Saturday, April 27, 2013

He Who Hesitates Is Lost - Are We?

There is a book on the market titled The Dispensable Nation. The author is Vali Nasar, the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The title caught my eye and disturbs me, but it is becoming the truth.  We are becoming perilously close to being irrelevant due to our lack of a cohesive foreign policy.

I do not know why this President is so afraid of getting involved in world politics considering we're supposed to be the leaders of the free world.  The country that stands as the example of what is good and successful, yet time after time we refuse to involve ourselves where it is important to do so.  The worry is that we will suffer more than the loss of our status if this continues.

I can't help but wonder if the Boston Marathon bombing might be the tip of the iceberg as our enemies come to realize there will be no consequence for unacceptable behavior.  The latest example is Syria and their use of chemical weapons against their own people. The President keeps changing the parameters of what action on their part will bring about one from us.  They are well aware of this and therefore expect none.  It will be left to the rest of an unwilling world because no one will take the moral high road and condemn their actions.

The problem is we didn't have to be in this position.  Had we been less timid when the Syrian uprising began the entire region might well be in a better place than it is now.  Our excuse is we had no idea who the rebels were and what type of government might evolve should they win. It would be the one that wasn't slaughtering thousands upon thousands of civilians.  Of that we can be sure.

But we didn't and they turned elsewhere.  The radical element filled the gap we would not so now we really don't know what a new government would look like. Had we lent aid before we'd have some say in what that new government would be.  Now we can only wait and watch.

Israel no longer fully trusts us nor does Jordan.  They are the last two pro American countries in the region. So here we are.  Basically dispensable.  If they must they will do what they have to without us. We remain unwilling to involve ourselves on any level other than empty rhetoric.

Will we pay a price?  Possible a big one.  Our national interests in the region are not being attended to and won't be until we engage ourselves.  One could wish they will leave us alone because we don't, but Boston has shown us we are still considered infidels and in their way of thinking need to be destroyed.

I wonder if after we are tempting fate.  Will they become more and more bold?  Will we suffer more and more incidents on American soil?  Will shakey allies come to our aid if needed?  Would they even be able to?

I expect we're on the verge of finding out if the adage 'what goes around comes around' is true.  After all we've treated others as if they're dispensable.  They may just decide to return the favor. After all, what's in it for them?

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