Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Prediction

I can't say that it's a terribly profound one, but I'll make it anyway. Assuming Barack Obama doesn't make any dramatic changes to the way he handles foreign policy (i.e. speak apologetically and lament that the US has a big stick, as he has done on his magical mystery tour of Europe), I think we'll see two things. First of all, I think we will see a dramatic improvement in public opinion polling about America. Secondly, I think that in terms of substantive policy, we'll see very little change. Europe will commit as few troops as possible to any endeavor, no matter how abject we are at the UN, bad actors like North Korea will continue to pursue nuclear technology (They may sign a treaty or two in exchange for aid, but remember that they signed a treaty with Bill Clinton too. How long did that last?), and Muslim countries worldwide will continue to tolerate the violent and oppressive forms of Salafism and Wahabism practiced by people like Bin Laden while continuing their persecution of religious minorities. Don't expect "secular" Turkey to stop harassing the Ecumenical Patriarch any time soon! In short, I think Obama will conclusively prove just how valuable "world opinion" is.

Any Obama fans care to place a wager on my predictions?