Hamiltonian Diplomacy & The End of Muslim Democracy

Publicly available facts about the recent purges within the Saudi Royal family are too few and far between for me to form a judgment about what is happening in the Gulf.

What is certain is –

  • The Saudi King has purged top figures within his House.
  • Trump appears to have been, if not actively coordinating the purge with the King, at least aware of the King’s plans and fully approves of them.

The best educated guess that broadly explains these two data points is that the House of Saud, with the full support of Trump, is purging royals who are too favorable to Islamic terrorism for the Trump administration’s liking.

If this is the reason (it is not yet certain) then Trump is pushing Hamiltonian diplomacy like a pro by setting aside whatever moral qualms we may have about a foreign tyrant’s repressive tendencies at home and joining hands with him in a common strategic objective.

And in no other environment is it more necessary for America to ally with compliant dictators than in the Islamic world because the evidence is overwhelming that Islamic Democracies are more dangerous than Islamic dictatorships.

That record is so bleak that American foreign policy should officially be changed to endorse Islamic dictatorship over Islamic democracies on the condition the dictatorship in question does not threaten American strategic interests in the Middle East.  If a Muslim tyrant insists on threatening American interests excessively then the Hamiltonian approach should follow the tradition of the Eisenhower Doctrine by replacing a non-compliant Islamic dictator for a compliant dictator – but not a Democracy – as Eisenhower himself did by overthrowing Mossadeq and replacing him with the Shah –

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a “Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East”. Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression.  Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces “to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism”. The phrase “international communism” made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.

 

The list of Democratic failures on Muslim soil thoroughly justifies a formal American embrace of cooperative Muslim dictatorship regardless of how brutal they may be to their own people –

  • Egypt –  The Egyptian military junta headed by Hosni Mubarak which had for years been a reliable American ally was temporarily overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood and with the assistance of the pro-Islamic terrorism Obama administration.  The Brotherhood would have seized total power over Egypt and turned the country into a major sponsor of Islamic terrorism had the Egyptian military not overthrown the Democratically elected Brotherhood.
  • Libya –  One of the greatest American foreign policy disasters of all time.  Ghadafi agreed to surrender his nuclear program and no longer support terrorism against the West in exchange for recognition of his regime.  By overthrowing Ghadafi the Obama administration not only handed Libya to the control of ISIS and Al Qaeda warlords, he also taught North Korea and all tyrants with nuclear aspirations that surrendering their nuclear program for peace with America is suicidal for their regimes.
  • Iraq –  Although Saddam had been an American adversary since his 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the best American strategy would have been to try to flip him to America’s side, continue a containment policy, or replace him with another Iraqi strongman who willing to restore ties with America.  Iraqi Democracy was always a pipedream that could only end in utter failure, and so it has.  The elected Iraqi government has proven itself weak, unable to defend its own territory against Muslim insurgents, and is almost certainly doomed to eventual collapse. America should support a military coup against Iraq’s Democratic government that will install a new Iraqi tyrant who will bring enough order to allow us to withdraw more of our forces
  • Syria –  The country that almost became Libya.  Acquiescing to Assad’s rule while insisting Assad not use his WMDs has been one of Trump’s finest policies.  The collapse of Assad’s government would have been a replay of Libya where ISIS and other Muslim warlords seized Syrian and Syrian WMD stockpiles, exterminated the religious minorities who were allied with Assad, and turned the whole of Syria a MadMax arena of Islamic terrorism, genocidal anarchy, and international crime.
  • Turkey – Perhaps the saddest loss of all.  Turkey was our most consistently reliable Muslim ally during the Cold War.  The thanks for that partnership goes to the Turkish military that has been reigned in by an increasingly anti-Western Erdogan.  The greater concern for America is that Erdogan, as vile as he is, is not close to the worst ruler Turkey can produce.  If Turkey isn’t to slip into an anti-American stance the hope for preventing it lies with a revival of the anti-Democratic Turkish military.
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18 thoughts on “Hamiltonian Diplomacy & The End of Muslim Democracy”

  1. This is a very important point and, while brief, one of your best posts.

    No argument here about the failure of democracy.

    However, there is the question of regime legitimacy. The solution would be to adopt monarchy……

    There is a problem here though, one that follows on what you asked in the last comment in the last post.

    You wrote:

    “What exactly is this opportunity and why do you think China needs Russia (or vice versa) to take advantage of it?”

    The opportunity is to forge an new world order that is, well, reactionary.

    1: Non-democratic.
    2:Non-Liberal.
    3: Support for religion and local customs.
    4: Favors regimes stability, opposes color revolutions, and downplays human rights.

    The twin foundational players of this order would be Russia and China. Russia as the bad boy, the muscle (though one that has lots of resources and some key client states). China is the economic engine.

    Upon these foundations, other players can join up. Some in a very pragmatic way, some in a more permanent way.

    Iran is one and so is Pakistan.

    Turkey is moving towards this order as well, Syria is already a client state. If America pulls out or is kicked out of Afghanistan then it would become a Pakistan client state. Much of Africa would fall into this camp rather easily and there is plenty of South America countries (old left and right) who could join up.

    Here is a possibility – a nightmare scenario.

    Russia announces that it is halting oil to Europe (stock market crash, collapse of the Euro and political unrest). China, at the same time, announces that it is selling off its U.S debt which again causes a crash; then, China announces a new reserve currency tied to its Asian bank.

    The unrest in Europe and America, leads to Le Pen or the military coming to power in France – which is supported by Putin. Poland and Hungry make peace with Putin and NATO is wrapped up in the Baltic states due to political and financial difficulties. Taiwan and South Korea decide to come under a Chinese umbrella and Japan is left out in the cold.

    India takes up a neutral position but slowly comes into this new order.

    In brief, the new reactionary or conservative order makes security sense, economic sense and political sense (political formula).

    America could be part of this order – if it was able to…….

    Now, here is the kick.

    When you say that Islamic dictatorship is preferable to Islamic democracy, the same argument can be used against democracy in America. One exports Jihad and the other exports democracy and human rights.

    The fundamental pragmatic problem for your pragmatism is that it is not very pragmatic (echoing Sidney Morgenbesser who said about pragmatism that: “It’s all very well in theory but it doesn’t work in practice.”).

    Your Hamiltonianism needs to permanent and to be permanent it needs to be insulated from democracy.

  2. The opportunity is to forge an new world order that is, well, reactionary.

    1: Non-democratic.
    2:Non-Liberal.
    3: Support for religion and local customs.
    4: Favors regimes stability, opposes color revolutions, and downplays human rights.

    But what exactly does this platform mean Russia and China will do to uphold those points?

    What this order does for other nations will determine whether or not others join it.

    What is the marketing pitch to Asian powers and powers outside Asia in terms of “China and Russia agree to provide your country with _____ if you sign up with us” ???

  3. Take a look here (read between the lines for the second article).

    None of this answers my question.

    Most of those articles about Putin’s bilateral relations with other European nations, not China’s relations with Asia.

    I need an explanation for what a Russia China partnership does for other nations to attract them to join, most importantly other what it does for major Asian powers:

    But what exactly does this platform mean Russia and China will do to uphold those points?

    What this order does for other nations will determine whether or not others join it.

    What is the marketing pitch to Asian powers and powers outside Asia in terms of “China and Russia agree to provide your country with _____ if you sign up with us” ???

  4. Finally, there is Israel. The Democrat Party, like all Left parties are enemies of Israel. Look at how Obama treated Bibi and then look at what Obama did in Egypt – something which threatened Israel.

    Then look at this:

    https://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2015/02/obamas-secret-iran-strategy/

    Israel can reach a consensus with Russia and China over national sovereignty, tradition and anti-terrorism and counter-revolution.

    If America continues progressivism then pretty much the entire world will turn against it because, as you have elegantly written on with your Comte essays, it is a form of Jacobinism.

    If America, however, still has democracy, then the door will always be open to progs to have power once more.

    So here is the future of the Democrat Party:

    https://democraticautopsy.org/democratic-party-in-crisis/

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/children-revolution-14786.html

  5. So, we are very close in our views on foreign policy and on basic domestic issues.

    However, our reactionary critique of democracy is something you have not grappled with and it is one that you must undertake.

    Democracy is not compatible with capitalism and it is not compatible with a realist foreign policy either.

    USG geopolitical position is much more parlous than you seem to think.

  6. I need more information about what the Russia China alliance would DO for other nations.

    I’m especially interested in what major Asian states would get out of it.

    If Russia pulls some inconsequential nation like Venezuela or Hungary into its orbit that’s not going to do this Russia China partnership if, for example, Japan and India remain America aligned.

  7. What major Asian states might get out of it is avoiding a war, trade with China and more control over their own affairs.

    Bandwagoning is a strategy for weak states.

    China’s neighbors are mostly powerful states who stand to gain nothing from bandwagoning with China they do not have now. Already they receive the benefits of defense, trade with China (on fairer trade terms), and control over their own affairs from their Regionalist alliance with America.

    Therefore allying too closely with China is more dangerous and destabilizing to their respective sovereignty because China is more likely to rig military and economic relations too far to China’s advantage at the expense of their neighbors than America.

    Since their sovereignty is more likely to be treated fairly under an American system than China’s both foreign relations theory and game theory predict their risk-reward calculations will lead them to continue to prefer America’s system of light counter-balancing of China.

  8. Only on the assumption that USG drops the “blue model.”

    We don’t employ the blue model diplomacy consistently enough for it to pose a threat to the sovereignty of Asian powers.

    A better statement might be unconstrained Progressive diplomacy could lead them to shift. But we are far from a point where Japan, India and others are going to look on China as their security guarantor.

    Despite Progressive foreign policy malpractice, Hamiltonian diplomacy has held up amazingly well over the decades.

  9. It is not just the diplomacy, however, it is also “blue” culture.

    Whatever its effect may be, diplomacy is the overwhelming factor in Asian foreign policy calculations.

    If the Asians want to be more culturally repressive their governments have sufficient power to make a go of it whenever they want.

  10. So in summary, we think the situation is bleaker; power is shifting and China, along with Russia, has a great opportunity to reshape world order to their advantage. America could be a part of a new world order – a conservative world order but it is going to be hobbled for some time by democracy and blue norms.

    Nevertheless, there are some hopeful signs that things are changing and that the blue model is being deconstructed (see our Imperial Circular). Nevertheless, you cannot really do strategy or diplomacy if you are a democracy.

  11. So in summary, we think the situation is bleaker; power is shifting and China, along with Russia, has a great opportunity to reshape world order to their advantage.

    There is no evidence alliances are shifting towards a China-Russia alliance. In no small part this is because there is no such thing as a China-Russia alliance except on an issue by issue basis which has been their decades-long norm. A firmer alliance is a hypothetical that does not exist and would have to overcome mutual mistrust and conflicts of interest, all problems that are openly acknowledged by Chinese and Russian analysts.

    And if they did overcome these obstacles, there is a good chance it would lead to more regional balancing by their neighbors against them: The Nationalistic governments of Central Europe have only become more firmly allied to America’s military-industrial complex as Russian-American relations have deteriorated.

    America could be a part of a new world order

    There is no new order for us, or anyone else, to join.

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