Saturday, June 30, 2018

Relax. Our Alliances Will Be Fine

People are fretting that the current administration is throwing away our international support by bullying allies after two terms of a president who cherished the international community.

Relax. We heard those complaints when Bush 43 replaced Clinton. Yet it isn't America's fault. It's the fault of those who get nervous (drawn from this post):

I’m getting tired of reading stories like this. The title is “A Backlash to ‘bully’ America” in the Christian Science Monitor. The first sentence sets the tone:

Rarely in history has a country been as powerful as the United States is today. And that may be taking a toll on the rest of the world.

The article says that our rivals worry about our dominance and that their common concerns have become more focused and unified. Even our traditional allies and friends fear our dominance. And of course, some developing countries “complain that they are too often bullied by the US” (they throw in the Europeans too, thank goodness!). Our ongoing operations in Iraq are one cause and even the Kosovo War is a sore point.

The litany of our sins follows rapidly.

Latin American countries are upset about our actions to support the Colombian government.

Our allies are upset at national missile defense.

The US has rejected popular international initiatives like the international criminal court, nuclear weapons test bans, and a proposal to ban landmines.

Then the author hauls out a national security expert from the US Institute for Peace:

“You can get away with unilateralism for only the briefest of times,” he says. “You can’t have it both ways—pushing for greater globalization but not supporting things like an international criminal court or the United Nations”

Another expert chimes in:

One of the most important things the next president will have to do is strengthen our alliances and explain to other countries why our presence is needed around the world.

The complaints are old and the article says nothing new.

And I know the article can’t be right. It simply can’t be.

I know this because it was published September 14, 2000.

We all know that having other nations upset with us is all due to the current administration. I mean, in September 2000, we’d had nearly eight years of a multilateral-loving, UN-appeasing, lip-biting, apology-prone, compassionate, sophisticated, Euro-friendly administration.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist. I ran across the old article while cleaning out my office this week.

If you search by date or title, you’ll get the link to the article online. Sorry, it requires subscription or payment to get in.

Ah, the good old days when we were loved…

Wow, President Bill Clinton inspired that kind of complaint from a broad abroad.

Allies can have arguments. But we won't go to war with each other over them. The important thing is that our allies know that if they have an argument with a common enemy, we will go to war with our allies against the common enemy.

Our international standing will survive annoying Tweets. Really.