Wednesday, September 07, 2011


From Al Jazeera courtesy of Digg:

America's self-inflicted decline

The United States’ current fiscal problems are rooted in a long period of unfunded spending. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the manner in which he conducted the “global war on terror” made matters much worse, contributing to a totally unsustainable situation. Indeed, Obama inherited an almost impossible legacy.

In the weeks since the debt ceiling agreement, it has become increasingly clear that good government might be impossible in the US. The coming months of campaigning for the US presidency will be spent in petty brawling over what should be cut. The example of recent weeks gives us no cause for optimism that US legislators will rise above partisan politics and ask themselves what is best for America.


US leadership in world affairs began to weaken with the unilateralism of Bush, and today’s economic problems are reinforcing this tendency. To reverse the United States’ decline, Obama needs bipartisan support for his (quite mainstream) policies, but so far the US congress has shown no stomach for a principled approach to its legislative duties.

More here.

What's most fascinating to me about this Al Jazeera piece is how it handles Obama with such kid gloves: the President's policies are not "quite mainstream;" rather, his policies are thinly veiled corporatism, aimed at enabling the plutocrats' ongoing Third World America Project, and I've written about that at length elsewhere on this blog. I can only speculate as to why the Arab language news organization is so friendly toward a leader who continues to use our vast military might to kill Muslims worldwide, but I think it might have something to do with how our current president continues to be totally kickass, but only because he's not Bush.

But no matter. The essay is dead-on in that it presents a picture of America as a rudderless behemoth sailing adrift in treacherous waters: the US is completely fucked up, and the whole world knows it. The American Century lasted only fifty years, and it is now over. All the world can do is wait to see what's going to happen next. They know that there is very likely no chance in hell that we're going to be able to pull ourselves out of this slump, and are watching events very closely so as to make sure they don't end up with the short end of the stick when the new order finally establishes itself. The Chinese Century? The European Union Century? Better start saving those Yuans and Euros right now, 'cause the dollar is on its way out--you don't want to be left holding the bag.

This is all very depressing.