j-mac, et al,
I know that many, many people would agree with you on this. But, there are other issues, concepts and principles involved. I may not totally agree with Ron Paul's logic; but it does give pause for concern.
The US needs to rank it's "vital interests" with the "vital interests" of all the key players. This constant use, by political midget minds, of the phrase "US vital Interests" and "National Security" as an excuse for unilateral authority to enter into military conflicts is becoming overworked.
There are about 15-20 VLCC Oil Tankers that transit the Straits of Hormuz daily. Only a faction of them are US Flagged. But none of the Persian Gulf Terminals are US. They belong to some of the riches nations in the world. Filthy rich! (Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman!!!) And every one of them (with the exception of Iraq) can afford to fund their own protective defense force.
Iran has a GNP of about $187B. Kuwait $59B, Saudi Arabia $289B, Bahrain $10B, Qatar $15B, United Arab Emirates $112B and Oman $23B; not counting Iraq with $16B. For most of them, oil is their only significant export. The Straits are much more critical a passage to them, than to the US. Without the Straits, they are shut-down.
Why is it the US that has to defend the Straits? Well the answer is, the US does not. The US does so because it wants to be Regionally Relevant and exercise hegemonic like influence. The Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea Neighbors to Iran cannot afford to let Iran block the straits any more than Iran itself can afford to box-in its own exports.
Yes, I've heard all the arguments that the 5th Fleet is the only force in the region that can challenge Iran. But each time we play the role of "World Police" - we get our reputation massacred and get virtually no return on our investment. And, we further convince the Regional Government that they need not invest in their own critical defense soft points.
At a time when unemployment is at an all time high, and when the budget is stretched to its limit, when American credit has been internationally down graded, when multinational and transnational corporations (like Exxon $370B, Royal Dutch Shell $368B, BP $297B, Sinopec $289B, etc, most having a annual revenue greater than the Persian Gulf States) are exporting jobs like crazy, do we need to spend money maintaining the 5th US Fleet to protect Persian Gulf Interests.
Originally Posted by Author unknown
Defend the Persian Gulf Region today, and you'll have to do it again tomorrow; even as they condemn you for it. Make them defend themselves, and you'll save yourself the problems associated with infidels interfering.
At some point, you would think we would have learned that we cannot trust these people; and nor can we afford to defend them.
If the Regional Governments of (Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman!!!) And if they don't have a problem with Iran, and are concerned enough to contain Iran, then why should the US?
There is some merit to the argument. And, there are some ironies.
The US did not ratify the UNC Law of the Seas convention when it was introduced nearly 30 years ago. Nor has the US ratified the International Criminal Code (Rome Statues) introduced a decade ago. Yet we tend to exercise military force under the flag of "customary law." Other nations see this as recognizing the conventions as - "when it is convenient for America." They have learned that America will selectively enforce conventions as the "World Police." But are not subject to them. We circumvent UN decrees - when they don't act the way we want (Coalition of the Un-willing), and use them when we take action.
But no matter what the argument - it will not stop the US from taking a military confrontational position. The US needs, it is an essential need, to be militarily relevant in the region.
People like Ron Paul see a different way. Let's not be too hard on them.
Last edited by RoccoR; 12-30-11 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Spelling & Grammar
I listen to all the cheerleaders for war mouthing their inane platitudes. Review history. Iran has never attacked anyone. Who has Iran terrorized? Are they a threat. "The threat to close the straits" is an easy to remember slogan to demonize and is being used on non thinking sheep to keep them in their corral. Brain dead. Can't think for themselves. Throw some bombs at somebody, and do it quick. Always works! Well, except for Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and you know, places like that. Some of you pretend to be sane, but it is hard to even suggest that warmongers are sane, don't you think? This is likely Iran posturing to take advantage of the USA overflights on sovereign Iranian terrority and those are acts of war, but Iran just says they won't give us our toy back. Yeh, big threat. 60 million people we took a crap on in the past, and Gee, golly sakes, they haven't forgotten. Who'd a thunk it?
Americans for the most part have NO ****ING CLUE what it is to serve or to go to war and as such they have no problem sending Americans to die. No sweat. No personal sacrifice. Maybe we should make America sacrifice where it hurts. Maybe we should establish a mission for war and criteria for success and maybe we should assess every American household their firstborn of legal age or $10,000 against accomplishing the mission. How many Americans do you think would be up for it? Seriously. We are a soft assed nation of pussies. You know it and I know as every veteran does.
I would add that it is a different argument for my brothers and sisters who have served. We may not agree regarding everything, but we are indeed different from most of the nation. I may not agree with you or with J-Mac, but I do know and acknowledge that we have a common bond and I will forever respect that.
Last edited by Risky Thicket; 12-30-11 at 08:12 PM.
"When Faith preaches Hate, Blessed are the Doubters." - Amin Maalouf
I can respect that. And I do not disagree that most people that have never put on this nations uniform have any idea what it means to do so. But, what we are talking about here is the situation we find ourselves in now. Hell, I can even respect that those who support a more non interventionist want to step back because they mistakenly believe that if we detach from our role in the world for the past 100 plus years was wrong. But nature abhors a vacuum, and would fill it with less attractive alternatives. If we are to regain our momentum as the nation that sets the standard, then we must remain vigilant, and continue this role. That doesn't mean we can't bill those who would take advantage of that truism.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville