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The Role of Pragmatism and Altrusim in our Foreign Policy

Reader comment on item: Rampaging Islamists
in response to reader comment: Not political correctness, but US Realpolitik !

Submitted by Edward Cline (United States), Sep 20, 2012 at 19:26


The U.S.'s "grand strategy" has been one of pragmatism (that is, unprincipled foreign policies that were essentially not in our best interests, but motivated by the poisonous mixture of altruism and pragmatism), coupled with unprincipled compromise on a variety of issues. My comments were made in the context of today's jihad. Yes, the U.S. armed and trained the Mujahideen and their "Arab-Afghan" recruits to fight the Soviets.

The pragmatism and compromising occurred when the Soviets were forced to withdraw and the Aghanis recovered from the conflict and turned their attention to the West. This admixture of pragmatism and altruism (to spread "democracy") can be traced back to WWI when Wilson sent American troops to Russia to serve as a wedge between the Bolsheviks and the Whites during the Civil War (and accomplishing nothing). Another instance of this policy was when after the defeat of Japan we sent troops to China to stand between the communists and the nationalists. Accomplishing nothing. Every instance of pragmatism/compromise has simply added knots to an intractable conundrum in foreign policy.

Of course, the most significant instance of that policy was making the Soviets allies against Nazi Germany, sending them billions in especially military materiel. But the fact remains that were our foreign policy not governed by political correctness, Islam would remain cooped up in the pestholes of the Mideast. Islamists could be as fundamentalist as they wished, but once they poked their heads out of their pestholes, those heads ought to have been lopped off with no apologies or obeisance out of "respect" for Islam, and never mind the collateral damage. All states that have supported terrorism should have been destroyed. But they haven't been.


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