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Thu Dec 15, 2011, 03:06 PM

Last Post In Iraq: This Is The Death Knell Of The American Empire [View all]

So the Yanks are going home. Apart from the thousands of their servicemen and women whose lifeblood they are leaving in the sands of Iraq, and the tens of thousands too maimed or otherwise damaged to make it back to home and hearth. And minus the trillion-plus of dollars in treasure they have expended on destroying an Arab country (which may have lost a million souls and seen three millions off into exile), fanning the flames of fanaticism, making Iran more powerful, and unleashing a wave of sectarianism throughout the Muslim world. Nice work, but hardly "Mission Accomplished", as the melancholy valediction delivered by President Obama at Fort Bragg this week made clear to the discerning.

The more he talked about what he once called the "dumb war", the more obvious it was that his was the task of holding the dipped banner of defeat. And the crew of thick-necked servicemen straight out of central casting roaring their approval at his description of their success could not quite drown out the sound of the Last Post. This is the death knell of American empire, the end of the brief unipolar world in the ashes of whose hubris the lone bugler now stands playing the retreat. Like Ozymandias, history which hasn't ended after all will invite us to gaze upon its ruined works and tremble. But instead we will rejoice, rejoice. For the Project for the New American Century it will be never glad confident morning again.

The war that was waged yes, for oil, and yes, also for Israel was waged above all to terrify the world (especially China) with American power. It turned into the largest boomerang in history. For what has been demonstrated instead are the limits of near-bankrupt America's power. Far from being cowed, America's adversaries and its enemies have been emboldened. With shock and awe the empire soon dominated the skies over Iraq to be sure. But they never controlled a single street in the country from the day they invaded until this day of retreat. One street alone Haifa Street in Baghdad became the graveyard of scores, maybe hundreds of Americans.

Fortresses like Fallujah entered history alongside Stalingrad as symbols of the unvanquishable power of popular resistance to foreign invasion. Crimes like Abu Ghraib prison where Iraqis were stripped naked and humiliated, forced to perform indecent acts upon each other and videotaped doing so for the entertainment of their torturers in the barracks afterwards entered the lexicon of the barbarism of those who invade others, flying the colours of their "civilising" mission. As Chairman Mao once put it: "Sometimes the enemy struggles mightily to lift a huge stone; only to drop it on its own foot." In an America where a third of the population are living in poverty or terrifyingly near it, and where imperial hubris met its nemesis on Haifa Street, China now knows it has nothing to fear from this paper tiger.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/15/iraq-death-knell-of-us-empire

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Reply Last Post In Iraq: This Is The Death Knell Of The American Empire [View all]
Purveyor Dec 2011 OP
msongs Dec 2011 #1
indepat Dec 2011 #2