Oct 22, 2012
“That era of American dominance is drawing to a close as the country’s relative power declines, along with its ability to manage global economics and security.This does not mean the United States will go the way of Great Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. As Harvard’s Stephen Walt wrote in this magazine last year, it is more accurate to say the “American Era” is nearing its end. For now, and for some time to come, the United States will remain primus inter pares–the strongest of the major world powers–though it is uncertain whether it can maintain that position over the next twenty years. Regardless, America’s power and influence over the international political system will diminish markedly from what it was at the apogee of Pax Americana. That was the Old Order, forged through the momentous events of World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. Now that Old Order of nearly seven decades’ duration is fading from the scene. It is natural that U.S. leaders would want to deny it–or feel they must finesse it when talking to the American people. But the real questions for America and its leaders are: What will replace the Old Order? How can Washington protect its interests in the new global era? And how much international disruption will attend the transition from the old to the new?” – Christopher Layne, “The End of Pax Americana: How Western Decline Became Inevitable,” The Atlantic, April 26, 2012.
The last debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney was not a debate about the most pressing questions of the hour but a parade of American power. It was a charade of a debate. There is a greater range of opinion at a rally of a totalitarian political party, whether current or historical.
There was also no passion in their words. The spirits of Lincoln and Douglas are saying, “Where is the fire in your bellies? Where is the drama of a debate? Where is the great display of American common sense and wisdom?”
Both candidates reaffirmed the core myths and fallacies that have guided U.S. decision making and served as the ideological bedrock of U.S. foreign policy in the post-9/11 world. Here is a list of the key statements that were made in the debate in one form or another by both candidates: “America is the indispensable nation,” “Israel is a true friend and our best ally” “Iran is the greatest national security threat,” “We must support democracy in Syria and the Middle East,” “Iran must not get a nuclear bomb.”
Why are Obama and Romney so obsessed about creating democracy in Syria and preventing the emergence of nuclear weapons in Iran, but overlook the lack of democracy and the existence of nuclear weapons in Israel?
Why do Obama and Romney worship Israel and treat it as a nation that is above criticism, above America, and above the world? Why does a great nation like America bend its knee to Israel and submit to its will? The reason can’t be to simply defend Israel in a volatile region because Israel has the means to defend itself.
And if volatility is the big worry, then why not change the current U.S. and Israeli policies that create volatility and hatred? U.S. and Israel reign through chaos and terror. This is the global reality. The world demands defense from USrael.
Israel is not a victim, so it is insane for American leaders to treat it like a victim and defend the indefensible in the process. Since its birth, Israel has chosen to endlessly wage war and commit aggression against its neighbours. It will pay the price for its criminal disregard of human rights and international law. Ruling by fear doesn’t work forever.
One of the main themes of the debate was Iran. Both candidates threatened Iran with war, but they would’ve served America and the world better if they laid out the consequences of a war between USrael and Iran. They did not discuss the limits of U.S. military power in a possible war with Iran. Is this how responsible leaders act? How serious are they about their threats?
And why are both of them so anti-Iranian? We know it’s not about the nuclear issue because Iran is not interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. Is the issue about regime change? Do they want to wipe the Islamic Republic and Islam off the consciousness of humanity? Do they want war with Iran even if it involves nuclear weapons? Are they sure America will emerge victorious in an apocalyptic clash with Iran and the world of Islam? And what will it take to achieve a favourable outcome for USrael in this stupid war: for example, the use of nuclear bombs on Iranian cities?
You can’t just say, “Iran is the greatest national security threat,” and leave it there. That is not good enough. The American people and the world deserve better from American leaders. Ultimately, we’re talking about the possibility of nuclear war. Bob Schieffer referenced at the beginning of the debate the Cuban missile crisis, reminding both candidates what is at stake at the end of the day.
But nuclear war doesn’t seem to phase Obama and Romney. Both men piled on Iran during the debate and bowed down to Israel like slaves. Obama talked about a “nuclear arms race” in the Middle East if Iran builds a nuclear weapon —- but what about Israel and Pakistan? The nuclear arms race in the Middle East started when Israel stole America’s nuclear technology and uranium.
Why is Iran being singled out? Obama said he will make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon at all costs. Really? So, will Obama blow up Iran to stop Iran from attaining the means to defend itself from aggression? This is backwards logic. There is no sanity in official U.S. discourse about Iran.
Both Obama and Romney also repeated the fallacy that Iranian President Ahmadinejad said he will wipe Israel off the map. What he said was that the current government in Israel will be gone from the page of time, quoting Khomeini. Obama says the exact same thing when he calls for Assad to step down. Gaddafi’s regime also disappeared from the page of time, due to U.S. efforts. Ahmadinejad made a political statement, not a genocidal statement.
What is so controversial about calling for greater openness, expansion of democracy, and protection of human rights in Israel? Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and other world leaders stand with the Ayatollahs on this issue, at least in principle.
If change must come to Syria and the Arab world, then why not also to Israel and the Western world? Israel and America are not beacons of democracy and freedom, they must also undergo democratic changes and join the community of civilized nations.
I’m not defending the Islamic regime, but the talk of war is stupid. Romney said that a “nuclear capable” Iran provides enough political justification for U.S. military action. Does this mean he will commit to an American invasion of Iran? What does he have in mind, exactly?
Obamney’s rhetoric about Iran is dangerous and foolish. It distracts the world from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the collapsing global economy. When will this insanity end? If world peace is not achieved through dialogue and diplomacy, then how? If not by American leaders, then by who? Russia? China? Will these enlightened countries lead humanity to world peace? Is the era of American leadership over? How can America lead the world if it is not enlightened enough to distinguish between reality and fantasy?
It is interesting and significant that President Obama restated the mantras of “Al-Qaeda killed us,” and “I got Bin Laden and decimated Al-Qaeda’s leadership,” over the course of the debate. From a logical point of view, this statement is ludicrous because Al-Qaeda has CIA roots, and its top leaders were covert CIA spies, above all Osama Bin Laden. So unless Obama fires the CIA leaders who created Al-Qaeda he can’t say “I decimated Al-Qaeda’s leadership.” It is a lie.
History matters. Truth matters. It is a mistake for Obama and Romney to breeze over the facts and embrace the mighty wind of power, because sooner or later the winds of history will change and they will have to answer for their lies and crimes against humanity.
They cannot fall back on 9/11 and say Al-Qaeda is the reason America invaded Afghanistan in 2001. The world knows that 9/11 was an invented trauma of the Jewish and American peoples. Using an invented psychological wound to erase and excuse one’s crimes from the historical record is a reflection of insanity and dishonesty.
America can be a true leader of nations and become a reliable rock in a world submerged in chaos only if it regains its sanity and deals with foreign and domestic matters honestly. Humanity is not asking American leaders to retreat from the world, but to reflect on their actions, recognize the limits to their power, and respect international law.
Saman Mohammadi is the writer and editor at The Excavator
This article was posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 5:17 am