Cole in Tomdispatch: Asia Rising, American Hessians

My column is out in Tomdispatch on the troubling ways that President Obama’s Asian trip suggest America’s weakening position in the world, especially with regard to a rising Asia– given our debilitating wars and our hollowed out economy.

Read the whole thing.

13 Responses

  1. On my way to work the other morning I passed through a small village and although it was a nasty morning, cold and raining hard, the streets were lined with people and American flags. I understood why when I saw the banner that said “Welcome Home Pfc – We will always remember”. A few miles outside the village I saw approaching me the procession bringing this 21 year olds body home and pulled over to the side of the road to honor the fallen boy. As I sat there, tears running down my cheeks, silently saluting this young man, I couldn’t help wonder one simple thing – Why?

    I believe Professor Cole sums it up perfectly in this piece with a single sentence;

    “Just as the poor in any society often join the military as a way of moving up in the world, so in the century of Asia, the U.S. could find itself in danger of being reduced to the role of impoverished foot soldier fighting for others’ interests…”

    America, led by small-minded, greedy people is dying before my eyes. And I just don’t know what to do about it.

  2. Excellent article. USA sinking. “Spurlos versenkt”. And continuing fighting in Afghanistan because India demands it (but doesn’t pay for it?).

    And dear, dear Hillary, with that little-girl smile, pretending to “do” foreign policy when the USA has forgotten how to co-operate but has outgrown its self-image as superpower, has over-spent, and has so little power (other than war-fighting power) that it cannot even control its supposed ally, Israel.

    They’re all laughing at us, and Juan tells it like it is.

  3. Dear Professor Cole,

    The Huffpost article below is nowhere near as important as your most recent post on President Bush, but I thought to send it to you anyway. I’m hoping there might be a small chance that you’ll offer us a professor’s perspective, and perhaps how you might respond if one of your students submitted a paper with similar “literary misdemeanors.”

    “George Bush Lifted Passages Of Memoir From Advisers’ Books”

    Thank you,

  4. Prof Cole,

    What an eloquent prose that you wrote.

    Incidentally, I found this post of Professor Stephen Walt very relevant.

    link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    Its point 5 is relly related to the question of decline of USA.

    And John Judis has rendered an insightful analysis of coming troubles of USA in the wake of recent elections.

    link to tnr.com.

    • Faheem

      Thanks for the links.

      I was really taken with Stephen Walt’s choice of the EU as his first item.

      The Mediterranean is a Euro Arab Lake.

  5. quite an outline of America’s present and future decline. Greed and Hubris of Rich and Powerful Older men that young men and women are sent to die for. History does repeat itself. over and over.

    How many times must this story be re-written?

  6. Dear Professor Cole

    The news this morning of the US incentives to the Israelis to buy a few more days of their indulgence illustates the decline of the US.

    link to bbc.co.uk

    BBC radio mentions that the offer includes immunity from war crimes charges arising from their assault on Gaza and their recent piracy and murder on the high seas and a block on any investigation of their nuclear facilities.

    I feel a sense of deep anger that Outlaw State to whom International Law no longer applies has managed to, yet again, subvert the US government.

    The US has paid the blackmailer and will now have to keep paying.

    The US is no longer a credible intermediary for negotiations.

    The Outlaw State is as dangerous in the Middle East as Serbia was in the Balkans a hundred years ago.

  7. Juan Cole: “To think of this another way, President Obama is in danger of losing control of his South Asian foreign policy agenda to India, its Republican supporters in the House, and the military-industrial complex.”

    In all of this amazing article, which just had my brain spinning, never once is Israel mentioned. Looking at the above quote, I cannot help thinking that Israel is also a part of this equation, given its close relationship with India and with the new Republican American Congress .

    Your thoughts, Juan?

  8. Are we Rome?

    Or are we Russia, where oligarchial capitalism has created a small middle class, unaffordable cities, rampant materialism and an inability to face its past failures?

    or are we China, where Communist capitalism has created a jingoistic nationalism, unaffordable cities, rampant materialism and dangerous financial bubbles?

    We are many things…too many of them wrecklessly dangerous.

    or am i just a nattering nabob of negativity?

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