Peace and Security
Despite New START’s substantive merits and overwhelming bipartisan support, the eight-month-long campaign to win the U.S. Senate’s approval was a knock-down-drag-out fight, the successful outcome of which was in doubt until the very end.
Maybe we were fortunate that the U.S. press chose to print any WikiLeaks disclosures at all. Given the media’s generally supportive stance of unilateral American foreign policy, it could have simply said, “We’re not interested.” Luckily it did better than that, but not much. The media reported articles of minor diplomatic embarrassment with glee, but let matters revealing serious U.S. government perfidy or brutality slide.
The U.S. policy of policing the world and imposing our will on every aspect of the international system is now tumbling–from Tunisia, Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, and onward throughout the Middle East. The domino theory, coined to justify our war in Vietnam, is making a comeback. Not because we ignored communist threats, but because we intervened too much in too many countries.
Can you imagine a Republican leader saying something like that now? Not if the leader is Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Jon Kyl, or Eric Cantor. Had Ike been that kind of Republican he’d have said: “I want our new president to be a one-term president and I expect our party in Congress to work to make him so.”
Egyptian current events prove one point for good: Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, U.S. presidents wish their favored Arab states would forever remain nice, docile autocracies.
The repercussions of the attempted assassination in Tucson of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were murdered and 13 wounded, continue to resonate. The discussion–and discussions about the discussion–continues. Meanwhile, we’re failing to have a meaningful debate about how we can achieve real changes that would make a repeat of this tragedy impossible.
Yemen is finally being thrust upon American consciousness. Little good can come of that. Up to now, the Yemenis had been allowed to suffer in private desperation. That’s over.
Before the Tucson shootings are lost forever in the mists of time (which, given this country’s attention span, figures to be two weeks from now), we might do well to ponder the various reactions to the outrage.