Monday, September 14, 2009

Here they go again, the blame-America-first crowd!

I get so tired of hearing from the blame-America-first crowd! Here's a guy writing about what he calls the "Dark Age thesis", basically the idea that terrorism is an extential threat to the United States:

As such, the Dark Age thesis is really not about the decline of the sovereign state and the descent of the world into anarchy. It is instead an irrational response to the decline of American hegemony with a naïve emphasis on the power of nonstate actors to compete with nation-states. The analysis concludes that because the current paradigm paralysis places a higher value on overstated threats than opportunities, our greatest hazard is not the changing global environment we live in, but our reaction to it.
Where do these hippies get off blaming America for the world's problems like this?

This one, by the way, is by Lt. Col. P. Michael Phillips, a US military liaison to the Pakistani military, writing in the Summer 2009 issue of the Army War College quarterly journal Parameters. His article has the postmodern title, Deconstructing Our Dark Age Future.

I'm hesitant to even make this kind of sarcastic presentation, even though it's pretty common in Left Blogostan. But with Newsweek imitating The Onion this week with a banner cover headline, "The Case for Killing Granny", it's getting to the point that only a professional comedian can handle sarcasm and irony appropriately.

But this piece struck me because Republican accusations that Democrats want to "blame America first" for any foreign policy troubles is based on pulling quotes like that out of context and reframing them as anti-American. That's to the extent they are based on anything at all other than pure assertion.

The fact is that US foreign policy since the end of the Second World War has suffered seriously from threat inflation. And it's something that very much needs to be part of the foreign policy discussions and debates in the US going forward.

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