Skip to comments.David Warren: U.S. No Longer Cares What Others Think (Payback is a…)
Posted on 04/26/2003 4:58:12 PM PDT by quidnunc
It strikes me that something fairly big is happening, fairly quietly, in Washington. It amounts to a new diplomatic strategy, post-Iraq of the kind which, given American power, generates in and of itself a "new world order". (The father talked; the son acted.) It emerges less from conscious thought than from years of frustrating trial and error, brought to a head in the Security Council just before the invasion of Iraq. And it begins to reveal itself as a way of dealing with immediate difficulties in Iraq and elsewhere (most immediately, North Korea).
But though not the product of committee foresight, I think it may emerge as the most important single element within the "Bush doctrine" that has been assembling itself since the morning of 9/11, and which may long outlive the administration of President George W. Bush. It may even penetrate into the U.S. State Department, over time.
Until someone has invented a more pretentious expression, I will call this the new "we don't care" policy. It consists of responding to major rhetorical and diplomatic challenges, including organized campaigns against U.S. interests choreographed through the United Nations, with something like total indifference.
But let me explain, not indifference to the challenge, but indifference to the argument given with the challenge. The U.S. will take note of the opposition, and act to defeat it, but without publicly arguing with it. Actual discussion on matters of significance is reserved to allies.
Example: yesterday, when the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, cut a verbal Gordian knot, by stating very simply that the U.S. would not allow a theocratic regime to arise in Iraq. One might deduce that it wouldn't matter whether the thing were voted or not voted, before or behind a façade of "democracy"; or one might fail to deduce that. Either way, the thing itself is repugnant, and the U.S. will stop it happening.
Example: earlier this week, when the secretary of state, Colin Powell, was asked unambiguously by media whether the U.S. intended to "punish" (their word) France for her recent behaviour over Iraq, and he replied in one word: "Yes."
One had to refer to other officials to gather that this would be done most likely by cutting France out of the consultation process in NATO and among other U.S. allies, and by "disinviting" France to other trans-Atlantic fora, thus isolating the Chirac regime diplomatically even within Europe.
(Excerpt) Read more at canada.com ...
In other words, "the perceived need for American self-justification before the international community" (I'm translating from French) has evaporated.
And high time too!
High time for this, too, eh?!
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For decades, foreign powers have been able to influence U.S. policy simply by fomenting anti-American displays. This is what Arab regimes do, to put pressure on the U.S. State Department -- it's called the "Arab Street" -- and what President Chirac did in touching off a frenzy of anti-Americanism in the "European Street" as a way to pressure President Bush to stand down, and Prime Minister Blair to fall down. The Americans and British went into Iraq anyway and the former, at least, seem now convinced that anti-Americanism should no longer be either subtly or overtly rewarded. It will instead be subtly ignored, or overtly punished.
HEH...HEH...HEH....but, we're making a list!
I have a hard time believing this. I hope its true, but I doubt it.
Again: the policy is not one of retribution, or for that matter of "unilateralism," per se. Its ultimate purpose is to call bluffs.
The author also observes that the new attitude in Washington may outlast the Bush administration. Maybe, but only if our Dubya is reelected so he has a chance to fully inculcate this new approach to foreign policy into our national bloodstream, so to speak.
Certainly, had Algore been elected, our response to 9/11 would have been the usual limp-wristed, panty-waist stuff that Dems do. The Taliban and Saddam Hussein would still be in power, and our nation's enemies would be all the more emboldened. But as long as President Bush is in office, we have a chance to turn the tide of radical Islamism forever. To me, nothing not the economy, not tax cuts, not gun control, not any of the usual issues that matter to me are as important as the lessons learned from 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. For these reasons, I intend to do everything I possibly can to help ensure Dubya's reelection.
The Americans and British went into Iraq anyway and the former, at least, seem now convinced that anti-Americanism should no longer be either subtly or overtly rewarded. It will instead be subtly ignored, or overtly punished.Sounds like a plan for the left here as well.
I laughed then, and it is even more enjoyable now. France, Germany, Russia, the Arab street, the United Nations, and soon maybe even the liberals - "Who cares what you think?"
This whole article is just great. I really hope that this is exactly what is happening. We need to get back to basics and protect our sovreignity before we lose it.
True, but in the world of foreign affairs, policies must have intellectual-sounding names. How about calling the policy "strategic indifference"?
But, you know, I hope we don't. I kinda like the no frills, no nonsense, tell it like it is approach. It leaves no room for misinterpretation.
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