What DO you think we’ve been doing or attempting to do, since 1945? How does observing the ebb and flow of power across the world prevent me from being a conservative?
“Being the cop” is a very flattering way of putting it. Perhaps more accurate to say we have been advancing and defending our own national interests.
This last ranges on a spectrum, and can mean anything from “helping to stabilize an important conflict close to Europe” (Kosovo) to “put up your hands and give me all your oil contracts” (Iraq).
In neither extreme do we seem to succeed particularly well unilaterally, i.e. acting cop-like. Nor does it seem we take much interest in crimes against humanity in a great many parts of the world (e.g. Africa, Indonesia). We make a very curious world policeman.
On the other hand, where important natural resources are concerned, intervention may of course be a matter of national survival, and the national interest is paramount. This century bids fair to be dominated by wars fought over control of the exploitation of natural resources.
To visualize ourselves as cops is too pretty by half. In reality, and for good reason, we’re more like the other side of that dynamic: we’re the mob. Like the Romans, we’re better organized and armed than the average criminal.
I’m not saying we can or should do much differently than we do now. The planet is going down the tubes under the weight of so much excess humanity (e.g. real good news this week for tuna lovers: the oceans are dying). So it’s desperate times alright; I just wish we’d look ourselves square in the face and see ourselves for what we are: human beings, trying to survive. I think the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves just get in the way of finding better solutions than the sort we’ve lately fastened on.
The make-believe we do about who we are renders the current, warlike and regrettable solutions … too comfortable.
Finally, when it comes to reducing the level of terrorism in the world, I think we now clearly see that armies don’t hack it; it takes a world of cops, not a cop of the world. Fighting terrorism is basically police work, and you want all the cops in the world on your side.
So in the end, I think this idea of the world needing “a” cop and that that cop is us is pretty hokey.
As for the idea that new leadership in Congress would stand in the way of national survival, well pish. Yes, yes, I know. Can it, the election is over. Wait at least until she’s sworn in. We can all have a nice holiday season.
Which I wish you all!