Monday, July 19, 2004

The Laments of an Internationally Minded Youth

The concept of a victory for Bush this year is a rather frightening thought. I often fall into the trap of assuming that most people feel the same way. Unfortunately, that's not true. Just look at his foreign policy. The evidence is right there, and yet many still choose to defend it.
The fact of the matter is that Pres. Bush is displaying one of the shoddiest foreign policies in recent history. If you read Brzezinski's new book, The Choice, you'll see that he points to international cooperation as the key to future success. That's not only the case in the Middle East, it's the case in Europe and the Far East and EVERYWHERE. But it doesn't take a man with Brzezinski's reputation to tell us that. Isn't it obvious? Can you really continue to act unilaterally in a world where new and powerful weapons are dispersing so rapidly? Sure, war is an option when you're fighting a nation that poses no real threat, but what if this were a war with Iran? What if it were a war with North Korea? Frankly, in my opinion, war has become obsolete. The guns have become so big, and the bombs so dreadful, and the chemical warfare so icky that given an even fight, both sides will witness massive loss of life, and both sides will lose.
So why the unilateralism? Why the our way or the highway? Maybe because the higher-ups are too concerned with losing our place as global hegemon? Maybe it's just liberal optimism talking, but I trust the global community a lot more than the neoconservatives do who are influencing the White House's policies. Bah. Calling them neoconservatives gives them too much credit. Neoconservatives at least have a heart.
I'm not even playing the whole 'oil-driven/corruption' card. Regime change is needed. But not in the middle east. It's needed right here at home. Polls show that a large group of foreigners see the US as the greatest threat to international security. Put that in your 'global leader of democracy and the free-world' pipe and smoke it. Does anybody remember Woodrow Wilson? He was the man who ended World War I (or at least that's who the global community gave the credit to). Now that was a brilliant man. Following the War, he was absolutely the most popular man on the face of the planet. And through the course of a few years (and many many frustrating nights of Congressional debate) he lost it all. Fast forward to 2004. After September 11th, Bush had an enormous international mandate. He could have harnessed that power in order to take steps forward in creating a safer and more stable international system. Instead he burnt the reputation of the US to shambles.
Prime Minister Tony Blair took full responsibility for taking his nation into war under false pretenses, but in the end, the Bush administration still finds ways to avoid such a statement. It's about time the president got himself some balls.