2020: The Great Impasse
2020 will be one of the most pivotal moments in US history, as currently, the global world is at an important crossroads.
The appalling foreign policy in which televised executions of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi became public have permanently damaged the United States’ credibility and reputation as a humanitarian liberator. Instead, due to these universally viewed horrific images, the global world has taken a perspective of the US as a cruel, autocratic regime, funded by war profiteers.
However, as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, under President Trump, is part of the first US Presidential administration in which no foreign interventions or wars have been launched since the Jimmy Carter era.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his 2018 confirmation hearing. He says that, “War should always be the last resort..I intend to work to achieve the President’s policies with diplomacy rather than sending our young men and women to war.”
List of achievements under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo within the two years since he came into office:
- Peace talks with North Korea (in negotiation)
- Removal of troops from Syria
- Possibility of peace talks with the Taliban (in negotiation)
- Peace treaty with Saudi Arabia and Israel (of which Presidential advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump had a significant role)
In comparison, Susan Rice, who will most likely become Joe Biden’s Secretary of State has been part of past administrations in which multiple foreign interventions have taken place under her watch as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor and National Security Advisor (2014-2017) including the American led-intervention in Iraq 2.0 (2014), American-led intervention in Syria (2014), Yemeni Civil War (2015), and the Second Libyan Civil War (2015). In addition, her role in previous administrations as a diplomat to African nations created more friction and it has been said that her misjudgements in diplomacy led to the death of at least 100,000 people in Ethopia and Eritrea (2002) and 5.4 million Africans in the Second Congo War (2008).
In addition, after giving her full support of the Iraq War and who was quoted as saying that, “It's clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It's clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that's the path we're on.” to an NPR interview in 2002, she later attempted to recant her statements several years later when public fury was at a high, and even wrote a book attempting to erase her image as a warhawk. Despite numerous edits of her wikipedia page and inundation of paid op-pieces to paint her as a liberal peacelover, it remains to be seen if the American public will be convinced by her recent PR strategy in an attempt to appeal to socially liberal voters who are opposed to continual war profiteering in her bid as Secretary of State.
The Roman Empire’s Low Period As A Precursor for American Foreign Policy
During the recent online Democratic National Convention (DNC), Presidential candidate Joe Biden gave a brilliant, emotive speech encompassing all of America’s values: that of decency, of fairness, of racial equality and unity during a time of hardship. Joe Biden, who has suffered numerous tragedies in his personal life, is the kind of survivor that most Americans can identify with. He is the kind of charismatic speaker with whom the American public resonates with. However, we must remember that the role of President is not alone in his administration and it is the advisors he surrounds himself that will ultimately matter. According to many insiders, Capitol Hill is a toxic environment in which even the most idealistic of politicians will eventually become jaded and corrupt when they are surrounded by people who routinely use bullying and forceful tactics and measures in order to make might, the right of law. Hence why it is necessary to reform the American government to prevent the further demise of the United States.
Measures that need to be taken to reform the US GOVT:
- Make war profiteering illegal for any members of Congress, the House and the members of their immediate family
- The primary role of the US military cannot be contracted out to private companies
- Secret Service protection should be mandatory for all members of the Senate and House, including their immediate families
- Anti-censorship laws should be implemented for social media companies
- Prohibition of the use of troll farms or bots by marketing and publicity firms in order to inundate or bury information on the internet
During the Low Period of the Roman Empire, which would eventually lead to its demise, it was crippled by debts, multiple ongoing wars in which its resources eventually became depleted, and the people in the Roman Empire began to suffer and lost motivation and hope under the weight of all the wars they were supporting. This should provide a lesson to the United States of America, as war profiteering by the 1% in Washington DC can no longer be tolerated.
In 2020, the American people have been hit with a coronavirus pandemic, flooding in major cities, raging fires, numerous shutdowns of major businesses and race politics. However important as these topics are, they cannot become red herrings to the current climate in which the United States is at an important impasse in its trajectory as a superpower. Will the US, become like Rome, and fall under the weight of all its foreign wars? Or will the US prevail under a new era of peaceful diplomacy?
Joe Biden is obviously a charismatic speaker but is he willing to overcome the toxic environment that is Capitol Hill and withdraw his support for the military contractors who would like to capitalise on racial division in order to continue to sell its warhawk strategy of foreign policy? It is also true that some Trump supporters may be unsavoury people, who may be homophobes, bigots and racists. It is also true that some of the major donors and supporters of the Democrats have been people like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein, whose systematic exploitation of young women went on for decades in plain sight, of which many Democrats were fully aware but never bothered to help the most vulnerable in society despite words to the contrary in public.
During an era in which we are at a great impasse, when there are many factions breaking the US apart, what we need is a person of action, to work within the administration, from behind the scenes, who does as he or she says, and does not merely seduce us with emotional rhetoric appealing to the masses.
By Sierra Choi