Home / A Return to International Diplomacy

A Return to International Diplomacy

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

One of the key criticisms of the former administration was a noted lack of international diplomacy. With Barack Obama’s new team poised to fulfill the promise of change, his administration must place international diplomacy and foreign affairs at the top of its list.

Recently, however, diplomacy has been viewed as a political weakness, greatly tarnishing our respectability and moral standing throughout much of the world. A return to an era of international diplomacy, especially given the current global recession, would ensure that America could  serve again as the beacon of hope for so many abroad. It is our respectability and reputation that are of the utmost importance, and the process of cultivating that reputation requires a keen understanding of global interconnection.

It is difficult to progress as a nation if we do not recognize the power of globalization and the importance of international relations. The Obama administration must reconnect the bonds with our allies while continually seeking new connections. There is truth to the old adage that there is strength in numbers. If we are to contribute to the advances of the 21st century, we, as a nation, must seek an inclusive approach to international affairs.

The controversial phrase, Bush Doctrine speaks to the nature of preemptive war which, many argue, undermines the notion of peaceful disengagement. To peacefully disengage from conflict can be and often is a better means of preventing conflict. The idea, however, that a country is justified in attacking another sovereign nation before a threat is even presented, is,  I would argue, a contradictory stance. A preemptive war, which is based on fear, actualized or not, cannot aid this nation in any attempt at diplomatic relations.

Our relation with other nations, that is, how that relation is perceived, is a very real thing with very real consequences. The Iran Contra Affair speaks volumes to the reality of perceptions, insofar as much of the conflict could have been mitigated with a transparent government and better diplomatic relations. The process of courting allegiances and investing both diplomatic relations and capital into bolstering our international respectability can only make our global reputation that much stronger.

As the saying goes, our reputation must precede us; this suggests that the thought of an American among foreigners, should not elicit images of arrogance and entitlement. We ought to care about our global perception. We ought to take very seriously the ramifications of any attempts, by domestics or foreigners, to tarnish the good name of America. It is the idea of freedom and democracy that we must protect, because, interestingly enough, those concepts protect us.

Non citizens want to become citizens because of these concepts. The ideas of freedom and democracy have motivated countless millions to flee their respective countries and find a safe haven within our borders. If however, our name is tarnished, if we are losing respectability among international communities, people will not choose to come to America. People will grow resentful of our arrogance, and eventually they will attack us. Preventing that attack, however, does not require the use of force; it only requires the recognition of our global status and a strong sense of humility.

Powered by

About Jason J. Campbell

  • chris

    The years of gun boat diplomacy are long over.The world is a much different place with economic and military modernization changing the landscape of many nations, our old techniques will not work.

  • Ruvy

    The idea, however, that a country is justified in attacking another sovereign nation before a threat is even presented, is, I would argue, a contradictory stance. A preemptive war, which is based on fear, actualized or not, cannot aid this nation in any attempt at diplomatic relations.

    A preëmptive war makes a lot of sense – if a real threat is presented to a country. Examples of this were the actions of the Egyptians and Syrians against Israel in both 1967 and 1973. When one compares the results of the two wars, one sees the difference a preëmptive strike against a real threat makes.

    While Iraq was building a force of chemical and nuclear weapons, it presented a real threat – but not to the United States. Taking down Saddam Hussein was the act of one thug putting down another – much the same way Noriega got taken down. While American soldiers have tried to do good things for Iraqis on the ground, Iraqis understood very well that the big thug in Washington was knocking off the little thug in Baghdad.

    The Bush Doctrine was cooked up to avoid waging a war of revenge on the real enemy whose forces attacked America – the Saudis and the Wahhabi religion of hatred they espouse. It can never be emphasized too strongly that the Bush family were mere Saudi employees. It remains to be seen if B. Hussein Obama got hired by the House of Saud also. I suspect you’ll see the marks of the thobe on him soon enough….

  • Arch Conservative

    As a Republican myself I have had serious doubts about the motivations and executions of Bush foreign policy.

    However this does not mean that I have adopted so bizarre leftist view of the world.

    Case in point……..

    American leftists are under the impression that it is our own fault that radical islamic terrorists wish to do us harm. They believe that if we just change our foreign policy teh threat of radical islam will go away. But this is not the case at all. In European nations today we see more and more every day the demands of radical islamic immigrants who wish to supplant the native culture and law with their own. Sadly too many european citizens and leaders stand idly by and allow this to go on. Europe unlike America had to bear witness with thier own eyes on their own front yards the bloody atrocities of war a mere 65 years ago and because of this one may understand why they’re not anxious to see it again so soon. But there comes a time when’s only choices are stand up and fight again or lose your culture, your national soveriegnty, your very future and that of your children to an invading force.

    There’s no doubt that this is not a war in the traditional sense of war either. Even more important than taking up arms is the need for the Western world to effectively combat the propaganda that is fed to each new generation of young people in the nations that spawn radical islamists.

    It’s 2008 and with Bush gone it’s a sad state of affairs to see that so many are intent on either continuing to blame all of our most pressing problems on him or minimize or ignore them completely.

  • Brunelleschi


    That’s a crock. It is not “bizarre” to look at reality and think about why organizations act like they do. It is crazy to just think that people oppose America for no reason, and we just have to decide to kill them.

    Look at history. The Crusades brutally attacked the Middle East out of greed and faith. Muslims know this. They still talk about the Crusades as if they happened yesterday.

    Bush played into OBL’s agenda. He was telling his followers that Bush would just revive the Crusades, among other things. (Read Imperial Hubris). Bush was stupid enough to prove OBL right as far as that goes.

    The west attacked Iraq to change it’s oil from a nationalized industry to a private one controlled by western money. If you can’t understand that fact, you can’t understand Islam’s anger.

  • To add to your comment, #4:

    Even if other countries and cultures agree that the West expansion would bring them “progress,” they’re not as ready as we think to abandon their ways and join the global community of the future. Walter Russell Mead has a great book (God and Gold) describing the paradigm of Anglo-Saxon expansion, which, however successful, creates a great deal of resentment – even among the Europeans.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The Crusades brutally attacked the Middle East out of greed and faith.”

    Your leftist anti-WASP bias is showing. The crusades were a response to RETAKE lands that Muslims had brutally overtaken in the first place. Perhaps it is you who needs a bit of history and perspective instead of just regurgitating propaganda.

  • Brunelleschi


    What a bunch of nonsense!

    The Pope ordered the first Crusade.

    When, EXACTLY, did the Pope have title to Jerusalem, and when did he lose it? European Christians had NO claim to the middle east. They packed their bags and travelled thousands of miles to attack and kill for it.

    Read some real history, not fantasy.

  • Do you think the church in Rome had nothing to do with it?

  • There’s another point he seems to be missing. We’ve been getting away with it for quite some time now, and now it’s catching up with us. If he thinks that the Anglo-Saxon coalition will rule the world, he’s got a surprise coming. It’s a new era, buddy, sorry to disappoint you. You may just have to live, and peacefully, with peoples of different skin color or cultures. So get used to it rather than daydream about the good old glory days. They’re gone!

  • Doug Hunter

    I’m speaking in facts you’re spouting anti-christian propaganda. I stand by my account, which is backed by mound of historical evidence, that the crusades were a response to muslim aggression and the purpose was to retake previously christian lands.

    Those are well established facts which anyone with a modest capacity to read can verify.

  • From Wikipedia: “The Crusades were a series of religion-driven military campaigns waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents. Crusades were fought mainly against Muslims, though campaigns were also directed against pagan Slavs, Jews, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensians, Old Prussians, and political enemies of the popes.

    The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule… The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted through to the 16th century in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.

    The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders. The Sixth Crusade was the first crusade to set sail without the official blessing of the Pope. The Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Crusades resulted in Mamluk and Hafsid victories, as the Ninth Crusade marked the end of the Crusades in the Middle East.”

    Possibly not recapturing Christian lands then…

  • Clavos

    Roger and Bru are right. I say it’s high time for the Mexicans to re-take all the land the Gringo racists stole from them.

  • You can have california back…texas too…I like AZ though…you can’t have that back.

  • STM

    OK guys, let’s put thus muslim migrants thing into perspective.

    The radicals who have moved to Europe (and Australia) constitute a very small hard core. They might find some fertile ground in a small way in the public housing estates where some of the new arrivals are being resettled when they first land, but the truth is, the vast majority are embracing their new lives and becoming part of the cultural fabric of the countries they move to.

    I listened to a radio talk-back show driving home the other night where the host was talking about calls to ban the burqua (the muslim whole head and body covering for women).

    Most of the callers were muslims who had grown up here. They supported the ban. They also point out that the burqua is not a requirement of being a muslim.

    None of them opposed the wearing of the hijab … but they suggested the burqa had unfortunate connotations when it came to the perception of islam among non-muslim Australisn.

    One guy, a devout muslim, suggested that if people (some muslims) are so concerned about women being seen, they should stay in the house. Another sugggested they shouldn’t have bothered coming here in the first place if it’s that much of an issue.

    The problem is that some among us who are turning their anger towards muslims only want to hear the calls of the radicals among us, who are small in number, but not the voice of ordinary muslim moderation and restraint, which is large but speaking softly.

    This whole argument is totally overblown. Yes, there are some issues, especially of criminality in urging such things as physical violence and so-called jihad, but it’s precisely that: criminal.

    Most muslims I’ve encountered here describe themselves as Australians first and muslims second and have no wish to see sharia law implemented, or even to change the fabric of the community they chose to live amongst.

    As one fellow I know says: “We have the right to live our lives here the way we want and to worship how we wish … we have a better life. Why would we need to change it.”

    That is also a view I’ve encountered in Europe, and I suspect it’s exactly the same among muslim communities in America.

    Seriously, let’s not make more of this than there is. It’s like suggesting all Irish Catholics are members of the IRA, and it’s a crock.

  • When, EXACTLY, did the Pope have title to Jerusalem, and when did he lose it? European Christians had NO claim to the middle east. They packed their bags and travelled thousands of miles to attack and kill for it.

    Sorry, wrong. At the time of Jesus, which was hundreds of years before the birth of Mohammed, the middle east was under Roman control. The belief of the medieval Catholic church, based on the Donation of Constantine (which they may not have known was a forgery at the time) was that the church was the legal heir to the Roman Empire. Therefore, in recapturing the holy land from the muslims who did not even exist as a religion at the time of the Roman Empire, they were merely reclaiming Roman territory which was theirs by prior right from invaders of the new religion.

    Now, if you put aside the religious aspect of it, the Europeans still have a valid argument, because Rome was a European power and had held that territory prior to being kicked out by subsequent invaders who were not native to the area either. The Turks were no more native to the holy land than the Romans were and the Romans had a prior claim, so their heirs in the Catholic church or the nations which descended from their empire had a reasonable argument that they were reclaiming their own territory.


  • Chris,

    I looked at it too, but I was trying to dig deeper. It’s not all that clear from the W’s entry how the whole thing got started. There’s no question of Muslim expansion though, but it’s hard to amass all the pertinent details on a short notice. I even looked at Pirenne’s thesis and “Mohhamed and Charlemagne,” but it’d just take too much time.


  • No, Clavos,

    You’re missing the point. It’s always a matter of conquest and has been so throughout history; and I don’t have a particular stake here like defending or attacking Christianity (but you may have). To try to get into the bottom and find out who’s right and who’s wrong takes a lifetime; scholars do it, and even then histories get re-written every so often. I just don’t like to presume, like you or some of your compadres, that the answers are just there at your fingertips. You know that ain’t so and there is always at least another side to every story.

    But there is a larger point that you and your friend Doug here appear to be missing. It’s a different world and the era of conquest is over.

  • Brunelleschi


    That is just retarded.

    Using your logic, American Indians could wait 1,000 years, then use their casino money to blow up America, kill large numbers of people, and claim that it’s just fine. You would have to agree with it.

    Killing is still killing. The Crusades were murder and there is no such thing as a good excuse for murder. We are living with that legacy today, even it you can’t see it due to ignorance.

  • STM,

    You may be right about that situation, but we’re dealing here with perceptions and modes of thinking which have been passed on through generations. Besides, Islam is a faith that depends on expansion; it’s part of their creed; and it’s political to the core. Their “Kingdom of God” is the objective to be accomplished here and now, not in the hereafter.


  • Sorry, Bruni. Your argument holds no water. Why is one invader more entitled to a land than another invader? The crusades were not a situation of a contest between the native population and an invader population, but between two different groups of invaders.

    Killing is still killing. The Crusades were murder and there is no such thing as a good excuse for murder. We are living with that legacy today, even it you can’t see it due to ignorance.

    All war is murder. When the turks invaded the middle east they killed far more people than the crusades did. When Mohammed forcibly converted the region to Islam he killed enormously more people than the turks or the crusaders.

    Your mistake is in thinking that any group of murderers is inherently better or worse than any other.


  • I have to agree with you on that, Dave, unless you have an air-tight case, which I doubt anyone here does. Any PhD in medieval history out there?
    I didn’t think so.

  • Brunelleschi


    Where do you get that from?

    Islam is just more monotheistic BS.

    Jesus also said that the Kingdom of God would be here, now, in this lifetime. He was referring to the present time, when he lived. He told his