High on President Biden's agenda is to repair the harm done to our international standing and restore America's role as leader of the free world. That sounds laudable. But is it the real goal? The article under discussion here should encourage those Americans now basking in post-Trump wishful thinking to think twice. The myths of "American Exceptionalism" and "The Indispensable Nation" have long been held sacrosanct by neoliberals and neoconservatives alike. They argue that the U.S. is duty-bound to lead the free world and spread democracy, by which they mean a sort of servant leadership, like the Spanish Conquistadors who came to America to spread Christianity.
No wait, we don't like the mixing of church and state; noblesse oblige is a better analogy, because America is richer, stronger, more democratic, more free, and more righteous than all other nations. We are therefore duty-bound to spread peace (Pax Americana) and democracy; and to punish dictators, human rights violators, and nations that challenge our manifest destiny, like China perhaps. That is the prevailing mythology. Our actual methods are manifold, including diplomacy, conquest, bribery, subversion, and/or sanctions that deny food and medicine to entire populations in order, hopefully, to foment mass insurrection so that the people of Iran, for example, or Venezuela, or Russia will implement their own regime-change war so we won't have to.
Matt Purple's article, No to Policing the World, published in the January 15 edition of The Spectator, speaks in a unique voice that snaps one to attention. Purple gives Americans much to contemplate about Biden's foreign policy aspirations. I hope you will enjoy the article and add your two cents worth in the comments.
For the hyperlink:Reprinted, with permission, from The Spectator
No to policing the world
Biden's foreign policy is rooted in the mythology of the Cold War
What will a Joe Biden foreign policy look like? It's difficult to say. There is, after all, no Biden Doctrine, no voluminous body of work hashing out the Biden sensibility. Biden might have served as vice president, but he never seemed anywhere near the center of the policymaking apparatus. He was a fixture on the Foreign Relations Committee, but he was never one of the Senate's bright international thinkers the way his friend John McCain was. So what then? About the best you can say about Biden's foreign policypositions is that they've been scattershot. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991, voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2003, said later he regretted that support, opposed the troop surge of 2007, supported a three-part decentralization of Iraq along sectarian lines and then vowed during the 2020 campaign to bring most of the troops home. He supported the war in Afghanistan to depose the Taliban; he now wants to pull some forces out of Afghanistan amid a resurgent Taliban. He held the line on Barack Obama's
schizophrenic Syria policy, reportedly tried to talk him down from invading Libya, and now says he'll end American support for the Saudis' inhumane war on Yemen. He's a fan of Nato. He likes the UN.
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