In this interlude before war, the US administration and its pundits are trying to sound reluctant, entirely forced into war by either evil Iraq or feckless France. This war, we are told, results from “failed diplomacy.” Bush supporters are rewriting November, pointing to signs–apparently apparent only after diplomacy’s declared dead–that France (and others) were duplicitous, diploming in bad faith, all the while set on derailing Bush’s war. Bush critics, on the other hand, place the blame squarely on the administration, decrying its diplomatic missteps, mistakes, blunders, post-9/11 hubristic bumbling, and/or lack of international awareness.
Does this miss the point, though? Isn’t it possible, likely, blindingly obvious, even, that what Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld want is to dissolve political bands? To create a US, free and unencumbered by multinational/international restrictions, obligations, responsibilities, and alliances, at least those the US isn’t able to control? viz. Kyoto. ABM Treaty. ICC, Geneva Convention. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. NATO. UN. a Gulf War-size coalition. Are “failed” diplomacy, “doomed” inspections, a diminished UN (either fallen in line or declared irrelevant) actually strategic objectives of this administration?
Could this administration be consciously pursuing a strategy of disengagement from a multilateral world is considers an anachronism? Of setting out to reconfigure the world–in ways that even our “allies” may find painful, but too bad–to reflect their view of the US’ Unique Status, whether that unique status is derived from Providential annointing, a $400bn/year military, or some rationalized confluence of the two? The US stands, unparalleled, above the rest of the world, and the world must acknowledge it and adapt.
Of course, there was once a time when the US could claim its unique status derived from its ideas, from its founding principles. Advice to those who stopped at “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another”: KEEP READING.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal (not American and Other)…