I have come across a rather refreshing take on the U.S. and Britain foreign policy. Th author points out that countries like Pakistan and others in the middle east like to do a lot of blaming and not enough taking responsibility for their own ills.
Honestly I think he nails it on the head here. When are we going to stop letting them lay it all on the west?
First off, the 'most prosperous patch in history' that you are referring to happens to represent the history of the petroleum economy - an economy based on an easily extracted and transported commodity that provides a surrogate for a huge labour force.
Secondly, the U.S. has in fact kept plenty of tyrannical governments in check, and if that could continue perpetually then we could sit back and watch global government coalesce. The problem is that isn't going to happen because we are well over half way through the prosperous patch provided by petroleum.
Thirdly, keeping tyrannical governments in check has resulted in a cultural dependence on an unsustainable daycare program. If the cultures in unstable countries do not evolve to the point of shrugging off their own tyrannical governments, that is exactly the system that will return when daycare funding runs out: when the petroleum runs out.
Forth, although diplomacy does not get us the instant gratification we desire, it is by far a more sustainable system of daycare that actually fosters cultural evolution in these unstable countries. The desired results of such diplomacy will take at least a century but that century does not start until that reliance on diplomacy commences.
Finally, as petroleum depletes, western economies are going to become very dependent on alternative energy infrastructures. Those infrastructures will be the prime target of all nations who, being without those infrastructures, will believe (justifiably) that their energy resources were stolen in order to create them. The nightmare that that will create will make our current turmoils seem like a walk in the park.
I have not, in this thread, suggested that U.S. world domination should be terminated - so you've missed the entire point. The means of domination, western domination, are unsustainable. My alternative is not to that domination, it is to the strategy, and that alternative is diplomacy over unsustainable military interventions.
I've already stated that this is a 100 year long process - but so is occupation of the middle east. Diplomacy, however, is sustainable for that hundred year plan.
Heather, look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves
We have currently 54 years of PROVEN reserves. And by the way, guess how many oil reserves were discovered in 2009? TWO HUNDRED.
I am afraid "peak oil" is as bogus as AGW...
Perhaps you could learn a bit about the calculations here:
- The US is the de-facto ruler of a world empire at this moment, and has been for over 60 years. As such, it is the most benign (by far) empire ever to have existed on Earth.
Benign, in what respect? Human rights, say? Sure. But what we have here is, primarily, an economic empire - and when it comes to diverting resources (especially non-renewable ones) from other countries for its own good, the US is the less benign (by far) empire ever to have existed on Earth.
It may look cynical to put human lives and mineral ores on the same footing, but let's face it - had the Roman Empire plundered the planet as well as enslaved its inhabitants, we wouldn't notice the effects of the latter today. But we sure would notice we live on a depleted world.
How about we don't blame the west or the east but we do try to take a historical look at the cases of "American imperialism" and take responsibility for it. I think that's what several people in this thread have been doing. Of course they may be jealous of us for our prosperity, but for our freedom?
As the worlds only empire, we have to take responsibility. We pick and choose which regimes to support and take out. Based on what? In Syria the murder of civilians is arguably far beyond Libya, but we sit on the sidelines? It's hypocrisy. But this has been the status quo for the US for years. Let's begin with the genocide of the American Indian, which still has not been full acknowledged, and go from there.
Alejandro, the US may not step down, but may by default lose its position as a hegemony. Things are going from bad to worse in this country and our course is not sustainable.