"We need to do a better job of protecting our interests, because after all, that's what diplomacy is about," he said. "But you have to do it in a context of the reality, not your lens but the reality of those other cultures and histories."Because, of course, any American view of the world has got to be the incorrect one.
Kerry criticized what he called the "unfortunate habit" of Americans to see the world "exclusively through an American lens."
What really bothers me here is his statement that the context of "reality" cannot be our own lens but the lens - or "reality" - of other cultures and histories.
So let's examine those other cultures and histories a bit closer so we can zero in on Kerry's perception of "reality." Kerry wants our refusal as a government to officially recognize the "problem" of global warming, our refusal to clean up Africa's AIDS problem for them, and our Kerry-generated status as an "international pariah" to be the talking points.
Let's start with the idea that Kerry made the "international pariah" statement in conversation with a former leader of a nation that has long been considered an "international pariah." Iran has been at or near the top of our National Spit List since storming our embassy, kidnapping American staffers, and holding them hostage. As a nation we "officially" support Israel, but Israel itself has long held the "pariah" moniker since the days of one of the shortest wars on record. Shucks, if you want to split hairs about it, Israel has been a pariah since Joshua wiped out half of Palestine. Egypt is currently considered a pariah by most other Arab nations for even bothering to speak to Israel, let alone having any diplomatic ties with them.
So we're a pariah. We are a powerful nation, and it is impossible - no matter how dedicated a diplomatic corps you may have - to please everyone. We're always going to be a pariah to someone. Japan will always be suspicious of us because we don't want them to kill marine mammals. Canada will always be mad at us for keeping them in a frozen meat locker north of the border. Mexico will love us when we let their citizens work here and spend their money there, but hate us when we talk tough about closing the border. Pick a country. I'm sure you'll find some reason for hating our collective guts.
The AIDS pandemic is a tough problem, of course. No one wants to see people suffer, and it certainly requires some concerted efforts by those with means to combat it. But will we ever be able to support these efforts to the complete satisfaction of everyone? Of course not. As a nation, we're already spending money we don't have on any number of issues, both domestic and foreign. In terms of straightforward aid and comfort, there is no other nation on earth that approaches our level of monetary and other aid to those less fortunate than ourselves. With that in mind, it is likely that whatever money we provide to AIDS must be shared with countless other research projects, assistance programs, and monetary bail-outs that we have provided over time.
One of our real problems, of course, is that we are currently spending money we not only don't have, but are having to make up as we go along. At some point this economic bubble is liable to burst, and with it will go any funding for AIDS, marine mammals, global warming, and starvation. Even were we to completely de-fund our entire defense budget, it wouldn't be anywhere near enough to satisfy all of the monetary demands being made by [pick your favorite cause] activists.
Global warming is a huge problem. There's the warming itself, which means that I may be living on potential beach front property within a few decades, assuming the Big One doesn't get me first. I live about twenty miles from the beach on a steady slope, but my mean elevation is still only about fifty feet above sea level. Aside from that, though, is the question of what's really to blame for this warming trend. Yes, there's an awful lot of evidence that some of this may be a man-made problem. However, there's just as much evidence available to indicate that this also could just be part of the earth's own natural cycle of warming and cooling, and we're about to enter the next phase of melting the polar caps, which will then lead to the next cycle of cooling that will finally give me bragging rights when talking with Minnesotans. Whom to believe? John Kerry? Al Gore? Rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth scientists who are looking for more grant money? Meanwhile, we as a nation are apparently supposed to foot the hefty bill of guilt being levied against us by the same nations who gave us the Industrial Revolution in the first place. That's gratitude for ya.
Looking at the world as a whole, I find absolutely no ideals of true international community that people like Kerry seem to believe exist. There isn't a nation on earth that doesn't have at least some blood on its hands, and for many of the nations that Kerry seems to idolize, their blood is still as recent as only a few decades ago. Yes, John, I really want to see the world through their lenses.
With these remarks in an international forum, Kerry once again ably demonstrates just why he has become the irrelevant former presidential contender that he is today. We don't need a man in the White House whose only considered actions would be to cry "mea culpa! mea culpa!" while tearing down our sovereignty as a nation. Because, "new world order" conspiracy or not, that appears to be what John Kerry really wants.
He wants a new set of lenses.