Something that has been on the faux left's mind for months has been what they believe is our faltering image in the world. They claim President Bush's war on terrorism and Iraq has "squandered" the world's good will after 9/11. And they lament over this and suggest that Bush start using diplomacy instead of "cowboy diplomacy" to achieve results.
Of course, they'd be right...if they weren't so oblivious about world diplomacy.
Let's lay out some facts here.
1) The majority of the world hates us and will continue to hate us regardless of what we do. The United Nations is full of representatives of countries who blame us for their problems. Whether it's the spread of AIDS in Africa or poverty around the world, we're the source of all evil to these folks. Of course, their solution is that we need to send them more money which they'll promptly ensure doesn't get anywhere near the people who need it. Do you honestly think these countries will stop hating us if we follow the faux liberal approach? I don't.
2) We tried diplomacy before we invaded Iraq. The faux left always seems to jump over this point when they bash Bush for the Second Iraq War. We went to the UN, hat in hand, asking them for their help...and they refused, citing a lack of evidence that Iraq was in violation of the 1991 UN cease fire it signed to stop the First Gulf War. Of course, Kofi Anan and his son were both taking money under the table from Saddam and the UN sent Mr. Magoo to do the weapons inspections, but that's Bush's fault, right? It has to be because he DARED to hold Iraq accountable to the cease fire and actually took offense at Iraq's attempt to kill his father and shoot down our planes in the 90s.
3) Some of our "allies" have betrayed us. When we tried to go the diplomatic route and make the argument to go into Iraq, some of our allies (France, Germany, and Russia) came out strongly against it, citing the same reasons the UN did. But it turns out all three were making money off Saddam being in power, so they had a vested interest in us failing. When some of our allies put their own financial security above world security, these are not the people we need to be impressing.
4) The terrorists don't want to talk. Wesley Clark thinks we should open dialogue with the countires in the Middle East to resolve tensions there. One tiny problem there, Wes. They don't want to talk to us honestly to resolve things in a diplomatic fashion. Iran wants us dead. Syria wants us to fail in Iraq. Saudi Arabia tolerates us as long as we keep buying their oil. Not exactly the way to set a strong foundation of diplomacy.
5) Diplomacy fails against liars. Remember when Bill Clinton tried to be nice to North Korea's Kim Jong Il? They had an agreement that North Korea wouldn't start developing nuclear technology. We cajoled him, we promised him perks for agreeing, and delivered on those promises for freebies. And guess what? It didn't work because Kim Jong Il lied to us. That's the thing about diplomacy: it only works when both sides are willing to deal honestly with each other. If one side comes to the table willing to lie to get what it wants, the diplomatic effort will fail. We saw it with Kim Jong Il. We saw it with Yassir Arafat. And we'll see it with Iran, Syria, and the terrorists.
So, I wouldn't put too much stock in the faux left's concern about our world image. Seems to me the rest of the world needs to work on its own world image before we do.