Monday, January 26, 2009

The Despair Doctrine

Thanks to the Gaza War, it's kind of clicked for me what our foreign policy should be based off of. That's why I'm promoting the Despair Doctrine. The way it works is, if you want to achieve peace, you must despair completely about human nature. You must view people as ethnonationalistic, self-centered, vicious and only concerned with protecting themselves from foreign threats. Only once you view every collective human action through this prism can you come up with good policy to thwart humanity's baser impulses.

At the moment, the best advocate of my Despair Doctrine on Middle East politics is -- rather unexpectedly -- Tom Friedman, who in Sunday's New York Times points out how, for purely nationalistic reasons, it's in everyone's interest to get a two-state solution now while we still can. Meanwhile, the normally sensible EU envoys are still saying no to negotiations with Hamas, which is basically like guaranteeing that there will never be peace, ever.

See, with the Despair Doctrine, the Middle East becomes pretty easy to solve. The Israelis are acting in national self-defense against an enemy sworn to their destruction. Doesn't matter how many Palestinians have to die. Totally natural position. Neither justifiable nor unjustifiable... just natural. Likewise, Hamas is acting as an ethnic resistance movement against an enemy that's occupied them for longer than most Palestinians have been alive. Again, totally expected position. It's horrifying, but no more so than life itself (which, needless to say, always ends fatally). Shouldn't be surprising. This is how human beings behave. THUS, a smart person would bring Hamas to the table regardless of their rhetoric, because ethnic militias don't just go away. They have to be integrated eventually, and the ultimate renunication of violence and recognition of Israel is something you achieve at the end of negotiations, not the beginning.

Israel shouldn't be pursuing the 2-state solution, and negotiating with Hamas, out of warm-heartedness. It should do so because, as Friedman points out, if it doesn't it'll end up with 3 failed states on its borders, all of whom hate it. The 2-state solution is within the ethnonationalistic self-interest of all concerned. If only people could frame it that way, instead of with any sort of righteous rhetoric about what is humane or lawful, this problem would have been settled long ago.

Just remember: when you're swimming with the nationalists, you're winning. If you're cutting against the nationalist grain, you're probably getting some people killed for no good reason.

1 comment:

Angry Sam said...

Isn't this called realism?