Saturday, July 30, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found

Military Dog Tags found at Wal-mart gas station. Name on tags Perez Lilliana. Call 830-391-3003 to claim.
Our beloved Gracie is missing, Dachshund/Lab mix, microchipped, about 30 pounds, black with little white. Call with any information, 830-393-9999 or 419-250-9099.
Found: Woman's watch at produce stand in Floresville over July 4th weekend. Call and leave message, 830-393-6767.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

*Fair Housing notice. All help wanted advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise "any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference limitation or discrimination." This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for help wanted ads, which is in violation of the law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.
La Vernia United Methodist Childcare Ministries is seeking Afternoon Day School Teachers and After School Care Teachers. These positions require a love for children and passion for the growth and development of the precious children in our care. Must be at least 18 years of age, be able to work well with children and parents. Experience is a plus but not required. Call 830-779-5117 or come by 210 Bluebonnet Rd., La Vernia.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Commentaries


In Foreign Affairs, Not Doing Anything Is the Thing to Do




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
July 25, 2014 | 3,607 views | Post a comment

By Sheldon Richman

The heartbreaking violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere carries many messages, but here’s one Americans shouldn’t miss: The United States -- no matter who the president is -- cannot manage world conflict. The corollary is that when a president tries to manage it, things will usually get worse. Foresight is always defective, and tragic unintended consequences will prevail.

The foreign-policy “experts” in both major political parties, and the intelligentsia generally, think otherwise. No matter who holds power, we can expect the opposition to complain that the chief executive poorly anticipated and thus improperly responded to world events.

If this charge weren’t so ominous, it would be comical to hear Republicans berating Barack Obama for failing to be “proactive,” for repeatedly being caught by surprise, and for not exerting “American leadership” to keep the world’s hot spots under control and, most important, in harmony with “American interests.”

But contrary to what Republicans say (or what Democrats would say if a Republican were in power), the fault lies not in the president -- at least not this fault -- but in the mission itself: anticipating change and managing world conflict. No president can do that competently. Why not? Because the task is not doable, and danger lies in thinking it is. Moreover, the delusion that it is doable almost always makes situations worse than they otherwise would be -- weapons proliferate, violence spreads, noncombatant casualties multiply -- and all this creates enemies for the American people.

Who thinks that’s a good thing? I doubt the American people would if they understood what their so-called leaders -- misleaders and misrepresentatives are better terms -- are doing to them, not to mention what the “leaders” are doing to the hapless subject populations abroad that suffer because of U.S.-supported machinations.

The world is complex. Specifically, individual societies are infinitely complex, historically, politically, and culturally, and thus beyond the full comprehension of any person or group. Even societies ruled and ostensibly planned by dictators have informal, hidden, and spontaneous aspects that no one can fully grasp, especially outsiders. Written laws are often irrelevant to the unwritten rules and customs actually governing a society. And each society consists of many moving parts (religious, ethnic, etc.)

Anyone who still thinks a U.S. president with expert advisers can determine the opportune moment to send armed forces into a country to effect regime change -- or to arm a presumed moderate opposition -- and have everything come out as planned fails to grasp this and hasn’t been paying attention for the last dozen years. The same goes for anyone who still believes America’s latest brain trust can smoothly dictate political events in another country, say Ukraine, from behind the scenes with money funneled through innocent-sounding organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy.

The problem with these grand plans is that there are human beings on the other end -- people who have their own preferences about what should take place and who are likely to resent foreign or foreign-backed interference. Another stumbling block to presidential world-building is that historical regional powers -- say, Russia or Iran -- don’t look kindly on the United States asserting its will in their neighborhoods, just as American presidents have not welcomed foreign influence in Latin America. To many people in the world, American exceptionalism means that the United States alone gets to regard every region as within its sphere of influence. Responses to American arrogance produce many of the “crises” that the chief executive will be accused of having failed to anticipate and preempt. But no one can hope to manage the world.

The basic failure is the intervention itself. There will be crises enough without a U.S. president helping to create them.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine/Israel, Ukraine and so many more in the past are all variations on a theme. Ignorant intervention begets bad consequences -- unintended or not -- perhaps not for American politicians or those who peddle war materiel, but certainly for those who bear the brunt in the target countries and the Americans who kill, die, and pay the economic cost.

Managing world conflict is beyond the power of any mortal. Don’t demand that a president do it.

Sheldon Richman is vice president and editor at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va. (www.fff.org).
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives


Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?
Voncille Bielefeld homeAllstate & McBride RealtyTriple R DC ExpertsHeavenly Touch home

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.