Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Bolton: Foreign policy reality check

Posted by sanityinjection on June 11, 2009

I have to admit I almost didn’t read this column. I often skip op-ed pieces when I know either the author or the publication to be relentlessly partisan on one side or the other. There’s not much suspense if I can predict beforehand what the piece is going to say.

So, an op-ed piece by the very partisan conservative John Bolton (former US Ambassador to the United Nations) appearing in the very partisan conservative Washington Times, was not high on my priority list. But I had some time to kill, so I checked it out, and I’m glad I did.

Bolton doesn’t spend a lot of time discussing specifics about how to handle North Korea or Iran. Instead, he talks about the overall conservative philosophy of American foreign policy, and his concern about the direction that President Obama appears to be headed in:

“Conservative foreign policy is unabashedly pro-American, unashamed of American exceptionalism, unwilling to bend its knee to international organizations, and unapologetic about the need for the fullest range of dominant military capabilities. Its diplomacy is neither unilateralist nor multilateralist, but chooses its strategies, tactics, means and methods based on a hard-headed assessment of U.S. national interests, not on theologies about process. Most especially, conservatives understand that allies are different from adversaries, and that each should be treated accordingly….

Defending U.S. interests is neither arrogant nor disrespectful of others, but is instead the basic task of our presidents. Despite the 2008 election, neither the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nor international terrorism, nor the challenges of geostrategic adversaries have in any way diminished….Overseas “apology tours,” public displays of empathy and inviting the likes of Iran to Fourth of July receptions at our embassies will not alter these underlying realities. Nor will reducing national-security budgets on such key items as missile defense and advanced weapons systems…make our adversaries more amenable to sweet reason. Sadly, such gratuitous indications of self-doubt and weakness only encourage the very adversaries whose favor we are currying….

Conflict with our interest and values is not some unfortunate exception to normality, it is normality. While harmony is desirable, it is far from inevitable, and the causes of disharmony are just as natural and human as their opposites….

In particular, conservatives reject the idea that America’s actions are the foundation for most international discord, and that it is our deviation from international “norms” that must be “corrected” for the natural state of harmony to return.

To the contrary, in the last century, America has repeatedly sought to solve problems others have created, but which risk our own security. Left to ourselves, we would have been more than happy for the others to solve their own problems. That option, however, has not been open to us for quite some time, nor will it return in the foreseeable future, if ever.

Full article is here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/10/obama-administration-continuation-of-second-bush-t/

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3 Responses to “Bolton: Foreign policy reality check”

  1. Ms. D said

    So then what does it all mean?

  2. Sean said

    It doesn’t mean anything in particular, but absolutely means everything it says. It’s a crede and philosophy based on American principles rather than on international ideas. I imagine he wrote it as a check, a reminder of America’s unique role in the world and not because of global arrogance but because we view ourselves unique as a country in a world full of countries. It is the antithesis of the emerging Obama doctrine.

  3. Ms. D said

    Thank you!

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