Wednesday, 5 March 2003

More of “The Chris Agrees With Dan Show”

Daniel Drezner describes today as a depressing day for U.S. foreign policy, an assessment I largely agree with, even if it may be a necessary day for our foreign policy — in the sense I'm not all that sure that there's much that could have been done differently*, short of calling the whole thing off. As Dan says:

The U.S. has to deal with the resentment that comes with being the global hegemon, China, Germany, France and Russia acting like spoiled teenage brats, and a lot of trouble spots in the globe. The Bush administration has not been dealt the best of diplomatic hands. That said, today is one of those days when I think the administration could be husbanding its valuable cards a little better.

In a better world, we could do right by the Mexicans, but 9/11 changed the domestic calculus there (erroneously, in my opinion — Mexican immigrants are no more a threat to America's way of life than Canadians are). In a better world, China and South Korea would be stepping up to the plate to deal with North Korea, the latter's bluster aside. On the other hand, American global hegemony is the only viable global order for the forseeable future — and the actions of France and Germany in this crisis, much to their eventual dismay, will perpetuate that hegemony (a hegemony that most Americans would just as soon have no part in leading, by the way) by further demonstrating to the world that the European Union's alleged leaders do not take their responsibilities toward global security seriously.

* We're firmly in the could have been done stage; what we're witnessing now is very much the calm before the gathering storm.