Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama’s Not So Foreign-feeling Policy

I remember looking back to over a year ago to when President Obama was in the final throws of his campaign. “Change” was the word of the day and a seemingly endless parade of nations the world-over, were downright ‘giddy’ at the prospects for a ‘New and Improved’ US foreign policy (whatever that meant?). Well its 2010 and the same old actors are STILL seething with contempt for the U.S. and its way of life. Oddly, with all of our President’s perceived charm offensive, we have even added a few new global grumps like Israel – and they used to actually like us?

Now honestly, unlike the President and some of his ‘super-fans’ I am not surprised by the world’s lack of attitude change or adulation. Except for handing the keys to Whitehouse and the Presidential limo, the world will ALWAYS complain about America’s foreign policy because, to put it bluntly, they’re JEALOUS.

Oh boy, now I have done it. Talk about the arrogance – who would make such unfair recriminations against the motive’s of other the countries of the world? Shouldn’t America consider the ‘feelings’ of all – not just its own people? Well as warm and cuddly as that all sounds and ‘feels’ the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’ and the President’s foreign policy team would serve themselves better if they understand why.

You can never make everyone happy. For many nations, their foreign policy objectives are exactly polar opposites of our own so there is no need to apologize or complain. Our nation should simply follow OUR best path which best fits OUR long term goals. This would equate to China’s recent frustration with U.S. arm sales to Taiwan. Obviously China someday wants to absorb Taiwan back into mainland China. It is counter to the United State’s best interests for this to happen and therefore we ‘risk confrontation’ with China but maintain our principles and relationship with Taiwan.

Policy decisions like this may seem to provoke China or other nations who disagree with America’s overseas objectives, however I think it is FAR BETTER to set clear principles for both allies and enemies and act accordingly.It's kind of like a RATIONAL parent when you were a child. You knew if you set your toys on fire there would be BAD consequences. You weren’t quite exactly sure what ‘BAD’ meant really, to your personal health and freedom, but you were smart enough NOT to light a match to find out. In other words, your parent’s reputation preceded them. You did not always understand the intimate details of their reward/punishment plan, but for the big stuff – you knew where the line was and in a funny way – that was comforting. Our friends and enemies don't have to always 'love' our methods BUT if they can consistently understand them, then foreign policy STABILITY is almost as helpful.

America’s foreign policy by definition should be of unapologetic motive to benefit AMERICANS! Why is this so hard for not only our own people to grasp, but for everyone else outside the borders as well? I think it is noble for nations to cooperate and come together in principle on how to behave. However, at the end of the day, the truth is, that it’s ‘every man (or nation) for himself’. Yes, I know you are recoiling at my abrupt cave-man grunt, devoid of convolution (oh great – its back again …). The point is that America can have high goals and ambitions which INCLUDE other nations. However, our foreign policy team should NEVER FORGET that our nation’s desires must always come FIRST. Yes, the United States makes errors in foreign policy decisions from time to time just like EVERY political entity has done since the beginning of time. But the difference is you don’t see other nations constantly falling over backwards apologizing, rejecting their nationalism, and putting off long term interests to quell the temporary criticism.

So I continue to be hopeful too that ‘Change’ is still on the horizon for Obama’s foreign policy. But my hope will NOT BE for more world cooperation and self-flagellation but conversely it will be for more SELF-RESPECT and blatant SELF-INTEREST. America is the strongest, richest and most generous nation on earth and we should not be ashamed or apologetic of our heritage of success. It’s understandable that the world is jealous – and it is America’s job to ensure they CONTINUE to feel that way!

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