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Ominous Thoughts from Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa, the iconic leader of Poland and the Solidarity movement which played such a pivotal role in the collapse of Communism, recently spoke on the state of America's global leadership.

The United States is only one superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it. Militarily.  They also lead economically but they're getting weak. But they don't lead morally and politically anymore.  The world has no leadership.  The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations.  There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States.  Today, we lost that hope.

Alongside the likes of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II (who was particularly vital to Walesa) in the free West, Lech Walesa and others such as the Czech Republic's Vaclav Havel in the communist East comprise the handful of heroes who delivered the world from communism. Walesa saw moral bankruptcy face-to-face in Soviet-controlled Poland - let us hope his vision of America, if correct, is a fleeting decline which Americans will be sufficiently diligent to correct.

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Discussions - 2 Comments

What the heck is Lech talking bout. We have the hope and CHANGE Messiah in office. All is good.

ROTFLOL.

I don't know what Lech Wasala is talking about either. especially since Poland is a member of the EU. The United States is stronger militarily than the combined EU, but the U.S. does lag the EU in total population and GDP. The EU has more history and thus also more moral traditions/philosophy. The EU leads morally and politically to the extent that such leadership can be seperated from the ability to back it up by force of arms/trade embargo's...in any case the EU isn't totally powerless militarily.
It has always seemed to me as if Communism fell not because of a few individuals (Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, or Vaclav Havel) but because communism is really inefficient and full of contradictions for reasons articulated both by Hayek and Popper or even John Maynard Keynes.

In any case trying to be a beacon militarily, economicaly and in the moral, cultural and political sphere is really a Nationalistic goal. In many senses there are similarities between nationalistic socialism and nationalistic communism, part of this is tied up in a sort of patriotism, racism or ideological identity.

All I know is that Poland was the only nation in the EU to avoid a recession, now the EU is forcing it to make budget cuts, and it is unhappy that the U.S.(when Obama went to Russia to discuss Nuclear weapons) decided not to invest in its defense, but frankly I don't see why the EU should get to give out nobel peace prizes(moral leadership?) in exchange for reliance upon U.S. military force.

I don't know why we don't just withdraw from that hemisphere altogether, and focus instead on a sort of Monroe Doctrine/Manifest Destiny/NAFTA route. Lets work on relations with Canadians and Mexicans, fixing haiti, getting rid of Venezula and Cuba, start seriously considering extending statehood. If the Mexicans have some sort of numerelogical fixation with revolution every 100 years and are worried about 2010, I don't know why we can't help it along by offering statehood to mexican provinces, if we scoop mexico we will have a small southern border, we also get some gold, silver, platinum, oil and tequilla. I don't know why we can't keep going all the way to the Panama Canal.

Of course this only makes sense if we really want to be nationalistic/expansionist. But if we don't want to be nationalistic then it also follows that we don't have much of a vested interest in the EU. If we aren't visibly gainning territory what is the point? Lets spend money on Haiti and watch it destroy itself again? Dump money in Iraq and Afghanistan to what end?

If spreading "liberal democracy" doesn't count as moral or political leadership then I am at a loss. Technically I believe extending statehood to the Monroe doctrine nations of our own hemisphere, is far more effective. In fact it seems an open question why we should exert moral or political leadership over nations we do not plan on incorporating into the the United States of America(s). We will rebuild Haiti if it joins the union? If Poland wants U.S. protection from Russia it can drop out of the EU and apply for statehood (while perhaps just as or more reasonable, this would just look messy geographically.)

I really don't know why we should care what Europeans think in terms of bitching about moral leadership, and I really don't know why we remain in Japan or Germany, it seems to me that this Axis was defeated at least. It seems about time to say: That is the EU's problem,(Poland used Keynesianism to escape a depression, and the german lead deficit strict EU won't let them budget enough for military defense.)
Without communism, I don't know what mixture of nationalism or liberalism justifies involvement that isn't itself geared towards bringing new states into the Union. The the world war's were necessary, but the Spanish/mexican-American war(s) that gave us Texas, and to a lesser extent the phillipines, Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico more properly served american interests. While geography is somewhat important, a key factor may have been the decision by the citizens of the texan republic to choose statehood. Had these other nations also selected statehood, it is likely that they would be much better off today. In any case Puerto Rico is much better off than Haiti. But what sense is there in taking an interest in a nation if one does not want to allow them statehood? Had the french revolution which abolished slavery in Haiti also declared Haiti a french province with equal rights, Napoleon wouldn't have been able to justify trying to reimpose slavery. (racism was more prevalent then and questions of logistics/geography were more severe.) Napoleon sold all of Louisina for less than his failed mission in Haiti cost him.

In fact European colonialism was pretty much a complete disaster for all the European nations, which is why the Monroe doctrine was tolerated(up until the spanish). While this colonialism also had a moral and political dimmension...still the americans avoided colonialism by buying lousiana (the money we paid did no favors to the Haitians, or the french) and bringing Texas in as a full blown state.

A question: Why should the United States not adopt a stance whereby we only expand and entangle ourselves with foreign nations were the final goal is statehood.

That is all of our foreign policy that isn't simply trade agreements/UCC should be explicitly based upon the Monroe Doctrine+Manifest Destiny, and for this reason should focus upon the america's and the western hemisphere or nations that could conceivably become 51rst or 52nd states.

"There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States."

Well, military intervention costs money, and presumably there was also a hope that whenever college tuitions or healthcare costs got out of reach, that one could count on the United States...and I suppose that is the "Hope" that Obama is answering...but Obama is at least answering this expectation/hope/reliance for american citizens.

Now I don't grant that "Hope" or "need" automatically grants moral legitimacy, which means I also disagree with Obama, but if I did grant this, then I would say that answering the hope or reliance question of american citizens is a higher priority than doing so for Poland or other nations of the EU...after all the EU goes about providing a larger safety net for its citizens and thus must feel crimped in budgeting for national defense(especially after stimulus spending and the EU/german imposed requirement to reign in deficit spending.)

Loosing or gaining "hope" is always a crock, especially when this "hope" ammounts to a sort of "reliance", where the moral argument is a sort of promissory estopel upon the United States to protect foreign interests(or provide a living wage/freedom from fear or want).

In essense the weight that should be given to a promissory estopel/moral foreign policy argument should be linked directly to statehood.

I am also somewhat annoyed by the whole americans come together for Haiti argument. It should rather be haitians come together to become americans in order to secure for themselves and their posterity not simply some relief but a decent government and the rule of law. In its current state it is a sinkhole, and there is little moral weight to helping the needy at a high cost when we know that nothing underlying about the condition of that nation will change. Instead of increasing the quota for haitians, lift all quotas and declare that if 50% of Haitians immigrate to the U.S. we will declare that such voting by feet constitutes acceptance of statehood(haitians in FL would thus legally be on equal grounds with Ohioans in FL). Draft a preliminary constitution incorporating all the restatements and model penal code as statutory law(or perhaps copy the laws of Louisina/napoleonic code, until such time as a legistlature could be elected to ammend them.)

Also to enforce immigration with Mexico, completly lift the quotas on mexican immigration, and declare that at every census a portion of mexico will attain statehood and join the union in proportion to the number of mexicans living in the U.S.(these would then become citizens of this state/living in other us states). In exchange if americans go to mexico to get healthcare a la Craig S. article (the U.S. can also lose ground to mexico, albeit we will subtract from the size of the state carved out of mexico, but in theory TX, NM, Arizona California could loose ground if americans decided that Mexico was a better nation.

In this sense the credible threat to seize parts of Mexico incentivizes the Mexican government to control immigration.(or else create some sort of massive subsidy every ten years prior to the census Free health care for all americans? )

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