Skip to comments.Gulliver unbound: can America rule the world?
Posted on 08/05/2003 6:29:24 AM PDT by dead
click here to read article
Hear that, Middle East? Far from being your saviors, "Old Europe" in the run up to the war had only one agenda: Keep Mohammed Down. They didn't want us to begin the process that will eventually set you free.
Same here, on both counts. This is a great post, thanks for finding it.
I do think the author glossed a bit quickly past China's hegemonic ambitions, and the real challenge those ambitions will pose for the United States and our traditional Pacific Rim allies throughout the next century. Still, Joffe gives a thoughful analysis of the current state of things.
I find Britain to be an unlikely candidate around which a second-tier coalition will gather. They are too close to the US in culture, language, and values. Additionally, Britain has no prospects for regional hegemony, and a nation unable to awe its neighbors can not hope to amass a counterweight to US hyper-power.
Candidates for #2 in the balance-of-power void are few, as in one: China.
China has vast natural and human resources, and a rapidly modernizing and industrializing economy. From a military standpoint, they are geographicaly secure, but are currently unable to project their military might on a scale remotely comparable to that of America. China's designs, however, are decades-long and more humble in the short term. Their first, modest projection of military power will most likely involve Taiwan, and America's response (or lack thereof) to that projection will establish the realgeopolitik for the following decades.
This commentary was rather interesting.
Another kind of balancing, let's call it 'surreptitious balancing', had begun much earlier, in the mid-1990s, when the US regularly found itself alone and on the other side of such issues as the ABM Treaty or the International Criminal Court. Au fond, all of these duels were not about principle, but power. If the United States wanted to scratch the ABM Treaty in favor of Missile Defense, Europe, China and Russia sought to uphold it on the sound assumption that a better defense makes for a better offense, hence for richer US military options than under conditions of vulnerability.
And so with the International Criminal Court (ICC). In the end, even the Clinton team correctly understood the underlying thrust of the ICC. Claiming the right to pass judgment on military interventions by prosecuting malfeasants ex post facto, the Court might deter and thus constrain America's forays abroad. All the Liliputians would gain a kind of droit de regard over American actions.
I disagree that the United States was firmly against the ICC or that Clinton had any idea what the underlying thrust of it was, accepting he wasn't trying to undercut the United States in total. The man signed on to it on our behalf. Even as later at December 2000, he didn't have clue one. The following president didn't come out against the ICC until May of 2002, one month after it was certain to be ratified.
This article also ignores numerous very important internal issues that plague the United States. What an enemy can't do from abroad, a nation can do to iteself through ignorance.
But neither would ever sign on to it. Clinton's reasons would have been more self-serving than Bush's - Billy didn't want to be indicted in absentia for things like the Sudan or Afghanistan bombings. Plus, Hillary would have kicked his ass if he saddled her presidency with such trappings.
Clinton did sign on December 31, 2000. There was a December 31 deadline, where leaders of nations could sign without their legislative body's approval, and those signatures would be accepted by the U.N. Clinton signed just under the wire.
Bush unsigned it around May 8, 2002.
Lenin and Mao would have had a European or an Asian "silenced" who dared say such truths. For decades we have heard only the opposite, that we Americans we too lazy, or that we worked too hard, or that we were too obsessed with money, or that our economy was doomed, or that our military couldn't compete, etc.
Yet until this author came along just now, all of that other old european nonsense was just cheat beating anti-American propaganda.
But he's said what needed saying, especially to and by the Europeans.
Oh sure, it was obvious all along to most Americans, but if Europeans start hearing this message, then we will see that the cat really is out of the bag, and no one is going to put him back into that bag by silencing that message again.
And so, I pray for a future in which we can finally have honest global politics with fully informed allies and enemies, rather than what we've had to put up with until now.
The anti-American hype was always the Emperor with no Clothes, and now someone has finally laughed and said out loud that the King was naked.
Let's hope that this single article brings about a more clothed and informed and honest Europe and Asia.
The truth, after all, is difficult to hide once it gets out, and this can only benefit us and our cause.
Like Kyoto, Clinton gave his token nod to it, knowing his signature at that point was as meaningless as his word - it would never ever ever be approved by the Senate.
His support was a symbolic sop to the world government wing, but (IMO) he would never have signed on if he thought it might actually be binding.
He was evil, but not stupid.
There's more to it than that.
Especially since the U.S. isn't following the old rule book of past super-powers who all conquered territory and taxed said regions.
And since the U.S. is acting differently than past super-powers, the old rulebook no longer applies.
There is not some magic "bi-polar" force that persuades other nations to cede their own interests in favor of "balancing" the one super-power.
It ain't there, and it ain't gonna happen.
Instead, because the U.S. isn't manipulating and ruling the world's nether-regions, what you've got is that you have traditional regional rivalries that will continue to flare up, and then one side of that rivalry (at least) will try to convince the U.S. to step in.
But first and foremost you've got regional conflicts. Thus, China's regional goals run smack into Japan's, Taiwan's, and India's, all three of which have in sum more people, a superior economy, and superior militaries to China. Likewise, all three have the technology and capability to field nuclear ICBM's and other massive weapons.
Nor will countries in the Middle-East simply come together to "balance" the U.S. On the contrary, Middle-Eastern countries are historically known for guessing at what other power will be the "winner" and then signing on with it as if they had always been best friends. The idea of spurning their #1 customer, their #1 aid partner, the #1 technology source, and the #1 military all for some esoteric "balancing" act in some fantastical "bi-polar" world of the author is ludicrous.
But the merit of the article isn't in the the military guesses or the bi-polar nonsense, but in the recognition that the U.S. has triumphed in all possible fields of human endeavor (culture, economy, military, technology).
And on that point the author hits the home run.
Sounds French. And if you said that to someone on the street you would earn a knuckle sandwich.
And just for the record: this particular writer is also on the editorial board of the National Interest. There's more, but let the "assume-first" crowd do their own searching. He's no intellectual lightweight, nor is he left-leaning.
While we must be alert to attacks on the Constitution itself, especially the Second Amendment, consider that PC groups are not capable of taking away any freedoms. If there is a Constitutional Convention, then worry, or if a raving, unbalanced liberal such as Hillary actually becomes President and screeches every day at us like Eleanor. Also be wary of those who use incomplete statistics to make points.
I'm sorry, you're right. Like Kyoto, Clinton gave his token nod to it, knowing his signature at that point was as meaningless as his word - it would never ever ever be approved by the Senate. His support was a symbolic sop to the world government wing, but (IMO) he would never have signed on if he thought it might actually be binding. He was evil, but not stupid.
48 posted on 08/05/2003 11:28 AM PDT by dead (Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!)
I agree with you on the merits of your comments, but I think there's much you're not addressing here. Let me explain.
While Clinton's signature was meaningless as far as what the United States' Senate would back up, it was not considered meaningless on the world stage.
The U.N. was so desperate to get the ICC approved, it let world leaders sign on for their nations, even if their nations legislative bodies hadn't gone through proper motions to legally back up that signature. Clinton's signature, not worth a damn to us, was cherished by Kofi Annan. Once a certain number of world leaders signed on, the ICC was ratified, whether that ratification was approved legally or not, in the nations who's leaders signed on.
Futhermore, the number of nations required to sign on to ratify the ICC was something like 65 (approximate from memory) out of some 160 to 200 (I don't know what the exact figure is). There wasn't a two thirds requirement. No, the ICC ratification only required something like 35 to 40% of nations to sign on.
Thus the signature of Bill Clinton loomed large. If even the United States was willing to sign on to this, since a super-power would have the most to lose, smaller nations shouldn't have anything to fear. In fact, it could make them equal to the United States before the eyes of an ICC. What a deal...
The US leader's signature on this document emboldened other nations to sign on. Not only did Bill Clinton's signature constitute all that Kofi Annan needed, but his signature encouraged others to sign on. He actually helped push this thing through his signing on board.
Leadership means having to stand out in front of the pack and explain why you must or mustn't do something. It doesn't constitute signing on board claiming it's meaningless. It doesn't involve looking the other way while other nations sign on to this. It reguires a clear head and a willingness to take bold reasoned action to stave off global actions that 'will' come back to haunt you.
You see, once the ICC is ratified, France, Germany or any of the other nations that "so called" signed on to promise never to prosecute the US before the ICC, can't stop the ICC from bringing charges of it's own. Once ratified, the ICC takes on a life of it's own. The water was cold before it came into being. It's luke warm now. In ten years it will be boiling while we fiddle on.
In the United States, we ratify new ammendments to the Constitution by having states sign on. I think it's two-thirds of the state houses that must sign on to ratify an ammendment. But once an ammendment is ratified, it is the law of the land in all 50 states. The ICC is the law over every nation of the world.
We can choose to say that we are not bound by the ICC. The fact is we are. We did not take bold action to assure that a world body would not be set up over us. It is a reality today. We are going to rue the day when we ever allowed this thing to rear it's ugly head. It may not have an army to enforce it's will, but we are becoming so intertwined with our globalist ferver, that we will have no choice but to work with the ICC or suffer the consequences.
Bill Clinton's signature helped usher that in. George Bush's complacence sealed the deal. If you seek to claim that you are a bold conservative leader, you can't in the same breath claim that it took you fifteen months to figure out the ICC was a terrible idea, thirty days after it was known it was a certainty that it would be ratified.
That's incorrect. The ICC is a mere treaty. There is nothing about it that raises it above the status of a "treaty". It is therefore binding only to nations that signed and ratified said treaty, and even then limited in scope and reach to their own sovereign territories.
When our citizens are inside the sovereign territories of ICC-signee nations, then those particular individuals are subject to the laws of those nations rather than to the laws of the U.S.
What Bush is doing is getting nation after nation to modify their laws to grant U.S. vistors to their lands full ICC immunity, so that little Aunt Mary doesn't get arrested as a tourist in Germany 20 years from now and put on trial for not respecting the rights of the Afghan warlord that she shot down back when she was in the U.S. military.