Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Isolationist Foreign Policy

The United States is growing increasingly isolationist – not by following the Ron Paul path to Peace and Prosperity, but instead due to the world finally being in a position to push back.

On the economic stage, the US burned its last bridges in 2008; in the meantime, we live through the transition toward whatever is next – and rest assured, the elite don’t have a replacement plan prepared, else it would have been rolled out by now.

Geo-politically, Syria has completely changed the game – at least it is the first obviously visible sign to laymen that this is so.  Putin has outmaneuvered Obama, and this in a situation where Russia has the wherewithal to back up its words.

This is no return to the cold war – then, the two so-called super-powers fought through proxies.  This one is naked for the world to see – no shell games, no intrigue.  US diplomacy by bombing vs. Russian diplomacy by…diplomacy.

It seems Russia is not done pushing back, and it seems the US is growing increasingly isolated (well, except for the French and maybe the British – but they, like the US, don’t have a seat at the table if my speculation of a possible future plays out). 

From Bloomberg:

Russia rejected a U.S. and European plan to include enforcement in a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syrian chemical weapons disarmament, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Of course, Russia has both the ability and the muscle to reject the US plan if it chooses to do so.

Western actions are “irresponsible and unprofessional,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One published on the Foreign Ministry’s website today. They want to “drive through a resolution based on force” and that blames President Bashar al-Assad for everything, he said.

If someone can point to any untruth in these statements, let me know.

Part of the agreement previously reached between Lavrov and Kerry was for Syria to itemize and disclose its chemical weapons arsenal:

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Sept. 20 it had “received an initial disclosure from the Syrian government of its chemical weapons program.” The Sept. 14 U.S.-Russian agreement, which averted an American military strike on Assad’s government, called for an itemization of Syria’s poison gas stocks by yesterday.

Mmm…several days before the due date.  The result of effective engagement – the course Russia pursued.

The executive council of the chemical weapons organization in The Hague, which would oversee Syria’s disarmament, said Sept. 20 it postponed a meeting on Syria and is aiming for a new date in the middle of this week.

Wait – Syria was early, and now the bureaucrats want to delay the discussion? Can you smell the United States behind this delaying action?  Lavrov does:

“Our American partners are trying to blackmail us,” Lavrov said. The U.S. is saying that “unless Russia accepts to adopt this resolution under Chapter 7 [an enforcement provision], we will stop the work of the OPCW in The Hague,” he said referring to the UN charter’s chapter, which lays out provisions that have been used to justify armed interventions since the Korean War.

I was a fly on the wall in the oval office when the news was delivered that Syria complied with its report deadline:

Kerry: Big O, Assad just delivered the inventory.
Obama: Dammit John, you told me they would delay and obfuscate.  Just how stupid are you trying to make me look?
Kerry: Well, since you asked: it gets worse.  Remember, we wanted a quick meeting at The Hague because we just knew the Syrians wouldn’t deliver the report on time?  Remember how we were going give Russia a diplomatic wedgie when Assad didn’t deliver?
Obama: Yeah – that was a nice Photoshop – I never laughed so hard as when you had that picture of Putin with his Haines pulled up over his head!
Kerry: Well, you can stop laughing now.  Assad delivered, and now the meeting is tomorrow.
Obama: I never thought I would miss Hillary.

But attempts at looking tough continue:

Ben Rhodes, White House deputy national security adviser, said Sept. 20 that it was “a positive step” for Syria to submit the list within the period outlined in the agreement, which calls for the Arab country to turn over its chemical weapons to international control for eventual destruction.

Can’t you just hear the international world chuckling at this statement?  As if somehow the United States took any positive actions toward making it come about (and no, “bombs away” isn’t a positive action)?  As if anything the US now says on this matter is terribly relevant?

“There needs to be consequences for noncompliance,” Rhodes told reporters on a conference call. “We would want to see the strongest enforcement possible.”

The US government is reduced to expressing “wants.”  It has lost its standing.  The only diplomacy known to Washington is to make threats.  This has been exposed, and this was stopped by one of the few entities on earth powerful enough to stop it.

The US is quickly losing standing in the international arena.  Everyone knew the emperor had no clothes, but perhaps the time and situation had to grow ripe for the global exclamation of this fact.

The US has grown extremely isolated in the world. 


  1. I feel like I have nothing original to say, other than "I continue to enjoy your writing on this" (and everything else for that matter).

    Will toss it up on Lions tomorrow morning.

    1. Marc, you say plenty of original things at your site - it continues to be one of my regular stops.

      And thank you for your continuing support of my work.

    2. Agreed. Keep up the good work, bm.