1sunfight’s Weblog

March 2, 2010

The Rest of the World Or: The Philosophy of Always Right, Never wrong, but Oh So Misunderstood.

Filed under: Daily Observations,Economics,Europe,Financial Crisis,GOP,politics,Uncategorized — Katharina in Ghent @ 9:45 am
Tags: , , ,

Since WWII the US have undoubtedly held the role of world leader, at least as far as the Western hemisphere is concerned. They have helped Western Europe and Japan recover after the war, which most likely is the greatest success story in terms of foreign policy. They have fought many wars, not all of them necessary, and lost a good number of them. And that’s when it all went awry.

Wars cost a lot of money, especially when you have to fight them in some far away place, and they cost a lot of goodwill of your people when these wars are fought against a nation that has no direct relation to you and poses no direct threat. It is bad enough if you decide to fight these battles on your own – it’s your decision, and you have to live with it – but when you try to drag other, ‘friendly’ nations into this just because you can’t afford to do it on your own, then things can get ugly very quickly.

There’s a big right-wing movement in the US who feel that they’ve been abandoned by the rest of the world because we other nations did not want to participate in the war in Iraq. Against all the warnings from outsiders, resolutions from the United Nations and better judgment by all their ‘best friends’, GW Bush and his team decided that fighting one battle – more or less justified because of 9/11 – was not enough, and that they want to invade another country which had had nothing to do with it. On top of this, there was no exit strategy and no idea whatsoever about what to do once the plain battle is over. Now, almost exactly seven years later, the US budget deficit exceeds $10 trillion and is still rising, the economy is in shambles and the nationwide unemployment rate is somewhere around 10%.

The same people who always preach that you’re the master of your own fate decide to ‘not like the rest of the world anymore’, because ‘they’ve done oh so much to make the world a better place, and yet we don’t do anything to come to their help’. Well, if you really think that, try to go shopping to the local market in Baghdad and see how far it gets you (or your various limbs and other pieces of your body).

One thing that Europe has learned over the course of very bloody 1000 years of wars and battles is to not meddle with other countries any more. Similarly, Canada, the second largest nation in size with only 33mio habitants has always pursued a peaceful path. Who would they want to battle anyway? Most of all, we have learned that if you start something, you continue until the job is really done. The war in Afghanistan may have been won by 2003, but the situation was far from secure and the Taliban were still there, just biding their time to come back and hit harder. To start another war, unprovoked, was just plain silly and the surprise that nobody outside was interested in participating just plain idiotic.

Now, instead of supporting the one man who is rising to the challenge to fix the many wrongs – inside and outside the US – that GWB has caused, they do absolutely everything to torpedo him in every decision and bring him down. They rather see their own fellow Americans without Unemployment benefits and health insurance than granting their black president even the smallest chance of improving also their own situation. On top, they are angry with the rest of the world because we don’t feel like doing whatever it is that they want us to do. Oh, and the best of it: they are still angry with China, because even they were not interested in joining an idiotic war in Iraq. Well, here’s a news flash: Guess who’s holding a lot of your debts right now?

Here’s a word of advice to the right wing from a European citizen: if you don’t give a shit about the rest of the world when you’re clearly wrong, then don’t come whining to us when you’ve spilled your milk and there’s no cow in sight. Chances are that you killed it in times of aplenty, and we had told you not to do it.

Note: I am an Austrian citizen, living in Belgium, married to a Canadian, so I’ve experienced a lot of different cultures.

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  1. They love to play the martyr.

    Comment by Julie P — March 2, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

  2. I think, perhaps, it goes deeper than that and things like Iraq are a symtom rather than the illness.

    I’m starting to wonder if the rest of the world has evolved, leaving the USA still mired in the 20th century, fighting old fights and believing in worn out ideals.

    There was a day when the American definition of freedom was worth fighting for and something for most other countries to aspire to. Now though, at least in the western world, there are many countries with far more effective democracies–and more practical freedoms.

    In 1940, freedom from tyranny was enough. Now I’m not being threatened by a tyrant and what I want a lot more is freedom from going bankrupt because I had a little problem with my heart again last weekend. Oh, and lets add freedom from ignorance and intolerance to that list as well.

    Unless the USA wakes up–and does some quick catching up–it will be sad to see a once proud and virtuous nation go the way of previous empires like Rome.

    Comment by Bob in Queensland — March 3, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  3. Bob, I have written in the past in this blog and have voiced this sentiment elsewhere; the right in this country is mired in McCarthyism and it’s Cold War mentality. They live in the past, need someone or something to vilify, and suffer from delusions of grandeur. There is no reasoning with them. They fear change. They fear anything different. They fear. I have, for as long as I can remember, said that we do not need foreign enemies to bring ourselves down, we will do it to ourselves.

    Comment by Julie P — March 3, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

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