Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Successful Foreign Policy

21 things that I want to see in foreign policy:

1) Completely ignore the lessons of history and basic IR theory, which say that if there's a predominant power in the international system, states will eventually balance against it. Balance, shmalance, the U.S. has divine sanction!
2) Ignore the wishes of other countries. Encourage the militarization of the group they're forming to counter-balance against you. Sissy Frogs!
3) Ignore the wishes of even your allies. Who needs Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi!? They didn't know what the hell they were doing on the ranch at Crawford anyway.
4) Given you're fighting a war for public opinion in the Middle East, take on the role as occupier of a major Middle Eastern country. It's instant image improvement!
5) Ignore the fact that this major Middle Eastern country contains deep-set ethnic and religious conflict. Just because history shows that such countries tend towards dictatorships should not deter you. You're extra-historial!

6) Bring moral words like "evil" into your diplomacy. It makes your efforts at rapprochement so much more credible, and makes the jobs of your ambassadors that much more fun.
7) Identify three nations as a threat. Eliminate the least likely of those threats--just because you can--and allow the other two nations to fulfill the promise of their threats. No one will notice. Really.
8) Never, never, apologize that you lied to the public. They only voted you into office.
9) Never, never, admit that things aren't going the way you wanted too. Most of the public is too stupid to know anyways.
10) Help your military by tying it down in a long-term military occupation. This will make your threats to invade neighboring countries instantly credible!

11) Further aid your military by eliminating the homosexuals. They ruin the true brotherhood of men that's required for such important combat positions as translating.
12) Completely ignore, with a weak and ambivalent policy, the rise of the greatest threat to US predominance in the world: China. (Note to self: learn Chinese)
13) Completely fail to recognize the fundamental premise of international relations known as the security dilemma. Those academics like Mearsheimer and Kissinger are probably liberal elites anyways.
14) Create what is one of the most visionary anti-terrorism policies ever. Even have the doctrine named after you. Then, weaken it, by claiming that your nation is exceptional, and eliminating any reason other nations have to want to help you.
15) Never read a newspaper. They're all biased. Instead, have your staff summarize them for you. A little layer between you and the public never hurts, right? The staff is sure to be objective.

16) Ensure objectivity of staff by firing everyone who ever disagreed with you as you enter your second term.
17) Make one of the most popular politicians in U.S. history your Secretary of State. Proceed to discredit and emasculate him. Destroy his credibility while you're at it. Replace him four years later.
18) Genocide, shmenocide. Ignore it. Darfur, what? Reagan is your model, after all, and there's no international agreement on the issue.
19) Buttress your claims to a moral exceptionalism in international politics by promulgating the torture of prisoners in any nation you've invaded, and by eliminating due process here at home. People will never notice the secret tribunals--they're secret!
20) Appoint your cronies to important positions in inherently multilateral organizations--such as the UN and the World Bank--because that will show your commitment to caring about the rest of the world.

...and finally...

21) Appoint a woman with no other qualifications other than her history as your crony from Texas to be the official face of improving your country's image abroad. She might use such clever slogans as "Don't Mess with Texas" with considerable aplomb to convince the terrorists we're not that bad.

Perhaps I'm feeling more dyspeptic than usual this morning. Perhaps I'm just upset because I really wanted Carly Fiorina to get the nod as World Bank head. Perhaps I'm a liberal elite engaging in smug criticism. Or perhaps I'm just an intelligent American, who voted for GWB once, who saw promise in "you're with us or you're against us," and who even got up and made the case for war based on the claims of this President, and then watched in horror as the next three years unfolded.

UPDATE - I've added one more:

22) Feel free to mispronounciate the number one threat to the survivalism of mankind. In the post-9/11 era, having a basic command of the English language is no longer a prerequisite for leadership.


greg said...

BRILLIANT! It's nice to agree with you for once. I especially like #21.

Brian said...

Yeah, #21 is real brilliant. Condi Rice has no qualifications whatsoever. Perhaps you should read her resume sometime.

Nick said...

except, I was talking about Keren Hughes.

Condi Rice isn't from Texas. She's from Alabama, and her history is in fact Californian. Though Ms. Rice is perhaps rather close to Mr. Bush, I do not question her qualifications to hold her position.

nice try, though.

Nick said...

*Karen Hughes. Keren being the Jewish spelling, and Ms. Hughes being a goy if I ever saw one.

Dylan said...

Colin Powell is a politician?

I trust you rightly despise Carter for his identical pronunciation of nuclear. More: he served on a nuclear missile sub.

Nick said...

um, I'm not a Democrat, and no huge fan of Carter's.

and yes, Colin Powell is a politician. Even if he didn't start out to be one, he ended up as one. He's held a number of positions in our government and his name has been floated around as a presidential candidate for years now.

even if he doesn't fit under your definition of "politician," it in no way makes my point about his original popularity and emasculinization any less true.