Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Superpower in decline...

By Dilip Hiro. Hiro means this first paragraph as subtle irony, but it's worth presenting because it does capture the thinking of a lot of people.

"With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall — militarily invincible, economically unrivalled, diplomatically uncontestable, and the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true “American century,” with the rest of the world molding itself in the image of the sole superpower."

This points to the notion in the United States of what the Cold War was all about and what the "winning" of it by the United States meant. I was always under the impression that the Cold War was about human rights, that sort of thing, and that it wasn't about the U.S. per se opposing the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union as a model of what these countries should look like.

But it seems that people in the U.S. foreign policy establishment have a different ideas, relayed to the American public via the media.

Which is very strange considering that Germany, for instance, which saw nearly half of its territory incorporated into the Eastern Bloc, with an enormous border line between East Germany and West, probably didn't consider the point of ending the Cold War as turning East Germany into a model of the United States, which hasn't happened because of reunification. What exactly does the United States have to do with that situation, or a hundred other situations?

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