Time for a Foreign Policy of Adequacy, not Primacy, by Doug Bandow

American foreign and military policy should be about protecting Americans, not what our rulers consider American “interests.” From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Perhaps the biggest problem with U.S. foreign policy is the belief that Americans are born to rule the world. American exceptionalism means being convinced that citizens of this nation have the mandate of heaven to kill whoever and destroy whatever is necessary to impose their will on every nation and person on the planet. For the good of humanity, obviously!

If that seems harsh, consider Washington’s record. Over the last half century no country has gone to war as often. Sanctioned as many nations. Destroyed as many countries. Ravaged as many societies. Created, fomented, or fueled as many civil wars. At least since the end of the Cold War the US also may have caused more deaths than any other state. And displaced more people. In sum, in recent years no other government has done as much harm while its officials pompously swaggered about the world issuing imperious dictates, praising themselves sanctimoniously, and blaming others for the resulting death, destruction, and chaos.

Hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions killed. Reflect upon the graveyards filled with America’s victims. Millions displaced. Consider the communities destroyed and emptied after the US intervened. Unimaginable hardship imposed on tens of millions of people. Gaze upon the consequences of militarized social engineering by self-satisfied, well-compensated, and extraordinarily comfortable US policymakers, oblivious to the world around them.

All because American officials believe that they are entitled to treat other people as pawns in a global chess game and decide “the price is worth it,” as UN Ambassador and later Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared when callously dismissing the deaths of a half million Iraqi babies. After all, she emphasized, America’s elite stand so much higher and see so much further, entitling them to do whatever is necessary to get their way.

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