Friday, July 13, 2018

Dude wants to be a conquering eagle. More like a flightless chicken.

As the President continues his antics abroad, I'm reminded of some observations about the dumb bird we've loosed in the global china shop -- written last May by John Feffer of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.

It’s not just unilateralism, where Washington acts alone and allies be damned. Nor is it merely unipolarism, in which the United States targets all hegemonic challengers in an effort to preserve its position as the world’s dominant military and economic power.

Let’s coin a new term: unileaderism.

According to unileaderism, only the U.S. president makes foreign policy decisions of any import. ... Unileaderism, at least as it’s embodied by Donald Trump, is a philosophy bound up entirely in the personal quirks of the president himself. Instead of strategy, there are only tactics: wheedling, bluffing, threatening. It’s like playing tennis against someone with John McEnroe’s legendary temper and will to win, but few if any of his actual skills.

Unileaderism may well be the logical endpoint for a country that has used unilateralism to preserve its unipolarism. And Trump is certainly the product of a particular tendency within the U.S. political culture that rejects liberalism and multilateralism.

But it goes beyond that. In its rejection of strategy in favor of tactics, Trumpism is a repudiation of geopolitics altogether. Trumpism isn’t a new kind of opening in the chess game of international relations. The president, out of rage and stupidity and arrogance, has simply picked up the board with all of its pieces and flung the whole thing against the wall. He’s playing a different game altogether.

Like most good U.S. lefties and critics of our wanton wars, I have long believed that U.S. imperial pretensions have passed their sell-by date and begun to stink. Despite considerable timidity when confronted by a population that likes chanting "We're Number One" and "foreign policy experts" confident of U.S. virtue, the previous incumbent POTUS seemed to know his job was winding down global empire. You learn something when, unlike so many of us, you have been educated abroad, even for a short time. A military reform school doesn't impart much; nor does a decorative B.A. in Business.

The rest of the world just isn't going to put up with us (that's U.S.) forever. Empire is over and the U.S. will have to learn to live in the world that is.

Trump is both easily conned and ignorant, acting the part of King Canute, raving against the oncoming ocean waves. Empire is not drifting toward a soft landing.


Mary said...

Agree 100% . The future for us is not going to be a pretty picture. I'm glad I'm old

Joared said...

Unileaderism is a euphemism for wanna-be dictator for this nation’s current leader. Our leadership since at least last Bush administration has failed to position this country in as strong a condition as possible to function at our best in a world where we knew we would cease to be the big cheese.

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