Everybody has met self-centered people who behave as if they are the only people in the world who matter, and everybody else exists only to carry out their wishes.
If they are sufficiently rich and powerful, they can get away with this for a certain amount of time. But in the end, they wind up isolated and friendless.
Unfortunately the United States conducts its foreign policy as if we Americans are the only people in the world who matter, and everybody else exists only to carry out Washington’s wishes.
This is bound to end badly.
Peter Van Buren, who was kicked out of the State Department for writing about the fouled-up U.S. occupation of Iraq, pointed out in an article for TomDispatch how this is playing out in current U.S. policy toward Iraq and the Islamic State (ISIS)
The fundamental problem underlying nearly every facet of U.S. policy toward Iraq is that “success,” as defined in Washington, requires all the players to act against their own wills, motivations, and goals in order to achieve U.S. aims.
The Shiite government in Baghdad seeks to conquer and control the Sunni regions.
Iran wants to secure Iraq as a client state and use it for easier access to Syria.
The Kurds want an independent homeland.
When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter remarked, “What apparently happened [in Ramadi] was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” what he really meant was that the many flavors of forces in Iraq showed no will to fight for America’s goals.