I wonder how many of you know where the term "thinking outside the box" comes from. It comes from a puzzle that has nine dots inside a square. You are challenged to connect the dots by drawing four lines without lifting your pen from the paper. The attempt will prove futile UNLESS you go outside the box to connect the dots. Most confine themselves mentally to staying within the box, even though no such restriction is required. 


I hope you've found some of that kind of thinking in my past commentaries.  I try to bring something new to each article and supply at least food for thought. Many times, I think of possible solutions to problems or other ways to think about things but am not willing to devote an entire article to them. Here are a few random thoughts that have crossed my mind lately...outside the box.


The Ultimate Warning To Iran


If I had my way, this is how I would handle Iran: I would give them an ultimatum. If you proceed to build a nuclear bomb, know this: That if America is ever attacked by anyone with a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon, America will respond by bombing Iran with nuclear weapons. The doctrine stated by Iran's top leaders of "Death to America" is taken as a declaration of war as far as I'm concerned, and if death comes to America from anyone, any nation, anywhere on earth, Iran will be assumed to be directly or indirectly responsible. After all, they openly support world-wide terrorism and aggression.


To Iran I would say prepare for it, plan for it, but most of all count on it. There WILL be Mutually Assured Destruction. The only way to avoid such mass destruction would be to abandon all attempts to obtain nuclear weapons. This is a non-negotiable condition by the United States and we urge the people of Iran to stop their leaders and those that want to arm themselves by obtaining weapons of mass destruction.  Abandon the attempt, or live under the threat of annihilation forever. An armed Iran with nuclear capacity will be your death warrant if anything should ever happen to America. Count on it.


How To Defeat Hillary Clinton


About four months prior to the presidential election, the Republican nominee for President of the United States, no matter who he is, should make it clear that he will ask Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Hillary if she should be elected President of the United States. He should voice his concern that Hillary is not fit to be President based on all of the questionable past deeds associated with the Clinton's. The list of questionable acts of "high crimes, and misdemeanors" is substantial.


From Benghazi where Americans lost their lives after pleading for help months before the attack, to erasing potentially incriminating e-mails as Secretary of State even though such an act would be illegal, to the Clinton Foundation fundraising controversy, to older scandals such as Whitewater, and my personal favorite -- her first cattle futures trade (investing $1000 which she turned into $100,000, never knowing a thing about cattle). The list goes on.


The mere idea of the nation having to face months if not years of investigations and possible impeachment hearings on these issues should be enough to convince most voting Independents to vote for the alternative as long as the Republican presidential candidate is reasonable and non-controversial. This strategy needs to be coupled with a positive agenda by Republicans. I suggest that agenda should be a return to a freedom-oriented, smaller, less intrusive government of years gone by. We need to fix the economy.


Remember, there was no talk of "the poor" or the "income gap”, before Barack Obama took office. He himself campaigned on helping the middle class. There were no "poor" sufficient to campaign for. It was not an issue then. It IS now. A Hillary Clinton Presidency would simply be a continuation of “the failed policies of the past” both domestically and internationally. And Hillary would be much too busy fending off impeachment proceedings for the next four years to do much of anything, let alone fixing the economy and being Commander-in-Chief.


Obama's Non-Doctrine in Foreign Policy


The main problem with Obama's approach to foreign policy is that there is none. The absence of a doctrine or any coherent foreign policy is the cornerstone of today's foreign policy. It should be obvious to anyone that Obama leans towards non-intervention when it comes to dealing with conflicts around the world. The least intrusive the US can be is the best policy, judging by Obama's actions. I don't exactly accept that view, but I can argue it.


If this is a correct reading of Obama's foreign policy, why doesn't he say so?! There are many who have made the case, including the Founding Fathers of this nation, Libertarians, and many Democrats, that the US should not get entangled in foreign affairs; that it is not in the United States interest to intervene into other nations’ problems. At least he should make clear and explain that the less the US commits to, and the less the US is policeman of the world, the more responsibility other nations must take on themselves.  


At least this would have given fair warning to all nations that the US is backing out of world affairs, and that they will need to prepare themselves for the consequences. It is the fact that Obama has said nothing of the sort that has left our friends and allies twisting in the wind. It is only now dawning on the world that the US has little or no intention of helping our allies. It would have been nice to let them know this in advance, so they could prepare themselves instead of conceding the world to terrorists and chaos.


The lack of an explicit doctrine informing the world of the change in America’s stance has led to the world chaos we see today. It is into this self-created vacuum that we see ISIS on the march and growing, Syria in shambles, Iraq falling under the control of Iran, and nations in Africa that were once allies, becoming enemies. We are losing friends like Saudi Arabia and gaining enemies like Yemen.

Meanwhile, as we see the US stepping down from the world stage, we see China stepping onto it. They are taking steps to control the sea lanes of trade and challenge the US as a world power. Over five trillion dollars in trade pass through those sea lanes. And they are not just interested in controlling the water ways. They have recently set up "no-fly zones" in international air space and warned American jets not to cross this new artificial line or be fired on. For the first time in decades, we see China flexing its military muscle to quicken the retreat of America from its back yard.


This only emboldens countries like North Korea who want to expand their power. And while our eyes are on the Mid-East and turning towards China, don't be surprised if Putin makes another move soon. He has already successfully confiscated new territory, and has his eye on more. You can bet that Putin will make his play when our backs are turned, and we’re busy with ISIS or China, or Iran.


Iran on the other hand, doesn't even care about deception. They are sponsoring terrorism and infiltrating Iraq in broad daylight as we negotiate with them. The US's policy is to ignore these acts of aggression and continue to seek promises of good behavior in the future. The least Obama can do is to acknowledge the aggression in the world, wrap these talks up quickly and declare the United States position in the world before it totally falls apart. What's ironic is that most people are willing to lean either way on foreign policy. This nation was born in the tradition of isolationism. It only turned to world cooperation after World War ll. We as a nation can go either way. It just takes some leadership to tell us - and the world - which way that is.


The silence from the Obama Administration over the years has been deafening. What is the Obama doctrine on foreign policy? We want an answer. And so does the world.


For a more detailed look at foreign policy and my view of what could be and what should be done differently from the Obama non-doctrine, plus more examples of thinking outside the box Click here: Toward A Rational Foreign Policy - PaulNathan.biz and Click here: How To Defeat Terrorism - PaulNathan.biz and of course, Click here: Freedom and National Defense - PaulNathan.biz


Paul Nathan