"For Every Sad Fly, There is a Happy Spider "
You might think from the title of this essay that I am a right-wing hater of President Barack Obama. I don't hate the President. If you have read enough of my opinion pieces you might categorize me as "leftist" if you had too, but you know "left," "right," and "center" have all become pretty meaningless terms. "Modern," "Orthodox," and "Ultra-orthodox" are the three big categories of people in the 21st century.
I am "Modern." And as a Modern, I think Barack Obama's foreign policy is idiotic. It is a product of a man, and an establishment, that are trapped in the Orthodox political webs they have spun. The flies they were supposed to catch have mutated into zombies that multiply faster than they can be killed. Except they are really human beings, endowed by nature with all the rights of human beings.
I am beginning to think that Barack Obama was too busy studying law, trying to get ahead, to crack open a history book before he became President. Well, actually, to learn enough history to be an effective President, which might require careful study of 50 to 100 history books.
Let's start with the American Revolution. In 1770 most American colonials wanted to remain part of the British Empire, even if they had some complaints. The more Americans complained, the more the idiots in London tried to use the force of law, and then military force, to remain in control. How did that work out for the Brits? Not too well.
True, revolutions have been successfully put down by force more often than not. And nations have been conquered by force. But mostly force has not worked out as an option since the colonial era blew up into World War I and World War II. Force can be used to install a puppet when manipulation and bribery fails, but if the puppet is to obviously a foreign stooge, sooner or later nationalists seize power. Example: how well did America's puppets in the "nation" of South Vietnam work out? Not too well.
More recently, how did the overthrow by military force of the old regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq work out? It looks like Afghanistan will become another kingdom of warlords by the end of 2015. In Iraq the nation is now mainly divided between anti-U.S. ( and anti-Modern) ISIS/Sunnis and pro-Iranian Shia tribes.
Elections? Obama and the U.S. establishment don't need no stinking elections when they elevate Orthodox or Ultra-orthodox Islamic parties to power, as happened in Algeria, Palestine, and Egypt. And how well did the deposing of the old Libyan government work out? And if we are against Ultra-orthodox Islamic dictators, why don't we help the internal opposition to the Saud dictatorship?
To some extent President Obama and some of the establishment know this. They know using force just pisses people off. The force option only works if you exterminate people or ethnically cleanse areas. Obama may execute people without trial, but he is no Hitler, or at least would want to hear back from the pollsters before building ovens for tribes aligned with Islamic radicals.
So, using force to kill Islam is not going to work. Justice, kindness, education, and some economic relief would probably work in the long run to lure people towards the Modern end of the social-political spectrum, but that would take time. What about the short run?
In the short run, the first thing the President could do (if he could get the establishment to go along with him) is to end the various punitive economic measures that have been imposed on various states, notably Iran and Cuba. I'm not saying sell fighter jets or plutonium to either country, I'm saying just resume ordinary trade with everyone. Even North Korea.
Second, stop the obvious interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. We don't want foreign nations stirring up trouble in the U.S.; we should reciprocate.
Third, recognize the State of Palestine. Just do it. Let the Palestinians govern themselves. If Israel objects, stop using U.S. taxpayer money to supply them with fighter jets and plutonium.
Fourth, let's get our own house in order. Let's make sure there really is liberty and justice, including economic justice, for all Americans. Let's prosecute our own war criminals, rather than running around the world accusing others of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Oh, the list is long, I won't repeat the details here, you know the details (unless you are in the oblivious 1%). Instead of pretending to be a shining light, let us actually do the work needed to shine brightly.