January 27, 2005

a new balance

I read a fascinating article today written by Michael Lind in the Financial Times, then reposted in MyDD (and which I discovered via Daily Kos). It's about the dimunition of the USA as almighty world leader, with examples of how European and Asian nations are increasingly moving forward to form coalitions without the US.

He says, in part:

Europe, China, Russia, Latin America and other regions and nations are quietly taking measures whose effect if not sole purpose will be to cut America down to size.

Ironically, the US, having won the cold war, is adopting the strategy that led the Soviet Union to lose it: hoping that raw military power will be sufficient to intimidate other great powers alienated by its belligerence. To compound the irony, these other great powers are drafting the blueprints for new international institutions and alliances. That is what the US did during and after the second world war.

But that was a different America, led by wise and constructive statesmen like Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who wrote of being "present at the creation." The bullying approach of the Bush administration has ensured that the US will not be invited to take part in designing the international architecture of Europe and Asia in the 21st century. This time, the US is absent at the creation.

Kos calls this article sobering. I have the exact opposite reaction. It gives me tremendous hope. It's obvious BushCo is on a destructive rampage and will do little to nothing to further the wellbeing of the world at large. How wonderful that other countries are stepping in to fill the breech -- not only that, but that they're cutting the US down to size in the bargain. We no longer have any real balance of power in this country as we drift ever closer to tyranny. Thank god this kind of international balance of power has begun to blossom. The US does not need to be a major world power. At this point, it's better for the world if this country is not setting the agenda.

edited to add:

I followed a comment in MyDD and found an article in -- of all places -- International Newsweek that's even stronger in some ways in its analysis of the world turning away from the US model. I wish the US version of the magazine had the balls to print this cover story!

Posted by Tamar at January 27, 2005 08:47 PM

International Newsweek is amazing. They have been especially good on the post-Patriot Act environment and civil liberties. I have them bookmarked right alongside the Guardian UK for cutting-edge reporting.

TIME Canada, you'll be happy to know, is even better. Did you notice who they tapped as Man of the Year?

Posted by: Chris at January 28, 2005 10:32 AM

p.s. On the America-is-marginal front, you might also want to peek at this piece in the New York Review of Books.

Posted by: Chris at January 28, 2005 10:35 AM