Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The World As They See It

Mitt Romney's new book, No Apologies: The Case for American Greatness, is reviewed by Spencer Ackerman over at Washington Independent. The book is a classic treatise on neocon foreign policy:
There are two salient global facts Romney never considers in his book. The first is that it is actually possible to obtain positive-sum relations with rising powers. The rise of China does not have to equal the decline of the United States. If, as Romney argues — following Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer — decline is a choice, so is permanent international competition. The concept of diplomacy is completely foreign to Romney. He dismisses the State Department as “assistant secretaries and… bureaucrats” and proposes designating regional relations to “one individual” who would become a “presidential envoy or the ambassador from CENTCOM or any of the other regional military commands.”

Post-9/11, neocons believe that there is no such thing as effective negotiations with any rising power. Every rising nation, therefore, is a threat to the U.S.'s national security. And the only way to deal with those kinds of threats is by military means. Send over an envoy backed by the full military might of the United States of America, and if they don't cower like so many shrinking violets, we go at them with guns blazing (or, actually, with unmanned drones launching missiles from the sky).

This is how they think. Never, ever does it occur to them that perhaps, just a little bit, America's being a little paranoid. Or that the current state of decline of America's image in the world is not due to our hubris and our disdain for the cultures and/or politics of other nations. American exceptionalism assumes that the only opinion that matters on the world stage is American; the rest is noise.

Frankly, I'm thrilled that Obama is in the driver's seat, because I was just so tired of the chest-thumping of the Cheneyites. Little did I know, however, that Cheney's chest thumping was due to his weak (and cowardly) heart.

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