Thursday, February 21, 2008

USA Lurching to Empire

IT IS THE NATURE OF NATIONS TO RISE, FATTEN AND TO FALL – This quote from an under graduate course years ago on international relations still sticks with me as an analytical tool to explain the vicissitudes of the ebb and flow of national power. It is particularly acute today as the US squanders its blood and wealth in the delusional pursuit of empire.

The US rose in the 19th century. Under the rubric of MANIFEST DESTINY, it captured land from Mexico; it also fought a bloody civil war and transformed itself into an international power in a mighty industrial revolution. By the end of the 19th century it picked off territory from the Spanish crown in the Spanish American War. It had become an even more acquisitive nation as it took territory well beyond its borders.

The 20th century witnessed the fattening of America. It won two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. As it developed the capability to project power, with nuclear weapons, strategic bombers, Trident submarines, missiles and aircraft carriers, it was crowned as a super power. This status was enhanced with the implosion of the Soviet Union. It smashed Serbia and occupied some Balkan states. America became another Rome; it was an amazing history; but it grew too fat too quickly; by the last half of the 20th century, there were signs of old age already appearing. It became apparent that our diplomacy was tragically inept. It failed to extricate America from international problems created by the US force of arms.

It fought a vicious war in Korea that ended up as a draw. This was followed by an agonizing war in Vietnam which was lost. The century ended with Daddy Bush's Somali adventure and his unfortunate, misguided invasion of Kuwait. We now understand that Kuwait invasion was the prelude for the disastrous invasion of Iraq.

By the beginning of the 21st century there were signs of the FALL. Under GW Bush, the US failed to detect the 9/11 Jihadist attack on the US mainland. Bush's response was to occupy and invade Iraq and Afghanistan. He is now predictably stuck in both places, bleeding and paying. He still has not killed or captured bin Laden. Screwballs in the Republican Party want to hit harder and expand the wars to Iran and into Pakistan. Pathetic Democrats, in the main, bury their heads in the sand, afraid to intervene in the madness

Gibbon's turgid books on THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE explain Rome fell from internal rot. This apparently was the basis for permitting the barbarians crossing its frontiers and sacking Rome, finally ending the empire. The US now in the 21st century has allowed a variation of the barbarians,i.e., illegal aliens, to penetrate its borders with relative impunity. Like Rome, it also lacks the political will to stop this invasion.

As the 2008 political presidential election shapes up, there is little hope the candidates, whoever is elected, will curb the fall of the American empire. Bomb Bomb McCain, Bill's wife and Obama all want open borders and a form of amnesty for the invaders. None have a solution to our wars or economic woes – all want to spend money we do not have – we can expect more continuity, more disasters, despite all their collective bleating over change.

As history inexorably takes its course, suggest a stiff drink, continue to bear arms and do not permit Chico to repair his heap on your lawn. You do what you can do. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to get your facts right about the two world wars, both of which the USA entered late and neither of which the USA won on its own. WW1, the USA entered when Germany was exhausted and on its last legs. WW2 was won predominently by Russia. They had broken the back of the German army by the time the USA came. The USA also lost in Korea and Vietnam.

You are right about the presidential candidates: none of them have a clue about economics. No one can save the USA economically as it has no choice but to go through a major recession/depression which will last years. Very hard times are coming for all of us economically.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Lets clear something, the American military won the battles of WW1 and WW2. It also won the battles in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. Unfortunately the politicians got involved in the last three together with the pacifists and are ultimately the cause for losing those wars.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, our once great country will fall even faster because of the techno illusions we have created, that will not endure. I always felt growing up America was great because of our our people, not beause of our military conquests or economic might. But this is no longer true. Just look at the #1 rated TV show - "American Idol."
Is all lost?


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