I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

FP Options -- Unipolar or Balance of Power

This short essay at League of Ordinary Gentlemen describes out presidential choices in language simpler than most.

The worldview of [Romney's] advisers is more varied than popular accounts would suggest (particularly the rather caustic profile in Foreign Policy) but they rest on a series of fundamental assumptions about the international system. A handful of these assumptions are shared by both old school realists and this “offensive realist” school and are as follows:
  •  The international system is anarchic. 
  • States are rational actors that can weigh the consequences of their actions. 
  • Survival is the primary goal of a state. 
  • States seek to maximize their security to secure their survival. 
  • States can’t trust one another. 
Those like Kagan, Cohen and Senor differ from neorealists of the Kissinger stripe in what they view as the most secure world. While Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski pushed for the maintenance of a stable status quo, trusting that powerful states would feel secure in an equilibrium, the new breed of offensive realists view such balances with mistrust.

Simply stated, we face two options -- a continuation of the well-established (and always evolving)balance-of-power paradigm or an expression of American Exceptionalism that will make the Cheney/Bush model look like a manual typewriter.

This rather lengthy piece by Frank Schaeffer scares the piss out of me.

A favorite Romney charge is that Obama is ashamed of his country and goes around the world apologizing for it. But then no normal person who has actually read some history, or traveled, or opened his or her mind to the fact that maybe their religion has gotten some points wrong could love America as much as a good Mormon! To Mormons America isn't just another country but proof that their alternative fanciful version of world "history," religious truth and reality is factual.
For Mormons America is Mecca, Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden all rolled into one. In an essay on the topic of the Mormon idea of America, Pat Bagley (of the Salt Lake Tribune) included this quote from Brigham Young: "There is not a Territory in the Union that is looked upon with so suspicious an eye as is Utah, and yet it is the only part of the nation that cares anything about the Constitution."
The Mormon "Saints" saw themselves as the only true patriots and the key link in the chain of American exceptionalism beginning with Jesus' personal visit to America, the Pilgrims, continuing through the Founding Fathers and being the key to the establishment of Christ's righteous government on earth forever. In all of the history of the world, according to Mormons, America alone has a special destiny, one guaranteed by God.

Earlier in the article he tosses out this bit of hope:

But I'm not panicking at the thought of Romney's election, yet, because Romney is a demonstrably unpatriotic man, so maybe he's a comfortingly bad Mormon too when it comes to aggression and that " extra chromosome when it comes to American exceptionalism." So maybe Romney's a Mormon heretic. I hope so.
Romney has hidden lots of money overseas, has strapping sons, none of whom volunteered for military service, avoids taxes, closes American companies and ships jobs overseas and even uses the death of an American ambassador for political purposes against a wartime president.
So maybe Romney is a bad Mormon and a hypocrite who will be a more pragmatic leader than a good Mormon would be when it comes to starting wars.
After all Romney's tax dodging alone presents a double-dealing vision of globalization at average American's expense that no good Mormon would embrace. So let's hope his anti-American bet-against-America greed bleeds over into self-preservation when it comes to world affairs too.

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