Sunday, June 24, 2007

Kissinger, Brzezinski and Scowcroft, Oh My

What do these three ex US foreign policy advisers have in common these days? Well for one thing, they appeared together on a Charlie Rose show. For another, they all agreed on one thing. One thing that this administration hasn't been able to grasp from the very beginning. The U.S. does not exist on its own planet. What we do and say impacts the rest of the world - just as the rest of the world impacts us, magic border fence aside. David Ignatius suggests that maybe its time the administration shut up, listen and learn for once.

It is neither weak nor dangerous to try to understand how the world works today. History is rife with the tales of the downfall of nations unable to recognize, understand, and adapt to international changes. The stakes are high for Americans and the world. It is in our self interest to understand not just the leaders of nations, but those people, events and movements whose impacts do, or may, prove to impact the world just as strongly as a national government. We need look no further than 9/11 for proof of that. But how have we reacted to an attack by an international movement? By attacking two nations. The first, Afghanistan, was a safe haven for our attackers - and few argued against the sense of attacking there. But then came Iraq. An attack against a nation neither responsible for 9/11, nor supportive of al Qaeda. (Despite what dwindling numbers of Bush supporters tell themselves.)

If we are unwilling to uncouple our view of the world from our old Cold War haze (hey, we won that one, let's cling to it and use those examples again!), and continue to be unwilling to view our national interests as part of a changing world instead of an island onto themselves, we are dooming this nation to an erosion of power and prestige from which it will not recover. And one, for which, I look forward to the far right somehow blaming on one of their bizarre bugaboos. (American would have remained a world power if it just weren't for those damned gay marriages. The U.S. would have owned the 21st century if it just hadn't caved in to public opinion and allowed the harvesting of embryonic stem cells!)

2 Comments:

Blogger buckarooskidoo said...

Very well put, even eloquent! I have always felt that this nation was taken over by aliens after 9-11, or hijacked, maybe, with a strong minority screaming "help!" to no avail. It will take a herculean effort to restore the US's standing in the world after the battering it has taken at the hands of this administration.

You're not wrong to anticipate that the Bush supporters will attempt to pin blame for their failures on the left...somehow it will end up being the Democrats' fault, because all of us willed Bush to fail out of sheer spite. That ex-AF guy, Buzz Patterson, just wrote a book to that effect. Stay tuned for the "stab in the back" scenario...traitorious domestic forces on the left undermined the troops and the generals, cut their legs out from underneath them and the Chief Executive. You know it is coming.

8:29 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

well, that was the best i have heard! thank you.

9:05 AM  

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