While I never believed that the sanctions measure being prepared by the UN Security Council against Iran would have had much effect on Iran, “losing” too many of these initiatives in which the U.S. has invested in — particularly ones that mostly have symbolic significance — become benchmarks for America’s declining influence and the rise of “others.”
In this case, the rising power is Russia, which is clearly back big time in the diplomatic game.
What many Americans fail to understand, is that George W. Bush’s swaggering pugnaciousness and invasion of Iraq justified by the president with contrived and false excuses made much of the world very, very angry with us. That anger has been measured by the well known Pew Global Attitudes Project but by others as well.
While Bush scoffed at this global reaction, it has since hardened into power strategies — and global leaders know that they can achieve greater legitimacy at home now by thwarting American preferences — like in the latest UN sanctions against Iran.
American diplomacy needs to take this into account. Everything we want in the world is more expensive now — not only because of a weakened dollar — but because of our deteriorating political position and the anger that so many have at this country and our president.
But we do need to win some battles, or at least put things on hold, until there is someone in the White House who can begin turning around the tattered state of America’s foreign policy position.
— Steve Clemons