“No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” – Barack Obama, September 23, 2009
I was reminded of that stupefyingly naive comment, from Obama’s first address to the United Nations, in Dr. Krauthammer’s recent column on our current state of foreign affairs.
Whether you are comfortable calling the United States the greatest country in the world or not—and Mr. Obama is decidedly and demonstrably not—it doesn’t take much considered analysis to conclude that someone’s going to be the biggest kid on the block. In the world pecking order, there has never been any such thing as broad parity. Throughout recorded history, there has generally been an obvious alpha dog.
Failure to acknowledge that is the simple, spectacular sophomorism in a lot of libertarian foreign policy, as well as the cowed dog, apology tour-style diplomacy of our president. They both utterly ignore that the value of asserting power is not in imperial conquest, but in the ability to shape the dialogue.
I believe in liberty for all. My country (ostensibly) stands for liberty. So it’s important to me that if a country’s values are going to be influential over and above the values of others, then that country should be the United States.
Is that mindless flag-waving and foot-stomping? Or is it pragmatism?
What are we going to do about Putin snatching Crimea? It doesn’t matter, despite Obama’s hollow bluster on the matter. We have no cards to play, so it’s a purely academic discussion. When your foreign policy seems to consist primarily of systematically cultivated indifference, this is where you end up.
Hang on, kids. The world’s most powerful college student still has 34 months left in his term.