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Transnational Elites Uber Alles

My friend Mark Safranski, at his blog Zenpundit and contributions elsewhere (like Small Wars Journal), provides some of the best digestions of complex matters of national security policies and debates that a layperson can find.

Safranski has turned his attention to R2P, Right To Protect, as its advocates term it. It is the liberal internationalists’ concept of how US foreign policy ought to be. R2P reflects limitations of the US abilities to militarily intervene elsewhere as perceived by our liberal elites but raises our humanitarian impulses selectively by them to justify certain interventions, again, as they perceive which to be worthwhile. Further, R2P raises hazy international law or consensus of international liberal elites to supremacy over national law or consensus.
One of R2P’s main propounders, Anne Marie Slaughter, even advocates each US agency and members of our judiciary to act independently of Executive or Congressional oversight or law to conform to the consensus of foreign liberal elites. Slaughter is not just someone blathering. Slaughter was Dean of Princeton’s influential Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009 then from 2009-2011 she served as Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, now back at Princeton. Slaughter’s thinking is telling in the pieties mouthed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama as they ignore US laws, ignore Syria’s worse repression and threat as they intervene in Libya, and extol a hostile majority in the UN to undeserved credence. Slaughter isn’t alone. Obama administration insiders Samantha Powers and Susan Rice are R2P foxes in the henhouse.
As Safranski sums up:

Slaughter is a revolutionary who aspires to a world that would functionally resemble the Holy Roman Empire, writ large, with a diffusion of power away from legal process of  state institutions to the networking informalities of the larger social class from whom a majority of state and IGO officials are drawn, as a global community.

Read Safranski’s whole post.
For a taste of Anne Marie Slaughter:

At first glance, disaggregating the state and granting at least a measure of sovereignty to its component parts might appear to weaken the state. In fact, it will bolster the power of the state as the primary actor in the international system…Giving each government institution a measure of legitimate authority under international law, with accompanying duties, marks government officials as distinctive in larger policy networks and allows the state to extend its reach.

Actually, it extends the uncontrolled reach of liberal elites within our government to act regardless of our laws or popular will.
Safranski comments:

R2P will require the imposition of policy mechanisms that will change the political community of the United States, moving it away from democratic accountability to the electorate toward “legal”, administrative, accountability under international law; a process of harmonizing US policies to an amorphous, transnational, elite consensus, manifested in supranational and international bodies. Or decided privately and quietly, ratifying decisions later as a mere formality in a rubber-stamping process that is opaque to everyone outside of the ruling group.
Who is to say that there is not, somewhere in the intellectual ether, an R2P for the environment, to protect the life of the unborn, to mandate strict control of small arms, or safeguard the political rights of minorities by strictly regulating speech? Or whatever might be invented to suit the needs of the moment?

Well, there is such in the “intellectual ether”, as in this example from William Magnuson, lecturer on international law at Harvard, and a graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs:

While it is undoubtedly true that the loss of life is a greater harm than the loss of free speech rights, the major arguments (moral, legal, and consequential) in favor of the responsibility to protect doctrine apply equally to free speech as to crimes against humanity. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right. The widespread suppression of speech may cause us to doubt that state sovereignty is worthy of respect under Rawls’s and Walzer’s discussion of well-ordered societies. An obligation to intervene to protect free speech may persuade states to refrain from muzzling the media or jailing dissidents.

Transnational self-elected elites making “the world safe of democracy” or for their own supremacy? How many have children serving in the military, I wonder. Just look at how few in our State Department were willing to serve in civilian reconstruction in Iraq or Afghanistan. Yeah, “leading from behind”, as in Groucho Marx saying, “follow me, you go first,” making a tragic joke of core national interests in security that are actually recognized by average Americans, substituting instead rationalizations for scattered interventions although nice not essential and frittering away our lives and resources.

Posted by Bruce Kesler at 15:34 |

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