Commentary Magazine


Contentions

No More Allies

Barack Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly was much more than some feel-good, can’t-we-all-get-along pep rally for the multi-culti set. It was a straightforward explication of a worldview that seeks to redefine international relations along frighteningly utopian lines. It is a glimpse into the ideological stew that has produced the dangerous real-world policies toward our one-time allies that we now see unfolding everywhere, from Israel to Poland and the Czech Republic to Honduras. Obama said,

In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold. The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world. Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War.

Holding up the heaven-on-earth stuff is the logical architecture for an ally-free America. Line by line:

  • “In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game.” Ideally, there is to be no more competition among nations.
  • “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.” It follows that there is to be no hierarchy among nations.
  • “No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed.” There is no exceptionalism, American or otherwise. And no nations are to play favorites. That means, among other things, the U.S. will not extend special privileges to democracies or other free societies.
  • “No balance of power among nations will hold.” With no competition, no hierarchy, and no favored-nation status, states that have found themselves in a fortunate position as the result of dated rivalries and alliances can no longer be relied upon to impose balance on a region from the outside. (Like all utopian fantasies, this is propped up by a contradiction: balance will exist, but any attempt to maintain or impose that balance will, by definition, constitute a violation of that balance.)
  • “The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world.” There will be no distinctions between developing and developed nations.
  • “Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War.” An incontrovertible renunciation of our long-held alliances.

The next time some democratic leader is woken up in the middle of the night with a phone call from the U.S. State Department telling him that he’s on his own, he would do well to refer back to today’s speech as he scratches his head and tries to figure out what happened to his friends, the Americans.