Suddenly, democratic allies such as Colombia, Israel, and India cannot count on our support in their rivalries with aggressive neighbors, while overt enemies such as Iran, Hamas, and North Korea wonder whether a brief window has opened for aggrandizement without repercussions.Hanson concludes:
A cash-flush China wonders why it should finance record U.S. borrowing for entitlements it cannot afford for its own people. We seem to gratuitously offend our oldest and best ally, the British, in novel ways each week. The European Union is in a meltdown, and many of its key members suspect that America no longer sees itself as a leader of shared Western interests. Or that if it does, it is now too broke to do much anyway.
In all these crises, trashing George W. Bush, reaching out to enemies and taking friends for granted is not proving to be a coherent foreign policy. Instead, it is a prescription for a disaster not seen since 1979, when another messianic American president thought he could charm the world by making our enemies like us.
Do we really? I don't think so. Americans generally have the historical perspective of mayflies, the Brits seem anxious to copy that, as they do everything else that is manifestly flawed about US society (but not what works well), and the only people with seriously long memories are the enemies that hate us for what our great-grandfathers allegedly did to theirs. More likely their great-grandmothers, but still . . .
And we all know how that ended.