Friday, January 30, 2004


Yet another edited extract from The Bubble of American Supremacy, by George Soros has surfaced in the last week. Although you can buy the book in its entirety, he also seems to be releasing it one page at a time through periodic editorials. This one looks at the danger of Bush's extremist foreign policy and his domestic campaign to distort the facts.

The gap in perceptions between America and the rest of the world has never been wider. Abroad, America is seen as abusing the dominant position it occupies; opinion at home has been led to believe that Saddam posed a clear and present danger to national security. Only in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion are people becoming aware they have been misled.

He eloquently delivers some harsh criticism of the regime.

And we have been deceived. When he stood for election in 2000, President Bush promised a humble foreign policy. I contend that the Bush administration has deliberately exploited September 11 to pursue policies that the American public would not have otherwise tolerated. The US can lose its dominance only as a result of its own mistakes. At present the country is in the process of committing such mistakes because it is in the hands of a group of extremists whose strong sense of mission is matched only by their false sense of certitude.

This distorted view postulates that because we are stronger than others, we must know better and we must have right on our side. That is where religious fundamentalism comes together with market fundamentalism to form the ideology of American supremacy.

And delivers a timely warning.

The gap between the administration's expectations and the actual state of affairs could not be wider. We have put at risk not only our soldiers' lives but the combat readiness of our armed forces. We are overstretched and our ability to project our power has been compromised. Yet there are more places where we need to project our power than ever. North Korea is openly building nuclear weapons; Iran is doing so clandestinely. The Taliban is regrouping in the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan. The costs of occupation and the prospect of permanent war weigh on our economy, and we are failing to address festering problems both at home and globally. If we ever needed proof that the neo-cons' dream of American supremacy is misconceived, Iraq has provided it.

And also offers a practical solution.

If Bush is rejected in 2004, his policies can be written off as an aberration and America resume its rightful place in the world. But if he is re-elected, the electorate will have endorsed his policies and we will have to live with the consequences. But it isn't enough to defeat Bush at the polls. The US must examine its global role and adopt a more constructive vision. We cannot merely pursue narrow, national self-interest. Our dominant position imposes a unique responsibility.

People either love or hate Soros, me - I love the guy and I like what he says. Read the whole piece. He makes a good point on how the world still looks to the US to set the tone if you will, for international relations and it's up to the voters now to tell the world that Bush does not speak for us.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home