Thursday, January 19, 2006

America the Father

Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins, has written a remarkable book called The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World’s Government in the Twenty-First Century. Mandelbaum’s thesis is that America is the world's indispensable nation, not the spoiled child and self-infatuated bully depicted elsewhere.

This book should be required reading in all schools. Isolationist conservatives and most liberals need it desperately. Following are some excerpts from an article by the author in Foreign Policy Jan/Feb 2006.

The rest of the world complains that American hegemony is reckless, arrogant, and insensitive. Just don’t expect them to do anything about it. The world’s guilty secret is that it enjoys the security and stability the United States provides. The world won’t admit it, but they will miss the American empire when it’s gone.

No one loves Goliath. What is surprising is the world’s failure to respond to the United States as it did to the Goliaths of the past. Why? Because far from menacing the rest of the world, the United States plays a uniquely positive global role. The governments of most other countries understand that, although they have powerful reasons not to say so explicitly.

Our foreign ventures are few in number and, with the exception of Iraq, none has any economic value or strategic importance. Unlike the great empires of the past, the U.S. goal has always been to build stable, effective governments and then to leave as quickly as possible.

America performs for the community of sovereign states many of the tasks that national governments carry out within them. For instance, U.S. military power helps to keep order in the world. The United States has assumed responsibility for impeding the spread of nuclear weapons to “rogue” states and terrorist organizations. In the international economy, much of the confidence and the protection needed to proceed with transactions come from the policies of the United States. For example, the U.S. Navy patrols shipping lanes, assuring the safe passage of commerce along the world’s great trade routes. The United States, through its military deployments and diplomacy, assures an adequate supply of the oil that allows industrial economies to run.

Furthermore, working through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States also carries out some of the duties that central banks perform within countries, including serving as a “lender of last resort.” Americans’ appetite for consumer products enables us to play the critical role during times of economic slowdown as the “consumer of last resort.”

Never in human history has one country done so much for so many others, and received so little appreciation for its efforts. Acknowledging America’s global role would risk raising the question of why the rest of the world does not pay more for them.

Michael Mandlebaum, like the bumper sticker, is Proud To Be an American.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it's like the parent who is railed against by their unappreciative child...that is until that child no longer has the parent taking care of them.

It would be a sad, actually tragic day in human history if the USA was no more. I hope to see the Second Coming before seeing the end of the USA!

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops...that comment above is from me. I forgot to sign it.


10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the MELS of this country believes this:: NOT


11:43 AM  

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