Just read a disturbing comment publicly made about the United States, not by someone from some crazy rogue nation, but by Poland, a relatively peaceful sane and rational country usually considered an ally. The discussion at hand — for the purposes of historicism many years from now — is the ever diminishing reputation of the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world. While clearly still the “leader of the free world” both economically and militarily, it has long been known that the US is in reality hanging on by a thread economically, with only the unfair advantage of the petro dollar (oil traded in US dollars only) and the unethical threat of military action propping the country up still. China and Russia have been blatantly bold and brash in their standing up to the United States since the advent of the Obama years in a variety of arenas. Long gone is that fear disguised as respect for the United States that once permeated the globe. One can almost taste the coming decline of the once proud nation that invented such outlandishly false and wicked ideas such as American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny to describe and justify their atrocious behavior as they ascended to world domination.
But times are changing. The quote:
“The Polish-American alliance isn’t worth anything. It’s detrimental because it creates a false sense of security for Poland.”
— Radoslav Sikorski, Polish Foreign Minister, June 24
I posted it to Facebook to see if others were equally disturbed by it. Many were. As occasionally happens the post spawned a heated debate and far too many comments to repost here — nearly one-hundred — and the conversation is still going as I type here.
There is also this disturbing article in the London Review by Seymour M. Hersh that discusses this issue and again gives pause about Obama’s seemingly faulty foreign policy: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line
Filmmaker50 who we’ve been friends with for over a decade commented and we shall use his comment and question as a launching pad to explore the issue in more depth.
Filmmaker50: Did you read the TIME article from where that quote is taken from? I did. He’s upset because the USA has not given him more military aid since Putin invaded Ukraine. Do you expect the American government to jump and do what every country says just because the ambassador says something insulting? There’s a context to everything.
Hi Filmmaker50. I saw it discussed on The McClaughlin Group as reprinted from the WSJ. Not in TIME. I both agree and disagree with you: but it all depends on what one’s goal is regarding the American empire… Our reputation in the world is important. And It’s diminishing. Regardless of what we do, it will continue to diminish, either we lose more and more respect due to more military invasions, or we lose that fear of us militarily in the hearts of other nations due to not taking enough actions. It’s a perplexing position to be in for sure. I do not pretend to know the answer my friend.
My thoughts on the matter off the top of my head though…
I found it shocking at first, obviously, as everyone else surely did — the stark contrast between this America and the one we grew up in. 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago nobody would dare utter those words…one, because they wouldn’t want anyone to know they said it and two because there would be no truth to it. An alliance with the US was at one time considered extremely valuable, both in reality and practice AND in perception. This is a real change in perception. They claim it’s because of recent poor decisions re Syria and Ukraine. Perception has changed. That’s for sure.
This statement above, and the fact it was printed publicly says a lot about where we are right now as a country on the global stage. As an American I find it a little frightening. And sad. As a human I get it. It’s life. It’s the cycle. It couldn’t last forever. It never does. The empire is in decline.
We have to remember that we grew up in a very privileged place and time. Like Rome in 100 AD or Greece circa 100 BC. It was a magical time. But it’s fading now. As it always does for any earthly empire.
I don’t have a specific view or conclusion regarding your question… Just many different thoughts. I guess it all depends on what ones goal or mission is. If I were more hawkish more patriotically selfish and greedy I guess I’d be very pissed at president Obama for his making the US appear so weak globally and for not taking full advantage of other countries problems for our own gain.
If I were more of the starry eyed hippie peacenik that some assume me to be then I’d probably be pleased with his decisions not to go into these other countries militarily — despite the potential for great harm to us both economically and perhaps militarily or domestically.
ISIS scares the the crap out of me and I believe they need to be dealt with sooner than later. Think about that for a moment… The Ambassador, a lover of all cultures including Islam and a hard working activist for peace and diplomacy — who is way more humanist than American-minded and who gives everyone more than a fair shot just stated “ISIS scares the crap out of me…”. That says something. I’m one of the few people we know who does NOT fear Iran and who sees all that nuclear fear talk as total bs by an imperialist bully brigade made up of the US Israel and the UK, yet I am honestly seriously and sincerely concerned about our safety and security if we do not act swiftly and strongly against this strange new breed of terrorists.
I do not believe that Obama style diplomacy is going to help us with them. It only buys them more time to collect more troops, more alliances and more money. If they are permitted to continue to take over all of our oil wells in Iraq, WHAT are WE going to do? After all, that’s why we went to Iraq. It may have been evil, sure. But we did it. Accepted. And lest we forget we invested a ton of money and human lives to achieve that goal and secure those resources for the 21st century, the supposed New American Century. We need that oil. And we need that land strategically. It was militarily a brilliant strategy — to take Iraq, considering where it is geographically etc. (I am not speaking of ethics here. Just black and white “empire versus no more empire”…) We just cannot allow them to continue. For MANY reasons, not the least of which is what happens if they gain strongholds in Syria or start threatening Israel or are successful in instituting Sharia Law there or anywhere…
All of our hard work and money….down the drain. Obama is afraid of the political costs…afraid of what the American people will say… And it’s clear that the disaster of the Iraq invasion — certainly not is doing — is influencing his decisions re Syria and Crimea / Ukraine… Which is too bad.
Instead he should be more concerned with improving our economy (the oil there), our security and the security of our allies there, and our future (how “large” is “too large” to the Obama admin?) ISIS has no intention of negotiating some mutually beneficial treaty with the US like the Saudi family did. These are hardcore anti-Western anti-American anti-Christian ideologues who have no problem killing anyone and everyone who get in their way. We should be sending 150,000 troops to that region NOW, making a huge stand and statement, showing these men that we mean business and that we will not back down so easily from something that we worked so hard to secure. This is, if, as we claim, we want to continue to benefit from all the glory that comes from being “the best country in the world”.
What exactly is the current admin thinking? I assume we are waiting for actual working oil wells to be threatened…. But I think we should go on the offensive. Not wait. Screw the whining of the so called far left liberals. They don’t understand what’s at stake here in the bigger picture. Do they really believe that ISIS is going to stop? Or make nice with us one day? Do they believe that if we ignore ISIS that they will go away? Or leave us alone? They need to do more research into the matter. They’re blind to the harsh realities of a people they simply have no reference points with which to understand.
Done get me wrong. I understand that the president knows a lot more than we do about what is really happening there… And I trust that he has the same desire for our security and economic welfare that we do… So I trust he’s doing what is best. Hoping so at least.
But I understand the frustration of others more to the right. I can only imagine how more hawkish people or more “American patriotic” people must feel about all this. They must be beyond pissed. Beyond frustrated. Beyond worried. I get that. And for good reason.
Of course I also see the potential benefits of the devil finally getting his due. The United States has been a thorn in the side of global peace for almost 60 years, sticking it’s nose in the business of other countries for as long as we can remember. Never thinking about right versus wrong but rather always just acting out of what they seem best for themselves. Baring that in mind, there is a beautiful irony to how things are currently playing out.
And wouldn’t it be grand if for once the United States just stepped back and allowed world affairs to play out as they will without stepping in to force their own desires on everyone involved? Certainly this would create a huge sigh of relief in the hearts of many.
But at what cost to those of us who live here now and in the near term future? What cost might we pay down the line for not taking action now “when we still could”? How soon will this insane group known as ISIS and their twisted view of the world land on our doorstep? Are we truly preventing a major tragedy in our own backyard by participating in these minor skirmishes around the world? That’s the question. That’s always been the question.
Did our intervention in Vietnam help us in any way? Korea? Nicaragua? Colombia? Iraq or Afghanistan even? This we will never know. One thing we do know is that Ameican Exceptionalism, always a myth perpetrated by amoral chest pounding knuckle dragging bullies to justify selfish greedy acts of terror around the world, is seeming to come to an end.
Regardless of where one happens to land on that virtual left versus right line in the sand, we have all benefitted over the last sixty years from America’s domination of planet earth, whether we deserved it such as after World War II, or not. A future where the United States is NOT the dominant force in the world is a frightening proposal if one lives here. So frightening in fact that one can easily see how certain individuals might be tempted to think more ethically questionable and hegemonic — out of pure fear or selfishness.
The whole thing is just a real shame. We obviously never should have gone to Iraq in the first place. Which I believe is the main issue at the crux of this whole quagmire presently. It’s the elephant in the room. But with that said, does it forever doom us to a tormented future of more war and the constant threat of terror? Or is there a way out of it? Can we envision a world where by our own ingenuity and freedom we come out not necessarily ahead but just “doing well”? Safe secure and prosperous? Isn’t that cause enough to strive towards as a nation? Is it even possible? Can we as Americans be okay with just being healthy and wealthy without dominating the entire globe? I for one can adamantly answer without pause or doubt yes yes and yes.
In fact imagine a world where one day the United States actually really does stand for and contribute to more peace and sanity and prosperity in the world for all nations and peoples through the enormous blessings and gifts we’ve been given. Now that’s a vision worth fighting for. Perhaps just not militarily though. Perhaps there is another way… A giant shift in mass consciousness brought about by a people who are tired of war and lies and deceptions and corruption and hungry for true peace justice freedom and prosperity for all.
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom