An incisive piece in a smart magazine by James Kitfield. Though his thesis has been advanced before by others, Kitfield lays out a wholly anticipated (though not by the neo-cons) consequence of Bush militarism: The decline of the US as a hyperpower able to impose its will with no rivals.
That is one consequence of the Iraq war that I will applaud.
National Journal Group Inc.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Is the American era over?
For a generation raised to wave the banner of triumphant Western democracies, and nursed on the mother's milk of American exceptionalism, the very idea seems an affront. Predominance is regarded as an American birthright. Less than a decade ago, the United States was held out as the rarest of historical anomalies, a lone superpower leading the world. Today, such talk of boundless promise already seems part of a receding past.
The Iraq war, of course, largely explains the fading of references to U.S. "hyperpower" and "benign hegemony." Nations mired in costly and unpopular wars are rarely held out as exemplars of strength or benevolence. More broadly, Iraq is the centerpiece of the Bush administration's ambitious "global war on terrorism," which, by design, sought to challenge and topple many of the orthodoxies of the old world order. In such a strategic swing for the fences the potential rewards of victory were always dramatic. So too were the risks and consequences of striking out.
Read more at The American Decline Begins.