Search Blog Posts

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Decline of Influence - Ludwig von Mises Institute Canada

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by
Mideast Iraq ViolenceThe world is seemingly aflame in chaos right now. The Israeli military has invaded the Gaza strip after the breaking of an 18-month cease-fire agreement. Which side broke the accord is still an open question. A commercial airliner was shot down over Ukrainian airspace. Western media and politicians assume the indefensible act of violence was committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to conquer the contiguous area. In Iran, the government is ostensibly pursuing nuclear arms, much to the consternation of globalist tinkerers. Next door, in the Devil's playground of Iraq, radical Islamists are causing massive amounts of destruction, including destroying historic churches from the apostolic times.

All of this disorder is the fault of waning American prestige according to Robert Fulford. In his latest column for the National Post, Fulford laments the indifference on display by President Barack Obama as violence erupts in planet's most dangerous corner. He writes that Washington is no longer viewed as a legitimate threat by much of the world. Under the Obama presidency, he attests, "U.S. policy has become erratic and half-hearted, subject to arbitrary change without notice." Fulford notes the lack of a strong response to the Syrian civil war as just one example where America backed away from the limelight. If the U.S. doesn't soon take back its leadership role on the global stage, the "future looks increasingly dire."

Fulford is far from alone in his fault-finding. Journalists from both political camps have been critical of the President of late. Arch neoconservative Charles Krauthammer called Obama's comments on the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner "passive" and demonstrative of a governing philosophy of disinterest. James Kirchick – the token leftist warmonger who takes great pleasure in American might displayed abroad – demanded it's finally time for "the West to stand up to Putin" starting with U.S.-backing of the Ukrainian military.

All of these critics assume that America is capable of flipping a switch and rearranging the world's affairs to meet its own standards. They don't recognize the path the U.S. imperial state is on is slowly coming apart. It's no longer the 1950s. The ceiling on Washington's budget is getting closer by the day. The national debt is $17 trillion and counting; an unfathomable number that is impossible to maintain in perpetuity. The domestic economy is still sluggish from the 2008 market crash. The time of America's dominance may soon be coming to an end. And the truth has yet to hit the people employed in the business of imperium.

The talking heads who opine on Sunday morning talk shows are still stuck in Cold War-mode. They refuse to face the truth about foreign policy: that there are always too many functioning  gears for good and evil to be readily apparent; and that truth and fiction often trade places depending on one's preconceived agendas. The so-called experts forget the advice of realist Walter Lippmann who noted that rational foreign policy "consists in bringing into balance, with a comfortable surplus of power in reserve, a nation's commitments and the nation's power."

More importantly, the media chattering class doesn't seem to realize the conflicts taking place today are not the result of warring factions. The people of Iran, Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Russia, and every other country under the influence of Western power didn't originate their gripes from out of thin air. The incessant meddling of governments, specifically Washington, have fomented the fights we see today. Many are the direct, or indirect, result of overanxious global planning with scant knowledge of possible unintended consequences. Should the Obama Administration heed the complaints of interventionists longing for action, the result could be more death, more violence, and less peace.