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Updated 12 June 2010

North Korean nukes are now reality; Iran doubles its uranium processing capacity; Taliban resurgence continues in Afghanistan; Iraqi violence escalates as soldier levels increase; American deaths in Iraq reach all-time high; Darfur sinks further into genocide.

Just who might not be able to do anything about all that? Uncle Sam, that's who. Never in recent memory has Uncle Sam been so powerless against real threats. From apex to nadir in five short years is what this self-styled "war president" accomplished.

You are "either with us or against us." Tough talk or hot air? It is now evident that tough talk was treated as so much hot air--which it was in fact. It was also polarizing while motivating the other guys more than us!

Bogged down in Iraq, the despots and extremists know they can safely ignore us. By seizing the moment, they can not only help themselves, but could tip the balance over the long run. We are now down, and we are being kicked. We have no one else to blame; we unilaterally went into Iraq--and turned it into a cause celebre for young, disillusioned Jihadists. Terror frequency is now at record levels; American armed forces are likewise sustaining record levels of casualties for an occupation. An extremely proficient military cannot alone win the peace, nor can it fight an enemy that hides among the civilians they themselves are and persists in a most efficient suicidal-gorilla style.

Natural resources, technology and an immigrant populace are what made this country great, not crafty politicians. And what about those crafty politicians? They refuse to address several serious economic issues: dependence on foreign oil (well they did take us to war over that one; plutocracy; global warming; and ballooning debt--much of it held by China, whose help will be critical in dealing with North Korea. Immigration, the great irony, has congress divided. Protectionism is gaining ground, and with it isolationism at a time when we most need friends and allies.

Russia is back to its old Soviet-era tricks; a "cool economic war" is in progress by making things even more difficult diplomatically, economically and militarily for the US. The cost of supporting "American Interests" has just gone up--again.

Since our very presence in the Middle East is humiliating to Islamic nations, one approach might be to redefine American interests. Along with that, Israel would have to face up to the new reality and lead a return to the Oslo Accords, or similar, while keeping its own religious extremists in check.
More than just religion drives this problem; Plutocracy in the West is also a powerful driver. The fact that plutocrats and Right Wing Fundamentalists seem to have joined hands bodes ill for the future.


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