Why The Neutralist? The term Isolationist implies a narrow Fortress America outlook and is used as an epithet. The term Neutralist does not indicate someone hiding out from the world. No one calls the Swiss isolationists. The Wilsonian world view is old, tired and wrong. Our interventions have been less and less successful and now the failure can no longer be covered up.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Time to Stop Doing Dumb
It is hard to say where we have been at our worst in regard to Russia. It seems we can't do enough to bug the Bear. In the recent Georgian contretemps we tried to make out Russia as the invader. Both the O man and McCain acted like violated innocents. To be sure, McCain was the goofier with his "We are all Georgians now" buffoonery. Of course John outdid himself with the "in the 21st century nations don't invade other nations" silliness.
Then there is running NATO up to the Russian border. The venerable George Kennan called it, “the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era.” Not exactly a Dale Carnegie decision.
And there is the actual thievery performed by American academics who were to help the reformed commies privatize. The thieves were helped in their looting, or were shielded by Larry Summers. Summers could be a member of the Obama team.
All in all, our track record with Les Russes ain't too pretty. So why should we care after all, Putin and Medvedev are putting a corporatist state in place. Oh, that's happening here too.
Still, there is hope and it is being offered by the Russians as reported by William S. Lind at Defense and the National Interest. In an article of November 17, 2008 entitled The Russian Imperative he reports,
Until last week, I would have said that the U.S. had damaged the prospects for an American-Russian entente beyond repair. But to the West’s potential good fortune, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has now signaled otherwise. According to the November 14 Financial Times, speaking shortly before his trip to Washington to a group of Russian and European business leaders, President Medvedev said that Russia could develop “neighborly and partnership-based relations with the U.S.” In Washington for the Group of 20 meeting, he repeated the message. The November 16 Washington Post quoted him as saying, “I think we can create in principle a new framework…a partnership between the U.S. and Russia.”
Now, I would think even the dimmest would think that, at a minimum, not bugging the Russkies would be a good idea (of course there is no lack of the sub-dim in the American Government). The partnership idea is something good to explore as Mr. lInd points out,
America’s failure to reintegrate post-Communist Russia into the concert of powers was a strategic blunder of the first order. The threat from the global south, manifested most powerfully by invasion by immigration but also evident in many other ways, can only be met by a united global north. Russia holds the West’s vast eastern flank, which stretches all the way from the Black Sea to Vladivostok. Were that flank to collapse, as Russia came close to doing in the early 1990s, the West’s geo-strategic position would become well-nigh hopeless.
Mr. Medvedev was asked by the CFR if Russia could join NATO. Now a question from the CFR makes me ask what deviousness they are pursuiing. Here is Lind's paragraph,
......when Medvedev was asked before the CFR about the possibility of Russia joining NATO, he said, “There is a good phrase - never say never.” Since the fall of Communism, NATO has had no real reason to exist. But if Russia joined NATO, NATO would become what the West needs most, an alliance of the global north. This is a lead both the Obama administration and the European members of NATO should pursue avidly.
Well of course as a Neutralist, I would like to see NATO dissolve. What would succeed it. That is the question and Mr. Lind has addressed it here. It is that we should connect to centers of order and be as far away from centers of disorder as possible. Now, I agree in that we should not bug functioning entities if they mean us no harm and cooperate with them where necessary (e.g. in India's current problem, we should share everything we know about their antagonist). This does not mean we have to have an alliance.
There is much to learn from both of Mr. Lind's articles, but at minimum, stop bugging the Russkies.