Thursday, March 13, 2003

Does the world need America?

U.S.-Backed Resolution Appears Doomed ... Diplomatic tension ran high today, as U.S. and British officials assailed what they considered high-handed intransigence on the part of France, which rejected the British proposal even before Iraqi officials did so in Baghdad. Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, appeared wan and haggard as he attempted to gather support for a compromise that would lay out conditions for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to meet to avoid a war. But diplomats said the U.S. insistence that Hussein be given only until next week to disarm was too much and too fast for the other countries on the council. "A lot of us feel bad about doing Saddam's bidding but that appears no worse than carrying out a war for the Americans," said a diplomat from one of the undecided nations.
One weapon the U.S. has always been able to use against the world would be to essentially threaten to pack up and force the world to go it alone without the United States. No President, until Dubya, has every really threatened this, but it was essentially understood to be one of the basic realities of international diplomacy: don't get on the bad side of America if you can avoid it. But, now that Dubya is actually trying to throw the full weight of the U.S. around, the world is starting to openly question whether things should continue as they have. Perhaps they can survive without the leadership of America. Especially if that leadership is as ignorant and arrogant as George W. Bush. We have already lost folks. We could invade Iraq tomorrow morning, overthrow Baghdad by dinner time and have Saddam in leg-irons by midnight and it wouldn't matter one bit, because the age of American dominance of foreign policy is effectively coming to an end. Truly, we may win Iraq and lose the world. Which would you rather have?


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