Is the US Losing Control of the World?

J. Buchanan

by Patrick J. Buchanan: Whose
Country Is It, Anyway?

“Events are
in the saddle and ride mankind.”

In describing
2011, few cliches seem more appropriate. For in this past year,
we Americans seemed to lose control of our destiny, as events seemed
to be in the saddle.

While President
Barack Obama maneuvered skillfully to retain a fighting chance to
be re-elected, the economy showed no signs of returning to the robustness
of the Reagan or Clinton years. And Obama is all out of options.

By January
2013, he will have added $6 trillion to a national debt that just
earned America a downgrade on its AAA credit rating.

The nation
hearkened to the tea party in 2010, giving the GOP 63 new seats
in the House. But Republicans, too, have little to show for it,
if their goal was reducing the deficit.

During 2011,
the European Union was gripped by a crisis caused by a collapse
in confidence that eurozone nations like Greece and Italy will be
able to service their debts and a fear that they will default and
bring down the European banks holding trillions of that debt.

Europe could
plunge into a depression like the one in the 1930s, which would
leap the Atlantic and cause a recession here that would spell the
end of Obama’s presidency.

Should the
Greeks or Italians, chafing at the austerity imposed upon them and
seeing no way out for years, choose to run the risk of bolting from
the eurozone, the consequences could be catastrophic.

And, again,
there is little Obama could do about it. Events in Europe could
decide his destiny. The same is true in that most volatile region
that engaged so much of America’s attention in 2011.

With the withdrawal
of all U.S. combat soldiers from Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
has begun to attack his Sunni rivals, accusing his own vice president
of instigating acts of terrorism.

A return to
Sunni-Shiite sectarian war is a real possibility.

Should this
occur, Obama would be savaged by Republicans for not negotiating
to keep a U.S. force in Iraq. No Americans would be clamoring to
send the troops back, but we would live with the consequences and
they would poison our politics.

With the uprisings
against the Arab autocrats, 2011 began as a year of hope. The Arab
world, we were told, would be like Eastern Europe in 1989, with
peoples marching to recapture God-given rights from despots who
had misruled them for decades.

But the Arab
Spring gave way to the Arab Winter. The Facebook-Twitter crowd enthralled
the media, but when the lid of tyranny was lifted, older and deeper
forces buried in the psyche of the nation rose to reveal their latent

millions of Arabs wish to live in nations modeled on the West. But
more, it appears, wish to live under regimes rooted in Islamic law.

We seem unable
to appreciate that much of that world detests our culture, abhors
our presence, loathes Israel and is as committed to Quranic absolutes
as devout evangelical Christians are to biblical truths.

Our one-man,
one-vote democratists who would remake the world in our image and
whose ideology has guided foreign policy for the Bush-Obama decade
failed to understand what our Founding Fathers taught:

A democracy,
which they detested, empowers majorities to tyrannize minorities.
“In questions of power,” Jefferson admonished, “let no more be heard
of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains
of the constitution.”

the Middle East along one-man, one-vote majority-rule principles,
without guarantees of minority rights, and majority tribes and sects
will use their democratically won power to crush those minorities.

Is that not
what is happening there today to the Christians of the Middle East?

The old influence
we had over events in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Yemen, Iraq,
Afghanistan and Pakistan is slipping away. Even the Israelis tell
Obama they will build on the West Bank when they wish, where they

China, beneficiary
of a decade of trade surpluses running into the trillions at our
expense, now instructs us that the South China Sea, East China Sea,
Yellow Sea and Taiwan Strait are territorial waters – and the U.S.
Navy shall behave accordingly.

Despite boasting
a vast nuclear arsenal and the world’s largest economy, America
is perceived as weaker than she once was.

Though fighting
for a decade, she is unable to impose her will on Iraq or Afghanistan.
She cannot control her borders. She cannot balance her budgets.
She cannot get her spending under control. She cannot stop the steady
hemorrhaging of her jobs and factories overseas.

is losing control. Why? A failure to understand human nature and
the lessons of history – and the mindless pursuit of Utopian dreams.

We wagered
the wealth of a nation on a Great Society gamble that through endless
redistribution from top to bottom, we could create a more just,
equal and productive society.

After the Cold
War, we embraced the idea that using our immense power, we could
remake this world into a more egalitarian, cooperative and democratic

Long after
reality caught up to us, we continue to chase the dreams.

31, 2011

J. Buchanan [send
him mail
] is co-founder and editor of
American Conservative
. He is also the author of seven books,
the Right Went Wrong
, and Churchill,
Hitler, and the Unnecessary War
. His latest book is Suicide
of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?
See his

© 2011 Creators Syndicate

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