With the policymakers who have steered our country in the wrong direction absent from Washington, now is the time for YOU to start making US foreign policy.
Although we are currently considered revisionist historians, I believe that my End of Empire books definitively establish that the financial crisis that the United States experienced in 2007 was the key element in destroying our position in the world.
Poor Roh Moo-Hyun. The South Korean president’s popularity rating has dipped as low as 10% recently. His backers on the left have savaged him for pushing a free-trade agreement with the United States. With only a few months remaining in his term and the presidential elections coming up in December, he faces a likely victory by the conservatives.
According to Starbucks, all the world’s a cafe, and all the men and women merely imbibers. “Geography is a flavor,” the conglomerate proclaims. In the store, customers can choose coffee beans from three regions of the world: Africa/Arabia, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. It is part of a marketing strategy designed to educate consumers to treat coffee more like wine, with flavor connected to locale.
The recent assault on the Red Mosque in Islamabad seems to be the latest example of “our man in Pakistan” doing our bidding despite his questionable credentials. But this week, Foreign Policy In Focus gives you a very different picture of the Red Mosque assault.
We are unquestionably the wealthiest nation in the world. But the question is, in this age of globalization, are we using that wealth and that power to help others so that we can bring them up? Or are we using that wealth and that power just to continue our power and our wealth at the expense of others?
For the last six years, Dick Cheney has been the whiff of sulfur emanating from the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Although the vice president’s office has largely been a ceremonial post, Cheney was never one to stand on ceremony. He took advantage of serving a president with little knowledge of global affairs to create a new center of power—in the very branch of U.S. government that he now denies inhabiting.
At the Take Back America conference last week in Washington, DC, the Bush foreign policy was clearly unpopular. References to the Iraq War debacle, to extraordinary renditions and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, were sure-fire applause lines. Indeed, Bush’s foreign policy has been so obviously unpopular, as revealed in last November’s elections, that the conference organizers from the Campaign for America’s Future departed from their previous focus on domestic issues to showcase several discussions on the Iraq War, terrorism, and the military budget.
Enemies don’t have cultures. They have leaders, usually tyrants. They have armies, usually large and menacing. They have propaganda, usually dull and artless. Enemies are not civilized enough to have culture. Culture humanizes, and humanity is the last thing you want in an enemy. It might mess up your aim.
Every so often the Bush administration rediscovers realism. Last week Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a pitch for her own doctrine under the name of “American realism.” She told an audience that “American realism deals with the world as it is but strives to make the world better than it is.” It is amazing that she can stand up in front of audiences and say such things with a straight face. Did the Bush administration deal with Iraq as it was and leave it better off? What about global warming? Relations with Russia? Iran?