Thursday, December 27, 2007

Explaining Ron Paul's foreign policy with Star Trek analogy

It is some times difficult to explain why Ron Paul's position on foreign policy is the wisest to people who have drank from the neoconservative cool-aid served by pundits like Hannity. Recently I was reminded of a Star Trek Voyager episode called 'Year of Hell' and was struck by how well the flaw of its antagonist parallels the follies of America's interventionist foreign policy. Perhaps the retelling of the premise of the 'Year of Hell' episode along with pointing out its analogies to America's foreign policy these last 60 years can open some people's eyes.

The prologue, via Wikipedia:

Krenim scientist Annorax developed a technology that can cause "temporal incursions" which can be used to erase events from history. Each temporal incursion must be meticulously calculated so the removal of one event from the timeline has no negative effects on other events. This is rarely possible, of course. Annorax attempted to restore the Krenim empire to the apex of its power by destroying its archenemies, but by doing so he prevented the development of an antibody in his people, and they became vulnerable to a plague. 50 million of his people died, including his beloved wife, because of his actions. Now he is bent on undoing his mistakes. The more temporal incursions he creates in the attempt only causes more disruptions in the time-line. Civilizations are being erased from existence.

America's middle east interventions are like Annorax' "temporal incursions", causing new unforeseen problems that are worse than the problem they solve.

For example:

1) America responded to the nationalization of Iranian oil by supporting the Shah and mullahs in a 1953 coup against the democratically elected government of Iran and its secular/nationalist allies. This set the stage for the Islamic Revolution of 1979.


a) America responded to the Islamic Revolution and its threat of spreading to the rest of the middle east by supporting Saddam Hussein in the 8 year Iran-Iraq war. Billions of dollars were funneled to Iraq and a blind eye was turned to Saddam's chemical weapons program. This set the stage for Saddam's use of chemical weapons against Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians.

b) America responded to its failure in Vietnam by attempting to draw the Soviets into their own quagmire in Afghanistan. The CIA gave military aid to Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan in the late 1970's to attack the communist government of that nation, in the hope of drawing the Soviet military in to protect its client state. The CIA plan worked, and the Soviets were drawn in for nearly a decade, while America poured over $22 billion into the international mujahadeen to fight the Soviets. The Soviets eventually withdrew, badly beaten, and a ravaged Afghanistan fell into the hands of Islamic radicals empowered by a decade of American aid.

3) America responded to the threat of a middle east dictator who had shown a propensity to invade his neighbors and use chemical weapons by putting Iraq under sanctions and bombing thousands of targets in its northern and southern no fly zones in the 1990's.

4) Al Qaeda, an offshoot of the international mujahadeen of Afghanistan, launched an attack on America on September 11th 2001, in response to American troop deployments throughout the middle east, support for Israel, and the sanctioning and bombing of Iraq throughout the 1990's.

5) America responded to 911 by launching a program to democratize and modernize the middle east starting with the overthrow of Saddam. Today Iraq is more unstable than ever, four million Iraqis live as refugees, a million are dead, and Al Qaeda has recruited thousands of fighters motivated by the American invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Like Annorax's attempts to make things right by changing history, American foreign policy has tried to right the wrongs created by intervention, with more intervention, and every time it does so, the unforeseen consequences of its interventions are seemingly worse than the problems they solve.

1 comment:

Torquewrench1969 said...

Interesting parallel!