9/24/12

Time To Sound Retreat

 In today’s NY Times op-ed column, America’s Inevitable Retreat From the Middle East, Pankaj Mishra paints a thought provoking picture of the waning power of the United States in the Middle East. As Mishra points out:

 
“Republicans calling for President Obama to “grow” a “big stick” seem to think they live in the world of Teddy Roosevelt. Liberal internationalists arguing for even deeper American engagement with the Middle East inhabit a similar time warp; and both have an exaggerated idea of America’s financial clout after the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s.
It is the world’s newly ascendant nations and awakened peoples that will increasingly shape events in the post-Western era. America’s retrenchment is inevitable. The only question is whether it will be as protracted and violent as Europe’s mid-20th century retreat from a newly assertive Asia and Africa.”

Thought provoking indeed. What I got out of it:
  • Whether we like the word or not we are retreating from Iraq and Afghanistan. The mission was not successful. We never should have been there in the first place.
  • We are not good at nation building. Nations are built internally, not externally.
  • Democracy works for us but not necessarily for others.
  • Keep the hell out of Syria!
  • Israel is not our ward.
  • The sooner Israel faces reality and ceases to be a loose canon, the sooner there will be peace in the Middle East.
  • Keep America strong through aggressive social policies which will insure that we can all go about our business with our head held high.
  • Isn’t it about time that the United Nations takes on a more proactive role in world affairs?
  • If the United Nations is to be strictly a debating club, it may be time toquestion its usefulness..
  • Let the world know that “Don’t Tread On Me” still means something to us.

1 comment:

Charles Leck said...

You nailed it! Way to go!