Whose Foreign Policy?

Let me tell you of a dream I had last night. In it, the entire US federal government, including (1) Washington, D.C., (2) foreign embassies, (3) overseas military bases, and (4) the military itself, suddenly disappeared. D.C. reverted back into a swamp; the soldiers all somehow became plumbers and real estate agents; and so on. Horrifying, wasn't it? When I woke up, I was in cold sweat. What would that spell for the security of the people living within the territory formerly controlled by the US government?

First, there would be shock. What would the news organizations talk about? There would be no more important national politics to discuss. Awful! And people would no longer be able to use the pronoun "we" when talking about the government. I mean, who would the "we" refer to? I would expect a temporary increase in the occurrences of depression, as people cease being uplifted by the US glorious conquests of "evil." Endearing bumper stickers such as "Support our troops!" "America is the best country in the world!" and "Glory to the Republican Party of America!" (I made up the last one, but it's probably in the works) would disappear.

But then I thought that there might be a plus side to it, as well.

Since it is unlikely that Mexico or Canada would invade, and since the Muslims in faraway countries would no longer even notice the "United States" -- other than the businesses that would inhabit the lands formerly occupied by the federal agents that would supply them with goods and services; tourists; consumers of their products -- terrorists would melt into oblivion or direct their energies into undermining local foreign regimes, of which "we" would no longer even be aware.

The "US" would stop manufacturing enemies and then "protect" us from them, ever more incompetently and expensively.

The Chinese would no longer have to endure the "United States" government's paranoia.

Other foreign countries would be free not to appease the feds for fear that they will bring them democracy. The diminution of this fear will cause their people to cling less to their alleged protectors, viz., their governments, thereby promoting freedom.

Nations would have to go to the trouble of building themselves rather then being built, poorly, by the "US" government, as if the people being assembled were cogs who would passively obey the will of their American dictator.

The end of the "US" protection of repressive regimes would energize movements towards greater liberty, due to globalization and the continual abandonment of socialist policies, in unfree countries.

Supporters of Israel for reasons of badly thought-out theology would have to take the responsibility of hastening the Second Coming entirely into their own hands and pay for it with their own money, without bringing into this business those of us who are as yet unclear as to the correct eschatology of our universe.

The money presently being spent on the war machine would return to its owners and be invested into real security, such as anti-theft devices, alarms, handguns, policemen, gated communities, insurance, and so on.

Even families with political disagreements would enjoy greater peace, since they would only be able to disagree about the policies of the state they lived in, which are less important.

You see where I am going with this.

Just as freedom is not a government "policy" but the absence of it, neither should our relationships with citizens of other countries depend on the will of one man in Washington, D.C. The question is, who should plan our policies with foreign citizens, the state or the individuals? Freedom means: let each man decide for himself how he should act with respect to the French, the Iraqis, and the Japanese. What we need to do is destroy the government's ability to decide for all of us what our attitudes and relations with non-Americans should be. In other words, there should be no such thing as "United States' foreign policy."

And that will be exactly as if at least a part of the federal government simply disappeared.

June 20, 2006

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