There are good reasons for any good progressive to bemoan the presence of the childish, racist, sexist and ecocidal, right-wing plutocrat Donald Trump in the White House. One complaint about Trump that should be held at arm’s-length by anyone on the left, however, is the charge that Trump is contributing to the decline of U.S. global power—to the erosion of the United States’ superpower status and the emergence of a more multipolar world.
Have not read the article yet but huge props to Common Dreams for re-publishing a Paul Street piece! Street’s in-depth analysis is a bracing breath of real air in an oxygen-starved environment.
Looking at the site archives i see this is the fifth Paul Street article at Common Dreams, with two in 2016, and two in 2017. Props!
Long, but excellent article by Paul Street.
Condensed for people that do want to take time to read the full article: Amerika is and has been the #1 terrorist country in the world.
While all true, is it better to be the oppressor or the oppressed?
Who doubts that a new global hegemon will prevail if the US fails ?
And would one expect a more enlightened hegemon ?
The UN would still seem the only enlightened alternative.
I disagree it is all black and white like that. If -sorry, WHEN - the U.S. is no longer the global hegemon, does not mean that some other power will automatically take our place and act exactly like we did, and start bullying us (and everyone else). The U.S. can step back and still maintain an impressive defensive military posture - DEFENSIVE being the operative word here (and after all we will always have nukes) and be in no worry of being bullied the way the U.S. bullied pretty much every other nation on the planet for our 70+ year reign of terror. My guess is the next powers - and I think there will be more than just one - that rise to the top after the U.S falls from that spot, will be less beligerant and more equitable in their dealings with the global community than the U.S. has been.
There are plenty of gray areas in between “global superpower bully hegemon” and “little snowflake weakling pussy just asking for a beating.”
Given that spending on the US military seems as strong as ever I don’t see any decline in US power in the military area and a decline in US power would certainly not be welcome in Western Europe and Japan. For Western Europe the big threat is Russia and for Japan the big threat is China. I think if there was a decline in US power Germany and Japan would rapidly build nuclear weapons. Those countries have the largest economies of any democratic country except for the US and the burden would fall more on them to defend democratic countries. But it is hard to see any country really replacing the US. It is the only very large democratic country (except for India which is a developing country). Both Russia and China are authoritarian countries. The big questions are probably how strong China will get and what are China’s ambitions in the world? The course that China takes will be critical in the coming years.
The world watches America while America watches Dancing with the Stars. Ever wonder why your neighbors are dumbfucks regarding their country?
That Trump murders with less sophistication, outward moral restraint and credible claim to embody enlightened Western values and multilateral commitment than Obama did is perhaps preferable to some degree. It is better for empire to be exposed in its full and ugly nakedness, to speed its overdue demise.
Ah, there it is. The alt-left rationale that a Trump Administration is a good thing. Wrong, The most dangerous Administration perhaps ever.
Check back with us Paul in several months.
Yes, I agree with the profile of US Empire in the article, but not with that ridiculous alt-left meme regarding the “benefit” of Trump as disruptor.
Trump represents the kind of autocrat, the kind of monster such Empire needs to up the ante of violence abroad, AND repression at home.
That’s good Paul?
Throughout the world, the nations which develop autonomous self-sufficient economies are most likely to survive inevitable resource depletion of fuel/energy. Those nations which become completely dependent upon long-distance transport and travel have the least chance of sustaining common livelihood and culture. Connecting the dots to WWIII and its prime objective of genocidal population control. Trump is Hitler.
mike, you seem to have little faith in humanity. i want neither to be an oppressor nor the oppressed! the oppressor is but a venal, hateful and fear-filled bully hiding behind weapons of mass destruction. he is a greedy, abusive control-freak who would kill the earth if he cannot have her. understand that our little western power coalition that advertises itself as the “international community” serves to protect the interests of the few. the robber barons care not to win the peace because our for-profit munitions industries would have to close its doors for business. our military with your nation’s support sets up bases all around the globe not to promote democracy, but to plunder the resources of the world. we, the developed nations, are not the rich nations. the rich nations are those we condescendingly refer to as 3rd world countries. they are the in fact the rich nations of africa, the middle east and south america for they have the oil, the diamonds, the uranium and rare earth metals our misleaders covet.
you’ve braved the elements, climbed to the top of the world. surprised, i am, that you’ve fallen for the fear-mongering mistrust of the unknown “other”
The lack of moral outrage by some of the posters here due the almost inconceivable amount of carnage we have bestowed upon the world is mind boggling. I guess that happens when we are not on the receiving end.
This is a long article, but well worth reading! It cannot list the bloody business of American Empire as completely as it does, without being long; and these are just the high points, or maybe the low points.
Excellent summary of US “Foreign Policy” 1945-present !
Why does it have to be either/or?
I agree with you about the U.N., by the way.
I have read Paul Street for years when he was a regular contributor on ZNet. I used to admire him when he was an activist for labor, the poor and homeless, and black victims of police brutality in his home states of Iowa and Illinois.
But that was the old Paul Street. Starting in 2016, the guy changed to a person I hardly recognize, as he first became a “never Hillary-Trump-won’t be-so-bad” type, and has since has abandoned domestic issues altogether for the keyboard-pounding “sole evil in the world is US imperialism” branch of left - a group of who seem to be terrified of dealing with the far more messy geopolitical situation of the current day.
The endless recitations of these long lists of US-instigated atrocities, frankly have little relevance to the current geopolitical conditions. Lets look at three key horrific atrocities going on right now:
Yemen: The US military support is reprehensible, but it is Saudi Arabia and its backward billionaire king allies who decided to rain horror in Yemen.
Myanmar: The US has nothing to do with the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.
And now Syria…
Street uses the tu-quoqe fallacy to dismiss and depreciate the bloodthirsty Assad - as if a Syrian family current under Assad’s bombs or in his torture chambers really can be concerned about US sending arms to Saudi Arabia right now. Sure, If it weren’t for superpower meddling, the Syrian people would have been free of the decades-long horrific Assad regime and ended the civil war years ago. But guess which meddling superpower is responsible this time - by arming and heavily supporting Assad?
Oh wait, I almost forgot, nowadays, the US left supports political imprisonment, torture and execution of dissidents - well, at least as long as it is Assad or Putin doing it. And what about the people struggling to overthrow a repressive regime since 2011 (many of them socialists)? They are “US-armed terrorists”. Oh, and indiscriminate bombings of Homs, Aleppo, an Eastern Ghouta, are just fake news from the US imperialist media…and the white helmet Nobel-candidate rescue squads, they’re just agents of the CIA!
Overall, Street seems to be, like much of the increasingly unhinged left, of being capable of only finding their outrage if they can blame the USA and only the USA. And when they cannot blame the USA, they either ignore the victims of humanitarian outrages or they fabricate an insulting, agency-robbing, absurd conspiracy theory that their efforts and blood is just a CIA plot!
Excellent analysis. It sort of goes along with this piece from Booman regarding the domestic front:
The progressive Putinists are willing to give up all progress, however imperfect, for their own truths.
I have been outraged by all of the US’s crimes since the end of WW2 for decades now.
But times change, and we have to live in the present. Right now, the worst atrocities are being committed by others for which US support is minimal, one of benign neglect, or non-existent. I am a friend of several Syrian refugees being harbored and sponsored by my brother and his partner in Toronto. They and millions of other Syrians fleeing for their lives if not already dead, have been at the receiving end of other inflictors of carnage, not the USA.
Yes, the conspiracy-laden denialism of the US left is exactly the same psychological phenomenon as the global warming denialism on the right.
And that “Parkland students are actually paid actors” conspiracy nonsense that came out today on the right is identical to “the participants of the democracy uprisings in Syria and the Ukraine are just paid CIA agents” conspiracy theory on the left.
I actually can’t believe the extent of the overlap right now. Both sides defending an atrocious administration, both defending mechanarions of a right wing fossil fuel oligarchs. It’s stunning, frankly.
What is this “Booman Tribune”?
It seems to be the same web-technology as the old now-almost-extinct open-source, non-commercial “Indymedia” system that was so pivotal in the global economic justice movements and anti-war movements of the late 90s to early 00’s. The decline and fall of Indymedia, and the rise of the awful commercial Facebook and twitter to replace it, was, I believe, a major factor of the decline of the activist/radical left to its current sorry state.
No, Street did not say “That’s good.”
He carefully framed that it is “perhaps preferable to some degree” that “Trump murders with less sophistication, outward moral restraint and credible claim to embody enlightened Western values and multilateral commitment than Obama did.” Specifically because US empire is thus “exposed in its full and ugly nakedness, to speed its overdue demise.” Not because “that’s good.”
This after opening his piece by noting that “There are good reasons for any good progressive to bemoan the presence of the childish, racist, sexist and ecocidal, right-wing plutocrat Donald Trump in the White House. One complaint about Trump that should be held at arm’s-length by anyone on the left, however, is the charge that Trump is contributing to the decline of U.S. global power—to the erosion of the United States’ superpower status and the emergence of a more multipolar world.”
You are free to falsely claim that Street says “a Trump administration is a good thing.” But that is very plainly not what Street asserts. Street is specifically addressing supposed “leftists” who think Trump is bad because he is weakening US hegemony.