Swans Commentary » swans.com December 18, 2006  



The Year The Obvious Was Acknowledged


by Philip Greenspan





(Swans - December 18, 2006)  2006 is the year when it became obvious that the United States was a declining world power and the momentum of that decline was accelerating! It's hard to tell when the turning point occurred; after all, the U.S. still possesses the most powerful and technologically advanced military force; has been the leader of the free world; has a corporate culture that pervaded the world; has wealth and influence that had been growing for a long time.

However, that military, powerful as it is, has been unable to accomplish the goals of the Bush administration in Iraq. And troubles are brewing in Afghanistan as well. 2006 is the year when most of the prominent pro-war advocates, whose opinions Bush and the media had relied on for invoking the Iraq war, admitted that it was lost, and when the neocons -- the very architects of that policy -- surprisingly turned against what was done. 2006 is the year when US citizens realized they had been bamboozled by Bush and his gang and turned against their government.

The US's free world leadership had been lost when people throughout the world repudiated its reckless pro-war policies. Friendly nations rejected its requests for support. The few receptive leaders of foreign countries who pledged support were compelled by the fervent and overpowering protests of their citizens to reverse course.

2006 is the year when elections in the US's long-time sphere of influence, Latin America, brought new faces into leadership positions who defied the big bully. 2006 is a year when Iran and North Korea, members of the notorious "axis of evil," stood their ground and showed no sign of buckling to Dubya's demands. 2006 is the year the US's remaining allies had problems as well. Berlusconi, one of the US's strongest supporters, was voted out of office. Olmert, the leader who took over from Sharon, was given an okay from Washington to send the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) into Lebanon to oust Hezbollah. They were stymied, however, and blew it.

2006 is the year the US's financial situation grew ever more desperate. The dollar has been falling against foreign currencies and its position as the world's reserve currency may soon be threatened. Recurring trade deficits drain more and more wealth from the country. Sky-high budget deficits due to the costs of the war will keep increasing the National Debt, now at over 8.6 trillion dollars -- just take a gander at a more exact figure of what it was, according to the US Treasury, on December 6: $8,653,798,995,165.17, whew! It won't be long before and the country will be bankrupt.

Falling prices the past few months put a pall on the earlier rosy housing boom and portends an upcoming recession. Industrial giants such as General Motors and Ford are struggling and other mighty corporations have already tasted bankruptcy, often dumping their sizable pension liabilities on the federal government. Major industries along with good paying manufacturing jobs are moving to foreign countries. Consumer spending exceeds income for a rate of dissaving last seen during the depression. How much longer can this erosion of wealth last?

The Far East economies are growing rapidly and to keep their industries humming have been readily extending credit, which the US government and it citizen consumers have been lapping up. How much longer will that last?

The loss of a country's wealth foreshadows that nation's decline. That is the import of Professor Paul Kennedy's best selling book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Military power depends upon the wealth of the nation and the strength of its economy!

Will the Democrats, the big winners in the midterm elections, make a difference? Particularly with respect to the most important and number one issue, the war? The rhetoric will become less strident. To appease the public an appearance of change will occur. But the basic pro-war policy will remain. Politicians stubbornly persist with their failed policies supported to the end by the elites whom they truly represent.

Without a fundamental shift, a drastic change of direction -- social, political, economic -- 2007 will see much of the same trends, only worse.


· · · · · ·


For over a decade we've brought you uninterrupted ad-free advocacy work free
of charge. But while our publication is free to you, we are long on friends
and short on cash. We need you, our readers, to help us financially. 
Please consider sending a donation now. Thank you.

· · · · · ·


Internal Resources

Years in Review

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Philip Greenspan 2006. All rights reserved.


Have your say

Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.


· · · · · ·


This Edition's Internal Links

2006 And Counting - Jan Baughman

Was 2006 A Worthy Year? - Gilles d'Aymery

Reflections On 2006 - Edward S. Herman

Three Victories In 2006 - Martin Murie

The Year That Wasn't - Eli Beckerman

A People's Resolution - Michael DeLang

Unfinished Business (2006) - Gerard Donnelly Smith

The Anti-War Movement Failure - Robert Wrubel

2006: Promises, Honored Or Broken - Charles Marowitz

Coming Full Circle - Troy Headrick

A Year Of Implosion - Milo Clark

Merry Xstress 2006 - A Dialogue by Peter Byrne

Killing And Christmas Year In Year Out - George Beres

2006: Pulvis et umbra sumus - Poem by Guido Monte

Letters to the Editor

· · · · · ·


[About]-[Past Issues]-[Archives]-[Resources]-[Copyright]



Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/pgreen101.html
Published December 18, 2006