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What Should Be the American Posture in Foreign Policy

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  • What Should Be the American Posture in Foreign Policy

    Look at the situation in Latin America. In those countries where we poured money, weapons, and military advisors in wars against leftist insurgents -- in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua -- the countries are struggling with the horrific legacy of violence. It's gotten so bad that families are willing to send their children unaccompanied and at great risk to the United States just to avoid early death at home. Here is a case of irresponsible disengagement, for after doing so much to stoke the conflicts, the United States did little to ensure that these countries would thrive in the post-conflict environment.

    But in other parts of the region -- Chile, Argentina, Brazil -- the absence of U.S. involvement has allowed societies to prosper. U.S. disengagement from that part of the region, as it turned to focus on other parts of the world, created space for these countries to build up their economies, strengthen their democracies, and create a new web of South-South connections.

    Yes, there are radical isolationists in the United States. And there are neocons that want the United States to reestablish some putative golden age of neo-imperial control. The real debate, however, takes place between these poles -- where the United States should critically engage (for instance, to reduce carbon emissions) and responsibly disengage (closing military bases).

    The United States is not Atlas, and the U.S. president is not a Helmsman. Atlas is not shrugging; Obama is not nodding.

    Instead of these false dichotomies between blundering engagement and irresponsible disengagement, let's have a real debate about where the United States can make a difference given its resources, how President Obama can have a positive impact given his circumscribed influence, and why the American colossus should continue to rein in its unilateralist tendencies, given the declining utility of force and the overriding need for global cooperation.

    I've always told my sons, a smart man learns from his mistakes, but a brilliant man learns from the mistakes of others. We've spent a hundred years cleaning up the messes of Europe's colonialism, and here we have loud voices in America still screaming for America to become a colonial power, and an empire. This article speaks to the myths of American foreign policy, and Obama's part in it:

    1) The United States has disengaged from the world.
    2) Boots on the ground and bombs from the air are the only way to stabilize an increasingly unstable world.
    3) The United States -- and by extension the U.S. president -- can change the facts on the ground at will.
    4) U.S. disengagement leaves chaos in its wake.

    It's time America tells the loud mouthed idiots like McCain and Krauthammer to just shut the **** up. Their era is dead, and should be buried.

  • #2
    Here's direct quotes from the sort of neocon idiot that should be in the dustbin of history:

    [...]I would immediately start putting up that "iron dome" missile defense shield, like Israel has, in Ukraine, and shoot down any Russian planes that attempt to interfere. That was on the agenda 'til Obama killed it. I'd also send in a few drone or tomahawk strikes at those artillery units on the Russian side of the Eastern Ukraine border that have been lobbing shells into Ukraine. If they want to pick a fight with our fighter pilots and superior jets, I think our guys would welcome the challenge.

    You might want to do a little research on how the Saudi Royal family treats their people before you condemn them. I don't care much about their religion, but it's shared with most of the people, and the standard of living is pretty decent. They still oppress their women, but not to the degree they do in more fundamentalist countries. At least they get to work, drive, and go to school. The women even got the right to vote recently.
    Let me ask you this. We've read the script and we know how it progresses ... the one that Hitler wrote. Let's say Putin does pretty much the same thing coming from the other direction. First Crimea, then Ukraine, then the Balkans, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, etc. etc. etc. At what point do you draw the line and make a stand? Never, because it's not our problem? How 'bout when he controls all of Europe and Asia .. how about then? That's what happens if nobody stands up to him. When do you finally get around to doing it?
    and the winner:

    Well, we have a lot of idle folks of military age, but I don't think we should go back to the draft, but rather than spending money on welfare for nothing, we might want to give them an option to serve in the military at decent wages, bump our forces up to about 16-20 million, and put a million or two each into Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Egypt, a few African countries run by tyrants, and teach them all how the game is supposed to be played with free markets and the Rule of Law. We could pay for most of it by eliminating the Welfare State. "If you want to eat, serve your country."
    We could whip those gang-bangers into decent citizens in no time.