The Great American Decline

We all watched the events unfolding in Egypt and the Middle East. Those events are proof of the approaching ends of Global American Influence. The Middle East took good old George at his word,”A free Iraq will set a powerful example in the part of the world that is desperate for freedom. A free Iraq will secure Israel.” That was 2004. The “Freedom Agenda” was an abject failure.  It was democracy acquired at the barrel of a gun.  Like Viet Nam, before entering into war, the Americans had no real functional government in realty to assume power should the war be won.  Though those wars were fought for different reasons, the lack of planning for the future of those country lead to disaster.  After numerous elections in Iraq, there still is no functional government and no democracy.

The “Freedom Agenda” was an abject failure  It was the beginning of the decline.

Egypt like Tunisia put their freedom and democracy in their own hands Protesters used Western technology to demand individual rights. Ignore the fact that most of secular bloggers who paved the groundwork for the revolution speak to languages, or studied in America. Ignore the fact the Egyptians in the streets focused their demands on two parties, the Egyptian Regime and the American Government. Not the UN or the Arab League.  American police in the Middle East have never been more obvious. Thirty years of aiding a military dictator, who presided over a corrupt, u responsive government, who managed his economy into stagnation and scarcity, and who has driven any legitimate opposition toward the radical mosque have not produced stability.

The protesters didn’t even bother to burn our flag. Other countries do not express disapproval their of  lack of influence in Egyptian politics. American feel guilt at their limits of power.  We could have done more. We could have, like Turkey, Germany, France and other countries demand that Mubarak resign.  That was not in our interest.  Instead, we put his second in command, Suleiman in a position to control the country.  The Commander of the Secret Police, in charge of torture and beatings, to head the government.

The expectation of peace nd democracy in the whole of the Middle East because of a promise of democracy in Iraq by an American President is naive. Peace, freedom and democracy has been a time coming.  Since the time of Abraham and Sarah.  What we forget is that this is a war about religion.  One tribe against another, Arab against Jew.   Religion.  Our failure to understand that has led to failed foreign policy.  The decline of America. When we put our private interests above our true mission of freedom and democracy, we will always fail.

In the complex determination of national influence, those with the best story, the best narrative, have an advantage  In the Middle East, does the old dictator speaking on Egyptian state television, talking of past glories and victories really seem the wave of the future?

Yet, on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, self-government is the hope. It seems the system most likely to result in progress and national achievement.  It seems that way because it is. What happens in Egypt matters greatly to American interests A Sunni version of Iran in Egypt would be a major blow. Democratic transition, even a partial one, might eventually isolate or domesticate the extremist and defuse hatred for America. Events in Egypt is now determined by an internal balance of nationalism and religion, fear and hope, that America can only influence on the margins.

Since Franklin Roosevelt, American leaders have viewed the appeal of democratic ideals as source of national power. America now has less direct control in German and Japan than it did. But both are monuments to American influence.

Democracies will not always do what we want, but in the end they are more stable and peaceful than countries ruled by a single man.  Changes are difficult and uncertain, especially in places with shallow democratic roots. But is strangely disconnected from American history and ideals to regard a popular revolt  against an oppressive as a sign of American decline.

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