Sunday, February 20, 2005

The decline of the American empire

From an interview by Saul Landau of Ricardo Alarcon Quesada, the Vice President of Cuba (my emphasis in bold):

"Although the US remains the biggest military power, it has trouble controlling a rather small country like Iraq, which it almost destroyed by bombing and an economic embargo before the war. The reality is that US is only the most powerful entity in one area: information and communication.

It was the only dominant force at end of the Second World War, the only nuclear power. Nagasaki and Hiroshima, by the way, are the only cases in which nuclear power has been used destructively. They were not employed by a terrorist state, but by the US democracy - allegedly to defeat Japan. At that time and later, during the Marshall Plan, the US was at the top. Since then it has been declining. That does not mean it is a country in disarray, but it is going downward.

To answer this downhill slide, in my opinion, came the neo-cons who believe that by using the United States' comparatively limited economic and large military resources, but especially by exploiting their advantage in terms of communication technology and near monopoly of information media, they can reverse the trend. That is impossible. The US cannot turn the world back to 1945 and reappear as the only power in the world. The US needs to learn to live in a diverse world with different players, different ideologies and interests and not to pretend to be the owner of the planet."

The American empire is the first empire not to be built on military strength - the United States loses all the wars it fights - or on economic strength - its staggering economy is entirely dependent on the continued goodwill of its lenders - but on advertising its identity as an empire in the media. Since it is only an empire because people believe it to be an empire, its fall from power will be as sudden as the world realizing what a pile of bullshit the American empire really is.