Navy Seals do it again

Another example of the prowess of the U. S. military:

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday, elders in the Somali village of Galkayo said they began hearing an unusual sound: the whirl of helicopters.

It was the culmination of a daring and risky mission by about two dozen members of the Navy Seals to rescue two hostages — an American aid worker and her Danish colleague — held by Somali pirates since October. The commandos had dropped down in parachutes under a cloak of darkness while 8,000 miles away President Obama was preparing to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. The commandos hiked two miles from where they landed, grabbed the hostages and flew them to safety.

For the American military, the mission was characterized by the same ruthless efficiency — and possibly good luck — as the raid on Osama bin Laden in May, which was carried out by commandos from the same elite unit. Nine Somali gunmen were killed; not a single member of the Seals was hurt.

via U.S. Commandos Free 2 Hostages From Somali Pirates – NYTimes.com.

Those of you who object to American military involvement in other countries, do you agree that rescuing American citizens from pirates is a legitimate use of military force??

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    In the case of Somalia, yes. If the persons were being held by pirates in Ireland, no. We could not expect that an American citizen would be afforded the protection of Somali law enforcement to find them, rescue them or bring the perpetrators to justice. Those expectations would be met in the case of Irish pirates capturing an American citizen. It is also why we haven’t intervened when Americans have been kidnapped by drug gangs in Mexico or communist insurgents in Colombia. We have reasonable expectations that the governments of Mexico and Colombia are actively working against those groups and to secure the freedom of the hostages. This type of action would also likely be justified under just war theory: it was provoked, it is limited in scope, and collateral damage was minimized. All in all, a very, very good outcome.

    I will say this, though. Apparently some of our most effective military assets from an efficiency, proficiency, effectiveness and small foreign footprint standpoint are our special forces. To that end, perhaps we should reduce and realign our ground forces defense budget towards supporting those types of forces and their necessary support apparatus (yes, I know – saying ‘necessary support apparatus’ means the entire DoD plus a few $trillion).

    If we need these types of special forces why not make them part of the Marines? The Marines are our special expeditionary forces and they have the necessary support structure, i.e. the U.S. Navy.

    Our problems haven’t really stemmed from this type of foreign military action, which is not really interventionist in scale or scope. They’ve come about when we decide to occupy long-term foreign territories and/or actively engage in regime change.

  • SKPeterson

    In the case of Somalia, yes. If the persons were being held by pirates in Ireland, no. We could not expect that an American citizen would be afforded the protection of Somali law enforcement to find them, rescue them or bring the perpetrators to justice. Those expectations would be met in the case of Irish pirates capturing an American citizen. It is also why we haven’t intervened when Americans have been kidnapped by drug gangs in Mexico or communist insurgents in Colombia. We have reasonable expectations that the governments of Mexico and Colombia are actively working against those groups and to secure the freedom of the hostages. This type of action would also likely be justified under just war theory: it was provoked, it is limited in scope, and collateral damage was minimized. All in all, a very, very good outcome.

    I will say this, though. Apparently some of our most effective military assets from an efficiency, proficiency, effectiveness and small foreign footprint standpoint are our special forces. To that end, perhaps we should reduce and realign our ground forces defense budget towards supporting those types of forces and their necessary support apparatus (yes, I know – saying ‘necessary support apparatus’ means the entire DoD plus a few $trillion).

    If we need these types of special forces why not make them part of the Marines? The Marines are our special expeditionary forces and they have the necessary support structure, i.e. the U.S. Navy.

    Our problems haven’t really stemmed from this type of foreign military action, which is not really interventionist in scale or scope. They’ve come about when we decide to occupy long-term foreign territories and/or actively engage in regime change.

  • Former Evangelical

    Thank you, Mr. Obama.

  • Former Evangelical

    Thank you, Mr. Obama.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks be to God that they weren’t millionaires, or we may have left them there to suffer their fate.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks be to God that they weren’t millionaires, or we may have left them there to suffer their fate.

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, pity the poor millionaires and billionaires. They’re suffering so much these days. And the future looks so much worse. How can I not sympathize with someone who’s spendable income might be reduced from 6 million to 4 million? Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, pity the poor millionaires and billionaires. They’re suffering so much these days. And the future looks so much worse. How can I not sympathize with someone who’s spendable income might be reduced from 6 million to 4 million? Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!

  • Tom Hering

    Sheesh. “Whose” not “who’s.”

  • Tom Hering

    Sheesh. “Whose” not “who’s.”

  • Morgan

    @Tom/4:
    “Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!”

    Need to pull your skirt down, champ. Your envy is showing.

    The silly take-from-them-not-me logic asks the question: when will some internet grump decide you’ve got “too much?” I know a lot of folks who are pretty ticked off at anyone making six figures. I know college students annoyed at people making 50 grand. Where does this garbage end?

  • Morgan

    @Tom/4:
    “Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!”

    Need to pull your skirt down, champ. Your envy is showing.

    The silly take-from-them-not-me logic asks the question: when will some internet grump decide you’ve got “too much?” I know a lot of folks who are pretty ticked off at anyone making six figures. I know college students annoyed at people making 50 grand. Where does this garbage end?

  • Joe

    As to the actual question at hand – it is not properly phrased. The question we should be asking is:

    Is rescuing American citizens who have voluntarily placed themselves in an extremely violent and unstable county, a county that the US State Department warns Americans not to travel to, a legitimate use of military force?

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5551.html

  • Joe

    As to the actual question at hand – it is not properly phrased. The question we should be asking is:

    Is rescuing American citizens who have voluntarily placed themselves in an extremely violent and unstable county, a county that the US State Department warns Americans not to travel to, a legitimate use of military force?

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_5551.html

  • Tom Hering

    Morgan @ 4, why are you looking down there? I’m guessing a guy in a skirt something you just can’t resist. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Morgan @ 4, why are you looking down there? I’m guessing a guy in a skirt something you just can’t resist. :-D

  • SKPeterson

    Good point, Joe @ 7. These two were in the country of their own free will. I don’t recall much activity taken to recover tourists kidnapped by Somali pirates from Kenyan or Ethiopian resorts. However, both of those countries have recently begun to occupy parts of Somalia with the goal of eliminating such activity. That would be a legitimate exercise of their authority to protect the lives and property of their citizens and guests. Hopefully, they are extending the same concerns to the Somali population in the territories they are occupying.

  • SKPeterson

    Good point, Joe @ 7. These two were in the country of their own free will. I don’t recall much activity taken to recover tourists kidnapped by Somali pirates from Kenyan or Ethiopian resorts. However, both of those countries have recently begun to occupy parts of Somalia with the goal of eliminating such activity. That would be a legitimate exercise of their authority to protect the lives and property of their citizens and guests. Hopefully, they are extending the same concerns to the Somali population in the territories they are occupying.

  • Susan

    I find this situation odd for a couple of reasons. Perhaps I am skeptical, but?

    1) I wonder that Obama is looking for a boost for his “popularity” such as he received when Bin Laden was killed. He made quite a bit about the military in his SOTU and yet his words and actions (cutting military funds or proposing to making them pay for their medical insurance) don’t seem to match.

    2) I wonder what the rational is to spend this kind of money to save 2 lives (with only one an American life) when there is a federal health rationing panel that will be using a cost/benefit analysis to determine if someone should receive life-saving medical care or not.

  • Susan

    I find this situation odd for a couple of reasons. Perhaps I am skeptical, but?

    1) I wonder that Obama is looking for a boost for his “popularity” such as he received when Bin Laden was killed. He made quite a bit about the military in his SOTU and yet his words and actions (cutting military funds or proposing to making them pay for their medical insurance) don’t seem to match.

    2) I wonder what the rational is to spend this kind of money to save 2 lives (with only one an American life) when there is a federal health rationing panel that will be using a cost/benefit analysis to determine if someone should receive life-saving medical care or not.

  • kerner

    Joe, you asked:

    “Is rescuing American citizens who have voluntarily placed themselves in an extremely violent and unstable county, a county that the US State Department warns Americans not to travel to, a legitimate use of military force?”

    Yes.

    Susan:

    You could be right, but it doesn’t really matter. The president’s job is to make sure these things get done, and he did it this time. He gets credit where credit is due.

  • kerner

    Joe, you asked:

    “Is rescuing American citizens who have voluntarily placed themselves in an extremely violent and unstable county, a county that the US State Department warns Americans not to travel to, a legitimate use of military force?”

    Yes.

    Susan:

    You could be right, but it doesn’t really matter. The president’s job is to make sure these things get done, and he did it this time. He gets credit where credit is due.

  • Tom Hering

    I think I’ll watch The Wind and the Lion this weekend. Go Teddy! Go Obama! Progressives – even faux progressives – know how to rescue Americans. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I think I’ll watch The Wind and the Lion this weekend. Go Teddy! Go Obama! Progressives – even faux progressives – know how to rescue Americans. :-D

  • Patrick Kyle

    Yes, this is far better than an undeclared war costing trillions and sends a strong message to would be terrorists.

  • Patrick Kyle

    Yes, this is far better than an undeclared war costing trillions and sends a strong message to would be terrorists.

  • Bob

    SEALS rescuing hostages? Of course. This is a no brainer.

    Then I came on this blog…

    It’s like alternative reality here.

  • Bob

    SEALS rescuing hostages? Of course. This is a no brainer.

    Then I came on this blog…

    It’s like alternative reality here.

  • Joe

    Kerner – why?

  • Joe

    Kerner – why?

  • SKPeterson

    Bob – ??? Any hostages anywhere? What’s the no brainer?

    kerner – I second Joe’s query.

  • SKPeterson

    Bob – ??? Any hostages anywhere? What’s the no brainer?

    kerner – I second Joe’s query.

  • Bob

    SK,

    That isn’t the question Veith asked.

    It was:

    “…rescuing American citizens from pirates is a legitimate use of military force??”

    Yes.

    Just stick with the question. It’s not that difficult!

  • Bob

    SK,

    That isn’t the question Veith asked.

    It was:

    “…rescuing American citizens from pirates is a legitimate use of military force??”

    Yes.

    Just stick with the question. It’s not that difficult!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frankly, I’m not sure the state department told this person not to go…
    However, what ever her circumstances, and the circumstances of her Danish coworker that led them to this area, they were there to help others, and who by doing so probably did more than they themselves even know, and who I like to think exemplify the best of western values and culture by doing so. I think Obama made the right call. Though, one has to wonder. It’s not like these are the only hostages in the area, Steve is right to mention millionaires, as their are plenty of yacht owners being held hostage right now. Well I won’t begrudge him political motives. Just wish he’d make these calls a bit more often, perhaps he does, but just mentions the ones that are politically expedient.
    This is actually why we have special ops, so we don’t have to negotiate with terrorists.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frankly, I’m not sure the state department told this person not to go…
    However, what ever her circumstances, and the circumstances of her Danish coworker that led them to this area, they were there to help others, and who by doing so probably did more than they themselves even know, and who I like to think exemplify the best of western values and culture by doing so. I think Obama made the right call. Though, one has to wonder. It’s not like these are the only hostages in the area, Steve is right to mention millionaires, as their are plenty of yacht owners being held hostage right now. Well I won’t begrudge him political motives. Just wish he’d make these calls a bit more often, perhaps he does, but just mentions the ones that are politically expedient.
    This is actually why we have special ops, so we don’t have to negotiate with terrorists.

  • DonS

    My answer to Dr. Veith’s question is a resounding “yes”! Fighting terrorism, especially when it impedes the direct interests of the U.S. in ensuring that our citizens are safe overseas, is part of our constitutional mandate to provide for the national defense.

    Two objections have been raised above: a) Only one American life was involved, and b) the State Department had issued a travel warning for Somalia.

    As to a), one of the things that makes America unique is its value of the individual. One life or many, they are all precious. The comparison with Obamacare and its emphasis on governmental rationing of health care, for the good of the collective, is a valid one, but it mitigates against the evils of Obamacare, not against the humanity of rescuing these two hostages.

    As to b), as Bror says above, these people weren’t extreme tourists, looking for a thrill by traveling in a dangerous land. That was the case for the idiot hikers in eastern Iran a while back, and we didn’t rescue them, rightfully. But in this instance, these people were with a legitimate aid agency and had been in-country for years, ministering to a hopeless and extremely needy population. Christ said go into ALL the world, not just that part not under a State Department travel warning. Sure, I’d bet they understood the risks, and would also have understood if their country couldn’t do anything to help them. They were prepared to die to fulfill their calling to assist these needy people. But we could rescue them, and I’m glad we did. Bror made the point very well @ 18.

  • DonS

    My answer to Dr. Veith’s question is a resounding “yes”! Fighting terrorism, especially when it impedes the direct interests of the U.S. in ensuring that our citizens are safe overseas, is part of our constitutional mandate to provide for the national defense.

    Two objections have been raised above: a) Only one American life was involved, and b) the State Department had issued a travel warning for Somalia.

    As to a), one of the things that makes America unique is its value of the individual. One life or many, they are all precious. The comparison with Obamacare and its emphasis on governmental rationing of health care, for the good of the collective, is a valid one, but it mitigates against the evils of Obamacare, not against the humanity of rescuing these two hostages.

    As to b), as Bror says above, these people weren’t extreme tourists, looking for a thrill by traveling in a dangerous land. That was the case for the idiot hikers in eastern Iran a while back, and we didn’t rescue them, rightfully. But in this instance, these people were with a legitimate aid agency and had been in-country for years, ministering to a hopeless and extremely needy population. Christ said go into ALL the world, not just that part not under a State Department travel warning. Sure, I’d bet they understood the risks, and would also have understood if their country couldn’t do anything to help them. They were prepared to die to fulfill their calling to assist these needy people. But we could rescue them, and I’m glad we did. Bror made the point very well @ 18.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As some here rcognised – it is a rescue that also sends a strong message to folks that only understand that kind of strong message. And, as SKP recognizes – there is no effective government in Somalia anyway.

    But some of us were talking about it this morning – with many navies active in the area, there is probably more going on than what we hear about. I won’t be surprised to hear that the Chinese navy has been dispatching pirate boats without much ado one after the other – with few questions asked, and no news coverage. The economic impact is why they are there as well anyway.

    But as to a real long term solution – I don’t think anybody has one, short of some strong man rising and stamping his authority on the place.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    As some here rcognised – it is a rescue that also sends a strong message to folks that only understand that kind of strong message. And, as SKP recognizes – there is no effective government in Somalia anyway.

    But some of us were talking about it this morning – with many navies active in the area, there is probably more going on than what we hear about. I won’t be surprised to hear that the Chinese navy has been dispatching pirate boats without much ado one after the other – with few questions asked, and no news coverage. The economic impact is why they are there as well anyway.

    But as to a real long term solution – I don’t think anybody has one, short of some strong man rising and stamping his authority on the place.

  • Joe

    So we will make value judgments as to which hostages we’ll rescue? And, who will make those value judgments? And, do we get to then way the importance of the mission of the hostage against the cost in resources and potentially lives to determine if we rescue them?

    As for the state department tell her not to go, the state department has told every American not to go. There is a reason she was working with a Danish and not a US based agency.

  • Joe

    So we will make value judgments as to which hostages we’ll rescue? And, who will make those value judgments? And, do we get to then way the importance of the mission of the hostage against the cost in resources and potentially lives to determine if we rescue them?

    As for the state department tell her not to go, the state department has told every American not to go. There is a reason she was working with a Danish and not a US based agency.

  • formerly just steve

    The SEALS are awesome, as usual. I look forward to seeing them if I’m ever taken hostage. Hopefully it will be an election year or I’m hosed.

  • formerly just steve

    The SEALS are awesome, as usual. I look forward to seeing them if I’m ever taken hostage. Hopefully it will be an election year or I’m hosed.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #12 Roosevelt and Obama are both similar in that they promote policies imagined for the early 20th century.

    Obama’s conservative in that his ideas are from many generations ago (the Old Left) and aimed towards the US of 50-60 years ago. What troubles me about progressives is they support old institutions that are antiquated and unfit for the modern economy.

    I’d be glad if we had a truly progressive party that imagined policies that dealt with the unique demands of the current American situation. However those types in the Democrat party have been marginalized by the antiquated dysfunctional institutions that fund and operate the party.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #12 Roosevelt and Obama are both similar in that they promote policies imagined for the early 20th century.

    Obama’s conservative in that his ideas are from many generations ago (the Old Left) and aimed towards the US of 50-60 years ago. What troubles me about progressives is they support old institutions that are antiquated and unfit for the modern economy.

    I’d be glad if we had a truly progressive party that imagined policies that dealt with the unique demands of the current American situation. However those types in the Democrat party have been marginalized by the antiquated dysfunctional institutions that fund and operate the party.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    I don’t think you are comprehending at all what I mean when I say, I am not at all sure the state department told this American not to go. They obviously told the SEALS to go. State dept. warnings don’t quite apply to some….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Joe,
    I don’t think you are comprehending at all what I mean when I say, I am not at all sure the state department told this American not to go. They obviously told the SEALS to go. State dept. warnings don’t quite apply to some….

  • DonS

    Joe @ 21: What if you’re already there when the travel warning comes out? What if it’s where your work is? Is your opinion related to all countries under State Department travel warnings? Here’s the current list:

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

    Hmm, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Israel. So, if anyone is violated in any of these countries, in all of which there are thousands of Americans for all kinds of reasons, in the world of Joe we tell them “tough luck”?

    “So we will make value judgments as to which hostages we’ll rescue?” — heck, yes! Why were they there, what are their circumstances, can a rescue team reasonably reach and extract them without undue risk to themselves? These are all legitimate value judgments to be made before undertaking such a mission.

    “And, who will make those value judgments?” — The Commander in Chief, in consultation with the military leaders responsible for the proposed mission. Of course.

    And, do we get to then way (sic) the importance of the mission of the hostage against the cost in resources and potentially lives to determine if we rescue them?

    Yes — you have to do that.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 21: What if you’re already there when the travel warning comes out? What if it’s where your work is? Is your opinion related to all countries under State Department travel warnings? Here’s the current list:

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

    Hmm, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Israel. So, if anyone is violated in any of these countries, in all of which there are thousands of Americans for all kinds of reasons, in the world of Joe we tell them “tough luck”?

    “So we will make value judgments as to which hostages we’ll rescue?” — heck, yes! Why were they there, what are their circumstances, can a rescue team reasonably reach and extract them without undue risk to themselves? These are all legitimate value judgments to be made before undertaking such a mission.

    “And, who will make those value judgments?” — The Commander in Chief, in consultation with the military leaders responsible for the proposed mission. Of course.

    And, do we get to then way (sic) the importance of the mission of the hostage against the cost in resources and potentially lives to determine if we rescue them?

    Yes — you have to do that.

  • SKPeterson

    One thing that will be interesting to see, if we can ever get the information, is the impact on hostage negotiations and payments. The article mentioned that the pirates had rejected an offer of $1.5 million; their greed and intransigence resulted in nine of them not only getting a return of 0 on their “investment,” but a one-way ticket to Hell to boot. Potentially, this will have the impact of both minimizing the amount of hostage taking by Somali pirates in general, and making pirates more willing to come to terms if they do take hostages. Between the pressure put on them in the south and west by Ethiopia and Kenya, the various navies of the world off the coast, and the threat of special forces actions in the interior, I’m interested to see how quickly these groups can be brought to heel.

  • SKPeterson

    One thing that will be interesting to see, if we can ever get the information, is the impact on hostage negotiations and payments. The article mentioned that the pirates had rejected an offer of $1.5 million; their greed and intransigence resulted in nine of them not only getting a return of 0 on their “investment,” but a one-way ticket to Hell to boot. Potentially, this will have the impact of both minimizing the amount of hostage taking by Somali pirates in general, and making pirates more willing to come to terms if they do take hostages. Between the pressure put on them in the south and west by Ethiopia and Kenya, the various navies of the world off the coast, and the threat of special forces actions in the interior, I’m interested to see how quickly these groups can be brought to heel.

  • Joe

    Don – you have to actually read the travel warnings. The Somalia one says don’t go, if you do and something goes wrong, we can’t help.

    The Mexico one says, millions of Americans go every year with out problem but you should be aware that there is some danger. They are substantively different. Thus, your list of all the travel warnings is of no use to this discussion.

    So what do we do if there is a real s.o.b. captured by the pirates but we can get him out without too much risk? Do we go or not go? I mean, what if he was there for no other reason than to try to secure an oil contract …

    This is all real easy to answer given the wonderful success of the seal team. But what if the mission failed? Or what if the seals lost three men to save her. Still worth it? It is not just three dead men, the amount of resources we put into the training of a seal is significant.

    The point I am getting at is that we issue these “don’t go there” warnings because we have made a calculation that it is not in our interest as a country to save you if you end up in a pickle. Ignoring that decision sometimes, but not all the time, seems to create some serious policy problems.

  • Joe

    Don – you have to actually read the travel warnings. The Somalia one says don’t go, if you do and something goes wrong, we can’t help.

    The Mexico one says, millions of Americans go every year with out problem but you should be aware that there is some danger. They are substantively different. Thus, your list of all the travel warnings is of no use to this discussion.

    So what do we do if there is a real s.o.b. captured by the pirates but we can get him out without too much risk? Do we go or not go? I mean, what if he was there for no other reason than to try to secure an oil contract …

    This is all real easy to answer given the wonderful success of the seal team. But what if the mission failed? Or what if the seals lost three men to save her. Still worth it? It is not just three dead men, the amount of resources we put into the training of a seal is significant.

    The point I am getting at is that we issue these “don’t go there” warnings because we have made a calculation that it is not in our interest as a country to save you if you end up in a pickle. Ignoring that decision sometimes, but not all the time, seems to create some serious policy problems.

  • CRB

    All I have to say about this is: “Hoo-rah!!” I hope the Seals continue to “take” out as many terrorists as possible!

  • CRB

    All I have to say about this is: “Hoo-rah!!” I hope the Seals continue to “take” out as many terrorists as possible!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” Apparently some of our most effective military assets from an efficiency, proficiency, effectiveness and small foreign footprint standpoint are our special forces. To that end, perhaps we should reduce and realign our ground forces defense budget towards supporting those types of forces and their necessary support apparatus (yes, I know – saying ‘necessary support apparatus’ means the entire DoD plus a few $trillion).”

    I doubt you could really expand the special forces much. Very few have the necessary aptitude. The military has probably already tried to expand it, but can’t due to lack of talent. It is sort of like Major League Baseball. There are only so many people on the planet able to hit home runs from the few others who throw ~100 mph. When men are fighting for the survival of their families and heritage, every man wants to be Simo Häyhä, but only one ever was.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    ” Apparently some of our most effective military assets from an efficiency, proficiency, effectiveness and small foreign footprint standpoint are our special forces. To that end, perhaps we should reduce and realign our ground forces defense budget towards supporting those types of forces and their necessary support apparatus (yes, I know – saying ‘necessary support apparatus’ means the entire DoD plus a few $trillion).”

    I doubt you could really expand the special forces much. Very few have the necessary aptitude. The military has probably already tried to expand it, but can’t due to lack of talent. It is sort of like Major League Baseball. There are only so many people on the planet able to hit home runs from the few others who throw ~100 mph. When men are fighting for the survival of their families and heritage, every man wants to be Simo Häyhä, but only one ever was.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So what do we do if there is a real s.o.b. captured by the pirates but we can get him out without too much risk? Do we go or not go? I mean, what if he was there for no other reason than to try to secure an oil contract …

    This is all real easy to answer given the wonderful success of the seal team. But what if the mission failed? Or what if the seals lost three men to save her. Still worth it? It is not just three dead men, the amount of resources we put into the training of a seal is significant.

    This reminds me of the literature thing where it is man vs. nature, man vs. man, man vs. himself. Anyway, if it were a man vs. nature context like they went hiking on Everest, no we shouldn’t go chase the reckless adventurers, since we warned them we wouldn’t. But in a man vs. man situation where there are plenty of vicious opportunists who respect power, there may be a bigger gain here than just saving two Americans who are, uh, um, shall we say, not risk averse.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    So what do we do if there is a real s.o.b. captured by the pirates but we can get him out without too much risk? Do we go or not go? I mean, what if he was there for no other reason than to try to secure an oil contract …

    This is all real easy to answer given the wonderful success of the seal team. But what if the mission failed? Or what if the seals lost three men to save her. Still worth it? It is not just three dead men, the amount of resources we put into the training of a seal is significant.

    This reminds me of the literature thing where it is man vs. nature, man vs. man, man vs. himself. Anyway, if it were a man vs. nature context like they went hiking on Everest, no we shouldn’t go chase the reckless adventurers, since we warned them we wouldn’t. But in a man vs. man situation where there are plenty of vicious opportunists who respect power, there may be a bigger gain here than just saving two Americans who are, uh, um, shall we say, not risk averse.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I feel like the conversation sort of hinted at this conclusion, but isn’t the proper response to Veith’s question: Maybe?

    I don’t see how anyone could see this as a black-and-white thing. Some people will get in trouble in friendly countries, some in very unfriendly countries. Some will have been acting legitimately, some will have been doing very shady things. Some people should really know better than to be where they were, while others could be excused. Some will be relatively easy to rescue, while other rescue operations might be incredibly difficult — not only logistically, but politically. And, realistically speaking, some rescues might have more additional outcomes that are desirable (pressure on a foreign entity, PR benefit), while some would not.

    It’s the President’s job to take all these things into account and direct our forces accordingly. And it’s our job as citizens to assess, based on what we know (which is usually not too much), if this was a good use of force. Responses will vary.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I feel like the conversation sort of hinted at this conclusion, but isn’t the proper response to Veith’s question: Maybe?

    I don’t see how anyone could see this as a black-and-white thing. Some people will get in trouble in friendly countries, some in very unfriendly countries. Some will have been acting legitimately, some will have been doing very shady things. Some people should really know better than to be where they were, while others could be excused. Some will be relatively easy to rescue, while other rescue operations might be incredibly difficult — not only logistically, but politically. And, realistically speaking, some rescues might have more additional outcomes that are desirable (pressure on a foreign entity, PR benefit), while some would not.

    It’s the President’s job to take all these things into account and direct our forces accordingly. And it’s our job as citizens to assess, based on what we know (which is usually not too much), if this was a good use of force. Responses will vary.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    one of the first missions of the ‘new’ Marine Corps was to stop the Barbary pirates-
    “…to the shores of Tripoli..”
    Carol-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    one of the first missions of the ‘new’ Marine Corps was to stop the Barbary pirates-
    “…to the shores of Tripoli..”
    Carol-CS

  • DonS

    Joe @ 27: “Thus, your list of all the travel warnings is of no use to this discussion. ” Not true. They weren’t the main point of my comment, but I included that information because your earlier comment was overbroad.

    I already said that I agree with you that if the State Department has warned citizens of a dire security threat in a particular region, that is fair warning that those citizens are on their own. And, I already said that I suspect the American hostage fully understood that. It’s pretty clear that she was there as a Christian, in a place where she had been for years, doing the Lord’s work for her ministering to a desperate people that need help. To reiterate, we are called to all the world, not only to the “safe” zones. There is physical risk, at times, in following the Lord’s call on our life.

    However, your proposed policy is, apparently, that we as a nation should never, ever, rescue wrongfully held Americans, in mortal peril, if they are in an area subject to a dire State Department warning. Others of us firmly disagree. There are times when we need to stand up as a nation against this sort of terrorism — we need to send a message that we are going to support Americans who are attempting to alleviate the suffering of a wretched population. This was a circumstance in which the president and military team believed a mission could be successfully executed, and they were right. You ask well, what if it had failed? Any time a special ops team operates, there is that risk. These men know that’s the case, and accept the fact that occasional failures mean death or injury. That is the occasional price of liberty, and of being a nation which is a beacon of hope in a fallen and miserable world. As long as the underlying mission was well conceived, had a worthwhile and important purpose, and had a good chance of success, it is a price these men are willing to pay. It’s why they decided to do what they do.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 27: “Thus, your list of all the travel warnings is of no use to this discussion. ” Not true. They weren’t the main point of my comment, but I included that information because your earlier comment was overbroad.

    I already said that I agree with you that if the State Department has warned citizens of a dire security threat in a particular region, that is fair warning that those citizens are on their own. And, I already said that I suspect the American hostage fully understood that. It’s pretty clear that she was there as a Christian, in a place where she had been for years, doing the Lord’s work for her ministering to a desperate people that need help. To reiterate, we are called to all the world, not only to the “safe” zones. There is physical risk, at times, in following the Lord’s call on our life.

    However, your proposed policy is, apparently, that we as a nation should never, ever, rescue wrongfully held Americans, in mortal peril, if they are in an area subject to a dire State Department warning. Others of us firmly disagree. There are times when we need to stand up as a nation against this sort of terrorism — we need to send a message that we are going to support Americans who are attempting to alleviate the suffering of a wretched population. This was a circumstance in which the president and military team believed a mission could be successfully executed, and they were right. You ask well, what if it had failed? Any time a special ops team operates, there is that risk. These men know that’s the case, and accept the fact that occasional failures mean death or injury. That is the occasional price of liberty, and of being a nation which is a beacon of hope in a fallen and miserable world. As long as the underlying mission was well conceived, had a worthwhile and important purpose, and had a good chance of success, it is a price these men are willing to pay. It’s why they decided to do what they do.

  • Joe

    DonS — ” These men know that’s the case, and accept the fact that occasional failures mean death or injury. That is the occasional price of liberty, and of being a nation which is a beacon of hope in a fallen and miserable world.”

    This is just wrong. Soldiers do not join the Army understanding that they may be deployed to rescue individuals who ignore the government’s direction and intentionally put themselves into harms way – regardless of why they do it. The Army is there to protect the security of the nation – not to rescue its individuals for their poor choices. Sure, once in, soldiers follow orders, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that these men don’t often ask themselves, “why are we doing this?” These are thinking men, not robots.

    “we need to send a message that we are going to support Americans who are attempting to alleviate the suffering of a wretched population.”

    But, that is not really the message right? The message, as you have explained above, is we are going to support some Americans, some of the time who are attempting to alleviate certain the sufferings of this wretched world.”

  • Joe

    DonS — ” These men know that’s the case, and accept the fact that occasional failures mean death or injury. That is the occasional price of liberty, and of being a nation which is a beacon of hope in a fallen and miserable world.”

    This is just wrong. Soldiers do not join the Army understanding that they may be deployed to rescue individuals who ignore the government’s direction and intentionally put themselves into harms way – regardless of why they do it. The Army is there to protect the security of the nation – not to rescue its individuals for their poor choices. Sure, once in, soldiers follow orders, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that these men don’t often ask themselves, “why are we doing this?” These are thinking men, not robots.

    “we need to send a message that we are going to support Americans who are attempting to alleviate the suffering of a wretched population.”

    But, that is not really the message right? The message, as you have explained above, is we are going to support some Americans, some of the time who are attempting to alleviate certain the sufferings of this wretched world.”

  • John

    I think this is a legitimate use of military force because of the whole “pirates in Somalia” thing. However, I have grave doubts about the exercise. First, why use SEAL6? Two dozen multi-million dollar weapons against nine pirates seems a bit excessive. A dozen (or even four, most likely) Rangers could have done the same thing. But, Rangers don’t have the “wow” factor of the SEALS. Logistically, the SEALS may have been our only regionally available option, but why risk a broken ankle (most likely injury in this scenario) against this rabble when we need SEAL6 for more important tasks? If we took this long to rescue these prisoners, surely we could ship some other commandos out there. I also find the timing a bit opportunistic. Look, I know this comment sounds cynical, but all of this seems far too politicized for me.

  • John

    I think this is a legitimate use of military force because of the whole “pirates in Somalia” thing. However, I have grave doubts about the exercise. First, why use SEAL6? Two dozen multi-million dollar weapons against nine pirates seems a bit excessive. A dozen (or even four, most likely) Rangers could have done the same thing. But, Rangers don’t have the “wow” factor of the SEALS. Logistically, the SEALS may have been our only regionally available option, but why risk a broken ankle (most likely injury in this scenario) against this rabble when we need SEAL6 for more important tasks? If we took this long to rescue these prisoners, surely we could ship some other commandos out there. I also find the timing a bit opportunistic. Look, I know this comment sounds cynical, but all of this seems far too politicized for me.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 34: We’re talking about SEALS, not Army, but I take your point. SEALS don’t want to risk their lives rescuing stupid people, who are disregarding warnings for no good reason. Rescuing the hikers in Iran would not be reasonable. Rescuing the guy who was kidnapped yesterday in Somalia because he was there researching a book on pirates would not be reasonable. But what some of us are saying is that it’s not always cut and dried, that if the State Department issues a warning everyone just immediately gets out — period. This particular American hostage was in country for years, presumably in the middle of some important relief work, and long before the warning you referenced was issued. Reportedly, she wasn’t being frivolous, or taking unnecessary risks for no good reason. I don’t think it’s per se wrong in certain circumstances like this, if the operation can be carried out within reasonable risk parameters, to choose to extract a person like that, sending a message to the country and to terrorists that the U.S. is not going to be cowed by terrorism. SEALS are specifically trained for these insertion and extraction missions and do them well. The judgment as to whether a particular hostage can be safely extracted, and whether the overall surrounding circumstances warrant the risk of the mission is best left to military leadership, including the Commander-in-Chief, who bear responsibility for mission outcome. You seem really hung up on the issue of why some and not others. Well, the circumstances surrounding each issue are unique — availability of a team, equipment, location, opposing forces and training, how the hostage came to be one, etc. That’s life. Choices and judgments are made all the time — better to save some than throw up your hands and save none.

    And I’m not particularly opining on this particular mission, since none of us really know all of facts and circumstances concerning it. Was this heavily equipped and relatively large team necessary? Who knows? Was the timing suspicious? Perhaps. But, it’s all speculation. I’m speaking to the larger principles here.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 34: We’re talking about SEALS, not Army, but I take your point. SEALS don’t want to risk their lives rescuing stupid people, who are disregarding warnings for no good reason. Rescuing the hikers in Iran would not be reasonable. Rescuing the guy who was kidnapped yesterday in Somalia because he was there researching a book on pirates would not be reasonable. But what some of us are saying is that it’s not always cut and dried, that if the State Department issues a warning everyone just immediately gets out — period. This particular American hostage was in country for years, presumably in the middle of some important relief work, and long before the warning you referenced was issued. Reportedly, she wasn’t being frivolous, or taking unnecessary risks for no good reason. I don’t think it’s per se wrong in certain circumstances like this, if the operation can be carried out within reasonable risk parameters, to choose to extract a person like that, sending a message to the country and to terrorists that the U.S. is not going to be cowed by terrorism. SEALS are specifically trained for these insertion and extraction missions and do them well. The judgment as to whether a particular hostage can be safely extracted, and whether the overall surrounding circumstances warrant the risk of the mission is best left to military leadership, including the Commander-in-Chief, who bear responsibility for mission outcome. You seem really hung up on the issue of why some and not others. Well, the circumstances surrounding each issue are unique — availability of a team, equipment, location, opposing forces and training, how the hostage came to be one, etc. That’s life. Choices and judgments are made all the time — better to save some than throw up your hands and save none.

    And I’m not particularly opining on this particular mission, since none of us really know all of facts and circumstances concerning it. Was this heavily equipped and relatively large team necessary? Who knows? Was the timing suspicious? Perhaps. But, it’s all speculation. I’m speaking to the larger principles here.

  • Joe

    “or taking unnecessary risks for no good reason. ”

    Certainly, the risks were worth it to her. My complaint is that her risk is now apparently worth it to the entire country. Also, I am not aware of any facts supporting your claim that she was there before the warning was issued, but even if she was its irrelevant. Once the warning was issued, she’s on her own. She made a choice to stay and now the entire country has to pay for her choice. Thankfully, this time the cost was nothing more than the monetary cost of the mission and the lives of the bad guys.

    Anyway, we both mostly repeating ourselves. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • Joe

    “or taking unnecessary risks for no good reason. ”

    Certainly, the risks were worth it to her. My complaint is that her risk is now apparently worth it to the entire country. Also, I am not aware of any facts supporting your claim that she was there before the warning was issued, but even if she was its irrelevant. Once the warning was issued, she’s on her own. She made a choice to stay and now the entire country has to pay for her choice. Thankfully, this time the cost was nothing more than the monetary cost of the mission and the lives of the bad guys.

    Anyway, we both mostly repeating ourselves. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 37: Well, yes, I’m sure we’ll have to agree to disagree. But I don’t think we’ve been mostly repeating ourselves, nor do I think the discussion has been in vain. You are advocating a diplomatic policy starkly different from our current one (see http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-01-25/kidnappings-danger-zones/52796992/1 for background on our current approach to hostage situations, regardless of travel warnings), which is a bright line rule that if the State Department has issued a sufficiently strong travel warning, we will not undertake the rescue of a kidnapped American, no matter what the circumstances. I am arguing that such a policy would be starkly different than our historical practice, and would represent an about-face in America’s historic compassion toward oppressed peoples, who are, unfortunately, almost always located in dangerous parts of the world. I think that would be seen by many foreign nations and terrorists as a surrender to terrorism, and would have serious diplomatic consequences. I have a problem with it as a Christian, as well, but that’s a side matter.

    In any event, this is a discussion about the character and fortitude of our country which is well worth having.

  • DonS

    Joe @ 37: Well, yes, I’m sure we’ll have to agree to disagree. But I don’t think we’ve been mostly repeating ourselves, nor do I think the discussion has been in vain. You are advocating a diplomatic policy starkly different from our current one (see http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-01-25/kidnappings-danger-zones/52796992/1 for background on our current approach to hostage situations, regardless of travel warnings), which is a bright line rule that if the State Department has issued a sufficiently strong travel warning, we will not undertake the rescue of a kidnapped American, no matter what the circumstances. I am arguing that such a policy would be starkly different than our historical practice, and would represent an about-face in America’s historic compassion toward oppressed peoples, who are, unfortunately, almost always located in dangerous parts of the world. I think that would be seen by many foreign nations and terrorists as a surrender to terrorism, and would have serious diplomatic consequences. I have a problem with it as a Christian, as well, but that’s a side matter.

    In any event, this is a discussion about the character and fortitude of our country which is well worth having.

  • kerner

    Joe @15 and SK @16: Why?

    The short answer is: because it’s their vocation.

    I didn’t respond right away, because I wanted to think about my answer, and now DonS and Joe have been going back and forth on this since yesterday. And now Joe may be bowing out because he thinks that he and DonS have talked it through and will have to “agree to disagree”. Even so, I haope somebody still t=reads this.

    I can keep this shorter by saying that I pretty much agree with DonS, and I’ll try not to repeat his arguyments. But one thing I did, that I wanted to do before responding, is talk to my military children. I was only able to get through to one of them today, but she really, and forcefully, agrees with DonS.

    Basically, she said that the military swears an oath to defend the Constitution, and are trained to defend the people of the United States. She said that the United states government is not a tyranny, and it can’t order Americans not to go somewhere; it can only advise. But wherever an American citizen happens to be outside the US, my daughter said that the military is trained to believe that it is their job to protect and defend that American. She made an analogy to firefighters who, when confronted with a burning building with people inside, do not stop to assess the possible bad choices that the people inside may have made to cause the fire. They risk their lives to try to save the people.

    My son just got back to me. He said that all US military personel swear to defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. He said that the US is not just a land, it is a people, and our military see their mission as protecting those people, wherever they happen to be, even if the particular American made some stupid choices to be in the situation that requires protection. My own impression is that the military attitude is that we civilians, having no training in thses things, are not too good at making these choices to begin with, and they kind of expect us to make foolish mistakes that later require help from the military. But that last is just me, not my son. But my son also said that American citizens are entitled to be secure and to know that their military will defend that security anywhere in the world, and that if the world sees that, then pirates will be less likely to interfere with that security.

    My other son just got back to me. He pretty much agrees with his siblings, but what he added was that most normal infantry Marines would see it as their mission (vocation) to save an American civilian who had wandered into a danger zone, even foolishly after being warned not to. But his addition was to pretty much echo DonS @36. that is, these are Navy Seals! This kind of work is exactly what these guys train for, and they have to not only volunteer for it, but they have to overcome all kinds of rigorous trials just to get the chance to do something like this. He said he believed that not only would Navy Seals be willing to undertake this kind of mission, they would probable be enthusiastic.

    So, anecdotal as the input from my children may be, I find their reasoning sound. And I believe that our military does consider defending American individuals abroad as part of their mission, i.e. part of what they volunteered for. How a particular American came to need that defense is, generally speaking, irrelevant. There might be exceptions to this general rule, but going somewhere very dangerous for some lawful purpose is not among them.

  • kerner

    Joe @15 and SK @16: Why?

    The short answer is: because it’s their vocation.

    I didn’t respond right away, because I wanted to think about my answer, and now DonS and Joe have been going back and forth on this since yesterday. And now Joe may be bowing out because he thinks that he and DonS have talked it through and will have to “agree to disagree”. Even so, I haope somebody still t=reads this.

    I can keep this shorter by saying that I pretty much agree with DonS, and I’ll try not to repeat his arguyments. But one thing I did, that I wanted to do before responding, is talk to my military children. I was only able to get through to one of them today, but she really, and forcefully, agrees with DonS.

    Basically, she said that the military swears an oath to defend the Constitution, and are trained to defend the people of the United States. She said that the United states government is not a tyranny, and it can’t order Americans not to go somewhere; it can only advise. But wherever an American citizen happens to be outside the US, my daughter said that the military is trained to believe that it is their job to protect and defend that American. She made an analogy to firefighters who, when confronted with a burning building with people inside, do not stop to assess the possible bad choices that the people inside may have made to cause the fire. They risk their lives to try to save the people.

    My son just got back to me. He said that all US military personel swear to defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. He said that the US is not just a land, it is a people, and our military see their mission as protecting those people, wherever they happen to be, even if the particular American made some stupid choices to be in the situation that requires protection. My own impression is that the military attitude is that we civilians, having no training in thses things, are not too good at making these choices to begin with, and they kind of expect us to make foolish mistakes that later require help from the military. But that last is just me, not my son. But my son also said that American citizens are entitled to be secure and to know that their military will defend that security anywhere in the world, and that if the world sees that, then pirates will be less likely to interfere with that security.

    My other son just got back to me. He pretty much agrees with his siblings, but what he added was that most normal infantry Marines would see it as their mission (vocation) to save an American civilian who had wandered into a danger zone, even foolishly after being warned not to. But his addition was to pretty much echo DonS @36. that is, these are Navy Seals! This kind of work is exactly what these guys train for, and they have to not only volunteer for it, but they have to overcome all kinds of rigorous trials just to get the chance to do something like this. He said he believed that not only would Navy Seals be willing to undertake this kind of mission, they would probable be enthusiastic.

    So, anecdotal as the input from my children may be, I find their reasoning sound. And I believe that our military does consider defending American individuals abroad as part of their mission, i.e. part of what they volunteered for. How a particular American came to need that defense is, generally speaking, irrelevant. There might be exceptions to this general rule, but going somewhere very dangerous for some lawful purpose is not among them.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 39: I’m still reading, and I very much appreciate your thoughtful post. Not because you happened to largely agree with me this time, but because you took the time to get great input from your children who have served. And, by the way, if I haven’t said this before, please convey my great appreciation to them for their service to our country.

    I didn’t serve. I came of age during the Carter administration, which was not a bright moment in our nation’s military history. However, my son attends a military college and intends to serve, assuming commissions are still available by the time he graduates in this shrinking military environment. He is surrounded by fellow young people who love their country and intend to serve in the military as well. Additionally, I have a close friend and a valued client who are both retired Navy Seals, and know how they view this issue.

    Your daughter nailed it with this comment: “She said that the United states government is not a tyranny, and it can’t order Americans not to go somewhere; it can only advise.” I don’t want our country to ever infringe on our liberties sufficiently to tell us where we cannot go as Americans. I don’t even like the prohibition on travel to Cuba, for that very reason. And I agree with her that part of the federal government’s constitutional role is to provide for the common defense, which includes the defense of Americans engaged in their every day affairs in foreign lands. Obviously, some places are more dangerous than others, and the State Department warning system is a good tool for helping us to evaluate the risks of travel to those places. And I completely understand that, if we do choose to go to dangerous places, the U.S. is under no obligation to assist us if we get into trouble, especially if such assistance involves unreasonable taxpayer cost or risk to human lives. But it is a great thing that the U.S. values human liberty sufficiently to consider it worthwhile, on occasion, to show that to the world, and to send a message to terrorists and tyrants that we will not surrender. And it’s a really great thing that we have so many dedicated young men and women, even in this cynical and selfish age, who are willing to sacrifice everything to enable us to enjoy this liberty, and to be a beacon to the world.

    Though there is much I appreciate about Ron Paul and his domestic policies, his isolationism, and refusal to see that our engaged international presence is part of our essence as a protector and promoter of the dignity and liberty of individuals, is the main reason I could never support him as president.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 39: I’m still reading, and I very much appreciate your thoughtful post. Not because you happened to largely agree with me this time, but because you took the time to get great input from your children who have served. And, by the way, if I haven’t said this before, please convey my great appreciation to them for their service to our country.

    I didn’t serve. I came of age during the Carter administration, which was not a bright moment in our nation’s military history. However, my son attends a military college and intends to serve, assuming commissions are still available by the time he graduates in this shrinking military environment. He is surrounded by fellow young people who love their country and intend to serve in the military as well. Additionally, I have a close friend and a valued client who are both retired Navy Seals, and know how they view this issue.

    Your daughter nailed it with this comment: “She said that the United states government is not a tyranny, and it can’t order Americans not to go somewhere; it can only advise.” I don’t want our country to ever infringe on our liberties sufficiently to tell us where we cannot go as Americans. I don’t even like the prohibition on travel to Cuba, for that very reason. And I agree with her that part of the federal government’s constitutional role is to provide for the common defense, which includes the defense of Americans engaged in their every day affairs in foreign lands. Obviously, some places are more dangerous than others, and the State Department warning system is a good tool for helping us to evaluate the risks of travel to those places. And I completely understand that, if we do choose to go to dangerous places, the U.S. is under no obligation to assist us if we get into trouble, especially if such assistance involves unreasonable taxpayer cost or risk to human lives. But it is a great thing that the U.S. values human liberty sufficiently to consider it worthwhile, on occasion, to show that to the world, and to send a message to terrorists and tyrants that we will not surrender. And it’s a really great thing that we have so many dedicated young men and women, even in this cynical and selfish age, who are willing to sacrifice everything to enable us to enjoy this liberty, and to be a beacon to the world.

    Though there is much I appreciate about Ron Paul and his domestic policies, his isolationism, and refusal to see that our engaged international presence is part of our essence as a protector and promoter of the dignity and liberty of individuals, is the main reason I could never support him as president.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @DonS, #40

    “Though there is much I appreciate about Ron Paul and his domestic policies, his isolationism, and refusal to see that our engaged international presence is part of our essence as a protector and promoter of the dignity and liberty of individuals, is the main reason I could never support him as president.”
    ——-

    DonS, I respect your earnestness and passion, but again, I fail to understand why Ron Paul’s foreign policy is wrongly labeled “isolationism” when substantively it is not that. Again, it is “non-interventionism”. Now, if you want to disagree with him on that, fine. Or would you think it fair for me to simply call your view on foreign policy here nothing but misguided, unrealistic, unsustainable Wilsonian idealism?

  • JunkerGeorg

    @DonS, #40

    “Though there is much I appreciate about Ron Paul and his domestic policies, his isolationism, and refusal to see that our engaged international presence is part of our essence as a protector and promoter of the dignity and liberty of individuals, is the main reason I could never support him as president.”
    ——-

    DonS, I respect your earnestness and passion, but again, I fail to understand why Ron Paul’s foreign policy is wrongly labeled “isolationism” when substantively it is not that. Again, it is “non-interventionism”. Now, if you want to disagree with him on that, fine. Or would you think it fair for me to simply call your view on foreign policy here nothing but misguided, unrealistic, unsustainable Wilsonian idealism?

  • DonS

    JG @ 41: Fine, “non-interventionism”, then. I wasn’t trying to demean Dr. Paul, just explain why, although I almost entirely agree with his domestic policies at the federal level, I find it difficult to support his candidacy.

    I do have high hopes for his son, Rand, however.

  • DonS

    JG @ 41: Fine, “non-interventionism”, then. I wasn’t trying to demean Dr. Paul, just explain why, although I almost entirely agree with his domestic policies at the federal level, I find it difficult to support his candidacy.

    I do have high hopes for his son, Rand, however.

  • JunkerGeorg

    DonS,

    Thankyou for the correction. And your take on Ron Paul is the majority view no doubt (i.e., great on economic policies, Tenther view on downsizing/limiting the Federal government/spending + poor on foreign policy). Yet, just ask yourself why other than a little parroting by Gingrich on things like the Fed/Hard Currency, I really question whether any other candidate is really as serious (or has sufficient knowledge/understanding) about these same economic issues that are so pressing and so threatening to maintaining even a national defense at home in the long-run, let alone continue to sustain and inevitably increase this national “offense” abroad (a neverending thing, ala 10yrs + in Afghanistan, which is really what being the world’s policeman leads to, since no one else really helps out, i.e., “let the USA pay for it all.”) Global Liberty is a great ideal, but is it realistic, feasible, possible, sustainable (let alone constitutional), especially when one country ends up footing the whole bill??

    But yes, I do agree with you on Rand Paul. I do believe he might be the future of the Republican party down the road (given his father wins the majority of voters between 20-30yrs old).

  • JunkerGeorg

    DonS,

    Thankyou for the correction. And your take on Ron Paul is the majority view no doubt (i.e., great on economic policies, Tenther view on downsizing/limiting the Federal government/spending + poor on foreign policy). Yet, just ask yourself why other than a little parroting by Gingrich on things like the Fed/Hard Currency, I really question whether any other candidate is really as serious (or has sufficient knowledge/understanding) about these same economic issues that are so pressing and so threatening to maintaining even a national defense at home in the long-run, let alone continue to sustain and inevitably increase this national “offense” abroad (a neverending thing, ala 10yrs + in Afghanistan, which is really what being the world’s policeman leads to, since no one else really helps out, i.e., “let the USA pay for it all.”) Global Liberty is a great ideal, but is it realistic, feasible, possible, sustainable (let alone constitutional), especially when one country ends up footing the whole bill??

    But yes, I do agree with you on Rand Paul. I do believe he might be the future of the Republican party down the road (given his father wins the majority of voters between 20-30yrs old).

  • JunkerGeorg

    Here’s a thoughtful, logical article speaking to the “Gee, I like Ron Paul on everything except his foreign policy” crowd.

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/high-tide-and-turn/2012/jan/29/ron-paul-and-israel-question/

  • JunkerGeorg

    Here’s a thoughtful, logical article speaking to the “Gee, I like Ron Paul on everything except his foreign policy” crowd.

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/high-tide-and-turn/2012/jan/29/ron-paul-and-israel-question/

  • Joanne

    I’m with #32 above and take the long view, the historical situation.

    The war on terror is actually The 3rd Barbary War, and the reasons the enemy gave then for attacking American shipping, are the same they are giving now, God requires it. The Somalian theater of this war is just so very similar to the Barbary situation.

    The area of North Africe referred to as the Barbary Coast had been for centuries under the control of the Turkish Empire. As that empire lost cohesion in the early 19th century, the Barbary natives, “went native,” and returned to piracy and slaving. The european struggle against Napoleon allowed the pirates a free run for a few years, but after Napoleon, the great sea powers, including the U.S. sent their navies to eradicate the problems. The U.S. Marines went ashore and resued enslaved American citizens.

    The 3rd Barbary War is happening because the balance of power now allows the opponents to do what they would always have been doing if the great sea powers had not prevented it. And, God still requires them to do it.

    It’s a God thing. All the borders of Islam are bloody. Take the God Thing out of this equation and what do you have?

  • Joanne

    I’m with #32 above and take the long view, the historical situation.

    The war on terror is actually The 3rd Barbary War, and the reasons the enemy gave then for attacking American shipping, are the same they are giving now, God requires it. The Somalian theater of this war is just so very similar to the Barbary situation.

    The area of North Africe referred to as the Barbary Coast had been for centuries under the control of the Turkish Empire. As that empire lost cohesion in the early 19th century, the Barbary natives, “went native,” and returned to piracy and slaving. The european struggle against Napoleon allowed the pirates a free run for a few years, but after Napoleon, the great sea powers, including the U.S. sent their navies to eradicate the problems. The U.S. Marines went ashore and resued enslaved American citizens.

    The 3rd Barbary War is happening because the balance of power now allows the opponents to do what they would always have been doing if the great sea powers had not prevented it. And, God still requires them to do it.

    It’s a God thing. All the borders of Islam are bloody. Take the God Thing out of this equation and what do you have?

  • Joe

    Kerner – thanks for the response. I thought I responded over the weekend using my iPhone. Apparently, it didn’t work.

    Here is the jist of what I had to say: the two premises that supposedly underlay you child’s belief that soldiers should go on these rescue missions don’t support that conclusion. The US is not a tyranny that can stop people from going places – true. Soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution – true (I took it myself once upon a time).

    These two premises, either together or separate, do not in any way support the idea that the US has a duty or otherwise should rescue individuals who chose to ignore state department warnings and put themselves in harms way. There is no logic that takes you from points A and/or B to point C.

  • Joe

    Kerner – thanks for the response. I thought I responded over the weekend using my iPhone. Apparently, it didn’t work.

    Here is the jist of what I had to say: the two premises that supposedly underlay you child’s belief that soldiers should go on these rescue missions don’t support that conclusion. The US is not a tyranny that can stop people from going places – true. Soldiers take an oath to defend the Constitution – true (I took it myself once upon a time).

    These two premises, either together or separate, do not in any way support the idea that the US has a duty or otherwise should rescue individuals who chose to ignore state department warnings and put themselves in harms way. There is no logic that takes you from points A and/or B to point C.


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