Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thoughts on a Post-Obama Foreign Policy: A "Holistic" Approach (Part I)

I always have envied the loonies' ability to borrow language from other fields and apply it to their causes and slogans. One such word is "synergy," another, my favorite, is "holistic." I love that word. It conjures up incense, herbal tea, a small silver bell ringing rhythmically, some George Harrison in the background, soft cotton cloth, a yogi or two . . ..


Being a hard-hearted right winger, I generally don't get to use  "synergy," or "holistic," in fact, I don't think I ever have used either. That ends today: I advocate that the GOP advocate a "holistic" approach to foreign policy which understands the "synergy" between domestic and foreign affairs.


We start with the basics. Foreign policy is important. It should not be an afterthought, or something left to the naive, the incompetent, the ignorant, or the malicious, i.e., the Obama administration. Securing foreign markets, for example, can prove a major source of jobs, as I have noted before. Even more important, however, foreign affairs can get you killed. We need go back no further than September 11, 2001, to see a grotesque reminder of how the outside world can come calling. Simply put, there are people who want to kill us, all of us, men, women, children, old, young, Democrat, Republican, independent, white, black, brown, Christian, Jew, agnostic, atheist, etc. Some are so eager to kill us that they willingly die to do so. I repeat: foreign affairs can get you and your family killed, and right in your home or work place. We saw it on 9/11/2001; on 12/7/1941; and almost saw it during thirteen days in October 1962, when JFK nearly got into WWIII because he did not have the vision, intelligence, and gumption to get rid of Castro when he had the opportunity, an opportunity bought with the blood of brave Cuban freedom fighters in April 1961. They want to kill us, crush us, and conquer us, because of who we are. What we, a mix of races, religions, and creeds, have accomplished has defied and continues to defy the predictions and prescriptions of royalists, Nazis, Fascists, Marxists, populists, jihadists, and all-knowing UN and EU bureaucrats.


The current mis-administration has, at best, no understanding of the importance of the United States in the world, and, at worst, the conscious aim of making us "just another country." The first step, therefore, to developing a foreign policy is to decide how you view the USA. If you view us as Andorra with guns, then the Obamaistas are for you. I, on the other hand, view America, as I think most Americans do, as a country that from its creation has played a unique role in fomenting freedom, prosperity, and opportunity here and abroad.  Interestingly, Britain's National Army Museum last week voted George Washington to have been the British Empire's greatest military foe, ahead of Michael Collins, Rommel, Napoleon, and Ataturk. That is a very astute conclusion. The nation that Washington helped create, for all its flaws, moral lapses, and excesses, has been the world's greatest foe of empires, kings, dictators and oppression; it has been and remains the most open and least xenophobic society ever to exist, and history's most successful country by almost any measure. The United States matters a great deal because of its military power and wealth, but above all for its ability to generate and implement revolutionary ideas in politics, culture, and economics.


In Part II, I will get down to brass tacks, with recommendations on repairing the damage done by Obama.

8 comments:

  1. American exceptionalism wasn't in the college curriculum in the 80s when this President and key administration advisors were in school, and, goodness, they weren't going to learn it from the NYT.

    While it's too late for them, I like to think a certain radical Beatle would've, had he lived, come full circle in the end and rebelled against the blinkered, reflexive, leftist Man in charge today.

    Certainly, national economy and security (and so foreign relations) affect us all, but it's even groovier to think of the US as an imperfect but wonderful persona that its citizens and the rest of the world would want to look up to, instead of dismissing as just another self-interested player.

    "Imagine there's no countries" that forget the promise of classic liberalism and America...

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  2. O/T-I really missed your blog. But gave up checking to see if it was back...and you are. Finally! Pat Patterson(I don't have access to any of the passwords needed right this moment).

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  3. [Correction: Must be near-sighted. In my comment above, I meant, "Imagine there's no countries" that DON'T forget the promise of classic liberalism and America... ]

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  4. I posted a reply: http://htjyang.blogspot.com/2012/04/first-principles-of-foreign-policy.html

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  5. Wielding power isn't the same thing as making gret decisions!

    Nobody faults FDR. Yet he was surrounded by communists. There was a LOVE of russia ... that consumed political thinking in the 1930's. And, this wasn't in the sense that it was imbedded in academia. But was actually part of the fabric that lots of people were looking to adopt.

    WW1 was a DISASTER! While russia had its own revolution. And, believe it or not, it "birthed" very romantic delusions.

    You also have the fib, encouraged by Winston Churchill that FDR was his pal. (This was not true!) But Churchill's greatest skills (beyond "just" strategy) was that the pen in his hand never dipped into the ink of pettiness. So he sang praises to FDR.

    Meanwhile, legends are not created out of whole cloth! Yet, with all our advancing technology ... we are short, now,legendary people.

    Is Obama angry? YES! Part of it is in his nature. But he really got shafted by Pelosi. Healthcare is turning out to be a debacle. So why just be stuck on "foreign affairs?" Nobody good has been involved in our foreign affairs since FDR's time.

    Eisenhower? A golf player like the current occupant.

    Do you think General Douglas MacArthur would have ever chosen Dick Nixon as his running mate?

    Did LBJ get a lucky break? Or was he involved in Kennedy's assassination? Because? Somebody had to go into the Oval Office and "convince" Kennedy he needed to go to Dallas in person. (Where the headlines then asked for him to be dead.)

    back then the Russians were terrified they'd be blamed!

    So, if you think the plotting was done in total secrecy ... you don't know anything about DC. And, how operations like that "get approved."

    Who does the plotting? INSIDERS! (As I said, Truman was hated by the money men within the democratic party! They didn't want to "waste" money on him, back in 1948. Truman had to figure out how to run all by himself. So he came up with the whistle stop train idea. And, "back and forth" he traveled 60,000 miles by rail. He touched thousands of people at each stop. But at some point? The democratic insiders wouldn't send him the money to continue. The train STOPPED before it reached a station. And, Truman passed the hat all around.) There's a pretty good biography on Truman out there.

    Still, the "power behind the throne," in 1952. On the democrapic side, was Eleanor. Did you know she had to "bless" Stevenson ... in a smoke filled room. Before he got enough votes at the convention to come out selected for the presidential slot?

    The biggest hurdle white people face is being accused of racism. McCain suffered from this problem. He was self-assured in 2008 that he'd win "because white folk wouldn't vote for a black man."

    McCain couldn't be more wrong.

    You want to know who else has a reputation that is highly overrated? Queen Elizabeth.

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  6. In 1960 Eleanor Roosevelt still reigned as queen of the democrats. Truman was alive. But he stayed home in Missouri. John F. Kennedy had to bow by the knee in front of Eleanor, before she allowed him to be picked to run.

    Did Joe Kennedy ever say to his son that he wouldn't pay for a landslide?

    1960 was a very close race!

    After winning it, however, JFK was blessed with a sense of television. (As Reagan was, too.) But few people really know how to stage themselves and their families to look like Camelot.

    Did Obama take a wrong turn right in the beginning? YES! When he went after the cop in Cambridge Massachusetts for arresting his screaming "pal" who had a professorship at Harvahd ... but was quite a crazy loon.

    People didn't know.

    But lots of people's jaws dropped when he attacked Sgt. Crowley for arresting his "friend."

    A really good leader ... like a really great actor ... doesn't make those kinds of mistakes on stage.

    Netanyahu doesn't make his jabs look obvious.

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  7. Glad you are back. Hope you and yours are well. Looking forward to YOUR postings. (ahem).

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