Skip to comments.Our Foreign Policy Quagmire
Posted on 09/13/2013 12:06:48 PM PDT by Ravnagora
Guest op-ed column
THE CURRENT Middle East quagmire, with no end in sight, has now been further accentuated and brought into focus by President Barack Obama's "red line" regarding Syria and its civil war.
Our attention and concerns have now been switched from our numberless difficult and complex domestic problems to our badly flawed and costly foreign policy.
To buttress their case, the proponents of attacking Syria have been trying to draw on our imaginary successes in the wars for Yugoslav succession in the decade of the 1990s in order to convince people here and abroad.
Nonetheless, these comparisons, including the most recent one by media pundits like Bill O'Reilly (Fox News) and the president himself are imaginary. Then, in the immediate post-communist world, we claimed to be "the indispensible nation" with a mission in the world to re-order it in accordance with our visions of principles of democracy, justice and international laws principles that we went on to callously bend or disregard at will in the Balkans.
We have abysmally failed "to seize the moment" to demonstrate a bold new course and spirit of international relations.
We used double standards, tested insidiously refined propaganda how to shape domestic and international opinions and via activated NATO bombed Serbia and its province Kosovo for "humanitarian reasons" for 78 days, without declaration of war, approval of the Congress or consent by the United Nations Security Council and in contravention of international laws.
Thus, we abused our power and our foreign policy was taking wrong the shape and direction in the post-communist epoch ahead.
Ahistorical and imbued with hubris of our unchallengeable power, our leaders confidently marched from the Balkan mountains into the Middle East deserts. From Sarajevo and Kosovo into Kabul and Baghdad.
Nonetheless, Vladimir Putin's Russia is different now; China is different now; the Middle East has been different and more complex than the Balkans. And, regretfully, being weakened in many respects, we are now also different, but for the worse.
But have we learnt anything? No, we have not.
We have overlooked or have misunderstood the basic lessons from the Yugoslav experience and example.
Determined to build a new world order in the course of the past two decades, America has continued to conduct its foreign policy affairs without regard for historical lessons, experiences and realities specific for the regions and people involved, as well as for some quintessential principles rooted in moral values we are purported to champion and represent.
As we can clearly observe now, these policies and world viewpoint have been misconceived, counterproductive and, indeed, harmful to our nation. For my part, I profoundly regret this outcome, since we had an unambiguously clear opportunity during the past two decades to make a new roadmap for the world for this century.
Wide and deep national discourse and self-examination as to what has gone wrong and why is overdue and in order.
What we urgently need now is a profound change in our thinking about our role in the world and an open mind to discard our present utopian foreign policy paradigm. As Serbian journalist Olga Ravassi cleverly pointed out: "We don't have to bomb countries into submission in order to promote our values."
Michael Djordjevich of San Rafael was the first president of the Council for Democratic Changes in Serbia. He is a former member of the national board of directors of the World Affairs Council and has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Obama Foreign Policy: Move forward by leading from behind, and stonewall anyone who claims that Obama looks like an ASS.
REMEMBER BENGHAZI !
The opposition to Clinton’s misadventures in the Balkans was quite lively here but obviously small enough to be ignored. Finally the opposition has started to make a difference.