The world’s public expects that frightening problems, whether an earthquake in Pakistan, an Indonesian tsunami or a war in Darfur, will be resolved as quickly as a cell phone can transmit a digital photograph or a computer can retrieve information from the Internet. And fingers are pointed at the U.S. when, inevitably, this doesn’t happen.
When the US acts, as it acted and continues to act in Iraq, then the world condemns it. When the US doesn’t act, then the world condemns it. If the game is a popularity contest, then the US simply cannot win. Here’s more.
It may be hard for the world’s new impatient generation to accept the truth: There are no simple black-and-white solutions at little cost in today’s technologically connected but politically fragmented world. Restless Americans and a demanding global public are going to have to accept that in Afghanistan, Darfur, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia and the West Bank, the United States itself – not just the bogeyman George Bush – has only bad and far worse choices.
What sometimes works against jihadists and tyrants in one place won’t always in others. Unilateral, multilateral, react or preempt – these have no innate moral value but are just differing strategies for a baffling multitude of new problems that all defy a cookie-cutter approach. After 9/11, caution in the long run may prove deadlier than intervention has in the short term. People will die daily on CNN no matter what we do.
The only constant in this wired-together but split-apart global family? The frantic American parent will try its best, as it is blamed for saying no, yes – and everything in between.
The US is not just the world’s sole superpower, it is the world’s parent. The US is now the source of moral teaching and enforcement, and spankings, for the childish rest of the world.
Not only does this chaos point to the inevitability of the chorus of dissatisfaction facing the US at every turn, but it also makes clear the reason why the policy of Disaggregation has to be at the center of strategy for the Global Counterjihad.