By: Scott Anthony
The U.S. foreign policy is in "free-fall." This is both an opinion, and a fact. The U.S. has lost it's legitimacy as a "Superpower" quite some time ago, but even more so under the direction of President Obama, who as of late, is being often referred to as the "Commander-in-Chief" over the more legitimate title of Mr. President.
Posturing the U.S. as a "Superpower" with the ability to affect global change has gone away with things such as AOL, Netscape, the cassette tape, and Atari game consoles. In case folks aren't aware, the United States, the country I love, has become nothing more than a "global consumer." What do I mean by that? I mean very simply, look at the most common products you purchase. Take a good look. I want you to keep a running tally of exactly how many products you can find in your own possession right now that says "Made in the USA." Chances are, over 90% of everything you own, was made in China. Or Pakistan. Possibly Mexico. There will be very few items, including American Flags, that will say "Proudly Made in the US" anymore.
The United States, doesn't produce anything of value any longer. We don't build cars entirely in America. It would be hard to find any electronic device that doesn't have at least 50% of its components made overseas. In fact, even the items that the US does produce and export (Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Gibson Guitars, Micro-Brew Beer, and Military Weapons) probably still wouldn't exist if it were not for at least some Chinese or other imported components. So while we may still be good at producing the final product like Electricity Distribution Systems, or full scale Military Weapons Systems, it's not entirely a factual statement to say "Made in the USA." We are dependent on foreign companies to provide at least in part, components of our major export products.
With maybe the exception of alcohol and tobacco, we have positioned ourselves on this dependency. In fact, our own ELECTRIC GRID is reliant on major high-voltage components that are built overseas in either Germany or China, and it takes 1 years to produce. If our grid got hit hard, we would need over 2000 of these major grid components. Do the math, we would be extinct by the time we received even 20 of these critical items.
We export oil; why then are we always told that we need to play nice with countries in the Middle East that export oil INTO the United States? We have our own. We don't need theirs.
We always have, and likely always will, have a stronghold on metals and machinery. We create some of the most powerful software products around for personal and business computers. Yet, we still depend on foreign components to make these products useful.
We export top-level medical diagnostic and treatment products. We control most of the world's chemicals and pharmaceuticals. That means without the US, other countries would not be able to provide the advanced medical care they do now. And still, without parts from Samsung, or other smaller Asian companies that produce the motherboards, capacitors or other electronic hardware, those devices can not be produced.
The United States in theory, is protected by two vast bodies of water (the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans) on either side. To the north is a complete body of ice. To the south is Mexico that funnels into the very small Panama Canal linking us indirectly to South America. Therefore, a physical invasion from any direction en masse, is very unlikely. I'm confident our satellites and detection systems would see a mass of naval assets or air assets making a move our way. Basically, in terms of an invasion we have little to fear.
America needs to stop playing nice in the sandbox. A man like President Putin, or ISIS for that matter, view us as weak. They view us as a country that DEPENDS on other countries to survive. The truth is, European countries need to play nice with Russia for natural gas. The U.S. has plenty of natural gas. There is nothing Russia has that we need. Also, America survived just fine prior to doing any business with China, Mexico or Taiwan. We can also survive without Japan.
Japan, a long standing ally (maybe not by choice on their end) is talking with Russia as we speak without the US being involved. Every country around the world is looking to dump the Dollar as the method of trade transactions, Japan being no different. Not to mention, Japan and it's lack of properly assessing and responding to Fukashima's Nuclear Disaster may have just sparked off the death of the planet anyway.
There is nothing... I repeat NOTHING, that the United States can't produce on its own without other countries. Every precious metal we need is here. Every natural resource we need, we own. We export more food than any other nation, yet we can't feed our own people. We can create anything we like, but we don't. Why? Because its simply cheaper to buy the smaller parts elsewhere, and that is our own fault.
I am proud to be an American. I am blessed to live in one of the best nations on this Earth. However, when we can't control the flow of American business to outside nations, we have a problem. When Burger King ups and leaves the US to move its operations to Canada because taxes are "too high" in America, we have a problem.
It's time for our President, and our Congress, to wake up, and start really focusing on America's Domestic Policy. We need to strengthen our borders; when we hear that ISIS is a threat to our Homeland (or Mexican Drug Cartels) this is OUR fault. Congress and our Administration (and those before this one) let this happen. When we fear that Chinese submarines are able to pop-up on our Western seaboard as a show of force, this is OUR fault. The US has ample nuclear class submarines and Naval assets to protect the Homeland from such shenanigans. When 3000-5000 airspace incursions occur annually and NORAD wastes time scrambling F-16's to intercept, its OUR fault for allowing such free entry into our airspace.
Mr. President, Congress, start doing your jobs! Your job, as you swore you would do, is to "Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic..." Start doing your job! Stop cuddling up to lobbyists and corporations with deep pockets; in the end, it will be the demise of this nation. Start listening to your constituents... you know, the folks that voted you in. Realize that even your own well-being is threatened with every passing day we allow the United States to be a consumer and not a producer. Learn to say NO to stupid military actions that have no bearing, none what-so-ever, on the protection of the United States. Learn to say NO to allowing tax breaks for large companies and banks that produce nothing but vast amounts of debt. You all have been, and currently are, liable for millions of Americans who have either been forced into Bankruptcy or Foreclosures while you are all living high on the hog.
Obviously, we should have and maintain alliances with other countries, but only those that we have a need to deal with, or a long-standing history of culture, research and development projects and educational exchanges. We do NOT need to be everyone's friend. And we certainly do not need to be the world's Police Force. When we fail as a nation to get a US Marine extricated from a Mexican prison (Sgt. Tahmooressi) but maintain economic, diplomatic and full immigration with Mexico, shame on us. This has been our downfall, and it needs to stop, now.
It will take the will of Americans to possibly do without some "luxuries" for a few months, maybe a year. It means that immigration may need to slow up to a snail's pace... but it will increase security. It may mean that traveling to exotic locations may need to stop; I would argue that there are equally gorgeous and exotic places to travel within the United States and our Territories.
We have become the punchline of the joke in almost every country in the world. France, as this is being published, is selling MILITARY HARDWARE TO RUSSIA, all while pretending to be an integral player in NATO.
It's time to stop the courtesies, the pleasantry and the accommodations. It's time to take a hardline approach to our security and to our Domestic Policy. And it's about damn time we stop treating our US Citizens as criminals. Let's get our own house in order, regroup, and start over. As President Obama has said more than a few times, "it's time to hit the reset-button." Only this time, we need to reset how we treat our own citizens and their safety first... THEN and only then, should we worry about anyone else.