Saturday, April 02, 2005

Superpower

Charlie Reese has a good take on the real distribution of world power:
Mr. Bush has gotten Teddy Roosevelt's dictum exactly upside down. He shouts loudly and carries a small stick.

Let me put into perspective just how small a stick he carries. The European Union, in all but military power, is itself a superpower. It has more people than we do, and it has a larger gross domestic product. Its currency, the Euro, is very strong, and our currency, the dollar, is very weak.

Russia remains a military superpower, and its economy is growing faster than ours. It has recently undertaken an effort to modernize its nuclear strategic forces and even today has more than enough to blow us away. Furthermore, it recently signed a strategic defense agreement with China.

As to that part of the world, China and India, both with more than a billion people each, have rapidly growing economies (in part thanks to thousands of American jobs exported to their countries). China, in particular, has undertaken a military buildup, and, of course, all three – Russia, India and China – are nuclear powers. If Bush ever looked past his immediate political goals, he might foresee a future tripartite alliance that would mean big trouble for America.

In short, we are not the world's only remaining superpower, as the Washington cliché says, and if Bush could see past his ego, he would recognize that. Our economy is shaky. Federal, corporate and private debt is in the trillions, and Japan and China could wreck our economy just by dumping the debt paper they hold on the market.

One should remember what Osama bin Laden said. He did not say he would conquer us and convert us all to Islam. He said he would bankrupt us. If Bush gets us further mired in the Middle East by attacking Iran and Syria, as he seems likely to do, bin Laden might very well succeed. War is always a drain on the economy. War always produces death, destruction, debt and taxes. It hasn't been a profitable undertaking since the Mexican War, when as war booty we took most of what is today the American Southwest.

In short, real-world circumstances require careful, skillful and quiet diplomacy – not bombast. I fear, however, that we have put in place the wrong administration at the wrong time.
Ya think?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The European Union, in all but military power, is itself a superpower.

hmmmm, except that it is a union in name only. a single economy has not yet materialized, and any belief that the eu would ever act as a single political body is preposterous. it will take another hundred years for them to get to that point.

War always produces death, destruction, debt and taxes. It hasn't been a profitable undertaking since the Mexican War, when as war booty we took most of what is today the American Southwest.

good idea! taking those oil producing nations as war booty is just what the doctor ordered to repairing any economic problems we might face here at home. i will pass along your suggestion to the white house.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Ashish Hanwadikar said...

A good post
Ashish

4:17 PM  

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