JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE ODD NOTION THAT AMERICA “POLICES THE WORLD” HAS SIMPLY NEVER BEEN THE CASE – WHAT WE DO FIND IN FACT – AND AMERICA’S INABILITY TO GOVERN EVEN ITS OWN FINANCES – A HUGE SOCIETY’S DANGEROUS UNEXAMINED ASSUMPTIONS   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY DOUG BANDOW IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST

 

“The One Reason America Can’t Police the World Anymore: Washington Is Broke”

 

While the main theme of this piece is quite accurate, its initial premise is utterly false.

I refer to the idea of America policing the world.

The function of police is to enforce laws, supporting the rule of law, but that is not what America does or has ever done.

Trump recently said that the United States would no longer be the “policeman of the Middle East,” but it has never served the role of policeman there, except in its own imagination.

Its role has been as praetorian guard to regimes it favors and as open threat to those it does not favor. Police enforce laws, but the only “laws” that the United States enforces in the region are its own political biases.

Every regime America defends is at least as lawless and brutal as any it opposes, and I certainly count Israel in that category – along with the likes of Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Bahrain – because the rule of law does not exist on the territory it occupies and is ignored in all of Israel’s efforts to bolster its position in the region, from several thousand assassinations to illegal bombing sorties by the hundreds in neighboring countries.

Well, you can’t arrive at truth by assuming something false.

And despite all the noise over “fake news” and propaganda and censorship we hear today, here we have a prime example of a fake idea quietly assumed by a piece published in a non-establishment publication, and that is not at all an uncommon thing to find.

The truth is that Americans in general do not scrutinize or analyze the assumptions of their own society, no matter from which part of the political spectrum they come.

And that, surely, is America’s most fundamental problem.

 

AFTERTHOUGHT:

Trump and others who expect allies to pay more for “defense,” charging them with having drained America’s treasury, actually expect, in a very real sense, those being bullied to pay the bully for his services. While that is not the focus of this piece, there is to my mind some degree of implicit agreement here.

I find it impossible to distinguish the idea from the classic mafia business protection scheme, and I think, privately, so do many traditional allies. That expectation alone is a good measure of just how unexamined are America’s assumptions.

Just as is the case with America’s assumption that you can keep running a huge government with deficits and debts, the main focus of the piece.

America’s truly reckless approach to leadership in the world is now starting to unravel the very seams of an entire set of long-established global arrangements, a dangerous and potentially revolutionary situation. This is the opposite of what one expects from leadership.

If the philosopher was right in saying that the unexamined life is not worth living, how much truer is the principle for great nations?

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Posted January 1, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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