April 25, 2004

Berger's Vision: The Fisking II

Sandy Berger was commissioned by Foreign Affairs to produce a foreign policy essay for the next president from a Democrat perspective.

This is much too long to analyze in one shot, thus the numbered title, Part II is below:

Similar contradictions abound in other parts of the world. Washington is committed to defending South Korea if war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, yet growing numbers of young South Koreans see the United States as a greater threat to security than North Korea.

I personally recall anti-american protests, even violent ones as far back as the Reagan administration. Youth groups protesting against US forces in Korea are not new and have been growing long before George W. Bush took office. Yet somehow the biggest protests when we move our troops out of Seoul is because we are moving them so far away from the DMZ not that we are staying in South Korea at all. The further away the Korean War sinks into the mists of time and away from living memory, the less Koreans, especially the young, will feel a sense of gratitude. This is a fact of human nature, not of any policy or personality in the US.

We have made our position clear. If S. Korea truly wants us gone, we'll pack our bags and leave. When confronted by the willingness to walk away, it's amazing how quickly anti-american posturing dries up. We are no longer spending our treasure to defend S. Korea from global Communism. We are there because we gave our word and because we are needed.

We are waging a war on terrorism that is as vital to Europe's security as to our own, yet increasing numbers of Europeans associate it with self-interested American power and therefore press their leaders to reject it.

Maybe all those Democrats talking about blood for oil and spinning fantasies about pipelines in Afghanistan might have had something to do with this perception? Again, anti-american developments are like Athena issuing from Zeus' skull, fully formed and armed without any inconvenient issues of who is midwifing these attitudes.

Staying the course and step by step creating a free Middle East will end these flights of fancy as Europeans tire of being laughed at for believing such fables as 9/11 was actually done by a cabal of US intelligence operatives. While the US may have misconceptions of the political scene in Europe, the ignorance is mutual as any reader of Davids Medienkritik could tell you.

Unfortunately, our State Department has been hamstrung with a dysfunctional organizational system for many years. Reform of that system should proceed as soon as Homeland Security and the DoD reorganizations are settled. Our public diplomacy needs voices that are clear and effective. We haven't had that for a very long time.

Posted by TMLutas at April 25, 2004 12:29 AM