The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
The United States is a world leader, and it has been a leader from the 20th century onward. To deny this is to deny reality. The combination of the Political, Economic, Social, and Military strength of the United States has been superior to any other nation in this time period. Some may wish that this was not so, some may wish that it was less so, and some may wish that we withdraw from the world’s leadership. But because of our strengths, this cannot happen. The strong will lead, or they will decay and be destroyed, as has been the case throughout history.
But I say that in most cases the United States leadership in the world has been for the good, and when we try to shirk this leadership the world suffers. As long as the United States leads based on its ideals; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and is committed to liberty and freedom for all, the world will be and has been a better place. The end of Western Imperialism in World War I, the End of Nazis, Fascism, and Japanese Imperialism in World War II and the destruction of Communism in the Cold War made the world a better place. And this could not have happened without United States leadership, and every American should be proud of this leadership.
Of course, we have made mistakes during this period of world leadership, but these have been mistakes of judgment, and not mistakes due to bad intentions. And sometimes these errors in judgment have led to deleterious effects, deleterious effects that impact us today, and deleterious effects that we should try to rectify. But to “Err is Human and to Forgive is Devine”. And we should forgive ourselves, and the world should forgive us, as we have intervened to try to make the world a better place, and our intentions were not to conquer or exploit any persons or nations but to end injustice and suffering.
The real question is to how the United States exercises its leadership. This should be done through Political, Diplomatic, Economic, Social means, and if need be by Military means, in that order. The United State should lead the political and diplomatic efforts to change the world for the better. Whether this is through the U.N. or NATO, or coalitions that it creates and builds, the U.S. must be the leader or the effort will fail. After all, if the big dog isn’t involved, the little dogs are often leaderless and just as often fight amongst themselves rather than cooperate and get something done. If this doesn’t work (and it often doesn’t work) then economic means must be utilized to try and correct the situation. While all this is going on there should be social pressure applied. Radio, television, the Internet should be utilized to motivate the world and inform the citizenry of the affected country about their plight and means to change their plight. Finally, if the situation is egregious it may be necessary to use military means or threats of military actions to correct the situation. To those that say, “War is Not the Answer” I would refer you to my observation on this topic.
If military means are a possibility we need to be very careful to determine if it is in the best interests of our country or the world, as outlined in the next two observations.
So, what is in the best interests of the United States? The answer is not a difficult one if you remove all the Obfuscation, Smoke, and Mirrors (as I have covered in my observation of this title). The correct answer is:
- Anything that threatens the Government of the United States, or its processions, or its territories, and
- Anything that threatens the Life, Health, Welfare, and Safety of a United States citizen or citizens, and
- Anything that threatens the destruction or illegal dispossession of a commercial interest of a United States citizen or entity.
To threaten any of these things should bring down the full force (Political, Diplomatic, Economic, Social, and Military) of the United States, and if the threat is imminent military force should be deployed and utilized if necessary. Our adversaries should have no doubt that if you threaten any of these things we will act swiftly, and terribly if necessary, to protect our best interests.
I am not interested in other countries or their citizens feeling love or friendship with the United States. After all love and friendship can be fickle and fleeting. I would like to have other countries and their citizens feel love and friendship for the United States, and I would like to feel love and friendship for other countries and their citizens, but while I hope for it I don’t expect it. But I will insist that other countries and their citizens respect the United States, its citizens and entities, and their commercial interests.
A foreign subsidiary of a United States citizen or entity is not within the protection of the United States. It is up to the foreign government within which they exist to protect their citizens and entities. If you desire United States protections you need to be a United States citizen or entity. After all, if you want to move the jobs, taxes, and financial resources to a foreign entity, then it is the responsibility of the foreign government to protect its own entity.
I start this discussion by quoting the words of one of our greater Presidents:
Let every nation know, whether
it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear
any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any
foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of
liberty. This much we pledge—and more.
- John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address
Is it proper for the United States to be involved in the world’s problems when its own interests are not involved? And if so, when is it proper for the United States to be involved in the world’s problems? This is a much more difficult question to answer.
I believe that there are three circumstances in which it is proper for the United States to become involved in a world problem in which its interests are not involved:
- When the United States has a treaty obligation to do so, and
- When the problem has the potential to grow and become a threat to United States interests, and
- When the problem could become an existential threat to humanity, or in confronting true evil.
Treaty obligations are binding upon the citizens of the United States, as they were proposed by the President and approved by the Senate. A treaty commits the United States to actions and should be enforced until the treaty is abrogated by legal means. You cannot give your word, then not keep your word, without consequences in all aspects of life. This is especially true about treaties between governments. Treaties between governments are inviolable while they are in force. Understandings and agreements between governments are not as binding upon governments, but should not be lightly disregarded, modified, or terminated.
Unresolved problems have a tendency to grow. While they may start out internally within a nation, they can and often become national, then regional, then continental, and finally worldwide. The United States government should keep an eye on all these problems, and assist in a non-militarily manner if appropriate and possible, and try to achieve a peaceful resolution to these problems. But sometimes peaceful resolution is not possible. When this occurs the United States needs to determine if the problem has the potential to grow, and eventually threaten the interest of the United States. If this is a possibility we need to become more aggressive, and perhaps utilized our military to help resolve the problem. History has shown that it is often better and easier to intervene in a problem before it becomes a direct threat. In these cases the United States government needs to be clear to its citizens, and the people or nation that is causing the problem, that it views the problem as a possible threat to United States interests, what the possible threat is, and that it may and will take military action to resolve the problem if necessary. And then follow-up on what it says it will do if the problem is not resolved peaceably.
The final case is in the event of an Existential Threat or Confronting Evil.
Any country, any organization, or any individual who has or can obtain a Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical (NBC) weapon or a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD), and threatens to use an NBC or WMD, or has exhibited the propensity to use an NBC or WMD, is an existential threat. And they must be dealt with before they can utilize an NBC or WMD. And “That We Shall Pay Any Price, Bear Any Burden, Meet Any Hardship” to stop them, eliminate their NBC or WMD, and end their existential threat. To not do so is to risk the calamity of an NBC or WMD attack on the United States and its citizens.
Confronting evil is more difficult, as evil comes in many forms and in different intensities. Where do we draw the line of confrontation or acquiescence to evil? We would hope that we don’t have to be acquiescent in the face of evil, but sometimes it is not possible to confront an evil militarily due to the cost of blood or treasury. In those cases, we must redouble our Political, Diplomatic, Economic, and Social efforts to end the evil. But sometimes we must confront evil with strength through our military, no matter what the cost. Holocausts and Mass Destruction of peoples and properties based on gender, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, or disability are unacceptable in all cases, and are not to be tolerated but are to be confronted, militarily if necessary. “This Much We Pledge—And More”.
Terrorism has been with us since time immemorial. The Evil person has utilized terrorism to oppress people, and the oppressed people have used terrorism to free themselves. And as we have technologically advanced our weaponry, and congregated more people into smaller areas, the impact of terrorism has increased. Prior to the 20th-century terrorism impact and scope has been limited to a few dozen or perhaps hundreds of individuals, and a single or a few structures. Starting in the 20th century this was no longer so. Terrorism became much more impactful to the peoples and society it targeted. Thousands of people and hundreds of structures could be impacted by a single terrorist attack. Terrorism was also utilized to bring a people into surrender in times of war. Think of the bombings of Coventry England and Dresden Germany, and the firebombing of Tokyo Japan as an example of trying to terrorize a war opponent into surrender. But terrorism also began to subside at the end of the 20th century as most people began to realize the moral evil, and most times ineffectiveness of terrorism.
In the latter part of the 20th-century terrorism reared its ugly head. Nuclear, biological, chemical, financial, communications, transportation, and other forms of broad band terrorism could devastate the world. The threat is not only to large numbers of people or structures, but it is a threat to the stability of governments, economic systems, and the social fabric of very large numbers of peoples. And the most dangerous, and arguably the only form of terrorism at the beginning of the 21st century is Radical Islamic Terrorism.
A small percentage of Muslims have adopted the school of thought of Radical Jihadism. The implementation of a worldwide Caliph and universal Sharia Law, for all peoples of the world, no matter what these people believe or desire, is the basic tenant of Radical Jihadism. Although it is a small percentage of Muslims that want to do this, a small percent of a very large number of Muslims is a large number of Muslims that believe in Radical Jihadism. And Radical Jihadist are attempting to impose their will on all others through war and terrorism.
It is possible that Radical Jihadist may obtain NBC or WMD through their own efforts, or by obtaining them through rogue nations of criminal organizations. If they obtain NBC or WMD weapons they will become an Existential Threat to Mankind. But the possibility of Radical Jihadist obtaining NBC or WMD also makes them an Existential Threat to Mankind, as mankind cannot, and should not, entertain this possibility. To entertain this possibility is to allow for the possibility that Radical Jihadism will use NBC or WMD, and this would be too terrible of a possibility to even allow for it. Anyone who does not believe that they are an existential threat is either being idiotic, foolish, or naïve. And we as a people of the United States, and other likeminded peoples of the world should rise up and stop Radical Jihadism wherever we encounter it, kill it in its tracks at all places and times, and stomp it out of existence. All means should be utilized to do this, including and especially military means, to end Radical Jihadism. Apply all possible Political, Diplomatic, Economic, Social efforts to change the hearts and minds of those who would support Radical Jihadism, but also apply all military means to end it when it occurs. To not do so is to risk the future of humanity.
Of particular concern is the ability to obtain NBC or WMD from criminal organizations or rogue nations. Any criminal organization that would obtain and sell NBC and WMD needs to be ferreted out and eliminated by all police organizations across the world. Total cooperation between these police organizations should be mandatory for this purpose, and all possible resources (including intelligence agencies) should be utilized to find and prosecute them.
The more difficult problem is State-Supported Terrorism. Unfortunately, there are some nations that support the goals of Radical Jihadism, some nations that don’t care to whom or what weapons they sell, and some nations that are so corrupt that they cannot regulate the sale of weapons. The biggest offenders of this are Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan.
Iran is a supporter of Radical Jihadism and is attempting to create NBC and WMD weapons of their own. If they succeed in creating NBC or WMD weapons there is a good possibility that they would sell or supply them to Radical Jihadism organizations, or use them themselves.
North Korea is a nation in desperate economic straits. They will and have sold NBC and WMD weapons to whoever is willing to pay their price. They are also saber rattling the use of these weapons against nations that they perceive as their enemies. Given that their leader is an egomaniac and lacks any self-control we should be very concerned about North Korea regarding NBC and WMD weapons.
Pakistan is a corrupt nation in which we cannot be assured that they have control over their NBC and WMD weapons. It may be possible for a corrupt official to arrange the transfer of NBC and WMD weapons where they can be obtained by Radical Jihadism. Some of these corrupt officials also support the goals of Radical Jihadism, which makes it more concerning that this may happen.
The commercial, financial, and economic structure of the 21st century is dependent on computers, electronic communications, and other forms of information technology (i.e. Cyber). All of these forms of cyber technology are subject to hacking, malware, and information terrorism. Whether it is the stealing, modifying, or the creation of false information, the taking over or disabling of computers, the disruption of electronic communications, or the false control of other computerized controlled technology they are all subject to cyberterrorism.
The FBI defines "cyber terrorism" as “premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”. NATO defines cyberterrorism as "[a] cyberattack using or exploiting computer or communication networks to cause sufficient destruction or disruption to generate fear or to intimidate a society into an ideological goal”.
However you may define cyberterrorism it is an existential threat, for it could not only destroy the world’s economy but do incredible damage to the world’s infrastructure. It must be rooted out and destroyed where it may occur. And because it can be done from afar it respects no national boundaries or limitations. All countries must combat cyberterrorism, and those countries that do not should be severely punished and forced, including militarily, into cooperation.
Just as in the latter half of the 20th century we were concerned that we would blow ourselves up in a nuclear war, in the 21st century we should be concerned that we will crash ourselves down via cyberterrorism.
The government of the United States and like-minded governments of the world should make it clear that they will not tolerate the obtaining or creation of NBC or WMD weapons by criminal organizations or rogue nations, nor cyber terrorism by anyone or group. All possible Political, Diplomatic, Economic, and Social means should be utilized to eliminate these forms of terrorism. And if these methods do not work then swift and dreadful military action will be forthcoming against the people, organizations, facilities, and nations involved with threatening these forms of terrorism. Our motto should be:
If you are a rogue
nation, criminal organization, or group
that is involved with NBC or WMD weapons, or Cyber Terrorism,
then you are an Existential Threat to Mankind,
and you and your threat will be eliminated.
Russia has a long and sad history of despotism, from the Tsars through Communists. Its people have suffered cruelly, and they are to commiseration with. For a brief moment after the overthrow to the Communists, it seemed that the Russian people would be able to break their bonds and become a free, civil, and prosperous people. But this was not to be. Economic instability and hardships turned the people away from freedom and the prosperity of full democratic reforms. They yearned for a strong leader for would help them prosper and achieve a robust society in the short term. Instead, they traded in one form of despotism for another. They choose stylistic leadership, rather than substantive leadership, and they are not much better off for this. They still suffer economic problems, and while they have greater personal freedom than before, they are not free to achieve all that their skills and abilities would allow.
They are not under a new Tsar or Communist Leadership, but they are under the leadership of what I would describe as a Racketeering Government. A Government enterprise carried on for the profit of the few that uses Intimidation, Extortion, and Murder or Assassination of Opponents to maintain control, and increase the wealth of the few in charge. And like most racketeering organization they need to expand their racketeering to continue to exist and thrive. They do this by using the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in taking over businesses that are succeeding in Russia, and by utilizing their military to claim territory and resources from neighboring countries. Just as racketeering organizations strong-arm those who they want to intimidate, extort from, or to do their bidding, so too does Russia do so for whoever they target.
This is a very sad state of affairs for the Russian people, and for the neighboring countries of Russia. And although Russia’s military is not especially strong, it is stronger than the neighboring countries combined. And Russia has NBC and WMD weapons which it can rattle at its targets of extortion and intimidation, and anyone who would want to put an end to these transgressions of national sovereignty.
The problem for the United States is that as Russia continues to expand in this manner it may become a threat to United States interests, and we may have to confront this threat. We better start to think about with whom, what, when, where, and how we will confront this threat. Because the threat is coming, and we will eventually have to confront it.
China also has a long and sad history of despotism, from the Emperors through Communists. Its people have suffered cruelly, and they are to commiseration with. In the 21st century, China has evolved from a rigid Communist rule to a Socialist Oligarchy. In order to provide for the basic needs of its population, it has created a semi-free market economy. But in personal freedom and liberties, it is still very much communist oriented.
In the 21st century as China has achieved semi-success with this approach it has also tried to extend its influence over Asia through intimidation, manipulation, and threats of military actions. Just as Japan wanted and tried to become an imperialist power in Asia prior to World War II, China wants and is trying to become an imperialist power in Asia during the 21st century.
I have no problem with a country trying to expand its influence with another as long as it is done in a peaceful manner, through mutually beneficial economic ties, mutual cooperation in defending each other’s sovereignty, and the respect for human rights of each other’s citizens. But China is not trying to achieve its goals peaceably but in a forcible manner.
The problem for the United States is that as China continues to expand in this manner it may become a threat to United States interests, and we may have to confront this threat. We better start to think about with whom, what, when, where, and how we will confront this threat. Because the threat is coming and we will eventually have to confront it.
For those that say, “War is not the answer" I would retort "What is the answer when confronting evil on a mass scale?" How would you have eradicated the evil on NAZI Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan? When evil arises on a mass scale war is often the only answer to eradicate it. For mass evil will cause more human death, suffering, and cruelty than the war that eradicated it. Many would wish to negotiate for peace with the doers of evil. But evil is not interested in peace, only in achieving its goals. Peace may exist outside the sphere of evil, but no peace exists within the sphere of evil. And evil has a way of spreading if unopposed. War to oppose evil is the only moral course to eradicate the evil. A moral war is one that eradicates evil and imposes peace. But peace is more than the absence of war. As the famous philosopher Baruch Spinoza has said:
"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." - Baruch Spinoza
Many people cite the example of Gandhi as a non-violent approach to resolving the conflict. But this is a bad example as Gandhi was not confronting evil, he was confronting a moral opponent (in Great Britain) who had a respect for human rights and dignity. His opposition against the British was akin to the Civil Rights movement in the United States. The opponents of Gandhi and Civil Rights were restrained in the actions they could take against the supporters of Gandhi and Civil Rights. If Gandhi had been opposed by evil, the evil would have crushed and possibly killed Gandhi before he could affect any change. Just as Stalin in the Soviet Union arrested, imprisoned, and forced into slave labor his opponents so to would have been the fate of Gandhi if he had confronted an evil opponent instead of a moral opponent.
The history of the 20th century is a history of war in all its formats; hot, cold, proxy and terrorism. How many millions have died, and many more millions have suffered under the influence of evil in the 20th century. Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, Soviet Communism, Eastern Europe, Red China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Central Africa, and the Mid-East, etc. have all experienced massive suffering and death as a result of evil. And as this evil was unchecked it spread throughout the world. It would have been better to confront it at its inception, and ended it at the beginning, rather than letting it rise and finally ending it before it ensnared many more people in its grasp. To those who say, “The United States cannot be the policeman of the world" I would retort that it is better to police than to go to war. We should always be careful of who we would police, and ensure that our peacekeeping is effective, but we should not be deterred in the face of evil. There is a difference between bad and evil. Bad can be confronted and changed by non-violent measures. Evil cannot be changed, only eradicated. We must always be careful to distinguish between the two, and confront bad but eradicate evil. South Africa's apartheid government is an example of the bad. It was confronted by the world, and it changed as a result of this confrontation. Sometimes it is necessary to go to war against the bad. This often happens after the bad goes to war. A perfect example of this is Imperial Germany and the Austria-Hungarian Empire in World War I. These two parties waged war in order to maintain their grip on their people and those other people who they had subjugated. The only means available to stop them was to war against them. World War I was, therefore, a just war, as Imperial Germany and the Austria-Hungarian Empire would or could not reform themselves without war.
Eradicating evil may be hard and costly to do so, but it is harder and costlier to eradicate evil after you have allowed evil to establish itself. The example of not confronting Nazi Germany as it grew and spread in the 1930's, which eventually became World War II in the 1940's, best illustrates the deleterious results of not confronting evil at its inception. The best example in the 21st century is the rise of ISIS. ISIS evil is growing and spreading, threating to engulf the world, and must be eradicated before it can do any more damage. Containment cannot work against evil, as evil always grows and spreads unless it is eradicated. If you go to war to eradicate evil you must remember the words of General William Tecumseh Sherman, Major-General in the Civil War when he described war:
- "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace."
- “Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.”
- “War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”
- “If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking.”
- "It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell."
There are thousands of reasons not to go to war, or to pursue a war in a less aggressive manner. But if you go into a moral war you must pursue it in an aggressive manner and impose a peace expeditiously. Fight to win the war, fight as aggressively as possible, and fight to impose a just peace. To do otherwise is to risk defeat or allow evil to continue to exist.