The destruction in France is horrible. It doesn’t matter if it’s one life or thousands. It doesn’t matter if it’s French lives or Syrian lives, it’s horrible. We have a wake-up call in France. What happened in France has been happening in Syria and Iraq for some time.
In our world, we cannot tolerate murder, even a little bit. We must be vigilant in bringing murderers to justice and taking threats of murder very seriously and responding to them with force.
I believe that people have a God-given right to live. They should live as long as they can on this earth. This implies that people that try to prematurely end life need to be killed. It is not enough to contain them. Threats of murder must be faced with killing those who so threaten.
ISIS is an organization that has threatened and continues to threaten murder. As a civilized society, we must take their threats seriously and respond by killing them and destroying their organization.
The nature of ISIS and other Islamic terrorists makes it incumbent on every able-bodied male to keep and bear arms. We must take responsibility for our own security and not rely on government to do everything for us. Government is useful for organizing large-scale responses such as war. They are not so effective in securing individual homes and places of business.
Whenever a country is exporting refugees, we must consider first that our responsibility is not to shelter the refugees permanently. We may shelter them temporarily, but we do not need to integrate them into our society. Our attention should be focused on ending the problems in their home country that causes them to flee in the first place.
There is a difference between someone who is moving from one country to do business or find a better life, and people who are fleeing their country because of war.
Like it or not, as the sole superpower, the United States has a responsibility for the overall security of the nations. That doesn’t mean we should go it alone, but it does mean we are who everyone looks to when there is a world problem. I propose that we abandon the United Nations and establish the United States as the meeting ground where countries come to discuss their problems. When there is a world-wide issue, we should assume leadership and organize the countries of the world to address the problem. Not commanding them to do one thing or another, but soliciting their opinion, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to state their piece. Then we decide what to do, and if that involves working with other like-minded nations, we take leadership and delegate responsibilities appropriately. If there is going to be a large-scale operation involving many nations, we are the ones who need to establish how much each country should donate.
One thing we must encourage is for advanced nations to build and maintain an effective military that they can use to respond to international events. They may need to respond to immediate threats unilaterally, and we (as a world) may need to call on their help to respond to larger, more on-going issues.
In terms of what we should expect as minimum behavior from any state is the following.
- Sending and receiving ambassadors to the United States and other countries.
- Respecting borders, cultures, and political differences by securing their own country against threats and preventing their country from exporting things such as terrorism.
- A basic respect for the most fundamental rights, such as life, liberty, and self-determination.
When a country acts in bad faith, making threats to its neighbors and supporting terrorists, then is the time we need to act, and we need to act decisively. The action would be to depose the government and hold free and fair elections. For as long as the people elect leaders who act in bad faith, we will continue to occupy their country. When they elect governments who respect other countries, then they are put on probation. After a certain time period, we can safely withdraw our coalition military forces and count the country as one of the advanced ones.
There are those who complain that we (and other countries) shouldn’t pay to clean up countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They must remember that there is a cost to not doing so, and I believe the cost of not doing so outweighs the cost of doing so, both in terms of human life and capital.
We can and should work towards building a world where people can travel freely between the countries, where we can safely assume that anyone we meet is not going to try to kill us, and where different cultures and religions can be respected. We can and should use force when those ideals are not met.
Let me give an example on how the world can respond to North Korea. As of today, North Korea has shown itself to be belligerent and murderous. South Korea has tried to deal with this problem, but Japan and China are also interested. China has been, historically, a protector of North Korea. However, pressure applied from the international community can perhaps persuade China to support some basic reforms in North Korea, particularly reforms regarding belligerence. If North Korea doesn’t respond to these reforms, then is the time I think we are justified to use military force, with whatever allied nations are in agreement, invade North Korea and dismantle their military. While we are up there, we can hold free and fair elections where the people of North Korea can decide who should be their new government and what their constitution should be. We would remain in North Korea for fifty years or more, enough to ensure that North Korea’s government would be perpetually peaceful.
China would resist, particularly because China doesn’t believe in free and fair elections. Thus, it would be in China’s interests to convince North Korea to cease its belligerence to prevent an invasion and consequent elections. China’s best move would be to choose peace. As long as a country is peaceful with its neighbors, and respects (more or less) basic human rights, we have no cause to invade.
In Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the solution is obvious. We should be leading a coalition force to secure the country. Since Assad has been, more or less, peaceful, we could restore his control. However, we would remain in Syria for 50 years or more, until we could be assured that something like ISIS never happens again.
It is inarguable that Obama’s foreign policy has been anything but a disaster. Rather than dwell on past mistakes, it’s time we asserted ourselves and stood for basic, common-sense foreign policy. We should not be scared of resorting to war, especially in this day and age when our military capability plus the military capability of peaceful nations dwarfs theirs. We should use the threat of war to bring belligerent nations and entities to the discussion table, and exchange peace for peace.