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  • Good Article on Foreign Policy

    Posted by James R. Rummel on September 18th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Speaking of The Diplomad (see below), he has given us the heads up to this newspaper article by PJ O’Rourke that appeared in the UK Telegraph. It’s a pretty pithy explanation of how America implements it’s foreign policy.

    I should say that it would be funny if it wasn’t so true. An excerpt…..

    Being foreigners ourselves, we Americans know what foreigners are up to with their foreign policy – their venomous convents, lying alliances, greedy agreements and trick-or-treaties. America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don’t think that way.

    We don’t think much at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you’ve got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags. A fundamental American question is: “What’s the big idea?”

    Americans would like to ignore foreign policy. Our previous attempts at isolationism were successful. Unfortunately, they were successful for Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan. Evil is an outreach programme. A solitary bad person sitting alone, harbouring genocidal thoughts, and wishing he ruled the world is not a problem unless he lives next to us in the trailer park.

    In the big geopolitical trailer park that is the world today, he does. America has to act. But, when America acts, other nations accuse us of being “hegemonistic,” of engaging in “unilateralism,” of behaving as if we’re the only nation on earth that counts.

    We are. Russia used to be a superpower but resigned “to spend more time with the family.” China is supposed to be mighty, but the Chinese leadership quakes when a couple of hundred Falun Gong members do tai chi for Jesus.

    The European Union looks impressive on paper, with a greater population and a larger economy than America’s. But the military spending of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy combined does not equal one third of the US defence budget.

    When other countries demand a role in the exercise of global power, America can ask another fundamental American question: “You and what army?”

    I can’t agree with many of the things that the author says. In particular, I violently disagree with the statementsthat Americans hate foreigners and that we have a bad environmental policy. I know this to be false since I spend a great deal of time in the wild, and I’m constantly surrounded by people who hail from someplace other than the US. The condition of both is better here in America than it is just about anywhere else.

     

    One Response to “Good Article on Foreign Policy”

    1. John J. Coupal Says:

      P.J. O’Rourke and James Lileks are national treasures. They use humor to explain the most complicated of things.