“At what point do we say: ‘Enough’?” “Exactly” at the point of defeat for America. That is where Obama’s “enough” ends, and presumably Clemons’s too.
A U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will be interpreted by radical Islam as a comprehensive defeat of America and hence encourage the Islamists to further attack, in their eyes, a weak vulnerable U.S. Thus the end result of such withdrawal will not be the end of war but the end of America’s “mystique,” to use Clemons’s word, as a superpower. And worse, as the U.S. will still be forced to defend its vital interests by deploying its armed forces in multiple fronts, that the jihadists will open against it, from a position of weakness. Hence Obama as a post American and a weak president will not be fighting the Battle of Poitiers that stopped the Muslim invasion of Europe, on October 10, 732, but he will be setting in place America’s Waterloo at the hands of Islamist barbarians.
This is the sweetest betrayal of America by Obama: “A betrayal through a loving kiss,” to paraphrase the Austrian-Jewish philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. After promising so much, during his love for all “yes we can” electoral campaign, to the American people and to the world at large, all he has accomplished were to enfeeble the United States at a moment when the latter, and indeed, Western civilization, are threatened by irreconcilable deadly enemies, and when civilized societies are seeking a steadfast and sagacious political leadership, which at this stage only America can provide, to protect them from the ravages and menace of fanatical Islam.
In any critical dangerous conflict the first thing one has to know is one’s enemy, that is, whether he is reconcilable or irreconcilable and the danger he poses respectively. To the sharp eyed and historically experienced Israelis the Palestinians and the Muslim countries which overtly and covertly support and in some cases fuel the former’s intifadas by providing them with weapons, are irreconcilable enemies whose goal is the destruction of Israel. Hence all the hard actions and reactions that Israel is forced to take issue from the hardened mortal enemy it confronts.
Beinart and the young historically inexperienced Israelis, who think that Israel by bearing olive branches toward the Palestinians can resolve the conflict, are profoundly ignorant of the kind of enemy Israel is engaged with. Not being cognisant or rather being ignorant of Sun Tzu’s “Know Thy Enemy,” they are completely incapable of understanding the strategic contours of the conflict and therefore politically and intellectually are totally unqualified to formulate a strategy that could resolve the conflict.
As Drew correctly states none of the classical liberal economists, Smith, Mises, Hayek, and I would add in this brilliant constellation Mill, Bawerk, and Schumpeter, ever argued that the free market was perfect and “market failure” was inconceivable. On the contrary they argued that the three cardinal principles of the free market were imperfect knowledge, uncertainty, and risk. How could any rational and economically literate person accuse the classical liberal economists of contending that the free market were free from market failure, when their whole argument was premised on the above three principles? Moreover, they did argue, that market failure could be cured mainly by the ‘elixir’ of the free market, and not by unqualified and ubiquitous government intervention.
It is the critics of the free market that engendered the ‘straw man’ of the perfect market so they could knock it down easily without any effort of critical thinking, which of course they lacked, and replace it with the socialist planning nostrums or, a la Kervick, with the hybrid panacea of the “mixed economy,” whose avatar was and is modern Europe, and which presently is at the threshold of economic bankruptcy. The sun is still shining in sunny Greece, but there are no more free suntans for its denizens.