13 December 2005

the absent-minded empire

Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek:

Bush's tendencies seem to reflect a broader trend. America has developed an imperial style of diplomacy. There is much communication with foreign leaders, but it's a one-way street. Most leaders who are consulted are simply informed of U.S. policy. Senior American officials live in their own bubbles, rarely having any genuine interaction with their overseas counterparts, let alone other foreigners. "When we meet with American officials, they talk and we listen—we rarely disagree or speak frankly because they simply can't take it in," explained one senior foreign official who requested anonymity for fear of angering his U.S. counterparts.
Bush is the emperor who wears no clothes--and his empire is naked as well.

To foreigners, American officials increasingly seem clueless about the world they are supposed to be running. "There are two sets of conversations, one with Americans in the room and one without," says Kishore Mahbubani, formerly a senior diplomat for Singapore and now dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Because Americans live in a "cocoon," Mahbubani fears that they don't see the "sea change in attitudes towards America throughout the world."

Zakaria's argument is similar to the one made by Michael Mann in Incoherent Empire. The imperial foreign policy of the Bush administration is nothing more than pure militarism. The neoconseratives believe that they can subdue the entire world through military prowess alone, ignoring the political, economic and ideological components of empire building. This half-assed attempt at US empire has not brought global stability as Rome did 2,000 years ago. Rather, the world has more conflicts thanks to the anti-pragmatic approach of these pseudo-empire builders. Not to mention that the doctrine of pre-emptive war has encouraged weapons proliferation instead of preventing it (hint: Iran and North Korea).

Sorry Dubya, but you ain't no Caesar.


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

Peace out.


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