[The Telegraph, U.K.]


Wen Wei Po, Hong Kong

How America Ended its Own Dominance


Has America's reaction to September 11 - its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq - accelerated the end of U.S. dominance of the international system? According to commentator He Liangliang of Hong Kong's Phoenix TV - one of the few privately-owned cable operators permitted by Beijing authorities to broadcast to the Mainland - America's days as a global cop are well and truly over.


By He Liangliang [何亮亮], Phoenix TV commentator


Translated By Mark Klingman


July 3, 2009


Hong Kong - Wen Wei Po - Original Article (Chinese)

President George W. Bush after landing in the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of major combat in Iraq, May 1, 2003.


BBC NEWS ARCHIVE VIDEO: U.S. shocked by day of terror, September 11, 2001, 00:09:49RealVideo

On June 29, 2009, the U.S. military in Iraq began to withdraw from cities and towns, and handed over the building that houses the Iraqi Ministry of Defense to the Iraqi government. This symbolized the end of the first chapter of the U.S.-launched war in Iraq which began in 2003. Now the Iraqi army is responsible for implementing the nation's defense, including the task of counter-terrorism.



It was in that year, in defiance of global opinion and bringing upon itself universal condemnation, the U.S. invaded Iraq over its supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction. Unable to obtain United Nations authorization, it brazenly attacked the sovereign nation of Iraq and engendered intense opposition from around the world. But the Bush Administration, assuming that America's superpower status gave it permission to do whatever it wished, precipitated the fall of American Empire from its perch.


Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule certainly had its problems, but what country doesn't? Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, it was no threat to its neighboring countries, nor was there evidence that Saddam had conspired with al-Qaeda in the terrorist attacks against the United States and Europe. Relying on its overwhelming superiority, the American military quickly occupied the whole of Iraq. This is when the trouble really began.


U.S. occupation forces disbanded the Iraqi army and police, and along with the so-called "coalition of the willing," had to shoulder the entire burden of maintaining law and order in Iraq. Simultaneously, international terrorist organizations began a recruiting drive in many countries to carry on a “Jihad [holy war]” in Iraq, using various methods of "asymmetrical warfare" - mainly numerous types of terrorist attacks in cities and towns with the goal of exhausting the U.S. military.


The over 100,000 American troops still stationed in Iraq represent the kind of strategic defeat not seen since the Vietnam War. First, the U.S. military provoked an unjust war, letting loose the dogs of war without cause. And although a few countries, dispatched small numbers of troops to curry American favor and allow the U.S. to deceive the public, everyone knew that these foreign soldiers contributed nothing to the effort, and never played a significant military role.


Iraqis throw rice, dance to celebrate the end of the American

occupation in the city of Basra, June 30. U.S. forces have now

withdrawn from Iraq's towns and cities.


Second, the Americans had no clear enemy. The original Iraqi army collapsed during the first engagement, and a new Iraqi army was being organized, trained, and was fighting, all at the same time. Terrorist attacks in this so-called holy war began, mujahedeen struck and disappeared without a trace, and the high-tech equipment the Americans had was like using a cannon to hit a mosquito.   



With the Iraq War still under way and 130,000 U.S. troops still stationed in-country; the security situation remains serious and the Iraqi army still needs U.S. support to carry out its mandate. Since the situation is still unstable and the process of rebuilding Iraq's economy remains problematic, the democratic system that the U.S. pushed hoping it would be an example to neighboring Arabs states is no example at all.


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U.S. strategic priorities have now shifted to Afghanistan, but its experiences in the Iraq War will not help it win in Afghanistan. The Afghan question cannot be resolved by war. Rather, the Afghan government requires the assistance of the international community politically and in terms of security, economy, culture, and many other fields. The U.S. must rely on the United Nations to bring stability to Afghanistan.


   [The Times, U.K]



The formidable U.S. war machine wasted many years in Iraq and was unable to force a decision through battle. Unable to find a quick fix, Barack Obama came to power and chose to gradually withdraw American troops - but the blunders had already piled up to such an extent that they are impossible to remedy. Not only did the war lose for the United States global support for its battle against international terrorist groups, it exposed the weaknesses of the United States to terrorist organizations and caused countries that were already antagonistic to American wishes (such as North Korea, Iran) to become bolder in their contempt. When these countries posses real weapons of mass destruction, the United States will have even fewer options. That is the true irony when one looks back at the Iraq War.


The post-Cold War arrangement of a lone superpower has been broken by the United States itself; accelerated by the U.S. financial crisis, it is no longer able to act as the world's policeman and the international order has begun to reshuffle. The disastrous American defeat in Iraq has prompted soul-searching among the American public, enabling Obama to be elected president. But although he has complied with popular sentiment and has changed American policy toward Iraq and the Middle East - the prospects for achieving true peace in the Middle East remain anything but bright.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US September 11, 2:55pm]


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