Thursday, October 2, 2008

US Unsinkability Undermined

The worldwide fears and mounting tension triggered by the threatened collapse of financial markets globally is a pivotal moment, and perhaps a critical turning point, in the history of America and its relationship with the community of nations. There is keen anticipation of the coping solutions initiated by its leaders - solutions which are temporary in nature and where success is hinged on calculated guesswork compounded by several degrees of uncertainty. Regardless of its success or failure, the armor of America's invincibility has been damaged, and its unsinkability as a Superpower has been undermined.

Images were quite revealing. The US President, supposedly occupying the most powerful office on earth looking dazed and confused in a period of great crisis - as he always is - alone and practically begging Congress to pass the bailout bill. Yet he was rebuked, ignored even by Congressmen of his own party. He has become a liability worse than a lameduck for the Republicans running for reelection; and any contact or agreement reached with him is considered the kiss of death. His own misdeeds have tarnished America's image in the eyes of most countries in the world, and he has greatly diminished the power of the position by his own doing. His plea to the Senators came at a great price, having to agree to concessions and earmarks to pass the bailout bill in the Senate.

The US economy is showing signs of crumbling. The extreme swings of its stock markets are evidence of this weakness and lack of confidence. It will hardly be credible for America to push its free market ideas when its own has collapsed. Militarily, it is overstretched in 2 wars, and the combined financial woes and military costs will weaken its armed forces. The perception that America is on the decline has grown exponentially, especially during the last 2 years of the Bush Administration. The costly wars and financial crisis can be attributed squarely on the Republicans under George Bush. The rise of new and powerful nations, wealth abundance based on oil, and the accumulation of financial reserves in other countries has continuously and effectively redistributed the power formerly held solely by America. However, it is premature to say that there exists a shift in the balance of power, or that it is being altered irrevocably.

America has enormous economic toughness that can make it overcome this crisis and get itself on the right footing. But it has to do much in education; and in its infrastructure which have become decaying and crumbling assets that can no longer satisfy current requirements and demands. It has also abandoned sectors of its economy, surrendering its manufacturing efforts in favor of embracing the cheaper goods from China. It has to rise up to this present challenge since its military capacity is linked to its former economic superiority - which has been overtaken by emerging and powerful Asian economies.

But there are things that stand out for its certainty: George Bush and his cabal of Republicans, his wars, and the current financial crisis, has removed the biggest advantage of America as the only Superpower after the collapse of Communism. To believe that the US will continue to march on this leadership role alone is not only unrealistic but illusory. Power sharing among the world's equally strong economies that have come abreast with, or have overtaken America, will become necessary; and it will have to take a more rational and generous view of its interests than it ever did throughout its history. This is the inevitable consequence of greed. Its unbridled application sow the seeds of its own destruction, but only after taking the world with it.



Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right. The American armour has cracked and it will no longer tread the world as the most powerful, most prosperous, or most whatever.

It may even come second to other countries in some respects. Perhaps its citizens who travel to Europe won't be as obnoxious, bossy, loud, noisy and overbearing.Everything will equalize!

Zhu said...

I think times are changing and if people adapt we will be fine. But we need to understand the reasons why the system collapse and think them twice. So far, I think the Republicans are - as usual - in complete denial.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Anonymous,

A lot of things will change in the global landscape during and after this current crisis. The end to it remains unknown at present.

I have seen American tourists in Europe, some of whom became my friends. A few may have that need to feel superior or to be treated as such, but I'm not comfortable accepting that all Americans who go to Europe are as you describe. I find a great majority of them to be really nice and decent people, regardless of their political leanings.

If there's one thing I avoid discussing with anyone is politics and religion. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

The Republicans are trying to tie this crisis to the Democrats, with the contributions of Jimmy Carter in the late 70's about the expansion of mortgage loans coverage and the inclusion of Bill Clinton's proposal to provide mortgage loans to the marginalized sector. They say this opened the door to the system's abuse.

It's funny, but Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were created under the Nixon administration and reinvigorated during the Reagan administration.

Either way, none of these 4 administrations experienced a crisis brought on by fraudulent mortgage applications, regardless of whether these were expanded or increased in coverage. It's only in this Bush Administration, the one that brought the fraudulent machinations of Enron to America, the one that defied the UN against the Iraq war, the one that lied about weapons of mass destruction, the one that violated international laws on treatment of prisoners and use of torture, and the one that said Russia must not support South Ossetian separatist Independence while recognizing Kosovo's separatist independence.

It's not only denial Zhu, it's an outright delusion. :-) --Durano, done!

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