Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Dangerous Nation

Is the United States dangerous? Foreign policy, interest and justice, as called by Mac Owens in a review of Robert Kagan’s Dangerous Nation.

Discussions - 11 Comments

Dangerous to whom?

Dangerous? We've got weapons of mass destruction, we've used them without provocation on other nations. I understand we could deliver a nuclear device across the world in less than 45 minutes! Hell yes we're dangerous!

Dangerous? We've got weapons of mass destruction, we've used them without provocation on other nations.

I seem to recall we had been at war with Japan for nearly four years as of 6 August 1945, a state of affairs they had taken the initiative in bringing about

Art, I wasn't going all the way back to WWII. Even I'm behind that war.

I must've missed when the United States used "weapons of mass destruction" since 1945.

I'm sure Danny's counting daisy-cutters and such...he fails to realize the the "mass" in "mass destruction" means thousands dead. All forms of conventional weapons are generallly considered off the table -- only biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons count as WMD. Perhaps too fine a distinction, but there it is.

The U.S. has used WMD...Hiroshima, of course, and things such as Agent Orange (although not a weapon designed to kill humans, it may have). But contrary to Danny's assertion, none of these weapons were used without provocation, unless war doesn't count as provocation!

If we weren't dangerous, women wouldn't love us as much as they do.

Will: LOL.

Dain, absolutely right re agent orange et al. And I'm defining WMD to include anything that Santorum claims we've found in Iraq. As for "without provocation" you will disagree with me, but Hussein neither attacked nor posed a threat to us. Unless your standard of attack includes trash-talking, in which case we have a pretty big job on our hands.

Oh, I don't know, Danny. I think maybe trying to assassinate an ex-President probably counts as "provocation." Certainly paying Hamas terrorists should, as well as harboring international terrorists like Abu Nidal.

As horrible as an attempted assasination is, is bombing the whole country back to Stonehenge an appropriate response? Aren't we supposed to be protecting Iraquis?

And Hussein, a dictator, wasn't thrilled to have terrorists in his country. He was hunting them down, the same way we hunt down ours.

There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of commentators to misunderstand the point of Dangerous Nation. Kagan argues that the US has always been considered dangerous--from the very beginning--because of the threat that it has posed to tyrannies around the world.

I also can't let "dain's" comment about Agent Orange go unchallenged. Several years ago I was invited to write a piece for the Wall Street Journal about the plan to a place a plaque near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) to "commemorate veterans who died after the Vietnam War of maladies attributed to such causes as exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange and 'post-traumatic stress disorder' (PTSD). According to the New York Times, 'experts estimate that the number of veterans who died from these conditions is at least equal to the number inscribed on the wall, 58,220.'"

The Times' claim is a crock. In my piece I argued that the premises underlying the plan were false and that they fed the stereotypical view of the Vietnam veteran as a victim. Here's what I wrote about Agent Orange:

"And while many Vietnam veterans believe their health problems are the result of exposure to Agent Orange, there are simply no epidemiological studies that support this belief. According to Jon Franklin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the Baltimore Sun, 'the Agent Orange story was a myth created by a group of Vietnam-era protesters, seized upon by Vietnam vets, and disseminated by the press.'"

Interestingly, a study of the "Ranchhand" participants, the people who actually mixed and dispersed Agent Orange from aircraft--in other words those who were exposed to high concentrations of the chemical--did have a high incidence of cancer--LUNG cancer--because most of them smoked.

As a Marine infantry platoon leader operating just south of the DMZ in late 1968, I was exposed to Agent Orange on at least one occasion. The chemical was dispersed on some foliage just as my company entered the area. I have suffered plenty of health problems lately, mostly as a result of the things I did to my body when I was young in the name of fun (football, rugby, etc.), but none that can be attributed to Agent Orange. It's time we put an end to that old canard.

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