Our Crisis in Foreign Policy

Frank does a good job discussing One Lesson From Two September 11th Events. He is completely right to ask:

What will it take for America to learn a similar lesson–that if we expect to be respected and not feared, that we must give respect? Why does America think it is better than the rest of the world, and that we don’t have to abide by the same rules and morals when dealing with the rest of the world? If we learned and practiced this one simple lesson, we would once again have the respect of nearly everyone. As it stands, they would spit on us if they didn’t think we’d drop a smart bomb on them for it.

Our crisis seems to be that the loudest voices in foreign policy seem to be those on the right who think that war is good for our popularity here at home (they’ve been proven wrong since we went to Iraq) and those on the left who think that spreading our money around the globe will make us popular internationally (they were proven wrong on September 11th, 2001). The fact is that both courses to action lead us to be resented. If our foreign policy was not bad enough, our domestic policy does the same thing as we insist from both camps that we must have the highest standard of living in the world. The fact is that we need to work hard and respect others and just take the standard of living that results from our hard work.

4 comments for “Our Crisis in Foreign Policy

  1. September 14, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    I’ll be honest, I think we’re hated because we do work hard. The ideal for Bin Laden would be not that Americans convert to Islam but simply that we give him power over us. That’s kind of what the general attitude toward the America idea is. People aren’t angry that we work hard for ourselves, they’re mad because we don’t work hard for them. By people I mean the criminals who are trying to kill us.

    I agree that we have bad foreign policy but it can’t get any better unless we submit to slavery.

  2. September 14, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    If I shared the admission that “of course there will always be the implacables. Nothing that we do will satisfy them,” (from the same article – this would obviously include the likes of Osama bin Laden) would you still feel the same way? We can’t base our entire foreign policy on the radicals of the world. So you are right that the jihadists won’t accept less than our total submission, but there are a lot of other people out there who hate us because we don’t respect them rather than because we work hard.

  3. September 15, 2007 at 7:31 am


    I’ll agree with you to a certain point. I would restate it to say that some people take for granted and expect to receive the charity and the results of industriousness of the American people. But when it comes to the American government, the peoples and countries of the world have a lot to be frustrated about. Read the book “Blowback” by Chalmers Johnson to get a better idea of what I mean.

    Also I agree with you to the extent that, like David wrote above, “there will always be the implacables” like Osama bin Laden. No matter what we do, they want to destroy us and set up a worldwide Islamist Caliphate. Walid Phares talks about this is his books “Future Jihad” and “The War of Ideas”. My contention, however, is that there are far fewer people that fall into this category than we might think. Most people are simply frustrated by American foreign policy, and would begin to respect us again if our foreign policy became simply respectful of them.

  4. September 15, 2007 at 7:57 am


    I like your restatement (perhaps that’s why I quoted you in the first place) and I think I should go take a look at “Blowback” too.

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