global political scene is not only changing, it has changed quite
dramatically over the last decade or so. The pompous notion of a
unipolar world in which the self-proclaimed “sole superpower” maintains
perpetual full-spectrum dominance a la Project for the New American
Century (PNAC) is no longer tenable. Even Thomas Friedman, a tireless
drumbeater for American exceptionalism, has conceded that the US has
been reduced to “The Frugal Superpower” (New York Times, September 4,
2010). Friedman’s reluctance to admit that the US is no longer a
superpower at all reflects the lingering residue of imperial hubris.
Let us compare this state of affairs with that of another has-been
superpower. Despite its decline to the status of virtually a third world
country, Britain still officially refers to itself as “Great “ Britain.
Old habits truly die hard; a tiny minority in British society is doing
exceedingly well but for the vast majority life has become a hard slog.
In America’s case, Friedman has been proclaiming its greatness from
every soapbox, so it is difficult for him to kick the habit so easily
but even he does not deny the stark reality facing the US.
“American pacifists need not worry any more about ‘wars of choice’,”
wrote Friedman in the Times. He does not formulate US policy but as a<... >>>