Swans Commentary » swans.com September 12, 2005  



The Declining Sole Superpower


by Philip Greenspan






(Swans - September 12, 2005)  As the sole superpower sinks slowly into its Iraqi quagmire it may be time for a review and an assessment of accomplishments -- are there any? -- against anticipated objectives. It's been four years since the supposed terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The resulting trauma throughout the country, and the world as well, made approval of Bush's request for a "war against terrorism" a snap. An impetuous Congress true to form almost unanimously signed on. Final tally: Senate 98-0; House 420-1.

Upon hearing that vote, the neocons in the White House most likely rejoiced. They had been blessed! The "New Pearl Harbor" that they had hoped and prayed for, as described in documents of their think tank, the "Project for a New American Century," had occurred . . . "A War on Terrorism!" Heh, heh, heh . . . What a weirdo idea. Was anything like that ever concocted before? . . . Of course not! It's crazy! . . . Oh no -- not so crazy when you consider that it will permit those wily neocons to keep war after war after war going on and on and on against any and every enemy it decides to invade!!!

All of those miserable bastards that were obstructing Uncle Sam's global intentions were going to be given their just deserts. And who were to be the unlucky recipients of this unique honor? To name just the first few: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon. Some additional bigger fish would surely follow.

But wait, wasn't there something said about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda? Yes, yes, yes, there certainly was. But that, of course, was all part of the masterful plan to distract the public, while actual wars knocked off those pseudo-commie countries. Osama et al. will be taken care of eventually. Perhaps. Hopefully those names will be forgotten as more exciting events overtake the unfolding scenes...

How convenient that Osama and his merry band of "freedom fighter" terrorists were holed up in Afghanistan, the desired location for Act One. The ungrateful Taliban, helped to power by the U.S., had failed to behave like loyal puppets. They were unresponsive to the demands of Unocal, an American oil company with plans to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. So the troops came pouring in and, in a replay of the earlier Afghan war, the U.S. switched sides, now supporting the Northern Alliance, a former Taliban enemy, and opposing the Taliban -- quite a common condition for the U.S.

Next on the agenda, Iraq: a cornucopia of riches awaited as the U.S. was going to apply its magical globalization policy to this oil-saturated land. American businessmen came flocking to get in on the loot. Patently deceitful intelligence was concocted to justify the unprovoked attack on another weak country. Act Two would feature "Shock and Awe" -- alerting the world to an unscrupulous US bully hell-bent for conquest with nothing to stop it. A strategy to scare and impress all as to who is the boss. In six weeks the military situation was complete -- "Mission Accomplished." The US government's Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) took over the running -- ruining is the more appropriate word -- of the country.

Just when things started looking good troubles slowly emerged and over time, right up until now, have compounded. Formal ending of hostilities; killing of Saddam's sons; capture of Saddam; installation of an occupation government; election of an Iraqi government...nothing seemed to calm the situation. Attacks continued, in fact they have increased over time.


Score After Four Years of the "War on Terror"


Prospects in the War Zones

The preplanned de facto takeover expected to be endorsed by controlled governments had to be compromised, severely compromised. The compromising distorted the hoped-for scenario. Regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq ousted governments formerly hostile to a forthcoming US adversary, Iran, and replaced them with extremely friendly regimes. With an impaired military force, an Iranian venture, and others, become questionable.


Prospects in Other Foreign Areas

People throughout the world have been appalled by the atrocious actions of the U.S. and a backlash has adversely affected US global interests. Hugo Chávez, whose country is a major oil producer, has been able to survive attempts, fully supported by the U.S., to unseat him. His defiance of the bully has elevated him to hero status throughout Latin America. Countries in the area -- Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay -- are turning leftward. The U.S.'s allies and puppets in many countries are tottering as they encounter a resurgence of anti-US imperialism.

Of its former major allies, only Britain and Israel are still in the U.S.'s corner. The recent London terrorist attacks and the threat that more may follow if Britain does not pull out of the Middle East may presage a cooling of Britain's support. A very receptive Congress may grant Israel's unreasonable demands for billions to complete its plans in the occupied territories -- billions that US citizens are being deprived of, and forced to shell out.

In the background, formidable forces are lining up. The former superpower, Russia, and the rapidly developing next superpower, China, are cooperating. They have just completed a joint military exercise. They have formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional economic and political bloc of six nations -- with the addition of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Iran has been invited to join and it appears likely that it will.

Many nations around the world, in their quest for the diminishing reserves of oil, are negotiating with oil-rich countries in defiance of the U.S. and deals have already been consummated. China has been particularly active.


Economic Prospects

The priority of military expenditures has created a growing deficit that has eroded the public welfare benefits and the infrastructure. Foreign loans have provided essential support to the dollar but the dollar is declining and so is that support. As the largest debtor nation the U.S. will have to be more conciliatory to its creditors, and China is one of the biggest, for they will eventually and perhaps quite soon switch from the dollar to a new reserve currency for international trade. At that time the US credit standing will plunge.


The Home Front

The home front is providing the Bush gang with an inordinate amount of headaches. High on the list is the growing anti-war opposition that Cindy Sheehan has sparked to life. Close behind are the rising fuel prices. Terrorism now appears to be a greater threat than it was before 9/11. Constitutionally guaranteed liberties have been restricted without accompanying benefits. The outsourcing of the high tech jobs has completed the diminution of the industrial US labor market globalization sent other good jobs abroad previously.

Four years after 9/11 another more deadly tragedy predicted to happen for years put Homeland Security to the test. Result: A complete washout. The ultimate death toll will be far in excess of 9/11 and the ultimate cost will be many, many times greater than what proper maintenance required. Old Mother Nature has joined the anti-Bush festivities by presenting him with this super deluxe dilemma. Will the old girl be accused of being a terrorist? . . . Quite possibly. Hasn't the U.S. been continually at war with her? The deteriorating infrastructure has made the U.S. look as helpless and incompetent as a Third World country. In many respects IT IS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! How many more losses and crap will the American public accept before they cry "Stop" and scrap this horrid system?

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Internal Resources

Iraq on Swans

The 9/11 Saga on Swans

America the 'beautiful' on Swans


About the Author

Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).



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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
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Published September 12, 2005