Thursday, January 24, 2008

#101 - A Strategy of Peace

A Strategy of Peace

by Alex Merced

Senator John Mccain was heavily criticized by conservatives for his opposition to the Rumsfeld strategy in Iraq, and Congressman Ron Paul was also criticized for wanting to return to a Non-Interventionist foreign policy. I put myself forth for the same criticisms when I say I agree with Ron Paul in his views on foreign policy. This is why I am compelled to write this essay to address what I feel is the right strategy in promoting democracy and undermining the terrorist threat, a strategy of peace. A strategy of peace, as endorsed by our constitution and our founding fathers can bring us the security we are fighting for.

Many feel such a strategy is to abandon the middle east and the let the terrorists thrive, but I would contest this. We all agree that it is everyones best interest to see sustainable democratic governments in the middle east. To create a sustainable government you can't use military force to remove a previous government and protect a new one or you create an unsustainable democracy. We're seeing this happen in Afghanistan now as the Taliban have begun to reform and contest the Karzai government. Sustainable democracies are created by the citizens of the state modeling after nations they aspire too. We must aim to be this nation they aspire to be, and we must do this focusing on domestic issues and our citizens. A strong domestic policy will create the environments and the motivation for democracy to spread.

So, we can save the money to handle our domestic issues and spread democracy by example through cutting overseas spending, but this still leaves the question on how do we fight the terrorist organizations without military action? This is a question that's answered by one reality, without resources and supporters no organization can last. This is why a constitutional strategy of peace can go the distance in the battle against terrorism.

How? First we must understand the two elements of the foundation of any organization, it's resources and supporters. We all know that most the resources for terrorist organizations come from middle east oil, opium sales, and the corrupt funneling of foreign aid. Ron Paul is the only conservative running for president who is strong on cutting off the terrorists funding through many means. By ending the subsidies to oil through military aid the true market prices will push the market away from oil consumption which will mean less oil revenues trickling down to terrorist organizations. Putting an end to the war on drugs would kill the underground drug economy which fuels local gangs, drug cartels, and terrorist organizations. By ending foreign aid to all nations we avoid American tax dollars from funneling to extremist groups.

After cutting off the financial resources to the terrorists their ability to recruit will diminish, but we must understand why people join these organizations. To brush it off as simply, they hate America, is a gross generalization that threatens our security. Anyone who knows anything about behavior, knows you can't change a behavior without understanding what drives it. Yes, terrorist leaders are extremist with a long history of hostility towards America but is this what convinces people to join their cause? Why do their ranks grow faster whenever we take action in their nations? Cause it lends credence to the claims of terrorist leaders and when you live in a hopeless environment of endless conflict it's easy to fall prey to an ideology of extremism which has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with desperation.

By fueling this endless destruction and conflict through military means we lend credibility to our enemy with the blood of our bravest. We must destroy the credibility of our enemy by taking the high road, by being viewed as a land that cares for it's people and not the country that bombs a nation for years killing civilians. If China in fear of our WMD's bombed the US and killed your children or your parents, I am sure you would be in an emotional state to lashout in extreme measures against them. We must end this motivating factor to the behavior that threatens us.

It's a very small minority who lashout in these extreme organizations, but we can't let them grow by our actions and take the actions to undermine their resources and recruitment. We must bring back our funds from overseas to repair our domestic struggles and return to being a beacon of what a country can be, so others can aspire to be like us. You may criticize my conservatism for willing to stand up against party sentiments, but I rather be criticized than feel that I have done nothing to change the policies that undermine our domestic and foreign welfare. True conservatism has always been a strict adherence to the constitution and a moral conviction to keep this nation on the moral high ground. You may not agree with me now, but I ask you to keep my words in your minds as we face our current struggles as a nation, with a strategy of peace.

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