Thursday, June 30, 2005

Foreign Policy

I'm pretty certain I have stated my opposition to the Iraq war in the blog. Indeed, I have even at times said and written things that might indicate that I am an isolationist. I want to take the time to state that I am not, and show what I believe our foreign policy ought to be.

First off, we need to remember that any alliance we make should be temporary, directed toward specific goals, and potentially dissolved once that goal is achieved. However, that does not mean we should ever be without an alliance of some sort. Far from it. The reason I think obselete alliance organizations ought to be dissolved is to make sure that everybody involved understands that is is an alliance, and not a surrendering of soverignty. As time passes, people change, and a people that made a great ally for a previous generation may not necessarily be such a great ally today. A former enemy may be capable of being a new ally. And the institutional leadership of such a body may need to be changed in a way that reflects the reality of who who has the energy to lead in such a way.

Thus, with the USSR no longer in existance, I believe we ought to withdraw from NATO. The problems European face today are problems they really should be able to handle themselves. If they wish to continue NATO, that's fine; let them redefine its purpose, perhaps a committment to continental peace and mutual defense. What why do they need our help with that?

Having done so, we should create a new alliance which has as its purpose the mutual defense of nations that have a good record where the respect of individual liberties is concerned. Presently the greatest threat is that of rising militant ideologies--militant Islam among them, but it is hardly the only one. Religeous freedom--the separation of church and state--ought to be the cornerstone of this alliance. Note that this does mean that in countries with a strong religious presence, we should be tolerant of expression of that religion in their society, so long as coercion is not a part of the program. We should also be tolerant of a failure to "promote" prograss through coercive government programs--something our colonialist European forbears were not tolerant of. Our goal should not be the promotion of the "secular state" in whatever form it appears (as the Europeans preferred secular dictatorship to religious democracy). Our goal should be the promoting of ANY form of government that results in respect for individual property rights and religious expression--even a traditional monarchy or even theocracy that is restrained from excesses of power by a slavish devotion to tradition..

As we see today, "democracy" is no guarantee against individual rights. The Supreme Court has ruled that local governments have the right to take property from one private party and give it to another (paying a pittance for the property). I would be inclined to accept as an ally a monarch that refused to allow such practices occur, rather than a democracy ruled by a people with no respect for liberty. I would accept a limited, constitutional monarchy or single-party rule before I would a majoritarian tyranny. At least a king can be dealt with, where foreign policy is concerned. The majoritarian tyranny is a headless monster that can be neither predicted nor controlled.

So lets create an alliance with other nations that respect individual rights, whatever form their political machinery takes. Let us not judge the trees by their leaves, since we will never know what the best tree will look like in the end. Let us judge the trees by their fruit.

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