Soon, The Triple A Threat
I thought we were stuck in a rut.
The last time I took a look, eighteen months ago, our “national security” threat board had turned senile. It was thirty years, for example, since our leaders first warned us that Iran was minutes away from getting a nuke and zapping Israel and Iceland to boot. Cuba’s “threat” to the hemisphere was fifty years old. Fidel Castro had long since emulated me by retiring to blogging. The North Korean “danger” had been around for 60 years, but it was hard to pin the aggressiveness rap on a country known to the world as a hermit kingdom. It looked like we’d be doing dotage with our same old enemies, glaring at each other from wheel chairs on the porch of the assisted living facility.
But never stumble in front of the wheels of history. We suddenly seem to be on the way to acquiring two new and rambunctious foes. Brazil, with nearly 200 million feisty Brazilians and a wealth of natural resources, is off the ranch and gone mustang. So is Turkey, which strategically straddles Europe and Asia and is home to 70 million hard-working and increasingly independent-minded Turks.
The Brazilians have been subverted by the dangerous notion that being the biggest and richest country on a huge continent means they don’t have to take orders from an insolvent empire so degenerate that has to pay protection to secure its gouty military from the depredations of feudal tribes.
As for the Turks, they were long considered “one of the United States’ most pliable allies” who “reliably followed American policy” in the Middle East. But that’s all changed. “Regional powers want to have a say in regional and global politics. “This is our neighborhood,” say the Turks, and we don’t want trouble. The Americans create havoc, and we are left holding the bag.”
This is a knee in the jewels to official Washington dorktrine which holds that “the US. must prevent “potential competitors from challenging our leadership” or “even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”
If that’s not enough agita, there are increasing signs that China, our cosmic creditor, is moving beyond disobedience to defiance. The Obama administration’s efforts to “give Beijing a larger stake in solving international problems” is not working out. Instead, Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, charges that Beijing is pursuing polices “designed to protect China’s workers and firms at the expense of China’s trading partners” (that means us).
Putting your own country’s interests ahead of those of the American empire is, to be sure, the ultimate sin in Washington. Assassinations, coups and outright invasions are the usual penalty for such breaches. The trouble is that they’re easier to pull off in tiny Honduras than in big countries like Turkey and Brazil, let alone humongous ones like China.
Not yet overpowered by the stench of oil in the Gulf is the scent of blood in the water--this time from the imperial shark itself rather than from its prey. The great beast is old and wounded and the littler fishes are feeling more secure. The scariest word in Washington is “multipolar.” It means a world of many more or less equal players rather than one run by Goldman Sachs and such via their errand boys in the White House, Treasury and Pentagon.
Hard times are here and business and government are making drastic cuts. Thus far this trend has yet to reach the empire, whose budgets still soar no matter the diminishing return on investment it's suffering. Spending ever more spondulicks to boss around ever fewer subjects is not good business. This would then be a perfect time to discreetly step back from our declining global “interests.” Not capitulation, but starting with a little here, a little there. For instance, Obama could begin to make good on his fine words to the peoples of Latin America and the Middle East that the U.S. will actually respect their sovereignty. They’re in the process of sending us packing anyway. It would be dignified to gracefully heed their invitation to tend our own garden rather than be weeded out of one country after another.
Besides, not even I have a wacky enough sense of humor to start making fun of the threat notices the media are no doubt already preparing for us about the “evil Amazon-Anatolia Axis!”