By Paul Craig Roberts
The full text of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week was printed in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz (9-25-08).
Although our Founding Fathers would have comprehended and endorsed Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, present-day Americans would find it strange should they happen to hear about it.
Unlike their forbears, Americans today live a material life, not a spiritual one. Americans are far too likely to dismiss Ahmadinejad’s words about obeisance to God and justice as the mumbo-jumbo of an “Islamist extremist.”
The hubris of Americans and their belief in U.S. “exceptionalism” would cause them to reject Ahmadinejad’s holding the US, its NATO puppets, and Israel accountable before the UN General Assembly. So successfully has Ahmadinejad been demonized by the propagandistic US media that his speech would be dismissed out of hand by the arrogance of those who regard themselves as the salt of the earth.
Ahmadinejad echos the statements of other world leaders when he says that US power is rapidly waning. The US “superpower” is dependent on foreigners for its financing. The US cannot exist without Chinese financing, just as Europe cannot exist without Russian energy. America’s European puppet regimes are rethinking the consequences of serving US hegemony.
A “superpower” that cannot subdue Iraq and Afghanistan cannot subdue Russia and China. Do Americans and their neocon leaders believe that China and Russia will lend the US the money to finance a war against themselves? Do they believe that Russia will keep America’s NATO puppets supplied with energy if American aggression against Russia intensifies?
The bailout of the US financial system is entirely dependent on the willingness of the Chinese, Saudis, and other foreigners to use their trade surpluses with the US to purchase the US Treasury instruments that must be sold in order to raise the money for Bush’s bailout of the financial institutions.
The bailout of the US government’s budget has been going on for years, and it takes place every time the US Treasury holds an auction of new American debt. But now the bailout by foreigners of the US government is starting to turn into much larger sums that carry much higher risks.
Last week the Financial Times reported that Peer Steinbruck, the Finance Minister of Germany, said that the American financial crisis was “a fundamental rupture” and that “the US will lose its status as the superpower of the world financial system.”
Steinbruck is being charitable. The US lost that status when it became dependent on foreigners to finance American consumption of foreign goods and US goods and services produced offshore in addition to the war-swollen budget deficits of the US government. Indeed, foreigners finance Americans’ home mortgages. The Chinese alone hold about $400 billion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds.
Is Ahmadinejad correct in his view that, with the waning of American hegemonic power, the world is on the verge of a better, more humane, and more just world? I wonder. Many Americans think of themselves as hard-nosed realists. They believe that it is a dog-eat-dog world: We have to get “them” before they get us. This paranoid view is the basis of US foreign and military policy. It holds that America must not only have the military power to overwhelm any combination of possible enemies, but also America must prevent the rise of any country or countries that could challenge American power. This is a “diplomacy” without any concept of peaceful coexistence or good will among men. Yet, Americans think of themselves as a Christian nation.
Neocons and macho Republicans think we don’t win our wars because we lack the balls to use enough force. They believe that the US should nuke every country that doesn’t follow our orders. Indeed, many American “conservatives” are lusting for the US to nuke a country in order “to teach the world a lesson.”
To accommodate this blood-lust, the Bush Pentagon revised US war doctrine to permit preemptive nuclear attack even upon non-nuclear-armed countries. During the long cold war, preemptive nuclear attack was not a US option.
Which vision of the future will win out? Ahmadinejad’s policy of peaceful co-existence or neoconservative desires for American world dominance? The chance is too high for comfort that the hubris and arrogance of the United States will lead to a nuclear confrontation that will destroy the world.
People of good will hope that Ahmadinejad and Steinbruck’s views will prevail and that the rest of the world will wake up and ask if they want to continue financing America’s hegemonic ventures that threaten life on earth. The day the foreign bankers turn off the credit spigot to the US Treasury, American arrogance will be tamed.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com