If immigration was the most contentious issue of the 2016 Presidential Election (“Build The Wall” being the most popular catchphrase), foreign policy had to be close behind. It was certainly a factor in me flipping to the Republicans.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit Israel wasn’t a major factor in this. Up until a couple years ago, I assumed support for Israel was a bipartisan issue. And it wasn’t just some Israel favoritism. I thought the USA wanted to ally and protect itself with any country that could rise out of the morass of anarchy and provide prosperity and freedom for their people.
So it wasn’t just Israel’s conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank these past couple years, and Obama’s anti-Israel activity at the UN, that perturbed me. It was the entire Arab Spring and our laissez-faire attitude towards it. I do commend the Obama doctrine that states governments need to stand on their own two feet without us propping them up. But if governments ask for our help against terrorism and anarchy, we DO NOT just stand idly by and say “well maybe you should be nicer so people won’t be terrorists.”
Terrorism and fundamentalism do not exist because we’re not nice enough. They exist because governments are not strong enough to handle them. So the forces of anarchy, fundamentalism, separatism, and all the other heads of the hydra of chaos see an opening.
This is how we let the Arab Spring decay into a riotous summer and a winter of discontent. We could have done so much better. In Libya, in Egypt, Tunisia, and I dare say Syria, Yemen and even Europe.
Because it seems like the Obama adminstration wasn’t just taking the side of terrorists against Israel, aiding and abetting them with UN resolutions and rebukes of Netanyahu. It was an overall policy approach that actively supported terrorists all over the region. And ultimately, supported them in Europe with such a reckless dismantling of European immigration laws.
I’ve called myself a proud imperialist before. And it’s worth expanding on. By this I don’t mean sending our military to strong-arm our positions all across the globe like some stereotypical leftist’s portrayal. I mean taking the side of our friends and helping them defeat mutual enemies.
It’s a policy Putin has made in the Middle East, and why he’s managed to gain ground in that region while our influence has waned. We’d be wise to revisit it.
So, how does this percolate into individual positions?
Benghazi – I thought this was an absolute travesty, and is so symbolic of our failed policy in the Middle East. If Bush erred on the side of too much heavy handedness, Obama’s failure here is in turning his back. If we can’t even protect our own ambassadors, if we have to make stupid excuses for why they died and legitimize the ones who killed them, this isn’t just a foreign policy failure. This is a failure of our own government and those who swore their lives to serve it.
Israel – our embassy needs to be moved to Jerusalem immediately. Israel has proved over decades it has full rights to everything from the Jordan River to the sea. We need to stop paying attention to threats from terrorist regimes. I philosophically oppose the idea that people turn to terrorism because they have no hope. It’s quite the opposite – the more concessions we give them, the more hope they have of annihilating Israel, the more Israel suffers at the hands of terror.
Arab Spring – Sissi’s coup against the Muslim Brotherhood reflects the deep conflict at the heart of this movement. And there’s hope in seeing so many Egyptians come out in support of him. But we need to stop being on the wrong side of this. We need to publicly support him, and work with him, as well as work with Egyptians who are ready to maintain a secular order.
I speak of Egypt first because it is the lynchpin of the Arab Spring. If Sissi fails the whole enterprise fails. His dictatorship is a temporary stop-gap, true. But we need to see a proper secular democracy as the permanent solution. Egypt has the will to do this. So long as we don’t get in their way, they will achieve it.
Europe’s immigration crisis is a direct result of our failures in the Arab Spring. Of course it’s compounded by this boneheaded idea of using the refugee loophole to dismantle Europe’s immigration law to let in anyone and everyone. But that I will discuss more fully in my immigration section.
But the foreign policy aspect is, we need to be helping people thrive where they live. Not undermining their governments, and only claiming to take their side when they have to move. That seems like a very silly way to build an economy.