In 2012, Dr. Lamont Colucci was approached by U.S. News and World Report to write a weekly column on foreign policy and national security. This is under the aegis of World Report – Insights, perspectives, and commentary on foreign affairs. View the article on USNews.com
Each time the United States and the United Kingdom have a general election, the far-left candidates delineate themselves by their domestic socialist, oftentimes Marxist rhetoric. These tend to be attacks against global capitalism, free trade, local education and Christian values. What is amazingly missed by many, even in the media, is a focus on these candidates’ foreign policy, or lack thereof.
The West is afflicted twice over by far left candidates in the two leading countries of the Anglosphere, whose foreign and national security policies should end any rational discussion of them as commanders of the free world. In the United States, this is represented by the rising campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders. If the Obama Doctrine is a combination of a declinist mentality meeting the absence of strategy, the Sanders Doctrine would be the same thing on steroids.
Sanders’ presidential campaign website is so derogatory towards international issues that they don’t exist. He has called for a withdrawal from the World Trade Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In almost all other ways, Sanders goes to the next level of Obama, perhaps to what Obama actually believes but could never achieve. He appears right inside the Obama fold when it comes to Iran, Cuba and Russia.
If Obama is for a phased withdrawal from Afghanistan, Sanders wants it today; if Obama wants to limit the American war against the Islamic State group to American-led airstrikes, Sanders wants to hand it over to the Saudis; lastly if Obama is a half-hearted supporter of NATO, Sanders appears to be outright hostile to an organization he thinks is too provocative to Russia and too costly to the American taxpayer. He endorses a nuclear zero option and an end to the American production of weapons grade uranium.
It’s difficult to decide what is more startling: that a far-left radical national security policy is taken seriously, or how close it is to the current occupant of the White House. They both share the most damning policy in their view of international relations and national security: the lack of any real strategy at all. As much as Presidents Clinton, Carter and Johnson created problems for national security, the Obama/Sanders approach simply lacks any captaincy at all.
Across the pond is the bizarre phenomenon of the anti-American Jeremy Corbyn – who is campaigning to be Labour Party leader – going so far as to compare the atrocities of the Islamic State group with the actions of American soldiers in Iraq. Corbyn grabbed headlines this week as an interview resurfaced where he compared the “tragedy” of killing Osama bin Laden with the real tragedy of the attacks on the World Trade Center. This should remind readers of the moral equivalency of the Labour Party during the Cold War, which tried to equate U.S. and Soviet actions; there are always new Bolsheviks in old bottles.
Corbyn opposed the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and preaches a political compromise with the Islamic State group. One has to wonder if Corbyn thinks he would get such a compromise from the Islamic State group should it ever have his personal fate in its hands. Then again, modern international leftists never have to face such threats, and have always shielded themselves behind human rights rhetoric with no action.
Corbyn is a leading member of the usual riff and raff of British politics, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Socialist Campaign Group, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and the Stop the War Coalition. He wishes for the UK to abandon NATO, and has high praise for an assortment of Islamic extremist terrorists groups while threatening those in the West who engage in “Islamophobia.” As with Sanders, a good litmus test is his view of nuclear weapons. There is not a rational person on earth who loves nuclear weapons, but from Harry Truman and Winston Churchill onward there was the solemn recognition that they had become a necessary part of statecraft, diplomacy and deterrence. Corbyn not only wishes to scrap the British Trident system, but advocates nuclear disarmament. In elite British vocabulary, he would normally be referred to as nutter.
The synthesis of the two is a disdain for reality, not just as realists or liberals would understand it, but the reality of objective truth. Perhaps they would both reject such theistic views of the world, having given them over to the hyper-relativism of secularism, a hip anti-Anti Americanism, and a parade of tired bromides that should have vanished with the late 1960s. They are both children playing the veritable fiddle while Rome burns, able to throw tantrums disguised as intellectualisms while the adults attempt to put the fires out.