Thursday, August 04, 2005


New publications on state of the world

Today's Guardian provides news about a number of fascinating new publications:
1. Richard Haas-former senior adviser to both Clinton and Bush- has written a book entitled, The Opportunity: America's Moment to Alter History's Course. According to Haas, America should change its style and direction of leadership. He suggests it should abandon hubristic ideas about American exceptionalism so that US can co-operate with emerging powers like China and established ones in Europe.
'The US does not need the world's permission to act, but it does need the world's support to succeed. No single country, no matter how powerful can contend successfully on its own with transnational challenges.' To effect this the US should decide not to develop new nuclear weapons, 'abandon the Bush doctine of pre-emptive war and regime change, break the climate changing oil habit and recommit to international rule making bodies like the UN.'[Simon Tisdal Guardian 4th August]

2. Peter Galbraith,former US ambassador in new York Review of Books condemns US 'arrogance and ignorance' in Iraq which could produce a country broken into Kurds Shias and Sunnis. He advises a loose cofederal solution in which the three elements govern themselves.
3. Brian Urquart, former UN senior official reviews Haas's book and points to the power of corporate lobbying which would work against any such changes of policy. He concludes by asking whether the world would accept US leadership, even if it began to make the right turns of direction, considering the mistakes made in the recent past, i.e. is it too late and has the US blown any chance at all of establishing a stable world order?
4. A historian of globalisation, James Kuntsler, asks whether globalisation is not merely a phase which the world is going through and is about to vacate. He argues in the Guardian that

'The American suburban juggernaut can be described as the greatest misallocation of resources inthe history of the world. The mortgages, bonds, real estate investments and derivative financial instruments associated with this tragic enterprise must make the judicious goggle with wonder and nausea. Add to this grim economic picture a farfulng military contest, already underway, really for control of the world's remining oil, and the scene grwos darker. Two thirds of that oil is is in the possession of people who resent the west, many of whom have vowed to destroy it..... Viewed through this lens the sunset of of the current phase of globalisation seems dreadfully close to the horizon. The American people have enjoyed the fiesta, but the blue light specail orgy of easy motoring, limitless air-conditioning and supercheap products made by factory slaves far away is about to close down.'

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