Friday, January 13, 2006

No Longer A Super Power?

The term "sole remaining superpower" is habitually associated with the United States. What does it really mean?

Two columns say that the United States no longer has the ability to impose its will as it sees fit. Specifically, the United States wants Iran to stop developing its nuclear war-making cpabilities and cannot a figure out a way to achieve this.

In today's column, Friedman concludes that the United States has done what it could and failed. Now it's up to China, Russia and India to stop Iran. And what if they decide not to, then what?

In another column, cleverly entitled The Bush Who Cried Wolf, Robert Dreyfuss says:

It is impossible to deny that Iran is a dangerous, out-of-control regime—yes, a “rogue” regime. But, had the Bush administration maintained a consistent policy of seeking a dialogue with Iran, had the neocons refrained from demanding regime change and military action, had President Bush not referred to Iran as part of a mythical “axis of evil,” and had the United States not immensely strengthened Iran’s position by handing it Iraq on a silver platter, diplomacy would stand a better chance. A package deal, giving Iran political acceptance and economic incentives, combined with a regulated nuclear technology regime, in exchange for Iran’s backing down from its hardline stance, could likely have been reached over time. It may still, but it seems highly unlikely now.

Neither column has an optimistic conclusion.


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