American weakness not the problem

In the wake of this current global unraveling, there’ve been questions about the lack of America leadership and whether or not it’s this supposed American weakness that’s emboldening those wreaking havoc.

It’s an absurd notion and one that, in some cases, is put forth simply to make this President look bad.  On the other hand, it’s a concept based on the presumption of the superiority of one nation over another, i.e. us versus many nations of the world.  And frankly, that’s what’s gotten us into this mess we’re in.

It could be argued that it’s American leadership-extremely poor, self-serving American leadership-that’s laid the groundwork that’s allowed these dark forces to grow.  Ten years of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan tilled the soils of unrest in the region and like an octopus spreading its tentacles, that strife took wings and scattered practically everywhere across the globe.  In fact, much of our trouble stems from the Bush Doctrine of spreading Democracy (and freedom) worldwide.

And that’s a big issue because democracy may not work everywhere in the world.  Unfortunately, it’s a lesson that we’re finding hard to grasp.

As the foundation of our country, America has an obvious love for the institution; it’s one we want to see other nations embrace.  Frankly, we think it’s the best system of government out there.   Whether or not it’s true is beside the point.  We forget that as a nation, we have a history of less than three hundred years during which time we tweaked democracy, had our falling outs with each other and just kept working at it until we got it right and all men in the US were able to live together, respecting each other.

And we’re still tweaking it.

Since the Iraq and Afghanistan war, we’ve seen a proliferation of Al Qaedaesque entities creep up almost everywhere it seems.  If they existed before the two, they’ve surely strengthened since they began and have used the two wars as rallying cries to promote their own agendas.

Yet, we’re still tweaking.

Maybe it’s time to change our strategy.  Maybe that’s what this president is attempting to do.  It’s not necessarily isolationism yet it affords us some semblance of noninvolvement, a welcome status after over a decade of hostilities.

And maybe, that’s where the true strength lies; in our ability to remain detached yet willing and strong enough to come forward and assist when asked.  Doing so even requires courage on our part; having the nerve to wait and the faith in other nations to solve their own issues.  Always butting in, affirming the lead doesn’t necessarily help nor does it endear us to the world.  It only makes us bullies and not the leaders we think we are.

It’s a tweak I think the president is trying to work on.

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