Plenty to think about | VailDaily.com

Plenty to think about

Don Rogers

Here on the cusp of Independence Day, we Americans have much to be thankful for, and to think about.The Good Ship Iraq has just set sail on those stormy waters, with a fresh, oily coat of legitimacy and did we remember to include new sails? Our military stands firmly near the tiller, so far welcomed by the Iraqi government, tolerated by the people, and hated by an insurgency that we’ve allowed to become all too successful at its bloody work.Over the horizon – still – lie Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, what other rogue nations? Russia and China don’t seem particularly overjoyed with America these days. And those fickle Europeans, freed for better than a decade from dependence on U.S. protection in a Cold War that would have turned hot on their land, have been downright boisterous in voicing their displeasure with the sole “superpower” of the world. Even the South Koreans, protected by 37,000 U.S. troops from the north, have been pretty vocal about wanting us to leave, even if their government is slightly less eager for that.Seems our current administration has picked up that big stick but forgotten about the “speak softly” part of the equation. Whether a fresh leader in the White House prone to stentorian ramblings that contradict themselves would be an improvement remains an open question when so much of the world outside is snarling at us. But enough about our “friends.”It is reasonably clear that America needs a better balance than it has shown since the Cold War between the stick and speech, or if you prefer, our substantial muscle and diplomacy.We’re strong, but hardly invincible. We’d do well to remember at least that much. D.R.