Trolling for International Admiration

February 22, 2007

While arrogantly guaranteeing that she would be the next president, Hillary Clinton promised to stop America from being an “arrogant power.” Well, maybe when she accomplishes her mission, she can begin to work on herself.

Notice that Hillary didn’t say we “appear” to be arrogant or that other nations misperceive us as an arrogant nation. She said, “When I’m president, I’m going to send a message to the world that America is back — we’re not the arrogant power that we’ve been acting like for the last six years.”

For those of you who doubted John Kerry was expressing a common Democratic sentiment when he called America an “international pariah,” here is your confirmation. Indeed, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, when running for president himself, said of America, “We find ourselves, too often, isolated and resented.” President Bush, he said, had “created a new rallying cry for terrorist recruits.”

And in case you think Hillary is less politic on this issue than her politically gifted husband, you might recall that when accepting an award for “international understanding” a few years ago, Bill Clinton said that America’s image had suffered in the Muslim world. Another Democratic ex-president, Jimmy Carter, said that by acting unilaterally, President Bush had alienated and isolated the United States from its potential allies in the war on terror. He said Bush’s policies have resulted in America losing her “reputation as the most admired champion of freedom and justice.”

Are these people singing from the same hymnbook, or what?

Since before we attacked Iraq, they have mercilessly excoriated Bush for his “radical unilateralism,” his “go-it-alone” approach. It never occurred to them to criticize, say, France or Germany, for not doing the right thing by joining the coalition against Saddam Hussein, despite believing the exact same things we believed about his weapons of mass destruction, his dangerous ties to terrorism and his serial violations of post-war treaties and U.N. resolutions.

Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of these people ceaselessly, instinctively siding with America’s foreign critics and slamming the United States? Sometimes it seems that Hillary and company are as concerned about their poll numbers in France and Germany as in the United States.

Hillary said, “We want to be an admired country again in the world. There is a lot of work to be done.”

When in recent history has America been greatly admired by other nations? When haven’t we been the object of resentment and jealousy throughout the world, and quite underappreciated, considering our record of philanthropy?

What other great nation in history — let alone the world’s lone superpower — has been so willing to use its power for the good and so cautious, contrary to conventional wisdom, about using its power to impose its will on other nations?

I can just hear the catcalls now from those who prefer to accuse us of imperialism at the drop of a hat — from those who spread the malicious myth that we attacked Iraq to confiscate its oil. These drive-by verbal assassins have always spewed their bile with impunity. They’ve never even considered apologizing for their propaganda — propagandists don’t — though we not only declined to exploit Iraqi oil for our benefit, but have generously engaged in a comprehensive program to rebuild the country.

I hear even harsher catcalls coming from the same people — who also blame us for the destruction wrought in Iraq by sectarian and terrorist mayhem following our removal of Saddam Hussein. They’re certainly entitled to their opinion.

While no one wants America gratuitously to alienate the international community, should the primary focus of our foreign policy be to ingratiate ourselves to foreign nations?

But if Hillary and her cohorts are so concerned about America’s image, maybe it’s time they quit slandering their commander in chief to the rest of the world, wrongly accusing him of having lied us into war and of having attacked Iraq “unilaterally” just so they can rehabilitate themselves politically.

If they are so concerned about America’s so-called “unilateralism,” they should quit hypocritically demanding we abandon our multilateral approach to Iran and North Korea. They should muzzle colleagues like Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy, who tell the world that our military routinely engages in prisoner torture and abuse for sadistic sport.

Democrats indignantly deny they are soft on defense. But we are engaged in a protracted war, and when campaigning, their leading presidential candidates choose to dwell on how America is faring in international polls.

I don’t know about you, but I’d just as soon our next president — like the current one — be a little less preoccupied with international popularity contests and more dedicated to keeping America secure.