For the past few days, I’ve gotten in many arguments with Trump supporters about US Foreign policy and how Trump is going to fix it. Through the argument, it becomes clear each and every time that the people I am fighting with on the internet have absolutely no clue how geopolitics and international relations work.
There are few schools of thought on each topic, and I’ve subscribed to them all during my life. Growing up, I always wondered why we didn’t just take the pseudo isolationist approach Ron Paul took. In college, I adopted the peacenik approach the far left tends to take. I’ve grown since then, not to totally embrace the Neo-Conservative principles I used to trash but to understand that a slightly less aggressive version of them might be reasonable.
Throughout world history, each superpower has enforced its belief system on unwitting followers. Right now, we have the United States, Russia, and China as the main superpowers. The reason we keep getting involved in conflicts in the Middle East is because if we don’t, Russia or China will. China already has its fingerprints all over Africa and Afghanistan. Russia is clearly meddling in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We need to beat them. We need to outsmart them. This means we do not ally with them.
Truthfully Israel is a non-issue. Obama can complain all he wants but our policies aren’t going to change. The most anyone will ever do to criticize Israel is complain about the illegal settlements they keep building. The fight for a two-state solution is an issue that will continue for centuries. Palestinians will continue to suicide bomb and Islamic terrorism is always going to exist. There isn’t much we can do about it. The Cold War was brutal and many proxy wars occurred, with many deaths. But, it also resulted in brutal secular dictators across the Middle East (backed us or Russia) who ruled with an iron fist over these extremists. Russia is not our friend. We fight proxy wars against them. We had spy battles for decades. Our foreign policy is written primarily to focus on protecting the world from them. NATO exists to protect people from them. The UN exists and despite all its faults, it is supposed to keep the world from having another World War. As technology gets better and our lives get more intertwined, we are on a path towards a global government. I am not sure if I like the idea, but I know the Conservative movement sure doesn’t.
The issues with the United Nations is that the Human Rights Council often has some of the Worst Human rights abusers as its president. It often chastises Israel for its abuses while not trying to fix the problem. The Security Council needs to be changed or expanded to include 13 members representing each region. The way to address these issues is not to ally with Russia and let the whole world burn. It seems like the hardcore Trump supporters out there keep questioning why everyone is upset. Russia, under Putin, longs for The Soviet Union. He kills his critics, both in the media and in politics. He invaded Georgia. He invaded Ukraine. He is threatening all of Eastern Europe. He threatens Western Europe when they talk about sanctions. He has been consolidating power for almost 20 years, and this is the guy that Donald Trump wants to ally with. None of it makes any sense!
The Middle East is a giant disaster because large swaths of its people are still living in the 1700’s where its ok to stone gay people and punish atheism with death. Honor killings and arranged marriages are still a thing. Someone will always want the region to be within its grasp due to the oil issue. If it isn’t us, its Russia or its China. We have made some bad moves. Invading Iraq was a bad move and it set the stage for Isis to rise. The De-baathification order was a bad move because it radicalized the entire former government. The Surge was a bad move because we threw hundreds of millions of dollars at the Sunnis to stop killing us, which was presumably then funneled to Isis. Obama had some huge errors too. If the Green Revolution in Iran had succeeded in 2009, Iran could have become an amazing country lead by moderates who weren’t going to destroy Israel but President Obama failed by not responding. He failed by responding when he announced the Red Line in Syria and then ignoring it once the line was crossed. We aren’t blind when our party makes mistakes, but we also recognize when the person in power has decided he wants to antagonize the entire Muslim world. Trump is not the answer.