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Monday, December 07, 2009

America wakes up to the shift in global power
(Times Online) -- By Andrew Sullivan --

...I’ve long feared this moment would come. It feels like the late 1970s but with no cheerful Ronald Reagan in the wings and no obvious course of action to break out of the morass. The weekly news magazines are again full of ruminations on American decline; China’s emergence as the source of most of the world’s raw wealth creation has left Americans feeling left behind. I’ve never experienced such widespread gloom in the 25 years I’ve lived here.

The frustration of wars where victory seems impossible and of an economy now revealed as a Potemkin one, leveraged on debt and fraud and froth, is the reason. But the wars are the fundamental cause. The only thing more damaging to a superpower than never using military power is using it in such a way as to demonstrate its futility.

In some ways, Iraq and Afghanistan broke America the way Vietnam did. They demonstrated to the world that the most powerful military machine in world history could not defeat Islamist insurgencies or repair broken countries without absurd costs and ambiguous results.

To have experienced the blow of 9/11 and to watch almost a decade later as young Americans die for a kleptocracy in Kabul and a sectarian bazaar in Baghdad is to experience a deeply demoralising and discouraging morass. Osama Bin Laden, moreover, remains at large — eight years after the worst mass murder in US history. And he is sheltered by a supposed alleged ally that has received enormous sums of aid.

Americans see all of this as they lose jobs in vast numbers, or see their wealth vanish in a collapsing housing market, or struggle to send their children to college or even a doctor. They know, too, that even with all this sacrifice and effort, their security remains tenuous.

That’s why no president could have announced, as some Republicans wanted, an indefinite massive campaign in Afghanistan. It simply isn’t sustainable — politically or economically. The country is more broke than at any time since the second world war in a global economy still vulnerable to another relapse.

There is also a limit to how much pressure you can put on a military that has undertaken deployments far lengthier and more intense than any previous conflict. And there is growing scepticism that America really can afford the kind of global role it assumed after the cold war.

The polls reflect this mood with stark clarity. The Pew survey has polled Americans for decades on their attitude towards the wider world — measuring how unilateralist and isolationist the mood is, or how multilateral and interventionist. The latest results, announced last week, were striking.

The percentage of Americans now saying that the US should “mind its own business” and let the rest of the world get on with it is now higher than it ever was during the Vietnam war and higher than it was in the low point of the Carter era. A full 49% of Americans now favour isolationism. The previous peaks were 41% in 1995 and 1976; at the height of the Vietnam war, the isolationist position mustered only 35%.

For the first time, most Americans also see China as the pre-eminent economic power; and 47% believe that Afghanistan will revert to the Taliban once the US leaves.

This is an America still traumatised by 9/11 and deeply frustrated by its inability to reverse or rectify its potency almost a decade later. It is an America slowly coming out of denial about the profound strategic costs of two failed wars and occupations, where even success now seems to be at a cost not worth bearing...CONT'D...LINK


Chris Moore comments:

The above graph comes from an entry on Andrew Sullivan's blog in a follow up piece to Sullivan's analysis posted above, titled "Ron Paul's Vindication." At the bottom of his blog entry, the left-liberal Sullivan asks: "I wonder if the neocon right has a strategy for the predicament their own over-reach precipitated."

There is clearly an effort afoot by left-liberal and neoliberal grifters to scapegoat "the neocon right" for the mess America is in. But the fact of the matter is, the neocon right is not much different than the neoliberal left, which itself isn't much different than mainstream left-liberalism, which itself isn't much different than authoritarian, centralizing, socialism, which is just the flip side of monopoly capitalism and right-wing corporatism.

What we are seeing is the beginnings of the fracturing of Western civilization into two rough camps: The atheist-materialists, generally comprised of those elitist groups listed above (plus the ever-warmongering international Zionists) in one camp; and nearly everyone else in the other.

This scares the hell out of guys like Sullivan, who says he has "long feared this moment would come," and rightly so, because it is the rumblings of a Christian-conservative-libertarian-populist revolt against the corrupt, elitist grifters and their greed and ideological-driven moral relativism that has degraded America to its current lowly state, and will destroy Western civilization unless arrested.

To be certain, the left and right heads of the atheist-materialist beast have their profound differences, and often snap at one another viciously, but the vision of the future for mankind they share is a common one of institutionalized globalisation and moral relativism -- which, due to their innate moral and economic corruption, and a host of other systemic flaws, will ultimately and inevitably necessitates the imposition of Communist-like totalitarianism in order to "win."

Hence the West is in a struggle between these authoritarian, satanically-ambitious, globalisation-pushing elites and their lackeys and useful idiots on the one hand, and the everyday common folk and average Americans, as epitomized by the "mind its own business" vote in the graph above, who simply want to live their lives as morally and ethically as possible, make an honest living, raise their families, and aim towards a future of peace and prosperity for all by means of liberty, self-determination, and freedom of conscience on the other hand.

It is increasingly a death struggle being imposed by the elites, yet it is the average Americans who are being defamed and denigrated as "isolationists" and "extremists" for speaking out against the assault, and elites like Sullivan who say they are feeling "fearful" and threatened. Now that's chutzpah!

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