Le Panoptique

Perspectives sur les enjeux contemporains | More Perspective on Current International Issues

U.S.A. – Lame Duck Country

Publié le 18 novembre, 2008 | Pas de commentaires

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Many times in its history, the United States has acted unethically, prompted by reasons ranging from mere jingoistic nationalism which rallied around a Jesuitical plea for ends justifying means, to justifications from pure greed by which the bottom line becomes the number one priority.

But in the case of Columbia and the trade agreement that today The New York Times Editorial pronounces we must ratify, the cause is simply this: the country no longer has the international clout to consider itself any better than a human rights abuser and drug-money supported country like Columbia, and therefore must “honor” the agreement Mr. Bush signed – without Democratic Congressional approval – two years ago.

In an editorial column back in June of this year, Thomas Friedman warned then Presidential candidate Obama of the dangers of going into talks with America’s enemies until he is in a position to wield some leverage over them. He suggested it would indeed be appeasement to encounter Iran, for example, at the table of diplomacy, when the U.S. would not be in a position to make demands, but only to capitulate to achieve the modest gains such an enemy would be likely to offer in return.

The Bush Administration has seen to it that Europe has ceased to be a committed military ally, almost every country withdrawing what little support they originally pledged to the debacle of the war in Iraq, leaving the U.S. pandering to Poland for troops and, the day after the Georgia-Russia conflict began, signing an agreement to build an anti-ballistic missile base, provoking Russia as well. In the Middle East, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had time to pal around with Moammar Kadafi of Libya, but did nothing whatever to improve Palestinian-Israeli relations; in fact her policy of “transformational diplomacy” was an utter failure when democratically elected Hamas had to be ousted to preserve Israeli military dominance, precipitating the Lebanon-Israel war where the Hizzbollah all but triumphed over their isolated foes. She has had zero power to influence control over runaway regimes in Africa, even failing to correctly estimate the ambitions of Vladimir Putin, though she was supposedly qualified for her office as a specialist in the Soviet Union, serving under Bush Sr. as his Soviet and Eastern European Affairs Advisor, perhaps because she was too starry-eyed over his strong shows of power, as Bush Jr certainly was.

The credibility of the United States has fallen so low, it is now in no position to hold out on Columbia – the treaty will be duly ratified, as all such deals with the devil have been since the beginning of this corrupt administration. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, and the rest of the Bush rogues gallery have reduced the nation to the same status as countries over which it once held the moral highground.

And so we see once again that integrity is not a luxury to be grandstanded at propitious moments, but the cornerstone on which real sovereignty is founded, and to lose one’s claim on the rule of law and ethical leadership is to become a camp-follower of global criminality.

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