Friday, August 01, 2008

International Cooperation

I read David Brooks. I don’t know quite why I do that. My wife discourages the practice because of the effect it has on me. I will be walking around in the living room muttering to myself and she will push me into a chair. “You’ve been reading David Brooks again. You’ve got to stop doing that.”

Today he has an op-ed piece in the New York Times that has to do, I think, with international cooperation.

He’s advocating John McCain’s “League of Democracies” (with us as the lead democracy, of course) to save the world from the chaos that has resulted from other nations growing sufficiently powerful to eliminate American world dominance after World War II. “Everybody feels they have the right to say no,” he says, a prerogative that used to be reserved to the United States.
Today power is dispersed. There is no permanent bipartisan governing class in Washington. Globally, power has gone multipolar, with the rise of China, India, Brazil and the rest.

Well, boo hoo.
The Doha round collapsed, despite broad international support, because India’s Congress Party did not want to offend small farmers in the run up to the next elections.

Actually, they wanted to protect their small farmer against a flood of imported American and European food produced by large, industrialized and government subsidized farm operations.
Chinese leaders dug in on behalf of cotton and rice producers.

Actually, they dug in against a flood of exported cotton produced by large, industrialized and government subsidized American cotton producers.
The narrow Chinese interest in Sudanese oil blocks the world’s general interest in preventing genocide.

And America’s narrow interest in Iraqi oil has forwarded the world’s general interest in so many wonderful ways.
Iran’s narrow interest in nuclear weapons trumps the world’s general interest in preventing a Middle East arms race.

Sez you. The United States and Israel seem to be in a very small group of nations that are freaking out about Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.
In a democratic nation, the majority rules and members of the minority understand that they must accede to the wishes of those who win elections.

Unless the losers are Republicans, of course, in which case they impeach the President over a blow job and filibuster anything and everything in the Senate. Win or lose they steal everything that isn’t nailed to the floor.
A few years ago, the U.S. tried to break through this global passivity. It tried to enforce UN resolutions and put the mantle of authority on its own shoulders. The results of that enterprise, the Iraq war, suggest that this approach will not be tried again anytime soon.

That one just pretty much renders me incoherent. Talk about revisionism: that would make the Soviet government proud. The neocons tried for a UN resolution and failed, so they took the “We don’t need no steenkin resolution” approach. After which the UN caved and provided the resolution.
Putting the “mantle of authority” on an America led by Bush and Company is like giving the keys of the bank to the head con at Sing Sing and setting him loose.
A crucial question in an authority crisis is: Who has a strategy for execution?

A better question is, “Who has a clue?”


  1. Anonymous12:45 AM

    I found a lot of it amusing, and most with kernels of truth.

    I disagree with "...the losers are Republicans, of course, in which case they impeach the President over a blow job..." - Pres Clinton was impeached becasue of lying and covering up under oath (about a blowjob - and other stuff). Was impeachment the right thing to do? I think not, but Mr. Clinton himself handled it very poorly.

    And the Repulicans have not shown themselves to be model citizens whilst in office. Of course, Deocrat arn't really any better when it comes down to it.

    Yeah, I'd like to know who has a clue.. starting with the voters.

  2. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Sorry about the typos. I'd blame the keyboard, but it works perfectly when entering the word verication...