Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Superpower Blues

soldiers, world police, war, peace, Syria, Kurds,

I don’t want the Turkish military to wipe out the Kurds.

I also don’t want the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan.

Nor do I want the Chinese totalitarians to violate the rights of Hongkongers.

Or for the Spanish government to slap long prison terms on peaceful Catalonian separatists.

Or tyrants in Nicaragua and Venezuela to torture and kill the people of those countries.

At the same time, I don’t want U.S. Marines landing on the beaches of Venezuela or Nicaragua or parachuting into Madrid or Kowloon . . . or for our military to endlessly occupy turf in Afghanistan and Syria.

There are limits even to superpower status. We cannot re-make the world in our image. By force. Everywhere at all times.

Except to some degree, by example. And regime change wars have not set a very good example.

The Iraq War destabilized the Middle East and handed Iran a major strategic victory. Leading from behind to help NATO overthrow the government of Libya has produced more chaos for northern Africa and Europe. Efforts at regime change in Syria have only worsened the suffering of millions of people.

U.S. troops remain in Iraq. After 17 years, we still have soldiers dying in Afghanistan. We can never leave. At least, not without any “gains” evaporating in a hurry. 

And the president who finally ends military involvement in these “endless war” will get endless grief for abandoning allies* and ceding ground to Russia or some other bad actor. That’s what happened after 28 soldiers were pulled out of Syria.

Being a superpower isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

Beacon of freedom seems a better gig.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* This is not an argument for being a bad ally ourselves. For starters, I think we ought to welcome Kurdish refugees who wish to immigrate to the U.S.

soldiers, world police, war, peace, Syria, Kurds,

From a photo by: Lance Cpl. Christian Cachola

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By: Redactor


  1. Bill Bergman says:

    Great stuff. Thanks for putting this together.

  2. Michael Loots says:

    I have read that these Kurds are PKK and we have declared the PKK terrorists. If that’s true than all the yelling is TDS.

  3. Kenneth Paul says:

    I guess the writer would rather see dead Americans.

    #Ain’t no politicians war toy.
    #Bring them all home

  4. Pat says:

    “U.S. troops remain in Iraq. After 17 years, we still have soldiers dying in Afghanistan. We can never leave.”

    Says who?

    Sovereignty begets responsibility. If, after seventeen years, the Afghans cannot govern themselves, then maybe they should lose their sovereignty. This doesn’t mean the US has to babysit them. It means they have to put up or shut up. No more whining about how we ‘deserted’ them. If they want to be led by Iran or Pakistan or Russia, that’s their business. We owe them nothing.,
    It’s also true for Iraq. What did they do in the years after we disposed of Saddam?
    The same goes for the Kurds. They exist in four separate countries. If they want to be a single country, they are going to have to fight for it rather than expect others to do their fighting for them. It’s not 1945 anymore. Heck, it’s not 1965 anymore. The US cannot be all things to all people.

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