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The Jay Tea Doctrine

I've been watching the Obama administration dither over the chaos in Libya, and it got me starting to think. I've been developing the "Jay Tea" Doctrine for foreign policy.

Now, I'm not saying that this is the solutio nto our problems. Hell, I'm not even saying it's a good idea. But it's something, I think, worth kicking around.

Here's the situation: Country X -- let's say Belgium -- is really pissing us off. They're threatening our citizens, our interests, and taking actions that directly challenge us. We've tried sanctions, diplomacy, and whatnot, and they're still committed to making life difficult for us.

So, after we've tried a bunch of other approaches, we give their leader one last warning: 72 hours to leave his country. He will be immune from any kind of retaliation, legal or otherwise, and can take all the money he can steal. All he has to do is stay out of his old country for the rest of his life.

At hour 73, we go into full Fist Of An Angry God mode. We take out the assets of his country that are threatening us, him, and his top leadership -- along with anything that gets in our way.

Once we've decapitated the government that was bugging us, we simply walk away. We call up the UN and say "it's all yours -- you fix it. But pass along the word that if the next leadership pisses us off as much as the old one did, we'll do the same thing again."

Simple, impersonal, professional, and effective. Carrot and stick. We shouldn't have to do it more than once or twice before it becomes clear that when we give the final warning, we mean it.

One drawback is that dictators who do take the offer and run will never face justice for their crimes. But that's a price to pay for their cooperation and capitulation that I'm willing to pay. I'd have been OK with it if Saddam had resigned to... oh, I dunno, Venezuela with a couple of billion and lived out his days in luxury. Hell, it would never have happened, but if Hitler had done the same in 1939, I'd say it would have been worth it.

Yeah, it's high-handed. Yeah, it's extremely unilateral. And yeah, it's us imposing our will on the world.

But I'm OK with that, too. As Churchill once noted, nations have no permanent allies or enemies, just interests. And our interests should always put us first.


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Comments (38)

Ah, so simple. The wisdom ... (Below threshold)

Ah, so simple. The wisdom of children.

"Oh, Belgium man. Belgium!"... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"Oh, Belgium man. Belgium!"

"And our interests shoul... (Below threshold)

"And our interests should always put us first."

True that. It's a shame we have a president who's interests are the exact opposite of the United State's interests.

Simplistic and simple-minde... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Simplistic and simple-minded, this passes as Deep Thought on Wizbang.

Decapitate a government and then just walk away? What happens to "our citizens, our interests" then? The whole world devolves into sub-Saharan Africa? Ever hear of a concept called "unintended consequences"?

I think Jay Tea has found the next GOP nominee: Charles Taylor of Liberia.

"Ever hear of a concept cal... (Below threshold)

"Ever hear of a concept called "unintended consequences"?"

Bruce, maybe you should explain that concept to your buddy Barry. Seems the world is not sufficiently terrified of Barry's "sternly worded memos".

As Niccolo Machiavelli observed, it's better to be feared than to be loved.

Chico and Bruce,The ... (Below threshold)

Chico and Bruce,
The idea has merits and issues. The point is to discuss regime change without lengthy entanglements like BO is heading to without understanding and W told us was coming before anyone really understood.
Rather than saying the idea is childish, in which you engaged in the childish activity of name calling, how about potential problems with this idea and how it may apply to current events. Better still an original thought of your own to spur debate.
Of course, this may be wasted and your day is fulfilled by leaving mental turds.

Jay,Are you the Ja... (Below threshold)


Are you the Jay Tea that posts over at OTB?

If so, great to hear from you away from the left wing nuts over there.

I think that immunity-thing... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

I think that immunity-thing would be expensive going in, more expensive in trying to maintain and ultimately a hollow promise. To have even a semblance of credibility we'd have to maintain a "pigsty" somewhere (Venezuela would do). But Hugo has already demonstrated his enormous appetite when confined to his country's economy, with an IV into our economy (healthy or not) he would be insatiable.

I think Mossad has a good approach, targeted assassinations (with an element of deniability) that make the target an MSM headline. Think: bold, brash and permanent.

"The point is to discuss re... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"The point is to discuss regime change without lengthy entanglements like BO is heading to without understanding and W told us was coming before anyone really understood."

DARE YA to diagram that sentence. It can't be done.

Thanks for the scolding, Mike. I'm looking for an original idea in YOUR post instead of pedantic condescension, but I'm unable to locate it so far. Little help?

See, the way this blog comment section thingie works is, the authors post articles, then the commenters, umm, comment on them. so when an author posts something this simplistic, he probably expects a commenter or two to notice and say so.

Jay TeaAt least yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea

At least you propose action. The man child is off vacationing in Rio.

Eph: Yup, me. Upse... (Below threshold)

Eph: Yup, me.

Upset: Yeah, it would be expensive, but cheaper than removing him by force. It's a bit of realpolitik: it gives him an incentive to give up power. And if he reneges, we take him out.

Also, if they get away with a lot of money, there will be plenty of countries willing to host his exile -- at a price. Venezuela was the first example, but France has done similar things in the past as well. Hell, let 'em come here -- we can tell the world they're under "house arrest" and can't leave the US. Separated from their seat of power, they tend to be rather harmless.

Bruce: the simplistic nature is integral. It's so simple, not even the overeducated geniuses on the left can screw it up. And it's also readily understood by those it would be applied against.

Obviously, it would be a last resort. But it should at least be considered.

And hey, it at least got people talking...


Obama is finally getting ro... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Obama is finally getting round to acting on Libya. Gadaffi may fold like a cheap suit if we apply enough presseure including military pressure, but it is the Republican hold -over Defense Secretary Gates defining our national interests very narrowly, who predictably is dragging his feet on us and our allies actually acting in a concerted way.

Now that I think of it didn... (Below threshold)

Now that I think of it didn't Reagan have to play cowboy after Carter left the White House? Sure as heck Barry won't. He will need a UN mandate...all those pusses do.

I think Teddy Roosevelt cal... (Below threshold)

I think Teddy Roosevelt called it 'gunboat diplomacy'. But that required someone to make decisions - something Barry is loath to do.

Works for me! I say we giv... (Below threshold)
Bill Fabrizio:

Works for me! I say we give the 72 hour warning to Obama no later than Monday morning!

Bruce,You're right i... (Below threshold)

You're right in that I didn't explicitly state MY point regarding Jay's idea. I indirectly pointed out BOs lack of stated objective and timetable versus W's declaratives.
I can't express my utter disdain for those pushing for military intervention without a so much as a stated objective. We're sending combat forces to a region without a stated purpose. BO hasn't declared for dictator or rebels. It appears his highest profile decision this week was his picks for an NCAA tournament.
Jay's idea, while leaving a power vacuum, would solve a number of problems in a hurry. Rapid deployment and resolution, as far as the home front and troops are concerned. Rapid response, either way, from the concerned targets. Rapid resolution to an acute problem. The concern is "and then what happens?"
If I may point out, you have attributed negative behaviors to Jay's article and my previous comment and then proceeded to demonstrate that exact behavior. Surely, you can spot the projection.

I do admit I ignored, or mi... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I do admit I ignored, or missed, the part where Jay Tea said he wasn't saying this simple-minded nonsense was a solution, or even a good idea, but simply something to kick around, Mike.

Since you missed it, MY point was that taking out a dictator and walking away risks results comparable to Somalia, Afghanistan ala 1990s, or the Congo, to name only a few power-vacuum situations. And that those risks outweigh any potential benefits that might ensue from such an action.

Suppose you confine yourself to addressing the substance of others' comments, Mike, and don't assume someone is "projecting" on the basis of your reading of his rhetorical flourishes.

Upon rereading your piece, Jay Tea, I get it now that you were just trying to be provocative. That's a relief, because for a minute I thought you were letting 914 use your pseudonym or something.

You think 914 can spell 'de... (Below threshold)

You think 914 can spell 'decapitated', Bruce?

Good point.... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Good point.

I can't endorse the policy ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I can't endorse the policy in general, but I heartily approve of taking out Belgium ASAP. Our Euro=peon allies would be forever grateful.

The key idea, of providing ... (Below threshold)
Clovis Sangrail:

The key idea, of providing a "no fault exit strategy" for unpleasant/objectionable leaders was in place for many years. Then the vengeful ideas associated with the ICC and liberal politics came in. Now leaders most of the world would like to see out of power daren't give up that power (and consequently inflict far more mayhem on their own citizenry than is necessary) because they've nowhere to run to.
If you really think this is a good idea then you have to allow them to come to the US (or in my case, Britain). If you're willing to do that up to hour 72 then you can dispense with most of the violence (although it might still be fun).
It might improve your balance of payments too: see, sometimes virtue is rewarded!

Don't burn down the monaste... (Below threshold)

Don't burn down the monasteries, though. Those dudes make some seriously tasty beer.

@GarandFanMachiavell... (Below threshold)

Machiavelli said it is best of all to be both feared and loved, _but_, if you cannot be both, then it is better to be feared than loved.
Given that much of the world has an unreasonable hatred of the US, then the US should embrace that and make the evil fear them, make the dictators and tyrants and their supporters bone deep afraid of what happened to the Third Reich and Imperial Japan happening to them.
Someone needs to stand up to the darkness and say enough. To say no to raping, killing, pillaging, and enslaving their own countries let alone others.

I can see one big problem w... (Below threshold)

I can see one big problem with the strategy that has not been previously mentioned. As you say Jay Tea, you do this once or twice and they believe you. until we elect another president. then he has to do it again to prove that he too MEANS it. And the problem is BO doesn't "mean it". That's why he is quick to pointout no ground troops, even when sending in missiles.

Mr. Tea,I'm not a ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Tea,

I'm not a fan of tribalism. I'm more of a Constitutionalist... as in, "I do solemnly affirm, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies..." Its a rule of law thing, not an allegiance to a dictator or potentate (-ie- their will).

Foreign policy, as it relates to American interest being threatened, or actions (or threat of action) by others that are perceived to go against such interest, seems to me to be a slippery slope without some formal structure of checks and balances to regulate international behaviors. Take such things as international trade and finance - for example.

If one can reasonably agree that an earnest attempt to compete using the free enterprise system in international trade was initially made in good faith - then its more difficult to redefine such efforts later as threatening or against one's interest.

For example, Country X buys 1.5 trillion dollars of marketable U.S. treasury securities. Obviously, both sides (US and Country X) got what they initially desired in the transaction. But what happens if the US decides to call these bonds? Or if Country X decides to sell their US bond holdings all at once on the international market? Who's interest is then being threatened? Depends on one's point of view then (and not the rule of law), doesn't it?

I'm not advocating replacing our Constitutional Republic with the UN or the WTO. Both these latter organizations are a sick joke - and the rules that flow from their structure are so dysfunctional that I would be willing to scrap them and start over with like minded countries in the arena of free trade policy... as the heart and core of our national foreign policy. An example is in order: once upon a time the Russian ruble was worthless in the international markets as a medium of exchange - because we shunned them (so sorry- no dice), effectively locking them out (at least in the free world - which is the only place it really mattered).

Right now - our financial foreign trade policy (indeed the world's) can be summarized as: beggar thy neighbor by increase one's exports while decreasing one's imports, and a race to the bottom in the global devaluation game. Everyone points the finger at everyone else and cries foul. Its an indication of how out of control things are and its a completely unsustainable model in its present form. Yes, I acknowledge America's current account, trade, and budget balance are, in aggregate, the worst of any G-20 country, but that's not the whole story. Such imbalances are two way streets, even if such a devils bargain can be sustained for a generation... they cannot be sustained forever.

Checks and balances are needed for a sustainable stable regime of free global trade. And I mean free trade, which is not what is going on now. We had such a global system long ago under the gold standard and then Brentwood (which followed). FDR and Nixon didn't do us any favors in their day (anybody remember the trade wars of the 1930s -perhaps not -then how about, wage and price controls in the 1970s?) We then went to floating exchange rates, and when that didn't work - we turned to fiat and are now running faster and faster just to keep in place as summarized in the paragraph immediately above.

Great Moogly-Googly! Its crap economics, crap policy, and the lack of leadership shows. Where are our modern Washington, Adams, and Jefferson? We need to get our own house in order, reset the virtuous grand bargain with like minded free trade counties, and then proceed. The rest of the free world can get their own act together and join us if they want (if not, then they will have to be on the outside looking in, and stay with their old and decrepit UN and WTO)... and so thats the direction of international trade and finance that I think our 'foreign policy' should be geared to and support.

FWIW - Semper Fidelis-

I anticipate that some will... (Below threshold)

I anticipate that some will infer 'Country X' as China. Well, not necessarily. Put in the Post Office fund of Japan, or Mr. Gross' PIMCO (the largest bond fund manager in America)... heck, reduce the amount and put your own Granny in there - and you'll be trackin'.

FWIW- Semper Fidelis-

Well Jay Tea, that would ha... (Below threshold)

Well Jay Tea, that would have been a great policy if we'd applied it to Iraq - seeing as Saddam Hussein made us that same offer and we invaded anyway.

The only difference is that Saddam asked for the equivalent in $1 billion. Which would have been a bit irritating, I admit.

Still, budgetary sense, foreign policy sense, and would have saved the lives of over 3000 US soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, AND enabled us to keep the focus on Osama Bin Laden. So we could finally capture him and, in my fantasy, hang him from the top of a rebuilt WTC and let vultures pick his bones before his burnt ashes are mixed with pig's blood and fired into space.

But at least we have a two-front occupation with no end in sight. Sigh.

Whoops! I correct myself. S... (Below threshold)

Whoops! I correct myself. Saddam wasn't even asking for that money from the US. He was asking only to keep one billion of his OWN stealings.

So, zero cost to the US - or costly destructive invasion. Jay Tea, it appears you would make the right call that Bush clearly did not.

jim x, go back and re-read ... (Below threshold)

jim x, go back and re-read that article:

"It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction."

Slight difference from what you said, chump...


Brilliant. Bout the way Jef... (Below threshold)

Brilliant. Bout the way Jefferson did it in the shores of Tripoli!

Do it Right a couple of times (witness August 1945) and foreign folks'll get the message.

Still capable of projecting more military power to any corner of the Earth than most of the next twenty military "powers" can even begin to imagine, the way America's Forces have been misused these past few decades has been pathetic.

We missed a perfect chance to make the world come to attention when we didn't drop a tactical nuke through the sun-roof of Obama bin Laden's Range-Rover when we had him pin-pointed before Tora Bora. Not to mention, in past years, on Teheran's Khomeini and on, for example Ho Chi Min.

"It seems he's ind... (Below threshold)
"It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction."

Yes Jay Tea, you're right. That's what ***Bush said** Saddam's terms were - "all the information about WMD."

Which as we all know means all that information about things which didn't freaking exist, because the weapons inspectors didn't find any illegal information OR labs when they started inspecting again in 2001. Which in fact forced the administration to twist its own sources out of shape and rely on mis-informers like "curveball" in order to gin up the rationale for what they had already decided to do.

So when you can explain what's so bad about letting Hussein leave and be watched by 30 guys 24x7, I'm all ears.

By the way, here's the actual transcript where this came up, if you want to read it for yourself.


But once again, a compliment for you - you would have been a far better President than Bush because you are much more likely to have done the sane thing and accepted Saddam's exile in exchange for the lives of US soldiers, and the probability that we would have captured and killed Osama Bin Laden.

I know that rankles you. It should.

jim x, at this point you're... (Below threshold)

jim x, at this point you're looking like a completely dishonest swine.

First, you bring up Saddam's offer to abdicate if he's allowed to keep a bunch of his stolen money, and Bush refuses, making a swipe at Bush, and providing a link.

I go to your link, and see that you omitted a crucial part of the offer: his money, AND his info on WMDs -- info that could be very valuable, and info that we would NOT want him to have to sell or give away to those who would use it against us. A critical distinction.

Then you seem to go back and discredit the very source you cited, and mock me for believing the source you cited.

Will you make up your fucking mind, you moron?


Jay Tea, at this point you'... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, at this point you're looking like you're freaking the fuck out.

Since it apparently isn't clear enough for you, I'll break it down further. It appears to me that the WMD bit is Bush's own amplification on Saddam's demands, as a justification for turning them down. It appears to me taht this is the case because, as we all know now, Saddam HAD NO WMD program in existence in 2001 and onward, and thus HAD NO information.

But if you don't want to accept that reasoning, then that's fine and that's your privilege. And I won't even call you a fucking moron or a completely dishonest swine.

Instead, I'll put it to you this way:

What would be so bad about letting Saddam out WITH this alleged WMD information - and then assigning 1000 people and a satellite to watch him 24x7 until he dies of old age?

If you can answer, I'd love to hear it.

Its surreal reading your co... (Below threshold)

Its surreal reading your comment Jim X, "What would be so bad..."

Saddam Hussein was a cruel and brutal dictator, one of the most malignant on our planet during his reign. He was responsible for the death of millions, including many of his own nation. He attacked most all of his neighbors (repeatedly), including a country his nation didn't even share a border with.

Back in 1990, I was saying that Hussein wouldn't die of old age, in bed at home, surrounded by his loving family and adoring friends. He lived by the sword, and he would die by the sword.

The optics of him being pulled out of a hole in the ground, and then hung by his own people, until dead... was a fitting demise.

Ditto - for how his sons ended up eating a couple of rockets in their blasted wreckage of a hideout.

Lotsa folks, including many Iraqi's, now have Justice and resolution for what they and their loved one's had to endure under his reign of terror.

Whats wrong with... or could have gone wrong... cutting a deal with a cruel and brutal dictator... using the parameters you came up with (for arguments sake)?

The pretentious logic necessary to arrive at such a position... is so divorced from the reality of the world...its surreal. Its becoming a familiar refrain with you, Jim X... and all I can say is... just friggin' wow!

What Jay has outlined is a ... (Below threshold)

What Jay has outlined is a slightly broader version of the Ryan Doctrine from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series.

...a doctrine I wouldn't mind seeing the US adopt.

Interestingly, it wouldn't have led us into Libya now - but it would have had us pick off Qadaffi after Pan Am 103.

Its surreal readin... (Below threshold)
Its surreal reading your comment Jim X, "What would be so bad..."

Saddam Hussein was a cruel and brutal dictator, one of the most malignant on our planet during his reign. He was responsible for the death of millions, including many of his own nation. He attacked most all of his neighbors (repeatedly), including a country his nation didn't even share a border with.

Yes. All of that is true.

What is surreal to me is how easily it is forgotten that he did nearly all of that while he was a FULLY SUPPORTED US ALLY.

I expect it will be forgotten again after this comment, in fact. But let me remind you - when he gassed his own people, the US itself backed him up, vetoed a UN resolution against him, and not only continued but **increased** the amount of military and industrial materials we sold him.

So this notion that we invaded Iraq because Saddam was bad to his people is basically nonsense. Besides the fact that more innocent Iraqis died because of our invasion than he would have killed.

Be that all as it may, sorry if you don't like the math Brucepall but it stands. Letting thousands of US soldiers live, tens of thousands more not be maimed, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians also have their lives is kind of worth letting a single despot live out his days in exile. I don't see how killing more innocents for some revenge on someone else killing innocents makes any kind of sense, if there's a far easier, less expensive way to have a better result.

You know, basically the exact same thing that Jay Tea is pushing as the premise of this article.

Or are you saying you disagree with Jay Tea's premise too?

Jim X, My comment ... (Below threshold)

Jim X,

My comment and 2 cents worth of input about Mr. Tea's post is #25. I almost feel sorry for you by #34... almost. Here's why:

Jay engages you enough (so your mesmerized by the morsel); you strike at the red meat (bait); and you get snared and reeled-in (again!) Its like watching a master hunter's 'catch and release program' on the Fishin' channel.

But since your pretentious reasoning and logic is what gets into these predicaments in the first place... your not going to get a lot of sympathy form my direction.

Are you listening, Jim X?

You're of course welcome to... (Below threshold)

You're of course welcome to your opinion Brucerall. I'm awaiting Jay Tea's response to # 33.

Also, I'm awaiting your direct response to # 36. Any time you feel like it, I am listening.






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