It is good that Trump watches Tucker and it is even better that he has made America energy-independent, but we are still not leaving Iraq or anywhere else in The Middle East
Ever since the Second World War America has been running a benign and benevolent protection racket of global proportions. Throughout this period, now three quarters of a century long, it had competition. Protection rackets can be benign and they can be malevolent. In both cases, the marks of the racket are told that it’s dangerous out there and that if they don’t pay up, they will be hurt. A benign racket is one in which the danger is real and external. A malevolent racket is one in which the danger comes from the exact same entity that is offering protection. In other words, in a malevolent racket the mark simply pays to be left alone; in a benign one, it pays to be protected from real danger.
When there is competition among those offering protection, it takes the form of signing up the juiciest marks and keeping them away from being poached by the competitors. The US has excelled at this game far beyond its competitors the USSR (and now its successor, Russia) and China because it had more to offer and because it charged less. Thus America ended up with the best stable of protectees; Western Europe, rich petro-kingdoms, Israel with its technological genius, Japan, South Korea, and the best parts of the British commonwealth.
Russia and China had to content themselves with Africa, poor Arab and Muslim countries, and much of South America, i.e. what president Trump so eloquently called s-holes. After the fall of the USSR, America wasted no time in poaching from Russia the choices parts of its protectee stable: the parts of Eastern Europe that use Latin rather than Cyrillic script and the Baltic states.
The fees that America charges are modest and easy to pay, but that does not mean that they are unimportant to American economic and military prowess. They include technological collaboration, favorable trade relations, housing of major American military installations, diplomatic support in the UN and elsewhere, and in some cases light military assistance in theaters of conflict. Maintaining the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency is another one of these fees, and an important one.
In exchange for this package, America offers unmatched military guarantees backed by the world’s most powerful armed forces, duty-free access to its enormous internal market, and diplomatic support. In recent years, president Trump would argue with good reason, the balance between the services rendered by America and the fees paid by its clients got a little out of whack and not in America’s favor. It needed a little rebalancing, a tune up, a bringing up to date. President Trump is well on his way of accomplishing these goals.
As it happens though, some countries are simply not really worth fighting for. As every businessperson knows, some clients are more trouble than they’re worth. Let the competition have them! Every businessperson, but not the American neocons who have never managed a lemonade stand. In their abstract imagination, in the plans they had hatched out in the oak-panelled rooms of exclusive clubs over 15 year old single malts, they imagined vastly expanding the pool from which America could draw its client states. Not content with having every competitive advantage, with having the best clients, they decided to eliminate the competition entirely and make themselves into a monopoly.
This half-brained and dangerous idea is what led them to try and “democratize” the Middle East, since “democratic” countries are the natural client states of America. At the same time, neocons proceeded to waste on their hairbrained globalist schemes the vast wealth that America accumulated since WWII by being a benevolent, benign, and effective protector of countries worth protecting. The combination of insanely costly and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and the squandering of generational wealth on globalist adventurism made America, for the first time since 1945, lose ground to a serious competitor it had funded entirely on its own: China.
It now falls to president Trump to reverse this fiasco. But he must do it in a way that salvages, if at all possible, something from the trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives that have already been, alas, spent. Writing all of this as a “loss” and giving up on America’s role of global protector is ruinous to America’s economic interests and disrespectful to the memory of the fallen and the American taxpayers alike.
America, having already embarked on a disastrous course of action in the Middle East, is now salvaging something from it. It is building stronger relationships with the Sunni Arab countries of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, bringing them, especially the Saudis, to forgoing their enmity to Israel. This has the potential of making the Middle East into a hub of energy production and technological innovation that would only be rivaled by America itself.
American energy independence is great, but as a global protector America must guarantee that its client states such as Japan get reliable access to energy too, much of it originating in the Persian Gulf. This means that the malevolent influence of Iran, influence that is already being exploited by America’s competitors Russia and China, must be confronted. The only place form which this can be done under the current circumstances is Iraq.
Protecting American interests is what America is all about and maintaining American global dominance in the protection business, a dominance that underpins the entirety of the American economy since WWII, is a primary American interest. America First means that America is the most powerful force for good in the world. It means that America does well by doing good. There is no bigger conservative value than this one and it must not be confused with the so-called neo-conservatism, which is nothing but globalist bolshevism in a bespoke suit.
To put it in a different way, Trump loves winning. Restoring America’s global dominance as the benevolent protector of those who are worth protecting and wish to strike equitable deals with America is what winning is all about. Walking away from trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and abandoning the battlefield to Russia and China is not winning, no matter what Tucker may think. It is simple old-fashioned losing and that is not what Trump’s America is all about.
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