A truly enlightening article by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek, ‘The Post-American World.’ Chronicling the rise of the rest of the world and the demise of America… as it turned into an imperialist warmonger under Bush after 9/11.
It is a somewhat long, but easy read, so I am taking a few liberties with fair use…and cherry picking a bit to make my point. Zakaria’s emphasis is on the rise of the rest of the world, which other than the implications for Climate Crisis, lol, is very positive and eye opening. My cherry picking point is that by propagandizing the America people into a state of paralytic fear and emphasizing the absolute worst nature of America, destruction over construction…Bushco has has led our nation into grave danger. Not the danger of terrorist attack, but the very real danger of destroying ourselves by bankrupting America financially, morally, and intellectually. We are far down that slippery slope. By the time we can gain our footing and begin to climb back…the world will have passed us by. But other than as a crushing blow to our national pride… which is a HUGE part of how we got here in the first place…is that a bad thing?
Americans are glum at the moment. No, I mean really glum. In April, a new poll revealed that 81 percent of the American people believe that the country is on the “wrong track.” In the 25 years that pollsters have asked this question, last month’s response was by far the most negative. Other polls, asking similar questions, found levels of gloom that were even more alarming, often at 30- and 40-year highs.
Look around. The world’s tallest building is in Taipei, and will soon be in Dubai. Its largest publicly traded company is in Beijing. Its biggest refinery is being constructed in India. Its largest passenger airplane is built in Europe. The largest investment fund on the planet is in Abu Dhabi; the biggest movie industry is Bollywood, not Hollywood. Once quintessentially American icons have been usurped by the natives. The largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore. The largest casino is in Macao, which overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenues last year. America no longer dominates even its favorite sport, shopping. The Mall of America in Minnesota once boasted that it was the largest shopping mall in the world. Today it wouldn’t make the top ten. In the most recent rankings, only two of the world’s ten richest people are American. These lists are arbitrary and a bit silly, but consider that only ten years ago, the United States would have serenely topped almost every one of these categories.
Out of sequence snippet, to make a point…
Actually, your chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are tiny-for an American, smaller than drowning in your bathtub. But it doesn’t feel like that.
(It doesn’t feel like that because of the Bushco politics of fear, which has convinced Americans that the Jihadists are swimming to America with knives between their teeth, packing burqhas on their back to dress “our womens” in.)
But while we argue over why they hate us, “they” have moved on, and are now far more interested in other, more dynamic parts of the globe. The world has shifted from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism.
A team of scholars at the University of Maryland has been tracking deaths caused by organized violence. Their data show that wars of all kinds have been declining since the mid-1980s and that we are now at the lowest levels of global violence since the 1950s. Deaths from terrorism are reported to have risen in recent years. But on closer examination, 80 percent of those casualties come from Afghanistan and Iraq, which are really war zones with ongoing insurgencies-and the overall numbers remain small. Looking at the evidence, Harvard’s polymath professor Steven Pinker has ventured to speculate that we are probably living “in the most peaceful time of our species’ existence.”
Except for….Bushco’s imperial resource war.
A final snip as Bushco now rushes us to war with Iran….
Some point to the dangers posed by countries like Iran. These rogue states present real problems, but look at them in context. The American economy is 68 times the size of Iran’s. Its military budget is 110 times that of the mullahs. Were Iran to attain a nuclear capacity, it would complicate the geopolitics of the Middle East. But none of the problems we face compare with the dangers posed by a rising Germany in the first half of the 20th century or an expansionist Soviet Union in the second half. Those were great global powers bent on world domination. If this is 1938, as some neoconservatives tell us, then Iran is Romania, not Germany.
By paranoically chasing those who might attack us in the hahaha GWOT, (another must read essay) and concentrating and investing in only our fear of the boogeymman…..America has lost the world lead on every front but one….bullying militarism. It is now all we have left. The very people who tout America’s Manifest Destiny and superiority over the rest of the world…have succeeded in destroying all that made America great. It’s freedom and creativity, and are reducing it from the worlds only superpower to just another wannabe. Irony drips.
Thanks, Republican Fear Mongers.
And in one sense, I even mean that thanks sincerely! America has shown that, due to its subsidized and enabled corporate greed, it is unwilling to lead on the most important issue of the 21st century. It deserves to be passed by to let the rest of the world have a shot…..once the American model has faded from preeminence….at creating a new world, since Americas leaders are stuck in the old one, a world of war and destruction.
As Zakaria say near the end….”For America to continue to lead the world, we will have to first join it.”