Friday, December 29, 2006

A Bad Year for Empire by Jim Lobe (IPS Dec 22)

Jim Lobe reviews the many failures and defiance of US foreign policy by global actors from Iraq to Afghanistan, Lebanon, North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, Africa- re Darfur and Somalia etc, Latin America and even in US where voters "handed Democrats control of both houses of Congress in mid-term elections in which Iraq and foreign policy, by virtually all accounts, played the decisive role."

Lobe notes that a battery of polls in both the run-up to the election and immediately afterward found that that a large majority of US citizens believe the administration's belligerent unilateralism had made the United States -- as well as the rest of the world -- less, rather than more, safe.

He concludes:

Whether the implications of these findings, as well as the elections results -- not to mention the foreign policy balance sheet of 2006 -- will be absorbed by Bush and his senior policy-makers in 2007, however, remains very much in doubt.

CHALLENGES 2006-2007:
A Bad Year For Empire

by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service
December 22, 2006

WASHINGTON - For those who believed that the precise and overwhelming demonstration of U.S. military power in Afghanistan and Iraq would "shock and awe" the rest of the world -- and particularly Washington's foes and aspiring rivals -- into accepting its
benevolent hegemony, 2006 was not a good year.

Not only has Washington become ever more bogged down -- at the current rate of nearly three billion dollars and 20 soldiers' lives a week -- in an increasingly fragmented and violent Iraq whose de facto civil war threatens to draw in its neighbours, but a resurgent Taliban has exposed the fragility of what gains have been made in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led military campaign ousted the group five years ago.
Read more here.

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