25 April 2014

Yes, that really is her surname. And no, I couldn’t resist.

This is the sort of thing that could only be thought up by an Obama Administration State Department advisor and international affairs professor at Princeton. See, apparently, according to Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, we ought to be sending Russia a clear message that we won’t be putting up with any more of their shenanigans in the Ukraine by bombing the bejeezus out of the brown people on the next continent over. That oughta learn them Russkies to mess with ‘Murica!

Of course, some of us folk with a wee bit more compassion and common sense very quickly pointed out how this ‘Killing Syrians for Ukraine’ tactic might not be the wisest move in the American foreign policy playbook (see also here). Slaughter not only seems to think that a gratuitous and unilateral display of American force on another continent will have a chance at deter Russia from pursuing its own foreign policy objectives in its own backyard (despite massive evidence to the contrary, going all the way back to the Yugoslav Wars), but she is also willing – as she herself admits! – to strengthen the hand of extremist Sunni Islamism in the Middle East over the dead bodies of Syrian Christians, Alawites and moderate Sunnis in order to spit in Russia’s eye.

I admit, when I first heard of it, I was truly hard-put not to think of the entire article as an elaborate Stephen Colbert-style satire of liberal interventionism. How quickly I abandoned that conceit upon actually reading the article should be read as an unfortunate testament to how low my opinion of the American foreign policy establishment currently is. But my real question is: how seriously has this proposal been taken amongst the policymakers? That Dr. Slaughter was clearly comfortable enough in her arrant Wilsonianism to actually write in an article meant for public consumption something to the effect of: ‘what’s a few thousand more dead Syrians when it comes to making Russia lose some face?’ does not speak well of the collective sanity of our government or our public sphere when it comes to dealing with either Eastern Europe or the Middle East.

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