The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Middle East - What is our interest?

It would seem that the US has a conflicting set of interests in the Middle East. First, ours is a government which wants to spread its philosophy (expressed by our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln) of "government of the people, by the people, for the people." But we have economic interests (we want oil from that area) and political interests (pro-American foreign policies, and toning down hostilities with Israel). These don't always go together. When Iran was ruled by the Shah, it was friendly to us and to Israel. But it was certainly not ruled by its people. And the current popular unrest in Egypt can lead to President Mubarak's being replaced by an Islamist government, which would be much less likely to promote a peaceful border with Israel. (Note this poll, which I saw referenced in today's Washington Examiner, which shows an Islamist attitude. On the other hand, the poll also shows a support for democracy, which looks better.)

So where does our interest lie in the Middle East? I'm not really sure.

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