Towards a Rational Foreign Policy
Given the series of assaults on our citizens and country, culminating most recently with the horrors of 9/11 -- and faced with threat of yet more attacks to come -- America’s first priority is one of self defense. This requires the eradication of our immediate enemies by an overwhelming military response. But we must not stop there. To safeguard our future, we must recognize that these attacks were perpetrated and sponsored by foreigners and foreign nations, raising the vital question: How should the U.S. properly deal with the world outside her borders?
To begin, we should note that the fundamental role of the U.S. government is neither to act as a peacekeeper to the world, nor to provide for the world’s sick and needy; rather its sole legitimate function is to defend the individual rights and liberty of her own citizens. Understood this way, we can say that the proper purpose of the government is to advance and protect the nation’s self-interest.
This purpose, when formulated as a guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy, would read: “America will intransigently, and without exception, pursue its own self-interest by defending the sovereign rights of her citizens from foreign aggression, whether at home or abroad.” Such a principle is not a call to imperialism, but merely a re-statement of the central idea upon which this great nation was founded.
With our guiding principle thus stated to the world, a foreign group or government has the basic choice to either recognize and uphold the rights of our citizens -- or to threaten and deny them. Our response to their choice is our foreign policy put in practice.
The implementation of a rational foreign policy therefore begins with an evaluation of every foreign group and nation. The standard of evaluation is the advancement of our national self-interest; the body of evidence is the actions, statements and intent of each foreign regime. Those regimes which we identify as friends are to be encouraged, while those which we identify as enemies are to be neutralized. For nations which fall somewhere in between, the knowledge that we consistently uphold and defend our rights will enable them to make their choices without any doubt as to our eventual response.
Once we have identified our friends and enemies around the world, here’s what we can do.
With regard to our enemies:
=> Let reality reign. The anti-life policies that make these countries our enemies, greatly simplify our task of defending ourselves from them. Regimes which threaten us have no life-sustaining values to offer: they are implicitly or explicitly cultures of death. The totalitarian and fundamentalist regimes which head the list of our enemies, consistently substitute dogma for reason, obedience for independent judgment, duty for happiness, and the afterlife for life on earth. Guided by these tenets, they are completely incapable of producing anything of human value, as their histories have so poignantly proven. Left to their own devices, the harsh and unforgiving hand of reality would quickly incapacitate them, thereby negating any threat they pose.
It is only when we allow these foreign regimes to steal and usurp our creations and values, e.g. the nationalization of our oil -- or worse, when we willingly present them with our donations and “humanitarian” aid -- that they come to pose any credible threat to us.
So, to heed the guiding principle of our rational foreign policy, we must protect our citizens’ property, and not permit nationalization or other forms of theft by foreign governments. Equally importantly, we must recognize that providing aid to our enemies is evil. Our “humanitarian” aid postpones their just demise, and the respite we grant permits them the time and means to perform their unspeakable acts of evil. Any government aid is a violation of its citizens’ individual rights, since the funds are expropriated by force -- but the crime is multiplied a thousandfold when the loot goes to supporting our enemies. We would be infinitely better off to take every government-expropriated dollar of aid, and burn it, than to give it to those who threaten and condemn us. (This said, we should continue to allow individuals and charitable organizations to give aid to citizens of neutral or sympathetic countries, but must prohibit any form of aid or trade with our avowed enemies.)
=> Reject the notion that we need external sanction for our actions. Announce to the world what we stand for, what we will accept and what we will oppose. Consistently preach, and then practice, that the U.S. acts exclusively on moral grounds -- not on the grounds of what some coalition of nations, through whatever twists of mind and backroom payoffs, has decided is expedient in the moment.
The defense of our self-interest can not be conditional on the approval of foreigners. In her youth, America acted unilaterally and proudly, because she was convinced of the justice of her cause. It is time to readopt this policy.
=> Immediately withdraw from the United Nations. There can be no unity with terror sponsors like Syria or with perennial human rights violators like China. Any pretense of unity serves only to sully our moral standing and, simultaneously, to legitimize that of evil nations.
=> Discard the idea that having a common enemy creates a friend. Friends and allies are only so by virtue of accepting the basic principles required for a free and lawful society. We must be extremely wary of “pragmatic alliances” with those with whom we share no basic principles, as these have often resulted in new, and graver, problems for the U.S.
With regard to our friends:
=> Export capitalism. Lead by example and reaffirm the values which make America great. Eliminate the bureaucrats and the regulators. Allow competition and free enterprise, proudly fly the banner of productivity and success. Then promote these values to the rest of the world.
=> Present the argument that if others enact the same causes, i.e., liberty, respect for the individual and his rights, a lawful society and limited government, then they too will obtain the same brilliant results. Proclaim that the division of the world into “haves” and “have nots” is not some geographic accident, but the result of actions and policies -- those that are pro-life, i.e. capitalist, create “haves”; while those that are anti-life, i.e., totalitarian, fundamentalist religious, communists and/or fascist, create “have nots”. Be proud (and thankful) to be part of the set who has discovered, and chosen to enact, the causes of wealth, happiness and success.
=> Acknowledge moral countries –- those which promote liberty and individual rights -- not by aid and handouts, but by free trade on free markets. Explain that free trade is mutually beneficial to every productive person, and that it is the only proper way for peaceful nations to interact.
Only by establishing and consistently practicing a principled foreign policy dedicated to America’s self-interest can we secure the rights and safety of our citizens from foreign enemies. Erecting such a policy would have the immediate benefit of putting our mortal enemies on notice that –- until and unless they radically change course -- we will use every means at our disposal to eradicate them. In the mid-term it would prevent the rise and empowerment of hostile, but impotent, nations such as North Korea had been just a scant few decades ago. And in the long term, it is the only way to foster a peaceful global environment: one in which those who choose to embrace the values of the Enlightenment –- reason, freedom and progress –- will flourish.