The sun never sets

The sun never sets
: Nick Denton, back off the beach, writes today about the dangers of America as the guarantor of the world’s safety or democracy or economy:

A guarantor, whether an insurance company or a central bank, typically encourages perverse behavior. Countries borrow too much, and their banks lend too freely, both in the expectation of a bailout by the International Monetary Fund.

The US, by assuming the role of global guarantor, runs an analogous risk. By guaranteeing the security of Israel, it ensures that no Israeli government will make a territorial settlement with the Palestinians. By guaranteeing the global order, unilaterally, the US encourages the caprice of a country such as France. By supporting the Mubarak regime in Egypt, the US removes the pressure for democratization. With an external power guaranteeing stability, the people of Egypt and other puppet states can never take ownership of their own predicament. As bankers sometimes say, the road to hell is paved with guarantees….

So, a therapeutic suggestion. Now is the perfect time for the United States to withdraw from the Korean peninsula. The prospect of an American imperium is on people’s minds. Having demonstrated its power in Iraq, the US can abdicate without revealing weakness….

Let someone else worry for a change. It will do them good.

Spoken like a true British imperialist.

It was the colonial infection of Britain, France, Germany, Holland, and even Soviet Russia that got us in this mess, let’s remember: Not so much guaranteeing the security of their colonies (though that was the conceit) but babying them so they never did develop their democratic muscle and so they resented nations with power.

Britain planned to be the guarantor — having been the creator — of Iraq for a few generations and then just said, to hell with it, let somebody else worry about it.

I hope that’s not what we’re about. I hope we do mean what we say: That we will nurture democracy and security and economies in Iraq and in Palestine and in a few other choice places and then leave friends — as we did, truly, in Germany and Japan. I hope we set and meet that high standard again. But at least we have experience at it.

The imperial example is not ours. It is, again, Britain’s and France’s and so on and so on.

  • I think that the gentleman’s comments have some practical applicability, especially in Korea.

  • Jeff Jooovis

    Again Jeff – learn some history – Britain’s hasty withdrawal from imperial responsibilities after 1945 was largely dictated by American pressure and the large loans we had to pay back to you for the money and guns we borrowed during the war. LEND-LEASE remember?

  • While some in Mexico, Cuba, the Philippines, several Indian tribes and a few other places would disagree about our lack of history of imperialism, I agree that we have a very different mindset nowadays.
    And Denton clearly has a rather thin understanding of international security. While we’ve certainly helped Israel along the way, they have been perfectly capable of staving off Arab armies for decades.