Skip to comments.Misguided Mission
Posted on 12/19/2003 6:40:14 AM PST by Theodore R.
It's clear that the president's brain is occupied by the neoconservatives who surround him. It's clear from their writings and policy statements that the neoconservatives believe the United States can become the dominant power on Earth.
This is a bad judgment that is dangerous and could become lethal. This is why thoughtful people believe it is imperative to defeat George Bush in the 2004 elections. This wrongheaded policy, cooked up by academics and journalists, is not one that will merely embarrass the United States. It is a wrongheaded policy that could have dire consequences for the American people.
This wrongheaded idea that the United States can now dominate the planet rests on a number of fallacies. Let's look at them.
Fallacy No. 1 is the belief that the rest of the world will acquiesce to American dominance. Russia, China and India, not to mention the Islamic World, are not about to go quietly into the sunset. All three have large populations, large amounts of natural resources, and nuclear teeth. Their nuclear teeth mean that the U.S. attempts to bully them will always fall short of being effective.
Fallacy No. 2 is the false belief that the United States is as strong as it was in 1945. The truth is we are much weaker. The great manufacturing capacity that became the "arsenal of democracy" has been eroded almost beyond recognition. Our agricultural base has been eroded. Iron ore and oil supplies have been seriously depleted. We are in fact dependent on imports not only for energy supplies but for manufactured goods, strategic minerals, parts for our own strategic weapons systems, and increasingly for food. We are running high federal deficits, high trade deficits and high current account deficits. The value of the dollar is eroding rapidly.
Fallacy No. 3 is the false belief that our military is undefeatable. This falsehood has been fed by the fact that since Vietnam, we have used our high-tech forces to attack small, poor, defenseless countries such as Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. But even Afghanistan and Iraq, both dilapidated and lacking all modern military technology, have put a great strain on America's military forces. We do not yet have full control of either country.
Our strength is not in our ground forces but in our high-tech air power and the ability to coordinate the two. One breakthrough in air-defense technology could seriously weaken us, and you can be sure both Russia and China are working assiduously to make that breakthrough. Before you dismiss Russia, you should remember that we are now dependent on Russian spacecraft to reach the space station and that Russia, not us, has the world's largest mobile intercontinental ballistic missile force.
If we are so strong, why has the president tread so carefully in his dealings with North Korea? Why not bully them as he did Iraq? Why not issue ultimatums? For the simple reason that we would pay a very high price in American casualties if we got into a war with North Korea. Don't forget, it is their civilian sector that is poor. They have put most of their resources into their military.
In 1945, the United States was the strongest and richest country on Earth. In 2003, we are one of, if not the, most indebted countries on Earth. Foreign holders of that debt could wreck our economy simply by deciding to dump their holdings on the market. Domestically we are a divided people with a decadent culture, if you can even call it a culture.
Far from entering a period of dominance, we are entering a period of great danger. Most empires have lasted about 250 years, and we are approaching that number. What we need are not empty heads controlled by pseudo-intellectual ideologues but the smartest, wisest leaders we can find. Our future depends on it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
psst, Charley...we already are the dominant power on Earth. Neocons believe that power should be used.
What a silly statement, on so many levels. Even if you believe that America is an "empire" today (I don't), it would be pretty foolish to claim that it was an empire from the moment of its founding...
Since the fall of the Soviet Union the USA IS the dominant power on earth.
Russia or China might give us a run for our money but neither, alone, can topple us from that position.
There is no other country on earth that can even come close.
India? Yes, they have a bunch of people but how are they going to move them? They don't have enough nuclear tipped ICBMs to tip the balance of power without plunging the entire world into WWIII. (or IV)
North Korea? With an egomaniacal ruler, the better part of the citizenry starving, and, most likely, a bitter internicine fight coming when the egomaniac dies, North Korea is a dead horse prospect to topple the USA from it's position of preimminence. Also, like India, North Korea doesn't have enough nuclear tipped ICBMs to tip the balance of power without plunging the entire world into WWIII. (or IV)
What other country has the power, will, backing of it's citizenry, and ba!!s enough to actually tell the USA to pack sand?
If we have so few, you could probably name them right?
We are at odds with the UN, an organization we were fundamental in creating
Who cares? It is probably better to say "The UN is at odds with the hand that feeds it" than to put it the way you did. The UN, what's that? I'm supposed to worry that we are at odds with an organization populated by the likes of Red China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Libya, Iran, Cuba, Pakistan, France etc? The UN can kiss my posterior.
I'd like to see a list of the few countries we have as friends if you'd care to list them and also, why I should be worried about the ones who are not our friends. If you ask me, Iraq has shown us who our real friends are. Always a useful thing to know.
Other nations like France- France is not a staunch ally. Nor is Russia. If these two countries disagree with us, you won't see me losing any sleep over it. Germany on the other hand is a different matter but you can surely not blame Bush for the Germany peoples' thick headeness.
We have nations that matter on our side. The UK and Australia for example. I would take these two nations over any number of assorted thugocracies and panty-waisted socialist states.
... bangs this one out of the park"...? Cripes, he can't even see the frickin' BALL. :)
Can become? We already are.
Because they have shown themselves not to be allies of the U.S. or of a democratic Iraq.
This guy is insane
look dummy, if that were true we wouldn't need the military and we wouldn't have been attacked over and over.
So? and they rely on us to pay for it to keep their space program running.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.