Hi Guys and a happy Sunday to you! I am spending this weekend at my uncle and aunt’s house in Walnut Creek, California. If you have been a follower of my blog and Instagram account since the beginning, you know that I come to Walnut Creek for a stay-cation at least once a month. It gives me a chance to bond with my only aunt and uncle living in the Bay Area and I get to relax and partake in some of the finest homemade cuisine and tea. Lol. I love being spoiled that way. Today, I wanted to write another “editorial” aka opinion piece. This time I wanted to focus on United States’ international policy. So here goes:
If you look back at the last 300+ years of United States, it pretty much has a history of a “hands-off” policy. Sure, our first international policy was the slave/cotton trade (which sounds horrible and controversial) and provided the backbone of United States economy back then. Then the great President Lincoln herald a new era where all men (not women) were deemed equal with unalienable rights. The Industrial Revolutions in the United States (See HERE) focused on building our own infrastructure and improving productivity than solidifying trades with other countries. After World War I we thankfully had a lukewarm involvement lasting a year or two, there was a period of rest. Then in 1941, Pearl Harbor got attacked and all hell literally broke loose when we dropped two hydrogen bombs in Japan. Since then United States has had a difficult time breaking loose from the stereotype that it polices the world policy. Cold War, Vietnam war, Korean War, Gulf War, etc., you name it, United States has been in the forefront and has thus gained a bad reputation. Where we back off is when conflicts arise from human rights violations. And I think that should be the forefront of our foreign policy going into the future.
The upside is that after the most difficult Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, United States have seemed to have chilled out. The last few years have been filled with negotiations instead of starting wars. So what should happen next? Read on:
What Has Happened the Last 5 Years?
The Iran Deal (See HERE): I know the popular consensus is that the reason behind the deal is to prevent an attack on Israel by Iran. However, it seems one-sided because it inhibits a lot of investments and economic growth in Iran, which United States and Israel needs to recognize. Does that make Iran happy? No.
United States Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: Another act that made many Muslims, especially Palestinians unhappy was the decision to call Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I am not sure honestly, how they get effected by this politically or legally, but I do know Palestinians have a deep emotional, historical, and religious affiliation to the city (See HERE). If Muslims see Jerusalem as a holy city, it is understandable why they would be upset with Trump’s decision to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Especially given the conflict in the region.
I have reflected long and hard on what United State’s next steps should be to gain a strong, positive, and influential hold in the world. What we really need to do is instead of working politically or even economically (even though the latter is important), we need to look at the world humanely and focus on where the worst human rights violations are. It’s a poor choice of words, but instead os sending military to Syria or threatening bombs on North Korea, we need to see human right violations as an opportunity for us. To understand what human rights violations are, read a previous posts of mine HERE and HERE. To see a report on where these violations are taking place, read this report HERE. Some of the major areas to focus on that barely get media coverage are Rohingya Refugee Crisis, Syrian Refugee Crisis, and numerous conflicts in Africa like in Congo. The most highlighted conflicts in the media are the following:
The Israeli/Palestine Conflict: This is a source of displeasure for many countries, not just the Middle East. Focusing on human rights here is the first step. Are Palestinians safe from terrorism? Should we secure their border? Do they have medical aid? Is there an education system? Is there a work force and jobs available for them? Facilitating these points during the peace negotiations, whenever they are, are critical to making all parties happy.
Korean War: Here again we need to focus on human rights. Is Kim Jong-Un a dictator or an elected official or a monarch? The language we use impacts our own perspective greatly. During the negotiation process, which I think should happen really soon, we should ask why Kim Jong-Un feels the need to have a nuclear arsenal? Is United States its only threat? Why aren’t we involving the United Nations if it illegal for a “terrorist” nation to have nuclear bombs? *I believe it is called a terrorist country/state because of its human rights violations.
The Iran Deal: I am not sure what is going on here either. I know human rights was part of the negotiations, but it seems like those have taken a back seat to fear mongering. Instead of worrying about what Iran MAY be doing behind our backs, why not applaud the current regime for being progressive? If unsure, check if they are progressive. Send ambassadors/tourists/media there and learn from their experiences. How are women treated here? What happens to rights such as freedom of free press, free speech or expression, or having ideas different from the government? Are these rights protected?
I think these are the conversations we need to be having. Honestly, there are such deep-rooted biases when it comes to United States because of our policies and our history that we need to connect with people from other countries to improve our image.
I know President Trump worries about building strong economic ties with Asia. However, let the free market do that instead. Being the Republican that he is, he should just let private companies do whatever they want with international trade deals. Sure the government can tax them, monitor who is hired by them, but that is as far as the government should be involved in their decision-making. That is truly free market.
If you want to learn more about the foreign policy of United States since the time of colonization to now, try ordering this book on Amazon (See HERE). Write a letter or call the White House (See HERE) and tell them as citizens of the United States, how they should be involved in world affairs. Remember proverbially two heads are better than one and all ideas should be welcomed in a democratic country. Happy Reading!