"...“There’s a really fundamental flaw in U.S. strategic policy…and it has to do with empire. We look at each country, at each place, and we see the expatriates that we want to see in the cafés in Paris, who parrot our line about secular liberalism, and we arm, fund, and train them to go back and, in effect, impose a political order on those societies that have very different histories, characters, cares, and concerns…Those expatriates we listen to repeatedly—in Iraq, Iran, Libya, everywhere—we listen to them not because we’re stupid but because we have a very determined focus for dominance.” Especially in a political season, American elites do not seem at all inclined toward soul-searching about their country’s foreign policy after the events of the past few days. Much has been made of Mitt Romney’s “shoot first, aim later” (to use President Obama’s phrase) comments on events in Libya and Egypt. But Hillary points out on Al Jazeera that other prominent Republicans—for example, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa—have gone even further than Governor Romney, arguing that President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world during his first year in office, most notably through major addresses delivered in Istanbul and Cairo, was a “mistake” that showed “weakness.”
This is, Hillary notes, the “wrong critique.” For Obama hardly fulfilled the promise that some believed was embodied in his 2009 Istanbul and Cairo speeches—or his campaign pledge not just to end the Iraq war but also to end the “mindset” that had gotten the United States into that strategically and morally failed project. Rather the Obama administration “walked back completely” from those commitments. The real critique—which Romney, of course, won’t put forward—is “why is the Obama administration really so dishonest in its policies, and how could people in the Middle East really take America’s word seriously as a constructive force.” Until Americans and the politicians can address that, they never will understand “what is the reason” for Middle Easterners’ anger. ..."
Monday, September 17, 2012
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 8:57 AM