The real scandal behind young US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s statements about Palestine is that interventionism begets interventionism. In the majority of the world’s countries, including superpowers like China, most political discussions revolve around internal affairs and international trade. Matters of foreign policy in areas not related to trade are minimal by contrast. This is the case not only in large nations, but around the world as a whole – the only exceptions being countries on whose soil a war is being fought or otherwise, countries that border an active war zone.
Although to be sure, the US is in the midst of many wars, every single one has been voluntary rather than necessary, as none of these conflicts have anything to do with events transpiring on American soil nor on America’s borders. As such, for the United States, war is a luxury and a very expensive one indeed. Just as the First World War broke Britain’s gold standards, so too did the American war in Vietnam break America’s gold standard. Since America’s abandonment of the gold standard in 1971, countless wars have been a major source of debt for the world’s richest but also most indebted nation.
Mark Twain once said that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography”. Twain’s statement is as true today as it was in his lifetime. Former Congressman and current political author and commentator Dr. Ron Paul has long held that America’s position in the Israel-Palestine conflict should be one that sides with neither warring party and furthermore, one that should not become embroiled in the conflict in any way other than to offer trading opportunities to both sides.
Instead, America’s one-sided and highly interventionist approach to the conflict has caused America to lose credibility and respect throughout the Middle East. This in turn has subjected the US and American assets overseas to terrorist attacks that would have never targeted anything related to the US, had Washington not become embroiled in the affairs of the Levant.
But whilst US meddling in the Middle East has been making front-page headlines internationally for decades, in the US itself, the overwhelmingly pro-Israel consensus has helped to make this issue of foreign meddling seemingly non-confrontational among most Americans…until now.
Now that Ilhan Omar is making pro-Palestinian comments, the issue has shifted from one of domestic consensus to one of confrontation. In other words, now American politicians are directly experiencing what the rest of the world has been forced to contend with for decades. Just as there are two sides to every story, there are two narratives (or more) behind every geopolitical conflict. But while American politicians should have been talking about improving the economy, fixing a broken taxation system, easing the financial burden of ordinary people and returning to a policy of sound money – instead, the US has wasted lives, money and time interfering in conflicts around the world that have absolutely nothing to do with the security of the United States.
Omar has not changed any of this, except for the fact that she is offering an alternative opinion on an issue that the US should have never been involved with in the first place. In this sense, Omar is the natural outgrowth of decades of internal discussions about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The only difference is that before the arrival of Omar in Washington, the debates hinged on matters of “how can we best support Israel”, where now Omar has added a new question: “how can we best support Palestine”?
The answer is that by withdrawing support for both sides, America would at long last be enforcing its own constitution and allowing those in foreign conflicts to either solve the problem themselves or else call upon the United Nations or regional mediators to do so.
Taken as a whole, if you are an American who has supported foreign interventionism and you do not like Ilhan Omar, you only have yourself to blame. Interventionism on one side will eventually lead to people seeking a pro-interventionist policy on the other side. The only sane option would have been to never take either side in the first place. It still is not entirely too late to rectify the initial mistakes that are inherent in any kind of foreign interventionism.