One of the prob­lems about the claim of the US being “the lone super­power” is that the claim is patently false. While it’s true we’ve got a hell of a lot of nukes, what we don’t have is an infra­struc­ture to speak of (focus­ing our entire econ­omy on ser­vice and non­skilled labor for the last decade and a half has pretty well assured that), nor the pos­si­bil­ity of sup­port­ing a long-​​term offen­sive — as any con­ven­tional bat­tle will surely be.

The moronic saber-​​rattling going on between Iran and (hey, let’s face it) the White House — two reli­giously addled idiots bleat­ing at one another over the stren­u­ous objec­tions of pretty much all their fel­low coun­tryper­sons — is one obvi­ous exam­ple of what hap­pens when a cretin is told, over and over again, that the US is a “super­power”. We sim­ply are not. The over­strained mil­i­tary is strug­gling in Afghanistan and Iraq; a war on two fronts is a known pre­cur­sor to dis­as­ter; a third front would leave our national offen­sive (and, by exten­sion, defen­sive) capa­bil­i­ties in tat­ters. Presumably any “Commander in Chief” versed in his­tory no deeper than the Napoleonic wars would know that.

The only thing we had going for us was the “coali­tion of the will­ing” — and that has taken another seri­ous blow this week­end, as Australia’s begun pulling its troops out of Iraq.

Why now? Because Australia just had some elec­tions, and a few die-​​hard Bushies bit the dust, that’s why. It’s anal­o­gous to the US midterm elec­tions that have ter­ri­fied Republicans in recent months. Supporters of Il Duce the Retard are begin­ning to see the head­stones cap­ping their polit­i­cal careers, and — just like most dupes — they end up tak­ing the anony­mous fall with damned lit­tle to speak of for their years of self-​​serving pub­lic “service”.

Best damn thing to hap­pen in a while, I think.

The prob­lem is that the belief in “sole super­pow­er­hood” almost guar­an­tees no détente. As long as we con­tinue to assert our­selves, as long as we con­tinue to bully and cajole, as long as we con­tinue to ignore our part as com­po­nents in a larger, world­wide civ­i­liza­tion (such as, for instance, refus­ing to agree to a ban on clus­ter­bombs), as long as we effec­tively behave in a way sim­i­lar to a spoiled four-​​year-​​old who wants a lol­lipop and is pre­pared to kick, shriek and blub­ber until he gets it, we can expect to con­tinue to be aban­doned by nations which oth­er­wise have been allies.

It’s no fun to stand alone, but that’s pre­cisely what’s going to hap­pen to us, and we’ll have nowhere to lay the blame but on ourselves.

But still we strug­gle with immod­er­a­tion. Hillary Clinton still doesn’t see she’s out, and still doesn’t see how very mis­trust­ful many peo­ple (includ­ing women) are of her obses­sive, power-​​grabbing personality.

Still we see reli­gious nutjobs attempt­ing to wrest con­trol from cen­trist and mod­er­ate bases, as with the new cam­paign by the National Abstinence Education Association to raise $1 mil­lion to pro­mote the thoroughly-​​discredited notion that teach­ing abstinence-​​only to teenagers is the only valid, viable approach to sex edu­ca­tion in this country.

This is as dan­ger­ous and inane a notion as sug­gest­ing Earth is flat (or a mere 6,000 years old); or that we can fight and win in Iran just as we’re not doing in Iraq or even Afghanistan; or that internecine con­flict in the only party that we have left which might be a viable option for change is going to be of ben­e­fit to any­one, even — espe­cially — the aggressor.

What he hell has hap­pened to humil­ity? What has hap­pened to respect for oth­ers, to the notion that while we might dis­agree, we can at least share the same land? In our national blight of van­ish­ing self-​​control, is our impulse-​​driven con­sumerism a cause, or a symptom?

Is there such a thing as a national inter­ven­tion pro­gram? Because some­one needs to sit the US down and say, “Look, there are some seri­ous prob­lems here; you’re drunk on power, you can’t get enough, you’re self­ish and rude, you’re los­ing touch with real­ity on a daily basis, you keep hurt­ing every­one in reach — even the ones who love you — and unless this stops, you’re going to find your­self alone, and even­tu­ally you’re going to wind up dead in the gutter.”

At this rate, the only ques­tion will be how many oth­ers we’ll end up tak­ing down with us first.

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