Tuesday, October 1, 2013

More reflections on Syria

Well, really more reflections on the events as they relate to the US position in the world.

There has been much written in the last several days on this topic.  These have been found not only in alternative sites, like LRC, but in mainstream western media.  One example is here, from the editorial pages of BBC News World, of all places:

Have the events of September 2013 changed the way the world is run?

In late August it seemed pretty certain that America would bomb the Assad regime in Syria as a punishment for using chemical weapons.

Then a number of wholly unexpected things happened. Britain's parliament voted not to join in a bombing campaign; President Obama decided he would have to put the issue to Congress before going ahead; and some clever diplomatic footwork by Russia resulted in an offer by Syria to destroy its chemical warfare arsenal.

It was, potentially, as monumental a month as was the September of twelve years earlier.

The world looked like a distinctly different place by the end of the month. It was not simply that war had been averted. The United States seemed diminished, and its previously reliable ally, Britain, was shown to be irrelevant in an area of the world which it once dominated. (emphasis added)

Consider: the BBC is calling into question the foundation of the Anglo-elite Empire.

Have we, perhaps, just witnessed a moment like that in 1975, when the Americans evacuated Saigon and their power in South East Asia was brought to a close?  That may be going too far.

But what does seem to have come to an end is the 23-year period during which the US was the world's only superpower or, as the formidable Madeleine Albright put it when she was Secretary of State, the "indispensable country".

If this is a major turning point, it seems to me much bigger than the last 23 years.  It is more like the last 123 years – from the time the elite decided that the US must be brought in to carry the weight that Britain would no longer be able to carry into and through the twentieth century.

The BBC editor goes on to suggest that no other country has – or likely will – take the place of the United States in this sole-superpower role.  In this he is correct – it doesn’t appear that China, Russia or any other candidate is a) ready, and b) under the thumb of the Anglo elite.

So, what is going on?  I offered my speculation here.  But there are other possibilities:

In future, America will want to work much more through other countries. There will be degrees of power, but no more superpower - not, at any rate, until things change again.

Is it possible that the diminution of the United States on the world stage will lead to a further increase of prestige for global bodies like the UN?  This certainly seems like a possibility.  After all, it is through the UN Security Council that Putin’s diplomatic victory is being legitimized.  This possibility would certainly be the least-bad of the ones seemingly available to the elite.

Quite a month, September 2013. I suspect we'll remember it for some time to come.

I think this is true – no matter the direction that the future takes….

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