Tuesday, October 06, 2009

World Opinion

I've always had a problem with the concept that George W. Bush damaged our standing in the world with his foreign policies. First, that what the world thinks of us should be of such great importance I find rather shallow and childish. Our primary concern should only be that we do what we feel is right, just as that concern should be the prime directive of each individual. "The World" isn't always the best moral guide in the first place.

But as this piece lays out, there are a number of issues that add up to our standing in the world.

It also points out something that I've always suspected to be true, that negative opinion is often a matter of personal politics, philosophy and/or ideology. Lefties like Obama see us as arrogant and imperialistic. He thinks we need to go about apologizing and doing so especially to our enemies, as if they are our enemies solely because of actions we've taken in the past, as opposed to their own self-interested view of how the world should be. Lefties the world over agree, but not all in the world are lefties. Not all in the world are irrational, non-thinking boobs. So while foreign soul-mates of our own US liberals pee themselves over who and what the United States of America is in their fevered minds, their opinions of us have no value and are not worthy of consideration in the crafting of our foreign policy.

I'd rather we stand alone friendless doing what is right, rather than sell our souls to satisfy those who's real interest is in what benefits themselves. I've got no problem with those countries who act in their own self interest. They owe that to their citizens. There's a lot wrong with those who think we shouldn't do the same because of how it might appear to other nations.


Dan Trabue said...

I'd rather we stand alone friendless doing what is right

So would I. So would Obama, I am sure. So would all my friends on the Left.

The problem is, we disagree on what is right. The Bush/Reagan supporters out there would contend that supporting terrorists and brutal thugs in Nicaragua, in El Salvador, in Chile, in Iran and Iraq, that supporting this sort of terrorism is a moral good.

We reject that sort of immorality - even if the rest of the world thought such terrorism was a good thing, we would STILL reject that behavior as immoral. Terrorism is wrong and it does not matter if those who are using terrorism are on "our" side, it is still wrong.

We reject the embrace of these sorts of thugs and terrorists as the worst sort of moral relevancy (it's usually wrong, unless they are on "our" side, in which case it is good...)

We reject torture as a moral wrong. It does not matter if the rest of the world disagrees with us. It does not matter if we think some "good" can come of our embracing torture. Torture is wrong and we don't embrace it.

I could go on, but you get the idea. It would be wrong to try to paint those who agree with me as eager to "be friends," even if we have to choose to do wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jim said...

So if we give the finger to Indonesia because they don't like us, I'm sure they will still help us search and destroy terrorist cells in their country bent on harming the US. Right?

Marshall Art said...

Dan's sense of morality is inconsistent. While he chastises Bush & Reagan for perceived wrongs, he says nothing about Obama who is doing exactly that which he finds so deplorable. Obama has, like so many on the left, spoken in a manner that elevates the rights of the Palestinians over the security of Israel. Obama has supported a guy in Honduras who has acted contrary to that country's own laws, seeking to extend his own reign beyond what is lawful. Thus, he has NOT rejected the "immorality" of supporting thugs and terrorists. So far it seems Dan's cool with that.

In addition, he continues to point to right-wingers such as Bush and Reagan for supporting thugs in Nicaragua and elsewhere, but never fails (rather, refuses) to mention those who began such support and the others since then who continued that support, most of whom were lefties. Dan himself supports the very same thugs, at least in the case of Nicaragua, by ignoring the terror of those he feels Reagan unrighteously opposed.

Dan is also unqualied and lacks credibility in speaking of torture and what is immoral, when he seems perfectly willing to risk the lives of his own people rather than make uncomfortable those who's evil is well known, when those evil doers are known to have knowledge that would prevent attacks on innocent civilians.

Dan has a long history on the blogs as one with severely distorted ideas about right and wrong. He'll weep over a known terrorist enduring non-lethal forms of enhanced interrogation, call those techniques "torture", but maintain that a woman has the right to hire a doctor to cruelly destroy her own child. He'll weep over that thug despite the thug's history of murder and mayhem against civilians. At this point I'm confused as to which civilians Dan believes should not be attacked or when.

Worse still, Dan thinks that a gov't is doing it's job by risking lives rather than hurt bad guys to save lives. THAT'S the kind of opinion about our gov't that has no value because it is so twisted. IF our gov't was dealing with evil people strictly to profit those in charge of our gov't, I would oppose such actions with extreme prejudice. But if our gov't is in a position of choosing the lesser of two evils in an effort to reduce, deflect or prevent harm to our nation, then that is what they are supposed to do and that is not immoral in the least, any more than it is immoral for one to lie to prevent a murder, or to inflict violence upon a thug to prevent a murder or to take and eat of the food meant for the temple priests in order to save one's starving troops.

Marshall Art said...

So my last paragraph in my post, which I really didn't think was all that cryptic, simply states that our country needs to be acting in a manner that is right for our country (and sometimes for others in the world) without regard for opinions of the world.

This is not flipping off a country like Indonesia because they don't like us. The question would be, WHY don't they like us? If their reasons are...unreasonable, then we can, in a sense, flip them off through our lack of concern for their opinion. Iran's leaders don't like us. I don't care. Why would anyone care beyond keeping an eye on 'em and planning to foil their intentions?

The fact of the matter is that most other countries, even many with whom we're allied, don't give a rat's ass what WE think about THEM. To concern ourselves with world opinion and to alter our plans because of that opinion is foolish and irresponsible. Obama DOES care about world opinion, and recent actions indicate that he'll put us in harm's way to placate other nations.

Andrew Clarke said...

As you say, being alone and friendless by doing the right things is the better way to go. In both individual and group behaviour, acting on principle sometimes involves clashing with others. I don't see why the U.S. has to curry favour and seek approval from other nations for doing what it sees good reason to do. By the way, when people critisize America for involving itself in other nations: I heard that some Burmese wish the U.S. would invade, drive the military junta out and restore democracy! They can't do it alone, the United Nations is about as much use as a paper umbrella but the Americans sometimes just do it. Australia, too is involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Timor. The fact that some Afghans try to get to Australia shows that all is not well in that country, and it is 'home' to a terrorist faction. Failing to step in sometimes would be ignoring the suffering of others.

Anonymous said...

With Honduras I'm not sure who he is trying to befriend. It is hard to believe just how badly the U.S. has gone wrong on this one. I see daily updates from the missionaries we support there.

If Obama & Clinton want to get involved in anything they should have focused on the Iran elections, where the violence and wrongdoing were well documented.

But they gave that a pass yet made the wrong call on Honduras. Weird.