Thursday, August 25, 2005

 

Pax Americana in decline

Timothy Garton Ash writes an excellent article in todays Gaurdian. In it he compares USA now to UK in 1905 when we were a hyperpower but uneasily so with economic and military competitors clamouring around us and a nasty little war in South Africa. Iraq, he says is the American Boer War though we had nearly half a million men down there compared to the 150,000 in Iraq. Also, we herded a quarter of the Boer population into concentration camps in which many thousands died. So we should reflect on that when we condemn Abu Ghraib. TGA points out how the US is finally beginning to realise how false the war prospectus was and how they have been misled. So far Iran seems the only beneficiary of the changing power situation in that part of the Middle East. On top of thewe changes oil has pushed petrol up to $3 a gallon which to US drivers seems obscenely high. All this makes the US horizon more than a little cloudy at present.

But those who predict a crashing colossus in the near future should note that we survived for 40 years after the above date and even managed to expand our empire before that. It was the second world war which finished off our empire as we sacrificed it to bring down Hitler. China and India now atand as the nations poised to emerge are great powers. China has the second largest foreign currency reserves after Japan. To those who exult in the imminent passing of US greatness TGA points out that usually a transfer of power takes place after a long and bloody war and there is no guarantee that the new superstate will be any better than the USA- it could well be worse.

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