web analytics
December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



The Un-Realism of Today’s Foreign Policy

The pseudo-realists in charge of western foreign policy today confuse what other countries should be doing with what they are actually doing.

flags

This is also why the Israel issue is so often misunderstood. The pseudo-realist reasons: The national interests of Arab states dictate that they be peaceful, focus on development, and cultivate friendship with the West. But they don’t behave that way. Since it is impossible that internal forces can be to blame it must be because Israel’s existence and the conflict with it have derailed the natural course of things.

Such an analysis, of course, leaves out ideology, personal ambitions of leaders, the uses of demagogically stirring up xenophobia for gaining and staying in power, the Islamic factor, and lots of other things. Yet this is what we are faced with: the argument that if Arab or Muslim-majority or other states don’t act “normally” it must be the West’s fault. Arrogance, mistreatment, and imperialism have driven them into temporary insanity.

For example, in a new book by Raymond Baker, a professor and consultant to the U.S. government, blames revolutionary Islamism on “our own reckless militarism and our blind support for the expansion of others [i.e., Israel]“; it argues that the September 11 attacks were caused by U.S. policies; an explanation of why the Muslim Brotherhood is centrist, and why Hamas and Hizballah aren’t bad at all.

If such things were merely academic discussions, it wouldn’t be so disturbing. If they became the hegemonic stance in Western foreign policy debates it would be disturbing. That such ideas govern the policies of most Western states is horrifying. Yes, it does matter what ideology governments hold in shaping their policies.

And, yes, internal forces generate revolutionaries (even in America!) who want to fundamentally transform their societies and are not just driven by foreigners treating them badly.

And yes, too, centuries of Western history should have taught people about the drive of some to hold power, to conquer their neighbors, and to hate those who are different from them. Contrary to the implicit claims of political correctness, such things are not restricted to Western civilization. It was just better at these things for a whole than were others. Now the torch of being primary in national ambition, imperialism, aggression, and racial hatred has been passed.

In fact, though, as the–forgive the pun–real Realists know, the key factor governing countries’ international behavior is how their leaders perceive national interest. There are certain commonalities between Russia/USSR/Russia; Republic of China/People’s Republic of China (Maoist)/People’s Republic of China (revisionist); Imperial Germany/Weimar Germany/Nazi Germany; Federal Republic of Germany-German Democratic Republic/Germany; Iran/Islamic Republic of Iran, but the differences are rather significant, don’t you think?

Here’s a quick example, chosen deliberately to be rather distant in time, and thanks to my esteemed colleague Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz:

In 1880s Germany, the chancellor Otto von Bismarck warned that his country should focus on peaceful development at home and purely economic diplomacy abroad, avoiding aggression and imperialism. He pointed out—as a realist—that Germany was surrounded by potential enemies: Britain, France, and Russia and could be attacked on three fronts. In geopolitical terms, for Germany to seek expansionism in Europe would lead to a losing war. Abroad, attempts to seize land as colonies would produce a reaction by the other strong powers, bringing them into alliance with each other and thus ending in a losing European war. That was a realist assessment.

Then, Kaiser Wilhelm II came to the throne and disagreed. His policy led to World War One and German defeat. Adolph Hitler agreed with the Kaiser and his policy led to World War Two and German defeat. Bismarck was correct; the Kaiser and Hitler were wrong. But they were the ones who actually made policy and tens of millions died, much of the world was wrecked, Germany was defeated. Contemporary followers of mainstream thinking would say that such a history was impossible. That of course the Kaiser and Hitler would pursue Germany’s real interests. Just as they would say that contemporary dictators—including Islamist ones—will face reality and become moderate. That view is neither realistic nor realistic.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Un-Realism of Today’s Foreign Policy”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Elite IDF soldiers arrest one of the terrorists who threw a firebomb at an 11-year-old girl and her father.
IDF Captures Palestinian Authority Terrorists Who Firebombed 11-Year-Old [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
Ben-Tsvi-122614

“Farming still allows some unique opportunities for mitzvah fulfillment that a city dweller never meets.”

Bill Cosby

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

Knesset Logo

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/the-un-realism-of-todays-foreign-policy/2013/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: