Posts

Muslim Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy

The Cabal's own Jamie Kirchick has an excellent editorial in the L.A. Times about basing U.S. interventionism on the whims of so-called "Muslim opinion." (If this had any legitimacy whatsoever, John Zogby should be our next secretary of state. And … Read More

By / November 19, 2007

The Cabal's own Jamie Kirchick has an excellent editorial in the L.A. Times about basing U.S. interventionism on the whims of so-called "Muslim opinion." (If this had any legitimacy whatsoever, John Zogby should be our next secretary of state. And good thing he's Lebanese.)

A Pew Global Attitudes poll released during the summer revealed that the majority of people in eight out of 10 African countries believe that the United States is their "most dependable ally." More important, the poll found that most Africans fault the United States for not taking a more active role in Darfur. Continuing to avoid intervention there to please the "Muslim street," therefore, will make us less popular with Africans. You cannot please everybody all the time, and in the case of Darfur, intervening will endear us to the people actually living in the region. To be sure, global public opinion should play some role in shaping our foreign policy. But at the end of the day, the value of U.S. action abroad is not determined by the opinions of those most likely to "take offense," but rather by the inherent rightness or wrongness of the action. Especially where genocide is concerned, the opinions of various "streets" are totally superseded by the moral imperative of putting an end to the killing. And if we're going to judge our interventions based on the criteria of "public opinion" at all, we should first and foremost consider the views of the intended beneficiaries.

Tagged with: