Like this joke gun, this unfortunately is our national standing as a paper tiger in the new world order.
Just this last week...
1) China: "To diminish the US," our President is forced to disembark from the underbelly of Air Force One, because they wouldn't give him mobile stairs, let alone a red carpet welcome, while they continue the illegal buildout in the South China Sea threatening freedom of navigation of the seas.
2) Russia: Russia stares down our President and ignores 17 U.S. overtures to end the more than 5-year civil war in Syria that has cost over 400,000 lives, made 5 million refugees, and over 8 million more displaced, and let's not even talk about Ukraine.
3) Iran: For the second time in as many weeks, Iran has sent numerous speedboats to harass U.S. Navy ships in international waters in the Persian Gulf, and this after it was just disclosed that we sent 2 more plane loads of cash to Iran--3 in total for $1.7 billion to "leverage" another hostage release by Iran--and after we chased them on a deal to remove sanctions on their dangerous nuclear WMD development.
4) North Korea: 3 more midrange ballistic missiles were fired from North Korea toward the Sea of Japan in a continuing escalation of hostilities there on top of prior long-range and submarine-based missile launches further threatening the U.S.
5) Laos: Even in the traditionally friendly country of Laos, the President is snubbed by terrible name-calling and insults and is forced to cancel his meeting with their leader.
6) Trade pacts: Whether your looking east or west, both the Transatlantic Trade Deal (TTIP) and the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) are dead, while Brexit is a fait accompli, the setback to the world economy, trust, and collaboration is tangible.
7) Terrorism: The "U.N. warns of growing Islamic terrorist threats" as more than 500 have been murdered in the last 6 months alone from Belgium to the U.S., and the threat growing from a more decentralized worldwide terrorist apparatus, as well as the potential employment of weapons of mass destruction.
Whether with regards to other world powers or global alliances, our standing in world affairs in troubling at best and seriously threatened at worst.
As long as we are shooting blanks of blue stardust, we will continue to lose credibility, respect, and the ability to effect positive change and influence in an increasingly dangerous world. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)