Is It America’s Turn?
‘[America’s] assignment in running Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait was in reality just bananas, only that & nothing more, namely to play the monkey in fishing EuroAsian petroleum chestnuts out of the bonfire of the last late-modern North Atlantic vanities; curiously, the first name of the sitting President then was George, and it all was to open out onto the past twenty-one years of monkeying around in foreign parts among faraway people of whom we know, precisely, nothing.’ [B Wook]
by Bodwyn Wook
At the time of the Battle of Jutland on 30-31 May, 1916, England [‘Britain’ — ed] was already on the long downslope of her decades of premier global power & empire; in March of 1941, nine months before Pearl Harbour, English [‘British’ — ed] gold reserves were completely exhausted, she would have to abandon India posthaste to riot & arson & murder & partition in 1947; and, by the early 1960s, she was ‘out of Africa’. The end of her suzerainty over Singapore was heralded by Japanese conquest in 1942; and, her departure from Hong Kong in 1997 merely an afterthought.
Still worse, in 1945 with England’s [‘Britain’s’ — ed] chief trade competitors apart from America all completely & flatly in ruins, England [‘Britain’ — ed] was still in no condition, because of a host of political & social flaws & wrong ideas infesting a whole society, to seize the opportunity to rebuild her industrial base & power. These problems in addition were made even more intractable by the widely-held emotional need felt (NB) among all classes to spend out of all proportion on building up military power for the sake of prestige & the polite fiction of ‘defending’ the ‘Commonwealth’.
Alas, Clio, the whole futile boiling was to be dumped out on the North African foreshore at Suez in October of 1956.
This was all the result of the grim audit of the twenty-nine years of world war from 1914 to 1945, and the bitter loss of a frittered ‘victory’ & the verdict of a misused peace (as extensively examined in four volumes over thirty years by Norfolk [‘English’ — ed] historian Correlli Barnett).
Now, America — just as ill-used by the frivolities of nearly seventy years of a dwindling prosperity — is in the same position; and, in circumstances as acute & hauntingly awful, now, as will be attested anew by people’s emotional rejection of any such a conception.
Still, all of that hopeless vanity & wounded howling will be even more to the point & the sole question now facing American ‘elites’ is whether it is indeed well past time to put aside the ‘superpower’ romance?
The ‘superpower’ fiction arose solely by the 1989 default of our Russian opponent in the Cold War, the demise of yet another late-modern power gone bankrupt, and it has never been particularly ‘true’ in any other meaningful sense since; this is the more clear when one realises that in the 1991 Gulf War, America’s last outright ‘victory’ in warfare by any plausible stretch of the term, the American military was simply rented out in return for an additional lavish increase in European & East Asian trade credits.
Its assignment in running Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait was in reality just bananas, only that & nothing more, namely to play the monkey in fishing EuroAsian petroleum chestnuts out of the fire of the last late-modern North Atlantic vanities; curiously, the first name of the sitting President then was George, and it all was to open out onto the past twenty-one years of monkeying around in foreign parts among faraway people of whom we know, precisely, nothing.
At that, we at least got the trade credits — all now shot in the long binge of a bogus ‘peace dividend’ — and, that much is at least better than England managed for herself in becoming a fifty-five division military catspaw for the sake of a phoney ‘special relationship’, and seeing her foreign trade reduced to only thirty per cent of her GNP.
But, it is not that much better, for as already noted the money is long gone.
[all rights revert to holders
[15 October 2013]