June 10, 2015
Our folly with China was in deluding ourselves into believing that by throwing open U.S. markets to goods made in China, we would create a partner in prosperity. What we got, after $4 billion in trade deficits with Beijing, was a gutted U.S. manufacturing base and a nationalistic rival eager to pay back the West for past humiliations.
China wants this to be the Chinese Century, not the Second American Century. Is that too difficult to understand?
But it was in the Middle East that the most costly blunders were committed. Believing liberal democracy to be the wave of the future, that all peoples, given the chance, would embrace it, we invaded Iraq, occupied Afghanistan and overthrew the dictator of Libya.
So doing, we unleashed the demons of Islamic fanaticism, tribalism, and a Sunni-Shiite sectarian war now raging from North Africa to the Near East.
Though America’s relative economic and military power today is not what it was in 1992, our commitments are greater.
We are now obligated to defend Eastern Europe and the Baltic republics against a resurgent Russia, South Korea against the North, Japan and the Philippines against a surging China. We bomb jihadists daily in Iraq and Syria, support a Saudi air war in Yemen, and sustain Kabul with 10,000 U.S. troops in its war with the Taliban. Our special forces are all over the Middle East and Africa.
And if the neocons get back into power in 2017, U.S. arms will start flowing to Kiev, that war will explode, and the Tomahawks and B-2s will be on the way to Iran.
Since 1992, the U.S. has been swamped with Third World immigrants, here legally and illegally, many of whom have moved onto welfare rolls. Our national debt has grown larger than our GDP. And we have run $11 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I went home to Kennebunkport.
Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died, tens of thousands have been wounded, trillions of dollars have been expended in these interventions and wars.
Our present commitments are unsustainable. Retrenchment is an imperative.