BEIJING, Sept. 9 (ChinaEuropeDialogue) — Chris Donahue, the last U.S. soldier to depart from Afghanistan, boarded a C-17 cargo plane at the international airport in Kabul on Aug. 30, marking an end to America’s two decades of war in the battered country.
The chaotic scenes of the hasty U.S. military withdrawal are eye-popping: crowds of Afghans were chasing a U.S. plane as it taxied along the runway in the airport; some of those who clung to the plane fell to their deaths after takeoff; the U.S. soldiers opened fire on civilians following a deadly terrorist attack targeting the airport.
The appalling picture best demonstrates the inhumanity of the “America First” doctrine, the thinly-disguised “law of the jungle,” under which Americans’ lives matter but the others’ do not.
The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden has stoutly defended its withdrawal decision, insisting that the exit from Afghanistan is in the interests of the United States.
“This focus on narrow national interest is what (former U.S. President Donald) Trump called ‘America First.’ Biden would never use that term,” but they share the same lodestar, said a recent article published by The Atlantic.
Actually, putting “America First” is entrenched in the United States’ political genes. Former U.S. President Richard Nixon once said “our interests must shape our commitments, rather than the other way around,” showing America’s own interests are the only thing that the U.S. government cares about.
From isolationism that advocated non-involvement in European affairs to the Monroe Doctrine that competed for dominance in the Americas, from Wilsonianism and “internationalism” that devised and pursued U.S. global hegemony to Trump and Biden’s hegemonic practices, the U.S. foreign policies have seemingly varied over the years, but with the underlying aim unchanged: to put “America First.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has further unmasked “America First” as a self-serving slogan. Since the onset of the outbreak, the United States has astonished the world by intercepting other countries’ response supplies, forbidding exports of medical materials and hoarding vaccines.
LAW OF THE JUNGLE
After WWII, the United States, with superior national strength, designed a set of so-called “international rules” and on that foundation, built various global agencies and mechanisms, most of which have been under the control of Washington and its allies, leaving weak countries scarce chances to decide their own fates.
As suggested in The False Promise of Liberal Order, a book authored by Patrick Porter, professor of international security and strategy at the University of Birmingham, the world shaped by America came about as a result of coercion and compromise, sometimes brutality.
However, the international landscape has been drastically changing in recent years as emerging economies keep burgeoning. Facing a relatively declining power and a sharply rising strategic anxiety, Washington has adopted a utilitarian attitude towards the “international rules” it once underpinned, supporting the ones that enhance U.S. interests but discarding those unfavorable.
Many powerless countries have succumbed to the world’s sole superpower’s wanton behaviors, which range from quitting international treaties and bodies to prioritizing domestic legislation over international law as well as imposing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.
“America First” is pulling the world back to the age of “law of the jungle.”
ANXIETY AMONG ALLIES
Today, more countries are suffering from the United States’s reckless movements to put “America First,” and its allies are no exception. Claiming that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia and Germany is threatening the energy security of Europe, Washington has repeatedly opposed the project and imposed unilateral sanctions.
No wonder Joseph W. Sullivan, a senior advisor at the Lindsey Group, said in an analysis published in Foreign Policy that the Biden administration “continues to pursue U.S. interests in a way that hurts the rest of the world.”
Moreover, the United States indulges in forming ideological cliques and fomenting antagonism. In August, the White House announced that in December Biden will convene leaders from “the world’s democracies” at a virtual Summit for Democracy, to be followed “in roughly a year’s time by a second, in-person summit.”
However, news portal Politico said in an article that Biden’s proposal for the summit has “spurs anxieties and skepticism” among U.S. allies or partners.
More ironically, a recent poll commissioned by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation among 50,000 respondents in more than 50 countries found that nearly half of the respondents see the United States as a threat to democracy.
“From the COVID-19 pandemic to global trade rules, from climate change to economic development, the United States is actively frustrating the priorities of most of the world’s democracies. In the process, U.S. foreign policy is — in the name of democracy — compounding the global crisis of democracy and delegitimizing U.S. power,” said an article released by the website of Foreign Affairs magazine. Enditem