Thoughts on Israel & foreign policy

First of all, it's a hard topic to discuss rationally because no one wants to be anti-Semitic and it's hard to distinguish the 'country' from the Jewish country.

But as to the recent conflict, I have no strong feelings one way or the other. If anything, as an atheist, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and their conflicts all seem equally silly. I do hope for the fighting and killing to stop and be minimized for the rest of forever.

I would bet a large number of Americans don't really care, most probably couldn't find most of the world on a map, let alone know what's going on, however all that's shown on tv is the two extremes, either the few 'war crimes against Palestinian' people or the 'hoorah! Israel!' people. And apparently all of the republicans are the latter type, which doesn't make sense.

I don't think that we should so readily give stuff to other countries. Republicans, nominally at least, are against domestic welfare. How is international welfare different? Everything wants to move towards equilibrium and when we, or our government, interferes, we're creating a situation in which a false equilibrium is maintained.

False equilibriums are self-sustaining as the interferer becomes evermore drawn into the situation since the cost of maintaining the displacement increases while it's compounded over time. Moreover, there's no good way out, either lose the previous resources spent and suffer the increased amount of pain returning to the equilibrium or keep throwing resources at it, so the interferer keeps spending hoping the problem will go away sooner than later.

An example would be the economy this past decade. It was decided that we couldn't have a recession after 2001, which is where the equilibrium wanted to go, so the government threw money at the problem and we avoided it then with what turned out to be the up side of the housing bubble, which seemed good at the time. Now, the problem has accumulated and spilled over into other areas of the economy. The cost of any kind of fix has gotten much larger and a natural correction has gotten magnitudes more painful, so the government is throwing money at the banks hoping to outlast the correction.

In regard to the Near East, if we interfere with any side more than what would happen naturally with trade, we are creating a false equilibrium that sucks us and our money increasingly into a no-win situation.

Moreover, it's a matter of incentives. If Israel knows that we'll be there giving out money and weapons no matter what, why wouldn't they fight a war now, resupply, and do it again in a few years? Our help gives all sides a reason to avoid sitting down and trying to figure out a lasting solution.

To me the opposite position would be to say that the U.S. should interfere in other countries' affairs. How would we decide when, where, why, and how to interfere? Do we want to make ourselves responsible for everything? Who's going to pay for that and what do we get in return? If we don't always interfere, a bias will surface and it will be exposed that our country is acting for something other than pure goodness. Moreover, getting involved means taking a side so we end up fighting the other, when most of the time there isn't a clear good and bad so we only end up making enemies. Don't even get me started on offensive war.

The best (and cheapest) solution to world peace is to set the example ourselves.