Monday, August 23, 2010

U.S. foreign policy explained in a short blog post

Pretty extravagant promise to make in a blog title, isn't it?

Especially when I promise a short blog post.

But I believe I can do this:

American foreign policy vacillates between two poles. On the Red Meat Right, the only proper American foreign policy may be summed up this way:
Fear us. We are strong. But we are fair: We will treat our friends well -- and our enemies harshly.
For the True Blue Left, our foreign policy should be instead:
Love us. We are friendly. We want you to be our friends. If you strike us, we will strike back, but only like a caring friend should. And when we've knocked some sense into you, we will pick you back up. Look how we treated Germany and Japan!
Yes, I know that the Left's view gets more words. That's "nuance" for you.

Sadly, in the real world that has come into existence since the fall of the Berlin Wall, neither view makes a lick of sense. Our strength is useless against terrorists willing to hide behind civilians -- in mosques, hospitals and schools -- as they launch rockets. And our real enemies do not want to be our friends under any circumstances. They want us to die. Or at least convert.

Surely you've read how the Qaeda-types sneer how we in the West are afraid of death. And they, they claim, are not. This, they maintain, is their ultimate advantage. Let's talk about that "advantage" in future posts -- but, first, later this week, Mr. Language Curmudgeon will have to provide a vocabulary lesson.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

landgirl said...

I read the Wall Street article but did not grasp the significance of civiliations. I agree that using religion as a single identifier or lumping great swathes of peoples/places under a single umbrella is worse than pointless. My daughter got me to look into Open Salon. I am trying to think a bit more about politics although it makes both my head and my heart ache.