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Re: (no subject)
by Threehegemons
16 March 2003 03:34 UTC
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In a message dated 3/15/2003 8:20:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, boles@svsu.edu 

> IW's latest. Interesting to note that he points out that even if the US wins 
>easily, it won't be a winner globally and that the prospects for peace and a 
>Palestinian state will be diminished.  Interesting because Bush just announced 
>his new initiative for the creation of a Palestinian state within five years.

Although Bush's latest announcement on the Middle East, like his earlier ones, 
seemed designed to green light Sharon to do whatever he wants.  In this 
particular statement, Bush undercut a plan developed by the 'quartet' 
(including the US).  I anticipate that as France becomes more confident about 
confronting the US, it will push the other non-American members of the 
'quartet' (Russia and the UN) to get tougher on Israel.

> But if the Democrats do win, then does this mean that US power will decline 
>more gracefully?  Certainly, the genie let out of the bottle by Bush (states 
>and organizations willing to oppose the US) won't be going back in, and that 
>definitely takes us further in the direction of further systemic 
> breakdown in the interstate system.

I remember Wallerstein suggesting about ten years ago that it was Saddam 
Hussein that let the genie of opposing the US out.  He compared Saddam to Ho 
Chi Minh, who always insisted he had no real conflict with the US, and stood 
for similar ideals.  Saddam, by contrast, said 'bring it on.'  All in the 
context of steady decline in the US' economic position.  For the last twenty 
years, Wallerstein has insisted that the US can't win, if it hopes to dominate 
the world or be as powerful as it was in 1945.  Of course, losing your 
hegemonic position doesn't mean you become poor or entirely relevant--it means 
you adjust to new realities.  But that adjustment can be more or less painful.

Steven Sherman

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