By Martin Love
August 28, 2021
Anyone in America with eyes to see and read and ears to hear cannot honestly conclude anything but that the U.S.is in decline. Its leaders during the past 30 years at least have presumed a kind of negative “activism” across the globe is good policy, but now the chickens as they say are coming home to roost and blowback is apparent most everywhere, but for now especially so in Afghanistan.
Negative “activism” primarily revolves around military overreach, trillions spent on the Military-Industrial Complex, Neocon-promoted wars, horrendous sanctions on other countries like Iran, bullying and more. Keep in mind the U.S. has not literally won a single war, or achieved any kind of strategic war objective (that made sense) since the end of World War 2. But the number one ill is state-sanctioned murder by the U.S. military, its proxies and its alleged allies especially in West Asia, of which there are only two of major note it seems: Saudi Arabia and Apartheid Israel, both of which are at the bottom of any list of favorite nations. The U.S. is no longer “the leader of the free world”, as it has alleged for decades, because it has denied freedom to so many countries under its heel and made so many lives miserable, including Iranian lives.
Keep in mind the U.S. has not literally won a single war since the end of World War 2.
Even little Norway, for example, notes this decline when its University of Science and Technology this month advised its students overseas to return home, and counseled: “This applies especially if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure, for example, the U.S.A.” Thus it is becoming increasingly apparent, quite aside from the debacle in Afghanistan, that the U.S. is flailing and struggling relatively at least, and President Biden is not to blame. He did the right thing halting the U.S. war on Afghanistan, which went nowhere for 20 years. If anything, Biden is fast becoming the victim of delayed but increasing blowback for bad policies over decades. And moreover, evidence of what appears to be cognitive decline suggest a bad outcome before 2024: that he will be replaced by VP Kamala Harris whom few Americans believe has the sensibility or smarts to become an effective president. Then the question looms how she could ever win a full term as president in 2024, and who might replace her in such a divided country where the Republicans seem bound to support a candidate even worse than Donald Trump – one who could well double down on the same belligerent policies of recent presidents that got the U.S. into the expanding jam it is in now.
This writer anyway has often, over the past four years, counseled simple “patience” to U.S. adversaries such as Iran, and the crushing part is that Iran never had to become a U.S. adversary except that U.S. policies has taken its marching orders from faux allies like Apartheid Israel and the Saudi regime. At least Biden continues to claim the administration desires the resurrection of the JCPOA, but as time marches on and Iran incrementally regains its footing and cements more goodwill and partnership deals from its near neighbors like Russia and China, even Iran may well begin to conclude that the JCPOA wanes in importance for the Islamic Republic as a necessary component of revival.
Dynamic Vietnam cleaned up the mess the U.S. made there and eventually Afghanistan will clean up the mess the U.S. made there.
The greatest act the U.S. military is performing in Afghanistan and did perform in any other country it has literally struck since World War 2 is simply to leave. Dynamic Vietnam cleaned up the mess the U.S. made there and eventually Afghanistan will clean up the mess the U.S. made there even if it only reverts to its ancient ways of life in relative poverty. However, it is a country rich in some mineral resources, if not oil and gas like Iran, and China, in particular, is bound to step in and help Iran’s economy in coming years with trade for its own economic juggernaut.
Meanwhile, VP Harris on a trip to Asia this month asserts that the U.S. “is still a global leader”. Really? If one looks at various aspects of conditions inside the U.S. it’s not at all leading in terms of the relative overall health of its citizens in many areas. Note that Harris did not say the U.S. is still THE global leader, but maybe just one of several and even that is questionable now. At best, what is ahead for the U.S. are years of penance for its policies internal and external over the past 30 or so years. “At best” because refusing penance and reflection and change will only dig a deeper hole than Afghanistan demonstrates.
Worth noting is that after the somewhat similar debacle and exit for the U.S. in Vietnam in 1975, hardly a dent was made in U.S. global dominance and various administrations continued to indulge in coups and wars and sanctions for decades as if killing some four million Vietnamese did not matter. But this time it’s different.
As a hegemonic power with its military and economic “empire”, the U.S. may be on its last legs. The world has changed dramatically since 1975. Some observers in Asia are even saying the 500-year-long upsurge of Western power and expansionism and colonialism and imperialism is fast dying, giving way to developments all across Asia led by China.