The avowed aim of the Reagan administration is to forge a global anti-Soviet consensus. Instead, the emerging critical consensus seems to be largely directed against the United States.
Check the recent record:
The 50 nations of the organization of African Unity, meeting in Nairobi, denounce the United States for its "unholly alliance" with South Africa.
In West Germany, a massive peace march portrays Washington as the force behind world tensions and a new arms race.
France's new foreign minister, Claude Cheyson, warns that the July Ottawa summit meeting of leading industrial nations will be a failure unless President Reagan shows more sympathy for the problems of the developing world.
The administration's multi-billion dollar military aid tilt toward Pakistan provokes revival of anti-U.S. sentiments in India.
Japan rejects U.S. pressure for an unprecedented arms buildup.
Four members of the U.S. country team, attached to the American embassy, are expelled by Zambia for alleged intelligence activities. In next door Mozambique, four other U.S. officials are also expelled on similar charges.
Even in our won hemisphere, Washington has alienated neighbors, such as Mexico, with its interventions in El Salvador and other Central American countries. Our European partners have been similarly alienated. The new president of France, Francois Mitterrand, has already openly expressed "serious reservations" about Washington's Central American policy. "It is not at all a question of Comunist subversion," he says, in commenting on guerrilla operations in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and other nearby countries. "It is a question of the people's refusal to submit to misery and humiliation."
The Reagan administration did not endear itself to the French by sending Vice President George Bush to Paris to admonish the Mitterrand government for including several Communists in the new Cabinet. Nor has it enchanted the West Germans with its bellicose lectures on "getting tough" with the Russians.
To cap it all, even some of America's largest corporations are now challenging the administration's policy toward two oil-producing and strategically significant nations -- Angola and Libya. In both instances, the corporations are seeking to protect and preserve highly profitable operations. But, also in both cases, the administration is moving to isolate regimes it considers disruptive and Marxist-minded.
Although President Reagan and Secretary of State Alexander Haig insist they have a coherent foreign policy, many other nations, including our allies, find it contradictory. The proclaimed administration aim is to contain suposedly all-powerful and expanding Soviet imperialism, yet at the same time Reagan and Haig assure us that Russia, is, in effect, on its last legs.
The Soviet Union, Haig says, "shows clear signs of historic decline. Observers of the international scene have concentrated far too long on the difficulties of the West. Just consider the view from Moscow.
"The Soviets have made no headway with China, and are forced to maintain over 50 divisions on the Chinese border. The conquest of Afghanistan has proven to be neither easy nor cheap. They are pouring $200 million a day in aid to Hanoi to prop up the Vietnamese. The Soviets confront an impossible dilemma in Poland."
Most of our allies couldn't agree more. They have long believed that Soviet influence is on the wane. But, contrary to the United States, they think this has created an unusual opportunity to negotiate new arms agreements with Moscow that could be of great advantage to the West and the rest of the world.