Foreign policy and national security is only effective when it is premised on one simple truth: weakness is provocative.
The annals of history are littered with accounts of evil men emboldened and sponsored by the weakness of others.
“Peace through strength” is the more positive, and public-relations friendly refrain that reflects this reality, and has been a mainstay of conservative talking points for several decades.
But both make the same, inescapable point: the stronger you are, the more immune you and those you are known to protect, are from hostility or attack.
As a student at college under the George W. Bush administration, I was constantly reminded how unpopular America was. How un-liked it was. And how un-interested America was in being understood.
Of course, President Obama was going to be elected, and all this was going to change. The whole world was going to love America; America’s “image was going to be restored”. It’s been six years, and we’re still waiting.
Anti-American sentiment remains as prevalent today as it has always been and always will be.
Firstly, let me just point out that America’s unpopularity is based on a loud minority, not a silent majority,
But most importantly, here’s the point: who cares?
I could not care less (and nor should Americans) about whether America is liked, or popular, or understood. Far better than being liked and understood, is being respected. Feared, even. That’s an idea context. That’s how you keep a country safe. That’s how you keep the world safe.
You call this an arrogant position? I’m down with that, if that’s what it takes. You say this is not the way to carry the world, not the way to build consensus? Wake up: there is evil out there, and its eye is forever trained on America. People will be thankful when their lives, communities and nations are spared. When civilization is saved. Because nothing less is at stake.
Unfortunately, too many American leaders today concern themselves with being popular in the world. Newsflash: America is the world’s dominant superpower, and a nation unlike any other ever. It will never be loved, as much as it may pine for it; the best it can hope for is respect.
As an Australian social scientist with a strongly pro-American worldview, I take heat all the time. Being pro-American in today’s world is never going to yield you mass numbers of friends, but it’s right.
Why on earth would you want to be a “world citizen” when you could be an American?