Wednesday, September 21, 2016

USA must be the World's policeman - says Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen's article appeared in the WSJ today (9/21/16).
He bemoaned the fact that the Middle East is torn by war; China is flexing its muscle against its neighbors; resurgent Russia brutally attacked and grabbed Ukraine and North Korea is threatening a nuclear attack. He wrote that our 'global village' is now "burning, and the neighbors are fighting in the light of the flames. Just as we need a policeman to restore order; we need a firefighter to put out the flames of conflict, and a kind of mayor, smart and sensible, to lead rebuilding."
He opined that only the USA can play all these roles because of its 'credibility to shape sustainable solutions to these challenges'. He believes that America has not only material greatness to stop the world from sliding into chaos but that she has the 'moral greatness' for the sake of power ["Just as only America has the material greatness to stop the slide into chaos, only America has the moral greatness to do it—not for the sake of power, but for the sake of peace.”].
He reiterated the importance of American leadership in the world. He wrote, "We desperately need a U.S. president who is able and willing to lead the free world and counter autocrats like President Putin. A president who will lead from the front and not from behind." He continued, "The world needs such a policeman if freedom and prosperity are to prevail against the forces of oppression, and the only capable, reliable and desirable candidate for the position is the United States."
He also praised the US for its “leadership of the international rules-based order—which was created after World War II and which secured for the world an unprecedented period of peace, progress and prosperity.” 
Rasmussen, however, fails to consider that since 9/11/2001, the US has been involved in disastrous campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan’s tribal regions. As now confessed by many political pundits, Bush Jr.'s honeymoon in Iraq has given birth to Daesh (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Washington’s record in the 20th century was not much better, with campaigns in Vietnam, Korea, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and the former Yugoslavia (with delayed response to save Bosnians), which brought wide-scale suffering to the local populations.
In 2015, a landmark study by the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility group said that the death toll from 10 years of the ‘War on Terror’ since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.

Despite the horrific statistics, this did not stop Rasmussen from saying that the US was looking for peace across the world in his piece for the Wall Street Journal.
The former NATO chief, who was also previously prime minister of Denmark, did not hold back in his criticism of current US President Barack Obama for his “reluctance to lead the world” against President Putin.
“While Europe and the US slept, [Putin] launched a ruthless military operation in support of the Assad regime in Syria and tried to present Russia as a global power challenging the US in importance,” he stated.
Although not openly backing a candidate in November’s US presidential elections, Rasmussen seems to bank on a victory for Hillary Clinton, who has been openly critical of Russia and has expressed the need to continue to support NATO’s allies in Eastern Europe.
"When America retrenches and retreats—if the world even thinks that American restraint reflects a lack of willingness to engage in preventing and resolving conflicts—it leaves a vacuum that will be filled by crooked autocrats across the world,” Rasmussen wrote. He continued, "American isolationism will not make the U.S. and other freedom loving countries safer and more prosperous, it will make them less so and unleash a plague of dictators and other oppressors. Above all, American isolationism will threaten the future of rules-based international world order that has brought freedom and prosperity to so many people."

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