It’s no secret that the U.S. unleashes all sorts of death and destruction with its foreign policy. But it is all for the greater good… so they claim.
Actually consider for a moment the obscure possibility that the U.S. foreign policy–drone bombings, supplying weapons to rebels, and rogue missiles attacks–is actually well intentioned. Even if America is truly trying to do the best thing for the citizens of the United States and the people abroad, its foreign policy is still is not okay.
Everyone knows by now that Trump authorized the bombing of a Syrian air base. But this isn’t an isolated event. We can look back at other countries we “helped free” from their dictators. How well did that work?
Still suspending our disbelief to assume America has the best intentions, how did “freeing” the Libyan people from Qaddafi end up?
There are reports that slave trading has returned to Libya.
West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya, survivors have told a UN agency helping them return home.
Trafficked people passing through Libya have previously reported violence, extortion and slave labour. But the new testimony from the International Organization for Migration suggests that the trade in human beings has become so normalised that people are being traded in public.
For all his faults, life in Libya at least appeared to be more stable under Qaddafi who nominally supported the sub-Saharan Africans in their struggles for a better life.
For migrants from sub-Sahran Africa, Libya was a destination even before Muammar Qaddafi fell in 2011, and the country turned itself in a boat launch to Europe. The dictator fancied himself as a munificent overseer of the continent below. When liberation struggles were underway against colonial masters, Qaddafi sent guns and money, and when the newly independent nations set out to organize themselves as a bloc, he not only helped fund the African Union, but proposed an even more ambitious configuration, The United States of Africa.
Qaddafi probably only supported those fighting for freedom and projects like the United States of Africa because of the power it would gain him. But so what? At least under his rule, they weren’t trading slaves in public. It wasn’t justified that he ruled by force, same as it is not justified that America rules by force. But it also is not justified that America’s foreign policy is to destroy what little stability a region may have.
So even when we assume that America had the best intentions–freeing the Libyan people from a dictatorial ruler; and even when we assume Qaddafi had the worst intentions–gaining power by exploiting the oppressed–America still has not clearly benefited the region by its intervention.
In fact, it is easier to make the opposite case, that America caused instability that led to worse conditions. No matter how unjust government is, even oppressive regimes can oversee periods of prosperity and offer a decent standard of living simply by being consistent.
That doesn’t make it right, it simply makes America’s intervention wrong.
When in Doubt, Stay Out!
America simply does not know what is best for the world! The politicians, the bureaucrats, and the voters are far from omniscient, and cannot guess what negative effects the actions of the government will have. Given the track record, America would have better luck betting it all on red at the roulette table than benefitting the foreign countries in which it intervenes.
And of course, I have been talking about the best case scenario of America actually doing what it thinks is right. That this is almost certainly not the case only makes the effects of America’s interventions worse. Suspicious that many of the countries in which America intervenes are rich in oil, and antagonistic to the U.S. dollar.
The American government is made up of self-interested individuals who are all using their power to do what it right for them and their sponsors, not for the American people, nor the people of Libya, nor the people of Syria (nor Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea and so on and so forth).
The problem is that these individual actors who use the government to gain power do not feel the backlash of their actions. They will continue to be funded by forced taxation, and they will continue to use America as a shield to obscure the fact that their evil actions are the actions of bad individuals.
At least the CEO of United Airlines apologized for the recent incident where they called Chicago Airport police to drag a passenger off a plane. United stock slipped hundreds of millions of dollars in the following days, and the CEO vowed that the airline would no longer call the police to remove passengers from airplanes. Furthermore, there are other airlines we can choose to use if we don’t like United’s actions.
Now compare this to much more egregious examples of police murdering innocent civilians. Often the police are not even fired, let alone prosecuted. The department loses no funding, and the Cheif of police does not even apologize, he stubbornly sticks behind his officers.
Private entities feel the market repercussions of their actions and the actions of agents working on their behalf. The government is subject to no such regulation.
Even if the government has the best intentions, it does not truly know what is best.
Considering that the government does not have the best intentions, the less involved they are in everything, the better.
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