Two recent articles in the mainstream press reflect the moral bankruptcy of the left when it comes to U.S. foreign policy.
The first article is actually an editorial in the Washington Post. It is entitled “Biden Continues Business as Usual with Trump’s “Favorite Dictator.” The editorial provides an excellent critique of U.S. foreign aid for Egypt, which is one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships. Pointing out that Biden had criticized former President Trump for supporting Egypt’s ruler, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, the Post’s editorial then proceeds to point out that that is precisely what President Biden is now doing:
On Tuesday, the State Department approved a $197 million sale of naval surface-to-air missiles to the Sissi regime. Spokesman Ned Price described the transfer as “a routine replenishment of defensive weapons.” In other words, if not a blank check, then business as usual with a government that pays for its U.S. weapons with $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid — one of the largest subsidies to a foreign nation.
So, what does the Post recommend? Does it call for an end to all foreign aid or at least an end to foreign aid for brutal dictatorships or at least an end to foreign aid for Egypt’s brutal military dictatorship?
Unfortunately, no. Saying that Biden must connect his words favoring human rights and democracy to action, the Post writes: “A good first step would be to consult with the Egypt Human Rights Caucus on linking further military aid and sales to Egypt to the release of political prisoners….”
In other words, under what the Post considers to be a “good first step,” the U.S. would continue using U.S. taxpayer money to continue funding this brutal and tyrannical military dictatorship if Egypt would just release some political prisoners. By advocating this incremental “good first step,” the Post destroys the entire moral force of its editorial.
The second article is an op-ed in the Washington Examiner by a noted international leftist named Nuri Kinko. His article is entitled “Stop the Starvation of Syrian Children.” His article provides an excellent analysis of the horrific consequences of the U.S. government’s foreign policy of sanctions against Syria. Hoping that their sanctions will achieve regime change in Syria, U.S. officials have placed the placed the Syrian populace on the verge of starvation.
So what does Nuri advocate? He says that the “U.S. and the European Union must adopt alternatives to comprehensive sanctions on Syria.”
What alternatives? He doesn’t say. Regardless, while Nuri can see the moral bankruptcy of sanctions, like other leftists (and like conservatives), he has a moral blind spot when it comes to foreign interventionism in general. In other words, he has no problem with the U.S. government taking interventionist actions against Syria; he just doesn’t want such actions to include sanctions.
There is only one moral position that can be taken with respect to foreign aid for Egypt and to sanctions on Syria: End all foreign interventionism, including foreign aid and economic sanctions. This is one of the areas where we libertarians have the moral high ground. We must continue to hold that ground and not succumb to immoral piecemeal compromises, as both liberals and conservatives do.