Roger L. Simon

'Nation Building' —The Big (Phony) Taboo of Election 2016

U.S. Attorney John W. Huber speaks outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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Back in the Fifties, people were made to a sign a loyalty oath: “I  do solemnly swear I have never been a member of the Communist Party or any other organization which advocates the overthrow of the Government by force or violence, etc., etc.”

That was then.  This is now:  “I [fill in the blank of Republican running for president] do solemnly swear that if I were aware of the true facts about weapons of mass destruction I would never, ever have invaded Iraq. Further, I swear on the biggest stack of Bibles you ever saw that I would never, absolutely never, engage in the cardinal sin of nation building.”

What a crock of media-generated horse manure.  Let’s start with nation building.

Hello, planet Earth! Some of the finest hours in the history of our country involved nation building.  As any school child should know, the USA turned Hitler’s Germany and Hirohito’s Japan into two of the most vibrant and successful democracies in existence via nation building during WWII and after. And let’s not forget South Korea, in case you’re reading this on your Samsung Galaxy  S6 smartphone.  Without the USA fighting the Korean War and then keeping our troops on their soil, folks in super high-tech Seoul would be living like those poor sods in the North, forced to eat boiled bark in a concentration camp to survive in the most repressive dictatorship in the solar system.

And while we’re at it, don’t forget the Civil War itself where over 600,000 of our citizens died (more than the aforementioned WWII) in a conflict to free the slaves and keep a more perfect union.  Talk about nation building!

So it does work, big time.  You just have to really want to do it. You have to believe in your cause. You have to go to the mattress. Most of all, you have to finish the job.

Now we all know that the likes of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry signed on for the Iraq War but have since recanted.  They didn’t realize the intelligence was faulty.  If they had, they never would have voted for the conflict or some such baloney.  The truth is that the political winds had shifted and they were going with them, to maximize their advantage.  Just as with the Vietnam War, the left sought to gain power by snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.  (Remember how Walter Cronkite told America we had lost the Tet Offensive when we hadn’t. I do. I was on Cronkite’s side then and believed every word he said.)

Now I’m not trying to say I always favor nation building or even favor it often.  I’m just lobbying for a little honesty in a world of election-year media bilge.  Frankly, I’m sympathetic to the candidates.  I don’t know how I would respond under this assault.  But I will give special points to anyone who is forthright enough about the subject to treat the public like adults and really discuss the matter in some sort of context.  I know the MSM won’t.

More importantly, however, our nation building fears and the attendant equivocations have cost us and the world badly.  Barack Obama — the worst foreign policy president ever by far — has done just about everything possible there is to do wrong in the Middle East.  It’s hard to believe someone could hand ISIS victory and give Iran the bomb — simultaneously!  They’re supposed to be on opposite sides, Sunni and Shiite. But Obama seems to be about to do it.  The results could be a catastrophe that will make Obamacare seem like a child’s game.

Someone has to step forward on the Republican side and stop this.  Someone has to lead the way.  Taking shots at nation building  is an absurd distraction and being deliberately used by our adversaries.  Let’s move on.  Refighting the Iraq War of 2007 is waste of energy.  We are up to our necks in a bigger one now and absolutely devoid of strategy.

Roger L. Simon – CEO Emeritus and Co-founder of PJ Media – is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and multiple award winning novelist.  He will be following the presidential election of 2016 at Diary of a Mad Voter.