Nick Gillespie: U.S. Foreign Policy Shouldn’t Be Driven By FeelzPosted: September 15, 2015
Why emotionalism is the problem, not the solution, when it comes to foreign policy.
Nick Gillespie writes: Call me a heartless bastard, but images of dead Syrian children washing up on beaches should have absolutely nothing to do with American foreign policy, refugee quotas, or immigration schemes. Photo-based emotionalism is no way to conduct the affairs of nations. That way madness—and all too often, even more carnage—lies.
It’s one thing when highly charged images speak to pressing domestic concerns whose solutions are clear and within a single country’s ability to effect. In late 18th-century England, for instance, Thomas Clarkson’s illustration of slaveswedged into a ship’s hold like barrels of rum helped jump-start Britain’s abolitionist movement. Footage from Bull Connor’s Birmingham and Vietnam electrified the Civil Rights and anti-war movements. In such cases, the solutions were self-evident (if difficult to achieve): Stop your own countrymen from perpetuating evil. Nothing is so simple when it comes to wars and catastrophes in which you are not even a direct participant.
It’s less simple when it comes to wars and catastrophes that we’re not directly involved in. And yet there’s John McCain on the Senate floor, propping up a picture of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi face down on a Turkish beach, calling for airstrikes and a new “get tougher” policy on the Assad regime, ISIS, Iran, Iraq insurgents, and more. McCain and too many Americans don’t understand that poorly thought-through, largely emotional responses are a major contributing factor to our ruinous footprint in so much of the world….
Source: The Daily Beast