Rugoz wrote:Besides, foreign policy isn't particularly relevant for the future of American democracy.
Except for this last sentence I very much agree with your comment. However, foreign policy is very relevant to American democracy. The things a country does abroad cannot not have an impact on domestic affairs. We see the very proof in Trump who came to power with the false narrative of having "opposed the Iraq war" and of opposing neocon regime change policies.
I know we disagree about US foreign policies and there is no point in discussing this here; however, there can be no doubt about the fact that foreign policy does have a strong impact on domestic affairs in innumerable ways. One way is the need to have an "imperial presidency" and the "two party system" to facilitate foreign interventions. This is polarizing domestic policies in the US just like the two-party system in the UK is polarizing UK politics.
Potemkin wrote:Trump is an incompetent, ignorant buffoon. There is therefore a limit to the amount of damage he can do, both domestically and abroad. Hillary Clinton would have been a highly competent President, particularly with regard to foreign affairs. And that is why I am glad that Trump won that election and Hillary Clinton lost it.
We are in agreement in that Trump undermines US imperialism. That is the positive aspect I have emphasized for the last 3 years; however, due to his unpredictability he is a greater danger to world peace than Hillary would have been, as Rugoz explained correctly. Moreover, since he empowers right-wing populism and climate change deniers world wide, he effectively prevents needed measures in the fight against climate change. Even without the deniers, it is very difficult to arrive at a global consensus to fight climate change. That the greatest polluter sabotages that effort and empowers deniers worldwide, makes a global consensus effectively impossible. That is not a small matter.
1) As I described above, nobody is inherently bad or good. Putin's conduct is dictated by external events. By arbitrarily deciding that "Putin is a revanchist" (because he doesn't bow to US neocon ambitions) you make politics (ie. compromise) impossible. Your only option left is war. Because the man you see as your enemy is inherently evil in your eyes. That is a very naive (and American) vision of global affairs. American exceptionalism doesn't allow for compromise. You bow to Uncle Sam or you are dead. In that, Trump is the culmination and the quintessence of the American way in that he has reduced the foreign service to his yes-men because there is no need for diplomacy. Trump will bomb or impose sanctions to make his point. No more need for diplomacy.
2) The same as for 1) above. The caricature you paint of Putin is your strawman. Russia's attempt to adopt Western values in the post-SU period ended in total catastrophe for the country because Russia is not the US, just like Iraq is not Switzerland. Putin corrected some of the mistake made by Yeltsin who let Western and Russian oligarchs rob Russia.
Moreover, you completely ignore the substance of what I wrote. The former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt said that "the object of foreign policy is not to export our values, the object of foreign policy is to achieve peace and stability.
" Since time immemorial (as testified by the Epic of Gilgamesh), powers have used their "values" as pretext for foreign conquest. Before it was the gods, Christianity, Islam, etc., in today's secular West, it is "Western values". The aim is the same: killing and looting. This is blindingly obvious because the US which pretends to defend Western values in its foreign wars, has abandoned these same values. And how the World has changed in the last 20 years! During the 1st Gulf war, the West was adamant that "it wasn't about the oil" Today, Trump just dumps his loyal Kurdish allies to ethnic cleansing and to be slaughtered by Turkish-led Jihadist, while keeping US troops in Syria in violation of international law with the express purpose of "taking the oil". Where are your values now?
US plutocracy is only vaguely reminiscent of democracy and the US administration which approves of torture and rejects the right to asylum and international law is the greatest danger to democracy, the rule of law and human rights worldwide.
Russian propaganda or foreign interference are totally insignificant in comparison Western propaganda or foreign interference. Everybody not blinded by neocon propaganda can easily see that you have double standards.
Frankly, at this stage Russia is the lesser evil.
And again, as I said above, it's totally irrelevant what Putin or anybody intends, or what you impute Putin to intend. The dynamics of geopolitics cannot be controlled by anybody. Russia's only hope is to integrate with the West. Putin knows that. But Russia is still a military superpower and Putin will not crawl on the floor to suck Donald's dick, like Monica Zelensky. Obama made a great mistake by gratuitously trying to humiliate Russia. That was so totally unnecessary and shows that Americans, even at the highest level, have no idea about foreign affairs. That is the great tragedy.
Patrickov wrote:And for the war thing, it is indeed a tough choice between war and suffering Chinese oppression.
You are the ideal victim for Uncle Sam in search of the next proxy war. Why don't you go the Syria and see if it is really that what you want. It is possible to learn from history.