Donald Hank
Why our inconsistent foreign policy consistently fails
By Donald Hank
October 18, 2014

Western foreign policy avoids the culture factor in its evaluation of friend vs foe.

Yet without a knowledge of national cultures and subcultures, we are constantly blindsided when this or that group turns against us even after we have plied it with arms and money. The West seems to think it can buy friends, even against their moral and religious grain.

Conservatives teach that all Muslims are a danger and threat. The Western ruling class absurdly teaches that none of them are a threat in themselves.

Both sides are dead wrong. They both foolishly ignore cultural features and nuances of the peoples they deal with.

Recently, I was given a tip about the Druze, a group of Middle Eastern people who are hard to define. They are not considered ethnically uniform and their religion varies from Muslim to various others but is generally a mild and tolerant variety of Shia Muslim.

The key, one we are not given by our 'journalists' and our 'geopolitical analysts,' like Stratfor and other foreign policy sources, is that these people are not Sunni and oppose Sunni terror.

What does that mean for our purposes?

The Sunni religion is the one held by ISIS and al-Qaeda. To put it bluntly, it is the sect of terror.

Where have you read that in the msm? Why is it important? Because the Sunnis are the predominant Muslim sect in the world and also in much of the Middle East, and it is they who wish to conquer all the rest with the sword.

Although Western media and pols have been feeding you the utter rubbish that Saudi Arabia is our friend, the Saudis are mostly mostly Sunni and, despite posturing to the contrary, are sympathetic toward ISIS and other terror organizations. Unfortunately, US presidents have preferentially supported Saudi Arabia while condemning Iran, which belongs mostly to the main minority sect, Shia, and Assad, who is fighting predominantly Sunni terror. The US further supports the mostly Sunni opposition in Syria, whose so-called 'moderate' leaders have aided ISIS and Al Qaeda.

So we support the supporter of our most fearsome enemy, the Sunni terrorists like ISIS and Al Qaeda, while aiming our propaganda against its antagonists, Iran and Syria, and this purely for political purposes that are alien and antagonistic to the interests of We the People. That is the essence of why our foreign policy is routinely criticized as being inconsistent and making no sense.

If we based our foreign policy on culture, which would make sense, we could easily rid ourselves of the Sunni ISIS/al-Qaeda threat, by allying ourselves with our natural allies, i.e., allies that do not necessarily need to be bribed to bring them to our side.

Our natural friends in the Muslim world are most of the groups that are threatened by these Sunni marauders, and include:

the Druze, Yazidi, Kurds, Alawites (to which Bashar al-Assad belongs), some Shias, Baha'i, Christians, including the Copts (Egypt) and Assyrians (Iraq). The Jews of Israel are also a natural ally but, to complicate things, have had clashes with some of these groups, including Assad supporters in the Golan Heights. The mostly Shiite Iran is also a problem for Israel. The Sunni opposition to Assad bargained with Israel to "sell " that country the Golan Heights.

However, instead of analyzing which of these groups can provide more immediate economic or military benefits to the West or Israel at any given time, the most important consideration is whether the cultures of these groups are compatible with Western/Israeli culture. Immediate short term considerations will not necessarily lead to a lasting peace. Cultural closeness and compatibility are a more reliable gauge of potential long term success. For example, the Druze, known for their military skills, have already served with distinction in the Israeli army, as reported here:

here, here and here.

Finally, the West's main natural ally in the world at large is Russia, which actually wants to be our ally though not our lackey, and for that reason, the Western powers deliberately sully its leadership by carping about its refusal to allow LGBT propaganda, its intervention in the Ukraine conflict – which was ignited by Western oligarchs specifically to provoke Russia buy cutting its trade ties to an important partner, and, hypocritically, its "corruption," which unlike Western corruption, affects mostly the Russian oligarchs and does not impoverish the middle class as Western corruption does, causing high unemployment and inflation while robbing the middle class to pay for the indiscretions of business and banks (bail-outs, bail-ins) and paying for its profligacy by issuing unbacked currency. Russia has been administered admirably in comparison to the US, with manageable debt, healthy hard currency and gold reserves and no socialist programs to speak of, in contrast to the US government, which operates almost completely on debt, has no reserves and pays the unemployed $1 trillion per year in the most flagrant waste of money the world has ever seen.

As a result, Russia is now able to spear head a dedollarization effort in Asia and Europe, substituting renminbi and rubles for the dollar in international trade.

It didn't have to be that way. Putin, speaking to reporters in Shanghai last May after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, defended this dedollarization policy saying that the world is forced to protect itself in this way from US hegemony that enables Washington to invade and meddle in sovereign countries. (China speaks more cautiously of its internationalization of the renminbi but its motive is certainly the same).

So what is the solution? How could the US conceivably prevent further damage to the dollar while bringing peace to the Middle East?

Outlandish as it may sound to conventionally minded Westerners, the best solution for peace is for the US to use what is left of its international clout and organize a meeting between world leaders who have sometimes clashed with each other. The key leaders would be Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Saudi Arabia could not be included in the first round because of its support for terror. The first talks would be aimed at showing the Saudis we are changing course.

Later talks could include Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other who are not natural allies but could be brought into line with gentle "persuasion" from Russia and the US.

As long as Obama is occupying the White House, it is hard to conceive of this happening, for at least 2 reasons:
    1 – Obama's intransigent personality (he can hardly be expected to admit his policies were wrong),

    2 – Egyptian President el-Sisi has a personal grudge against Obama.
But it is also hard to imagine the party of John McCain backing away from his support for the "moderate" Syrian opposition, even though some of its leaders admitted sympathy for ISIS.

America desperately needs new leadership with the kind of wisdom and statesmanship not seen in Washington for a very long time.

© Donald Hank


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife and daughter.

A former language teacher, he holds an undergraduate degree in French and German from Millersville State University (PA), a Master's degree in Russian language and literature from Kutztown State College (also in PA), has studied Chinese for 3 years in Taiwan at the Mandarin Training Center, and is self-taught in other languages, having logged a total of 8 years abroad in total immersion situations.

He is also the founder of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, a volunteer organization that provides Christian counseling for non-custodial parents.


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