What I Would Do Now: Foreign Policy One

Many have said to me, to others, on the media that it is easy to criticize but what are the alternatives. There is truth in that. So, here are my proposals. If I were the President here’s what I’d do starting today. 

The Mideast: 

  • I’d call the leaders of the Kurdish factions to the White House to tell them I’d recognize an independent and sovereign Kurdistan. I’d act as honest broker between the Kurds and Turks, pushing the Turks to recognize Kurdistan and the Kurds to recognize the current Turkish-Iraqi border as permanent.
  • I’d let the current governmental figures of Iraq know the foregoing and that U.S. troops will be gone in 90 days. I’d consult with Al-Sistani and others to discover whether they want one or two Iraq’s. I’d offer U.S. good offices to mediate either outcome. Should civil war and anarchy break out, the U.S. would be a free agent, no guarantees without a mediated peaceable outcome.
  • I’d tell the governments of Egypt and Israel that their subsidies are coming to an end. I’d offer to the Israeli’s to mediate a resolution of permanent borders, with guarantees. Israel will need to provide me with two things, neither of which is a parochial history lesson. 1) Israel will state explicitly and with a detailed map, what permanent borders they will find acceptable, I don’t care where. 2) Israel will state explicitly one of two things, a) either Arabs within those borders will have the same civil rights as any Israeli citizen or that b) Arabs must leave Israel. All I need is a map and two paragraphs. Anything else goes in the trash.
  • Should the Hashemite King Abdullah be amenable, we could explore the enlargement of the Hashemite Kingdom to an approximation of the promised borders of 1918. The enlarged Hashemite Kingdom would, more or less, consist of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon and would be
    Israel’s western and northern neighbor. The kingdom would be large enough to absorb dispossessed Arabs from Israel and strong enough to secure its borders. The current crazy-quilt of phony country’s and porous borders prevent security and resettlement. The U.S. military has proven its ability to rapidly defeat any conventional force and a complete inability to achieve soft political goals like peace and order.
  • I’d leave U.S. bases in Qatar and Oman with the understanding from those governments to a long term deal and nearly unrestricted use.
  • The U.S. can’t and has no need to be the world’s policeman. Democracy and Western ways cannot be exported through violence. The military is designed to fight, not to overcome ridiculous and transient political notions.  We have demonstrated that our military can reach anywhere and win. We have also demonstrated the truism that self aware nations cannot be ruled by liberal democratic foreigners. And they don’t need to be ruled by us. The Arabs have oil and little else the world wants. They have to sell oil. Their form of government doesn’t matter one whit, just that it is indigenous. Oil production is hideously vulnerable to guerrilla warfare, oil production requires peace and order, the form is irrelevant, let them choose. We need our own government to act in the real rational world instead of  cloud cuckoo land; and that’s why we need a new government, not just new clowns at the helm. 

  • I’d have a contingency plan for a Saudi Arabian disintegration and civil war. Saudi Arabia is another phony baloney country. There are no Saudi’s, just Arabs. They are of different tribes and have no history of unity. Saudi Arabia was cobbled together in the 1930’s by a desert brigand named… Saud.
  • I’d recognize the government of Iran (and others) under the new Tom Doctrine: that is to recognize any indigenous government as legitimate. It does not matter whether I like them or not. It is not our job to sit in judgment of other peoples, it is our job to look out for our own interests; I assume others will do likewise. I do not have to accommodate their interests either but I will examine them. In any case one has to talk with the ones with which one has differences… how else can they do what I want, if I don’t tell them what it is? For example I reserve the right to prevent any oil export from the Mideast to undesirable destinations. This is simple recognition that the U.S. never will have the power to control the oil at the source in practical terms. But we do have the power to deny it to others.
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