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June 09, 2005
10 Questions - 10 - Foreign Policy Contract
10. Derek’s point. What’s your agenda? You’re full of criticism and have had a field day with John Bolton, but I haven’t heard many ideas coming from your quarter. If you had to draw up a foreign policy “contract” to offer the American people, what would be in it?

I'm sorry, but my "foreign policy" isn't about killing people. I know that will disappoint many people, and convince others that I really am living in a fantasy world, but I'm like that.

I was taught, "What gets measured, gets done." As long as our foreign policy is all about war (yesterday's, today's, tomorrow's), then war is all we'll see in the future. As long as the world's superpower is constantly jockeying for position in the next war, the rest of the world will be focusing on that war as well.

We deserve a better future than that.

We need a new dedication to finding non-military solutions to international problems.

I'd live up to our principles, even in international relations, whenever possible.

I'd offer demilitarization of the planet. A sustained and sincere commitment to aid developing countries with bread, not bullets. Books, not bombs. A commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.

(I realize this would mean a massive shift in our internal economy as we move away from so much focus on military spending and weapons development but I rather suspect that we could find alternate uses for our time and brainpower.)

A promise to avoid secret deals that have us working with crooks and terrorists to undermine other governments. (I accept that many of these "deals" have had the best of motives, but the ends don't justify the means...and, more pragmatically, the results don't justify the approach.)

An agreement to stop funding and supporting evil regimes for their oil. (And to prevent, when at all possible, USofA "multinational" corporations from going around the rules for financial profit.)

An apology to those we have vilified for disagreeing with us and a promise not to do it again. An agreement to act, in the future, like a civilized member of an international body and not a lunchroom full of delinquents about to start a food fight.

An ongoing, unwavering commitment to the global ecology. A free exchange of ideas around clean, renewable energy sources. Everyone needs power. (How many problems would be solved in Iraq if we could just get the damned power running?)

An international forum to discuss the reach, and limits, of international law. A renewed support of the Geneva Conventions.

Yes, a reform in the United Nations. Support Kofi Annan, instead of trying to tear him down. Stop being part of the problem and help to create real solutions.

Maybe we've heard "reform" before and maybe it never got us very far down the road and now we're cynical and disinclined to cooperate. Well, boo-hoo. If it has to be done one, tiny step at a time, then that's how we'll do it, but we should never reject any call for reform.

I'm not saying changes like these will be fast. Or easy. Or that everyone will believe us, at first. But I'm saying we should try to lead by force of example.

And that means not pretending prisoners taken in the "war on terror" aren't prisoners of war and aren't entitled to be treated humanely. It's not just wrong. It doesn't help us, okay?

That also means not unilaterally (essentially) invading non-aggressive countries.

It means not sticking our heads in the sand about global warming.

It means not trying desperately to avoid spending money to stop the slaughter in Darfur so we can continue to fund the slaughter in Iraq.

We're America. With liberty and justice for all.

Let's act like it.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:46 PM