Monday, March 13, 2006

Bush's Isolationist Fantasy

One phrase from President Bush's 2006 State of the Union Address made me sit straight up and wonder what he was smoking.

No, I'm not talking about his dire warnings of "human animal hybrids." I'm talking about this statement: "In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting -- yet it ends in danger and decline."

What the...???

This phrase confused me, not least because it is, in fact, true. My question was, who the hell is he talking to? But he continued:

"America rejects the false comfort of isolationism."

"Isolationism would not only tie our hands in fighting enemies, it would keep us from helping our friends in desperate need. "

"American leaders -- from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan -- rejected isolation and retreat, because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march."


Given that Bush doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with his foreign policy direction, I have to assume that he intended to criticize Democrats with these statements.

This is the same President who backed out of the Kyoto Protocol. The same President who views the Geneva Accords as archaic and non-binding. The President who believes he has the authority to exempt India from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The President who threatened to veto the anti-torture resolution which passed the Senate 90-9. The President who won't ratify American participation in the International Criminal Court. The President who used a recess appointment to install the U.N.'s biggest critic as our ambassador.

Speaking of the U.N., this is the President who only submitted a resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq to the Security Council because Democrats insisted on it. The President who then withdrew said resolution when it became clear it had no chance of passing and invaded anyway.

The President whose supporters accused John Kerry of giving too much deference to international opinion, and mocked his ability to speak French, even as they praised Bush's much rumored, never heard, ability to speak Spanish.

Maybe the President has seen the error of his ways, and now understands that to move forward in terms of the War on Terror, the global economy, the environment and human rights, going it alone is much less effective than working cooperatively.

Fat chance, unless the President has also developed a new interest in compromise. What the President fails to understand is that we are isolated not because of liberal distaste for globalization, but because of his attitude. His arrogance, his ignorance and his willingness to lie to advance a private agenda has left America lonelier than a penguin in Greenland.*

The run-up to the Iraq war taught us everything we need to know about Bush's interest in working cooperatively. He believes diplomacy is bribing or threatening allies into doing our bidding. America needs allies, now as much as at any time in our history. But allies don't stick around if you refuse to listen to them.

* Thank you, KR.

28 comments:

Jarred said...

With allies like us...

little-cicero said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
little-cicero said...

Andy, you have not neccessarily explained how the liberal opponents of the war are not isolationist in their protest.

Isolationism in the regard in which Bush is speaking is the unwillingness to impliment proactive foreign policy throughout the world, otherwise (mockingly) referred to as World Policing. To be willing to partake in UN negotiations which are guaranteed to accomplish next to nothing (see Sudan genocide apathy) is not proactive foreign policy, it is more like multi-culturalism and internationalsim: showing solidarity with the other nations of the world, providing chariy and setting regulations. While it is important to do so, we cannot pretend any longer that the UN is a viable instrument to get things done in World Policing. I can expand on this statement if you like.

Andy said...

It is a matter of historical record that the Bush Administration and the Republican party in general criticized Democrats heavily during 2002 and 2003 for their insistence on multilateral cooperation in the War on Terror, among other projects.

You, on the other hand, have done nothing to refute the charge that this administration's criminal disregard for the advice and concerns of its allies has resulted in our political isolation.

Wanting to withdraw from Iraq is not isolationism, it's just plain old pragmatism at this point. Leaving Iraq is not disengaging with the world.

The U.N. has its shortcomings, sure, but thanks to their sanctions, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction or production capabilities, and their expert inspectors were on their way to telling us that when Bush kicked them out, alleging incompetence and foot-dragging.

Jarred said...

The current administration's push to act as the self-appointed world police is actually a primary example of how they are alienating the rest of the world and isolating America.

The bottom line is that America does not have any authority to act as world police. There is no governing body that has handed this important job over to the U.S. Instead, the administration has decided to grab the job without authority, and have gotten away with it because we're "big enough to get away with it." One must wonder if that makes America true world police or just the international equivalent of schoolyard bullies.

The fact that the U.N. is not effective as it could be in taking care of certain international matters (though I think it's a vast oversimplification to claim that they're ineffective in general -- that kind of either-or thinking accomplishes nothing) is irrelevant. I live in a city where the homicide rate is frightening. Everyone agrees that the current police force and other government agents aren't as effective at addressing this problem as we might like. However, if I were to use that as an excuse to take law enforcement into my own hands, I'd still be arrested as a vigilante.

Furthermore, even if some governing body was to authorize America to act as the "world police," the current administration has demonstrated them unworthy of that authority. Authority implies accountability. And if one thing is absolutely clear, our current administration has no desire to be accountable -- or even maintain an illusion of being accountable -- to anyone else. (Indeed, they've basically told the international community and even the American people that they can do as they please and don't need to listen to those who would caution against their choices.) Police -- whether you're talking on the local, state, federal, or international level -- that refuse to adopt any form of accountability to those they "serve and protect" are a source of danger rather than security.

Doing a job that is was never ours while refusing to make ourselves accountable to anyone else in the process isn't exactly what I'd call being a "good neighbor." And it's certainly not a way to gain and maintain allies.

little-cicero said...

Of course, there are good reasons not to have entered Iraq that have nothing to do with isolationism, but listening to talk radio as I do, those on the Left repeatedly call both liberal and conservative shows saying not "We should have gone to Iran or Korea instead" as moderates such as yourself say. Rather, the Left Wing of the Democratic Party, which has attained so much influence recently, more so promotes the message "War is wrong, bring our boys home and work on America. Nation building is nice, but it's not worth abandoning our own country."

Of course this attitude is not connfined to the Left by any means. Merle Haggard, of whom I have long been a fan (thinking that of course he must be a diehard conservative) recently released a song and video called "Let's Build America First" which is pro-withdrawal. I still love Merle, but this is an isolationist philosophy.

little-cicero said...

The sentiment that we haven't got the authority to look out for our interest and that of our allies through global actions is isolationist to a degree.

From where do we derive said authority? From our military for one thing! Since we attained nuclear technology following the second World War, most of Europe has weakened militarily, looking to us as a protector from the Evil Soviet Empire. That is why over 90% of UN forces (In the Korean War anyway) have been American. China has a larger military, but does not take on the role of World Police as we do, because they have isolated themselves through the oppression of their own people, not through the liberation of other people. Thus, while it is ultimately military might which allows us to attain influence, it is the nobility of our cause that allows us to attain the respect and acceptance (as opposed to isolation) of the other nations of the world.

So as far as the exclusivity of the role of "World Police", anyone can try the role out, but no one else can maintain it as we can. Not only do we have military might, we have made the world a better place with that military might.

Were Lithuania to attempt this role, they would have too little military might, and would lose credibility after losing to those they attempt to subdue the offending nations.

If Iran were given an ample military force and the opportunity to try out such a role, the world would rise in resistance as they would do only evil as World Police.

Jarred said...

The sentiment that we haven't got the authority to look out for our interest and that of our allies through global actions is isolationist to a degree.

LC, have you actually listened to our "allies" recently? Most of them are calling the United States' actions into question. Many of them have questioned our actions since before we invaded Iraq. Claiming that we're "looking out for their interests" while blatantly ignoring them -- or worse, thumbing our noses at them when they express their concerns -- borders on the ludicrous.

Truth be told, the U.S. has a long history of going beyond "protecting our interests" and conflating that concept with "promoting our interests." (Consider the fact that humanitarian aid from our government is usually synonymous with making other countries increasingly dependent on U.S. exports.) Truth be told, from where I'm sitting, we're beocming more and more imperialistic in our "foreign policy" and attempts to act as "world police."

From where do we derive said authority? From our military for one thing!

You are clearly confusing power with authority. Having the power to do something does not equate to having the authority to do it. My car gives me the "power" to cruise through town at 100MPH. It does not, however, grant me authority to do so. The fact that so many Americans think our military power immediately grants us the authority to do these things is one of the things about the current state of affairs that has me the most concerned. "Might" does not "make right."

Thus, while it is ultimately military might which allows us to attain influence, it is the nobility of our cause that allows us to attain the respect and acceptance (as opposed to isolation) of the other nations of the world.

The uncritical and unshakable belief in the "nobility of our cause" is the other thing that has me most concern. Truth be told, we've decided we're right. We've decided we're going to ignore any country that questions our actions or methods or denigrate them by calling them cowards or somesuch. It goes back to that whole lack of accountability topic I brought up (and you chose to ignore).

Truth be told, we don't have the respect and acceptance of the other countries. Most other countries think we've gone too far. Even those who support us are only doing so in extremely limited fashion and keeping a close eye on us.

I really think you need to look into what other countries really are saying about recent U.S. actions and the direction our policies are taking overall. We've generated a lot of feeling by our fellow nations, but little if any of it of it is sincere respect.

little-cicero said...

Every voting member of the UN Security Council had oil contracts predetermined with Saddam Hussein- that is self-interested diplomacy, and I will not be basing my understanding of global justice on the opinions of these pieces of oil-soaked, soulless Eurotrash that so permeate a stench within the United Nations.

I am not confusing power with authority...I suppose I should clarify. The two elements which combine to give us authority are military might and global moral uprightness. That we have used our powers not for evil but for good in the world gives us moral uprightness, and that we have the most able military gives us the might necessary to uphold this morality.

No one (that counts, excluding Islamofascists and Baathists) can doubt that, in Iraq, we have done good by liberating millions and removing a horrible dictator, all at the expense of the United States (According to critics of the war, we are actually LOSING money, not gaining it!).

Jarred said...

...and I will not be basing my understanding of global justice on the opinions of these pieces of oil-soaked, soulless Eurotrash that so permeate a stench within the United Nations.

Do you ever stop to listen to the things you're saying and how they sound? Such name-calling does nothing for "international respect"...at least not anything positive. And your tendency to make such sweeping generalizations is frightening.

Joe said...

Andy:
Although I agree with the argument that our invasion of Iraq was for far different reasons that were officially given I believe that leaving Iraq now would be the wrong choice. Part of the problem in the Middle East has been caused by US foreign policy that has had us engaging in one manner or another and then leaving. Afghanistan is a perfect example. We supported the Afghani’s with weapons, training, and intelligence during their struggle with the Soviets. As soon as the struggle ended we left. This is significant reason as to why and how the Taliban came to power. This type of American policy is not new to this administration. It has been used by many administrations. I will concede that the Bush Administration has taken it to new levels. However, this practice has more to do with the hatred of the United States than perceived isolationist practices. If we leave Iraq now it will be more problematic in the long run.

Little Cicero:
I am going to make a couple of assumptions about your beliefs if I am wrong please correct me. I am assuming that you support a Democratic Society in Iraq. That being said I have a hypothetical question for you. What if the Iraqi people elected a government that was anti-west and anti-American? Would you then have the United States gracefully bow out and respect their decision? I bet not. You and people that argue for a Democratic Iraq have an unspoken stipulation. The results of their election have to fall in line with US interests and designs. You may say that is not true but look at the Palestinians. Now that Arafat is finally gone they have a real election (a fair election that no government has even challenged or insinuated that it was corrupt). When it is announced that Hamas had a huge victory the West balked. I will agree that Hamas is deplorable. However, it smacks of hypocrisy when the West’s response is basically “Ya ok, Redo” and demands a result that is more agreeable with our wants. The Palestinian people spoke in the manner that we have demanded (a democratic election) and now we have to work with it. The people of the Middle East aren’t as stupid as the West believes. The Iraqis are watching the Palestinian situation and are taking notes.

Everyone:

As far as isolationism is concerned I do not agree with Bush’s policies but there is some value in a little isolationism. If we had been a little more closed off from the world 911 may never have happened. (big what if I know) As much as the liberals talk about embracing the world they ignore the fact that the countries they praise are just as guarded as we are. I have a few examples: Extradition laws (Can anyone say Joran Van Der Sloot or Mark Rich), the Swiss(need I say more), and the fact that the Japanese pay for almost 20 percent of the U.N peacekeeping budget but all of Europe via the European Union only account for paying for half of the budget. If divided equally that is about 2 percent of the budget per country. Come on!! How about sharing the “global Burdne.”

little-cicero said...

To Jarred: I usually don't engage in name-calling, but having respect for the UN and its fat beaurocratic participants (who could probably not get a job at McDonalds if they tried!) does not seem appropriate considering this institution's perpetration of the greatest fraud in history (UN Oil for Food Program) I just hope John Bolton is able to straighten things out and avoid expressing his similar feelings for them!

To Joe: As far as the Palestinian elections are concerned, I was one of the only conservatives to immediately rejoice at the victory for democracy of HAMAS having won the elections (You can visit my blog to confirm this) Of course, it was horrible for the Israeli and the rest of the civilized world, but good for democracy.

The consensus among those of us who accept the possibility of victory (or are even optimistic) is that victory will occur when the US is replaced as a securing force by a stable, pro-Western democracy, we make no bones about this. Thus if an anti-Western government were to develop, victory would not be achieved. Until victory is achieved in Iraq, we will not withdraw our troops. Are we clear on what I'm saying?

Of course, the Iraqi and Palestinian situations are completely different. 1) While Iraq does not like occupation, they still appreciate their liberation, only with the exception of a minority of agitated Baath sympathizers and a portion of Sunnis lamenting over their loss of political influence.
2)While Palestine's existence is almost solely based on their opposition to Israel, Iraqis have a national pride, looking to the glorious civilization of Babylon. Because their existence is not based in anger and racism, Iraqis will be much more rational in their decisions than were Palestinians.

Andy said...

Joe, that kind of nuance and unbridled objectivity will not be tolerated here. Extremism is so much more fun, don't you think?

I think you're absolutely right about the reasons to stay in Iraq, and for the longest time I argued for the need to stay there and fulfill our promises. Lately though I have my doubts: not just about Bush's inability to do anything right there, but after the Samarra bombing about whether there are enough people there willing to really enter into a democratic society to make the process work. I want to believe there are, but on the other hand, if they'd rather have a winner-take-all civil war, I don't want our people in the middle of it.

Every voting member of the UN Security Council had oil contracts predetermined with Saddam Hussein That is true, but it also does not negate the fact that Saddam Hussein was not in violation of Resolution 1441: at the time of our invasion, he had granted U.N. inspectors previously unprecedented access (including his private residences) and today, after three full years of occupying the country, we have not found one single sample of the banned items George Bush alleged they possessed.

these pieces of oil-soaked, soulless Eurotrash that so permeate a stench Boy, that will win them right over to our cause. Some of my best friends are soulless Eurotrash, by the way.

kr pdx said...

LC: Wow, you really are a Bushie, aren't you?
Wow ... yeah. Pretty amazing. I live in a blue city ... I don't think I've heard such red-thinking in ... well, forever. But then I can't listen to conservative talk radio much because I am a stay-at-home mom and my kids don't need to hear all the bitching from either side.

You are more coherent today (perhaps being less out of your element), but still sound like you are parroting authorities. If you source only from conservative talk radio, your stuff will indeed always be "logical" (the pieces will hold together logically), but you will not be well-rounded and you probably therefore won't be CORRECT. I started arguing with dittoheads in high school, including my godparents. If I argued merely from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, my arguments would always be logical, but who here would care? You have to find outside corroboration!

These guys are right. The world increasingly not only fears us it hates us. 9/11 and 9/12/2001 were phenomenal for showing what the world perceived of us--they actually honored all that upstanding freedom stuff you are claiming they do. But the Bush Administration took all that goodwill and twisted it horribly to convince Americans that we really are the star-studded saviors of the world and we had some sort of global mandate (as false as Bush's bizarrely claimed national "mandate" after the last election) to stomp around in our big army boots and "spread freedom." You need to read the press from other countries. The BBC is a simple place to start; they tend to quote actual Europeans more often. And actual Middle-Easterners, and actual Asians. Instead of Bush Administration Officials telling our press what others said or did, with appropriate spin added.

IF we lived up to our "ideals," I suspect the world would, largely, support us. The world, being a little more suspicious of US power than you are, can plainly see that we (the Bush Administration who holds the reins) are a big and proudly ignorant bully. Many of them have a more or less free press, too, remember.

This Administration kicked out Colin Powell, who was the only person the rest of the world trusted by that point, after hoodwinking him into using his position of trust to lie to the UN about WMD certainty. I'm not sure whether it's good or bad that Condoleeza Rice observably listens to fer'ners; as long as she's listening they will keep trying to talk instead of doing something to stop "us." Woe betide the day the rest of the world figures out it can act in concert (as individual countries probably can't) against the USA. THEN we'll see just how effective the UN could be, and we'll be faced with the true weakness inherent in basing our "authority" on military might. Are you going to support militarily opening Japan to trade again (per 1700s)? How about Indonesia, France, Iran, and China ... all at once?

And discounting China is just plain dumb. They have militarily absorbed lots of smaller countries. People are worried that the Middle East and Russia, both oil-rich, could be outlets for the projected anger of the oppressed Chinese populace and, specifically, the uniquely stymied heterosexual young men. You have of course read that many Muslim governments rile the populace against America to distract them from their real notional problems?

And hey, "soulless Eurotrash" is a bit strong from someone who tries to save souls here ... ? Just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them stupid.

And OMG, Joe, won't it be nice when "we" stop thinking fr'ners are less intelligent than we?

Confession: I supported going into Iraq, for all the reasons the Bush Admin didn't. I believe it could have been justified under Just War theory, which my Pope at the time didn't support but I think is reasonable at this stage of humanity's apparent general development. Not planning for the Peace, nor apparently doing ANY f-ing research into the values of the Iraqi people and their cultural treasures (which were freaking vital(!) to so much religious study and linguistic study ... but then I'm prejudiced ... ), were just ... well, God is bigger than I am, but I'd use "unforgivable" here. (On the other hand, if they all keep lying through their teeth and remain unrepentant, all you Bush-haters can be satisfied that the Christ they claim won't be too impressed.)

We rebuilt Japan and helped rebuild Germany (and decimated Europe). You would THINK there is someone somewhere who could apply some learning to the Iraq situation. ARGH.

kr pdx said...

oh, and ... the Bush Admin is not Isolationist. They firmly understand that the entire globe and everyone in it is necessary to our nation's success. And I do think many liberals are isolationist, in the "pull back and let everyone go their way while we lick our wounds" sense. And why our wounds are so gaping? Well ...

Abusers are very very interested in keeping up appearances and yet having complete control over anyone and anything that they feel might threaten their psychological balance ... which leads to VERY BAD BEHAVIOR, rarely rationally based. Sound familiar, George Bush & Company?

little-cicero said...

I'll get back to this later when I have time, but let me clarify, when I say soulless Eurotrash, I merely am referring to the beaurocrats, not Europeans in general. Of course, I would not think it wise to say this to their faces, but this is the blogosphere- where spades are referred to as spades, and nothing more!

You may liken it to big business. You would probably agree with me that most of the people in big business would sell their mothers for profit. Now, the fact that our economy requires the presence of such men is irrelevant to any judgements on their character or lack thereof. Just as we need big business stiffs with no souls, we need UN stiffs with no souls

kr pdx said...

OH! I remembered my other confession. I voted for Bush. I am not sure now whether I might have voted differently, given everything. I am anti-abortion, and the number of abortions in America annually dwarfs anything short a nuclear bomb from Bush. Once past the poisons of RU486, they are burned with sodium or torn limb from limb. Those are pretty equivalent to war-wounds, to me. John Kerry voted to maintain the right to partial birth abortion. No way in hell could I vote for him, no matter how much I agreed environmentally/socially. (Andy knows all this, in Much Greater Detail, but it seemed pertinent for the rest of you.)

kr pdx said...

As long as people like you think "no souls" is OK, they will be that way. I am horrified you think our economy or politics need people like that to operate. I would have to become an anarchist.

Fortunately, I believe God created us to be Good, and that being Good will only make things run better ... whew. No maltov cocktails from me! Just yet, anyway ;).

Conceptualizing other human beings that way can only lead to anger or despair. Two major sins! You have intellectually given up on huge blocks of people.

You're being ridicuous again.

I have to go to a friend's birthday party--bye!

little-cicero said...

I am not angry nor do I despair, but I thought for sure we would agree that big business does not equal big hearts. Neither is it the job nor the tendency of big business to have big hearts. They make profit, which serves a virtuous purpose. Sympathy and Empathy have important places in the world, but not in business!

Unfortunately, diplomacy is one of those areas that requires a great deal of empathy, but the diplomats in the UN are generally devoid of such empathy.

When I say "soulless," I am not sure we are clear on my meaning. I do not mean it in the literal sense, as in being evil, which most diplomats are not. To be evil there must be passion involved, or at least brain stimulation, but both are lacking in such individuals. They are only dangerous in their apathy and lack of genuine motivation.

I have not given up huge blocks of people! Only beaurocrats, and the last time I checked, they didn't matter (joking of course...at least half-joking!)

You are not saying that we are inherently good are you?

Aethlos said...

I would have assumed greenland would be crawling (flapping?) with penguins, but based on that locution i'm going to assume there are no penguins in greenland (?)

kr pdx said...

"And God saw that it was good."

LC, what God do you belive in?

"Neither is it the job nor the tendency of big business to have big hearts. They make profit, which serves a virtuous purpose. Sympathy and Empathy have important places in the world, but not in business!"

Wow I hope you grow past that one. That is just fucked up. AS in, the more people who think that, the more people (and environments and societies) will, perforce, GET fucked. And I do NOT like to use that word in print.

Profit is not "virtuous," it is bullshit, if people (etc.) are destroyed. Slavery OK, then? Because there are still governments who actually or virtually enslave people, especially if Big Business pays them Big Money.

People are virtuous or not. Money has no moral value.

Profits are often very ill gained: German car makers during WWII is another one, everything that happened in the first 200 years after Europeans discovered the Americas, robbing ancient archaelogical sites ... I just frankly can't begin to concieve that a Christian could possibly think profits justify anything at all. But here we are.

Read about socially conscious investment funds. And many of the more progressive companies. And how companies with a more diverse high management turn significantly higher profits, on average, than companies who are lazy or bigotted and still are run by all whites or all men. Your basic assumption isn't even accurate, that soullessness breeds profits!

And "soulless" does not mean "evil." It indicates that they are outside of your basic God judges them, sin/virtue paradigm--that you don't think of them as fully human. Even jokingly, you ought to be careful about that!

OK, now I have to put the small ones to bed--bye again.

kr pdx said...

LC PS I am assuming you read my comment 93, and am operating from that footing.

Anonymous said...

take some prozac kr pdx. take a deep breath and calm down.

kr pdx said...

anonymous, you are right

I should probably bug him on HIS blog about his "conservativism" that doesn't seem to conserve anything

instead I think I will just stop reading Andy's comment-strings, like at least two other friends of mine; if he's this distracting here the LAST thing I need is to read his blog.

(you can take a deep breath--and breathe your sigh of relief ;) )

little-cicero said...

What I was referring to is the "virtue of selfishness". The concept is that profit is one of the most powerful pursuits in our lives, and in the process of following it we often do virtuous things. For example, the only way that we would expand a business that is momentarily sustaining is if we are pursuing profit (which transcends sustenence). To profit from that expansion, you have to hire people. When you hire people, you are giving them a source of income and livelihood, so therein lies the virtue of selfishness.

Having said that, please do "bug" me at my blog. I'm sure Andy can vouch for my record of civility and courtesy, so you will not regret it!

little-cicero said...

DO NOT STOP READING ANDY'S COMMENT STRINGS! You are not obligated to respond to my comments, and I would much rather have you read my comments and move along than have them so anger you that you avoid these comment strings all together.

Having said that, please do bug me on my comments section! I cherish it every time someone "bugs" me as my traffic is so low!

Andy said...

The virtue of selfishness? As Barney from the Simpsons would say, "Jesus must be spinning in his grave."

Dude. Put down the Ayn Rand novels. Step away carefully. Come back to reality with the rest of us, there's plenty of room.

kr pdx said...

can't .... resist .... must ... POST! NoooOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Ok, that said:

---

"Mary has chosen the better part, and she shall not be deprived of it."

---

There is honor and spiritual strength to be found in work. Creating work, maybe not so much.

The only people I see around who are being fulfilled by work, it is because they are doing something they believe in/enjoy, not because they are making big profits. Fulfilled = showing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Joy, Peace, etc. ... those things that show you are following God's will for you. People who follow the Material Path tend to continue to feel unfulfilled (thereby leading them further down the path of material iniquity towards that soullessness you earlier so casually/kiddingly imply).

I was going to ask about whether that was Ayn Rand. I have a formerly Christian, very smart friend who started digging on her stuff when he was moving away from Christianity. Your comment sounded like his. I have never read her stuff, but I have argued with him a lot--and her stuff is largely not only not biblically supportable, it is anti-biblical. That was the whole deal with the idea "virtue of profit," as I recall--to turn Christian moralizing on its head.