31 January 2011

Interventionism


Thaddeus may be well-intentioned but ex-post-facto analysis usually is.  The United States has a history of supporting this thug that goes well beyond the last few weeks and days.

Indeed, the US has had quite a history when it comes to intervening in foreign affairs, particularly where the Middle East is concerned.  For some reason, Americans feel the need to control foreigners’ lives, and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why.

I will say it now, and I repeat it as often as necessary:  the United States is not the world’s policeman.  Period.  This idea, this worldview is not to be found anywhere in the Constitution, nor was it espoused by the Founding Fathers.  Furthermore, we are not asked to be the world’s policeman.  When we have done so, it has resulted in problems.  The US has backed terrible men who have harmed their citizens.  And for what?  Oil?  To feel good about our military might?

If two sandbox dictators want to get into a pissing contest about a sandy plot of land (like, for example, the Gaza strip), what matter is that to us?  If two European countries can’t seem to get along, why should we care?  If there is genocide occurring in some backwoods African country, why should we even give them the time of day?  The countries are run by adults; let them sort their own problems out.  And if they can’t do that, let them kill each other.  It’s their prerogative.

In simple point of fact, most of the military problems we’ve faced since the beginning of the 20th century were a result of our own doing.  This is especially true for 9/11.  Do you really think trying to control other people’s lives goes over very well with them?  Then why do expect them to just sit there and take it?  And remember: bin Laden’s biggest complaint wasn’t about western decadence, it was about American foreign policy.  Why?  Because he got tired with the US trying to manipulate everyone in the middle east.  He, and many others like him, got tired of seeing the US irrationally defend Israel.  He simply got tired of American interference.

This doesn’t justify the events of 9/11, but it does explain them.  And when you think about on a micro level, it makes sense.  What neighbor do we generally prefer:  the neighbor that’s in our business, or the neighbor that minds his own?  Why, then, do we expect human behavior to be radically different on a macro level?  Quite simply, nations hate it when other nations get involved in their business.

How about we leave them alone and see where that gets us?  Is that really too much to ask?