Saturday, January 7, 2012

Foreign Policy Ignorance & Hypocrisy

There is a large swell, especially amongst the Republicans, calling to shrink the size of the government; however, many are either simply ignorantly inconsistent or are hypocrites who call for maintaining a high-level of military presence overseas, if not actually increasing an imperial footprint. Among the presidential candidates, each one (outside Ron Paul and Gary Johnson) and epitomized by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum and especially by Barak Obama of whom others have (rightly) criticized for his expansive use of military force.

Ron Paul, as of late, has been getting lambasted by the imperialists for not continuing the militaristic march toward inculcating ‘democracy’ and ‘defending American values’ from those who are not attacking the USA. The lambasting hasn’t just come from others seeking the presidential nomination; the continual droning of the same tripe has come from various media outlets who like an echo chamber, reverberate what others have spoken.

The major sticking-point most advance as the biggest example of Ron Paul’s ‘weakness on foreign policy’ is Iran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons. The drone goes: how could Ron Paul allow the terrorist state to get just one nuclear bomb, for then they’ll surely raze an America city. Therefore, we need a strong leader who will prevent such harm from befalling the US, someone who is willing to prevent Iran from achieving manufacturing nuclear weapons. Ron Paul states that Iran’s push to get a nuclear weapon is not a catastrophic event.

Does Ron Paul state that Iran getting nuclear weapons is a good thing?—no. He also states that if there was a credible threat, it would be up to Congress to make a declaration of war; the imperialists use the concern about Iran’s nuclear program to advance pre-emptive strikes, led by presidential action. Those who spout off a love for the Constitution, but call for the President to initiate an attack need to check their premises. The power to declare war isn’t intended for one man’s whim; it was to be intended as the great, grave measure it is, and decided by Congress.

What does presidential action without a declaration of Congress look like? It looks like Vietnam, Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Bay of Pigs, etc; keep in mind, Usama bin Laden was trained in a similar vein as the Bay of Pigs plan – by the US, to be against someone else we didn’t like. How did each of those turn out for the US?—poorly. Recently, the majority of politicians denounced the ruling party’s actions when their own party was not in the majority; Democrats denounced Bush for Iraq; Republicans denounced Obama for Libya. Where many Republicans and Democrats are in unison are calls for the president to be strong against Iran. Old national habits die hard. Only Ron Paul and Gary Johnson seek to break the national habit.

Some then advance: what about Israel? About Israel: Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, in a speech before Congress, stated Israel can take care of itself.

Lastly, what we need is a look at the presence of the US around the world, and its possible consequences. On top of the billions of dollars in aid going to various countries, some with propped-up, corrupt regimes, there are around half-a-million troops stationed in more than 100 countries around the world, as part of a department that cost more than all other military departments around the world, combined. Questions that should emerge from our presence: why are we in so many countries, with so many troops; what is the cost of having that presence (not just dollars, but definitely including the dollar amount)?

It is not a popular stand to make, to say that American presence and influence may engender hostility against us. After all, we’re the ‘good guys’ trying to help and ‘spread democracy.’ But, that’s still something we need to look at.

There is an objective moral value in a culture. By that, I’m referring to the advanced moral system within a culture and how truly moral it is: the culture that enforces moral codes by law and represses women for being women, stones homosexuals and places numerous restrictions on what may be said/examined/advanced, is not as moral as the culture that embraces liberty as long as individual rights are not violated. With that said, individuals and groups still generally embrace their own culture, and growing in it, or just embracing it, see their culture as the proper one; even if it entails curtailing certain behaviors by the threat of force, for in their culture that is acceptable. Those in or embracing their culture do so, and in seeing their culture as the proper one will resist outside forces trying to impose changes.

These changes may be not through using (direct) force such as aiding and propping up a regime (Hosni Mubarak), or using direct force (Moammar Gadhafi or Saddam Hussein). Either situation, there was a conflict and conflicts have at least two sides; one gets helped at the expense of the other, and with US intervention it is done by a third party either harming one’s cause or assisting one’s enemies. Much argument was made with the notion of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque,’ but how about if it was directly, and openly funded by Iran, from where they had their military stationed, were completing military actions and refused to leave?—would that engender US opposition against Iran?

Now, who are the ones who seek to have a weak US? The ones who seek to keep expanding imperialistic goals, to police the world, to spend vast sums of lives and dollars fighting against those who are not threatening our own safety, or propping up those who see the US as just another tool, a means to an end of their own power; are they the ones who stand for a strong country? Or is the one who stands for a strong country the one who doesn’t seek to police the world, but encourages trade and follows the rule of law set forth in the Constitution that our Founding Fathers created? The choice is clear.

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