Monday, February 19, 2007


A medical emergency has delayed this comment, but it’s going to have long legs.
Maybe you didn’t see Senator McCain and a republican colleague whose identity I have forgotten sitting in the front row of an international meeting on Iran as Vladimir Putin got up and declared the era of American supremacy over.  The camera shot couldn’t have been more eloquent.
Essentially Putin stated publicly what everyone knows: America is on a descending curve, and the rest of the world is collectively in the ascent.  It doesn’t mater whether they’re communists, ex-communists, moderate or less moderate Islamists, Latin Americans rallying round Chavez’ Bolivarian revolution (better late than never), doing business with the Chinese who are also doing business in Africa.
Ken Silverstein’s lead article in the new Harpers, plugs right into the world’s declaration of independence.  A dispassionate look at the Islamist bogeyman that the Los Angeles Times would have edited beyond recognition, we can hope its publication by Harpers will move the so-called liberal media a step closer to objectivity (a loaded word, I know, but our media is so far from it...).
With the complicity of that media, the Bush administration thinks it can still behave as if Iran were not, in classical geopolitical terms, the dominant power in the Middle East, asserting its position by sticking to its legal right to nuclear technology.  We were not privy to the rest of Putin’s speech, but Putin was implying that the U.S. can no longer come from across the seas to dictate relationships between Iran and its neighbors.  Any meddling by powers outside the Middle East is going to be done by those directly concerned, Russia and Europe, thank you very much.
The upward and downward trends in history are as inexorable for individuals as for nations. Whatever one may think of her, it’s painful to watch Senator Clinton’s forced cheer, as Obama continues what is likely to be a graceful yet powerful surge to the White House.  A surge made all the more imperative by Putin’s credo.

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