New World Disorder; Foreign Policy Based on Fiction Invites Chaos

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 5, 2014 | Go to article overview

New World Disorder; Foreign Policy Based on Fiction Invites Chaos


Byline: Clifford D. May

Count me among those -- a dwindling minority, I'm afraid -- who think that politics should end at the water's edge. No one, Republican or Democrat, ought to take pleasure at the spectacle of America's foreign policies failing and the perception of America as a hobbled giant.

That is, self-evidently, what we're seeing: Russian boots are on the ground in Ukraine. North Korea is firing missiles. Iran's negotiators are playing high-stakes poker, while the U.S.-led side doesn't seem to know a flush from a straight.

In Syria, Iran's proxies confront al Qaeda forces (forces the administration two years ago congratulated itself for having defeated) while the much-ballyhooed agreement to remove chemical weapons has stalled.

Hard-won gains in Iraq have been squandered. There's a real possibility that the Taliban will reclaim Afghanistan once American troops depart. Venezuela is in turmoil. China is acting the bully in Asia.

As threats and crises multiply, what is President Obama doing? He's proposing to reduce the size and strength of America's military to pre-2001 levels.

Can anyone still regard the United States as a reliable ally? More consequentially, is America still seen as a formidable adversary?

Mr. Obama's critics call him ambivalent and indecisive. Perhaps, but those are symptoms. The underlying malady is his conception of America's role in the world.

Late last week, responding to developments in Ukraine, the president said: "The United States will stand with the international community."

He advised Russia to be part of "the international community's effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward." He said that would be "in the interest of the international community."

News flash: The "international community" is a figment of the imagination -- right up there with Batman, Wonder Woman, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

It's also the key that opens the door to a room filled with fashionable fictions. Among them: that there are "universal" values and principles, that the world's most powerful political figures are, just like us, "rational actors" who seek peace, favor freedom, tolerance and democracy, and believe that diplomacy based on "confidence-building" and reciprocal compromises leads to "conflict resolution" -- an outcome they'd prefer to shedding blood and achieving victory.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given lip service to such warm and fuzzy ideas. In an op-ed published by The New York Times last September, he appealed for "mutual trust," endorsed "shared success" and laid out the steps the "international community" should take to keep "hope alive."

He added: "We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement."

Is it not now -- at long last -- clear that Mr. Putin was just spinning us? North Korea's Kim Jong-un, Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syria's Bashar Assad, China's Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, Cuba's Raul Castro and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan also are among those who sometimes talk like Berkeley professors, but in truth practice raw, 19th-century machtpolitik. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New World Disorder; Foreign Policy Based on Fiction Invites Chaos
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.