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Wanted: A National Dialogue on U.S. Foreign Policy

Whatever one's views of Trump's overall politics, the real question, at least with regard to foreign policy remains: Will he stick firmly to his commitment to start bringing U.S. troops home---now that he has raised the possibility of withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria over the next 30 days? This was one of the only issues on which I believed that candidate Trump raised legitimate concerns about the extent to which the U.S., which indeed has not been "so innocent," could sustain its un-ending commitment to "perpetual war for perpetual peace."

Of course, even if Trump pulled all U.S. troops out of the Middle East, the National Security State, with its infringements on our civil liberties at home and its destabilizing influence abroad, will remain unscathed. Still, though I've heavily criticized Trump on many issues [and folks like Patrick Buchanan], at the very least, let this start a national dialogue on the problems inherent in U.S. foreign policy.

The neocons within the Democratic Party and the Republican Party would have you believe that it is possible to engage in democratic "nation-building"; if the last seventeen years has taught us anything, it is that no "democracy" can be imposed from without on countries that don't even have a concept of individual rights, let alone "democracy."

Postscript: Here's another interesting take on the character of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (hat tip to Ryan Neugebauer for alerting me to this article by Andrew Sullivan): "The Establishment will Never Say No to War."