The notion that we have allies stretches back to World War II. Then, we led, they followed, because their survival was at stake. As leadership turned to empire, our “allies” followed less and less persuasively: they paid lip service, they pronounced the ritual incantations about an Atlantic Alliance on requisite occasions. France has traditionally been a troublemaker, but it is no longer powerful enough to lead the others, especially when Germany leans toward the U.S. With the Iraq War following on the heels of 9/11, a tragedy which almost outweighed decades of irritation at our growing hubris, the tide turned decisively: American overreach was recognized for what it is: a brazen, unabashed determination to subjugate all peoples that possesses the black gold upon which our power is built.
Our so-called allies still needed a leader to authorize them to say out loud what they had been muttering among themselves for decades: you can no longer tell us what to do, Uncle Sam. Putin has stepped forward, and he will be followed, even though Russia’s lack of democracy is more blatant than that of the U.S. World wise Europeans, especially in the west, know it‘s all a question of degree.
The Bush-Cheney hydra may well react to having its first head cut off by fomenting war with Iran before the beast’s lair is cleaned out for new occupiers. Notwithstanding last night’s spirited Democratic debate, the courage to impeach would have been the only way to prevent that.
If we attack Iran, at least the fact that we are an empire rather than the leader of an alliance, will be clear for all to see.