, in order to pay off debts. These realities impose costs on students. But they aren’t easily seen or measured.

Thus, the benefits of the program are showcased, while the costs remain hidden.

In the realm of foreign policy, and especially with humanitarian interventions, this problem is even worse, partly because the stakes are higher. The methods employed here, by now, are quite familiar. Advocates for humanitarian intervention repeatedly showcase real or assumed human rights abuses in a foreign country. It is then assumed that it will be a simple matter for the United States military to intervene to solve the problem — probably in a short amount of time. The costs of intervention, both financial and non-financial are assumed to be minor, at most. Thus, we are to conclude that it is better to do something than nothing. Those who insist on opposing humanitarian interventions are then portrayed as being motivated by a lack of empathy, or perhaps by outright hostility and cynicism.

The Rise of the Humanitarian Interventionism as a Favored Policy

For more than twenty years this narrative and method has grown in popularity and influence, as humanitarian interventions have become a more and more acceptable option for the United States in addressing global human rights issues.

Almost never are the true costs and uncertainties of these interventions addressed in detail in mass-media commentary and news coverage. The focus is on highlighting the benefits and necessity of intervention while ignoring the unintended consequences of these actions.

Moreover, ignoring these costs has become more urgent for advocates of intervention as ostensibly humanitarian intervention has become a larger cornerstone of US foreign policy. While these interventions began sporadically, Stephen Wertheim notes in the Journal of Genocide Research how after 1991,

humanitarian intervention become a central and insistent preoccupation in US discourse, routinely posited as a raison d’eˆtre of US global leadership. Only then was humanitarian intervention mainly imagined not as an emergency response to extraordinary episodes but rather as a permanent programme requiring special doctrines, which US and British leaders issued.1

Much of this growth in acceptance for humanitarian interventions centered around the world’s non-response to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. This, coupled with ethnic-cleansing campaigns in the former Yugoslavia, led to numerous calls for more active international attention to potential humanitarian interventions worldwide.

As Wertheim notes, however, a problem with the debate has long been an assumption that human rights violations can be addressed with relative ease by large, wealthy states like the United States:

A dramatic shift began around 1998. It brought a new belligerence, confident that US troops would have ended Rwanda’s genocide easily and should stop any other. This view permeated the US foreign-policy establishment in 1999 and 2000, appearing in both government doctrines and popular commentary, among neoconservatives and humanitarian interventionists alike…

But were things really as simple as advocates assumed?

For Wertheim, the answer is “no,” continuing:

[H]umanitarian interventionists often assumed military challenges away, failing to think concretely how intervention might unfold…[But] a war to stop the Rwandan genocide would have been nothing like as simple as interventionists later claimed…Interventionists truly committed to achieving humanitarian results must appreciate the difficulties of forging peace after war — and register the potential harms of postconflict occupation in the calculus of whether to intervene in the first place … On the whole, humanitarian interventionists tended to understate difficulties of halting ethnic conflict, ignore challenges of postconflict reconstruction, discount constraints imposed by public opinion, and override multilateral procedures.

In real life, though, these costs and constraints are numerous. For example, there is always a “losing” side when interventions occur. Once the intervening force leaves, will the losing side engage in reprisals? If the intervention required bombing campaigns, who will pay for reconstruction of infrastructure? And, how long will an occupation force be necessary? What if counterinsurgency becomes necessary? How many locals will the interventionists be willing to kill in counterinsurgency battles in order to implement a “humanitarian” solution?

Nor are these questions matters of mere logistics and administrative resolve. Political constraints imposed on states by voting populations are very real. For example, the US invasion of Somalia at first appeared to be an easy sell to American voters. After 18 US soldiers were killed in the Battle of Magadishu, however, President Bill Clinton quickly removed the troops. It’s easy to win public support when interventions are short, and produce no casualties. But things don’t always go that way.

Indeed, such care is often taken to avoid casualties among occupying troops (in cases primarily justified on humanitarian grounds) that this causes other tactical problems. In the Kosovo intervention, for example, planes flew at an unusually high 15,000 feet to minimize danger to themselves. But this increased danger to civilians and severely limited the credibility of claims that the NATO coalition was engaging in “precision bombing.”

But the strategy nonetheless worked. The fact that the US and NATO were able to win capitulation from the Serbian government in the Kosovo intervention — even without risking a domestic political backlash — further strengthened calls for more openness to humanitarian interventions.

Second Thoughts Among Advocates for Interventionism

A decade after Rwanda, though, even many advocates for at least some use of humanitarian intervention were beginning to have second thoughts.

In his 2006 book At the Point of a Gun: Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention, David Rieff, an influential journalist who had enthusiastically supported humanitarian interventions in the 1990s, had become more cautious. For Rieff, humanitarian interventions had become so common, and so often invoked to justify a wide variety of foreign-policy goals, that:

I have changed my mind in the sense that I did not imagine Bosnia, or, had it happened, Rwanda, would become a template for the messianic dream of remaking the world in either the image of American democracy or of the legal utopias of international human rights law.

In the wake of Afghanistan and the Iraq War, Rieff was more aware of the real costs of “fixing” foreign regimes that behaved in undesirable ways. Rieff also noted that many interventionists on the left continued to deny this reality.

For example, in her book A Problem from Hell, US Ambassador to the UN (under President Obama) Samantha Power laments that none of the Saddam-era persecutors of the Kurds “had been punished.” But Rieff responds:

But how was the punishment to be meted out? At times, human rights activists behave as if one can have Nuremberg-style justice without a Nuremberg-style military occupation of the countries where the war criminals live. … These human rights regimes will be imposed by force of arms or they will not be imposed at all.

Worryingly, the future of humanitarian intervention looks more like Iraq than it does like NATO’s Kosovo mission.

This isn’t to say Rieff opposes all humanitarian interventions. He still explicitly thinks Western states should intervene in cases like the Rwandan Genocide. But, as Rieff states, his position is

…the polar opposite of [neoconservative Robert] Kagan. I believe we should lean away from war, lean as far as possible without actually falling over into pacifism. Of course there are just wars … [b]ut I would insist that there are not many just wars, and that the endless wars of altruism posited by so many human rights activists … or the endless wars of liberation (as they see it) proposed by American neoconservatives — Iraq was supposed to be only the first such step — can only lead to disaster.

The realities of Iraq remain a problem for humanitarian interventionists. While the war was initially justified only partly as a humanitarian effort of liberation, it is now justified almost wholly on the grounds of humanitarianism. Only the most obtuse policymakers and pundits still insist (wrongly) that Saddam Hussein’s regime was any threat to the United States, or was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Today, Iraq is justified almost entirely as a humanitarian war of liberation. The invasion of Afghanistan followed a similar pattern. Americans were told the invasion would liberate women from Islamist oppression just as much as invasion would bring terrorists to heel.

The costs of occupation, however, have been immense in terms of Iraqi (and Afghani) life and health, and US casualties (at least relative to other humanitarian efforts).

In his 2005 book The Dark Sides of Virtue, historian David Kennedy explores the real record of humanitarian interventions, and the habit of overstating its benefits, noting:

As with humanitarian activism … it is easy to overstate the humanist potential of international policy making. Many of the difficulties  encountered with human rights activism arise equally in humanitarian policy-making campaigns. Policymakers can also overlook the dark sides of their work and treat initiatives which take a familiar humanitarian form as likely to have a humanitarian effect. It is always tempting to think some global humanitarian effort has got to be better than none. Like activists, policymakers can mistake their good intentions for humanitarian results or enchant their tools — using a humanitarian vocabulary can itself seem like a humanitarian strategy. … It is all too easy to forget that saying “I’m from the United Nations and I’ve come to help you,” may not sound promising at all.

In other words, don’t confuse the visible government programs with the actual costs and benefits.

One answer, Kennedy concludes, is to stop assuming rosy, best-case scenario outcomes, to acknowledge the many unknown and unpredictable variables, and to

develop a new posture or character for international humanitarianism — informed by the vertiginous experience of disenchantment, of seeing that one is responsible and yet does not already know.

Nine Issues for Policymakers to Contemplate

In light of seventeen years of non-stop war since 9/11 — with most of it conducted in the name of national liberation and humanitarian intervention — policymakers would benefit from far more rigor when it comes to evaluating the true costs of intervention.

In his review essay “The Limits of Intervention — Humanitarian or Otherwise,” J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council presents a list of problems that policymakers need to address when advocating for foreign intervention:

  1. Since most violence is perpetrated more quickly than commonly realized, an intervention will almost inevitably come too late for many, if not most, victims.
  2. Intervention addresses symptoms rather than underlying causes.
  3. Interventions will have significant, possibly unintended, effects on the value to particular individuals of positional and distributional goods.
  4. Intervention opens the political space to new, often unexpected, actors. Outside intervention, by displacing the old political order, allows new forces to emerge.
  5. Intervention may foster warlordism.
  6. Intervention is the starting point for a complex political process whose eventual end point cannot be predicted.
  7. Economic progress will be difficult if the intervention distorts pre-existing incentive structures.
  8. Intervention can exacerbate, rather than reduce, the humanitarian crisis.
  9. Interventions may have significant impact on trust, social capital, and the character of society, but it is difficult to produce positive effects directly.

We might also add to Pham’s list the problems that interventions pose in terms of of further crippling international respect for national sovereignty and its potential for further enhancing the power of hegemons at the expense of smaller states.

Within the target country, though,the problems remain ones in which entire economic and political systems are thrown into disarray. This can lead to human rights abuses of their own as formerly out-of-power groups assert their newfound power. All the while, economic recovery may elude the newly “liberated” population for many years. An end result may be no net overall advantage for the population as a whole.

Any debate over suggested new interventions, whether among voters or alleged policy experts, must present convincing information and arguments suggesting all these issues can be addressed with the resources and time that advocates claim is necessary. The burden of proof is on the advocates for intervention, and if they cannot bring sufficient rigor to the debate to account for all these issues, intervention ought to be emphatically disregarded.

Moreover, evaluating success, even after the fact, will remain an impossible task. Even when interventions appear to be a success, we are left with what is essentially a major economic calculation problem. Foreign policy tends to be examined in broad aggregates, with description of entire national populations — or certain factions —  as if all members of these groups shared roughly similar goals and outcomes as intervention progresses. This, is, of course, no more true in foreign policy than in domestic policy where it is impossible for governments to plan, regulate, and measure outcomes for individual persons or households. In the end, we’re left dealing with little more than an immense top-down effort of nationwide central planning. Evaluating outcomes outside enormous aggregated averages will be impossible. Consequently, the true costs to individuals are likely to remain hidden forever.

As it is now, however, those who are currently advocating for new interventions in Syria and Venezuela appear to have little interest in confronting the real costs of intervention. They see the political advantages of saying they “did something,” even if those things will turn out to be disastrous.

  • 1.Stephen Wertheim, “A solution from hell: the United States and the rise of humanitarian interventionism, 1991–2003” in the Journal of Genocide Research (2010), 12(3–4), September–December 2010, 149–172.

About the Author

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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36 Comments...

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  1. Maranatha says:

    Well that is right out of the progressive Star Trek Prime Directive pseudo-philosophy, but there is something to it.

    Well meaning leftists once brought American made pharmaceuticals to far away places until old physicians pointed out, “Ummmm, hey Ace. What will your patient do when the medicines run out?”

    That’s the main problem of intervention. Your goofy leftist solutions are mostly impractical and enabling the locals to persistently lean on intervention! That ain’t great.

    Take the enormous problems in Venezuela. Right now 8 million want to come to the USA. So leftists will likely push impoverished people who have lived with socialism into a foreign western culture, then realize that their English ain’t as great as they presumed it was as they speak about 1,000 words but can’t comprehend an actual conversation.

    • TharSheBlows says:

      Friday, February 1, 2019
      Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care — the Human Caravan You Haven’t Heard About

      What has happened is that the money industry has gamed the whole medical industry to produce a major financial overhead that can only be supported by excess prices that at least a third of the population cannot pay and another third risk ruin.

      So called single payer systems deliver all that to all the population for half the outlay. Thus it is no surprise that millions of Americans are heading to Mexico for dental work at the least.

      Understand as well that dental work has changed slowly over the past fifty years. We still drill and fill. We do not yet properly regrow teeth. The advent of that will change it out very quickly. More importantly, tooth stem cell replacement is already working. thus the whole industry is heading for a major reinvention and it will be soon.

      In the meantime millions of dentist exist whose skills match the best anywhere..

      Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care — the Human Caravan You Haven’t Heard About

      The US-Mexico border crossing at Tijuana, Mexico. The US’s “dental refugees” flock to Mexico in the thousands every day, seeking affordable care.Philippe Turpin / Photononstop / Getty Images

      By

      Mark Provost,

      Truthout Published

      January 23, 2019

      https://truthout.org/articles/millions-of-americans-flood-into-mexico-for-health-care/

      The Trump administration is trying to convey panic that there’s an immediate crisis on the southern border, pointing to caravans of desperate people who have traveled thousands of miles.

      It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the US fleeing violence and poverty, much of it caused by destructive US trade policy over the course of decades. But there’s another massive “border crossing” phenomenon afoot — and Trump has not said a word about it. We’re talking about thousands of US citizens crossing the border each day in search of affordable health care.

      At just one checkpoint in Yuma, Arizona, up to 6,000 Americans cross the border every day and enter the bustling Mexican town of Los Algodones, seeking heath care.

      Unlike the Trump administration that seeks to build a wall between the countries, Los Algodones welcomes Americans seeking dental care with open arms.

      Los Algodones has to be seen to believed. There are more dentists per capita than anywhere else in the world. It seems like every square foot of public space wall is covered with advertisements promising quality and affordable dental care, vision care and prescription drugs. The community’s economy is built to serve the flood of “dental refugees” — mostly senior citizens from the US and Canada seeking major dental care they cannot afford in their own countries, even with insurance.

      The statistics are jarring. Approximately 74 million people in the US have no dental insurance, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. To put those numbers into perspective, that’s nearly a quarter of the population, or roughly twice the number that lacks health insurance overall.
      But the problem is much larger than people lacking dental insurance. Dental insurance is not really insurance. It’s nothing like health or auto insurance, for example.

      Most dental plans don’t cover much at all beyond regular check-ups, cleaning, X-rays and fillings. Beyond that, patients are expected to fork over much of the cost of large but common procedures like crowns, root canals and implants. Dental plans also generally pay a maximum of $1,500 annually, a number that’s hardly changed in 50 years. And $1,500 doesn’t go far when you consider the cost of major dental work. The cost of a single crown can be as much as $2,000 and the cost of an implant can run $5,000 a tooth. It’s not uncommon for seniors to need a set of four implants and several crowns, so you can see the costs can quickly get prohibitive.

      One of the reasons dental care is so expensive in the United States is insurance. “The number one most complicated aspect of running a dental office, bar none, is dealing with dental insurance. You wouldn’t believe how long it takes to get through to a rep, make sure the patient does have benefits, calculate a copay,” dentist Dr. M told CBS News.

      Another cost for US dentists is malpractice insurance, which is not required in Mexico. The insurance process is so frustrating, some dentists in the US don’t accept it. If you are paying entirely out-of-pocket, your dentist might give you a discount. Unfortunately, dentists who don’t accept insurance usually demand higher fees. So if you need costly dental care, you’re basically out of options.

      Which brings us back to the small town of Los Algodones, or as the locals and visiting patients have affectionately come to call it, “Molar City.” Just seven miles across the border from Yuma, Arizona, visitors looking for dental care are bombarded with a vast array of dental ads, billboards and street vendors offering deals. According to Mayor Christian Camacho, up to 6,000 dental refugees make their way to Los Algodones every day in the temperate season between Thanksgiving and March.

      The costs savings are hard to debate. Dental work in Mexico is on average two-thirds less than in the US and customers may save 80 percent or more on some costly operations. Those savings derive partially from Mexico’s less expensive real estate and labor costs, but also, Mexico’s dentists don’t graduate with a ton of student debt.

      The government provides basically tuition-free education. “When we get out of school, we have to pay the government, but we do it by one year of free service, and that’s it,” Miguel Ibarreche of the Sani Dental Group, one of Mexico’s largest dental clinic companies, told NPR.

      If you casually compare the magnitude of border crossings, the crisis of the US’s for-profit healthcare system becomes apparent. According to US Customs and Border Protection, border crossings of Mexican and Central American refugees — the border crossings Trump and Fox News rage about 24/7 — ranged from 20,000 to roughly 60,000 people per month in 2018. In Los Algodones alone, nearly five times as many American dental refugees are going the opposite way. To get an idea of the absurdity, one could argue there are more people currently fleeing the US’s health care system than refugees seeking asylum from extreme violence and state terror in Central America.

      It would be irresponsible to not also remark on the vastly different border crossing experiences between the two groups. Central American refugees trek across hundreds of miles of unforgiving desert, vulnerable to exploitation and violence from human smugglers and at risk of family separation, cruel treatment and death in custody of US border agents. By contrast, US citizens seeking health care can park in Yuma for $5, walk across the border, get the help they need and come back for dinner.

      Still, the consequences of a health care crisis are playing out on the southern border. They’re the result of our overpriced and inaccessible health care system, along with staggering college debt. Meanwhile, our immigration policy allows desperate US citizens to get the help they need while denying it to those coming the other way.

  2. Fake “hate crime” reported in Chicago by a black homosexual television star from the Empire series. Claims 2 White men attacked him at 2AM put a noose around his neck, beat him and yelled this is maga country. Right. He won’t let the police look at his cell phone. There is video of him, but no attackers. When the police showed up at his residence he still had the noose around his neck. I guess he left it on because it looked like jewelry. I figure he was under the influence and slipped and fell on the ice. Was too embarrassed to admit it. So he made it up. It was -20 degrees at the time. Icy. 2 guys just happened to be loitering at 2AM in the freezing cold. Right.

    • Maranatha says:

      Many minorities make fake claims of bigotry because they think it will ultimately create positive change. I could easily list 20 such events in the last three years.

      The public is silly and listens to the fake news narratives, and then by the time the hoax is exposed by conservatives, the event is forgotten. Rinse repeat.

      Mostly likely he had bizarre rough homosexual sex, then was embarrassed and lied about it to gain sympathy. He is not cooperating with the police investigation. He is trying to hide evidence. His report has inconsistencies.

      Maybe he was assaulted but my BS detector is going off like a klaxon.

      Lest you think I am heartless, look up how many leftist hoaxes there have been like Tawana Bradley. Then look up the bizarre ways homosexual have intimacy. It is disgusting and perverse…they don’t want heterosexuals to know.

      • Maranatha says:

        The most infamous leftist hoax in 1987-1988

        ht tps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawana_Brawley_rape_allegations

        Everyone was sickened when this allegedly happened. Al Sharpton made his disgusting career by digging his claws into the alleged event. Then he distanced himself after the hoax was revealed, but kept up as an activist.

        People like Al Sharpton irreparably harm his people.He’s a wolf not a shepherd.

        • The Deplorable Renegade says:

          Maranatha, damn good points you made about false claims by blacks. I know how much flak I’ll get for what I’m about to say but it’s a fact: Black people are more likely to make false claims about discrimination or anything else than any other group of people in this nation. They don’t have any REAL complaints, not with all the special treatment they get under federal law. And yes, Al Sharpton launched his career as a scammer with the false claim made by Tawana Brawley. Jesse Jackson used to be the biggest black scammer in the US but he’s retired so now Al Sharpton is in that spot. Al Sharpton is not an ‘activist’ in the true sense of that term. He’s just the biggest black scammer in the US. Just get around him or any other black scammer and your BS detector will probably blow itself up, LOL.

          • Bill says:

            There have also been many anti-Semitic incidents that turned out to be hoaxes perpetrated by Joos, but it seems the MSM rarely if ever reports these either. However, the MSM readily creates false narratives and misconstrue facts to paint white males and Christians as guilty in the worst way possible. If and when a story is exposed as false, no more than a small few rarely apologize or make a correction. One may conclude it is personal if the person(s) and organizations who propagates fake news refuse to maintain a professional objective standard. When objective reporting is cast aside, people are only getting propaganda, which is actually the intent. Who owns and manages much of the MSM ?
            Secondly, we have seen some ‘civil rights’ organizations call for legal action against white males and Christians even after the story was revealed to be fake, yet protect anyone else when they commit proven acts of bigotry, homophobia, etc? Who to a large degree operates, funds, and sets policies for many ‘civil rights’ organizations?
            I don’t care what people do as long as they don’t try to compel me to accept their lifestyle choices or beliefs, just leave me alone and I will leave them alone. But my BS meter is very accurate, after a review of the facts one can see 99 % of these ‘alleged’ incidents are fake.

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Him, the entire concept of ‘hate crime’ is bogus and the libturd narrative is that only white people commit them. If they ever come up with any race-based laws aimed against white people that will set off civil war 2.

  3. Maranatha says:

    Conservative Christian refugee mitigation is focused on the practical ways to facilitate positive change. It’s the parable about the wise lady who used a little leaven to transform a large amount of flour.

    You want as much as possible to spend money wisely as Americans overspend constantly. And people generally do not want to them dang feriners.(intentionally mispelled)

    You can help the most refugees in Venezuela as long as the refugee camp is secure, has medical supplies and profesionals and volunteers. It needs clean water and inexpensive simple nutritious food. It needs educational facilities. It needs a place with tools and teachers and work benches so repairs can be made in house.

    If that won’t work, you move it just across the border, but then the Columbians (for example) will make demands and the price just doubled.

    If you foolishly remove refugees and relocate them, you have security threats and miserable people who can’t assimilate, and homesickness, and need about 7-10 volunteers per refugee, and you need lots of additional teachers, medical workers, LEOs, etc. Congrats. Now the cost is then 10 times as expensive.

    The goal is to STABILIZE the refugees’ lives and stabilize Venezuela by infrastructure reform, economy reform, political reform BUT NOT MEDDLE. Even if we despise socialism, they are likely to at least initially have socialist politicians.

    If we just insert leasdership, no matter how great, the embattled tired masses will easily listen to opposition, and then the new leader is in effect perceived as a US puppet. That ain’t great.

    Foolish but well meaning Americans will try to either bring over smart refugees, which robs Venezuela of future leadership, or adopt Venezuelan children, whichnrobs Venezuela’ future as well.

    Such leftist ideas would destabilze Venezuela so that is counter-productive.

    Most generally you take a limited number of refugees who have lots of medical needs that simply cannot be done there. For example, some little one who needs heart surgery because she has Tetralogy of Fallot. Then when she gets stabilized, at some point as an adult, then returns to help Venezuela as a success story.

  4. Kevin2 says:

    Humanitarian Intervention in regards to US foreign policy is largely the ostensible smokescreen to justify doing the bidding of globalist business. If a crisis isn’t available or is insufficient it’s created. In effect if the lies were removed from the main stream news on TV, the time of commercials would dwarf that of the broadcast. The “war on” (take your pick) Terrorism, Drugs and the “war for” (take your pick), The Environment, Freedom, Democracy is all bullshit. Sometimes art does imitate life.

    From the 1970s classic Animal House

    h ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOXtWxhlsUg

  5. If we intervene in Venezuela to remove the current leadership there, we will pay an unimaginable cost as refugees from the area flood our land. Instead we might consider lifting our sanctions which caused their financial woes.

    Stop sending money to Israel where every child gets their education free on our taxes and we can use the money to educate our own. Stop educating foreign students. We are hurting our children and helping our rivals.

    .

    .

  6. Beaumont 2.0 says:

    I think that different, historical monuments, the space race, war on drugs, war on poverty, war on weather, war on illiteracy, bridges to nowhere, digital gods, and the eugenics of an impossible ideal, were intended as fool’s errands, to keep the subjects preoccupied, for Machiavellian purposes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KWx-2cQC1w&pbjreload=10

    You blame the champagne socialists for coming up with impossible budgets, then, scramble for teacher’s pet status.

  7. Johnny Paytoilet says:

    Do-gooders have done far more harm than they ever did good. One of the best examples is the War of Northern aggression against the Confederate State of America. It was never a civil war in the real historical context. Most of the readers here know what transpired. Just the casualties & destruction

  8. Maranatha says:

    African Americans who are raised by White Americans act largely like their adopted parents. If yu don’t believe, just intentionally go meet some. They have some difficulty coping as adopted kids, and often feel neither white nor black. These are acceptance issues that dissipate in adulthood.

    So what are we to make of that phenomena? It’s mostly learned behavior that affects personality coupled with better economics. This allows for better stability.

    Now there are many mixed children of interracial marriages and they often find themselves dating whites because they are more accepted and more closely identify with them.

    Look at the UK where it is extremely common.

    • Maranatha says:

      In psychology, there is a concept called “stinkin’ thinkin’. They say this in the military too. You have a pity party in your mind, see yourself as an outsider, and this has negative effects on your social relationships. It interferes with your choices of occupation. It adversely affects who you hang out with and exaggerates and synergistically makes either of you to grow even worse. This is why gangs are such a problem.

      Much of African American culture is FULL of learned victimhood by stinkin’ thinkin. They cannot imagine being successful, thus they are constantly self-sabotaging themselves. Typically as kids, they will be the misanthrope, the bully, the class clown, the sexual predator, but seldom a positive student trying to better themselves.

      A kind considerate teacher can attempt to be a mentor, but if the parents are dysfunctional, it’s nearly impossible to overcome. I know because I did some urban ministry.

      They can excel while at university though. Many African-Americans thrive when in a healthy structured supportive environment.

      Now there are lots of African American Conservatives as they got sickened by the perpetual victimhood by the DNC and the leftist teachers.

  9. Heartless says:

    I’ll speak just for myself. I’m sick and tired of people – anyone…. politicians, family, friends, neighbors… you name ’em, cars, computers, smart devices, friggin’ door-to-door purveyors of salvation or the latest product trying to help me or save me from myself. I long for the freedom to screw up without any interference. I sure don’t want a car or truck to tell me when or not to open a door, buckle my seatbelt or not. I’m tired of government “looking out for my best interests”. How to say this nicely? “leave me the “F” alone to rise or fall, live or die however I happen to choose. If I’m willing to pay whatever the price may be for foolishness or stupidity, taking a chance or not doing a damned thing … so be it.

  10. Maranatha says:

    Look at Asian Americans. They are often called the model minorities. They arrive penniless. The first generation typically works as blue collar workers or low level service workers. But the 2nd generation realizes that to get ahead means doing well in school to achieve a professional degree.

    They typically do not have stinkin’ thinkin’ although the young male Asian Americans are frustrated as they can never be some Nordic Hollyweird kind of leading man. While many Asian American ladies are sought out as romantic partners.

    They are proof that nearly anyone through discipline, thrift, hard work, and being studious amd responsible, one can achieve economic success.

    Plus their immigration patterns are far later so there’s no excuse for African Americans.

    The healthiest African American response would be to become devout Christian Conservatives and emulate people of moral character and reject African American culture.

    Which I think you will find happening, more and more. An African American buddy of mine who was a craftsman, called it “thug culture”.

  11. Maranatha says:

    When English, Scots,Irish, Scandanavian, and Germans came over, they initially all stayed together, but over time, they largely transformed into Americans except for a few seasonal festivals.

    The same things is true of Asians although they try (and often fail) to hold onto their original language. They adopt Christianity even though some were Buddhist formerly, then except for a few seasonal festivals, have assimilated.

    African Americans have no sense of their original ethnic culture due to slavery. Some even mock new African artivals as primitive. They do tend to congregate and have less economic mobility, and get stuck in their neighborhoods. And interracial marriage has been less successful that the other two groups above.

    Early African American pastors heartily pushed for strong church affiliation as a mechanism of fostering and identifying leadership. Generationally, there have issues in urban areas which is why African American pastors so vigorously dennounce gang membership.

    It’s a systemic issue of learned helplessness ie victimhood and stinkin’ thinkin. They also have far more single moms as a percentage even though church elders have tried and tried, even using shaming to no avail. Single motherhood tends to result in poverty.

    It is NOT white privilege. The largest deleterious effects are self-imposed by leftists from the DNC especially pushing socialism and communism. And in addition admiration of thug culture which is self-sabotage leading to persistant crime.

  12. rellik says:

    Only the US congress has the authority to commit the US to war.
    Don’t give me this crap about the time it takes to pass a war law,
    in 1941 it only took a day.
    President needs to react quickly and there is law for that, but shit like Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Iraq, should never have happened without declarations of war.
    Our latest problem is Venezuela, Monroe doctrine dictates we have interests, but if we go in, it should be US law, so that some wimp assed Democrat can’t waste the lives sacrificed.

  13. Kevin2 says:

    rellik

    “..should never have happened without declarations of war”

    And they wouldn’t have which is why no attempt was made to get it. At least Congress was notified but even that was too much for Obama when he attacked Libya.

    The Monroe Doctrine is blatantly illegal from the standpoint of international law but so is much of what’s done.

    “but if we go in, it should be US law, so that some wimp assed Democrat can’t waste the lives sacrificed”

    What goal would be worth several hundred to several thousand US lives? If we won in Vietnam (which I’ll knowledgeably debate was an impossibility) what would be the gain? The most plausible “gain” would be their industrialization at the expense of our own; hardly worthy of my life even if the “tees were crossed and I’s dotted” legalizing the endeavor.

    The simple fact is these “threats” are no threat at all. They are “opportunities” for global business interests.

    • rellik says:

      K2,
      Glad to see you back!
      I’m a little confused by your comment.
      My assertion that a war law has to be passed
      before we sacrifice our kids seems to be reasonable.
      A law defines the intent of the people that passed
      it, defining a start to it’s finish.

      “Goals” are an interesting subjective concept here.
      I would be concerned with anybody but the people of
      Venezuela being in control of their natural resources.
      They seem to want to starve and die. I’m fine with that
      as that is their choice.
      Letting China, Russia, or Cuba, run their show disturbs
      me and I think that is worth war with the goal of
      the people and only the people of Venezuela being back
      in control of their natural resources.

  14. It’s only right that empire underwrites a color revolution and takes Venezuela’s oil for it’s multinational oilcos. Those Soshulusts that hate us for our freedoms certainly don’t know how to use it.

  15. Kevin2 says:

    I agree with Congress Declaring War as it is codified in our Constitution. Anything less is by definition an illegal war.

    “Letting China, Russia, or Cuba, run their show disturbs me and I think that is worth war”

    Assuming that is the case, and that I won’t concede, I don’t see the war necessity. I don’t see a threat of sufficient magnitude if either or both “ran the show”. I see no attack, no cutting off of vital resources. It’s naive to believe that the US doesn’t in effect “run the show” of a great number of nations across the globe. This is why, despite blatantly illegal according to international law, intervention in the internal affairs of other nations, (using Syria & Libya as examples) Europe says nothing. Disregard any anti US oratory for their own citizenry, in action they are effectually servile puppets. The US has likely been the number one culprit in nations affairs as the 1953 coup in Iran is an example; a Democratically elected leader was disposed and a dictator installed. Certainly such actions are textbook examples of authoritarianism not the spreading of Democracy. I can continue with many more examples.

    The US does not wear a white hat and asking its military personnel to die for a dirty one is disingenuous.

  16. Maranatha says:

    7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a J ew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the J ews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well,7 and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
    14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    John 4:7-14

    kD-Ux3oqM38
    Here is what healthy Christian intervention looks like. The people do 95% of the work. They are expected to annually contribute $7-10 for maintenance and parts.

    EHh5_6vcCoo
    In the Baptist well drilling method, a team is taught each aspect, and after their is dug, they are expected to teach a new team so that their well is dug. Rinse repeat.

    • Yahooie says:

      I very much agree. It’s the Teach a Man to Fish principle.

      • Maranatha says:

        My gut hunch is that you have a very pure heart and that is rare and very attractive. Maybe it’s not a hunch but a discernment of spirits from the Bible.

        9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
        10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
        1 Corinthians 2:9-13

  17. Beaumont 2.0 says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPI8sMF7VNI

    They don’t want a thoroughbred stallion or rose; they want Barabbas.

    People are forever worried about who is good-enough, for social engineering, breeding privileges, or the welfare benefit.

    You’re not giving the advantage to people of merit. You prefer the canker worms.

    Humanitarian intervention can choose the good. It be unselective. It can proactively pick the evil person.

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