As various sites reported today, President Obama has just issued a new “directive” (or “memorandum” or “strategy” — no one can quite agree what to call it) in which, as the New York Times put it, “the United States would use all the tools of American diplomacy, including the potent enticement of foreign aid, to promote gay rights around the world.”
Tina Korbe at Hot Air rightly characterizes the directive as “insincere” and “symbolic,” but I think that criticism is far too mild. A more accurate description might be “hypocritical mealy-mouthed horse shit.” Why? Because Obama doesn’t really want to promote gay rights in foreign countries — he just wants to lock up the American gay vote in the 2012 election by spewing feel-good mendacity as a sop to the gay community.
Obama’s proposal, which you can read in full at whitehouse.gov, involves a lot of gentle nudging and “engaging multilateral agencies” and tut-tutting and speaking loudly while carrying a small stick. In other words, it will be totally (and intentionally) ineffectual.
I too want to protect gay rights around the world. I mean, really protect gay rights around the world. Not merely pretend to like Obama and his “good for few headlines and then quickly abandoned” lip service.
And so I hereby call out President Obama on his so-called gay rights strategy. I throw down the gauntlet.
President Obama (and his supporters): are you up for the challenge? Here is my proposal:
Zombie’s No-Holds-Barred International Gay Rights Strategy
• Enforce a total embargo against any country that has a death penalty for homosexual activity, including most importantly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, and Somalia.
• In order to implement the embargo and make the United States energy-independent from these death-penalty countries, open up to drilling all American-controlled offshore oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico, and loosen any existing restrictions against oil production on U.S. territory.
• Enact punitive tariffs and other severe economic penalties against any US trading partners that continue to do business with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, or other countries where gays are executed.
• Withhold all – and I mean ALL – foreign aid from any countries where homosexuality is officially illegal and where gays are imprisoned or punished simply for being gay. Promise to restore aid only when homosexuality is legalized. The countries affected by this order include Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories (Gaza), Syria, Qatar, Malaysia, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Burma, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ghana, among many others.
• Stop all immigration from any countries mentioned above until they relax their anti-gay laws, with the exception of gay asylum-seekers.
• Issue a clear timetable to all countries formerly receiving aid from the US: If you relax anti-gay laws and legalize homosexuality within two years, then aid will be restored. But if you maintain or increase existing anti-gay laws, then after two years the withdrawal of foreign aid will be escalated to full embargo status.
• All monies saved from the withholding of foreign aid will be allocated to the newly gay-friendly U.S. military, which will be instructed to develop contingency plans to invade and overthrow the government of any country which maintains harsh anti-gay legislation after three years’ time, starting with the death penalty states and continuing down the list from most severe to least severe.
• Encourage and fund the building of next-generation ultra-safe nuclear power plants in areas far from population centers and seismic faultlines to minimize any potential danger, to help replace energy sources lost due to economic sanctions.
• Remove any restrictions preventing the development of American natural gas fields and other fossil fuels.
• At the United Nations, veto, vote against or boycott all proposals by any countries who maintain anti-gay legislation, until such time that homosexuality is fully legalized.
That’s a start. If Obama was truly serious about promoting gay rights around the world, then this would be his policy.
But he’s not serious, and everyone knows it. He’s just pandering for votes.
So, I call upon the gay community to promote this more aggressive gay-rights strategy and to reject the ineffective and counter-productive charade of Obama’s insulting memorandum.