Friday, November 19, 2010

America's National Bird and Foreign Policy


"Eschewing the lazy, thieving eagle, president Benjamin Franklin wryly advocated the turkey, that 'vain and silly' bird 'untainted by symbolic association with European expansion, and indeed, with expansion of any kind:'" the metaphor used in a new book reviewed on America's foreign policy choices — How high can a Turkey fly?

The author, for whom, as for any decent person, "empire is irredeemably evil," suggests three tendencies when it comes to foreign policy: "Hard Eagles are unapologetic expansionists, Soft Eagles decry the damage to the US's international standing caused by ill-advised military adventures, while Turkeys categorically reject the logic of exceptionalism." We also learn that the author, to his credit, "is a climate change skeptic, if not an outright denier," who argues, even more to his credit, that "we should walk back from empire not in weakness but in conscience."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.