Monday, September 13, 2004

foreign policy differences

It is the usual case for the left and right to be strongly divided on foreign policy issues. Sometimes the left wins and sometimes the right. Here is a list wins/loses and the consequences. It's off the top of my head, so take with a grain of salt (researching all of this would be a pretty major project).
Eastern Europe: After WWII, the right wanted to confront the USSR and demand their withdrawal from Eastern Europe. The left wanted to make nice with Stalin and let him keep a little security zone. The left won. The result? Thousands trucked off to slave labor camps. Eastern Europeans lived in slavery for nearly five decades. Their economies were so ravaged by communist policies that they are still not fully recovered.
China:During Truman's administration, the right wanted to strongly support the nationalist Chinese against the communists under Mao. The left wanted to dialog with the communists, and reduce support for the nationalists. The left won. The result? The communists won a civil war and enslaved the entire country for five decades. Tens of millions of Chinese were starved to death or killed for political crimes. Today the average Chinese have more rights, but there are still active, and very brutal slave labor camps.
Korea: The right wanted to escalate the war and free North Korea from it's communist masters. The left wanted to dialog with the peaceful agrarian reformers and not antagonize the peaceful slavers of China. The left won. The result? Five decades and counting of brutal slavery, abuse, and starvation for the citizens of North Korea.
Vietnam: The right wanted to continue to support the South Vietnamese against the North Vietnamese invaders, and the Cambodians against their Communist rebels. The left wanted to get of the "colonialist" war and let the Communists take over. The left won. The result? A million Vietnamese people trucked off to slave labor camps, another million fleeing a similar fate in rickety boats across dangerous waters. Over four decades of slavery (and counting) for the entire country. Millions murdered in Cambodia.
Iran: The right wanted to continue to support the Shah against the Islamofascist rebels. The left wanted to abandon him and let the rebels win. The left won. The result? Iranians living under a cruel dictatorship for thirty years and counting. A year of humiliation for the US that convinced many Islamisists that the US was a paper tiger and encouraged terrorists. And Iran has been one of the largest backers of Islamisist terrorism.
the Cold War: The right wanted to strongly oppose any Russian aggression, including putting missiles in Europe to counter Russian deployments. The left wanted to unilaterally disarm. The right won. The result? The Soviet Union broke up without a major war. Millions of people were freed from slavery, and the possibility of world-wide nuclear war has been largely eliminated.
El Salvador: The right wanted to support the anti-Communist government against the Communist rebels while pressuring the government to liberalize. The left wanted to support the rebels. The right won. The result? El Salvador is now a mostly peaceful, democratic country.
For a movement that claims to be obsessed with humanitarian impulses, the left has a pretty dismal record.

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