1/26/2005

The World's Dispensable Nation

Michael Lind has a powerful commentary piece in today's Financial Times (London) that discusses the emerging "global rejectionism" of American policy, with many examples of the decreasing leadership role of the US in key global issues. Lind writes that the US has become the world's dispensable nation, while "the rest of the world is building institutions and alliances that shut out the US...Given Bush's belligerence, the world really had two options -- prostrate itself before the American juggernaut and let itself be dominated by a self-serving, might-is-right, administration (and one now ratified by the US voters), or it could build international institutions to offset American power. Given the options, the choice was obvious. The results will haunt the US for decades to come...In a second inaugural address tinged with evangelical zeal, George W. Bush declared, 'Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world.' The peoples of the world, however, do not seem to be listening. A new world order is indeed emerging - but its architecture is being drafted in Asia and Europe, at meetings to which Americans have not been invited."
He asks readers to consider the Asean Plus Three (APT) trade organization, the recent moves by South American countries to bolster an economic community, the EU's rapid progress toward military independence, the EU's developing its own satellite network (with China's participation) to break the monopoly of the US global positioning satellite system, the plans for joint Russo-Chinese military exercises. The US is being sidelined even in the area that Bush identified in his inaugural address as America's mission: the promotion of democracy and human rights.
Lind says: "It is true that the US remains the only country capable of projecting military power throughout the world. But unipolarity in the military sphere, narrowly defined, is not preventing the rapid development of multipolarity in the geopolitical and economic arenas -- far from it. And the other great powers are content to let the US waste blood and treasure on its doomed attempt to recreate the post-first world war British imperium in the Middle East."

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