Skip to comments.The World in 2009
Posted on 02/28/2008 7:54:45 AM PST by Kaslin
When President George Bush leaves office, will America once again be liked by most of the world? Not necessarily, since most current problems are either already getting better or not our fault.
When the next president takes office in January 2009, he or she will be confronted by a world that either understandably appreciates America or for self-interested reasons will challenge it.
On the positive side, the new president will see a Middle East without the Taliban in charge in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein ruling Iraq. A stabilizing constitutional Iraq should result in a steadily diminishing American presence there.
In Europe, the French under Nicolas Sarkozy and the Germans under Angela Merkel will remain pro-American. But they will also expect continued American leadership. Both may talk grandly of the Atlantic Alliance, but in real terms they do little to help us in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
Most of Africa likewise is already friendly to the United States. And why not? President Bush extended more humanitarian aid to combat African hunger and disease than any president in our history.
But what of our enemies? Won't adversaries back off when the Christian cowboy George Bush rides back to Texas -- and we have a kinder, gentler commander-in-chief who offers hope, or at least change, to the world?
There are plenty of problems that both antedated George Bush and are likely to continue well after he's left office.
For starters, the next American president will have to deal with Vladimir Putin's Russia, which is proud and angry for reasons that go well beyond the Bush administration. Russia is flush with petrodollars, still smarting over lost empire and tired of lectures about human rights from impotent European states.
Iran, which repeatedly snubbed the efforts of the Clinton administration to normalize relations, will still want a bomb, will still intimidate neighbors and will still threaten Israel. Indeed, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Hitlerian fashion, has called the Jewish state "filthy bacteria" and promised to wipe it off the map. He didn't say these things because George Bush is president, and he won't stop when Bush is gone.
Sen. Barack Obama, who looks more and more every day like he'll be the Democratic presidential nominee, has said he'd be in favor of taking out "high-value terrorist targets" inside Pakistan on our own if the Pakistani government won't. But so far we haven't done that because Pakistan is nuclear and friendlier to jihadists than it is to us. That won't change, either.
Osama bin Laden's attacks on Americans also predated George Bush. The war on terror started only when we finally decided to strike back in 2001. And it will end only when we destroy the jihadists and alter the conditions that created them -- or give in and return to the earlier policy of inaction.
Long-term global challenges are bipartisan concerns -- neither caused by conservative Republicans nor solved by easy answers from liberal Democrats.
Should we guarantee the new independence of Muslim-dominated Kosovo, if Christian Serbia and its Russian patrons seek to get it back by force? If so, consider the chance of another bloody war inside Europe, and no appreciation for our help in Kosovo from the Muslim world.
Should we press China to clean up its trade practices and grant basic human rights to its own citizens? If so, be ready to see hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese-held U.S. government bonds sold off.
Should we extend formal diplomatic recognition to Iran and begin talks? If so, be prepared that, with even less worry, Tehran will accelerate efforts to get the bomb.
It is a cop-out to say George Bush caused all these problems. They loom large mostly for two reasons. One, the United States promotes global democratic capitalism, and our military ensures international free commerce in the air and on the seas. This bothers regional dictators and terrorists eager to carve out their own spheres of influence, regardless of who's sitting in the Oval Office.
Two, billions of people in India, Russia, China, Asia and Latin America, having copied American business and culture, are now doing better, and demand the same good lives we take for granted.
Our rivals suspect that we are played out, short of energy, long on debt, and hogging the world's resources. They see no reason to stop pushing just because of our past strength and reputation. They think the future is theirs, the past ours. And so all over the globe they will surely challenge the next president, however nice, to prove them wrong.
“When President George Bush leaves office, will America once again be liked by most of the world? Not necessarily, since most current problems are either already getting better or not our fault.”
It doesn’t matter what we do. The path of least resistance and the method that requires absolutely no brainpower is to simply blame the U.S. because we’re the lone superpower.
Only bedwetting liberals care.
If the US wants world peace (including EU) stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations (i.e respect the concept of sovereignty). Declaring the intent to use soft power to interfere will provoke more wars, unless it is in the strategic interest of the US to do so. I remember during the recent summer Olympics in Korea, the EU and US was all tied up in knots over the Korean practice of offering dog meat in their restuarants. There was public idignation and threat of boycott unless the Korean resturaunts pulled it from their menu. Maybe Americans consider a boycott as a mild act, but a boycott against a nation in the eyes of the Koreans is like one step from declaring war. As one Korean buddy of mine said, they have been eating dog for centuries (by the way Americans on the frontier also ate dog) and what right does the US or EU coerce and threaten them (the Koreans were forced to pull the dogmeat from the menus), when the same critics would do business with Saudi Arabia who mistreats Christians and women without a peep. Human rights and democracy standard unfortunately does not stand up to the hypocracy test in the world and the US ends up looking pretty bad. The US needs to concentrate on obtaining markets that will provide high paying jobs, protect their technological and economical advantage, and not sell these capabilities to our potential adversaries/strategic competitors, and concentrate on resolving our problems at home, and provide a stable society that will put the average person at ease. Wars, economic and trade policies that create turbulence at the individual level are not the policies to take.
The people in the world hate us because we are successful. It was never about George Bush.
Those governments in turn will hand President Obama a list of demands they expect us to grant in turn for peace. Then America will be liked again.
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Maybe we should quietly start wiping all Iran submarines from the oceans.
Open a dialogue with the new goverment of Pakistan as to the fact that they have X amount of time before we start a bombing campaign starting at both ends of the mountains working our way to the center with coalition troops guarding the center for runaways.
Allow Isreal to wipe out Hama’s in the Gaza strip.Then back them in an attack and stabilization of Iran.
Tell Kosovo....if you want to be a solo country....act like one.
Stop all imports of Chinese goods into the USA until they meet strict guide lines of safety, AND that China imports as many USA goods as we take from them. Not in dollar amounts, but by part number for part number as equals.
After which.....turn N. Korea into a parking lot for S. Korea.
Last but not least cut all financial aid to any country that houses muslims whether they are extreme or not.
Then stand before the Saudi’s and look them straight in the eye and say....”You’re next!”
Clinton will have to deal with the following:
- (likely) an Iranian nuclear weapon test, maybe underground
- (definite) a mid-east wide war either launched by or instigated by Iran in it’s bid to dominate Iraq.
- (definite) a massive pro-life cultural push here.
I hope you are correct. My doom-ometer indicates that, barring a major campaign scandal eruption, we will probably have President Obama.
They seem to like us when we fail. So........if it’s Obama or Clinton.......yes they’ll like us.
Let me know if you want in or out.
Links: FR Index of his articles: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=victordavishanson
His website: http://victorhanson.com/
NRO archive: http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson-archive.asp
“My doom-ometer indicates that, barring a major campaign scandal eruption, we will probably have President Obama.”
It won’t take a major scandal. McCain is a weak candidate and the American people are just that f&%king stupid to elect Obama. Unless he says “Allahu Akbar” in a debate with McCain, he will win in a romp.
“McCain had a good come back at Osama recently. I wouldnt rule him out.”
McCain will do fine but the sheeple will see a 40 something versus a seventy something and fawn. Not to mention the chance to “be a part of history” and assuaging their white guilt all at the same time. I would say that there is an 80% chance of Obama being the next POTUS...God help us all.
And, don’t forget, global warming ended in mere anticipation of George W. Bush leaving office.
Electing either of the Dem socialist / marxists would stop that problem right in its tracks.
We were most loved after we had the sh** beat out of us on 9/11. The world can take that love and shove it.