Many Americans want to believe the United States is the absolute center of the world. Our country and what it does seems to matter the most, and the actions that take place in this country will, in turn, affect every nation in the entire world.
The United States’ foreign policy has been run, since World War II, on the sometimes-misidentified notion that we are superior to everyone else. I am in no way arguing the United States of America is not an amazing country, because that would be a completely absurd insinuation.
However, in regard to foreign relations, the United States usually misses the mark in one way or another. Our country feels as though it is above the need to think about the consequences of its actions. We have the tendency to use our position as a “world power” to push some sort of action that usually ends up causing a worldwide headache.
In an article released by The Guardian regarding the Israeli attack on Gaza, columnist Glenn Greenwald said, “Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting U.S. diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does.”
To further prove that the United States’ current mindset on foreign policy is not where it should be, Huffington Post writer Conrad Black enumerated a number of issues the United States has sparked internationally without thinking about their implications. Ironically, the article is titled “Like Bad Wine, U.S. Foreign Policy Gets Worse with Time.”
The column said, “The United States ditched its Egyptian ally, Mubarak, — as President Carter had ditched the much more progressive Shah of Iran — ditched the reasonably reliable Saleh of Yemen, — now a failed state —but effectively endorsed brutally rigged elections in Iran, as well as the mockery of Putin's reelection in Russia, while Hillary Clinton described Syrian President Assad as 'a reformer,' and Obama declared that Qaddafi 'must go' but declined to do anything about it until France and Britain took the lead (and revealed their threadbare military capacities).”
In all of these international situations, the United States has played a major role in pushing some sort of agenda. Most of the scenarios cost human lives, including Americans.
It is time to recognize that we have our own problems to deal with. The United States is far from a perfect country, yet we want other countries to look up to us as a sort of “big brother.”
If we want to be the role model for other nations in the world, we need to fix our own problems first. We need to rein in the national debt and tackle the unemployment problems plaguing our economy. Once this happens, we can focus on assisting in international situations that do not directly involve our country.
All these events directly lead back to the superiority complex the United States has adopted over the years.
Foreign policy is an important function of our nation’s government, but noting the many scenarios we have inserted ourselves into over the past decade, foreign relations has become our biggest weakness.
The world will never be perfect, and we need to remember that we cannot fix every problem that arises. No matter how hard the United States tries to control the multitude of international mayhem, there will always be conflict. There is only one thing the United States has complete control over: how we respond to it.