When we won the cold war we entered a period of change and risk in some ways as perilous as the nuclear threat of the previous forty years. Bush the first understood this, and even his kinder, gentler New World Order concept of multilateral cooperation scared the bejeesus out of the militia types who ultimately took down the Murrah building in Oklahoma City.
The danger is precisely in polarizing the rst of the world against this. The various “second superpower” these have touchedd on exactly this. The point is that even the world’s only superpower needs friends. We can’t rule with a steel fist or an iron hammer. We can’t expect to always get our way, we can’t go it alone, we won’t always be right.
Do we have unprecedented power? Yes! Should we use it to secure ourselves and our liberties? Yes! Is this power unlimited? No! Can we get more accomplished through marshalling the reserves of good will we can still draw on as probably the world’s most liberal, commerce-oriented empire (relatively speaking) in history?
I think we still can. There is a strain in the American concept of ourselves that is incredibly arrogant. As Zafar Sobhan, wrote recently in Lebanon’s Daily Star:
Ever since 9/11 Americans have been asking themselves why so many people around the world seem to hate them. But for the likes of [Charles] Krauthammer, the answer is simple:
The fact is that the world hates the US for its wealth, its success, its power. They hate the US into incoherence. The search for logic in anti-Americanism is fruitless. It is in the air the world breathes. Its roots are envy and self-loathing – by peoples who, yearning for modernity but having failed at it, find their one satisfaction in despising modernity’s great exemplar.”
That’s it. That’s his analysis. That’s his considered judgment on the subject. I don’t need to embellish a thing – his words speak for itself. Krauthammer quite simply oozes arrogance and contempt for the rest of the world.
He dismisses out of hand the notion that anyone could conceivably have a legitimate grievance against the US or have a problem with the way it conducts its foreign policy. The only possible reasons he can see for dislike of the US are the envy and self-loathing of all those losers in the world who are just sick with jealousy that they have failed where the US has succeeded.
We dismiss the objections, the reservations, the feedback, the friction, the protests of the rest of the world at our peril.