Behind the American fatigue also the mistakes of Obama and the double Biden

After the Afghan disaster, we have found that the Americans are tired. Tired, in the first place, of fighting wars which, started with great trumpet blasts, later turned out to be enormous quagmires from which it is difficult (or even impossible) to escape. Tired of sending soldiers all over the world counting on the screen of "democratic wars". And tired, too, of fighting through intermediaries, after finally realizing that local troops, trained to support wars in their place, are fighting badly or not fighting at all. We have seen it first in Iraq, now in Afghanistan, without forgetting the case of Vietnam in the last century.

Tired is also the current president who, just elected, fails to convey enthusiasm and confidence to his fellow citizens. The same happened with Barack Obama, gifted with a great oratory ability, the basic element on which he built his political fortune. In a short time, however, he ceased to be the character who enchanted the crowd in a memorable speech in Berlin, while the famous slogan “yes, we can” soon ended up on the memory board.

There is much discussion in this period about the responsibilities of the situation that has arisen after the flight from Kabul. Many are wondering if the fault is really Biden, Obama or rather those who preceded him (Trump and in particular the two Bushes). It seems to me an idle dispute.

In my opinion, however, the two leaders who had preceded the first African American president in history at least had a well-defined strategy in foreign policy, and they had chosen suitable collaborators to put it into practice. In this sense, Joe Biden is just a stand-in. A long-time politician, perhaps suited to routine periods, but completely unable to handle exceptional situations.

We also remember that it was Obama himself who announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan very well in advance, putting the government in Kabul in trouble and galvanizing the Taliban, who then felt themselves to be masters of the field.

Finally, he cultivated the illusion of stopping the Islamists by using drones and aerial power. Strategy that has already failed a lot of times but, anyway, past lessons have been useless.

After Kabul, it seems clear to me that relations between a shaky West and the rest of the world will never be the same again. Americans should acknowledge once and for all that overthrowing a dictator is not always virtuous in terms of foreign policy. And what else do they need to admit that the imposition of liberal democracy in geopolitical contexts unfit to receive it is a harbinger of misfortune?

Or, to put it more bluntly: what has been gained by eliminating Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi? And do you really think that by overthrowing Assad, as some still want to do, the situation would improve? Sometimes one gets the feeling that Biden, Obama's direct heir, asks these questions to himself, and that his answers are similar to those we would give. However, we are in the presence of a Hamlet who has nothing to envy to the character of Shakespeare. And this is precisely the real trouble.

I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but perhaps the time has come to recognize that the question of "human rights", the workhorse of the Barack Obama-Hillary Clinton couple, is of interest only to us Westerners. On the other hand, it is not considered an important issue in the great majority of other countries. This includes – theoretically – iron allies of the United States such as, for example, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

There are too many historical and cultural differences to be under the illusion that such a theme is received in those contexts. And this is even more true in a tribal society like the Afghan one. It is therefore better to give up talking about human rights and instead try to set up relations with these countries on the basis of a Kissingerian -style realpolitik .

It is possible that Biden does so, also because his real problem is that of patching up a wounded and polarized US society, in which certifications of inclusiveness and a total rereading of American history are required in universities, faithful to the principles of cancel culture .

This is undoubtedly a defeat of liberal democracy, which will survive only if it understands that democracy itself is not an export commodity like oil or cars. And do not be under the illusion that the European Union is the entity destined to replace the US. Up to now, it has only been able to prosper thanks to the US shield, and by passing almost all the costs of foreign interventions onto the shoulders of American taxpayers.

The post Behind the American fatigue, also the mistakes of Obama and the double Biden appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Wed, 15 Sep 2021 03:51:00 +0000.