A piece in The Hill decries the waning influence
of the United States. To a large degree, articles of this sort should be seen as propaganda exercises by and for the neocons, who are pissed off that they didn't get the wars they wanted in Syria and Iran. These excerpts should prove the point:
In the Middle East, longtime U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia have been rattled by the administration’s nuclear talks with Iran, which led to an interim agreement in November. Under its terms, some sanctions were lifted on the longtime U.S. enemy.
Prince Saudi al-Faisal, a former head of intelligence in Saudi Arabia, told a conference in Monaco on Sunday that several “red lines” put forward by Obama on Syria “became pinkish as time went on, and eventually ended up completely white.”
Get the picture? The neocons are going to call Obama a weak little sissy-boy until he starts tossing bombs around again.
But the Hill piece also talks about China, and China is different: There really is a new arrogance, a new sneer of certainty and contempt. The Hill quote Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the CFR:
“Basically, I think the Chinese strategy for some time has been to stake out claims, and hold onto those claims until everyone, including the United States, throws up their hands and accepts its position. At some point we have to demonstrate to the Chinese that this approach doesn’t work.”
We don't make
anything. Compared to China's gleaming, science fiction-y new skylines, our cities seem so...20th century. Nowadays, all we have to offer are Wall Street financial "products" that have proven toxic. Our vampire class has displaced our entrepreneurial class.
Here's the key paragraph in which the Hill tries to tie it all together:
China’s rise now looks inexorable while the United States grapples with how to maintain its influence after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and while it still faces economic weakness at home.
The Hill's argument comes to this: Why has America lost prestige and power? Because the neocons drove us into a ditch during the Bush years. How to regain prestige and power? Let the neocons have the keys to the car again!
Does that argument make sense to you? Me neither.
The Chinese achieved their current prominence because they don't waste their time and resources on needless wars. They make
things. Obama did not take the steps necessary to lead us back to productivity, and for that reason, I consider his presidency a failure. But thank God he did not fall into the neocon traps in Syria and Iran.