BBC World News has a posted Fareed Zakaria Post American World. First
"the rise of the rest places certain limits on American power"
"The rise of the rest" is actually a pretty darn positive statement. From a study-of-power perspective it is no surprise that the vacuum formed, the monopoly formed by the USA being the sole-super-power, has a post-world that is hopefully more balanced. Make no mistake, I am incredibly pro-America because, well, I am an American. I can’t tell you how much I love this country.
Yet conversely I don’t like our role as World Police. I don’t recall applying for that job, and the fact we have been forced into it, leads us to an awareness of a lack of gratitude. This leads to email snippets like the one below.
From the email I received entitled "It Became Very Quiet In the Room":
Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying" have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them.
A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 5,ooo people three meals a day; they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships, how many does France have?
Once again. dead silence.
I have *no* idea if this actually happened or not although snopes backs it up. I do sense a bit of glee from other countries, similar to an older brother silently reveling the younger who drops the ball in the big game. Secretly, with a mirthy smirk, hidden by an upturned collar. Denied if accused.
I for one would enjoy a post-American world where my Sons aren’t the first to defend the latest crazy. Killing for God and such. Blaspheming through actions while praying for a post-death-orgy that is explicitly NOT allowed by the Qur’an. I think of it as a post-death-prosperity-gospel-scam, yet one that kills and can literally be preached to death to the illiterate and infirm.
But I don’t think it will be so. I don’t think America is quite ready to surrender our crown. Even if I would like to at times. We were the first to excesses with the biggest this, and the longest that. Sure Europe has the biggest airplane, but they couldn’t invent it, they could only refine the invention. So we will invent.
What we retain is a culture of innovation that is hard to beat. We just can’t currently balance what SHOULD be regulated (banking anyone?) and what should NOT be regulated (business). When we get our economic *&@# figured out we will do just fine. That is my prediction. I’d even buy that for a dollar, tacky movie or not.
Update: Christian Science Monitor has a similarly themed article here: