Wed, 18 February 2009
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
"The more Washington pushes, the more the world pushes back."
The Obama administration's director of national intelligence has recognized that the United States' economic problems are the country's "primary near-term security concern." This conclusion by intelligence czar Dennis Blair surprised members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who are used to the executive branch spreading alarms about the so-called "terrorist threat" and the dangers posed by "rogue" nations. The testimony is evidence that Mr. Blair's boss, Barack Obama, can see at least as far as the nose on his face. It is also an admission that the U.S. superpower isn't what it used to be, in terms of controlling events in the world.
Blair said, "The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests." Which makes sense - as far as it goes. What the rulers in Washington, including Barack Obama, will never understand is that the United States is responsible for accelerating the process of its own decline, through relentless threats to the security and sovereignty of everyone else on the planet. The more Washington pushes, the more the world pushes back. Since September, every inhabitant of Earth blames the U.S. for infecting the globe with "the American disease" - the worldwide economic meltdown. Nobody has any sympathy for the great vector of economic illness, and most think the Americans deserve whatever they get, having bragged on themselves all these decades while sneering down their fat red noses at the rest of humanity and its problems.
"How much more unstable has the United States become, since the economic crash of its own making?"
Any U.S. intelligence official worthy of the description knows that the global schoolyard longs to see the bully get what's coming to him. This has especially been the case since George Bush told the world to kiss his butt, with the illegal invasion of Iraq. The invasion was a declaration that the United States was at war with the very concept of international law. Literally no one was safe.
Although the Americans failed to achieve their objective, which was to dominate the energy producing regions of the Middle East and Central Asia, George Bush kept threatening to make another try. His successor, Barack Obama, behaves in a more civilized manner, which is welcomed by the international community. But Obama still claims his superpower rights, and continues to spend more money on weapons than the rest of the world, combined. No matter how you slice it, that's a threat.
The Americans used to be fond of saying that everybody else on the planet secretly preferred that Washington take charge of things - that it gave them comfort. Nobody's saying that anymore, not since the meltdown. The United States, having lost all claim to moral leadership in the world, is now the international pariah, the source of the spreading plague of economic insecurity.
Obama's intelligence director, Dennis Blair, suggests that about one-quarter of the world's governments have experienced "low-level instability" due to the meltdown. A better question for Mr. Blair might be: how much more unstable has the United States become, since the economic crash of its own making? Blair might do better to study that problem, than worrying about former client states that no longer want to hear what Washington has to say.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.