Max Boot goes full 'White Man's Burden' in WaPo op-ed, sparking mass jaw-dropping
The unrepentant interventionist delivered a sentiment that would make Kipling proud to the Washington Post readers, pointing out that it took 300 years to "civilize" the continent of North America – like Afghanistan and Syria, an "unconventional combat assignment" that wouldn't end in a ticker-tape parade.
"We need to think of these deployments as we thought of our Indian Wars, which lasted 300 years, or as the British thought about their deployment on the North West Frontier, which lasted 100 years. US troops are policing the frontiers of the Pax Americana," Boot tweeted, only to delete the excerpt later after getting severely ratio'd.
Boot urged the US to "eschew its big-war mind-set" and settle in for the long haul. "The longer US troops stay anywhere, the greater their chances of achieving our objectives," he said, suggesting that since more troops die during training than in foreign wars, there's no downside to prolonging those wars indefinitely.
"We need endless war to support our endless peace."— SamuelTheFirst (@Samuel_I) January 30, 2019
-Max Boot, unironically.
"Just as the police aren't trying to eliminate crime, so troops are not trying to eliminate terrorism, but, instead, to keep it below a critical threshold that threatens the United States and our allies," Boot wrote, unironically appointing the US as World Police.
Twitter reminded him that things hadn't gone so well last time the US tried Manifest Destiny.
Not sure comparison to 300 years of genocidal colonialism fraught with broken treaties, forced assimulation, child kidnapping, blatant theft of property & repeated civilian massacres is the best way to illustrate your point...— Zakariah Johnson (@Pteratorn) January 30, 2019
Many suggested he personally show the rest of America how it's done…
Want to borrow my gun? A flight leaves for the Middle East in a few hours!— Dustin Gaj (@dustin_gaj) January 30, 2019
You know, if you're gonna tell us a 300-year war is a good thing, you're free to enlist any time.— Mike Ensminger Fan Account (@laplanck) January 30, 2019
…and there was no shortage of helpful people to point out that certain words didn't mean what he thought they did.
Pax Americana. If you're 18 years old you've never been alive while the US was at peace.— Hanoi James (@Banalization) January 30, 2019
The US has been at war for 222 of its 239 years of existence but your completely unironic take is that we should have more war, endlessly, to preserve a non-existent "pax americana"— sara ✌🏼 (@hiitssara) January 31, 2019
Others tried teach him history – a task they may find impossible.
Also, "Unlike Richard Nixon..., [Trump] will not have been compelled to exit by public pressure." No. Nixon wasn't forced to withdraw due to public protests; that's a stubborn hawkish myth. We withdrew because Pentagon analysts had declared the war unwinnable as early as 1967.— Sir Francis (@Dred_Tory) January 31, 2019
The British model was to keep just enough garrison troops in any one place to ensure reasonable stability and if attacked a massacre to enflame the home population. Then retaliate with overwhelming force and brutality when troops from elsewhere could arrive.— KennyJ (@tunnellvision2) January 30, 2019
As his Tweet hit the fan, Boot backpedaled furiously, insisting critics had all misunderstood him.
It’s called a historical analogy. Obviously I wasn’t suggesting US troops fight with muskets or ride horses. Just as I wasn’t suggesting they commit war crimes. I was suggesting deployments like the ones in Afghanistan/Syria can last a long time without producing victory. https://t.co/AazUbEFfTR— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 30, 2019
I’m pretty sure I’ve never advocated genocide. That’s something I’d remember. US forces in Iraq and Syria aren’t carrying out mass murder. They are preventing it: ISIS and the Taliban are some of the worst war criminals on the planet. https://t.co/S27dPmY8rK— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) January 30, 2019
But having written an op-ed defending colonialism, it's hard to backpedal without digging yourself that much deeper into the hole.
Are you sure about that? Maybe less now, but bombing public places and counting the dead afterwards is a war crime, regardless of law.— Phil Stanley (@philfillingood) January 30, 2019
Blowing up civilians is mass murder. US policy created ISIS with that great Iraq war you liked so much and the continued support of Saudi Arabia, or the Mujahadeen in the 80s— 🐧 (@Mister_Siege) January 30, 2019
I fail to see how arming and funding headchoppers who wiped out entire Syrian villages isn't a war crime also.— ⏳☦#FreeAssange☦⏳ (@For2000years) January 31, 2019
We've also bombed plenty of civilians, just like in Iraq. But there's always a reason this mass murder "doesn't count" for warmongers like Boot. https://t.co/Ji45q7IQg4
But the strategy you’re touting is what creates insurgents in the first place.— Daniel Meersand (@DanMeersand) January 31, 2019
You're missing your own point again, because really the only reason to be fighting an insurgency is because you're somewhere you don't belong and the people living there would like you to leave. It's not complicated.— Miles Parker (@milesparker) January 31, 2019
He may have deleted the tweet about the Indian Wars, but the paragraph remains in the Post… and in his mind.
If you want a vision of the future just imagine Max Boot stamping on a human face, forever.— Richard Fraser (@headsthey) January 31, 2019
George Orwell, 1984
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