2014 -- I heard on public radio this morning (5/9/14) the Secretary of
State John Kerry declare: "Our friends in foreign countries are not
worried about our presence but our absence." Our trouble is our inability
to carry through on our presence.
We have so many troops in the Mid-East that we've proved Osama Bin Laden's case that our help for Israel is a Second Crusade against the Muslim world. We have troops in Kosovo, Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the Persian Gulf and thousands more in Germany, Japan, South Korea and Afghanistan. Our drone killing at will in many countries causes worry about our presence.
Obama loses credibility when he says he's for a two state solution for
Israel-Palestine and then vetoes the U.N. Resolution for two states. He
loses credibility when he says he's against settlements but when Israel
continues the settlements, the U.S. does nothing. Three years ago, we
said: "Assad must go". He's still there. We've made a mess in
Iraq. Now, we are caught off base thousands of miles from home with the
CIA, NATO and the National Endowment for Democracy all over the place.
The U.S. had joined the European Union in its contest with Russia to have
Ukraine join either's economic union. When Putin offered $15 billion in
economic aid to Ukraine, Ukraine opted for Russia. Then we joined in the
overthrow of the democratic elected President of Ukraine. Necessarily,
Putin moved to protect Russia's interest in Ukraine. An election was held
in Crimea and Crimea joined Russia.
Too long have we played the game of the Big Banks, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission by militarily "opening markets" under the cover of "spreading democracy". We learned in Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan that you can't open markets spreading democracy; that the military can't change a country's culture.
Now President Obama pivots to Asia by deploying 2500 Marines to Australia. This only tells China that we're ready to challenge China militarily when we aren't ready to challenge China militarily. Any conflict with China threatens to go nuclear - must be avoided. President Obama's recent pledge to Japan to defend the Senkaku Islands is with a grain of salt. Everybody knows that Congress is not going to have G.I's killed defending uninhabited rock islands. The same for Taiwan.
has invested billions in mainland China. Taiwanese have been establishing
homes in mainland China and China awaits a peaceful merger. We can keep
troops in South Korea to defend against North Korea. But Japan, Vietnam
and the Philippines have to settle their own disputes with China. The
Founding Father pointed the way. President Washington stated in his Farewell
Address: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances
with any portion of the foreign world." President Washington did
not mean for the country to have no foreign policy but as Lord Palmerston
stated: "Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have
Twenty five years ago, after Tiananmen Square, the U.S. obtained a Resolution in the U.N. to investigate human rights in China. China went to its economic friends in Africa and the Pacific and there's never been a hearing on the Resolution. The U.S. has over 200,000 troops deployed overseas. China - none. Russia - none. We need to return to our Good Neighbor Policy for foreign policy. This depends on a strong economy, which today is being offshored.
limit the offshoring by making it profitable for Corporate America to
produce in America. First replace the 35% Corporate Tax with a 7% Value
Added Tax, releasing $2 trillion in offshore profits for Corporate America
to repatriate tax free and create millions of jobs. This tax cut also
produces billions to permit balancing the budget in two years rather than
ten. Then, protect production vital to a strong economy. Enforce our trade
laws against closed markets and predatory practices. Next, we need to
rebuild our infrastructure.
Obama must pivot to the United States.
Senator Hollings of South Carolina served 38 years in the United States Senate, and for many years was Chairman of the Commerce, Space, Science & Transportation Committee. He is the author of Making Government Work (University of South Carolina Press, 2008).
© 2014, Ernest F. Hollings. All rights reserved. Contact us for republication permission.
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