Live From “America in the World”


I’m at the Hyatt Regency this morning at a conference jointly sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation. The topic? “America in the World.”
Madeleine Albright kicked things off this morning. A couple of takeaways:
– Secretary Albright has long proposed that the U.S. is the “indispensable nation.” That is to say, to solve the world’s big problems, the U.S. has to be constructively engaged. Today, she suggested that China, too, is needed to solve major global challenges (she noted Iran, North Korea, Darfur, and climate change).
– Albright’s view of things places Iraq as third in a list of problems the next President needs to address, after mainstreaming our values into our foreign policy and revitalizing international institutions. I’m not sure if she listed problems in order of priority, but I’m glad that Iraq isn’t taking right, left, and center stage in her mind.
The coneference’s first panel featured Tom Daschle (moderator), John Deutch, Gen. (ret.) Charles Wald, and Cathy Zoi speaking on energy and climate change as elements of our foreign policy. It is noteworthy that every member of the panel refuted the myth of energy independence, with Gen. Wald emphatically adding: “Energy independence is the worst thing that could happen.”
More reflections later.
— Scott Paul


8 comments on “Live From “America in the World”

  1. End Poverty says:

    I agree that the United States needs to be strongly engaged with the world’s major problems if any true progress is expected. We are one of the leading countries in the world. However, I believe that first item on our agenda should be to address foreign policies and affairs. So many of the world’s major problems are interrelated; solving one problem will help to address others. For instance, if the United States is more active in addressing the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals we could severely decrease global poverty while also working towards preventing climate change.
    The United States and many other countries have already agreed to support the Millennium Development goals during the Summit meeting in September of 2000. Unfortunately, we have not supported this effort as much as we should. These goals aim to eradicate poverty and hunger. While this sounds overwhelming, the cost of such an endeavor is a mere $19 billion. This is nothing compared to the $500 billion spent annually on the Defense Budget. Change is possible. The Borgen Project is a non profit that aims to put pressure on our representatives to create political accountability for global poverty and hunger. Please support the Borgen Project and call your local representatives.


  2. Jeffery Haas says:

    Oops, forgot one other thing…it’s cheap oil that fuels the entire globalist misadventure. Peak oil will spell the end of what is already a crumbling globalist plan for an interlocking system of control over manufacturing. Once it costs more to ship that pair of sweatshop sneakers than they are worth, globalism and the entire big box economy that it benefits, will be six feet under.
    Therefore the globalists are scurrying around to find more chairs to toss in the fireplace to keep the party going so that their hyperwealthy orbit above Plantation Earth is not disturbed.


  3. Jeffery Haas says:

    Sure let’s ignore the indisputable fact that terrorist adventures are a cheap and easy luxury made possible to oil rich states by the never-ending flood of American dollars.
    While we’re at it, it also becomes necessary to forget entirely about the fact that the dollar IS in fact, a petroleum backed currency, and that our dollar hegemony is irrevocably linked to the global oil trade which is of course, conducted exclusively IN DOLLARS, on pain of death if necessary.
    Once such a stupefying feat of mental derring do is accomplished it becomes very easy to see how energy independence would be the “worst thing that could happen”. Why even the slightest REDUCTION would be harmful!


  4. ... says:

    as i see it Madeleine Albright has been part of the iraqi problem so while her highminded attitude of the usa being indispensable in solving the worlds ‘problems’ from where a number of folks sit, she appears to be a good part of the problem in her action of sanctions towards iraq prior to bushs needless war.. but if she talks a good talk, i guess that will impress enough folks.


  5. Scott Paul says:

    Sure – and this idea was generally shared across the panel. The U.S. is part of the global energy economy. It is global by definition. Any attempt to extract ourselves from it – and neglect the global consequences of oil dependence – will hurt us on the climate front and further obscure our international relations.
    See past posts on the subject for more detail. I do plan on writing about this more – I think we’ve only scratched the surface of how detrimental this slogan could be, and I want to explore some more of the potentially unintended consequences.


  6. Scott Paul says:

    Gen. Wald essentially reasons that trying to isolate ourselves from the global energy market – essentially an impossibility – would do harm on the climate front and do little to diminish the leverage of oil producing states. My own reasoning (and my organization’s) is more in-depth than that. See a couple of recent posts:
    I’ll surely be writing on this topic more in the future, considering virtually every politician affirms “energy independence” and virtually every energy expert quietly deflates it as an organizing principle.


  7. John B. says:

    Mr. Paul, could you expand a bit on the Generals proposistion that energy independence is the worst thing that could happen??
    Thank you.


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