Your Undoing

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AJOwens
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Your Undoing

Post by AJOwens »

These lyrics came a little too late for the recent fight by the same name. They took shape as a response to a comment on my blog, and they may yet end up as a blog post.They may be tough to set to music, but the refrain has possibilities.
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YOUR UNDOING

The US is not broke, at least not quite yet. When that happens, it will default on its debt. So far it's managed to avoid doing so, although the question now comes up yearly. The US position is better described as "overextended." It has wasted huge sums of taxpayer money on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and lately the Ukraine and Yemen. It is still, of course, an extremely wealthy nation, but vast amounts of its capital are tied up by the private sector, which doesn't like to pay taxes. Caught between its self-anointed role as the Leader of the Free World and its disastrous record as the World's Policeman, and increasingly without the wherewithal to back up either claim, it must now "consider its position," to use an arch and humiliating phrase from the British upper classes.

The problem is that the US, congenitally as it seems, has too much pride ever to consider its position. Beginning with the doctrine of American exceptionalism, the nation has always indulged a fantasy of omnipotence, which continues to the present day. If we may speak of the "beliefs" of nations, it believes itself to be all-powerful and invincible, as well as incapable of being wrong about anything. This attitude is what led it into all those wars, and as far back as Vietnam, it has refused to accept or digest the consequences of its own limitations.

Its enemies have played cleverly on this tendency, drawing it into ever more expensive conflicts, slowly bogging it down over the decades, in effect drawing it into the wild swings of an exhausted, punch-drunk boxer; or in the language of another martial art, using its own weight against it. The response to 9-11 was a particularly vivid example of the failure of the US to exercise self-control, to respond cautiously and strategically. Instead it went in with all guns blazing, deluded by its cowboy dreams of triumph; deluded again by its own "Mission Accomplished" rhetoric.

It was during the Bush presidencies, senior and junior, that this attitude truly began to tell on its fortunes. The slow disaster of its undoing continued through the Obama administration, with its careless "red line" bravado in Syria, and its reckless attempts to tilt the board through the badly calculated disruption of Qhadafi's Libya. The blindness of the US to its own hubristic folly is endemic, and as its coffers become emptier and emptier, the cost can no longer be concealed, as it might have been back in the 1970s.

It would be nice to think that with the rise of Donald Trump, and the resurgence of American isolationism, those days are over. The truth is that the US is as blind as ever to its own faults and weaknesses. It now thinks that it can bluff and bluster its way out of the disastrous situation in which it finds itself. But withdrawal from its international responsibilities, if pursued with the usual cowboy superiority complex, will only weaken the forces of enlightenment and democracy for which it supposedly stands, in the face of threats from more dictatorial regimes such as those of Russia and China (and increasingly India). It is setting itself and Europe up for isolation -- when both are all but broke.

As such, it is still being cleverly played by its enemies. The solution is neither a Biden nor a Trump administration, for both reflect in their own ways an American character incapable of thinking before it acts (although to my mind the Biden administration shows sightly more promise in this regard). The solution is for the US to to grow out of its comic-book days of action superheroes, to learn from past mistakes, to accept some humility, and to behave, finally, like a responsible adult. Its continued adulation for belligerent posturing may yet be its undoing.
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Re: Your Undoing

Post by ujnhunter »

Nice. Personally, I think this part: "The response to 9-11 was a particularly vivid example of the failure of the US to exercise self-control, to respond cautiously and strategically." is assuming that that 9/11 itself wasn't setup to be what Bush wanted in the first place... it's assuming everything after was a "responce" when it quite possibly was the opposite, a strategic "excuse" to do what Bush always wanted to do in the first place. Kind of like Putin is doing in Ukraine right now.
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AJOwens
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Re: Your Undoing

Post by AJOwens »

I missed the fight "9-11 Was an Inside Job." There were some great lyrics. Whatever actually happened that day, Bush used it as an excuse. I think a lot of people understood that, but they were totallly OK with the excuse.
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