America’s Foreign Policy: What the hell is going on?

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American Foreign Policy: What the hell is going on?
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I’m not a political person – whatsoever. In fact, this
will be the 1st political article I’ve written in my
entire life. I typically have no interest, but this
morning everything over the past couple years is
on my mind – and I write when I’m angry… so…

I could usually give a rat’s azz about anything political
that’s going on in the world. There is no one person
that runs things in any country, and in a democracy
that really ISN’T one (USA), there is no sense
participating on any level unless that is the focus of
one’s entire life – trying to affect change in some
meaningful way. I’m a realist to the core. I don’t
know what anyone else’s definition of realist is
so I use my own. A realist is someone that acts,
thinks, reasons, explains, behaves, in ways that
are consonant with reality as it is. Reality is
forever changing, is circumstantial and
phenomenological… so, I try to act in ways
that are consonant with reality in
whatever situation or time I find myself.

So – since I couldn’t possibly dedicate my life to some-
thing that is so uninteresting to me – I rarely think
about politics, read about them, or talk about them.
It’s just a part of life that will go on without me if I
never give it a second thought, or, if I get really
involved – still – it just kind of rolls along without
changing. No sense spending my life talking about
things that other people are doing.

Sometimes it affects me. Like since being here in
Thailand. I have met people from all over the world:
England, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Czech,
Norway, Sweden, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India,
Pakistan, Kuwait, Brunhai or something like that!,
Israel, Malaysia, China, Russia, Laos, Burma,
Cambodia, and many more places that aren’t coming
to mind this morning.

So many of these people I’ve JUST MET want to talk
about America’s foreign policy. When I first arrived
I hadn’t known much at all. Not even enough to talk
about it – I just listened to find out what everyone is
all worked up about. I’ve got a layman’s understanding
of things – but it’s very basic and I don’t wish to get
into any lengthy comment or email discussions over
this – so – if you feel so inclined, you’re probably not
going to get a reply… sorry, really I just abhor
speaking about it or writing about it unless I’m
emotional about it – like this morning for some reason.

It’s a beautiful day outside… here’s a pic of what I’m
looking at as I type this.

There are so many beautiful days here where I look
outside, the sun is shining… I’m living the easy life,
finally not worried much about personal things going
on in my life back in the states… I’m in a good state
of health, of mind, emotionally as good as I’ve been.

I have somewhat of a paranoia that’s developed as I
get older. I think a little bit about things that are in
the future and maybe likely to affect me. I am a bit
more cautious in everything I do and how I prepare for
things that will come and cause me grief. I
overprepare and overthink it.

This article about America’s foreign policy is a
long-time coming. I’ve thought about it in spurts
over the last 2 years.

I have started to really enjoy the stability of life at least
MY life. I’ve noticed that it’s really important for a
person’s well-being – emotionally, to be at ease about
what is happening in the world globally as well as in
one’s own private logic inside the head.

Previously since I never gave a thought to what was
happening in the world I was blissfully ignorant. Like
many or (most?) in the USA I was ignorant and didn’t
even care to know.

I had too much to think about to get MY life straight
in my own private world, rather than get excited
about the apparently ridiculous things that were
happening on a global level and which I couldn’t expect
to change without an all-out effort that would never be
forthcoming.

So, the point…

Many people from other countries have asked me about
the state of things – and what I “think” about Bush’s
foreign policy – America’s foreign policy, but they call it
“Bush’s”.

And initially I could just say something about… there
are human rights atrocities, there is corruption at
every level of some governments, there are
inhumanely cruel sons of bitches running countries
to the tune of fat profits, personal power and
indulgence.

There are whole populations suffering for the
selfishness and insanity of their leaders (N. Korea
comes to mind). There are children eating slop
because those in charge of their country are more
concerned with amassing fortune and extravagence
for themselves, their own families, business
partners and friends.

And it’s true of course.

And then I would mention something about, for us in
America we feel that we’re doing really well with our
quality of life, the amount of financial success we can
generate on an individual level with some effort and
know-how. We’re so happy to not have to worry
about wars at home, on our soil. We love that we
don’t have human rights violations within our
borders (that we see very much of compared to the
world as a whole).

Being a bible based nation, our laws, our political
behaviors, our personal behaviors were created with
that in mind. The morals we follow, that we believe in,
are bible-based and there is still a fairly large, diverse
and strong group that believes the bible is a divine
book full of things we can apply to ‘today’ and get
positive results. Personally I feel the opposite – that
religion will be the undoing of the relative peace
the US has enjoyed since it’s creation.

But, as a population, we want to think of ourselves as
a country that HELPS others since we have so much.
We want to SOLVE all kinds of problems, not just
our own, but across borders, continents, and oceans.
Torture, rape, forced starvation and other human
rights violations really get a lot of us enraged and
we think we’re morally justified to put a stop to it
using whatever means we have at our disposal.

We have a LOT OF MEANS at our disposal. Our
military, probably is still ranked #1 in the world in
terms of capability, scaleability, maneuverability, and
technology is our primary means. Financial means
would be the next. With those two means, we feel like
we are the head of the world. We feel like we have
obligations not just to our own people, but to the
people of the world… god fearing or allah fearing,
Buddha loving, or whatever… we feel like we need
to act to resolve things that are consonant with most
religious views. Human rights violations are things
that make people from the whole world cringe.
It’s something that the American leaders use to get
us into action – and to feel good about doing something
about in countries other than our own.

Notice how we give the appearance of caring what the
international community thinks before we act on
something we want to change?

We pretend to be going through the motions to get
international support for an action that we feel is
morally justified, and if the process is too slow – or
it appears like we might not get full support we just go
ahead and DO IT ANYWAY. The leaders feel
justified, and we as a country – as a people have
felt justified in acting on something we believe
strongly about.

Nuclear weapons programs is something we feel
strongly about. The capability for leaders from
other countries to launch a nuclear weapon at the
USA is just not acceptable. It’s something that we
feel justified to eliminate at whatever costs to
global harmony in the short term because we think
in the LONG term that the world will be a better
place without these weapons being available to
every degenerate leader on the planet. And, in
one sense – yeah, that’s true.

In quite another sense we don’t really see the BIG
picture.

The big picture is that as we start to act as we wish –
without international support – at least of the top
dogs, we are ruining our relationships with these
countries. By invading IRAQ we have not only
pissed off the world’s countries that are wondering
what justification we had – because no weapons of
mass destruction were found, but, we are pissing
off followers of religions that have hated the US and
our relationship with Israel.

America has pissed off a whole lot of countries and a
good portion of the world’s people by being aggressive
with our military action.

It seems to be getting worse. The reason I got pissed
off this morning was that I was reading “The Star”
– a Malaysian news source and the headline had some
articles about the USA and what it may do in IRAN.
I have heard little pieces of this over the last couple
months. I’ve blown them off, firmly believing that
Bush knows how bad he f’ed up in Iraq and he
wouldn’t dream of continuing along the same lines in
Iran.

I may be wrong, and it’s starting to really make me
think about the short-term prospects of world peace.

CNN, The Star, BBC and others have been sprinkled
with articles of opinion stating that some believe
the decision to go into IRAN and to bomb nuclear
facilities there has already been made and it’s just a
matter of time before it’s implemented.

I have to wonder how a president, and a world power
could could have it’s head so far tucked away in a
warm, wet, cozy yet smelly place that
it could believe for a second that initiating military
action in Iran is the way to resolve something.

I really think that if the USA moves forward with this,
any chance we had of a semblance of world peace for
the short term will disappear completely.

It’s like we’re a nation without friends or support
anymore. What happened to foreign policy? Has it
always been this bad and it’s recently ‘coming to a
head’ of stupidity in Bush?

Iraq has been such a disaster. Americans dying daily
for WHAT?

One thing that I believe in – because I guess I need to
believe in SOMETHING as being the right course of
action….

I think that before America acts militarily with
violence it needs to have the support of the United
Nations. There must be a vote on it that results in
agreement. Without this America is on it’s own.
When we act on our own initiative (and moral
authority) we’ll endure the havoc that will come
from it.

I don’t believe we, or any other country can act with
violence BEFORE another country attacks us
or our interests militarily.

Bush’s administration acted on Iraq before they
attacked the US or US interests by bombing the
hell out of them, effectively removing the leaders
that were in place, and not resulting in anything
meaningful for the country politically since.

America should really have agreement from the UN
before ANY military action ANYWHERE. If there
is no agreement – there is no military action.
Military action – killing others – has the effect of
pissing some off. Go figure.

Economic sanctions could be done in place of
military action for a long time. Though the UN
might not be in agreement to physically change the
nations that are threatening nuclear weapon,
chemical weapons violations or whatever their
offense happens to be, likely a number of countries
would agree to economic restrictions that can have
real effects.

In the case of nuclear weapon manufacturing by
countries that the international community thinks
shouldn’t be in control of… all sorts of sanctions can
be applied.

A country that decides to bomb with a nuclear weapon,
some other country, is at fault. The world powers
agree that nuclear weapons are too horrible to be
used and are only still around for “peacekeeping”
purposes. (LOL). So, if a country used this technology
action would be taken by the UN – as a global effort
– to rid the country of the weapons and to change
the government in whatever means necessary to
make it a country that isn’t a threat to others.

Proactively initiating violence like the USA does – is
causing its self more harm than it is stopping.

It’s tough to say this – but I really believe that BEFORE
the USA can act we need to have been acted UPON by
someone else. Defensive in nature. This is how we
need to be. This will bring us international support and,
in the long-term, give us the security we need in this
world of emerging powers and populations (China).

I believe that if America acts in Iran without full
international (UN) support the world will change quite
quickly. Followers of Islam will unite. Groups that are
not usually associated with each other will unite with a
common cause – destroying or wreaking havoc on the
population of America and on those that are important
to America.

America has opened a can of worms, and instead of
shutting the can and sealing it up… it wants to open
more cans! America, in it’s moral, bible-based quest
for peace and harmony around the world is causing
more damage. Serious, serious damage. America is
playing right into Iran’s hands… I think they
actually WANT this. They know the effect it
will have on those that are teetering on the
decision about whether to fight with the USA. This
will be an act that brings them all together.

Those that dislike the USA and it’s policies are
scattered at the present. Behind the scenes they are
likely making alliances against America. The
worst enemies can unite under a common cause
– another enemy.

Bush either doesn’t SEE what is happening – that he
is pissing off the world, or he doesn’t care…

Either way – if we act in Iran I see the world changing
rather quickly.

But, I’m not political and to tell you the truth – I don’t
have the slightest idea what is REALLY happening in
the world!

Neither do you – only what you read, hear and see. Is
that the “truth”?

Is that reality? Sort of – it’s a piece of the puzzle, but
the whole puzzle is never really seen. So many pieces
are hidden. In fact, no one person or group of people
can see the whole puzzle. Groups are better than
individuals though, and I hope that America will
realize that soon and start acting with other nations
in GLOBAL agreement… not as an individual.

Ok, that’s my first real “political” article… it may
well be my last!

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

9 thoughts on “America’s Foreign Policy: What the hell is going on?”

  1. Smart and very good comments. You should be writing more and to more visible places. Keep on and good luck for the future “releases” of your writings!

  2. Thanks for the post – I think we agree on a lot of things… As I said I’m not really a political thinker… What I wrote is just a response to what is going on in my home country. The last sentence of your comment was great. It may be as good as it gets right now… or maybe not… I always like to think it can get better and make everyone MORE happy – but I’ve also learned in life that it is impossible to make everyone happy… In world affairs, even more true. Totally impossible to have peace in this world. I think the USA is on the fast track to making things worse though. :( I really hope I’m wrong, and with my non-political background – I could WELL BE! Ok – I guess that’s all the political talk I have left in me – thanks for the comments… good luck!

  3. Vern-

    For a dude who never talks politics, you have provoked the most rational discussion thread I have ever seen on it–even though it is a small one.

    Maybe you should talk about it more.

    Good stuff.

  4. TryThai, you and I are sharing viewpoints. I get the feeling that even if they are based on fundamentally different values, we can still – and want to – brainstorm issues in the search for understanding. Dialogue is not possible if either is so unstable as to go berserk over an inappropriate remark or a cartoon drawing made in jest made by the other. But this is human nature – neither your personal nature nor mine, perhaps, but a real aspect of a psyche that is making life dangerous for all to live. War is wrong, in principle. But Americans are not upset with their President for his foreign policy as a matter of principle. They may be unhappy because some three thousand servicemen had been killed on account of America’s so-called “botched” defensive response to 9/11. Never mind the fact that some 40,000 Americans routinely die for no purpose each year in traffic accidents. The media doesn’t follow this tally because it is boring news. America at war, in itself, is a disturbing state of affair, and it does make life uncomfortable for Americans who have to live and work abroad. But it doesn’t seem right to me to blame it all on one guy – George W. Bush. We all share the responsibility for the mess. And we must collectively hunt down the culprits together. You are right in saying that reaction is worse than the original action. Violence begets more violence, said Jesus Christ. I could say that our planet now stacked with nuclear bombs, not to mention Iran’s ambition to add to the stockpile, is horrific reactive outcome of the first bomb that flattened Hiroshima. As for America’s aggressiveness, it is pretty measured and reasonable, to my mind. As humans, we are far from perfect; and, I feel, America as world policeman, is as good as it gets, for now.

  5. Zhang, thanks for writing your comments and I don’t disagree with most of it… I do agree – the leaders of Iraq and Iran are acting in ways that make them appear to be jonesin’ for a beating. However, if the world doesn’t decide that it needs a beating – we shouldn’t be giving it. It’s not just that Iraq or Iran needs to splat, but think of the servicemen we lost in Iraq and I’m still trying to figure out over WHAT? If we could kill only those responsible for the problems, I’m ALL FOR that. It’s just that it can’t be done that way.

    If the threat is that imminent, like the finger on a trigger… or, as you put it, similar to a hostage taker in the air in the plane’s cabin – yes, kill the silly farker and we’ll cheer it afterward.

    Attacking a country across the globe because we think they are capable of doing harm to the USA someday is folly. It’s folly not because we can’t do it, on the contrary, we could attack anyone anywhere rather successfully.

    THe problem and reason it’s flawed reasoning is because the world is watching. The US has driven the world economy – great. That’s not a license to impose it’s will on other countries. It’s not a license to attack before being attacked.

    If Russia decided it would eliminate Japan based on the idea that Japan is in close proximity and according to Russian intelligence it had detailed plans for assassinating the top 200 members of the politboro years ago, what would be the international reaction? What it must be, OUTRAGE that someone would act without support of the UN.

    Somebody’s law – I don’t care enough to look it up – murphy or somebody “important” said, “for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction”.

    I don’t believe it is true in the case of humanity and behaviors… I think that “reactions” are often many times worse than the original action.

    I think the mature view – the global view – the BIG PICTURE is that every nation big or small needs to get support of other nations – needs to get some justification and agreement among other nations before resulting to violence such as war. There are good reasons for attacking a country and bringing it to it’s knees. The outside threat of danger in the future is not one. In the small picture – it seems logical. In the big picture, which, the world is – a BIG PICTURE – the USA needs to moderate it’s aggressiveness toward other nations or become a battlefield at home. That would be the most horrible scenario that many are talking about, and that so far hasn’t happened. I believe it could really happen in the next 50 years or so. Maybe next year if we go into Iran too.

  6. Yes, I like the analysis too. It seems rational until you examine the logic. Case in point: America should only react defensively, said he. Generally, this is a reasonable code of conduct between civilized people in relationship. But there is nothing reasonable about Iran provoking a conflict by insisting on going nuclear at a time when the whole world is driven into a state of paranoia by suicide bombers. If Iran insists on behaving like a pesky mosquito (think Saddam), then it is asking to be smacked and go splatt. Saddam could have at any given moment backed down and stop taunting the US like a kid with a handgun. He could have spared Iraq and himself a lot of grief. And now, we have, in Iran, another crazy kid in the process of and intent on loading a handgun. America is doing very well and doesn’t need to dirty herself swatting pests. This bring us to the next debatable point: America should not act unilaterally. The fashion of the day is America-bashing regardless of the fact that everyone is surviving, thriving and driven by American technological creativeness that among other things enables me to write this email. And because of this creativeness and entrepreneurial drive, America is churning out 50% of global economic output. When you occupy half the airplane cabin in which there is a crazy guy scrambling to load a handgun (for peaceful purposes, says he) and refuses to stop, you act in any manner necessary to neutralize the danger. The world don’t need more nuclear reactors especially in Iran where there is plentiful oil.

  7. The Bush administration seems intent on bringing on the clash of civilizations, but I think the problem goes further than Bush & Cheney.

    Many (most?) people in USA can’t imagine that anyone can be happy living under a system/government that doesn’t directly mimic their own. It’s inconceivable to them that people can be content or even thrive without a USA-type of lifestyle. Whether Democrat or Republican–it makes no difference. No matter who’s in, they will share this bias, because they’re taught this nonsense from their first breath.
    Combine this with an overly self-centred education system (most Americans can’t find Hawaii on a map, let alone other countries) and a breast-beating self-congratulatory media, and you have a well-meaning but totally internationally naive population.

    They truly believe that what they are doing internationally is for the betterment of the world.
    Americans are generally well meaning, generous people who would do anything for you on a personal level, but they are incredibly naive about the impact their government’s policies are having on rest of the world.

  8. Your analysis sounds pretty doggone sensible.

    One of the things I’ve noticed with the news over here is that the air waves will be saturated with celebrity stories (such as Anna Nicole Smith) or crime stories and that diverts attention from the really big stuff. That’s why this is an important time to pay attention.

    Not that we can do a bloody thing about it, as you said. Bush doesn’t give a flying crap about the rest of the world, just in enforcing his distorted view of it.

    Peace,

    ~Chani

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