Bank Run

Credibility is the currency, and sometimes currencies collapse:
This flouting of a U.S. red line by [the Republic of Georgia] might seem relatively inconsequential — Saakashvili, after all, is not under arrest but in Ukraine advising its new pro-Western government. But it is part of a larger trend. Ally after ally of the United States, including regimes that, like Georgia, depend heavily on Washington for military and economic aid, have begun openly defying the Obama administration and, in a few cases, deliberately humiliating its envoys.

Just in the last two months, Egypt sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to long prison terms on flagrantly bogus charges the day after Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that he had discussed their case with Cairo’s new strongman, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. Bahrain, the Persian Gulf host of the U.S. 5th Fleet, expelled the assistant secretary of state for human rights after he met with members of a legal opposition party. Even tiny Aruba, whose foreign policy is run by the Netherlands, blindsided Washington by releasing a senior Venezuelan general it had arrested on a U.S. drug trafficking warrant. Apparently, it was considered easier to offend the Obama administration than the Chavista regime in Caracas.

Then there is Thailand, a “major non-Nato ally” of the United States, where the army carried out a military coup against an elected government even though it knew U.S. law would mandate a cutoff of military aid; and Burma, which backtracked on political reform promises its president made personally to Obama last year.

“It’s like a bank run,” one congressional foreign policy staffer told me last week. An international consensus seems to have gelled that the United States can’t be counted on to uphold its commitments and red lines, even with allies; the result is a free for all that can be seen as much in the nose-thumbing of Georgia as in Israel’s high-profile rejection of U.S. diplomacy.


Anonymous said...

In our latest faux paux, the United States excoriated Israel for killing civilians due to tactical necessity, and the King of Saudi Arabia repudiated Hamas' tactics.

Our President and Secretary of State look immoral, in addition to stupid.


William said...

And so the world becomes less safe and more... full of strife and discord.
The Grey Wanderer should be satisfied.

William sends.

William said...

And, incidentally... The stage is set for good business for the war-fighters for the next few decades at least. Depending on what China does...

William sends.

Grim said...

I'm kinda hoping that there will be an upswing in my professional prospects, which have normally revolved around war. It's a small consolation, but one takes what comes.

E Hines said...

the United States excoriated Israel for killing civilians due to tactical necessity

That "killing," alleged to have occurred inside an UNRWA school, has been shown since to have occurred outside the school and the bodies dragged inside for their corpses' PR value--the only value which the Palestinian Authority attaches to civilian Gazans and their children. See Power Line for links to the data.

Nevertheless, typical of this administration, it ran straight to judgment without need of the trivium of a fact here or there, in condemning Israel's bad behavior. No beer summit can repair this moral perfidy.

All those in that administration also are encouraging, through their failures, Iran's nuclear weapons program, with represents an immediate threat to Israel. Those who say Israel can't mount a military attack on that capacity unilaterally forget that Israel already is a nuclear power. Our backing them into that corner is even more shameful.

Eric Hines

Ymar Sakar said...

So how does becoming the Evil Empire feel like now?

After all, the Left promised that they would do this, in the form of always accusing their enemies of what was only true of the Left. Cowboy, go it alone, American Imperialism?

Wait you until you see the real thing, American opinion makers from 2004.

Ymar Sakar said...

One of the software engineers working on a kickstarter project in the States, lives in Thailand raising orphans with his wife. And he's somehow working on a Silicon Valley type project half a world away, via the net.

A strange circumstance, but beneficial to the project.

When reporting local news, he mentioned that a coup happened in Thailand, it didn't affect him, and the Western media was talking about whatever the media is paid to talk about.