Sunday, March 15, 2015
Governor Scott Walker: Contemplating Republican Foreign Policy Issues in the age of global terrorism?
Keywords or Terms: ISIS; Gov. Scott Walker; Terrorism; Computer virus; Foreign Policy Craft; YOUTUBE; Minnesota; Texas; Berlin; Belgium; Middlesex; London; Paris; Middle-East Conflicts; Former Governor of State of Alaska
2016 White House Republican aspirants’ ignorance of foreign policy issues has moved from party hallways to the front page. No longer can at least one of the candidates, Governor Scott Walker, be overlooked as merely fallible in a challenging world, where journalists are beheaded and broadcasted on YOUTUBE by ISIS and or Al-Qaida in Arabian Peninsula to the horrors of millions across the globe. Nor can his interpretation of how to combat global terrorism likened to a sound understanding of the new cankerworm on the world’s stage.
Just Saturday, March 14th, Governor Scott Walker, one of the Republican aspirants for the 2016 contest, likened combating terrorism to a computer virus. It is becoming obvious that the Governor does not have a basic grasps of what terrorism is and what a huge challenge it has become on the world’s stage. For the records, terrorism is not a computer virus; neither can it be interpreted in a very narrow sense, as a mere problem that can be eradicated by ground hostilities in faraway places. Broadly defined, terrorism is a systematic use of violence, terror and intimidation to achieve an end. It is neither a computer virus susceptible to MacAfee antivirus eradication; nor a tangible object that could be flushed down a drainage pipe of foreign policy.
The diplomatic policy of interaction with other nations is complicated; the use of violence to accomplish this policy has been embraced by neoconservatives; however, experience has shown that neither the use of violence of war by state nor intimidation by extremist groups can accomplish this selfish end. The trade craft of foreign policy has been complicated with the rise of terrorism on the global stage. It is no secret that global terrorism has become hard core, with religious alliance of multiple groups from several parts of the globe. This is why an aspirant to the highest office in the land must show a sincerity of purpose in understanding the new world’s challenge; alternatives to violence in combating it; and, the innermost secret that drives groups into alliance to fight for a dastardly common course.
Nearly everyone involved in this modern day gore feels he is fighting an entitled religious or philosophical war that will lead them to martyrdom. Further, many in the forefront of this bloody enterprise will be classified as having blind faith; however, a few are in revenge hostilities for many foreign policy blunders of leaders in both the western and eastern bloc. As a matter of note, there is a present and anticipated revolutionary commitment of both young and old people, whose only answer for failures in life’s choices has been to default to this unfortunate enterprise that gives them some sense of accomplishment(s). To have a Presidential aspirant label this horrible nightmare as a virus that can be eradicated by additional violence, is rather unfortunate.
I have never belonged to the sanctum sanctorum of religious extremists, let alone understand the inner secrets that drive a youth born or raised in the heart of Minnesota, Texas, Berlin, Belgium, Middlesex, London borough, or Paris, to succumb to propaganda put out by extremist groups in the name of religion to recruit for devious purposes; or, an un-winnable war. Neither have I dealt with counter-intelligence agencies fighting the new wars of the twenty-first century; however, as an observer of terrorist events that have taken place in the past two decades, here and abroad, I can say convincingly, it is going to take more than physical wars or annihilation, to win the hearts and minds of terrorist groups splintered across the globe. Revolutionary groups with religious manifestos are hardly interested in finding a common ground or settling for peace; rather, they have greater determination to have their voice heard, either through continuous violence or insistence disorderly behavior that are difficult to explain to the average person. A determination to avert further destruction are better met with negotiated diplomatic relations rather than meeting their force with another force. Examples of this last assertion are found in Iraq; Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria; Lebanon, Indonesia, Malta, and more.
I do not want to sound as if, from the point of safety and convenience of my northwestern suburb home– far from the tragedy of the World’s Trade Fair Center or the daily machination of Middle-East conflicts– that I am indifferent to the impact of terrorists’ violence; however, insurgency of any kind, are symptomatic of deeper issues, including past international confrontations, unsettled execution of treaties or settlements, and an unexplainable commitment of people to ideas that they probably hardly understand. I listen with immense delight or displeasure to characterization of serious issues as mere virus or excusable challenge that can be solved with violence of war; and ask, where has all these people been? Are they living in a different planet from me? Politicians seeking office have tendency to make superfluous statements to arrest the moment or get attention; however, when the statement rise to the level of ignorance of what is being discussed, I have no option but to see the politician as unfit for the political office.
It may not be naïve to consider Governor Scott Walker as unfit for the Office of the US Presidency with his characterization of terrorism as a computer virus. Most Americans who are assessing candidates for the 2016 White House contest are probably asking themselves the same question: Is Governor Walker really serious, or was he in jest, when he said fighting terrorism can be symptomatic of fighting a computer virus? The wisdom of admitting that he is in error over the weekend in New Hampshire may help salvage his image; however, if Governor Scott Walker continues to honker down on this trail of mis-characterization, he will probably end up like that Governor from the State of Alaska, who sounded just too incoherent at the meeting of Republicans in Des Moines, Iowa, a few months ago.
Not even in Republicans’ wildest dream would they have thought one of their champions of conservative values, would end up mis-characterizing terrorism. Many Neo-conservatives probably thought a few months ago that Governor Scott Walker displayed tenacity and valor in fighting trade unions in Wisconsin that could be translated to the whole country. However, with the current misstep over the weekend in foreign policy, they are probably realizing that this unicorn has lost his horn. The good news though for these neo-conservatives, there are abundance of other neo-conservatives among the field of Republicans aspirants seeking nomination as Republican Party flag bearer; it may just be time to move on to give these a closer look. The others preach economic freedom and rugged individuality, values that the neo-conservatives cherish. It may just be time to move on to them!