Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
In fact, I rather agree with something you wrote awhile back:
The theory put forth often by international experts is that US administrations seem to unintentionally (albeit systematically) mismanage international diplomacy, which then leads to accidental chaos. Simply put, this is unfathomable. If the United States government, with its nuclear arsenal and awesome military armada which annually spends $600 billion, or the equivalent of 50%-60% of the world's total spending on arms, can "unintentionally mismanage" international relations to the point of causing war then we all have grave cause for concern.

It's one reason I've chosen to focus on foreign policy, US foreign policy in particular, as a topic. It's also the reason I've chosen to blog primarily here at ET rather than dkos, even though my target audience is American. Though I may start paying more attention to Congress Matters.

For all our wealth, Americans (I've held this view for a long time) are on the whole a provincial people. Not cosmopolitan at all. One can hardly expect enlightened policy of remote cultures from such people. I include myself in this, but, in typical American fashion, I'm working on it. That being said, my operating premise is that the core group of Americans, diplomats, academics, whatever...that is in fact culturally sensitive, whether due to innate character, or simply because so many are late arrivals from other nations, are those whose voices need to rise above the sabre-rattling jingos America churns out by the truckload.

What can I say? I'm giving it my best shot. And I feel that so much of what goes on these days, like R2P, is the diplomatic community feeling the forward, not certain what will work, unsure of what tools humanity needs in the kit. Nobody has the answer to genocide or mass atrocity. Rwanda, Kosovo, and Sudan. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say this is a global experiment in determining which approach yields the best results: non-interference of any kind, military intervention, or a purely diplomatic approach.

The fact of the matter it, nobody has a good answer.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Mar 11th, 2009 at 10:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ollow the money.

What you see in America is the jingoists are good at making it. Look at Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. Filthy rich. Imagine if he were the head of the EU!

Money leads to power, and often political power. And that explains George Bush. Doesn't take brains to make money from oil, but it probably takes guts. Then we have Dick Cheney=Halliburton.

When people have gamed the system for wealth, somehow find themselves with political power, all questions about their knowledge of the world should be dropped. At that point it's, "Hold onto your hats."

It should be obvious to anyone that the last administrations were masters at mismanagement, or else you're forced to take this statement from Bush literally:


by Upstate NY on Wed Mar 11th, 2009 at 04:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yeah. The latest round of Obama administration wanting to postpone purchase a new fleet of tankers for the air force for 5 years has all of Congress groansing.

I'd like to dig deeper into the issue, but it's a daunting task, and outside of competence. In other words, I wouldn't know where to start. Not that I knew what I was getting into with foreign policy, but by now, I've 8 months of web searching, and a huge turnover of sites until I found the best sources available. And that's STILL changing on a weekly basis.

The thought of searching for whose congressional district gets what out of the deal, how they're voting, who their campaign contributors are....

If anyone wants to pick up on that, be my guest. I'm certain it'd be illustrative of just how dirty the defence procurement system is.

Have you heard about Chas Freeman being forced out of his nomination for Chairman of the National Intelligence Council? (here and here). AIPAC got him. He was in favor of restricting settlements on the West Bank and the Two-State solution, and maybe he wasn't as hard on Iran as the AIPAC hardliners wanted. Otherwise, I guess he was well suited to the post.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Wed Mar 11th, 2009 at 08:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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