Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The perils of abject diplomacy

 In Mexico, drug gangsters brutally murder an American consular officer and his wife, leaving their orphaned child weeping in the back seat of the vehicle in which they died. In Israel, Vice-President Biden loses face and his diplomatic aplomb as an ill-timed announcement of new construction in a Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem highlights the inevitable failure of U.S. efforts to force nullification of the commitment to a united Jerusalem common to all Israeli governments since it was first asserted in 1980. Meanwhile, in Moscow the Russian government persists in opposition to U.S. backed sanctions against Iran intended somehow to brake Iran's stubborn drive toward full development of a nuclear weapons capability.


From bad guys to allies to great power competitors around the world, the United States is reaping the fruits of Obama's abject, bow down and scrape diplomacy. Though ostensibly aimed at promoting peace, the actual result is a more violent and unstable environment for policy, poisoned by nearly universal contempt for U.S. weakness and self-doubt. The international situation is becoming a classic "parade of horribles." It serves to illustrate the folly of appeasement while making the case for foreign and national security policies based on maintaining "peace through strength."


A charitable take on this dangerous folly might ascribe it to the pernicious effects of the Obama faction's left wing fanaticism. Since the U.S. became a world power, new occupants of the White House have nonetheless usually come into office with priorities that give short shrift to the requirements of defending America's vital interests in the naturally hostile state of international affairs. Once mugged by reality, however, they quickly accept the fact that the U.S. government must give overriding priority to those requirements. They subordinate their pet ideological goals in order to deal effectively with the necessities of U.S. survival. The envy occasioned by America's dominant position in the world after WWII made this all the more imperative. Human nature is prone perversely to resent even the good deeds done by those whose preeminent wealth and power gives all their gifts and benefits the smack of dependency and condescension. The self-interested character of all international relations adds to the likelihood that every good deed will be interpreted as a sinister power play.


Though they act in the name of the American people, Obama and his ideological cohorts have mostly been in the vanguard of the leftist ideologues for whom that sinister anti-American interpretation was "the law and the prophets." They wholeheartedly embrace and sincerely believe an analysis that most of our foreign enemies and competitors cynically advance for propaganda purposes. Unlike their predecessors (including even the liberal ideologues of the Clinton era) their mishandling of the challenges of U.S. national security isn't mainly the result of the priorities imposed by electoral politics. Like recovering alcoholics working through the twelve step program, they feel obliged to acknowledge the damage America has done, and take sacrificial steps to compensate those they regard as the victims of America's power abuse.


Taken to the extreme, of course, this mentality carries self-sacrifice to its extreme-inviting abuse from others even to the point of self-destruction. At this point, however, charitable psycho-babble fails to take into account the characteristic self-exemption of the Obama ideologues. Though content to lead the American people to drown in an ocean of self-flagellation, they fancy themselves to be among the victims of America's power abuse. As champions of true justice and compassion, have they not been hunted, reviled and victimized; all because of their commitment to be the vanguard of the forces that will erase America's abusive, enslaving imperialism from the map of history? On account of their deeds of personal sacrifice, have they not earned the right to be America's executioners? Their policies will, all at once, lop off America's head (constitutional sovereignty), rip out its moral heart (the doctrine of God given individual rights) and pour out the blood that nurtures its physical life (the economic strength derived from private property and individual initiative.)


Seen in this light, Obama's abject diplomacy simply prepares for the last and fiercest gesture of this ritual sacrifice of America's existence- when the lifeless remains of her greatness are flung to be devoured by the jackals and vultures that prowl expectantly about the international arena, their toothy hunger sharpened by envy and embittered pride.


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