April 11, 2006
The Essential Nobility of US Foreign PolicyBy James Lewis
Now that the Left, in the shape of the Academic Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard, has decided that the Nazis were right, and the United States really is controlled by a Jewish cabal, it is useful to remind ourselves of the essential nobility of US foreign policy since Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, and the continuity of this essence.
The United States could have stayed out of the European theatre of World War Two, and left the British to die against the Nazis. America—Firsters and the Stalinist Left (which only switched to a pro—war line after Hitler invaded Russia) had demanded the USA stay out of Europe's ugly morass. The public likely would have preferred focusing on the Japanese who had attacked us and treating Hitler's declaration of war as a minor matter, to be dealt with later. Almost any other country in the world would have done just that.
FDR's policy of fighting the Nazis first combined American idealism with pragmatism. Just think what would have happened if the Nazis and Japanese had obtained ICBMs and nuclear weapons, as they would have within a decade, had Britain lost. American foreign policy was in our long—term interest, but at great sacrifice of lives and treasure. Our policy then was noble and yet practical.
FDR was accused of being the creature of the British Foreign Office, just as Wilson was in World War One. Today, it is the International Jewish Conspiracy is seen as pulling the strings by the maddened international Left and Islamic fascists. Nothing changes.
Unquestionably, American foreign policy must protect American interests. But in the strategic vision of FDR, Wilson, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan, the long—term interest of America requires that we support democracies, work for the liberation of enslaved nations (as we did with Latvia and Lithuania), and avoid the short—term gains of selling out our friends, and bear the expense of pushing for world of free peoples.
The "international community" today is a gang of jackals surrounded by wolves. If the Pax Americana were to crumble, as Dominique de Villepin so fervently hopes, we would have a world in which French—led Europe dominated one part of the globe; the Chinese and Russians competed over another; and the rest would be torn among three virulently Islamist Caliphates ——— Iranian, Egyptian—Saudi, and probably Turkish. If you doubt it, consider the pathetic UN vote just a week ago, for a new "UN Human Rights Commission," with members like Cuba, Libya and even the genocidal looney—tunes who run the Sudan. In the UN General Assembly the vote against the United States was 170 to four.
Pathetic. And dangerous.
Only the United States and the Anglosphere have the power and basic decency to stand for humane values. France would sell out at the first threat or drop of a bag of gold. England is being drawn ever deeper into the bureaucratic quagmire of the EU, a new, self—serving aristocracy which has never bothered with democratic elections. The EU is now busily finding ways around the popular vote against its bizarre Constitution in several countries, even France. For the EU, democracy is just too messy, and the decisions of the elite might be resisted by the people.
As for Russia, it is once again an authoritarian corruptocracy, and China has never stopped being that. Israel is a small island of democracy in an ocean of social and political pathology. Latin America is making goo—goo eyes again at the false promises of the Left. In sum, a gang of thieves and cutthroats, soon to be armed with world—killing weapons, is assembling itself in on the street corners of many of the world's neighborhoods.
There is no decent alternative to America, and America has decided that the small but feisty nation of Israel should be treated as Britain was during the Nazi Blitz: That is, it should be helped to survive, even at a near—term political cost. Because Israel is a democracy — flawed like all real world democracies, to be sure, but still the kind of country with a Supreme Court that tells the government to protect the human rights of captured terrorists at war with the state. Britain, before its present decline, was also small, besieged, and about to go down when America came to its aid.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, FDR convinced the Congress to declare war, not just on Japan, but on Hitler as well. (Who obliged by declaring war on us first).
The first great expeditionary force of green US troops were sent to North Africa. But Tunisia had not attacked us. The US and Brits invaded Morocco and Tunisia because it provided a strategic salient for driving the Axis powers back, one step at a time.
That's called strategy. It has a long—term perspective and makes difficult steps in the short term in order to win in the long term. It defeated Hitler and Tojo and Mussolini, even as it defeated the Soviet Empire fifty years later.
The French hated US policy in World War Two. They couldn't understand it, especially since their impotent fleet was sunk in the process. Stalin hated it, and demanded that the Western Allies send waves upon waves of troops into Europe to sacrifice their lives, as millions of Russian moozhiks were doing in the East.
It was Churchill and Roosevelt who decided on North Africa, just as it was Bush and Blair who saw the strategic logic of moving against Saddam's Iraq, fully aware of the risks. Iraq is the keystone to the Middle East. Overthrowing Saddam cut down one threat, and simultaneously put the hair—raising Iranian fanatics at a strategic disadvantage.
Israel is not the only reason for the US strategy in the Middle East.
There is the supply of oil, the lifeline of the industrialized world.
There is the rising threat of nuclear madmen. We are still defending Europe, as sensible Europeans understand. As a society, Europe is still not ready to defend itself with a forward—looking strategy, being addicted to infantile welfare dependency and hysterical jealous hatred of American power.
Then there is Africa, a continent with endless riches and endless chaos imposed by its post—Euro—colonial tyrannies.
US policy in the Middle East is strategic in all these ways. It protects Europe as surely as it protected Britain in World War Two. The US strategic vision is long term, at the cost of short—term pain, sacrifice, and risk. It is an adult vision in a world of loud—mouthed infants.
Oddly enough, a century and a half after Abraham Lincoln said those words, the United States is still "the last, best hope of mankind."
James Lewis is a frequent contributor.