WaPo: Pining for an America That Does What Foreigners Want Her to Do
Moisés Naím, the editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine, wants to pretend that he and his ilk love America. But, after reading his newest editorial, titled "A Hunger For America" where he denounces the U.S.A.'s "incompetence, recklessness and ignorance," one can only come to the conclusion that he only loves it when America does what foreigners want her to do. In other words, he doesn't love America at all, he only loves the interests and desires of others and using the power and money of America to their ends instead of our own. More ridiculously, he seems to pine for an America of the past, saying "the word wants America back," proving that his real problem is just more of the kind of boring Bush Derangement Syndrome so endemic in the MSM.
Even Naím's initial premise is flawed.
For the next several years, world politics will be reshaped by a strong yearning for American leadership. This trend will be as unexpected as it is inevitable: unexpected given the powerful anti-American sentiments around the globe, and inevitable given the vacuums that only the United States can fill.
Despite the game face of anti-Americanism out among the world of nations, there has not really been any slackening of want for America's favor on the part of foreigners -- though Naím does make that clear a little later in the piece. Further, since before the U.S.S.R. fell, the U.S. has been filling those "vacuums" the whole time. His initial paragraph makes it seem that the U.S. has been sitting idly on the sidelines since 2000. Yet, then he goes on to decry what we have done with the second paragraph of his piece making it clear that it hasn't been the U.S.A.'s lack of involvement in the world that people will hunger for, but a change of the sort of involvement that he doesn't like. His is a desire for U.S. involvement that he hopes will change in 2008.
This renewed international appetite for U.S. leadership will not merely result from the election of a new president, though having a new occupant in the White House will certainly help. Almost a decade of U.S. disengagement and distraction have allowed international and regional problems to swell. Often, the only nation that has the will and means to act effectively is the United States.
Notice how he pins this "return" to U.S. involvement in the world to a new president's entrance into the White House. It isn't that we've stood by doing nothing, it's just that he doesn't like what we have been doing. He obviously pines for the Clinton years of a foreign policy that was far more mollification for what others want than the strongly America focused policy under Bush.
Then Naím goes on to clearly make his case that he wants an America that does everyone else's bidding, eschewing her own, as well as a U.S. that foots the bills for every little podunk nation on the globe.
Of course, the America that the world wants back is not the one that preemptively invades potential enemies, bullies allies or disdains international law. The demand is for an America that rallies other nations prone to sitting on the fence while international crises are boiling out of control; for a superpower that comes up with innovative initiatives to tackle the great challenges of the day, such as climate change, nuclear proliferation and violent Islamist fundamentalism. The demand is for an America that enforces the rules that facilitate international commerce and works effectively to stabilize an accident-prone global economy. Naturally, the world also wants a superpower willing to foot the bill with a largess that no other nation can match.
While pretending he is pleading for the good America to come "back," he reveals his absurd desire for the US to do all the things he wants her to do by taking a pair of UN-like pliers and pulling all her teeth, and then have us pay for it all. If it is so obvious that this is what a great nation should do, though, I wonder why none of the rest of the world is stepping up to that self-destructive plate? Further, I wonder why Naím doesn't wonder why no one else is bending over backwards to destroy their own interests to be the kind of "leader" he wants us to be?
No, what is obvious is that Naím sees the U.S.A. as a giant world-wide welfare program for foreigners footed by the taxpayers of the U.S.
To that I say, no thanks, Mr. Naím.
Naím further imagines that the U.S. is a nation that requires foreign governments to exhibit "subservience to the whims of a giant with more power than brains and whose legitimacy is undermined by regular displays of incompetence, recklessness and ignorance."
Yes, we can see how much he loves us, eh?
It all comes down to Naím's desire that we give everyone more money, naturally. Once again, Mr. Naím, no thanks.
Our foreign policy should first and foremost benefit the U.S., not every one else. And if there's nothing in it for us, why should we bother with it? Of course, Naím will tell us why. We should bother with it so his OWN country (and that of every other one out there) won't have to pay the bills themselves.
If that is the good America he pines for then, again, no thanks, Mr. Naím. No thanks indeed.