THE US Foreign Policy primarily follows three basic principles which are pragmatism, isolationism and moralism. These principles are being followed by the American leadership in the pursuit of the national interests since the independence in 1776. There exists no overt aggression and use of force in these principles but the US Government has used these in such a way that to ensure the spread of democracy and freedom; sovereign states have suffered war and territorial division. Perhaps the Jack O’Sullivan’s concept of “Manifest Destiny” is that much dear to US policy makers that they seem ever ready to put nations in complete chaos in the name of civilizing them.
After World War II Americans believed that the Korean peninsula was under the influence of the Soviets, and in the clutches of uncivilized policies of the Politburo. In the name of freedom, justice and democracy by following the principle of moralism, President Harry S Truman authorized American ground forces to stop the North Korean attack on June 30, 1950, under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 83, thanks to the Soviet Union being absent in the voting. Soviets believed that their absence will result in the rejection of the resolution but they were not aware of the fact that the resolution will be passed even in their absence or boycott. Truman ordered General Douglas McArthur to cut the supply lines of the North Korean People’s Army on September 10, 1950 at the Battle of Inchon. The Korean War was completely an internal matter of the Korean people. The region was under the Japanese rule since 1910 and there was no such divide as North or the South.
General Douglas McArthur was a hero of the Second World War, and he led the UN Forces in the invasion. The war escalated and resulted in significant UN victories. He further wanted to lead the concept of “Manifest Destiny” to the North Korea whom he believed to be barbaric and uncivilized. The American aims and ambitions alarmed Communist China and it (China) poured men and material to defend its borders and fellow Socialists. The American Foreign Policy divided the Korean nation in to two separate entities and sovereign states. No peace treaty has ever been signed after the armistice in July 1953 and Koreans are technically at war with each other. The American foreign policy principle again came in to play in Syria when the wave of Arab Spring entered Syria. Peaceful protests were carried out by the Syrian people demanding for freedom and justice. These protests were fundamentally fueled by the United States to become an armed rebellion against the Assad Regime. The Americans were in a phase of semi-isolationism regarding the President Basher Al-Assad. The wishes of the Washington based upon moralism and the spread of democracy engulfed the entire Syria in flames and destruction. The Syrian unrest and protests were absolutely political in nature but American pragmatism has evolved and transformed the situation in to sectarian conflict by dragging Iran and Saudi Arabia in the crisis.
Putin’s support for Assad is not an action but a reaction in response to the US Foreign Policy towards Syria. He seems to be that much determined to save the regime that he considers almost everything as expendable. Another dilemma that Putin is facing that he is fighting for his only foreign ally and he is not ready to let Assad slip out of his hands that easy. The US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Plan-B is the result of American pragmatism coupled with moralism to spread the concept of “Manifest Destiny” flanked with freedom and democracy even at the expense of innocent civilians. It can also be said that Obama Doctrine is somewhat flawed and provided a vacuum to be filled by the Russians in Syria. It is understandable that the American isolationism or perhaps partial-isolationism provided an opportunity to Russia to support Assad at all costs.
Kerry’s Plan-B also indicates the beginning of a New Cold War and the American practice to divide nations in to two sovereign states as they did with Korean nation during the Korean War. The American pragmatist divide gave birth to Republic of Korea or South Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea, who are still at war with each other. The confrontation between the two Koreas has significantly affected the peace and stability not only in the region but also in the entire world.
Americans seem to be indifferent when it comes to ethnicity and ethnic values that are the question of life and death in the lives of nations. Since ethnic background provide foundations for nation-states and they are far stronger than the sectarian and even religious binding forces. The American divide in Korea was not just a partition of land but the division of soul. Kerry’s Plan-B intends to do the same phenomenon again in a different place i-e Syria.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.