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Foreign Policy Like Old Jewish Mom Joke

by John on 11/24/2015

An old Jewish Mom joke goes like this. A Jewish mother buys her son a brown tie and a blue tie.

The next morning he’s wearing the brown tie.

The Jewish mom says, “You didn’t like the blue tie?”

That is our nation’s response to foreign-policy – especially the mess in the Middle East.

Right now, the loudest voices want the brown tie. Let’s go bomb the crap out of ISIS, because they are about ready to invade us.

The blue tie version is let’s have a more measured, long term response like we didn’t have after 9-11.

The attacks in Paris have caused a knee-jerk reaction to blame the President for his Syria policy.

Granted, he has made mistakes. But he is actually doing what the American public wanted.

He got elected on — not getting us involved in Middle East affairs by spending our financial assets and ruining our young human assets.

I am not saying the President is right. If he had gone in the completely opposite direction he probably would be wrong as well.

That’s because there are no real solutions to the Middle East.

Obama was elected on getting us away from the craziness over there. But now that there has been an attack in Paris, we have gone back to another old adage — if America isn’t leading in the world then chaos happens.

True, but the next phrase attached to the end of the adage is – and we pay for it.

Here’s why I think the President’s argument has some credibility.

  • First, ISIS wants us to attack. They want our boots on the ground. It gives them propaganda.
  • Second, by sending over more US forces we spend more of our money over there and not here. ISIS – like al Qaeda did – wants us to hurt our economy too.
  • Third, the only option left on the table for the US is to send ground troops. We have already done everything else — except put our troops and in harm’s way.
  • Fourth, even if we did put US troops in there and they wiped out ISIS, what happens after? No Middle East countries will be able to form a force to govern that conquered area and hold it. Therein lies the problem.

The Middle East – and the different countries over there — do not have a stake in this fight.

They would rather fight Sunni versus Shia – rather than end ISIS.

And two of our so-called allies are falling into that battle.

Turkey shut down a Russian jet today. Turkey and Russia are supposed to be on the same side with us. But Turkey does not side with Iran which Russia does – in backing Syria’s dictator Assad.

This is the west’s version of Sunni versus Shia.

Again go back to my post about two books you should read. The first is called America in Retreat by Bret Stephens. The second is called The Accidental Superpower by Peter Zeihan.

Both books make good arguments about opposing viewpoints.

I think most Americans are seeing this contradiction.

Granted, you are hearing a lot of voices talk about more military engagement in the Middle East.

I think the quieter voices understand the dilemma and fear another Iraq and Afghanistan – and what it did to our troops and our economy.

Are these quiet voices right? I don’t know. But their fears are just as credible. And I think that is who Obama is listening to.

And tell mom to skip the tie. No one wears ties anymore.

That’s informed not inflamed.




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