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Our Current Foreign Policy: More of the Same

Last Monday Obama proposed a surge of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Once again the alleged peace candidate has decided to follow America’s foreign policy of intervention, nation building, and preventative war.  To those who were shocked by this announcement, it is only fair to point out that this was part of Obama’s campaign platform.  He didn’t want to be portrayed as a complete peacenik compared to the hawkish McCain, nor would he want to propose the radical idea that America should mind its own business.  Thus, his platform was that we shouldn’t be waging a perpetual war in Iraq, instead we need to be focusing on war in Afghanistan.  Yes, this is the radical change and hope we can believe in America.  But please don’t be so surprised when you begin to realize how similar his foreign policy is starting to look to that of Bush’s.  Jon Stewart even made this comparison recently in a segment of his show that you can see here.

Unfortunately or fortunately based on what you think of his proposal, Obama is seeing resistance from both political parties on his idea of a surge.  There are few politicians in Congress who are even taking a principled stance against this, and then there are many who are taking a stand because they fear for their jobs in the upcoming election of 2010 (the biggest motivating factor for the majority of politicians).  Sadly, there are few who are speaking against America’s current foreign policy.  Recently, Ron Paul tried questioning Obama’s cabinet members for foreign policy, including our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, if they believed in the Bush Doctrine of preventative war .  For those most part, they all agreed with the doctrine.  Clinton stated that since Al Queda attacked us on 9/11, we needed to retaliate in Afghanistan.  Ron Paul corrected her by stating a fact that none of the 9/11 bombers were Afghani, in which Clinton shrugged off.  She then rationalized our efforts in Afghanistan by stating that it’s where Al Queda is primarily centered, thus we need to be over there actively pursuing them.  It makes sense doesn’t it?

Well if you look at the date, it’s almost 2010 and we still haven’t captured Bin Laden.  Bush attempted it and failed, and then he focused his efforts on Iraq.  Now Obama is playing the same cards, trying to justify the threat of Al Queda to nation build in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Once again we have no clear-cut goals or a defined enemy, the perfect recipe for never ending war and perpetual hostility towards our country.  Once again we have failed to learn from history or have stopped to think about the primary cause of terrorism, which is foreign occupation.  The Soviets tried nation building in Afghanistan and failed during the Cold War.  Osama Bin Laden succeeded in bankrupting the Soviets in that war, which ultimately lead to the collapse of the USSR.  Now we are thinking about following the same playbook as the USSR and think the outcome will be any different?  We are stretched so thin as it already is with Iraq and our economy is in shambles, thus another war in Afghanistan will wreak financial havoc upon our nation.  Not only that, but we are playing right into the hands of Osama Bin Laden.  After he admitted responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden threatened that if we attacked his country, he would defeat us by bankrupting our country.  In addition, by being over there as the “aggressor,” we are helping Bin Laden recruit more terrorists who wouldn’t have normally joined Al Queda.  It’s a perpetual cycle.  And eventually it will cause us blowback, unintended consequences due to our interventionist foreign policy, like it did on 9/11 (we had been in the Arabian Peninsula meddling with their affairs since the 1950’s).  We need to rethink our foreign policy, starting with bringing our troops home and minding our own business.  Our economy is already damaged enough, and ending these perpetual wars would save us billions of dollars.  A foreign policy of peace, diplomacy, and honest friendship was what we once had in the age of Jefferson when we were a non-interventionist nation.  We need to hearken back to these old days of armed neutrality where we “spoke softly and carried a big stick” as Teddy Roosevelt once said.

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