The underlying philosophy behind our foreign policy since I can remember has been pragmatism. Pragmatism is the philosophy that claims practicality but in essence is a trial and error approach with a hope that it will work. First we tried to be an isolated nation ignoring the rest of the world’s events until the shock of attacks on us awoke us to the fact that there are enemies of the United States who will attack if they believe they can be successful. Then after WWII we wandered into Korea to stop Communism with a no win policy that has us still facing the same enemy with greater weaponry. We drifted into Vietnam with the same “run it up the flagpole” philosophy and left disgraced. Now we are conducting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a hope of honorable withdrawal. These disasters are the result of a foreign policy that has little purpose and ignores America’s interests. President Obama has openly declared the following in his recent speech in Cairo:”Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.” This leaves us as a super power hell bent on a path of self sacrifice.
It is in our interest to live in a world without the threat of attack. To achieve this we need a strong military that can respond to any threat with decisiveness and a goal of victory. Look at the enemies we conquered when we fought to win and did not compromise with a stalemate. Look at the results of the pragmatism that has left us struggling to bring troops home knowing that they may be sent abroad within months.
We have not defined our enemies with a “war on terrorism”. In the past when we knew who our enemies were and were willing to name them, we openly declared what country contained them and pursued a path to victory via conquest and total surrender of those countries. This worked out fine in WWII but then our political leadership beginning with Harry Truman decided to placate as many foreign countries as possible and the wars of stalemate began.
Today we saw an exhibit of further pragmatism by President Obama. His attempt to pacify the Muslims in his speech can only be viewed as a desperate attempt to beg for acceptance with apologetic gestures and humble pie. A super power that meekly seeks acceptance from autocratic thugs that deny human rights is on the road to becoming a second class power waiting for invasion. Not only are we becoming economically weaker, we are becoming diplomatically weaker.
How can we influence and negotiate when we are trying to placate the very ones we should be wary of? How can we negotiate from strength as we become weaker and apologetic? The Democrats have achieved political power but they only know how to exercise it by punishing Americans and placating foreign countries. The Republicans don’t have a clue as they are too busy just trying to reinvent themselves. Our economic engine is drying up and a silent rebellion is occurring. You Democrats want to run the auto industry and health care and spend what little treasure we had, placate our enemies and you talk of values? The value of freedom evidently has slipped away with your frenzy to control and redistribute.
The rebellion has not been articulated yet but it is formulating in the minds of every American who sees what is being done to what once was a proud nation. The Tea Parties were not just idle demonstrations. They represented disdain for the policies that are openly being advocated and instituted. When the recognition occurs that the pattern of pragmatism is all that is being offered the day of trial and error policies will disappear. And in their place will be a well defined predictable policy for foreign relations and a strict limitation on the disruption of the economy by the government. The movement is coming if success is to happen. Otherwise the results of the trial and error approach will culminate in the triumph of error.