America Is ‘The Danger’ that Will Get Us All Killed

October 28th, 2023 - by Alex Lo /South China Morning Post

Hubris Makes the US Believe
It Is ‘The Indispensable Nation’
Alex Lo /South China Morning Post

(October 25, 2023) — People keep asking President Joe Biden, not unreasonably, whether the United States can afford to run two proxy wars — in Ukraine and Palestine — at the same time.

His answer is that it can, because it is the most powerful country in history, and also that it should, because that’s the raison d’être of the US — to be out there taking care of the world. OK, I paraphrased the last bit, but not by much.

What he actually said in the Oval Office was: “America is a beacon to the world, still, still. We are, as my friend Madeleine Albright said, the indispensable nation … American leadership is what holds the world together.”

He said something even more boastful in an earlier interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes. “We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in the history — not in the world, in the history of the world,” he said. “The history of the world. We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defence.”

However, that’s not a reasoned articulation of a well thought-out policy on running two proxy wars, but a profession of faith. As with most matters of faith, it’s hard to argue with true believers, especially when these people can easily take you out with a drone strike.

Does Team Biden Believe in Holy Wars?
While it may be easy to dismiss Biden’s remarks as the bombast of an ageing leader no longer in full command of his mental faculties, such a belief is actually common “inside the Beltway”, among the US governing elites.

Biden’s secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said the same thing in 2021: “The world doesn’t organise itself. When we’re not engaged, when we don’t lead, then one of two things happens: either some other country tries to take our place, but probably not in a way that advances our interests and values, or no one does, and then you get chaos.”

Biden’s late friend, Madeleine Albright, certainly thought so, and might have been the one who made the phrase “indispensable nation” famous when she was secretary of state under Bill Clinton. I wonder if the president realises his dear friend is dead.

“If we have to use force, it is because we are America,” she (in)famously declared in 1998. “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

How much further into the future? Three years? Many inside the Beltway now claim it was a mistake to let China join the World Trade Organization — in 2001.

In that same year, many of the same people congratulated themselves on how quickly the US took over Afghanistan and kicked out the Taliban. Did any one of them think that in 2023, the Taliban would be exactly where they were, in charge of the whole country again?

US Leaders Are Megalomaniacs
I have many American friends. All my academic mentors were Americans. Not one of them thinks like that. I think I can safely conclude that most Americans don’t think like that, if they ever did. I have never met a single person, American or not, in my entire life, and I am approaching 60, who thinks and says to himself, “My country is indispensable to the world.”

The rest of the world certainly doesn’t think that of America. But many of those whose hands are on the levers of power in Washington do.

Biden did offer a wise word of advice to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu about not making the same mistakes America made out of vengeance and anger after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But his administration then went on to offer the Israelis more weapons and financial aid to make sure they have the resources to double down on whatever mistakes they are about to make.

Biden Makes False Claim of Iran’s Involvement
Biden first claimed Iran played a role in the Hamas terrorist attacks, then had to backtrack the next day. But then, his administration said Iran was somehow responsible even if it had “no direct evidence”.

Washington and every American pundit and his dog warned the Gaza war had the potential to ensnare the whole region and worsen already high tensions. Sure enough, the US then deployed not one but two of its most advanced aircraft carriers, a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine and a marine expeditionary force that could put boots on the ground at a moment’s notice. Say no more, Uncle Sam, that really helps lower the temperature.

Effectively, America is telling everyone in the Middle East and beyond to stay still and shut the hell up until Israel finishes whatever it wants to do to the Palestinians. That’s not just about repeating America’s mistakes, but adding a few extras with exclusively Israeli features.

US Ignores United Nations Call for Ceasefire.

Russia, China Call for Israel-US Ceasefire
Washington is also “doing a China” on Iran. When Russia first invaded Ukraine, every American official, pundit and their dogs warned mainland China would be next to invade the island of Taiwan. It never crossed their minds that the war in Eastern Europe may actually make it less likely for Beijing to initiate hostilities.

At the moment, the US and Israel are the only great powers launching actual military operations. All the other major Arab powers in the region, along with Russia and China are calling for a ceasefire, which may actually halt the conflict from spreading in the region. What an idea!

I am reminded of what Walter White — the hero-villain of the hit TV series Breaking Bad who lives the American dream-nightmare — famously said: “I am the danger.”

America is the danger. Its self-styled indispensability will end up getting us all killed.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.