My Diplomats Have Always Been Cowboys
By: Thomas Lindaman
Time ran an article last month proclaiming “The Era of Cowboy Diplomacy Is Over” because of President Bush’s problems with foreign policy. This sentiment has been echoed by Democrats who are quick to jump on any policy failure, real or imagined. With the world liking us less than a lesbian version of “Brokeback Mountain” starring Helen Thomas and Janet Reno, are Bush’s critics right?
Hey, I’m the guy who thinks Democrats should hire Paris Hilton as a foreign policy advisor so they would have the chance of getting a clue. What the heck do you think I’m going to say?
“Cowboy diplomacy” is a nice, catchy phrase, but no one who uses it has ever defined it. It seems to be something made up on the spur of the moment that may or may not be defined later, like “blogosphere” or “successful Air America show.” Here’s what I think it means.
Think about the qualities of a cowboy. He’s quiet until provoked. He’s strong when he needs to be. He takes no guff off people who are talking through their hats. He has a natural swagger about him that sets him apart from the average man. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s America in a nutshell.
So, this begs the question of why “cowboy diplomacy” is so bad. This can be explained by looking at the mentality of the faux left. To them, diplomacy is always having to say we’re sorry. The faux left is convinced that we’re the sum total of all evil in the universe and that we should be subjugated by those who “know better what to do” like the United Nations, the Democratic Party, or George Soros. (For the record, I think the sum total of all evil in the universe is Michael Bolton.) To have anyone practice “cowboy diplomacy” is to reject everything they think diplomacy should be.
This explains why Democrats keep attacking UN Ambassador John “No Relation to Michael” Bolton on everything from his gruffness to his choice of wine at official UN functions. Like him or not, Bolton has qualities that have been sorely lacking in our diplomatic corps since Jeanne Kirkpatrick, not the least of which being a spine. If we’re constantly apologizing for being a bad country, even when we’re not being a bad country, this puts us in a tougher position worldwide because we are automatically on the defensive. Bolton understands the need for us to stand up for ourselves on the world stage and to not be ashamed to be American. For that reason alone, I like the guy.
That, and the fact he not only torques off the Democrats, but he can pound them into mincemeat at any Senate hearing. Just ask John Kerry, who was at the receiving end of one of Bolton’s rhetorical beatdowns. Last I heard, Kerry was filing papers to get another Purple Heart.
Sure, “cowboy diplomacy” isn’t always successful, but when dealing with people who only understand force, you can’t request that they lay down their arms and come over to discuss their grievances over tea and crumpets. There are times when talking just doesn’t get the job done and we need a strong leader in place to negotiate agreements on our behalf. That’s something that gets lost on Bush’s critics: we don’t shoot first and ask questions later. We rely on standard diplomacy first and then bring out the heavy artillery. For the world’s only superpower, that shows incredible restraint.
As far as the notion that Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy” has turned allies into enemies, it should be pointed out that most of the world already hates us. This isn’t a new phenomenon, folks! Our on-again, off-again allies like France have not liked us for a long time. Russia? Given the fact that Vladimir Putin is a holdover from the former Soviet Union, his perception may be tainted by the fact that our country beat up his country. The United Nations? They’re some of the biggest America-haters out there. Anybody who would put Syria on a Human Rights council just because America didn’t file the paperwork in time is just looking for an excuse to stick it to us. So, why shouldn’t we put a cowboy type in a position to tell the UN that unless it starts treating us a little better, we have a size 12 cowboy boot ready to stick somewhere uncomfortable (and I’m not talking about the back seat of a Volkswagen, kids)?
The main critics of “cowboy diplomacy” want us to believe that we cannot trust President Bush to handle world affairs because of his attitude. Considering the fact the previous Administration got tricked by North Korea regarding their nuclear missile program and these same critics stay quiet at how a midget with an Elvis haircut and eyeglasses thick enough to be used on the telescope at any large observatory, I’ll take a cowboy over a “Kum-ba-yah” type any day.
Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also a writer for NewsBull.com, and Publisher of CommonConservative.com.
Columns by this author can be read regularly on TheRealityCheck.org.