While the heathen raged over Pamela Geller’s appearance at the Maryland Conservative Action Network Conference on January 12th, another speaker with a very different style than Geller’s presented a prescription for a “conservative” foreign policy. Author Diana West‘s MD CAN thesis was published yesterday at American Thinker, so if you weren’t fortunate to meet Diana and hear from her in Annapolis, here are some snippets from her piece.
(Readers, I started to select ideas that interested me the most and realized that pretty soon I would have the whole document reproduced here, so I stopped).
Below are some bits that should encourage you to read the whole thing. Please go to American Thinker to read it all.
What might a “conservative” foreign policy look like?
In the post-9/11 era, it’s fair to say we have mainly followed a “neoconservative” foreign policy. This policy has been based on the rock-solid belief that there exist universal values that all peoples everywhere share and indeed yearn for if they don’t already enjoy them. Our neoconservative foreign policy, then – our war-fighting policy, too – has been a matter of spreading such universal values.
This has been a disaster. Think of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan — policies predicated on this denial of the existence of cultural difference. Certainly in this decade since 9/11 we should have learned that cultures, the West and Islam, namely, are different and that such universalism is a fantasy. The West enshrines the liberty of the individual, while Islam, like other totalitarian systems, enforces a collective will. Still, to this day, we don’t permit this simple reality to be discussed let alone reflected in any meaningful policy way.
Protect and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights
To formulate a conservative alternative, I am starting with love of country. This is not to suggest that any of the other competing voices or views do not represent love of country. But I think it’s essential to start building a new foreign policy from the desire to live by and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It’s really that simple. My closest allies in the world would be those with compatible philosophical views — what cousins we still have in the Western democracies, Israel, nations fighting jihad such as India. Not Pakistan, and not Saudi Arabia. My conservative foreign policy would therefore require energy independence, beginning immediately with vigorous exploitation of our ingenuity and energy resources. It would also require leaving the United Nations, where an immoral charade of nearly seventy years has permitted rule-of-law democracies to vie with thuggish dictatorships in a rigged wheel that elevates the dictatorships and tarnishes the democracies.
All foreign policy begins at the border
So how do we put them together for a new century? Where does a conservative foreign policy begin? All foreign policy begins at the border, and clearly our policy at the border shows no love of country. Our borders, even more than a decade after 9/11, are still open. We have plenty of National Guard units who could help, but they are patrolling roads and borders in Afghanistan — and losing life and limbs to IEDs while they’re at it. Meanwhile, all manner of hostile actors and dangerous materiel, illegals aliens, slip across US borders. Does that make sense? Not with love of country in mind.
Regarding the more bureaucratic aspect of border security, that first line of our foreign policy, we have an immigration system that legally opens our borders to tens of thousands of people every year from cultures that inculcate an aversion or even hostility to the rights and responsibilities inherent to the American people, we, citizens guided by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For example, Pew polling last year told us that 75 percent of Hispanics (the ethnic group, of course, that constitutes the largest bloc of immigrants, illegal, legal and perhaps soon-to-be-amnestied) want bigger government with more services, while 41 percent of the American people overall wanted the same. This sentiment bodes ill for smaller, limited government — Consttutional government — at the voting box in the future, as it did in the last election.
Shariah is not freedom
But sharia-supreme constitutions — exactly what we fostered and spent blood and treasure to defend in Iraq and Afghanistan and now see emerging in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere — are not “free.” Not in the Western understanding of “freedom.” The Islamic understanding is totally different — sometimes defined as “perfect enslavement to Allah,” which surely is not what neoconservative “universalists” or libertarians have in mind. It is exactly such break-points of culture-clash, these glossed-over flaws in our policy-making, that we must begin to confront if we are to work our way to a more successful policy.
There is much much more, please read it all.
Surely some of you will agree with some parts and disagree with others, but everyone should agree that we conservatives don’t discuss foreign policy enough and that our present US government is far-removed from many of the ideas Ms. West raises in her thought-provoking essay.