Skip to comments.New World Disorder
Posted on 03/06/2014 2:08:54 PM PST by Kaslin
Count me among those a dwindling minority, Im afraid who think that politics should end at the waters edge. No one, Republican or Democrat, ought to take pleasure at the spectacle of Americas foreign policies failing and the perception of America as a hobbled giant.
That is, self-evidently, what were seeing: Russian boots are on the ground in Ukraine. North Korea is firing missiles. Irans negotiators are playing high-stakes poker, while the U.S.-led side doesnt seem to know a flush from a straight. In Syria, Irans proxies confront al Qaeda forces (forces the administration two years ago congratulated itself for having defeated) while the much-ballyhooed agreement to remove chemical weapons has stalled. Hard-won gains in Iraq have been squandered. Theres a real possibility that the Taliban will reclaim Afghanistan once American troops depart. Venezuela is in turmoil. China is acting the bully in Asia.
As threats and crises multiply, what is President Obama doing? Hes proposing to reduce the size and strength of America's military to pre-2001 levels. Can anyone still regard the United States as a reliable ally? More consequentially, is America still seen as a formidable adversary?
Mr. Obamas critics call him ambivalent and indecisive. Perhaps, but those are symptoms. The underlying malady is his conception of Americas role in the world. Late last week, responding to developments in Ukraine, the president said: The United States will stand with the international community.
He advised Russia to be part of the international communitys effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward. He said that would be in the interest of the international community.
News flash: The international community is a figment of the imagination right up there with Batman, Wonder Woman, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Its also the key that opens the door to a room filled with fashionable fictions. Among them: that there are universal values and principles, that the worlds most powerful political figures are, just like us, rational actors who seek peace, favor freedom, tolerance and democracy, and believe that diplomacy based on confidence-building and reciprocal compromises leads to conflict resolution an outcome theyd prefer to shedding blood and achieving victory.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given lip service to such warm and fuzzy ideas. In an op-ed published by The New York Times last September, he appealed for mutual trust, endorsed shared success and laid out the steps the international community should take to keep hope alive. He added: We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
Is it not now at long last clear that Mr. Putin was just spinning us? North Koreas Kim Jong-un, Irans Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syrias Bashar Assad, Chinas Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabias King Abdullah, Venezuelas Nicolas Maduro, Cubas Raul Castro and Turkeys Recep Tayyip Erdogan also are among those who sometimes talk like Berkeley professors, but in truth practice raw, 19th-century machtpolitik.
In theory, the idea of a post-American world a global order featuring shared leadership and even shared sovereignty sounds lovely. In practice, it can only mean global disorder a Hobbesian state of nature in which the most rapacious and brutal regimes do whatever is necessary to establish their hegemony over whichever regions they covet. Expansion stops only when one hegemon bumps up against another and both decide that a balance of power, or a balance of terror is preferable to fighting it out, at least in the short term.
In his 2009 address to the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Obama famously said, No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. Had he said, No one nation should try to dominate another nation, he would have sounded preachy and weak. However, the assertion that no nation can try to dominate another is patently false. Combining the two phrases conveyed a rhetorical benefit at the time. In hindsight, however and with Russias invasion of Ukraine on the front pages the statement reveals a flawed foundation on which to build foreign policies.
Gaze over the international landscape: Do you see the prospect of a success anywhere? Or is it likely that the Obama administrations goal at this point is simply to avoid additional visible failures?
That will require prolonging negotiations with Irans rulers (granting significant concessions while making believe that the Iranians do, too); attempting to keep the Palestinian-Israel peace process alive (though no Palestinian leaders are currently prepared to make peace with the Jewish state); hoping against hope that Mr. Assad, Mr. Maduro and Mr. Kim fall (and that something better comes after them); and pivoting toward Asia, insisting that does not mean pivoting away from everywhere else (while still not providing meaningful support for Japan, the Philippines and other Asian allies).
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama continues to signal that he is war-weary, that he seeks to end wars (not necessarily on favorable terms) and, as noted, proposes to issue pink slips to Americas by-no-means-weary warriors. In doing so, he is violating one of historys oldest and firmest rules: The stronger a nation appears, the less likely its strength will be tested. The corollary to this: Weakness is provocative.
No international community will respond to Mr. Putins aggression or any of the worlds other despot-caused disasters. Still, an alliance of free nations might begin to coalesce if we would acknowledge the fact that the United Nations has become a dictators club, and if we would accept the fact that there are responsibilities the United States must shoulder. If American leaders wont lead, Mr. Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei and other tyrants are only too eager to rule. Lets not pretend we dont know that. Lets not pretend we dont know what that will mean over the years ahead.
okay, At the water's edge. May I pled cold as ice.
“If American leaders wont lead, Mr. Putin, Ayatollah Khamenei and other tyrants are only too eager to rule. Lets not pretend we dont know that. Lets not pretend we dont know what that will mean over the years ahead.”
Sadly, we’re playing ‘Whack a Mole’ in the USA these days.
Worst. President. Ever. Worst. Congress. Ever. EVER.
One to another extreme!!!
The lack of a unified approach on foreign policy merely reflects political and social realities within the United States. There no longer remains a reasonable social consensus on values and behavior. The divisions among the American people are real and it does little good to pretend that they don’t exist or are unimportant.
“Count me among those a dwindling minority, Im afraid who think that politics should end at the waters edge. No one, Republican or Democrat, ought to take pleasure at the spectacle of Americas foreign policies failing and the perception of America as a hobbled giant. “
Then people should stop voting for those that are on board with policies and philosophies guaranteed to screw up the country. Not like they don’t telegraph their intentions. Of course if we took the time to look at and more importantly BELIEVE the documented histories of those we elect or attempt to elect, America would not be in the situation in which we created for ourselves.
Not rocket surgery. Pretty basic really. Wonder why so few get it.
Better to have a bad policy fail quickly than to double down on stupid.
The US and UK have given away monetary power, blood and treasure to make the one world leftists happy. Now the aggressors are stepping in. Whoda thunk it?
The neo-socialists of the west have screwed us all by trying to "level the playing field" and be "all inclusive". What they have done in reality is opened the back door for the wolves to come right in and take over.
Please take my key?
We got here by the education system.
Which part of the Constitution compels the people of the United States shoulder these so-called responsibilities?
Meow!!! Sniff ... sniffles
Count me among those a dwindling minority, Im afraid, that see this as all part of the grand communist plan.
Yes, deadrock, you are somebody!!! Searching and Searching.
yes, all part of the grand plan