Thursday, July 13, 2006

A World Without America?

Russia and China Reconsidered
by Tom Tony Blankley

(From RCP)

Read this article. Then ask yourselves some questions.

America is not well-loved by all, this we all know. We know that if the Islamofacsists had their way, America would be destroyed. Others would be content to see that happen or at very least, see us severely weakened. If that were to happen, how would that affect the world, in general? How would it affect Europe? China? Russia?

Have you ever really stopped and thought what the world would be like with no America?

Europe would be faced with dealing with Islamofascists, probably with little help from Russia or China. China would soon be the dominant economy and have a lot of the markets that the U.S.currently has. When a disaster would strike, would China (or even Europe for that matter) step up to the plate and make up the difference? How about Russia?

Who would get the UN? Could they run up large bills and parking tickets in Paris? Beijing? Moscow? Would these countries allow it? Where would Mexicans want to live? Would they cross the vast wasteland to live in Canada? Would there even be a Canada? Would Hugo Chavez want to use his countries oil money to uplift Latin America?

These are some questions those that are so overly critical of America, should really ask themselves. I mean criticize us if you want to, but do not forget, who the world depends on when things get tough.

22 comments:

Always On Watch said...

LA,
Some days, I have very isolationist feelings. Let the United States pull in and the rest of the world make its own way. I know--not practical.

Wasn't it George Washington who cautioned against foreign entanglements?

superfrenchie said...

always on watch: /Some days, I have very isolationist feelings.//

You may want to pay your debts, first...

Close to 2 trillion in foreign debt, including $320 billion to China, $120 billion to Germany and about $100 billion to Russia.

The reason you can't do what you want in the world, and that Russia or China for example care little about what you have to say, is that they know your hands are tied. You'd be crippled the minute they'd stopped loaning you the dough.

Not easy to be independant when you owe money to everybody.

LASunsett said...

SF,

Close to 2 trillion in foreign debt, including $320 billion to China, $120 billion to Germany and about $100 billion to Russia.

The reason you can't do what you want in the world, and that Russia or China for example care little about what you have to say, is that they know your hands are tied. You'd be crippled the minute they'd stopped loaning you the dough.


All the more reason to think that they would not America destroyed or weakened. They would not want us to default, would they?

LASunsett said...

AOW,

I know--not practical.

No, it's really not. Partly for the reasons SF stated and many others, as well.

superfrenchie said...

la: //All the more reason to think that they would not America destroyed or weakened.//

Sure, although one could argue that having such a debt means you are already weakened. The Iran and N. Korea crisis, where Russia and China respectively drive you insane because hey just don't care what the US is saying, show that.

LASunsett said...

SF,

The Iran and N. Korea crisis, where Russia and China respectively drive you insane because hey just don't care what the US is saying, show that.

True. But if they are not careful, they will cut their noses off to spite their face. When there is no America to hate, who do you think these haters will hate, then? Russia, China, and yes, Europe.

Always On Watch said...

I know that my feelings are not practical. In fact, I so stated.

But any debt is only an effective tie-that-binds is the intent to pay is upheld. Don't other countries repudiate or negotiate their debt? Not that I'm advocating any such thing, but I'm pointing out a double standard.

L'Amerloque said...

Hi LASunsett !

The article is by "Tony" Blankley, not "Tom". (smile)

If Amerloque is not mistaken, "Tony" is the ex-British doctrinaire token "rightwinger" who appears every week on The McLaughlin Group TV program, which Amerloque watches frequently. (grin) He apparently works for the Washington Times, which, as far as Amerloque knows, is financed all or in part by the Moonies. Hardly a media organ to be taken seriously, Amerloque feels … others' mileage may differ, of course. (smile)

Be that as it may, all these articles and comments, these vast brushtroked canvases, including the ones on trhe RCS site that Amerloque has checked out, seem to be forgetting one important thing, in Amerloque's view … none of what it happening is taking place in a vacuum. The slate is not empty or virginal insofar as America is concerned: there is aleady writing on it. Whether it was Vietnam in the 1960s, Iran and Chile and Argentina in the 1970s, the Middle East since the 1970s, and, nearer to the present, NAFTA and GMOs … people around the world observe, weigh and judge. They have memories, and they remember, for better or for worse. This is not to say that other countries – notably Russia and China – are forgotten: they are not. No one, however, particularly expects Russia and China to be paragons of virtue in the human rights department, while they do insofar as America is concerned. There's the rub, as the Bard said.

Seen from overseas by Amerloque, not a day goes by but that the USA doesn't make more enemies (the recent business about the US withholding of dues to the International Red Cross turned off some heretofore very pro-American French men and women, forever … ). Alas. The slope is becoming more and more slippery day by day, and Amerloque, as an expatriate, is worried indeed.

In Amerloque's view, American media coverage – or non-coverage – of events, and their historical perspective, is not particularly designed to inform the American people, but rather to obfuscate and deform the issues, unfortunately, for relatively short-term political gain. Again, others' mileage may differ, of course. (smile)

To close: in Amerloque's experience, very, very few people over here in France want America to disappear. People are simply less willing nowadays to trust American actions, notably US foreign policy. They feel it's frequently a question of "Do what I say, not what I do", which, in their view, is hypocritical in the extreme.

Best,
L'Amerloque

LASunsett said...

AOW,

Don't other countries repudiate or negotiate their debt? Not that I'm advocating any such thing, but I'm pointing out a double standard.

Yes, they do. And some outright default with no intention of paying back. I too, wish we could be self sufficient, but the one thing that gets us most dependent is oil.

superfrenchie said...

LA: //Yes, they do. And some outright default with no intention of paying back. I too, wish we could be self sufficient, but the one thing that gets us most dependent is oil.//

Humm. May be in part. But that does not explain why your first 3 creditors are Japan, China and Germany, in that order.

What explains it better is that you are financing your growth through deficits, which are in turn financed by those creditor countries.

What the Bush administration call "tax cuts", most reasonable economists call them "loans," as the so-called tax cuts are not matched by a reduction in spending and are therefore paid for with borrowed money. It is certainly possible that those loans may bring growth and therefore more tax revenue in the future, but in the meantime they are still loans and they will need to be repaid (the notion of not repaying them is absurd, as it would bring the US and probably the world into the equivalent of financial Armageddon).

In many respects, it is similar to a couple buying more and more things on a credit card. If things work out and that couple keeps getting better paying jobs, things will be fine in the long-term. But one thing they cannot afford during the spending spree is to piss off the credit card company, in fear that they will call up the debt, or simply stop loaning you more (so you can at least pay the interest...). That's what is going on right now with China and Russia. You simply cannot afford to piss them off.

superfrenchie said...

And l'Amerloque is right, Tony Blankley works for the Washington Time, which has about a 10th of the Washington Post readership and has been losing gazillions of money but is financed by convicted felon Reverend Sun Myung Moon, of mass weddings fame.

I would add that as a good and loyal religion hater-basher, I have not in 21 years of living in Washington ever bought his newspaper even once. I have occasionally glanced at it online (shame on me). :)))

superfrenchie said...

//Who would get the UN? Could they run up large bills and parking tickets in Paris?//

Of course they could. In fact they already do it at the UN-run UNESCO, which is based in Paris. Many embassies do it as well, whether in New York, Washington or Paris.

Diplomatic immunity leads to those minor abuses, but overall such immunity is a very good thing, as it is reciprocal.

LASunsett said...

SF,

Of course they could. In fact they already do it at the UN-run UNESCO, which is based in Paris. Many embassies do it as well, whether in New York, Washington or Paris.

Well, all I can say is that I expect more class and integrity from people that are chosen to represent the nations of the world. If go to France, I respect the laws of France. If I go to China, I respect the laws of China, in fact I'd better or else. You get the picture.

I fully understand that it's accepted behavior. But at what point and how long do we excuse disrespectful behavior? I can't change it, but I do not have to like it either.

LASunsett said...

I would add that as a good and loyal religion hater-basher, I have not in 21 years of living in Washington ever bought his newspaper even once. I have occasionally glanced at it online (shame on me). :)))

Hypocrite!

;) ;) ;)

LASunsett said...

Amerloque,

...for the Washington Times, which, as far as Amerloque knows, is financed all or in part by the Moonies.

In my best Johnny Carson impression, "I did not know that."

L'Amerloque said...

Hi LASunsett !

/*/Well, all I can say is that I expect more class and integrity from people that are chosen to represent the nations of the world./*/

(smile)

What was it that Henry Wotton, the 17th century English diplomat, said ?

Ah, yes:

"An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country; a news-writer is a man without virtue who lies at home for himself."

(Frequently partially phrased as: “An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country.”)

Plus ca change …

Best,
Amerloque

LASunsett said...

Hello Amerloque,

An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country.

While lying is not a desirable trait we wish for in our personal relationships, it is (as Mr. Wotton says) sometimes a necessary evil in the world of diplomacy. But when diplomats (and their families) disregard the laws of the host country, it demonstrates a fundamental disrespect for that host country.

Lying as part of the job, is one thing. But to steal (and do other less than honest things that are not part of the job) is entirely different. At least it is, in my opinion.

L'Amerloque said...

Hello LASunsett !

/*/While lying is not a desirable trait we wish for in our personal relationships, it is (as Mr. Wotton says) sometimes a necessary evil in the world of diplomacy. But when diplomats (and their families) disregard the laws of the host country, it demonstrates a fundamental disrespect for that host country. /*/

Hmmm … Sure, could be, why not ? However, "diplomats" are, by their very nature, exempt from the law, while the embassy itself is extraterritorial.

For his part, and like LASunsett, apparently, Amerloque – insofar as his personal ethics are concerned - has a tendency to feel that it (i.e., disregarding the laws of the host country) clearly demonstrates a personal confusion on the part of the diplomat(s) as to her/his/their roles as diplomats, at least those from a country where the rule of law is allegedly paramount.

However, first and foremost, the diplomats are supposed to represent their country. If possible or desirable, they could also show respect for the host country. Perhaps these actions are not compatible all the time. Their raison d'etre is to further their country's cause, not to show respect for the host country.

Furthermore, what applies to "common people" does not apply to diplomats and those with immunity … from family schooling allowances to special stores to less taxes, to whatever. A parking ticket is simply another item in a long list.

The question of "respect", in Amerloque's view, while somewhat germane to the issue, might probably be taken with a grain of salt. For example, diplomats and their families coming from countries where the law grows from the barrel of a gun can hardly be expected to kowtow to "the rule of law". In one country, an unpaid parking ticket may be taken as a serious matter, while in another it is simply considered part of the everlasting and tiring fox-and-chickens battle between the tax collector and the citizen.

/*/Lying as part of the job, is one thing. But to steal (and do other less than honest things that are not part of the job) is entirely different. At least it is, in my opinion./*/

Of course: Amerloque and LASunsett are in full agreement on this. On a personal level, at least. (smile)

However, the question of "stealing" is again, in Amerloque's view, somewhat open to interpretation. In many countries entering the Civil Service – and a fortiori the diplomatic corps – is the one accepted way to achieve personal enrichment. The government knows it and the people know it. Thieving is part and parcel of the "job", alas, because that is the "job definition" in some countries.

Conversely, one might even argue that a job definition for Congresspeople and civil servants in the USA is as equally immoral as "thieving" is for diplomats: one day a representative is passing legislation concerning a given field or company, and the next day (sometimes literally !) that same representative is on the company payroll. Is that not "theft", too ? (sigh)

Neither LASunsett nor Amerloque like this state of affairs, of course.

However, as SF points out, these abuses (parking and so on) are relatively minor. (The whole "unpaid parking tickets on New York streets" issue, in Amerloque's view, is a simple exercise in MSM bee ess to keep the American people ignorant, sell a few more newspapers and brainwash the public into thinking it's important.) On the other hand, drugs are another issue, entirely.

Personal morality and ethics are not necessarily the same as public morality and ethics. Countries do not and can not behave like people. The French expression "raison d'├ętat" sums it up nicely. http://tinyurl.com/npqah

Best,
L'Amerloque

superfrenchie said...

And the US also sometimes abuses diplomatic immunity. That was the case for example in 2004 in Bucharest, Romania, when a drunk diplomat killed a popular Romanian rock star in a traffic accident.

What happened to the diplomat? Nothing. He now lives safely in the US.

LASunsett said...

That was the case for example in 2004 in Bucharest, Romania, when a drunk diplomat killed a popular Romanian rock star in a traffic accident.

Let me go on record to say that I think this was wrong. I understand that it is accepted and in some instances necessary, for a variety of reasons. But I still stand by my position. And I do not exempt the US, in those few instances where they abuse their immunity status.

superfrenchie said...

LA: //And I do not exempt the US, in those few instances where they abuse their immunity status.//

Of course when saying that, I suppose you exclude spying, which nonetheless is a violation of diplomatic immunity but is carried out by pretty much every major country (by what embassies euphemistically call "Press Attach├ęs"...), and is openly advocated by the United States Congress.

LASunsett said...

SF,

//Of course when saying that, I suppose you exclude spying,//

Spying falls under the job description. Like Amerloque said, they are sent there to look after the interests of their nation. Sometimes the situation does warrant spying and in my opinion, it's fair game. But having offspring that rape women (while falling under that same immunity), is not.