Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Clear Choice

I've been debating the fundamental issues of our current foreign policy and how it affects our national security, and thought I'd post a summary of it here.

The argument really breaks down to this:

Do you believe that radical Muslims are motivated by a hatred of American culture and ideals, or do you think that they are motivated by opposition to US foreign policy?

I believe that they are primarily motivated by US foreign policy choices. The United States has a long history of policies which adversely affect Muslims and Muslim countries. At the same time, numerous polls have shown that large majorities of Muslims admire the culture and the idea of America, including its freedoms. Furthermore, Bin Laden has repeatedly stated that it is US foreign policy which is motivating Al Qaeda. His list of offenses is long, specific, accurate, and compelling.

This leaves us with a clear choice. We can continue these policies, and remain in a perpetual and escalating state of war with Islam. This war, at a minimum, will prove extremely costly, both in terms of money and in the freedoms we will sacrifice in an attempt to maintain security. In all likelihood, our efforts to prevent a billion* Muslims from obtaining a nuclear device and detonating it in the US, which will probably start a world wide war.

Or we can change our policies. This will not be easy. It will require us to become energy efficient, so that we no longer need to invade and occupy Muslim lands, and so that we no longer need to support Arab oil dictatorships. And it will require us to withhold support from Israel. Israel has, unnecessarily, made a lot of enemies in the Muslim world. There is no reason to make their enemies our enemies as well. If Israel wants to pursue expansionist policies, let them do so at their own peril, not ours.

I fear that these policy changes will prove to be politically impossible. The political elite and big business finds oil profits and Israeli influence to be more important than American security. The voters do not understand the issues, and the government is in no hurry to explain them, preferring, instead, to perpetuate the false belief that Muslims hate us for who we are, and so there is nothing else to do but kill them.

I believe that it will take a terrorist attack on an unprecedented scale before Americans will begin to question things. I hope it does not come to this.

* I realize that most Muslims are not radicalized; however, a continuation of current police will assure that most of them will become so.


  1. US foreign aid has not equated to a unified voting block in NATO. This propels the issues with foreign policy and fiscal responsibility.

    Without thoroughly analysing the expences, what do you think of Ron Paul's proposal to eliminate all foreign military bases?

  2. I haven't seen the details of the proposal. I think that eliminating foreign military bases should be a long-term goal of the United States.

    Do I think this will happen? In the short and medium run, no. In the long run, yes.

    The political and economic advantages for the elite, coupled with the massive institutional power of a military-industrial complex which has a budget greater than the GDP of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Switzerland, will make doing much more than slowing the rate of growth for the military nearly impossible.

    In the long run, we will run out of money from fighting endless wars.