Perhaps no other area of policy illustrates and encapsulates the sheer stupidity, brutality, arrogance, wrongness and…well…stupidity of the Bush Administration than it’s horrific foreign policy. Embracing and enacting the blatant “Might Makes Right” philosophy of the Neo-cons and their childish desire to Rule The World! as an American Empire has harmed both our country and the world in ways we will not fully appreciate for decades. Perhaps even, as the newly manufactured anti-American terrorists it has spawned grow up and pass this awful legacy down, generations.
At approximately 500 Billion dollars a year in Pentagon budgets adding up to nearly 4 TRILLION dollars over the last eight years (admittedly not the sole fault of Bushco) plus the 700 Billion in war supplementals…..we could have BOUGHT Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of invading them and killing and torturing their citizens and making the entire Muslim world hostile, if not outright belligerent, towards America. It was an out and out Christian Crusade, masquerading as foreign policy. As many have said a Global War On Terror is a ridiculous concept, as you cannot wage war against a tactic. Such sheer lunacy as this is nearly incomprehensible, when looking back at it.
So let us look forward.
Diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Talking to our ‘enemies.’ (Instead of creating new ones daily through our insane foreign policy.) This has been proven again and again to work. To produce peace. Of course if your goal is Empire, if your goal is to keep your own citizens in fear to make them easily controllable as you plunder their treasury for the benefit of your cronies in the Military Industrial Complex….peace is the last thing you want. Some of us on this planet however, are NOT insane megalomaniacs and greedy sociopaths intent on conquering the world.
Here is an alternate concept. An alternate vision. Take a quarter of the money that we spend on defense (the more the better of course, but that might lead to a Department of Peace or something crazy like that!) and spend it on improving the lives of “foreign” people.
Lead by alleviating the conditions that cause terrorism and war, instead of exacerbating them. To reduce it to it’s simplest terms…..buy friends! Buy good will. Buy the unwillingness of people to support dictators and terrorists. Buy Peace….instead of buying war, the killing of innocents and torture. The seemingly bloodthirsty (or at least simple minded blunt force for every problem advocating) Right Wingers seem to find this somehow morally reprehensible. More reprehensible, somehow, than buying war, the killing of innocents and torture. They say it won’t work, even though we have never really tried it and the small forays we have made into that territory (combined with real diplomacy) HAS worked, at least worked better than….buying war, the killing of innocents and torture. Will it stop terrorism? No, and neither will anything else.
It will however, help stop those who make fortunes of off killing and war from being some of the richest and most powerful people in the world.
Plus…it will improve lives, improve countries and regions, improve the world. What a concept! Making the world a better place, a less hostile place, a less impoverished place in so many ways as a national policy. Self defense through helping people, instead of killing and torturing them.
Pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into impoverished terrorist breeding grounds in the form of jobs and projects to, for instance, establish alternative energy, clean up pollution, educate children, build hospitals and water treatment plants….feed hungry people. Creating good will towards America and a better more peaceful world all at the same time.
Among the many, many things that must never be forgotten about the Bush years are the days after the attacks on 9/11, when the whole world was willing and eager to come together with America and create a new, more unified and thus more peaceful planet. The squandering of that opportunity rises above even their war crimes in the litany of humanity’s charges against Bush and his Republican cohorts. Instead they took a disaster and turned it into an even larger disaster, a monumental disaster, an inexcusable disaster.
It is time now to use the power of America to create a new unified world, to use it to bring the world together. Not to fracture the planet even further into petty nation states continuously at war. As Climate Crisis looms, we have a choice. Perhaps the most important choice in the history of humanity. We can splinter apart and have endless war over resources such as oil and water….or we can find a way to bring us ALL, the whole planet, together.
Together to do what we can as a species, as the human race, to defeat Climate Crisis, hunger, thirst, and ultimately war itself. Or…if the human spirit MUST think in terms of war as it has throughout it’s long and bloody history, let it be War on THOSE enemies, not each other.
This is not an optional decision, or some utopian vision. This is not a war of choice. Climate Crisis is real, it is coming, it is in fact already here. And it has the potential to kill billions and make vast parts of the planet uninhabitable, if solutions are not found. We have what comes down to a very simple choice in the coming decades…come together as human beings, as a planet, to ‘fight’ this common enemy…or to fight and kill each other as Climate Crisis destroys us all.
American Foreign Policy can be the beginning, the cause of that coming together, just as, after 9/11. it has been the major cause of the splintered and bristling world we see now.