Friday, June 1, 2018

Credibility is in the Eye of the Beholder

By Rich Kozlovich

On May 30th Jacob L. Shapiro posted an article on Geopolitical Futures I thought worth everyone's attention entitled, "A Conversation About US Credibility", "with the subtitle, "The U.S. is a country like any other, and it can be trusted to act in its interests at all times." GPF is a subscription site which I recommend to everyone, but this article appears to be a piece that's mostly in the open, so please enjoy.

He comments:

"More than anything, the conversation about credibility is a veneer that hides the true nature of international politics. Ultimately, the best indicator of how a country is going to behave is not what its leaders have said or agreed to, but what its interests dictate."

"Consider that in 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact. I can think of no two political regimes whose credibility in keeping the terms of such a pact could have been lower – and yet they signed the pact, even though both were planning on eventually breaking it."

"Those who worry about U.S. credibility have a notion that U.S. exceptionalism means the U.S. keeps its word when all other countries don’t, or more optimistically, that politicians can be trusted."

"That’s a pleasant fiction."

"The U.S. is a country like any other, and it can be trusted to act in its interests at all times. The problem isn’t so much that the U.S. cannot be trusted, but that the U.S. is often unclear about what those interests are, an unfortunate byproduct of thinking about politics as an algebra problem."

The problem about being unclear about America's interests and goals is the nation keeps electing people who have fanciful goals about globalism, economics, and the nature of man. And those who were elected that subscribe to leftist philosophy don't like America, Americans, capitalism, individual rights and privileges, or property rights. In short - they hate the Constitution, especially the Ten Amendments to that Constitution.

After Jimmy Carter, who was a disaster with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, and the Community Re-investment Act - both of which created massive problems thirty years later - the nation got Ronald Reagan, and things changed and the message changed.

Then we got the Bush's, Clinton and Obama, who were as bad or worse than Carter - everyone of which was for big government, big spending, big regulations and globalists all to a man. So, what's happened over the decades is this nation has sent out confusing and even contradictory signals. Until now.

Now we have Trump.

When I watch this kind of analysis play out I always remember a Happy Days episode where Richie asks Fonzie why everyone’s afraid of him. Fonzie says it’s because he walks tough, he talks tough, he acts tough, etc.

So, Richie goes around acting tough and sure enough, his pals all start being afraid of him. Then one day he meets a guy who really is tough and he wants fight Richie, and no matter how intimidating Richie acts – the guy just won’t back down - although he's still afraid of Fonzie wanting to make sure Fonzie isn't getting involved in the fight.

Richie turns to Fonzie and asks why what he’s doing isn’t working? Fonzie tells him he forgot to tell him something. Richie asks what that is and Fonzie said “you had to have smacked someone once in your life”.

If you’re going to be the big kid on the block you have to smack someone every once in a while, and mean it, or you become Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton or even worse – Obama. Anything they did to smack someone was either ineffective in the action itself or didn’t have any follow through impact because everyone in the world knew it was a one-off deal with no real vision behind it including the killing Osama Bin Laden. Everything they did was politically expedient, not visionary.

Now that's changed!

The world can tell the difference between a Richie Cunningham and an Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli.

That’s credibility!

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