America's a poster child failed state, defined in a recent article as follows:
(1) An inability or unwillingness to protect its citizens from violence and other forms of harm.
(2) Its abrogation of rule of law standards.
(3) Its lawless belligerent pursuits.
(4) If nominal democracies, its policy deficiencies, exposing a serious democratic deficit.
Ignoring social and other homeland needs, America's business is war, more war, imperial wars, defiantly heading the nation toward tyranny and ruin because of an addiction it can't or won't quit.
Immanuel Wallerstein believes America's been "a fading global power since the 1970s, and the US response to the (9/11) terrorist attacks has accelerated this decline....the economic, political and military factors that contributed to US hegemony are the same factors that will inexorably produce the coming US decline."
In other words, destructive policies aren't sustainable. Sooner or later, disruptive change will end Washington's dominance, hastened by multiple imperial wars. Whatever's coming isn't known, but America's system won't survive because unsustainable ones can't endure.
It's not a matter of if but when, how chaotic, disruptive, and/or violent. What's happening in Libya and elsewhere belligerently will end America's dominance other ways, perhaps by bankruptcy, ruin, or being shunned as a global pariah. It's no exaggeration saying nations that live by the sword die by it one way or other.
On August 15, Wallerstein addressed "The World Consequences of US Decline," saying:
"A decade ago....condescending smiles" greeted his view about America's declining "world-system." Today, however, believing "the United States has declined, has seriously declined, is a banality. Everyone is saying it," except a few diehard politicians unwilling to face reality.
What's not discussed are the consequences. Wallerstein cites "economic roots" very much related to out-of-control military ones he doesn't address, instead focusing on "loss of a quasi-monopoly of geopolitical power." Its waning "has major political consequences everywhere."
Peruvian economist Oscar Ugarteche called America a "banana republic" because it chose "the policy of the ostrich, hoping thereby not to scare away hopes (for improvement)."
Wallerstein mentioned a recent South American finance ministers meeting, "discussing urgently how best to insulate (themselves) from the effects of US economic decline."
It's not easy because the dominant world economy affects others for better or worse. Blame America's duopoly, compounding bad policies with destructive ones, especially an addiction to war, multiple ones for global dominance that sooner or later will doom it.
Things economic, military and political are interrelated. Together they made America "one of the least stable political entities in the world-system. This makes the United States not only a country whose political struggles are dysfunctional, but one unable to wield much real power on the world scene," yet belligerently tries to do it.
As a result, Wallerstein believes it's essential over the next two or three decades "to create a better world-system than the one" we're now stuck with, provided humanity survives long enough to do it.
America's Libya war is symptomatic. Aside from its resources and material wealth, demographically its size is less than metropolitan Chicago, considerably less, in fact.
As a result, it should have been a military walkover but wasn't and may not be now, given mass Libyan resistance to imperial control.
Moreover, why attack at all when other ways achieve geopolitical objectives according to law, without unaffordable expense, as well as not alienating other nations in the process, notably China, Russia, perhaps Brazil, India and others.
As a result, increasingly Washington is seen as an out-of-control menace. Some nations may wonder if they're next. Americans should ask why their needs are neglected, and people everywhere should demand protection against rogue force this destructive, flexing its muscle because it can.
In his book Rogue State, William Blum estimated America tried to overthrow at least 40 foreign regimes since 1945. It also exhibits another rogue characteristic, having the word's most destructive arsenal, including various type WMDs, besides a military establishment dwarfing all others, and an out-of-control addiction to use it.
It's also an outlaw state, trashing international law, global treaties and conventions. Choosing military solutions often as a first option, it exhibits classic sociopathic or psychotic symptoms, unable to engage other nations constructively, notably ones it doesn't control.
As a result, it doesn't negotiate. It demands, and when checked responds belligerently like a street bully, picking easy targets of lesser size, strength and ability to strike back.
America is a global bully, a rogue state marauder, terrorizing humanity because it can, waging permanent wars in lieu of other ways.
Imagine, America's been at war with North Korea since June 1950. The July 1953 armistice ended hostilities, leaving a cold unresolved standoff.
Moreover, a cold war raged with Cuba for over 50 years, interrupted briefly by the failed April 1961 Bay of Pigs failure to oust Castro. He's 85 years old and still around, a legend in his own time, surviving everything America threw at him short of war.
As a result, he's an inspiration for other leaders to go their own way like he did even though some tried and failed.
He also deplores America's imperial wars, very much subscribing to the maxim that there never was a good war or bad peace. America's opposite predilection is ruinous.
Yet policy makers don't envision or alarm themselves about pursuing unsustainable destructive policies, highlighted by attacking Libya, a small nonbelligerent state, threatening no other, eager to get along.
The injustice is glaring, especially since NATO doesn't plan liberating Libyans. Persecution and exploitation are coming if killing and destruction end successfully, what Libyans can't ever stop contesting to be free.
On August 17, the London Guardian quoted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev saying:
"Stop the bombing. Stop the killing. Stop the destruction. It's degenerated into killing people and destruction, and I think this is really defiance. It's defiant behavior."
Let's go to the United Nations and discuss whether the current policy is acceptable. I say no. Poor democracy. Under the flag of democracy all kinds of things are done."
Often, it's lawless, ruinous, lethal, roguish, and through the barrel of a gun, not good faith efforts for peace, social justice, good will and fairness.
A Final Comment
Libya's conflict is far from over. Webster Tarpley calls events playing out "a carefully cynically planned military operation by the NATO high command, the US playing a very important role in it." In fact, it's the lead role in all NATO wars. Washington doesn't take orders. It gives them.
At issue now is mid-September when the UN resolution authorizing continuing operations runs out. Without it, junior partner nations will have a hard time participating. As a result, "there's a hysterical attempt by NATO to put an end to this."
It's why they're "carpet bombing civilians with no concern about casualties," just a rage to get it over with, including with Apache helicopters, machine-gunning civilians in streets.
At the same time, a humanitarian crisis is developing, one of many atrocities airbrushed from major media reports.
Post-mid-September, Tarpley sees continued conflict under occupation if NATO prevails. Gaddafi's social and broader agenda was considered "an ideological threat" to be removed.
Notably, America's Marines' Hymn begins with the lines, "From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." If terror bombing and strafing support alone aren't enough, perhaps America's marines will return for the first time in over 200 years.
It's one of many obstacles Libyans may have to contest to be free. Achieving it often extracts a great price. Hopefully, they're up to the task for as long as it takes. The alternative is too intolerable to accept.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.