Foreign Policy

Resume Civil Relations With the World.

Ages and aeons ago, back in the 1940s and 50s, America had a good reputation in most of the world. We’d done groundbreaking things like the Marshall Plan, where instead of punishing our enemies we sought to rehabilitate them. And it worked – for 65 years, Germany and Japan were our closest friends and allies, until we put a petulant deranged toddler in the White House and screwed it all up.

To be world leaders, we have to act like we’re leading the world. We no longer have the overwhelming might we had back in 1991, when we bluffed the Soviet Union out of existence. So, having neither benevolent reputation nor big stick, we have to lead anyway.

We owe lots of apologies to lots of people and nations, and the sooner we set about making them and then backing those apologies with actions, the sooner people and nations will start believing us again. To quote the sign of a radical protester, “Nation Change Begins At Home.” We have to recognize in our behavior and in our actions the rights of other nations to govern themselves. We need to stop playing power-chess using other people’s countries for game-pieces. We need to stop assuming that an American corporation having a juicy opportunity to plunder someone else’s resources equates with a need to send our military out to help them.