Unravelling on Steroids
I cannot remember any time when so many things have gone wrong for one country. Anti-American energy is accelerating in so many places around the globe that it’s hard to keep up. Starting with the most recent event and working backwards:
- The US leaned on European allies to deny their airspace to the plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales home from a conference in Moscow. The plane was forced to land in Vienna for fuel problems, and was searched for fugitive whistle-blower Edward Snowden. South American bigwigs like the Argentine president are calling for a special summit.
- The same European allies who denied airspace to Morales threatened to cancel a monumental free trade pact with the U.S. after learning they had been copiously spied upon by Washington’s security apparatus as much for economic reasons as terrorism. Even EU headquarters in Brussels was bugged.
- Russia refuses to hand over Edward Snowden, allowing him to remain in a Moscow airport transit zone until he finds a safe haven. They have no extradition treaty with the U.S. and if they did they would not comply because the U.S. has the death penalty.
- The Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, representing the moderate Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, was ousted by a popular revolt that has been gathering steam for several weeks over ineffective governance. The U.S. cannot withdraw support for the army, as required by legislation, because Egypt is too important to the safety of Israel.
- Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan bowed to countrywide demonstrations lasting several weeks in opposition to his plans to sacrifice a park in central Istanbul to build a mall and a replica of an army barracks, as part of his commitment to what we could call ‘financial urbanization’.
- Reports of atrocities committed by radical Islamists fighting Syria’s secular president Assad make Washington’s commitment to arm the Syrian rebels look increasingly rash.
- President Obama’s trip to three African countries provided foreign media with an opportunity to showcase Africa’s preference for Chinese-style investment that comes without preaching or economic conditionalities, the ultimate example of a worldwide trend away from U.S. hegemony.