Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens had a prescient article last November, “Yes, America Should Be the World’s Policeman” in which he said, “No great power can safely ignore chaos and disorder in key regions of the world. It is time for the U.S. to take a new approach – enforcing rules and standards but not trying to remake failed societies.”
As illustrated in the photo just above from a recent soccer game, Germany is stepping forward and welcoming the masses of refugees now sweeping across Europe from the Middle East. But Germany’s generosity will just encourage yet many more refugees to attempt to escape from their failed societies.
The Hudson Institute’s Walter Russell Mead discusses “The Roots of the Migration Crisis” in yesterday’s WSJ. “The humanitarian question of refugees and asylum seekers cannot be separated from the bankruptcy of Western security policy in Syria and Libya, and the bankruptcy of Western security policy cannot be separated from the longstanding difficulties that many European states have in taking a responsible attitude toward questions of military security.”
“The utter failure of Western policy in both Libya and Syria has to be seen for what it is: not just a political blunder but a humanitarian crime.”
“It is impossible to have a humane and sustainable asylum policy without an active and engaged foreign policy that from time to time involves military action.”
“The dream of a liberal humanitarian peace that both the Obama administration and the EU share … certainly cannot be achieved with the kind of policies now in favor in capitals on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Or as Mr. Stephens said a year ago, “If the world’s leading liberal-democratic nation doesn’t assume its role as world policeman, the world’s rogues will try to fill the breach, often in league with one another.”
In other words, it is not just our own peaceful and prosperous way of life which is threatened by chaos in the Middle East, but our liberal-democratic values as well which are the foundation of progress for all of humanity.
Mr. Mead is correct in his analysis of how the eroded power leverage of the United States has made this country a mockery in a world in crisis. Where is Henry Kissinger when we need him? In fact, where are any world experienced American leaders in international relations in the 21st Century? Instead we have a Secretary of State who undoubtedly never heard of Stephen Decatur and a president who has moved community organizing to an international level. But it is very different when dealing with the Russians, Chinese and Iranians than when dealing with businesses in Chicago who roll in an instant when their public image is threatened.
Without our leadership on the world stage a power vacuum is created and the world becomes chaotic and unstable. This is what we are now witnessing.