Tag: anti-globalist crusade

The EU is Flawed, but Not How I Previously Believed

By Owen Heimsoth | United States

Over the past several months, my beliefs on foreign policy have drastically changed. In fact, I wrote this article critiquing a proposed United Europe. Don’t get me wrong, I am still opposed to this idea, but for different reasons.

My opinion on the European Union and general foreign policy has basically taken a one-hundred-eighty-degree turn. I have become sharply more internationalist and pro-globalism. This has been caused by a careful mixture of more research on global affairs, and also life experience.

Quite simply, I made several straw-man arguments in this anti-EU article.

First up was an argument about a potential cultural collision.

Each country in the EU has its own culture. Obviously, some of the better run governments are run in homogeneous countries. In this situation, there are twenty-three different cultures and histories that are to be mashed together. This would become a melting pot bigger than the United States. This doesn’t even include the cultures of different regions of a country.

First off, there is no statistical proof that homogeneous governments are so-called “better off.” In fact, the USA is the melting pot of the world, yet has the highest GDP out there. Culture mixing exposes others to new ideas and teaches those to be more accepting of others. Yes, there may be some cultural clash, but Europeans are also raised having more multiculturalism than Americans like myself.

Next up, I argued that language would become an issue. This ignores the fact that most Europeans, especially those in the West, speak two or more languages.

My last major argument was about religion and the three countries in the EU that have a state-endorsed religion.

Religion would also come into play. There are three countries in the EU that have a recognized state religion-The UK, Denmark, and Greece. There are also multiple countries in the EU that favor a religion but doesn’t list it as official. In the formation of the “United States of Europe,” religions would clash and states would likely leave because of this. State secularism would have to be adopted and many countries would be opposed to this.

This is ignoring the fact that people are increasingly staying away from religion. Actually, being non-religious is the second most popular affiliation in both the UK and in Denmark. This lack of religion is becoming more popular among young citizens.

To finish my article, I argued about 2 failures of the EU. I noted EU-imposed austerity measures as a problem causing the debt crisis, but this is just factually incorrect and simply not the cause of the crisis.

The EU, of course, is not without fault. In fact, there are a number of key issues with it. That being said, straw-man arguments against the union are very common. Despite clear flaws, all government deserve a proper and fair evaluation. By doing so, we can begin to focus on the problems that do exist and further liberty worldwide.


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Trump Foreign Policy: An Anti-Globalist Crusade? An Aggressive Militaristic Regime? Or Both?

By Andrew Lepore | USA

January 20th marks one year since president Trump’s inauguration. When our 45th president was elected, Many (including me) had an optimistic in the realm of foreign policy. With the president’s past disapproval of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his warning of Obama to stay out of Syria, and his jabs at globalist institutions like NATO and UN, he left more reason to be hopeful than concerned. Especially with the alternative option being the War-Hawk Hillary Clinton (who Trump himself called “trigger happy”). Yet after 12-months of Trump Foreign policy, we have seen positives in some areas, and we have moved in a negative direction in many areas. Although Trump has achieved significant wins with a cut in UN spending and pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord; We have seen a serious ramp-up of militarism and aggression as well as escalating intervention and presence in various countries. In this article, I will cover some of my biggest problems with the Trump administration military policy from this year, as well as the consequences already emerging from it.

During the election, Trump and his rhetoric in the area of foreign policy pandered to those who were sick of globalism and nation-building overseas and wanted to see foreign intervention reduced. Many of these people were in no way philosophically libertarian-minded, they just wanted to stop seeing Precious lives and taxpayer dollars being wasted away in avoidable conflict after avoidable conflict. Trump took head-on opposition against Globalism, constantly railing against The UN, EU, NATO, the Iran deal, The TPP, NAFTA etc. etc. After winning the North Eastern primaries, Trump delivered a major foreign policy address, often quoted by populist conservative social media pages and viewers of InfoWars. Trump said, “We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism,” he promised. “I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down”. Even previous to the election Trump seemed to hold this view. In March 2013 Trump tweeted about the war on Afghanistan “I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan. We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!” Also in June 2013 Trump tweeted in opposition to possible Syrian intervention “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS? ZERO”. With this kind of rhetoric, it’s easy to see why many supported him in this aspect, but his rhetoric and his policy in practice are not exactly in line.

After a year of Trump foreign policy, we have seen him keep various promises, as well as seen him diverge from earlier rhetoric or make flat-out contradictions. We have seen a downscale of taxpayer dollars going to other countries, and a reduction in the involvement with globalist institutions. Successes such as Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, achieving a reduction in UN spending, and the halting of CIA funding of Syrian Rebels give credit to Trump’s Rhetoric as well as Non-interventionists hope. But we have also seen an expansion of Military involvement in various countries and a ramping up of aggressive and militaristic tactics, along with the already observable consequences of these tactics. One of these tactics being the self-described “Annihilation tactic”, meaning to drop so many bombs on a designated area that most or all enemies within the area have been displaced or annihilated. See past failures in the application of this tactic in the trenches of WW1 and the Jungles of Vietnam. An expected problem with the implementation of this tactic is a high number of civilians casualties, which allows for groups like ISIS to recruit in far higher numbers. He has expanded this “annihilation tactic” not only in the number of bombs dropped on average but with the list of countries and consistency with which we bomb them. In 2017 the Trump Administration exceeded the number of bombs dropped by the United States on the middle east in a single year by over 10%. Not only that, but we have expanded bombing and drone strike programs to several North and Central African nations. Another tactic the Trump Admin is taking advantage of is the rolling back of an Obama era constraint on drone warfare requiring “Near certainty” that no civilian bystanders would be killed in an attack. The consequences of rolling back this rule are already showing after just one year of Trump at the helm of the war on terror. The statistics show in the first 7 months of Trump’s war on ISIS have resulted in more civilian casualties from drone strikes than Obama’s full 3 years in this theatre. Airwars, a journalist led transparency project tweeted, “During @BarackObama’s 29 months at helm of ISIS war we tracked 855 alleged civilian casualty events which likely killed 2298-3398 civilians, “In @realDonaldTrump’s first 7 months as President, we tracked 1,196 alleged incidents in which we assess at least 2,819-4,529 civilians died,” it added. Trump has also been under fire for his flip-flops in regards to both Syria and Afghanistan. Trump emphasized on many occasions before his presidency (For example his quotes in the paragraph above) that he would not get involved in Syria, and declared a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan “necessary”. Consider this trump tweet from March 2012, “Can you believe that the Afghan war is our “longest war” ever—bring our troops home, rebuild the U.S., make America great again.” Compared to his most recent Afghan policy initiative which called for more troops and more money to be sent overseas. Not to mention Trump’s airstrikes on an Assad regime airfield back in April 2017.

With 2017 having rapidly come to a close, and 2018 signifying new beginnings, Libertarian non-interventionists and anti-globalists alike have much to be optimistic about, as well as a lot to be pessimistic about. Overall, we have seen many steps in the right direction, away from globalism; But we have also seen many steps in the wrong direction, which is ramping up of government intervention overseas. What Libertarians can most realistically hope for in 2018 is more of the anti-globalist rhetoric which trump and his base love, and less of the Neo-Conservative warmongering hawkish behavior that trump and his base also love.