Wednesday, January 5


Arab News has a reasonable, USA-friendly editorial about American adventurism:

The patina of overconfidence, overreach and override, defining its unilateralist action in Iraq, has not dulled the luster of the United States.

The buttes and mesas of its cultural expanse, its art, technology, music, fashion, cuisine, film, literature, and the ideological values that underwrote its birth (that “all men are created equal” and that they have inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” guaranteeing citizens, as it were, the privilege to party and have a good time) have insinuated themselves, by authority of imagination, into the lives of countless societies and individuals around the planet.

Not in recent years, though — not since an undermining, unilateralist puritanism began to nag at its character. The US has become, if you wish, a humorless neoconservative archetype: America the whiner, snarling at the heels of those nations that will not do what they are told, thus making the term “American power” around the world an equivalent for dead weight.

And what a dead weight the US has become in its adventurist foray into Iraq.

Almost two years after its military forces slouched into Iraqis’ lives, 2004 ended with everything going horribly awry for everyone, except for the insurgents — many of whom, by all accounts, a bunch of reactionary, often brutal kooks — for whom the year ended quite well. Nor does 2005 hold out much hope for a felicitous improvement in the situation, either for the coalition forces or for the Iraqi government, an interim body that has failed to develop popularity and legitimacy among ordinary Iraqis.


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