Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Moronic Foreign Policy

Trump accomplishes the opposite of what he claims. But Putin would be so proud!

Is America great again? Apparently, we are getting there very fast, even faster than orginally envisioned, according to our President, who is also a very stable genius, with an extremely large button. But for some reason we are also a world-wide laughing stock, headed by a moron whose erratic spleen is vented daily on Twitter, who can't read more than a few sentences at a time, who lies compulsively, and whose wanna-be mobster management style is pathetically at odds with any trace of professionalism. His vision of greatness seems to be letting corporations and the rich (such as himself) run roughshod over everyone else. How long that will play with his base is anyone's guess. But the worst consequences of Presidential intelligence and temperament (or lack thereof) are, as usual, on foreign policy.

The US has been leader of the free world, and the industrialized world, since World War 2, and arguably since World War 1. We have been the indispensible nation, the leading economy, and the leading culture of the 20th century. We faught a drawn-out and bitter Cold War with the main ideological and geopolitical adversary, communism, which ended with the latter's complete implosion. Russia has reconstituted itself along Tzarist lines, while China has reconstituted itself along similar capitalist/authoritarian lines, but without the personality cult at the top, at least until the current president, Xi Jinping. These former communist countries have learned from each other, and from the West, to arrive at their current blend of corrupt, Orwellian one-party rule, combined with substantial personal and business freedoms. And China is growing at a clip that will make it the largest economy and leading world power in a matter of decades, if not years.

This is the current competition that we face as a governing model- one that is attractive to smaller countries like Pakistan, the Phillipines, Iran, and many others. It is a time of flux, and our leadership, while not as central as in the fight against communism, remains critical if real democracy is to supplant fake democracy. Yet our current administration is pedaling as fast as it can in the wrong direction. It is itself beholden to Russia for its existence, and the President conveys his admiration for Vladimir Putin as often as possible. It embodies precisely the same style of corrupt, authoritarian, nepotistic, and predatory tendencies as the countries we least want to emulate.

In foreign policy, this administration has been sending a lot of mixed signals. This on its face is bad foreign policy, and contributes directly to a decline in global leadership. But it is understandable, as a war plays out within the White House between the President's terrible instincts, and the obvious interests of the US as represented by his hand-picked military policy staff, by a withering State Department, and by whatever other sane people remain. So we have been making enemies on a daily basis. The President promised that he would solve the Middle East, and the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Who knew that meant giving Israel whatever it wants, and giving the finger to any notion of a peace process? The pissing match with North Korea has been both futile and contemptible. We have relinquished whatever slight claim we ever had to leadership on global warming. The sudden attack on Pakistan, while eminently understandable, was also unnecessarily bombastic. The attacks on NATO and Europe, though since reeled back by his handlers, have been very damaging to the notion that the US has anything futher to do with the future of Europe. Mexico? Don't even ask.

In sum, we are retreating from greatness on a daily basis, becoming a smaller, petulent actor on the world stage, at a time when our values are under the most subtle attack, and when competing models of governance have found new footing after the communist debacle. We seem to be rushing to join them, rather than standing for enlightened values of truth, decency, and equality.

  • A spirited foreign policy debate between a trump-is-not-so-bad person, and a we-are-going-to-hell person.
  • Trump is an asset ... to someone.
  • We have now taken the measure of our man.
  • Opposite of helping the working class.
  • Immigration is another part of the class war.
  • Restore Net Neutrality- join a vpn system.
  • How bad is facebook?

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