Saturday, August 16, 2008


Georgia Wasted Its Dime

I'm not fully informed as I'd like to be about the situation in Georgia, but what I've heard/read from various sources seems to indicate that USSR Russia is conducting a program of genocide maybe not quite as bad as that going on in Darfur. How dare the Georgians aspire to freedom? How dare they attempt to set their own path?

I'm not going to argue over the situation between Georgia and the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, because I don't know enough about it, and don't care. If those regions want to throw away (relative) freedom to become a part of communist Russia, let 'em.

The President of Georgia is looking for help, but the US President was in Communist China, watching the Olympics. The 3am call went unanswered. Where is Hillary when we need her?

Now, I'm fully opposed to the idea of sending troops to protect Georgia, just as I'm opposed to sending troops to Darfur. The US military's job is, by Constitutional mandate, only to protect the United States and its interests. It's difficult to construct a logical path that brings either Georgia or Darfur under the umbrella of US interests. Just as it remains difficult to construct a similar path with regard to Iraq.

It's long been known by freedom-loving people that a country possessing a large standing military will find excuse after excuse to use it. Russia's actions of the past couple of weeks is an excellent case in point, as are many others in the past century and in the first few years of this one.

The Bush Administration blathers on about diplomatic penalties that may be imposed 'pon Russia if it doesn't pull back--but Russia isn't pulling back and the sanctions remain mere threats. The Administration has also been unable to impose sanctions against the islamo-nazi countries, so far.

The art of diplomacy is utterly wasted when placed in the hands of government. Those who fill the suits of leaders are unprincipled fools of the worst sort, incapable of applying logic to any situation and unable to render even the most simple decision.

Traders should be the diplomats. Those who make deals with individuals in other countries for the commodities to be imported into the US and exported out would be far more capable of straight talk and benevolent interaction than indecisive, cowardly politicians thinking more about their retirements and legacies than about the problem at hand.

Until Americans force government out of areas in which it does not belong, and cannot function for the purpose of securing and protecting our rights. we'll have these emergencies and near emergencies that place us all in danger. That, followed by a lack of ability or desire to describe either the problem or a likely solution. Followed by further problems which are the unintended consequences of the prior flawed "solutions." Followed by conflicts in which many young people are killed and maimed, yet nothing is settled.

Those who can, do; those who can't do, teach; those who can't teach, become bumbling bureaucrats.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

9 comments:

MK said...

How would traders be able to get Russia to withdraw from Georgia? What if trading with Russia is more profitable than making a stand for Georgia? What if Russia says to America, well keep your trade then, we'll grind Georgia into the dust, because we can?

Col. Hogan said...

MK,

First, Georgia isn't my problem. It's not America's problem. It's by trying to be the world's policeman (in large part) that our politicians have placed us in the international fix in which we find ourselves.

Second, do you think that the politicians who handle diplomacy are doing a good job? Are making international relations better?

Traders are free agents. They can trade where they expect profit, and ignore places where there is danger or irrationality. You now see, in a not very voluntary situation, masses of Americans demanding that American oil companies explore and drill in American territory. Part of this is in reaction to the irrationality that exists in the middle east, and other places from which we buy oil. Most Americans would be very happy if we could suspend all trading with these countries.

Third, if a group of individuals held strong opinions on the subject, they could a) send money to Georgia, b) send arms and other supplies there, or c) put together a mercenary force--either military or medical--to go there and help.

MK said...

Well Russia seems to be holding back a bit now that America has warned them. It's true that America is not playing the perfect policeman, no one can. And i still think that America is currently doing a better job than traders or mercenary forces can.

Fair enough if America doesn't want to be the world's policeman, but there are implications to cutting allies loose. Others will step in to become the worlds "policeman", just that they won't be so nice. And former allies will have to become new enemies.

When that happens, i'll take my chances with politicians we can at least hold accountable to some extent.

Kent C said...

Col. says,
"First, Georgia isn't my problem. It's not America's problem."

Then where the President was, is rather a moot point, eh? Fact is, he was right where he could have done something (if you had wanted him to...[and he did, somewhat])... by talking to the guy sitting next to him that ordered the 'retaliation'.

As far as sanctions go, they rarely work toward their intended purpose and many countries are wetting their pants at the thought of it, whether it be against the oil producers or Russia. Then there are those who were part of the oil for food program that couldn't follow a sanction with a straight face (or with a red one).

Still I don't have the answer either. If Russia wants to reconstitute the USSR, then there is little we should or could do about it, imo. It's the people of those former satellites that have to start considering what they will do. If the traders in the US want to do anything, they should include DVD's of 'Braveheart' and 'The Patriot' in each of their promotional kits for their products ;-)

The Wine Commonsewer said...

they should include DVD's of 'Braveheart'

It is a sad commentary on the state of the world that in the Land of William Wallace one is prohibited from owning a sword.

Col. Hogan said...

MK,

Having a little difficulty answering this....it requires accepting so many faulty ideas, that it's hard to know where to begin. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the US was still sending aid to Russia--while contemplating the kind of aid to send to Georgia. That's in addition to the aid we're already sending.

It's an unfathomable morass of conflicting programs begun by various politicians, ambassadors, bureaucrats and others, both elected and appointed. There is no accountability here: incumbents are returned to office almost always.

They're doing it with my money, taken from me by force, and for use largely to my detriment. They're taking my freedom, bit by bit at the same time.

All the wars of our time (perhaps of all time) were caused by the failures of government diplomats.

It's very difficult to imagine that traders, who must use their heads in order to turn a profit, and who have to answer to their stockholders and their clientèle to retain their jobs, could possibly do worse.

It's well past time to dispense with the antiquated system by which the worst of us have the highest responsibilities. The diplomatic system is the same system by which chiefs of tribes communicated, and which usually stirred up rivalries that led to war. It still does.

I prefer the idea of trade alliances, between men of good will, to mutual profit.

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

Where the President is, will always be a moot point.

I'm not suggesting sanctions or anything else. Government officials should be required to secure the rights of their constituents, and nothing else.

Traders should deal with men who have produced something to trade, and thus spread good will by means of trading goods to be used by consumers. For example, I feel a lot more good will toward the people involved in exporting Canadian Para-Ordnance firearms to America, than I ever will toward the President of Canada.

Trade between producers and consumers in the United States and Canada have a lot more to do with our countries' long alliance, than US and Canadian politicians and diplomats will ever have.

Kent C said...

Col. says:
"Where the President is, will always be a moot point."

... yet you seem to be making a point in the article when you point out that while the president of Georgia is looking for help, the US President was at the Olympics... the 3am call went unanswered.

Just reminded me of the Moore footage of Bush golfing during the invasion of Iraq as if that were something significant, when it wasn't, but at least Moore _thought_ that it was.

I'll assume 'artistic license' :-)

We're in agreement that trade is between individuals not countries. Nothing illustrates that better than "I, Pencil" by Leonard Read:

http://www.econlib.org/LIBRARY/Essays/rdPncl1.html

... invoked by Milton Friedman in "Free to Choose". Just thought I'd throw that in for others...

Col. Hogan said...

Kent,

Well, this President seems to have a knack for appearing out of touch. An esoteric, possibly even obscure attempt at humor--although I'm not sure that he isn't really out of touch.