Peace Is Prosperity
America Is Ready for a New Middle East Policy
As the Israel-Palestine conflict threatens to split Americans against each other and split America from the rest of the world, the time has come to recognize that the strategy of the US government (USG) toward the Middle East has been an unmitigated failure.
1. The USG has lost influence over either Israeli or Palestinian action and the President has been snubbed by Arab leaders even for asking to be received for a meeting in the region.
2. The USG has failed to deter Iran from projecting terrorism or developing nuclear weapons, possibly failing to even slow the pace of either of these undertakings.
3. The USG has failed to institute democracy in either Afghanistan or Iraq after efforts toward which collapsed at a cost of over one million lives and one trillion dollars.
4. The USG has failed to foster economic growth in the Palestinian regions and failed to advance American interests in improved access to sources of energy in the region.
CHINA IS A NATION IN DECLINE
- Its population is over 4x that of the US. In a few decades it will be 3x and by the end of the century it will be 2x US population. Anti-birth incentives are both epically unethical and powerfully effective at destroying a nation.
- The Chinese government’s aspiration to lead the world economically will fail because it has relied on 19th-Century-style decision making to boost investment in 20th-Century-style technology for a population with 21st-Century-style birthrates.
- Although the US is rapidly approaching Chinese-level governmental stupidity, the US has an advantage because our private sector is leading in 21st-Century-style technology and our population has 20st-Century-style birthrates.
- The US government’s message to China is to stay out of a proxy war in Ukraine – this is OUR proxy war!
- The US government’s moronic decades-long policy of strategic ambiguity toward China regarding Taiwan must end before we create a sef-fulfilling prophecy of effectively inviting high-tech investment in Taiwan under the guise of US protection and then find that we have critical dependence on Taiwanese supply chains which we fear would be interrupted by a Chinese reunification.
A New Approach Based on Reality and Principles
1. Stop foreign aid. The reality is that our annual investments of billions of dollars to Palestinian organizations and billions of dollars to the government of Israel comprise a strategic failure in terms of influence, deterrence, economic growth, or democratic development. Foreign aid does not work. It’s time to stop.
2. Bring the troops home. The reality is that our projection of power in the region at an annual expense of over a trillion dollars represents a strategic failure in terms of influence, deterrence, economic growth, or democratic development. Military intervention and forward deployment do not work. It’s time to stop.
3. Stop Outsourcing Strategy to the United Nations. The reality is that our participation in and support of the UN represents a strategic failure in terms of influence, deterrence, economic growth, or democratic development. Membership in multilateral organizations is no substitute for ad hoc multi-lateral diplomatic efforts that are focused and based on tangible goals. Restoration of American prestige will depend upon the clarity with which USG expresses, and commits to achieving, objectives in the interest of the American people. Continued pretensions of leadership based on military power and aspirations of leadership in multi-lateral organizations would continue to undermine America’s influence.
4. Align with American ethics. The American people recognize Israel as a sovereign nation with the right to defend itself against all war, especially terrorism, as well as the Palestinian people as deserving of political agency, which, sadly, no organization in the world is intent on achieving. Political posturing that suggests that either of these precludes the other is not in alignment with Americans’ values. It’s time to stop.
5. Open markets. Subsidization of inefficient domestic energy sources and the use of economic sanctions undermine the development of international trade, international relationships, economic development, and the financial interests of Americans. It’s time to stop.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: Statement of October 26, 2023
Statement of October 26, 2023
WHEREAS, The United States government has been responsible for well over one million deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan through two dishonestly motivated wars that were poorly executed with ill-designed objectives and no exit strategies;
WHEREAS, The United States government has positioned its policy in the China Sea in direct and explicit contravention of the stated policy of the People’s Republic of China, and the president of the United States has said that our government will enter into a hot war with China if it moves to reunify Taiwan with the mainland, all of this resulting from years of high-tech investment spurred on by our horribly counter-productive policy of strategic ambiguity;
WHEREAS, The United States government is presently engaged in a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, a war which is not going well and about which US officials are finally saying the quiet part out loud, that our objective is to degrade the military capability of Russia, a policy which on its face stretches credulity, given that while the US military machine has achieved its stated objective of being able to fight and win two world wars simultaneously, the Russian army has proven itself incapable of overrunning the nation of Ukraine, effectively admitting that prior claims about protecting Ukraine being in our national interests were lies;
WHEREAS, The United States government now finds itself in the awkward position of having subsidized the Palestinian territories to the tune of several billion dollars and the Israeli government several billion dollars per year – which might give one pause, Israel being a nation with a per capita GDP of about 55,000, a figure not so distant from the American figure of about 75,000 – and yet apparently having very little influence over either of these two peoples, despite the President having traveled to Israel to beg for IDF forbearance so as not to be seen as overreacting to the horrific attacks by Hamas, which were designed to create terror and prompt a large-scale backlash, which would be exactly what Hamas’s Iranian masters want, so as to undermine Arab-Israeli relations in the Middle East;
WHEREAS, The United States government finds itself the beggar because it fears – correctly – that the blowback from the humanitarian crisis already taking place in the Gaza territory, bound to become an order of magnitude worse with the pending ground invasion, will undermine not just Israeli prestige in the world but American as well. Now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, We demand the United States government adopt a new foreign policy, one that aligns with our values as Americans, which no longer embarrasses us as citizens of the world, which recognizes that despite our formidable tactical capabilities our military adventurism has failed to achieve strategic objectives in the interest of the American people.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT Statement of October 18, 2023
Statement of October 18, 2023
Not one American life, not one American bullet, not one American dollar more should be spent on this war. Already, the US government has spent billions of its citizens’ dollars on Hamas and other Palestinian organizations, billions on the government of Israel, billions on the governments of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. For what? If we lack the influence to bring this war to a peaceful conclusion, to guarantee Israeli security and to advance Palestinian political agency, then it must be asked: What have we purchased with our foreign aid? It now appears to have been nothing more than a greater ability of all parties to engage in a protracted and deadly war that will serve the interests of none of their populations, none of their strategic objectives and none of the values of the American people. In recent days, both Israelis and Palestinians have suffered devastating losses of life. The gap between the two sides’ political perspectives is wider than ever. And yet American influence has fallen below the threshold required for regional leaders to even allow themselves to be seen with the US president. Are we, the Israelis and the Palestinians so willing to be drawn into a war without a reasonably achievable objective and without an articulated exit strategy that we are willing to be played as rubes by an Iranian regime bent on undermining recent diplomatic successes in the region? Not one American life, not one American bullet, not one American dollar more. #PeaceForAll
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT Statement of October 13, 2023
Statement of October 13, 2023
Our hearts break for the innocent lives that have been lost, that have been ruined and that have been caught up in these attacks by Hamas, sponsored by the Iranian government. The brutality that we have witnessed is nothing any American would wish on our worst enemy, much less a people with whom we have enjoyed long-standing personal, familial, professional, commercial, and diplomatic relations since their nation’s inception.
Now, we all expect a huge response from the Israeli Defense Forces against Hamas. No one should be surprised. We support the people of Israel and their right to security and national defense. The Hamas attacks killed over 1200 Israelis, which is a not a completely dissimilar number to the over 2900 lives lost in New York in 2001.
There are important lessons to be learned from the US government’s response to 9-11. Using that attack as pretense, the US government invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq. Both of those governments were overthrown. Over a million lives were lost. These actions continue to this day to embarrass us as Americans, that such death and destruction would be carried out in our names. And for what? It would be hard to argue that anything in a long-term strategic sense was achieved on behalf of the American people. Indeed, one might well argue that it set back American foreign relations interests, including security, economic development, and democratic development in the Middle East region.
Having witnessed our own history, I urge the government of Israel to get this right by avoiding the mistakes made by the government of the United States. National defense and security are long-term strategic interests. An important element of defense is sending the signal – and backing it up – that attacking our people will result in a counter-offensive that would discourage anyone from ever considering doing anything like this again. Simultaneously, it is worth admitting that vengeance and retribution are not strategic interests.
I further urge the Israeli government to bear in mind that Hamas has been played by the Iranian government. The Iranians have sponsored these attacks with weapons, money, and intelligence. The Iranian government does not care about advancing the cause of greater political agency for the Palestinian people. It is not even clear that Hamas believes that their attacks on Israel will advance that cause, which they will not. The Iranian government believes its interest is in advancing its own regional military hegemony. By creating a situation in which the Israeli government must attack Gaza – and hoping for an Israeli overreaction – the Iranians seek to undermine relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, between Israel and the UAE, and between Israel and other Arab nations. I urge the government of Israel, when considering its response, to factor in the future importance and recent hard work it dedicated to developing those relationships, including those brokered by the past US administration.
In the long run, we all hope for the Palestinian people to achieve the complete political agency that every person deserves. In this desire, there has been plenty of disappointment and plenty of blame to go around. Toward achieving a lasting and stable solution, I urge all of the governmental players in the region to do more than what they have done in the past. Except for the government of Iran, which I urge to do much less than what it has in the past.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT Statement of October 8, 2023
Statement of October 8, 2023
Having traveled both in Palestinian territories including Ramallah and throughout Israel, my heart breaks for the peace-loving citizens subjected to this horrible war imposed by violent militarists. Already today, the death toll approaches 1,000 and the wounded number many thousand. The slaughter of non-combatants and the taking of dozens of hostages to be used as human shields represent what any modern culture would acknowledge as war crimes. Only outsiders will benefit from these actions. I call on the governments of Iran and Qatar and Turkey as sponsors of Hamas – itself an unpopular and oppressive force in Gaza and an organization which lacks motivation for peaceful resolution of political issues with Israel – to exert pressure to end this conflict. The timing of this attack, to maximize the effect on the right-leaning Netanyahu government, and to undermine Israeli alliances with Arabic nations opposing Iranian regional hegemonic aspirations, is unmistakable. In keeping with non-violent American and libertarian principles, I call on the US government to stay out of the conflict in every way. I support the right of Israel to defend itself and to take necessary actions to free the hostages. I urge the government of Israel to resolve what is an objectively unstable 56-year occupation and blockade and to avoid using this war as a stepping stone to re-occupation or unilateral imposition of annexation without political agency for the Palestinian people.
- PEACE RALLY. Address to the Humanity for Peace rally in New York City, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, outside the United Nations, August 6, 2023
- TAIWAN. US policy needs strategic clarity. Interview on NTD, August 8, 2023
US–Taiwan Policy Needs ‘Strategic Clarity’: Maat | NTD
- CHINA. What should be our attitude toward China? Watch how Mike differentiates himself from the other candidates in the Second Libertarian Party Presidential Forum, Co-Hosted by Larry Sharpe and Kim Iverson.
- UKRAINE WAR. Presidential Nominee Candidate Forum at the Libertarian Party of North Carolina Convention, March 12, 2023.
- GOLD NEW DEAL: Our government should not be allowed to exert force without a court order, a declaration of war or an urgent matter of defense.
- NATO undermines America’s interests. Russia’s war against Ukraine illustrates three ways in which America’s interests are undermined by our membership in NATO. May, 2022.