Is America Becoming Isolationist?
Throughout human history, a process keeps repeating itself, over and over again, from epoch to epoch.
Great families become great clans. Great clans evolve into great tribes. Great tribes emerge as dominant nations. Dominant nations war against, overtake and absorb neighboring nations. Great empires emerge. They reach their apex of power and influence. Apathy, decadence and corruption set in as leisure increases. Great empires disintegrate—and the whole process then repeats itself, over and over again, generation to generation. And, it seems, man never learns the lessons that are encapsulated in this cyclical process.
At the dawn of the 21st century, a school of thought emerged, led by professor Francis Fukiyama of George Mason University, which claimed that history was dead. Behind his thesis was the argument that man had tried all forms of government, only to find that liberal democracy outshone them all. Therefore, he concluded, we had reached an era when the repetitions of history would now cease. Democracy had won the day.
While Fukiyama’s claim that man has tried all forms of government known to him is correct, his conclusion that this now puts an end to history is quite erroneous. It simply denies the reality of human nature. Human nature remains constant, though the methods of government imposed on man have changed from age to age. It is human nature that guarantees a perpetuation of the cyclical pattern of history, unless and until a superior power imposes its will on humankind to intervene and to arrest the process.
The Apostle James penned the following incisive words about the inevitability of human nature and the fruits it bears: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:1-2).
Nine months following the eclipse of the U.S. economy by that of the EU, journalists and news analysts still blindly assert that the U.S. is the world’s leading economy! They still tout U.S. pre-eminence in weaponry while failing to realize the powerful, self-inflicted weakness of a nation boasting huge armaments, yet lacking the will to place its own troops in front-line battle positions that may risk the death of one of its soldiers. Americans still boast of global leadership in big business, failing to recognize that foreign powers have made drastic incursions into ownership of their assets and control of their cash, putting their national economy at great risk. They still tout leadership in higher education, ignoring the national dumbing-down of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
In fact, the new millennium has witnessed the U.S. passing its prime as the world’s single greatest superpower and not even realizing it.
Such has been the fate of all great nations and all great empires. We recall that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. America follows in this wake.
As Henry Kissinger observes in his recently released book, Does America Need A Foreign Policy?, “At the apogee of its power, the United States finds itself in an ironic position. In the face of perhaps the most profound and widespread upheavals the world has ever seen, it has failed to develop concepts relevant to the emerging realities.”
What are these emerging realities?
In their third-quarter forecast, U.S. think tank Stratfor Systems commented, “There is one theme dominating world events this year: the realignment of the post-post-Cold-War world, driven both by evolving U.S. policy priorities and by stark economic realities. Countries are re-evaluating their international relations due to the change in U.S. foreign-policy priorities following the start of the Bush administration, while the worsening global economic downturn is creating tensions as it hits different regions with different intensity and pace” (www.stratfor.com, July 3).
Pundits generally agree with this thesis, that current world events are being driven by the evolving foreign-policy priorities of the new U.S. administration. What are these priorities, and what effect are they having on the global scene?
Commenting on the first half-year of George W. Bush’s presidency, Jim Hoagland opined in a Washington Post editorial, “In six months the Bush administration has rejected, in aggressively stated fashion, a half-dozen important global treaties and negotiations strongly favored by the rest of the world. Bush leaves a first impression that while his government is not deliberately isolationist, it is comfortable with being isolated” (July 29).
Pointing out that other nations fear the effect of the Bush administration’s seeming rejection of the treaty system that has evolved among nations since World War ii, Hoagland points to one leading nation whose fear is greatest. “Other nations fear the effect of Bush’s rejectionism on the overall system of international agreements and negotiations that has grown up since World War ii. This fear is most pronounced in Germany, where postwar independence and reunification are widely seen as being based on the international treaty system” (ibid.; emphasis mine).
Why single out Germany? We will see as this analysis progresses.
History contains numerous watersheds—great turning points in the flow of events. In his introduction to his dissertation on Churchill’s leadership at the crux of World War ii, author John Lukacs succinctly wrote, “Perspective is a component of reality itself” (Five Days in London—May 1940, p. xiii).
To gain a perspective of the forces that are shaping global alliances in these tumultuous times, one needs to understand the watershed events since the last world war and to recognize those events that are leading us inevitably towards the next.
The most significant of these watersheds, which became a fulcrum on which history has turned, was, as author Lukacs states, in the deliberations of Churchill, his cabinet and the British Parliament over a five-day period, May 24-28, 1940. Faced with an extremely strong defeatist element in his own party, a defeatist U.S. ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, and an isolationist government in the U.S., the watershed that saved the Anglo-American world and Western democracy from certain slavery under the Nazi onslaught was the singular perspective of one man upon which the “hinge of fate” of unfolding history turned. “[I]n May 1940 Churchill was the one who did not lose it. Then and there he saved Britain, and Europe, and Western civilization”(ibid., p. 2).
Four years later, the might of U.S. military force and the sheer dogged toughness of Russia, aided by the Russian winter, created the watershed of Allied victory. This led to the re-structuring of Europe and the subsequent period of Cold War that followed the descent of the Iron Curtain dividing East and West.
A year later, in 1945, a devastating watershed occurred with the dropping of two A-bombs on Japan, resulting in that nation’s surrender to the Allies. The world had entered the nuclear era.
Following the conclusion of World War ii in both European and Pacific theaters, the world had to wait 44 years before witnessing another crucial watershed. The Berlin Wall, symbol of division between East and West, crumbled in November 1989. Within a year, Germany, feared by all in Europe throughout its history, united. The Soviet Union collapsed. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) and the opposing Warsaw Pact lost their reasons for existing, and Europe embarked on a series of hellish local wars that continue even to this day.
The most recent watershed in global history occurred only this year, just months ago. It flowed through a matter of weeks from April to early May.
“Tensions between the United States and both China and Russia have marked the past few weeks. This period will be remembered as the end of the post-Cold-War period, and the beginning of a new era in international relations.
“Deteriorating relations with Washington led to headline-grabbing incidents with both great powers: the ongoing standoff over the ep-3e with China and the espionage tit-for-tat with Russia. Without that deterioration, these incidents would not have occurred. The United States would not have expelled hordes of Russian diplomats and the Chinese would not have intercepted the American spy plane, and if they did, they would have released it quickly. At stake is the international system’s composition” (www.stratfor.com, April 10).
These are huge stakes—global stakes! It is about the composition of the international system that governs world business, communications, economy, social, political and military interaction.
It is most significant that, as these crucial events played out on the world scene—as the post-Cold-War period of the past decade passed and the world swung on this watershed into more dangerous times, with its global policeman, the U.S., increasingly abrogating its former self-assumed role—our editor in chief made a profound announcement to the dedicated supporters of the global warning effort which is manifest in this magazine. He declared that this world has entered its “last hour.”
Reference to this great watershed in the history of man was made by the aged Apostle John: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (i John 2:18). “Time” is translated from the Greek hora, which literally means hour! We are living in what God considers the last hour of this present world!
Let us consider three key events that have drastically hastened our entry into this most crucial time in the history of man, ushering in a time of unprecedented challenge to the survival of life on this planet.
Four great powers lead the struggle to find a new world order—China, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union. On the periphery are the Islamic nations, many so crucial to the guarantee of the flow of the world’s prime energy source—oil. Other major nations must tag on to one of these players on the global scene or be left out of the equation.
The deterioration of relations between the U.S. and both Beijing and Moscow in the second quarter of this year has pushed the world over the threshold from the post-Cold-War period into this period of emerging new global alliances.
“The Kosovo war convinced both Beijing and Moscow the United States was out of control. The Chinese sincerely believe the bombing of their embassy was deliberate and were struck by Washington’s disregard for consequences. From Russia’s point of view, the war’s ending was intolerable. The United States, unable to invade Kosovo, used Russian diplomatic efforts to persuade the Serbs to capitulate. The Russians were marginalized from the beginning, their diplomatic efforts brushed aside” (ibid.).
What Russia and China took as an insult, the EU accepted as opportunity; opportunity to consolidate their toehold in the Balkans. This will eventually lead to them seizing that strategic trunk of land so crucial to the southern and eastward expansion of the Euroempire.
This incursion seemingly has the tacit approval of the U.S. As President Bush recently commented, “We ought to work with our European allies as the European Union begins to grow, or the defense community hopefully will grow over there, so that they get to carry the load of peacekeeper” (www.cnn.com).
Picking up this theme, Richard Betts, director of War and Peace studies at Colombia University, proposes handing the Kosovo mess over to the EU, involving “a plan for American withdrawal over the course of, say, six months, and a declaration that policing the periphery of Europe is a perfect mission for a European Union currently groping toward an independent ‘defense identity’” (The National Interest, Summer 2001).
Such an exercise would supply the EU with a legitimate security role for their new rapid reaction force, which would time neatly with recent assertions made by the EU high representative and secretary general of the European Council, Javier Solana. Pressing the need for the EU to fill the leadership vacuum created by the reduction of U.S. initiatives in European affairs, Solana claimed, during a speech in Athens on April 3, that the EU was experiencing a “renewed sense of leadership,” especially in the development of its common foreign and security policy.
“We are rising to the challenge. We are assuming our responsibilities,” he said. “Later this year, we shall announce announce a limited operational capability” for managing crises (http://ue.eu .int).
Richard Betts sums up an emerging view in Washington. “In material terms, however, there is no reason that a Europe whose collective resources exceed those of the United States, could not be expected to handle a neighborhood problem without us” (op. cit., The National Interest).
A further push behind the EU bandwagon was given by President Bush when he declined to be a signatory to the Kyoto global warming protocol. “President Bush’s decision on Wednesday to repudiate a UN global warming treaty is the latest example of diplomatic disengagement by the new administration that is pushing the European allies to pursue their own more forceful foreign policy. … In response, the 15-nation European Union is asserting itself in new ways. In some cases, it is playing a much stronger role in areas the United States has considered its domain” (Knight Ridder News, March 29).
Recalling an earlier warning of German reaction to the Bush approach to foreign policy, Knight Ridder further commented, “Germany has led the effort, working to strengthen economic and political ties with Russia in a policy that Schröder says is aimed at forging a ‘strategic partnership’ between the two historic adversaries. … Schröder believes that it is in Germany’s interests to maintain close cooperation with its nuclear-armed eastern neighbor, experts said” (ibid.).
Clearly the current U.S. approach to foreign policy is pushing the EU toward strengthening an alliance with nuclear-powered Russia, which could prove a strategic nightmare for Washington.
The big-power view of the U.S.’s current emerging foreign policy has produced a growing desire to contain American power. Russia and China signed a “friendship cooperation” treaty in July, the same week the G-8 nations met in a summit conference and declared strong objections over the U.S. national missile defense initiative.
The view in Germany, as expressed in a leading daily newspaper, was even more strident two weeks later. “The list of agreements that do not pass muster with the United States is growing: the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, a United Nations plan to restrict small arms and light weapons, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, measures to strengthen the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In some ways, the U.S. government led by President George W. Bush finds itself in the company of countries that it has itself branded as ‘rogue states’” (Frankfurter Allgemeine, Aug. 8). This sea of irritations in transatlantic relations has created a gulf between the U.S. and Europe that seems set to get even wider as the months go by.
As American influence weakens in key areas of foreign policy—Ireland, the Middle East, the Balkans, Russia, Southeast Asia—the EU is seizing the initiative to fill the leadership vacuum. We have written much in this magazine predicting an EU takeover of the Middle East peace process. That is no longer a prediction. It is rapidly becoming reality. Watch now for EU intervention in Ireland, a key toe-hold for crisis-creation and control (the German master-diplomacy) in the British Isles.
A real sign of just how aggressive the EU has become in filling the global leadership gap created by the weakening of U.S. diplomatic involvement offshore occurred some months ago. After President Bush announced the freezing of talks with North Korea on halting its missile program, the EU quickly stepped into the breach, initiating moves to appoint a representative to Pyongyang and inviting North Korea to open a mission in Brussels. The formalizing of relations between the EU and North Korea will follow, no doubt to the detriment of those with the U.S.
Kosovo, Kyoto, Korea—three key issues where the U.S. is dropping the ball only to see it scooped up, on the run, by an increasingly aggressive EU leadership.
In the clearest rendition yet of the political philosophy underlying the new U.S. administration, President Bush declared to leaders gathered in Europe for the G-8 summit, “First things first are the people who live in America.” The reaction to this blunt statement was a combination of shock, horror, amazement and bitterness from the Euroclan.
“‘It looks like total unilateralism, saying “we don’t care at all what is happening in the rest of the world,”‘ says Michaela Honicke, a specialist on transatlantic relations at the German Foreign Policy Society in Berlin” (Christian Science Monitor, April 5).
“‘I see a potential decoupling between us, not over traditional foreign policy values, but on more fundamental sociocultural values,’ warns Dominique Moisi, an analyst at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris” (ibid.).
Other observations were similarly negative. “‘We certainly have a first impression that is pretty sobering,’ says Guillaume Parmentier, director of the Paris-based French Institute on the United States. ‘People realize that this administration is going to be more self-centered.’ … At a deeper level, the administration’s new direction could take Europe and the U.S. down divergent paths, say some policy experts. From a European perspective, Washington’s attitudes are ‘anachronistic, provincial and arrogant,’ Mr. Moisi says” (ibid.).
In a telling situation which reflected the reality of Condoleeza Rice’s pre-election assertion that a Bush government would pull out of the Balkans, the U.S. sent no senior U.S. official to Macedonia when the latest Balkan crisis erupted. Yet EU foreign-policy guru Solana visited Macedonia five times during the crisis and initiated the grounds for a political settlement.
A few voices within the United States have been raised in concern over this apparent new American isolationism. Ucla Professor Tom Plate wrote, “In the past, U.S. internationalists worried about the possibility of a creeping American isolationism. Now the worry is about a creeping American unilateralism …. This inward-looking psychology, or pathology, is especially alarming to U.S. allies. They count on U.S. military security guarantees in the context of our explicit alliances with them. But the Bush administration’s security philosophy seems to be more like the game of solitaire than bridge” (Japan Times, July 23).
It does not help this scenario for the Pentagon to be presently engaged in pursuing what is known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (rma) theory. This theory postulates that the U.S. forget its traditional policy of being at a state of military preparedness such as to be able to fight wars in two separate theaters simultaneously. It is based on the “star wars” theory.
“‘The rma isn’t overtly ideological,’ wrote the New Yorker magazine’s Nicholas Lemann recently, ‘but it makes for a good fit with a foreign policy that is suspicious of international alliances and prefers to see the United States act mainly alone and mainly to protect itself’” (ibid.).
The Bob Deans Washington Bureau referred to the impact of the present administration on Europeans: “Even after two trips to Europe in the past six weeks to attend summits, Bush risks being seen as turning his back on a system of international cooperation that the United States largely forged and has used to leverage its influence around the world” (Dayton Daily News, July 27).
Filling the Vacuum
Among the great powers that currently wrestle competitively to fill the emerging global leadership vacuum is the one that, over half a century ago, the world sought to contain forever within its own national boundaries, never again to be let loose to wreak the carnage and havoc of which it had been guilty too often in European history—Germany.
In the early part of this year, following the successful railroading of votes to get what it wanted from the EU treaty talks at Nice, Germany found itself having to explain its aggressive new diplomacy. “Germany is explaining its new leadership stance in Europe as an effort to guarantee European stability and German moderation at a time when the country recognizes that its strength will grow rapidly. The expansion of the European Union eastward, eventually to include the Baltic states, moves the fulcrum of European power toward Germany so obviously that Berlin believes it cannot avoid preparing for a situation of palpably greater influence over the next decades” (International Herald Tribune, Feb. 1).
Realizing that not everyone has yet forgotten the sad and bloody history of Germanic power wielded across the European continent, the German government has sought to cloak its hegemonic endeavors behind a number of better-reputed institutions, in particular nato, the UN, the G-8, the International Monetary Fund, and an institution of far lesser repute, the European Union.
“The approach is described by [a high-ranking German] official as one of moderation and multi-lateralism. In fact, it appears to be a German effort, with its neighbors in mind, to place the growth of Germany’s power more deeply under the good auspices and within the reassuring limits of the EU, nato and an American European presence” (ibid.).
The U.S. as Pawn
What is largely unseen by most who formulate and administer U.S. policy is the degree to which America is being used as a pawn in this restructuring of new global alliances—most particularly by devious EU leadership.
This German-led Eurocombine, in increasing alliance with Russia, which in turn is complicit with China, is working toward the future enactment of a policy of containing U.S. power.
In tandem with this covert effort is the German-led EU effort to drain every ounce of capital, cash, military support and business benefits from the U.S. to legitimize its expansion into a global power overshadowing all competitors on the scene.
The willingness of the U.S. to go along with this scenario is mind-boggling in its naïveté. The U.S. is just shoring up its old enemy so that enemy can come and hit it yet again in an effort for final victory. This will lead to that which was staved off over 60 years ago by just one man who “did not lose” the last great effort to enslave the Anglo-Americans, as he waited for others to gather the fortitude to join him. Winston Churchill stood alone in that crucial May 1940 watershed until two other great powers joined him in striving for and gaining the ultimate victory over the forces which worked then and are even yet at work now to destroy the freedoms that Anglo-Americans have primarily guaranteed this world for the past 400 years. Where is such a leader in the free world today?
The Final Solution
There is a final solution to this world’s ills. Yet, it is not quite within this world’s grasp at this moment. This dangerous time we entered just months ago, the post-post-Cold-War era—this last hour—is but a small breath of time away from the event which will usher in that solution.
“This world trouble began in 1914, with World War i. There was a recess from 1918 until 1939. We are in a second recess now. But now at last we have nuclear energy. We have hydrogen bombs stockpiled in such power and volume that they could blast all human life off this planet several times over. There are other destructive weapons today in existence, any of which could erase humanity from the Earth” (Herbert W. Armstrong, World Peace—How It Will Come, 1978).
There remains but one form of government which man has yet to try. And he will never initiate it himself. It will have to be imposed upon him—by a power higher than man. To find out more about that coming universal, global power, continue reading this magazine. There is no other source that can reveal it to you. Here is the challenge our founder sent out to this world in his lifetime—and here is the hope that is promised!
“It’s time we face the hard, cold realistic fact. Humanity has two alternatives: Either there is an Almighty, all-powerful God who is about to step in and set up the Kingdom of God to rule all nations with supernatural and supra-national force to bring us peace—or else all human life will be obliterated (Matt. 24:22).
“The present ‘recess’ will soon erupt into nuclear World War iii—called, in biblical prophecy, the ‘Great Tribulation’ (Matt. 24:21-22). But God will cut short that final supreme world trouble and send Christ again to Earth as King of kings, Lord of lords—to restore God’s government by the world ruling Kingdom of God and to bring world peace at last” (ibid.).