"Oh but the other side are worse" is not really that good a justification.
The point being that the American approach to getting other countries to go along with its policies seems to currently be all stick and no carrot.
Which is not good diplomacy at all.
There has been plenty of Carrot, market access, protection of trade lanes, and other stuff.
Like I said were not great at diplomacy but we do have some basic competence where russia has kind of forgotten that skill set. China basically threw it away with warrior wolf mentality.
Some times being the best of a bad option will let you win dispite incompetance on your part.