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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Socialism That Republicans Passionately Embrace

Having to take a week off of blogging because of bronchitis allowed me to think more deeply into whatever subject I would write on next. And there is more than one subject to address. I could write about the latest campaign scuffle between Bernie Sanders supporters and the Trump campaign. A group of alleged Bernie Sanders supporters actually shutdown a Trump campaign stop and was done with apologies from neither Sanders nor the protesters. Such is an ominous sign that for all we know about voting, we know nothing about democracy.

And Trump's response of encouraging his supporters to be defensive and strike back should give us a deja vue experience of Germany during the 1930s.  For it was during that time when the Communists and the Nazis felt entitled to take their fights to the street. We should note here that certain aspects of Trump's campaign and the behavior of some of his followers have already reminded some of this time period in Germany.

But I am not going to write about that. There are simply bigger fish to fry. And one of those bigger fish consists of the foreign policy philosophy adhered to by the surviving Republican Presidential candidates as expressed in the CNN Presidential Debtate in Miami (click here). The foreign policy portion of the debate begins at the 47:25 mark of the debate when Trump was asked about whether all Muslims hate us. The discussion then morphed into a discussion on Israel-Palestine, Cuba, Russia, and then the rest of the world. The basic defense for the Republican approach to foreign policy is their claim that the world clamors for America's leadership. And only Republican leadership of America can provide the strong leadership that the world requests.

The basic Republican approach to foreign policy is that the US must show the world that it is the boss. Regarding the Muslim world, there is recognition of hatred of the US, but there seems to be a deliberate obliviousness as to why. This is true even though we know that the Israel-Palestine conflict is an important issue to Muslims (click here and there).  One should consider what it means to be pro-Israeli to the Republican candidates. That is because the US, though it is still aligned with Israel under Obama,  has expressed criticisms of Israel. And this criticizing of Israel is an anathema to the Republicans. Thus, Obama is described as being anti-Israel. In addition, the Republicans view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict completely in black-and-white terms. None of the candidates view the Palestinians with any sympathy or as having any merit. 

The problem with the Republican view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it is not backed up by the facts. The Republicans seem not to acknowledge that Israel has violated numerous UN resolutions (click here), broken ceasefires (click here), and violated human rights (click here). There have been times when, even by their own admission, they have not lived up to promises to work for peace (click here). This listing of Israel's misbehaviors are not put forth in order to paint an opposite black-and-white picture of the conflict; the Palestinians also have numerous faults and sins. But the listing of Israel's violations is there to show that the Republican view that Israel is innocent and only the Palestinians are guilty is not supported by the facts.

In addition, there seems to be little awareness of how past American actions including overthrowing of governments (Iran in 1953 and Iraq in 2003) and supporting dictators (Saddam Hussein during the 1980s, the current Royal Family in Saudi Arabia, and Mubarak and el-Sisi in Egypt) could cause friction with the Muslim world. And those actions do not include the US administration of UN sanctions that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children during the Clinton and Bush II administrations.

The rhetoric to Cuba and its government is similar to the rhetoric to the Palestinians and the Muslims who hate us. One of the Presidential candidates lamented the fact that Obama apologized for past US actions against Cuba. Another candidtate complained about how Cuban harbors those who have committed crimes against the US and how they have provided a place for China to 'listen' to the US. Do those candidates know that, for a time period between Castro's overthrow of the US sponsored dictator Batista and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US conducted military attacks against Cuban civilian targets  and that the US has harbored those who committed crimes against Cuba? And, as during the Cuban Missile Crisis, do the Republican candidates acknowledge that we had and are still placing military bases on Russia's border (click here)?

And as the Republican candidates vented their anger against Russia's crimes in Crimea, did they also acknowledge American crimes against Central American countries during the 1980s and possibly in Honduras in 2009?

Not only is there no acknowledgement of American wrongdoing by the Republican candidates, they express anger at the implied acknowledgement of such that a mere apology provides. And all of that tells us one thing about all of the Republican candidates and their view of America's leadership roll in the world: they believe that we are entitled to rule the world. They call it leadership, but when no one is allowed to judge our past and present interventions, then we are no longer talking about leadership; rather, we are talking about the Republican view that the US not only has the right, it has the duty, to rule the world. And according to some of the Republican candidates, it is entitled to rule the world by virtue of the world's request. At least one of the candidates talked about how the world was looking to the US to lead and that Obama has utterly failed to provide the leadership. 

These candidates seem to be unaware of a recent 2013 poll that reported that the nations viewed the US as posing the biggest threat to peace in the world (click here, there, and there again).  Below is a global map showing which nations view the US as posing the greatest threat to peace (click here and advance to the 21 second mark of the video for the source with a country by country detailed report found there).




Note how this opinion of the US spans across the whole globe including Europe and much of South America. And it also includes the public opinion from our allies like Germany, Australia, and Sweden as well as Spain, Turkey, and Greece. Also note that this is not the opinion of world leaders, this is the opinion of the world's people and that this poll was taken in 2013 so knowledge of its results has been readily available for some time.

But none of the above facts matter to the Republican candidates simply because they believe that the US is entitled to rule the world. And the morality of those who feel entitled to something allows them to only recognize what others do wrong. And often what is judged wrong is any challenge to what the entitled believe is theirs. This is why those who feel that Israel is entitled to the land can only recognize Palestinian wrongdoings. It also explains why the Republican candidates believe that America has nothing to apologize for in its past.

We should conclude that a person with the moral compass described above is not competent to be the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. And while Obama has apologized for past US actions, his moral compass and that of the Democratic candidates are not different enough from that of the Republican candidates.

In the end, the control of the world that the Republican candidates believe is rightfully America's is the same kind of control they fear Obama is exercising over America especially with his use of executive orders. These Republicans call such control 'Socialism.' Since these Republicans believe America should exercise that kind of control over the world that they call 'Socialism' when exercised here, then we could say that we found a "Socialism" that the Republicans can like. But they not only do they like this kind of "Socialism," they passionately embrace it.




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