Parallax Views w/ J.G. Michael

Samantha Power and the Cosmopolitan Crusaders w/ Christopher Mott

January 24, 2022

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On this edition of Parallax Views, Christopher Mott, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy and author The Formless Empire: A Short History of Diplomacy and Warfare in Central Asia, joins Parallax Views to discuss his recent CovertAction Magazine piece "Samantha Power and the Cosmopolitan Crusaders". Applying his knowledge as someone who has worked inside the U.S. State Department, Chris explains the foreign policy thought of the diplomat and government official Samantha Power, whose influential book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide was foundational to R2P (Responsible to Protect) doctrine. R2P, Mott explains, holds that powerful nations (ie: the U.S. and NATO-aligned states) have a duty to stop human rights abuses around the world. Although a noble cause in theory, Mott argues that R2P in practice has not always worked perfectly in practice. In this regard Mott examines the Obama-era intervention into Libya on humanitarian grounds and how Libya has turned into a chaotic failed state that's led to the return of the slave trade to North Africa. In addition to all of this Mott and I also discuss:

- Fear of another Weimar moment haunting beltway foreign policy circles and the role that plays in driving interventionist policymaking
- The question of isolationism, the specter of WWII, and Stephen Wertheim's Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy
- Foreign policy realism and its variations including offensive realism and defensive realism
- Sun Tzu, the risks of war, diplomacy vs. military force, and the question of grand strategy
- The role of ideological, systemic, and economic factors in U.S. foreign policy
- Democratic Peace Theory, American exceptionalism, and Kantian liberal cosmopolitanism
- Sanctions, the potential critique of their effectiveness in achieving state policy goals, and the Iran deal/JCPOA; sanctions as a form of economic warfare
- Jihadism, cosmopolitanism, and state collapse
- U.S.-China relations, human rights rhetoric, and whataboutisms
- American exceptionalism as having a right, left, and center form
- U.S. foreign policy, puritanical morality plays, and protagonist syndrome
- Tyler Cowen's Bloomberg op-ed arguing for using "Wokeism" (a very vague term removed from its original context on Black Twitter) to rebrand American exceptionalism
- And much, much more!

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