We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The old strategy rested on a global network of formal military and political alliances, mostly though not exclusively with fellow democracies. The idea, Averell Harriman explained in 1947, was to create "a balance of power preponderantly in favor of the free countries." Under Bill Clinton, and the two Bushes, relations with Europe and Japan, and later India, were deepened and strengthened.
What has Obama replaced it with:
Israelis shouldn't feel that they have been singled out. In Britain, people are talking about the end of the "special relationship" with America and worrying that Obama has no great regard for the British, despite their ongoing sacrifices in Afghanistan. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has openly criticized Obama for months (and is finally being rewarded with a private dinner, presumably to mend fences). In Eastern and Central Europe, there has been fear since the administration canceled long-planned missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that the United States may no longer be a reliable guarantor of security.
Who has attracted attention in the Obama administration? The answer, so far, seems to be not America's allies but its competitors, and in some cases its adversaries. If there were a way to measure administration exertion in foreign policy, the meter would show the greatest concentration of energy, beyond the war in Afghanistan, has been devoted to four endeavors: the failed first-year attempt to improve relations with Iran; the ongoing attempt to improve relations with Russia; the stalled effort to improve cooperation with China; and the effort -- fruitless so far -- to prove to the Arab states that the United States is willing to pressure Israel to further the peace process. Add to these the efforts to improve relations with Syria, engage Burma and everything with Af-Pak, and not much has been left for the concerns of our allies.
Obama's Wiley Coyote foreign policy is taking the US and its allies over the cliff with him.
re Rainbows and your post on Richard Fernandez @ Belmont, a little while back in a post on policy & wishful thinking, he --with grim hilarity --quoted the opening stanza of the rainbow song from the Wizard of Oz --a film made in 1939 BTW.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Britain is a surveillence society that has turned it's back on most of the ideas about individual liberty that originated there. It hasn't just done that. It tries to spread the desease. We shouldn't have a special relationship with that country. We should be taking it to task for it's attitude toward individual liberty.
Isreal has far exceeded what it's founders wanted for it and appears to be out of control in terms of it's expansion. We have no business subsidizing the country with the aid we provide it.
We have no business being in the Middle East and no need to be. Everything we need in the way of natural resourses can be found North and South of our borders. Most of the problems in the Middle East are a result of European miscalculaton from past centuries, let them deal with it.
Our ancestors migrated to this country to get away from the problems and various injustices associated with Europe, not to finance their follies.