Saturday, December 19, 2015

Should we bomb Agrabah?

I favor a strong American foreign policy.  I reject the position of many Democrats and Libertarians who think America should disengage from the world. Isolationism and disarmament will invite war. I think we need to modernize our military to be able to deter Russian aggression in eastern Europe, to counter Chinese expansion in the South China Sea and to be prepared to counter a nuclear armed North Korea and Iran.  Weakness invites aggression. Our land based missiles are old, our Air Force is still flying B-52's which have been in service for more than 60 years and our Navy is the smallest it has been since 1940. The world is a dangerous place and we have a vital interest in deterring expansion of anti-democratic countries and in maintaining world stability.

While favoring a strong military and American leadership in the world however, I reject the foreign policy position of George W. Bush and many Republicans which got labeled "neo-con."  I don't think we can impose democracy on countries not ready for democracy.  I actually think the world would be a better place if Saddam Hussein was still dictator of Baghdad and Moammar Kadafi still ruled Libya. If we had not destabilized the Mid-east, there might not be an ISIS threat. While we should not be propping up corrupt dictators except in rare circumstances, neither should be be engaged in toppling them except in rare circumstances. I am not so idealistic or naive to think that all people of the world yearn to be free and democracy will follow if only dictatorships are overthrown.

When and how to use American power is not always an easy thing to know.  I do not think the answer to every foreign policy challenge is to drop bombs. In a recent poll, 30% of Republican primary voters said they would support the U. S. bombing  of Agrubah and 13% opposed and the rest were undecided. Donald Trump's supporters favored bombing Agrabah by 41% to only 9% of his supporters who would oppose bombing Agrubah.   Among Democrats, 19% favored bombing  Agrabah and 36% opposed. This is a troubling statistic. (link)

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