Friday, January 02, 2009

Why Our Military is So Hated Around the World

24 Comments:

Blogger Chuck said...

I'm sick to death of this whole "if we just leave them alone, the terrorists wouldn't bother us" bit. We've already tried this. Bill "The Great Appeaser" Clinton left them alone and what did we get for his tolerance? One terrorist attack after another for 8 years and then 3000 innocent Americans dead on 9/11. Unfortunately Barack Obama is figuring that it worked so well under Clinton, he's going to do the same thing. Ted Turner is an idiot.

Saturday, January 03, 2009 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Chuck,

The post is more than about killing terrorists and "the right people (bad guys)". And it's more than about partisan sniping. Yes, I feel America's military should only be used to promote American interests; sometimes, that means "helping your neighbor". It's an investment when we use our military for nothing more than to promote "humanitarian" good will. Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia under Clinton...for all the criticism, we still did important work in those countries we can be proud of. We can say we came to the rescue of Muslims...in none of those conflicts did we promote "American imperialism" and "selfish interests".

From Michael Totten:

A big reason for Kosovars’ antipathy to radical Islamism is, in a word, America, which has been the political North Star for Albanians inside and outside Kosovo ever since NATO’s intervention in 1999. In 2004, a Gallup survey measured popular opinion of U.S. foreign policy around the world. Only ten countries rated American foreign policy favorably, and among those, Kosovo scored highest, registering 88 percent approval. When one ethnic Albanian I met happened to make the uncontroversial statement that Kosovo was a European country, another broke in. “We aren’t European,” she corrected. “We’re American.”

Repeatedly, I heard that Kosovars were America’s most reliable allies in the world. American flags fly just about everywhere outside the Serbian enclaves—some even in front of official buildings—and are sold at kiosks on the street, along with T-shirts that say thank you usa. The Hotel Victory has erected the world’s second-largest replica of the Statue of Liberty on its roof, and I found another replica in the southeastern town of Vitina. Kosovars are fans of George W. Bush, both because he recognized Kosovo’s independence and simply because he’s the president. Graffiti in one Kosovar village proclaims thanks usa and bush. “You should have seen President Bush’s face when he came to Albania,” says a Kosovar Albanian who works with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “All over Western Europe he was met by protests, but the entire country of Albania turned out to welcome him.”

And Bill Clinton, who ordered the 1999 military intervention, is lionized. Izeir Mustafa is sculpting a statue of the former president that will soon be erected on a major traffic artery—renamed Bill Clinton Boulevard—leading from the airport into downtown Pristina. Many businesses are named after Clinton. I even found a patisserie and disco bar named “Hillary,” decorated with pictures of the ex-president and his wife.

“Americans are our best friends in the world,” a waiter said to me at one of Pristina’s finest restaurants. “The U.K. is second.”

“Thank you,” I said. “We appreciate that. Some people don’t like us.”

“Bad people,” he said.

Kosovar Albanians also strongly support, of all countries, Israel. “Kosovars used to identify with the Palestinians because we Albanians are Muslims and Christians and we saw Serbia and Israel both as usurpers of land,” a prominent Kosovar told journalist Stephen Schwartz. “Then we looked at a map and woke up. Israelis have a population of 6 million, their backs to the sea, and 300 million Arab enemies. Albanians have a total population of 8 million, our backs to the sea, and 200 million Slav enemies. So why should we identify with the Arabs?”


The point I make in this post is that America and America's use of its military, regardless of President "D" or President "R", throughout the course of our history, has promoted more good in the world than harm.

Saturday, January 03, 2009 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

We should note Gen. Petraeus' impact on COIN ops and the changing focus of US military doctrine in this area. He is an extraordinary officer with a range of expertise from airborne to a PhD in international affairs from Princeton. Consider, from his Counterinsurgency Field Manual
AR 3-24 "Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations:
I-149 Sometimes the more you protect your force, the less secure you may be.
I-150 Sometimes the more force is used, the less effective it is.
I-151 The more successful the counterinsurgency is, the less force can be used, and the more risk must be accepted.
I-152 Sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction.
I-153 Some of the best weapons for counterinsurgence do not shoot.
I-154 The host nation doing something tolerably is better than us doing it well.
I-155 If a tactic works this week, it might not work next week; if it works in this provence, it might not work in the next.
I-156 Tactical success guarantees nothing.
I-157 Many important decisions are not made by generals.
...so there is an ongoing sea-change from the '24' types..rather than creating more endemic enemies, we are actually winning hearts and minds. It is working
very well in Iraq, and is a testament to forward thinking by our military. Huuaah!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

BB,

I have the COIN field manual. Very readable.

Of related interest, from an earlier post of mine, excerpts from Max Boot's book:

Soldiers follow orders, and presidents have often found it convenient or necessary to order the armed services to perform functions far removed from conventional warfare. Throughout U.S. history, marines at home and abroad have found themselves providing disaster relief, quelling riots, even guarding mail trains. Soldiers also have often acted as colonial administrators- in the Philippines, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Veracruz, to say nothing of post-World War II Germany and Japan or the post-Civil War South.

In fact occupation duty is generally necessary after a big war in order to impose the victor's will on the vanquished. If ground forces win a battle and go home, as the Powell Doctrine advocates and as actually happened in the Gulf War, the fruits of victory are likely to wither on the vine. Only boots on the ground can guarantee a lasting peace.


Boot goes on to point out (page 345-347 of The Savage Wars of Peace) how pacification campaigns and occupation of many third world countries made life better

Many of these interventions also delivered tangible benefits to the occupied peoples. Although American imperial rule was subject to its fare share of abuses, U.S. administrators, whether civilian or military, often provided the most honest and efficient government these territories had ever seen. Haiti offers a particularly dramatic example. The 1920s, spent under marine occupation, saw one of the most peaceful and prosperous decades in the country's long and troubled history.

Where we have been most successful with lasting impact, are in those places where we kept our forces for a long period of time.

Saturday, January 03, 2009 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tapline said...

Word, YOur post are still outstanding with much thought provoking material....stay well....

Saturday, January 03, 2009 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Ted Turner is a Nutball!

I saw that interview with O'Reilly and Turner.

I loved it when O'Reilly asked Turner who has donated more in relief and hospital material, food, medicine, money, etc, to Africa more than any human being on earth, and Turner says: "Nelson Mandella"?

And O'Reilly said: NO! President Bush!

Saturday, January 03, 2009 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

What about the photos, marie?

Saturday, January 03, 2009 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Wasn't that interview a RIOT? O'Reilly: DO YOU ADMIRE CASTRO, MR TURNER?

Turner: YES

My opinion? INTERVIEW OVER.

And HOW THE HECK MANY DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS MUST WE SEND BEFORE THE WORLD LIKES US?

THE MEDIA HAS TO STOP ITS LIES..then we can get on with life.

Saturday, January 03, 2009 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hmm....lot of focus on the Turner lead in....


...maybe I should have posted ALL the photos directly to this blog and shift the focus away from the Turner interview, rather than using it as a springboard?

Saturday, January 03, 2009 9:12:00 PM  
Blogger Throwing Stones said...

Boo Hoo for Hamas, and the Palestinians,and the rest of these Arabs!!! Lets remember 9-11 and these people dancing in the streets!

Sunday, January 04, 2009 5:34:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

*sigh*

Does no one read my posts? Lol.

Sunday, January 04, 2009 9:45:00 AM  
Blogger Conservative said...

Look my friend, we all know here that we are doing what MUST be done. We can't help it if the rest of the world is cockeyed.
We do our best and screw the rest of the world.

I agree with what Throwing Stones said...
Boo Hoo for Hamas, and the Palestinians,and the rest of these Arabs!!! Lets remember 9-11 and these people dancing in the streets!

Sunday, January 04, 2009 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Anyone notice there are great photos linked to more important "need to knows" at the bottom of my post?

:(

Sunday, January 04, 2009 1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I'll write it again and again. Tolerance and understanding are naught but code words in the Middle East for weak, yellow, effete, sluggish. The kind of misogynistic Islam as practiced in the ME respects nothing but power and men, and religion over all.

In the rest of the world, America is hated because it IS strong and because it can move so easily and so readily anywhere on the planet. We are hated BECAUSE we are strong.

BZ

Sunday, January 04, 2009 2:31:00 PM  
Blogger SkyePuppy said...

I love the arm-wrestling photo. The kid is winning...

Sunday, January 04, 2009 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh bless you, SkyePuppy! Yay...someone finally clicked over to check out the rest of this post (or at least referenced it)!

Monday, January 05, 2009 3:48:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

What Conservative said...in Spades!

Monday, January 05, 2009 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Well,

with respect to what conservative said in regards to world opinion, my post isn't so much about caring what the rest of the world thinks of us as it is putting the facts out there and countering anti-American propaganda.

One reason why Bush is thought of the way he is thought of is because of the lack of will to "care" or "fight" the misinformation and distortions to his Administration's records. World opinion doesn't matter; and yet it does matter. I've often said "who cares what the rest of the world thinks?" and have expressed admiration that Bush does what is right, not what is popular. But it's also a kind of cop out line. Slanders and smears, distortions and propaganda harmful to the U.S. should be fought against, and the record set straight. Sure, there are those who will not hear; but it's all but guaranteed they will not hear if you don't challenge their (mis)perceptions.

READ THE ENTIRE POST, folks! I implore you not to just skim and miss the point of my post. This wasn't about Ted Turner. This isn't about Hamas and Israel. I usually don't ask this, but it'd be nice to stick to topic.

I just want to be sure that readers are aware that there was so much more to this particular post than was commented on by most.

Which is why I've edited the post of all text.

The reason I didn't publish the whole entry in the first place, is because there were too many photos, and it was a pain just to upload them on the FA server and include credits and original captions.

Monday, January 05, 2009 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Sorry Word lol,

That was an excellent post!

Did you see the sheer terror on that little Iraqi boy's face as he was tortured into playing video games?

My God, what are our Soldiers doing to those poor children?

Monday, January 05, 2009 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thank you, Marie!

Monday, January 05, 2009 9:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

LOL Wordsmith! I believe everyone looked at the photos, but they're angry about the likes of Turner, myself included!

The amount of research you put into this post is incredible, including the wonderful photos. They're all wonderful, but my favorite is of the AF medic Gary Horn arm-wrestling that little Iraqi boy. It's priceless!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

Thank you-WordSmith-for the heads up toward the photos and write ups of our Best of the Best....
America is good and there are others in the world who are saying so....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Average American said...

I find it such a sad commentary that President Bush's popularity rating in Albania and Africa is as high as his unpopularity rating here at home. I am a proud American, and it pains me to say this but say it I must, Americans suck! Of course, I don't mean most of us reading this type of blog. What ever happened to the old days when values and character meant something?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 12:12:00 AM  

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