Monday, May 24, 2010

Shared Prophecies

At various times since I began this blog, more than three years ago, I’ve suggested that America’s days as the dominating world power are numbered. Though I may have been one of the first to perceive this, the notion is spreading.

A recent blog on the site , by two Washington insiders, is entitled “Iran, the Post-American World and the Security Council’s Looming Legitimacy Crisis”. Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett note that by offering to refuel Iran’s research reactor, Turkey and Brazil, “two rising economic powers from what we used to call the ‘Third World’ have now asserted decisive political influence on a high-profile international security issue.” Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is even questioning the Security Council’s credentials for dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue.

This turn of events is a far cry from the post-war days referred to in my October 2, 2009 blog, when America ran the world.

I’ve just returned from a ten-day trip to Paris and Turin, Italy, where I presented the Italian version of my historical document on the Cuban Revolution.

In this gem of a city, most of which was built for a seventeenth century kingdom, but which later became the home of Fiat, Italy’s most important car manufacturer, history in general, and the fight against fascism in particular, is ever present in the minds of politically aware people.

Surprisingly, my Italian hosts and colleagues, who fit that description and then some, knew very little about Sarah Palin. More worringly, between the fact that information is distilled by Berlusconi, and that the climate crisis is not amenable to ideological solutions as such, they are not concerned about it. Yet eleven people died over the weekend from floods in Poland.

And so it goes: Americans carry on as though their government was still running things worldwide, and Europeans, worried about the solidity of their common currency, fail to see the writing from the sky.

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