Saturday, December 26, 2009

A New World of Engagement Beckons!

Well, I guess we can't expect Susan Rice, our ambassador to the United Nations, to admit that the administration has accomplished squat with its nuanced outreach to the global community. But this boasting of success is a joke:

"The change in the nature and tone of our relationships ... is yielding concrete and tangible benefits here at the United Nations — benefits that advance U.S. interests," Rice said.

So let's have some examples of the vaunted international community marching side by side with our new, caring president:

She pointed to the Security Council's approval in June of tough new sanctions against North Korea following its second nuclear test. Veto-wielding council members Russia and China, and sanctions-wary Libya joined in the unanimous vote for the sanctions.

Huh. Sanctions. Or more of what Bush got. And let's not mention that the only reason Libya is voting with us is that Bush flipped them from fear that they'd get hammered by us. Next!

Rice also singled out Obama chairing the Security Council in September — a first for a U.S. president at a summit of the U.N.'s most powerful body — when it unanimously adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminating them.

The international community agreed to say they like the global equivalent of apple pie and motherhood? Bravo, Ambassador Rice. Was that before or after the "puppies are adorable" resolution?

Seriously, this is a joke. Truth be told, it would be great if there were no nuclear weapons. Our conventional superiority is such that we'd face no real checks on our conventional military power if there were no nukes. However, Russia can't defend themselves without nukes given their huge territory and nearly broken army. China would have no real hope of deterring us from intervening over Taiwan without nukes. And as apologists for Iran and North Korea have argued again and again, who can blame them for wanting nukes to keep us from invading them as we did Iraq? The resolution was meaningless. Nations that need nukes will keep nukes. Shame on Dr. Rice for pretending that this is significant. Or God help us if she believes it is significant.

Surely there's more to justify her boast, right? Let's see:

Rice cited two other U.S. accomplishments this year — a resolution condemning sexual violence in war zones and strengthening the legal foundation to protect women and girls from attacks, and a resolution adopted last week revamping al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions to ensure that sanctions only target those individuals, companies and organizations linked to the terror groups.

So. We've gotten countries to affirm that a crime universally recognized as a crime in virtually any jursidiction is to be condemned for happening so often in war zones (and let's not mention how often it is from UN troops). Well, that settles that. Next insoluble problem for this adminstration to gaze at and fix.

And of course, we've focused existing sanctions to avoid harming those not directly linked to terrorists. Yeah, who'd have agreed to something like that if Bush had proposed it?

This is weak. This is no record of amazing diplomacy repairing the alleged damage done by Bush.

But Rice did it with a straight face. Now, I understand that diplomats are honorable people sent to lie for their country, as the saying goes. But in this case, our diplomat lied to our country.

UPDATE: After Bush wrecked our foreign relations, as the Obama fans put it, it should have been easy for President Obama to gather in the sainted international community's help. But, alas:

So the stage was set for Obama to make his pitch and win over allies and foes. But as everybody knows by now, things didn't work out that way. World leaders accustomed to saying no monitored the new administration for a while and then resumed their old habits.

Not that President Obama hasn't had some successes, as even the initial post notes with the North Korea issue. But the problem with Rice's boasting is that the successes aren't anything new from the Bush years. Obama got the Europeans to commit 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan. That's good. But Bush got the first 40,000 in.
We had far more success than failure with the international community under Bush than his critics are willing to admit now. Perhaps as our new president fails to charm the help out of these same countries, those critics will come around to the view that Bush didn't cause our problems. He was just the convenient excuse that our Left was all too eager to validate.
So when do the "why do they still hate us?" laments begin?