Kerry Was Right the First Time: America Is Not ‘Retreating’ Into ‘Isolationism’

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Report from Thursday, February 26, 2014 (today):

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry decried what he called a “new isolationism” in the United States on Wednesday and suggested that the country was beginning to behave like a poor nation.

Speaking to reporters, Kerry inveighed against what he sees as a tendency within the United States to retreat from the world even as he defended the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts from Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Report from Saturday, February 1, 2014:

[Secretary of State John Kerry]…presented an emotional defense of the Obama administration’s engagement in international crises in the face of widespread European and Middle Eastern criticism that the United States was retreating from a leadership role.

Speaking here at the Munich Security Conference, the most important trans-Atlantic security gathering, Secretary of State John Kerry expressed some exasperation with the criticism, rejecting “this narrative which frankly has been pushed by some people who have an interest in trying to suggest that the U.S. is somehow on a different track.” He went through a litany of American involvement in places like Afghanistan, Libya and the Middle East, saying, “I can’t think of a place in the world where we’re retreating.”

At the beginning of this month, John Kerry vehemently dismissed the criticism that America is “retreating” from the world. Not even four weeks later, he is making that very criticism. He was right the first time. Like the John Kerry of February 1st, I can’t think of one single place in the world where the United States is withdrawing.

  • Our State Department has helped usher in a change of government in Ukraine, as Washington continues to compete with Moscow for influence in a post-Soviet state that is of no vital interest to the U.S. Across Europe, in countries like Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, et al., Washington maintains military bases and continues to push for the expansion of NATO.
  • The Obama administration continues to meddle in the Syrian civil war, futilely supporting rebel militias that are making the country and the region more dangerous; all the while demanding Assad step down, as if America has the God-given right to dictate heads of state.
  • In Latin America, Washington is sending millions of dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela in the midst of instability and disorder because the U.S. has long opposed the leftist leadership. In places like Honduras, Washington is supporting corruption, military repression, and fraudulent elections even as human rights groups publicly urge the U.S. to stay out of their internal affairs.
  • In Israel and Palestine, the U.S. continues to pretend to be an impartial arbiter, even as it supports the Israeli government with $3 billion every year and all the advanced weapons systems it could want. The decades-long military occupation and creeping annexation of the West Bank is an issue which reverberates across the Middle East and the world and generates extreme hatred towards the U.S. thanks to our interventionism.
  • The Obama administration has taken it upon itself to wage a secret, unaccountable drone war in which any target may be designated for extra-judicial assassination without any independent review or due process, in a legal view which understands the entire world as a legitimate battlefield. Drones have been deployed in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, and others.
  • The U.S. is increasingly supporting dictatorial governments in Africa – Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and beyond – to serve its own geopolitical ambitions. Joint Special Operations forces are conducting operations in Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, and training militaries in more than a dozen African countries.
  • The Asia-Pivot is a plan to militarily encircle China with forward operating bases and a significant boost to our naval presence in across East Asia, all in an attempt to head off a Beijing with more economic and military influence, which we reserve for ourselves only.
  • Not only does the U.S. maintain an empire of 1,000 military bases in over 130 countries around the world, but small units of elite special forces were secretly deployed into – at last count – 134 nations last year.

I could go on. I didn’t even mention the ongoing war in Afghanistan, the support of the Iraqi dictatorship putting the country on a path to civil war, Iran, etc. etc. No, unicorns don’t exist, the Earth isn’t flat, and the U.S. is not “in retreat.”

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