War and Peace Prizes

Continuing the delayed reaction to news that is the permanent fate of columnists in an instant analysis world, both Tom Friedman and David Von Drehle have similar and counterintuitive ideas on who the Nobel Peace Prize should have gone to, instead of a United States president with two weeks in office.

The former suggests Obama accept the award “on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps” for their contributions to fighting tyranny and providing humanitarian assistance over the last seven decades.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi fascism. I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific to free East Asia from Japanese tyranny in the Second World War.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American airmen who in June 1948 broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin with an airlift of food and fuel so that West Berliners could continue to live free. I will accept this award on behalf of the tens of thousands of American soldiers who protected Europe from Communist dictatorship throughout the 50 years of the cold war.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who stand guard today at outposts in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan to give that country, and particularly its women and girls, a chance to live a decent life free from the Taliban’s religious totalitarianism.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American men and women who are still on patrol today in Iraq, helping to protect Baghdad’s fledgling government as it tries to organize the rarest of things in that country and that region — another free and fair election.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the thousands of American soldiers who today help protect a free and Democratic South Korea from an unfree and Communist North Korea.

“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American men and women soldiers who have gone on repeated humanitarian rescue missions after earthquakes and floods from the mountains of Pakistan to the coasts of Indonesia. I will accept this award on behalf of American soldiers who serve in the peacekeeping force in the Sinai desert that has kept relations between Egypt and Israel stable ever since the Camp David treaty was signed.

“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American airmen and sailors today who keep the sea lanes open and free in the Pacific and Atlantic so world trade can flow unhindered between nations.

“Finally, I will accept this award on behalf of my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived at Normandy six weeks after D-Day, and on behalf of my great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who was among those soldiers who liberated part of the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald.

“Members of the Nobel committee, I accept this award on behalf of all these American men and women soldiers, past and present, because I know — and I want you to know — that there is no peace without peacekeepers.

The latter thinks even more outside-the-boxand suggests awarding the prize to nuclear weapons.

During the 31 years leading up to the first atomic bomb, the world without nuclear weapons engaged in two global wars resulting in the deaths of an estimated 78 million to 95 million people, uniformed and civilian. The world wars were the hideous expression of what happens when the human tendency toward conflict hooks up with the violent possibilities of the industrial age.

[…]

Major powers find ways to get along because the cost of armed conflict between them has become unthinkably high. A world with nuclear weapons in it is a scary, scary place to think about. The industrialized world without nuclear weapons was a scary, scary place for real. But there is no way to un-ring the nuclear bell. The science and technology of nuclear weapons is widespread, and if nukes are outlawed someday, only outlaws will have nukes.

Obviously, these suggestions would not win much favor from the five random Norwegians who actually award the prize.  But either would be a more serious ode to peace than the actual awardee.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Alex Knapp says:

    both Tom Friedman and David Von Drehle have similar and counterintuitive ideas

    When I was just starting out as a high school debater, I had a bad and unsportsmanlike habit of referring to my opponents’ bad arguments as “stupid.” My coach suggested that since I couldn’t break the habit of the color commentary that I instead try to replace “stupid” with another word. We mutually decided on “counterintuitive.”

    So I applaud the use of the term here…

  2. alkali says:

    I also find these arguments extremely, um, counterintuitive.

  3. I wonder why Friedman left out the Desert Storm and Vietnam vets.

  4. Peace. Almost worth your freedom.

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Almost worth your freedom.

    Apart from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II, which American wars exactly had the liberty of American citizens at stake?

  6. Nice qualifiers Alex, though I’m curious how you missed an actual invasion of the US with the War of 1812, but I’m not accepting your premise. My point is to the futility and rank absurdity of Peace Prizes vis-a-vis Freedom Prizes, but then I value freedom more than peace. An argument can be made that the Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, World War I, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, the litany of Cold War hostilities by proxy, the Bay of Pigs (yes, even the Bay of Pigs), the Cuban Blockade, Vietnam (yes, even Vietnam), Grenada, Gulf War I, Gulf War II, and Afghanistan have everything to do with the liberty of American citizens if you take a long term view of the world as it is rather than a pollyannish transnational progressive view of the world as you want it to be, or worse, a 9/10 only imminent danger allows for a response view of the world. You may not think the leaders in each of these instances were concerned with the liberty of American citizens, but that doesn’t make it so. Not that it matters, but there were a number of wars I didn’t include above, so please don’t assume that I would, for instance, automatically defend the US’s actions in the Philippine-American War.

    It is the transnational progressive mode of thought that has made a nuclear Iran a fait accompli and a prime example of why I have so little faith in the transnational progressivism of the UN, Nobel Peace Prize awardees, or President Barack Obama, though that’s a little redundant.

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    Nice qualifiers Alex, though I’m curious how you missed an actual invasion of the US with the War of 1812

    Considering that we were allied with Napoelon Bonaparte against Britain and Britain was assisting in the fight to fight the French conquest of Europe, I’d hesitate to call 1812 a defense of liberty.

    Barbary Wars

    The Barbary Wars I might give you, but Barbary Pirates weren’t exactly any kind of existential threat to the United States. It was more of a war of self-defense for American shippers than a defense of liberty.

    World War I

    Really? You think the Kaiser was going to invade New York next? World War I was about which set of colonial powers got to exploit Africa. Nothing more. And of course, the bloodthirstiness of our Allies led to the draconian Treaty of Versaille which paved the way for Hitler. There’s a victory for democracy for you.

    the Berlin Airlift

    Not a war.

    the litany of Cold War hostilities by proxy

    Yes, history has definitely proven that our toppling of democratically elected Latin American governments in favor of banana republics featuring death sqauds and secret police, our assistance of toppling of Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister in favor the dictatorial shah, and our support for Afghanistan’s mujhadeen against the Soviets have all turned out to be awesome for the protection of lives and liberty…

    Bay of Pigs … the Cuban Blockade

    Both of which failed miserably, and both of which had as their aim the replacement of a Communist dictatorship with a business-friendly authoritarianism. The end result of success would STILL have been a loss of liberty.

    Vietnam

    Which failed miserably and would have, if it succeeded, simply resulted in an authoritarian dictatorship. We could have done differently. Ho Chi Minh admired the United States and loathed the Soviet Union. Had we bothered to engage him we might have found him a useful ally and pushed Vietnam in a more democratic direction. As it was, the intractable opposition of the US and France drove him into the arms of Mao and Moscow. Could have been different. I’m not saying North Vietnam was some sort of beacon, but the war didn’t succeed in protecting liberty, did it?

    Grenada

    Oh yes, we mustn’t forget the terrible threat to the United States posed by the evil Grenada (population: 110,000).

    Gulf War I

    Really more of a defense of international law than one of liberty, no?

    Gulf War II

    Which has been a fantastic failure and resulted in the ethnic cleasning of tens of thousands of people.

    Afghanistan

    A war of self-defense against an unprovoked attack. The only danger posed to American liberty b/c of al-Qaeda is due to hysterical politicians who are willing to shred the bill of rights in order to “feel safer.”

    nuclear Iran a fait accompli

    Yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it.

  8. Phil Smith says:

    Alex, what are your criteria for determining whether or not American liberty is at stake in a given conflict?

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    Phil,

    Great question, and my gut check on this is that a threat to American liberty would have to consist of a physical invasion and conquest of the United States by a foreign power (obvious), the rise of a foreign government that could achieve a level of force and willingness to use it in such a way that it could force the government of the United States (for example, a Third Reich triumphant may not have physically invaded the U.S., but there are scenarios in which it could have curtailed American trade and activity) and the secession of American states from the union when the goal is the further curtailment of liberty (the motive of the Southern states in the Civil War was, primarily, their fear that Lincoln’s Republican administration would abolish slavery).

    Now, these aren’t the only legitimate causus belli. War for the defense of American citizens is justifiable even if a foreign power doesn’t pose a threat of conquest or significant curtailment of American liberty. In other words, attacking the Barbary Pirates was justifiable, and I still support American efforts in Afghanistan. I do also believe that acting in accordance with our treaty obgliations through the multilateral framework of nations, such as Gulf War I, is justifiable.

    I do not believe that the overthrow of foreign governments because we do not like their policies or because it merely harms some American businesses is justifiable. It is also not justifiable to invade a country on the basis of a hypothetical threat.

  10. Our Paul says:

    James, your disdain and antipathy towards Barak Obama is well known to OTB readers and a source of wonderment to some of us as you periodically attempt to decompress your spleen. Many years ago, my pappy told me that when you want to relieve tensions on your spleen, chose your words carefully.

    Brother Alex Knapp (October 12, 2009 | 11:28 am) quite adequately took care Tom Friedman and David Von Drehle columns. I found both columns devoid of merit, presenting ideas that only deserve a Bronx Cheer. They assuredly are counterintuitive, and as any dictionary will tell you, a counterintuitive approach is not always the correct one.

    I wonder if others, like myself, found this snip rather incongruous:

    Obviously, these suggestions would not win much favor from the five random Norwegians who actually award the prize.

    The word random has a specific connotation centering on choosing without method or conscious decision. Synonyms would include: haphazard, erratic, by chance.

    If you do not know, I will clue you in: Members of the Peace Prize Committee are chosen by the Norwegian Parliament in open session. They are statured in letters, academics, or other achievements. The Committee members have to adhere to the stipulations in of Adolph Nobel’s will in their deliberations, and have over 100 years of precedent to guide them. If you do know, why attack their credibility?

    Your closing statement is difficult to characterize, but it sure has the hallmarks of the Ugly American speak, Friedman wrapped in the American Flag, David Von Drehle adoration of the bomb. But then, as I have said before, if you live in the Shining City on the Hill, geography dictates that you look down on everybody else.

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    Alex, I’m curious as to why you think that either Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan was a threat to our liberty? Yes, Japan attacked us. Wasn’t that a threat to our colonial empire rather than to our liberty?

    If liberty is construed more broadly as way of life there may be a case. I think they definitely posed a threat to our way of life but that was true of practically all of the conflicts you’ve derided, too.

  12. Alex Knapp says:

    Dave,

    Ah, another excellent point. World War II is probably best divided into the Pacific Front and European Front, so let’s take them seperately.

    The Pacific Front was arguably more a defensive war than a defense of liberty at the time. Regardless of the legal status of the Hawaiian Islands, the fact remains that Japan did attack the U.S. Navy and as such a war against Japan to deter future attack was eminently justifiable.

    As for the European Front, I would argue that without American involvement, the British Isles would likely have fallen by 1943 or 1944. With the Western Front pacified, Germany could have turned all of its military might towards the East and likely succeeded in conquering the Western part of the Soviet Union. (I doubt Hitler would have gone too far east of Moscow.)

    A Nazi-dominated Europe, allied with a Japanese-dominated Asia would have definitely posed a signficant threat to American liberty. Particularly when you consider that absent American and British help, its unlikely that the Norwegian resistance would have succeeded in sabotaging the German atomic bomb program. And without the spur of war, I doubt the Manhattan Project would have gotten underway as early as it did.

    I would argue that a nuclear-armed Reich, especially if it got the Bomb first, would have a good chance of lasting a dangerously long time and probably prevent the emergence of the United States as a dominant power.

  13. Phil Smith says:

    the rise of a foreign government that could achieve a level of force and willingness to use it in such a way that it could force the government of the United States (for example, a Third Reich triumphant may not have physically invaded the U.S., but there are scenarios in which it could have curtailed American trade and activity)

    and

    It is also not justifiable to invade a country on the basis of a hypothetical threat.

    Pick one.

  14. Phil Smith says:

    Sorry to be so brief, but work calls.

  15. Alex Knapp says:

    Phil,

    You’re not arguing that the Nazis were a hypothetical threat, are you? They had an atomic bomb program. By 1941, they had conquered most of Europe and were on their way to conquer the rest–and they had the capability to do so.

    Also, and this is a little thing about World War II that I should have mentioned earlier–Germany declared war on us first. So even if not a defense of liberty, war with Germany was an act of self-defense due to their declaration of war and was therefore justifiable in that sense.

    So if you’re trying to compare Nazi Germany to Iran, you’re missing the boat. If Iran decides to mobilize its forces to conquer the Middle East and starts invading its neighbors, then you have a case. But even if they tried, I doubt that they actually have the military capability to do so. I mean, for goodness’ sake, we don’t have it, and our military budget is 100 times bigger…

  16. Dave Schuler says:

    Alex, Iran declared war on us decades ago. If a declaration of war absent capacity to prosecute it in the here and now was justifiable in the case of Germany why isn’t it in the case of Iran, too?

  17. Alex Knapp says:

    Dave,

    Alex, Iran declared war on us decades ago. If a declaration of war absent capacity to prosecute it in the here and now was justifiable in the case of Germany why isn’t it in the case of Iran, too?

    I’m sorry–do you have some sort of cite for Iran’s declaration of war? I did a quick search and got nada.

    Additionally, while I think that it was unlikely that Nazi Germany would phyiscally attack the United States, that would not have necessarily stopped it from attacking American shipping and military targets. Again, Nazi Germany was actively engaged in warfare and conquest at the time of its declaration. Iran isn’t. So there is some prudence involved in determining whether to use military force, even there is a de jure state of war. After all, we’re technically at war with North Korea, but that doesn’t mean that it would be the most prudent course of action to invade them.

  18. Alex Knapp says:

    Additionally, had Hitler successfully conquered Britain (which he probably would have without American involvement), he did plan on going on to take over Iceland and Greenland too, which would have given him a base to attack the United States.

    So while I think that it’s unlikely that Hitler would have invaded the United States, with the Russians subdued and airbases and rockets based in Greenland, Nazi Germany would have been a signficant threat. And they had, in 1941, the military capability of threatening the United States.

    Iran has no such capability. Or at least, what capability it does have is so limited as to not be worth the risks to American lives that an invasion would entail.

  19. James Joyner says:

    I will clue you in: Members of the Peace Prize Committee are chosen by the Norwegian Parliament in open session. They are statured in letters, academics, or other achievements. The Committee members have to adhere to the stipulations in of Adolph Nobel’s will in their deliberations, and have over 100 years of precedent to guide them.

    The line was mostly tongue-in-cheek but, frankly, the committee has not distinguished itself in recent years. The choices were pretty unimpeachable through 1993, although one could quibble here and there. Subsequently, the award has mostly been about making political statements rather than recognizing achievements in the field of peace.

    The Arafat selection in 1994 was an eyebrow raiser and a warning of what was to come but, considering he shared with Rabin and Peres, excusable. And there have been some good choices here and there since, notably Doctors Without Boarders, Muhammad Yunus, and Martti Ahtisaari. Mostly, though, the award seems to go to leftist politicos and activists regardless of achievement.

  20. Phil Smith says:

    Obviously not, Alex. I’m not actually arguing anything, since I’m pressed for time; I’m merely hand-waving towards an argument I’d like to make that your definition of what constitutes American liberty being at stake is one that only works in hindsight in the absence of an invasion.

  21. Alex Knapp says:

    Phil,

    Obviously not, Alex. I’m not actually arguing anything, since I’m pressed for time; I’m merely hand-waving towards an argument I’d like to make that your definition of what constitutes American liberty being at stake is one that only works in hindsight in the absence of an invasion.

    Yeah, I can see how on first glance I can see your point. It’s tough to condense arguments in blog comments.

  22. davod says:

    “The Barbary Wars I might give you, but Barbary Pirates weren’t exactly any kind of existential threat to the United States. It was more of a war of self-defense for American shippers than a defense of liberty.”

    You talk about defense of liberty and brush off the seizure of American ships and the enslavement of the crews?

  23. Alex Knapp says:

    Davod,

    I’m not saying that the Barbary wars weren’t justified, just that they weren’t a defense of liberty, which I describe above.

  24. Alex, angels dancing on the head of a pin, eh? Let me know when you have settled on a definition of liberty I can respond to.

    In the meantime, I must address a couple of points.

    Re the War of 1812, so the impressment of US sailors doesn’t count? The burning of the White House doesn’t count?

    Re the Barbary Wars, so the enslavement of US sailors doesn’t count?

    Re WWI, so millions of Europeans died just to argue over the spoils of African colonialism. Got it. Like I wrote, you seem to go for the imminent danger requirement for responding to events. I don’t.

    Re the Berlin Airlift, you’re definition of war seems a little tight. Technically, this was just one of the early salvos of the Cold War. Say, those were military planes and personnel involved though weren’t they? I guess that’s why you left Korea off your list of comments.

    Re the litany of Cold War hotilities by proxy, no doubt we did a lot of distasteful and inappropriate things, but your myopia seems remarkably one-sided. You think we did all these things in a vacuum for empire? Or were we just evil pricks who like to watch the world burn? Jeez.

    Re the Cuban blockade, it accomplished nothing? Really? No, really?

    Re Vietnam, you seem to skip over my intent completely, but that’s ok. Hindsight’s easy, but I don’t think I said we were shining angels or that we even should have been there to begin with. I said that the people who were responsible believed they were doing the right thing in a global war to stop the spread of communism. Anyway, what do the boat people who successfully emigrated to the US think of our effots there and our concept of liberty? Just curious, but like Sydney Schanberg do you believe we’re responsible for Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge too?

    Re Grenada, this is a perfect encapsulation of your limited worldview. Say, how did those Cuban troops we were fighting get there? So, presumably you’re supporting Zelaya’s restoration as well?

    Re Gulf War I, international law, snort. Good one. It does seem strangely appropriate that international law is put up in the place of liberty as a rationale.

    Re Gulf War II, a fantastic failure? Really? No, really? Problematic sure, and a long way from done, but a fantastic failure? Seems to me that if it has only resulted in the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of people, that’s a rather marked improvement from what Saddam Hussein was doing. Oh, I forgot, we can only be judged against a utopian heaven on earth. Better solutions aren’t welcome, only perfect ones.

    Re Afghanistan, I have no intention of defending the politicians of any stripe but to say the only danger to liberty comes from them is again remarkably shortsighted. How do you think a newly fiesty Russia is going to respond to our retreat from Afghanistan? Oops, there I go again thinking long term.

    Re a nuclear Iran being a fait accompli, please. Even the IAEA has admitted they are well on there way. Somehow, saying I believe it when I see it strikes me as the most head-in-the-sand 9/10 kind of thinking imaginable, but YMMV.

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    I would like to attach my name to everything Charles just said, and to most of his caption contest entries.

  26. Our Paul says:

    Said it before, but I will say it again: If ideology rules the mind, you may fail to see the problem, and if you do, you may fail to grasp appropriate solutions. This, Dr. Joiner, pin points your views:

    Mostly, though, the award seems to go to leftist politicos and activists regardless of achievement.

    As your criteria excludes leftist politicos and activists, Nelson Mandela (1993), the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines joint with (gasp) Jody Williams (1997), United Nations and Kofi Annan (2001), Jimmy Carter (2002), International Atomic Energy Agency and Mohamed ElBaradei (2005), and of course the great white devil turncoat himself, Al Gore (2007) deserve no consideration. This is my short list of misguided Nobel Peace Prize recipients using your criteria James, others can ponder your disdain for the Nobel Committee here, where a variety of links are available, and a full list of recipients is presented through a link.

    Normally when a citizen of one’s country receives a Nobel Peace Prize, it is a time for joy, and a time for introspection. It is a time to renew the energy needed to achieve peace, a time to contemplate our failures. A time to identify those who for territory promised by their God are unwilling to compromise, and would rather build walls. It is a time to identify where the unstable nukes are, and a time to seek their containment.

    Of course, if the Nobel should be given to Obama, then the Center Right knows exactly what to do: demonizing him with personal attacks, minimize his accomplishments, denigrate his goals. I for one agree with those who say that given the problems we as a nation face, President Obama sure did not need this Peace Prize.

  27. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    Re the War of 1812, so the impressment of US sailors doesn’t count? The burning of the White House doesn’t count?

    Perhaps if we weren’t aiding Napoleon in his conquest of Europe, do you think Britain might not have been antagonizing us? Hmmm?

    Re the Barbary Wars, so the enslavement of US sailors doesn’t count?

    Like I said, it was a war of self-defense and justifiable. But 99.9% of American citizens were in no danger of having their liberty threatened.

    Re WWI, so millions of Europeans died just to argue over the spoils of African colonialism. Got it.

    Yeah. Why, do you really think it matters whether the Kaiser or the Brits were de facto enslaving Africa? Not really. Did it affect American interests? No. Did the end result lead to more deaths and more loss of liberty than WWI started with? Yes.

    Re the Berlin Airlift, you’re definition of war seems a little tight. Technically, this was just one of the early salvos of the Cold War.

    Sure. I’d justify that. The Soviet Union was, in fact, a threat to American liberty and it was important to support West Berlin. But it wasn’t, you know, a war. The Army builds levees in Louisiana, too. I wouldn’t say they were engaged in combat.

    Re the litany of Cold War hotilities by proxy, no doubt we did a lot of distasteful and inappropriate things, but your myopia seems remarkably one-sided. You think we did all these things in a vacuum for empire? Or were we just evil pricks who like to watch the world burn? Jeez.

    When the net result is that we replace democracies with dictatorships, who gives a flying fuck what our intentions were? The net result was: more liberty was lost and more people died than would have had we not intervened.

    Re the Cuban blockade, it accomplished nothing? Really? No, really?

    You’re right–I totally forgot how it replaced Castro’s government with a free-market democracy…

    No wait, it didn’t do anything at all except hasten the death of some peasants. Go USA.

    Re Grenada, this is a perfect encapsulation of your limited worldview. Say, how did those Cuban troops we were fighting get there?

    Once again: who cares? They replaced one dictatorship that was mushy-left with one that was hard-left. Our intervention didn’t do a damn thing in the long run. So again, no matter what our intentions, if it didn’t do any good, it was worthless.

    So, presumably you’re supporting Zelaya’s restoration as well?

    I don’t think that the internal affairs of Honduras are any of our business.

    Re Gulf War I, international law, snort. Good one. It does seem strangely appropriate that international law is put up in the place of liberty as a rationale.

    I do think that the protection of American liberty is a legitmate rationale. I think that if we’re going to protect the liberty of others, we should help to establish a legal framework and precedent for it to happen to help constrain unilateral actions by other nations.

    Re Gulf War II, a fantastic failure? Really? No, really? Problematic sure, and a long way from done, but a fantastic failure?

    You’re right. I guess we met our stated goal of preventing Saddaam Hussein from providing non-existent weapons to terrorists that he wasn’t allied with.

    Seems to me that if it has only resulted in the ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of people, that’s a rather marked improvement from what Saddam Hussein was doing.

    Much as I wish I could say that Hussein was worse, the numbers say otherwise.

    Better solutions aren’t welcome, only perfect ones.

    If the situation were actually better, I’d agree with you. But peace in Iraq is hanging on a pretty narrow thread.

    Re Afghanistan, I have no intention of defending the politicians of any stripe but to say the only danger to liberty comes from them is again remarkably shortsighted.

    You’re right, because no American government would ever do anything like abduct American citizens and detain and torture them without trial because of that war. Oh wait…

    How do you think a newly fiesty Russia is going to respond to our retreat from Afghanistan?

    Russia is only a threat to the United States because we insist on arming their enemies and because they have nuclear weapons. If they were not a nuclear nation, they would not have the military capability to threaten us. They’re broke. They’re equipment is old and worn down and their government is struggling to hold on to power.

    Re a nuclear Iran being a fait accompli, please. Even the IAEA has admitted they are well on there way.

    They’ve been saying that for years. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, they’ll be constrained by MAD and they don’t have the technical capability to strike the United States even if they did have a nuke. So again, what’s the threat?

    omehow, saying I believe it when I see it strikes me as the most head-in-the-sand 9/10 kind of thinking imaginable, but YMMV.

    Well, I don’t jump at shadows and I’m not scared of the dark. Our borders are secure and we spend more money on the military than the rest of the world combined. We don’t have any real reason to be afraid of anybody.

  28. G.A.Phillips says:

    I’m sorry–do you have some sort of cite for Iran’s declaration of war?

    Ya it can be traced to century no.7, Allah and Mohammad did it.

  29. Alex Knapp says:

    Ya it can be traced to century no.7, Allah and Mohammad did it.

    I’m not sure I agree with you 100% on your historical research work, Lou.

  30. Alex, your reasoning at times is hilarious, your selective use of facts tedious, and, well, actual facts are occasionally highly suspect. For instance, you claim that the impressment of US sailors in the War of 1812 doesn’t matter because we were aiding Napolean, but a little later will claim that it doesn’t matter why we did something if the effect was bad.

    There little point in arguing with you further about any of this and I won’t spend the time with further rebuttals.

  31. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    My point is that we were already AT WAR with Britain when they started impressing our sailors. It wasn’t a causus belli. We were at war with Britain because we sided with Napoleon. The bad guy.

    Moreover, Charles, I find it hilarious that you note, correctly, that oftentimes government programs don’t work as intended and therefore oppose them being implemented in the first place but lost that analysis completely when it comes to military intervention, even though military intervention oftent makes things worse than it would have been otherwise.

    The government isn’t always right when it goes to war, or when it enacts a certain domestic policy, no matter what the justification.

    And if I’m wrong about history, point out where. Just be careful–I’m not the guy who cited Thucydides in support of torture when Thucydides in fact said that it didn’t work.