We have a new guest columnist; someone came in and left this on the empty desk over in our Sports Center. Unlike most others, this one also left a release. Wonders never cease. -Editor
Football season’s over and the Virus is keeping a lot of folks home, but there’s always good conversation over at my favorite watering hole. There were a bunch of us talking about Tulsi Gabbard yesterday, and her strange Hawk and Dove view of foreign policy. Makes sense to me, but not everybody gets it. But then McK weighed in on the subject, and his words are worth repeating — mainly because nobody ever says it in such plain language.
“U.S. foreign policy, to take the generous view, is based on geopolitical considerations. Basically, according to this view, we choose allies based on maintaining long-term stability and access to resources that we need as a nation. This is an amoral approach to foreign policy.
Our policy has really never been based on the idea that we are going around protecting innocent citizens of despots around the globe. NEVER. That is the story that is told internally to Americans to get them to support what needs to be done for geopolitical reasons. Because the American public has an almost pathological need to feel that America is the good-guy nation — that our heroes bend over backwards to be fair and do the right thing and protect the weak from tyrants and bullies.
The non-generous view of US foreign policy is that it is actually not even acting in our long-term interests anymore. That the US military industrial complex has somehow become subject to the influence of the interests of other foreign countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel.
But the idea that liberating oppressed people and installing democracies is part of what we do or can do or have ever done anywhere — that idea is counterfactual. I mean, at least since WWII it is. You could argue that the U.S. did not do too badly in Japan after the cessation of hostilities. In other words after the U.S. firebombed Japan’s major population centers and then dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — after that, the U.S. did well in Japan to set up a post war government and maintain stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
So when we Americans say “Assad must go”, please don’t think it’s because of how he treats his citizens, and please do not lie to yourself by saying that the Syrians will be better off if the U.S. topples Assad. I mean, have you seen Iraq? or worse yet Libya since we toppled Qaddafi? In the late 20th and 21st century, regime change is never done for the benefit of the people.
So don’t get caught up in the whole how bad is Assad thing. It is a form of distraction — or worse, delusion.
No matter how bad he is, he was not bad enough for the U.S. to justify supporting Islamic militants in the Middle East who fought him when the U.S. was reluctant to put boots on the ground. This and related conflicts in the Middle East have given rise to the greatest refugee crisis of our lifetime (still ongoing) that is destroying the social fabric in Europe, leading to a backlash of nationalist populist leaders and generally causing strife and suffering. And it all started when Hillary Clinton was in State, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barack Obama was in the White House. Even if this somehow has benefited the U.S. geopolitically, the cost in other people’s suffering seems far too high to bear. This is actually the main reason that I hate Hillary Clinton and think she is a hypocrite.
The main reason to be against regime change and Assad must go, if you are a moral person, is because it will cause endless suffering to people who have already suffered too much.
But yeah, Assad is a bad guy. I will grant you that.”
Well. That ended that discussion right quick, let me tell you. Didn’t settle anything about Gabbard, though.
Except now I come to think on it, I suppose it did at that.
The Sports Desk hasn’t been the same since we lost Tim, but every now and then someone dusts off the old typewriter and does a guest spot. A good thing too; otherwise, commentary from The Not Fake News tends to get a little one-sided, even if I say so myself.
Lead image has been stolen fair and square from Doonesbury creator G. B. Trudeau. The Not Fake News has no right to use it whatsoever except that of anyone who wishes to pay tribute to a couple of true artists.