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USA on borrowed time!

Now, you simplistic burger-munching Americans, you’d better pay attention and start trembling in your cowboy boots because Timothy Garton Ash of the Guardian has got a stark warning for you:

America is on probation. That, in four words, is my verdict on Gulf war II.

Did you hear that? Is that anything less than crystal clear? You’d better just watch your step, that’s all. Otherwise you’re going to be in really, really, really, really, really, really BIG TROUBLE!!

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15 comments to USA on borrowed time!

  • Gomi

    The article was not as idiotic as the excerpt led me to expect, but still, my reaction has to be — in the words of Lileks — whatever…

  • Gomi,

    I agree but it’s a priceless opening line.

  • John

    Munch munch munch, Burrrp, eh what?

  • Hep Cat

    I disagree, the article was as idiotic as the excerpt led me to believe.

    Even by today’s modern standards the planet Earth is a pretty fucked up place. We run the gamut from a North Korean jumpsuit wearing maniac who combs his hair into an erasure to a French cheese eatin’ maniac who thinks he sees Jesus everytime he sees his reflection in a bowl of soup. If it were up to me, and you’d thank God it’s not, I would close America’s borders to foreign immigration from most states for fifty years and limit commerce to only free nations; and only on the basis that those countries could not resell to unfree states. I would end American dual citizenship, you would have to renounce your other citizenship, if not, you would lose your American citizenship. I would limit America’s role in foreign affairs to that of objective observer. No more military bases outside the U.S., no intervention into foreign civil wars, no intervention into humanitarian disasters, including genocide, even in Europe, and no longer serving as a check on the world’s erasure head cheese eatin’ maniacs. Yes it would take about fifty years to clean up the gene pool and cull the herd. It would be a slaughter, but America’s lack of involvement would make all that anarchy acceptable to Ash. Right? I think Ash really wants what most leftwing European elitists want, that is for America to sit down and shut up no matter what, but when the shit hits the fan they want to be able to call the big, dumb, strong cousin to come save their sissy asses from themselves. It kind of reminds me of a marriage wherein the control freak(Europe) keeps telling their spouse(U.S.) “Why won’t you do what I want you to do? I would be happy if you would do what I want.” Sheesh, grow up Ash.

  • cheshirecat

    My response sent to Ash-hole:

    “Are you sure it’s probation, or actually the dreaded Dean Faber DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION?

    I guess America better cancel that kegger in downtown Baghdad…I wonder if we can get back the deposit on the hookers, as well…”

    cheshirecat

  • cheshirecat

    My response sent to Ash-hole:

    “Are you sure it’s probation, or actually the dreaded Dean Faber DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION?

    I guess America better cancel that kegger in downtown Baghdad…I wonder if we can get back the deposit on the hookers, as well…”

    cheshirecat

  • Dave F

    I hope they paid him for four words then.

  • Hep Cat: Yes, I am glad it is not up to you. The big problem I have with your approach is that it is predicated on notion that the American State actually owns its ‘citizens’. I regard all nation-states as inherently malevolent institutions (which coming a libertarian such as myself is hardly a revelation that will surprise anyone)… they just vary in the depth of their malevolence (clearly US in 2002 was vastly preferable to Ba’athist Iraq in 2002).

    The irony of your position could be summed up as “The USA, being a Free Country, will use force against its ‘citizens’ if they try to conduct free trade with any person located in a country the State does not approve of”. Your economic views are breathtakingly statist: you can have ‘freedom’ provided you use your ‘freedom’ in conformance with national strategic objectives. That approach is, in a word, fascist.

  • mad dog barker

    Of course there is another angle to the gist of the story. America is already in really big trouble – in the main it just hasn’t realised it yet.

    No problems(?) – hey look at the economy. Friendly international relations to boost trade? Well possibly, if you use night sights. Population a bit uneasy about the state of the union, no way! Now we think the government is just great, look what baubles it has given us.

    Hang on! Libertarians thinking the government is just great!!! Now you see my point. America is in trouble it just hasn’t realised it yet.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    cheshirecat, I doubt that a pompous ass of the Guardian stripe will get Animal House references. However, funny nonetheless.

  • Byron

    Timothy Ash: Like a wounded giant, America struck out after the September 11 attacks – first at al-Qaida in Aghanistan, then at Iraq. But soon, true to form, the wounded giant retreats to his distant home, muttering “It’s the economy, stupid”.

    To believe that, Ash’s reality must consist solely of what he sees on TV. Just b/c the media finds the rebuilding of Afghanistan uninteresting does not mean that it’s not actually happening. How do such people get to be journalists? They must be the dregs of academia. Bah.

  • Alan

    Perry,

    I understand your response to Hep Cat wrt free trade and citenship but what of his other comments: “I would limit America’s role in foreign affairs to that of objective observer. No more military bases outside the U.S., no intervention into foreign civil wars, no intervention into humanitarian disasters, including genocide, even in Europe…”

    Would isolationism work? Would it be desirable?

  • T. Hartin

    “America is already in really big trouble – in the main it just hasn’t realised it yet.”

    No, we realized it on September 11. The main threat to the US is not Euroweenie whining, it is the combination of state-sponsored terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. All other threats pale in significance.

    “No problems(?) – hey look at the economy.”

    Sure. The US economy is stronger than any of the EU economies by any measure. Your point?

    “Friendly international relations to boost trade?”

    It doesn’t hurt, but more important than being “friends” is having a secure and stable international environment. Securing that environment requires rooting out terrorists and rogue regimes.

  • Hep Cat

    Perry and Alan,

    Just a wee bit o’ parody there fellas. Of course it couldn’t work. It’s just an example of the other extreme. Europeans will never be satisfied especially the French if they don’t make the decisions. Just as at the end of the Second World War we made a bigger deal out of the French contribution to throwing off the yoke of Nazism, even stupidly giving them a security council seat, than they actually deserved. It was the British, Americans, Canadians, Poles, and a smattering of others who freed France, but De Gaulle rode into Paris as the conquering hero and we have had to deal with their hubris ever since. It would be different if they were really a powerful nation, but they aren’t. They need the rest of Europe to compete with the American hegemon and damn the consequences. What Europe really wants is for America to adopt overbearing social and labor practices, such as Europe has, to stifle our economy also so it won’t be so hard on them psychically. Why else would they be pressuring the U.S. to tax our citizens more? Answer: It makes us less productive, say like Europe. France, or Europe for that matter, doesn’t want to change, but they don’t want to be second banana either.

    No, I would not implement the scenario I laid out above because, after all, I am a 2nd Amendment freedom nut. Americans will just have to live with Europeans never, ever being satisfied, but God’s sake could they just ease up on all the bitching and moaning we’re trying to get some rest here.

  • Based on the ‘devastating consequences’ of the UN sanctions… I’d say let’s just do what we want…
    Most of the governments of the world are non-representative and therefore exploitive of the many for the benefit of those few in power.

    As the UN is a collection of these corrupt totalitarian regimes it undermines the UN charter in that the voting power of these regimes destroys any possibility the UN could implement change consistent with the UN Charter.

    So… screw ’em… just show up for the occasional veto and shut the place down.