One of the amazing ironies of the Ukraine/Crimea imbroglio is talk here in the US of the "strategic" sale of natural gas from fracking in the United States. Sale of US fracked gas to Europe and Ukraine will put strategic pressure on Russia, which now sells gas to Europe and Ukraine. In other words, our nifty empire has gone from sucking oil and gas from under the sands of Saudi Arabia and Iraq to, now, sucking gas out of US geological layers in a manner that will potentially taint US water supplies and who knows what else -- all for strategic leverage over Vladimir Putin and Russia. How's that for balls? It's a literal case of a declining empire sucking the life out of its own homefront to reinforce its overextended imperial perimeter.
American Exceptionalism may have washed on the way up, but it's a whole different thing and won't wash so well on the long, slow decline downward. We in the United States would benefit from some honest self-examination so we can come to terms with our past and figure out just what is really worth fighting for in the coming years.
To re-fit America, I'd start with re-distributing wealth, decent health care for everyone, good education and a downsized military/surveillance budget. Empower Americans from the bottom up to become good citizens again. If that scenario transpired, I'd be the first to join the fight against anyone, inside or outside our borders, who chose to attack us.