Skip to content
American foreign today is a child born to Leo Strauss and Ayn Rand, of course, Godfathered by Nihilism.
Last week, United States, under its Agent Orange President Trump, ordered strikes on Syria with an “intention” of “taking out” Assad’s regime in retaliation to the Sarin Gas used on civilians. Fareed Zakaria, following the strike authorization, proclaimed that “I think Donald Trump became President of the United States”.
Brian Williams called U.S. missiles attack on a Syrian air base, “beautiful pictures”. In what has become an American tradition of broadcasting its overseas expeditions home, the military released Tomahawk missiles raining on Syrian airfield from the decks of U.S. warships in the Mediterranean Sea last Thursday. During his MSNBC program, “The 11th Hour,” Williams quoted a line from a Leonard Cohen song: “I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.” He went on to call the images “beautiful pictures of fearsome armaments.”
Today, the United States dropped the Mother of all Bombs, the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan after Green Beret killed was killed. The 21,000-pound conventional bomb was deployed in Nangarhar Province as a response. Developed during the Iraq War, this is the concussive weapon, capable of destroying a large surface area. The bombs radius implies that the civilian casualties will be considerable.
What do we make of these political and moral positions taken in these commentaries? What does it tell us about the nature of the American FP and its oracles?
Traditional International Relations strategies rely on deterrence, the balance of power, and sovereignty as frames of analysis. These words are often used to describe the decision as an afterthought, rather than real factors under consideration. Beyond the language and rhetoric, the architecture of American Foreign Policy today is a house built with the reckless abandonment of practices regarded as prudent and realistic. The American presidency is increasing looks like what was at its inceptions, to use Gore Vidal’s description, a Mercantile Presidency.
For the long US FP has relied on the use of overwhelming force in the face of threat or even potential threat. The umbrella of pre-emption has been the official policy; often justified by power projection; unilateralism and its ideological representation of America’s exceptionalism.
Under the Trump Presidency, the American FP has come to embody the Policy of Assholeness, combined with a lie manufacturing and justifying machine. This Straussian philosophy also affirms that “that all politics are limited, and none of the political positions is based on the truth.”
“I have found that to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.” This line appears in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
Reason’s annihilation begins with the destruction of truth. Strass saw the truth, especially when employed for the purpose of political, as completely devoid of meaning. Often in DC lingo, this thinking is called “strategic deception”. Strauss quoted extensively from Plato’s “forms of duality”, what this boiled down to was a contempt for democracy, combined with an elite that used all means possible, including lies to defend and decide what was best themselves and for the rest.
Morality, justice, and truth became malleable words at the service of power, and it’s political ends. There is, no absolute equality. On the contrary, inequality is considered as natural to human existence. The predicament of birth decided everything; the powerful always rules the powerless for the society to function. The politics that tried to make equal a deeply unequal world was viewed with contempt.
This deep hatred for the “others”, considered as “inferior” continues to influence how targets are picked, targeted and killed. In the absence of reason and accountability, due process and accountability become an annoyance to be “dealt with”.
After Syria and Afghanistan, you will see more spectacles and will be called to view the destruction of large parts of West Asia and its people.
As we bear witness to what is the beginning of yet another calamitous epoch, we are no longer safe in the confines of our distance.