I call myself leftist because I support higher taxes and bigger governments that should take care of the underprivileged, those who cannot afford healthcare or education.
I call myself leftist because I advocate civil and human rights and endorse equality regardless of gender or sexual preference. Every person, regardless of sex, color, ethnicity or social status should enjoy freedom of expression and assembly and the right to choose representatives and elect government.
I call myself leftist because my views on equality are not chauvinistic but rather universal. While I pledge allegiance to the great American nation that welcomed me and made me one of its own, I also care about the fate of the peoples of my homelands of Iraq and Lebanon.
I call myself leftist because I supported the toppling of Iraq's tyrant during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and I defended US policy in support of Lebanon's Independence Uprising of 2005.
In 2009, I took sides with Iran's Green Revolution against a fanatic, radical and tyrant regime of religious clerics.
I call myself leftist because I am not a blind partisan. Until 2008, I supported most of the foreign policies of rightwing President, George Bush, only because he propagated the values of freedom and equality around the world, regardless of whether he did so for a hidden agenda or not.
I call myself leftist because I disagreed with Bush's authorization of torture at Guantanamo Bay Prison. Torture undermines America's principle of equality, under the law, for all, whether US citizens or not. Without such principles, America is just another backward country.
I call myself leftist because I criticize left wingers, the Democrats, who took over power in Congress and the White House, for their foreign policy, which I deem in contradiction with the values of equality that they claim they stand for.
When the Iranians demonstrated in the streets of Tehran holding signs of "where's my vote," President Barack Obama was busy entertaining the brutal Iranian regime and sending it message of goodwill. By abandoning the protestors, America's Left simply let down freedom fighters in Iran.
In the geo-strategically less important Lebanon, Senator John Kerry, in my opinion, has single handedly sabotaged the Lebanese fight against tyranny of neighboring Syria and the Iranian-funded militia of Hezbollah.
Kerry perhaps reasoned that Syrian President Bashar Assad was more important to American interests than Lebanon. Such a view is the opposite of Leftism.
I call myself leftist because I believe there is no country that it more important than the other, just like how all individuals are equal.
But how come America's Right propagates ideals of freedom, equality and war against tyranny around the world, while the Left calls for taking shortcuts in foreign policy and entertaining this autocrat or that despot?
So far I have no answers to why a Left that claims to be fighting for justice inside America insists on "engaging" injustice champions outside of it.
My first guess about the Democrats' failing and perceivably unethical foreign policy is their incompetence and narcissism. Those who are involved in politics inside the beltway might know that Kerry and Obama are two politicians, so full of themselves, that they rarely take advice.
Consider Kerry's comments while presiding over a hearing by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on March 4, when he said: "I was particularly pleased to hear Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem praise [Palestinian] President [Mahmoud] Abbas' decision to enter proximity talks."
In fact, Moallem, at an Arab League meeting, had opposed American-sponsored indirect "proximity" peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Two days after the Kerry hearing, Syria announced that it had cancelled a scheduled visit for Abbas to Damascus, showing that all Kerry's praise for Syrian peace efforts was misplaced.
As for Obama, the best description of his lack of foreign policy skills comes from The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl who wrote, on March 8, that the president has failed in cultivating good relations with world leaders.
Obama has publicly expressed "displeasure with US allies. He sparred all last year with Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu; he expressed impatience when Japan's Yukio Hatoyama balked at implementing a military base agreement. He has repeatedly criticized Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, and he gave up the videoconferences Bush used to have with Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki."
In conclusion, I call myself leftist because I advocate democracy, freedom and equality for all, inside the United States and around the world. I don't care whether America's Right or Left carries such an agenda, but will support any party that does so, and will appose any group that does not.
I call myself leftist not only because I endorse principles of change, but because I think America deserves smarter politicians running its foreign policy than the ones in charge of it now.