Alternative US Foreign Policy

Discussion in 'World Events' started by hypewaders, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. bandwidthbandit Registered Senior Member

    As the world's leading democracy who is always preaching the virtues of liberty, The US looks like complete hypocrits to the people of the Middle East because our foreign policy in that region has put our way of life, AKA cheap gas, ahead of their liberty. We consistently support brutal regimes that suppress their people's rights. Some of our closet allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc... violate everything we say we hold dear. There is a reason most of the terrorists that were involved in the 9/11 attacks come from Saudi Arabai and Egypt. We have supported the ruling regimes in those countries and the people tired of being repressed blame us for aiding these regimes who could not exist without US support.

    If you're in Western Europe, Japan, or most of the industrialized world don't get to judgemental because you are directly benefiting from this immoral policy as well.

    The US will never succeed in the Middle East until it puts our best principles ahead of our worst impulses as the driving force of our foreing policy.
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  3. te jen Registered Senior Member

    I can hardly be said to welcome disaster, though I do appreciate the label of "stoic". A digression from Wikipedia:

    "The foundation of Stoic ethics is the principle, proclaimed earlier by the Cynics, that good lies in the state of the soul itself, in wisdom and restraint. Stoic ethics stressed the rule "Follow where Reason leads"; one must therefore resist the influence of the passions—love, hate, fear, pain, and pleasure.

    Living according to nature or reason, they held, is living in conformity with the divine order of the universe. The four cardinal virtues of the Stoic philosophy are wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance, a classification derived from the teachings of Plato.

    A distinctive feature of Stoicism is its cosmopolitanism. All people are manifestations of the one universal spirit and should, according to the Stoics, live in brotherly love and readily help one another. They held that external differences such as rank and wealth are of no importance in social relationships. Thus, before the rise of Christianity, Stoics recognized and advocated the brotherhood of humanity and the natural equality of all human beings. Stoicism became the most influential school of the Greco-Roman world and produced a number of remarkable writers and personalities."

    A good path to follow, in my opinion​

    Our present estate is a result of the cumulative effect of a hundred years of capitalism run rampant. If we take serious steps to reverse the effects of this history, it will mean nothing less than an end to American economic and political hegemony. It also means an end to the party for the privileged classes in America. We are asking the rulers to release the tiger's tail, and so it's not surprising that they are reluctant to do so.

    I see a smooth progression in limits to American power that began at the bargaining table in Korea in 1953, was driven home on the streets of Hue city during the Tet Offensive in 1968, and has been further reinforced by 9-11 and al-Qaida. We must accept and declare the de facto limitations that we now operate under.

    Beyond that, I have two specific policy suggestions:

    1. A ten-year program to utterly end the use of fossil fuels in the United States.

    2. A new commitment to human rights that would include the right of all people to self determination, end the support of political regimes that fail to adhere to international standards of behavior, and work with real coalitions to intervene in places like Sudan and Kosovo where crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place. Incidentally, this would also mean cleaning house in the United States by completely revamping our prison system (a crime against humanity in itself, IMO), our tax system, our financial industries, and by guaranteeing self-determination for all marginaized populations.

    Again, to implement this requires those in power to run the risk of losing their power, but I would suggest that they ought to consider voluntary changes before they have the rug yanked out from under them.
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  5. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    I did address, breifly so, America's role in this present crisis.

    Our participation or intervention is not the problem. We are not patently culpable in terrorists killing us. For further explination read Thomas L. Friedman's Longitudes and Attitudes .

    I never talked about invading another nation, unless there was a causis belli other than implanting democracy. That greater middle east democracy initative would simply cut US support for autocratic and bad regimes that are serving to make their populations feel hopeless and humiliated-- two prerequesits for wanting to join a terrorist org.

    Funny how their attacking us because of who we are, way more than what we've done. They attacked us because they see us, improperly, as the reason their lives are bad. The reason they feel humiliated is because they haven't looked for internal reform, stopped to think about educating their children and have spent far too much time blaming Zionists and Americans for their nations not running right.

    Our sin in the Middle East was not a sin of commission, but rather of omission. We never cared enough about democracy and human rights in these nations, all we wanted during the Cold War was for them to keep pumping oil and keep the communists out. That was our mistake.

    In retrospect, because I threw together that alternative policy post, I probably would not have such a broad democracy initiave. It would be much less threatening than it is, no sanctions, with the exception of Syria. I would still begin to yank foreign aid if Egypt didn't reform itself. Why should we be paying $4 billion per annum to the same country that sends a lot of its people (without governmant compliance of course) to terrorist camps?

    Iraq will currently serve as a model for liberal reform throughout the Middle East. 9/11 and the Iraq War have already created a climate in which writers, and some of the Muslim intelligencia are asking questions about their future and why their past has been so poor.

    My only problem is that the postive externalities from Iraq will take well over a decade to happen. Even then reform will be slow, so I would push for Mideast democracy, albeit a bit differently than I previously stated.
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  7. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    "Iraq will currently serve as a model for liberal reform throughout the Middle East."
    So bloody insurrection, radicalization, and civil war is America's model for the Mideast. Lovely: Arabs will be so grateful.

    "postive externalities from Iraq will take well over a decade to happen."
    Specifically what distant "positive externalities" are you expecting from the corpse of Iraq?

    "I would push for Mideast democracy, albeit a bit differently than I previously stated."
    OK, what would you push with: Americana? Bribery? Riot Troops? Bulldozers? Where's the traction?
  8. crazy151drinker Registered Senior Member

    relax hype, soon hydrogen will be the fuel of choice and the Middle East will rot on the vine.
  9. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    It's looking like a very unpleasant transition ahead. I'd like to navigate what's ahead and count on some relaxation, but my career, like that of millions of others, is very sensitively dependent on stable energy costs. It's hard to just go skating away on this thin ice. I did a lot of growing up in the ME, and don't fancy its "rotting" at all, nor do I like being made fearful about returning.
  10. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    Did you miss the "liberal reform" phrase? I never said security, but being that Iraq has a soverign government, a transitional constitution that protects women, minorties and embraces the rule of law. (Tell me where that exists in the Middle East.)

    One positive externality from the Iraq War has increased the amount of dialogue inside the Arab world for reform. You see it everywhere inside the editoral pages of numerous media outlets, be it state-run or indpendent papers, news websites, Mideast blogs and telvision.

    I already said the democratization push would come from the revoking of foreign aid, use of carrots such as aid and loans from the World Bank. Trading initiatives and other economic issues would be used to seduce the leadership into embracing democracy for a better economy.

    Why is it that there is an automatic assumption that democratization of the Mideast, especially from a conservative would use Israeli tactics or even the use of force? I've repeatidly stated that my inititave would not embrace the use of force, being that I'm trying to avoid a general war in the Middle East, not start one.
  11. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member


    "Iraq has a soverign government, a transitional constitution that protects women, minorties and embraces the rule of law."

    "Sovereign Govt in Iraq?"

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    "Transitional constitution" Well those 2 don't in reality exist in Iraq, do they? And who is protecting women and minorities in Iraq right now? I'll grant you a transitory constitution that it is in a secret embrace, or maybe a smooch, with someone's laws, but Iraqis didn't make it, don't own it, don't want it. La', shukran.

    For more pollyannics, read how the CPA/IIG tries to spin their latest poll. Better read it quick, though, because they're way too far out on a credibility limb to hang out their tripe analysis on that website for long.

    "(Tell me where [soverign government, a ... constitution that protects women, minorties and embraces the rule of law] exists in the Middle East."

    Let's see... How about everywhere but Iraq and Palestine? Unfortunately, pretty constitutions don't protect rights, and even moderate Arab states have as much reform work cut out for them as did the US did in the 60s. Considering the Patriot Acts, they're noticeably catching up to our shining example.

    Oh goody, a Positive Externality: "Dialogue for reform." From an Islamist perspective, you have a strong case. Of course we could have (instead of invading and setting upan abhorred occupation) sponsered a summit on reform, and layed out economic incentives for reform, acknowledging the fundamental premises of international law, including that sovereign countries have the sole authority to actually enact reform. That's all crying over spilled blood now. Guns are doing more talking in Iraq now than words, and America took the leadership role in promoting this state of affairs. You can see that in the papers, too.

    "I already said... Why is it..." Because the premise of the thread is alternative policy from here forward. Expounding on the years of painstaking diplomacy that the war obliterated is now fantasy land. We can't just pick up like the invasion and occupation never happened, and that means diplomacy in the accustomed sense has been eviscerated. Viable alternative US foreign policy in the Mideast from here forward is going to have to begin with extreme damage control, before the USA can ever even hope to be a respected arbiter again.

    Yes, curly1 diplomacy is good, but US diplomatic clout is now at a historic low point: Because the US govt and her intentions are now anathema to the Arab public, it isn't politically advantageous, nor healthy, for any progressive Arab leader to cozy up to Uncle Sam. The USA is now back to square 1, earning the trust of Arabs, so that their leaders can overtly partner with us.

    Utterly blocking the resusitation of diplomacy are "Israeli tactics" that have indeed been in use in Iraq by US forces. Fallujah and Abu-Ghraib were two well-noted examples of utter contempt for the rights and dignity of Iraqis, who were sealed off in ghettos, illegally abducted, and even tortured without due process. Your initiative would be helpful if it did not ignore the realities of events as they have already infamously transpired.

    Please try again. If you have a way to win hearts and minds through an occupation thinly masked in "sovereignty", I want to hear it. Or if you will at least acknowledge present realities, we could find more common ground.

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