April 22, 2003


The bottom dollar: There is only one way to check American power and that is to support the euro (George Monbiot, April 22, 2003, The Guardian)
The problem with American power is not that it's American. Most states with the resources and opportunities the US possesses would have done far worse. The problem is that one nation, effectively unchecked by any other, can, if it chooses, now determine how the rest of the world will live. Eventually, unless we stop it, it will use this power. So far, it has merely tested its new muscles.

The presidential elections next year might prevent an immediate entanglement with another nation, but there is little doubt about the scope of the US government's ambitions. Already, it has begun to execute a slow but comprehensive coup against the international order, destroying or undermining the institutions that might have sought to restrain it. On these pages two weeks ago, James Woolsey, an influential hawk and formerly the director of the CIA, argued for a war lasting for decades "to extend democracy" to the entire Arab and Muslim world.

Men who think like him - and there are plenty in Washington - are not monsters. They are simply responding to the opportunities that power presents, just as British politicians once responded to the vulnerability of non-European states and the weakness of their colonial competitors. America's threat to the peace and stability of the rest of the world is likely to persist, whether George Bush wins the next election or not. The critical question is how we stop it.

Of all the contradictions that the war on terror has so far forced, the clearest is between the Left, which it must now be obvious values peace and stability above all else, and the rhetoric of extending freedom and democracy, which as Mr. Monbiot points out here, they actually view as monstrous. Thus is security revealed as the enemy of freedom. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2003 9:18 AM
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