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Is America in decline??

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posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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After President Bush's whirlwind tour of Europe, it got me thinking about the health of America's influence on the world stage since Bush came to power.

This administration has divided once staunch allies, went in virtually alone without the critical international support and approval and created the modern day debacle that is Iraq. In the eyes of the world community America's reputation has diminished and it has created differences between allies. We see the effects of this today with the EU's lifting of China's arms ban, their diplomatic approach to Iran and Russia selling nuclear material to Iran. Bush's tour already looks like it has been unsuccessful and the European nations are no longer filing behind america and towing the line.

Europe is now taking a different path than America and on the world stage is defining it's own role. China is an increasingly growing in economic power and it's military capabilities have exponentially improved over the last 15 years, soon it will be strong enough to take on Taiwan. The Bush Administrations sabre rattling is only making things worse and China will only continue to invest even more into improving their military capability which inturn will greatly increase their influence and power in the entire region.

The Bush Administration's rhetoric of the 'axis of evil' has contributed to the supposed development of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula and in Iran, which could spark off a global arms race in the entire Asian continent and may make the NPT worthless.

Today we see that the Bush Administration is eyeing Iran with Bush's "all options are on the table" and unmanned drone's already probing defences and it's recent rhetoric and exploitation of what has happened in Lebanon to villify Syria in the world communities eyes so that it may overthrow the government.

The US military is already overstretched and has no near term exit strategy for Iraq, yet the Bush Administration continues to eye it's neighbours as potential targets, risking creating a massive insurgent triangle.

Economically, the US budget deficit is running into the hundreds of billions while in 2000 it was at a healthy 200 billion surplus. National government debt is at around $8 trillion, the highest in the world and total domestic debt is at approximately $37 trillion. There is a huge trade deficit and China is doing extremely well in the US. The dream run of the 90s and the Clinton Administration's fiscal conservatism have all but been thrown out the window with the Bush Administrations policy of cutting taxes while making the government bigger. The US dollar has lost major ground and has lost much confidence and many commodities and nations are changing to the Euro.

Politically, there seems to be a wishing among the populace for the 'old days' as grass roots conservatives have gained considerable popularity among the American populace. The 2000 election debacle was a sign that all was not well in America's democracy. Non-mandatory voting has made a minority of the nation decide who runs the nation.

Deregulation of the US media has put the hands of the press into the hands of a few corporate giants under the 'veil' of a "free" press. Each giant promotes it's own political and corporate agenda and news stories are skewed and censorship is becoming commonplace for stories that hurt the corporations bottom line. We live in a world today where the state-run media stations by the Industrialized west are the one's who have reporters who's hands are not tied.

All these conclusions I have come to from what I have seen and gathered lately make me believe that we are seeing the decline of America as the global superpower and as the leader of the Western World. I believe the Bush Administration is the major cause of this, as what has seemingly happened is that the PNAC (Project For A New American Century) Agenda (invade Iraq, exploit a pearl-harbour type event to get the support of a more pro-active role in preserving America's superpower status) has actually been the first nails in the coffin of the American hegemony and the return of the bipolar world or even a tripolar world.

So my question is to you : Do you think America is in decline?? Do you think we are witnessing the beginnings of the end of American Hegemony?

I hope to see responses from all sides of the fence, from all over the world and from Conservative's and Socialists alike.

Mods This is about current events! Please don't move it to Politics @ ATS


thanks,
drfunk

[edit on 28-2-2005 by drfunk]




posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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Well drfunk I veiw this as proof of Amercas reemergenc as a superpower in more than just name.
We went it, as you have said, allmost alone in Iraq,and despite the dire premonitions of Germany France Belgium etc. It has been a success so far. There have been free electons and Iraqi's are currently negoiting with Iraqi's to determine for themselves, who will be thier prime minster etc.
Saddam is in jail, and syria is beginning to cave in to US led pressure.
China s growng in economic power, partly because thier workers make next to nothing and partly because the Yaun s not a floated currency, neither of which are good for long term growth. The EU's two largest economies have had a higher than treaty allowed debt for the last three years, rampant joblessness, and in the case of Germany's most recent figures negative economic growth.
The simple fact is that while Both the EU and china have the raw resources to become economic superpowers, neither currently has economic policies which would actually allow that to happen in the forseeable future. In point of fact I see india becommng a superpower economically before either China or the EU
Also while it is popular to characterise the US military as over streched that is not precisely true.

So Bottomline dr dont buy into your gllom and doom predictionas and have no fear of the EU or china overtaking us in the near future.



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 08:33 AM
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I think you are wrong for blaming bush on this, but for the most part, I didn't see much I disagreed with.

We were preparing China for her role in the new world order during clinton's years, just as the stage was set for the US to take the role after the 2nd. world war.
The sad fact of the matter is that every "superpower" that rises it's head, will eventually drop it again....or have one raise above it.
So, well, it's been in the making for decades, and one look at the reaction in the white house tells me the time is getting close.

Either our role in the great drama is akin to that of Germany, or Bush is having problems with reality again.....as well as most of america.



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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You raise some interesting points MWM and it is good to see another perspective.

I feel that while it's better that Saddam Hussein is not in power for the people of Iraq, I am concerned of the geo-political implications that have been created by the invasion of Iraq. Elections have occured and have largely been a success, but no democracy is going to function well in Iraq until the Sunni's put down their guns, come to the table and work together with the Kurds and the Shia. I also feel that democracy in Iraq may be a devil in disguise, as the Bush Administrations rhetoric has tied US hands in intervening if a extremely conservative, pro-Iran and anti-US government is elected in the future. In the long run the US could just be handing Iraq to the Ayatollah's.

On economics, I agree that the pegged Yuan is an unfair practice and can have serious implications in the long run. What I think about China is that it's strength is not just its cheap labour, as one could find that in many places, but it's population and potential development as a marketplace. What I feel we will see and continue to see there is a development of the economy in China is a huge development in the domestic economy which will become increasingly important to the world. So while jobs and factories may leave China for greener and cheaper pastures, they will be exporting to China as the potential for the marketplace is huge and is growing greatly. As the saying goes "if you can sell a billion cans of coke in China for $1 each, you have just made $1 billion"

I feel theiproblem in the EU's (Germany inparticular) economy is the burden of smaller work hours combined with a overbloated welfare system. The FRG was an economic powerhouse and an envy to the Western world till reunification with the GDR, and this has taken a heavy toll on the economy and on employment as the government has had to deal with problems such as a large labour force in the underdeveloped and relatively backwards east that has little skills or isn't as efficient as their brothers in the west. Germany's economic downturn hasn't helped the situation in France either. That said I believe that Germany and France will have a turnaround sooner or later and coupled with the EU's growing importance and Europe's independence on the world stage they are still set to become a real power.

Dawnstar, I do not mean to blame Bush personally but I believe that the Bush Administrations fiscal and foreign policies are a major contributing factor in what we are seeing today. I am not well versed on the NWO or anything like that so I don't know what to make of references in regard to China.

thanks,
drfunk



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Excellent synopsis drfunk.


dawnstar - re: blaming Bush - IMO he accelerated the process, and defined it domestically to hurt Americans far more than other realities would have dictated. (By ignoring crises on the home front and funneling revenues to corporations instead of taking care of the domestic crises.) ...He's created a box that's near impossible to get out of.



.



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by mwm1331
In point of fact I see india becommng a superpower economically before either China or the EU.


This is based on what? The fact is that India is one of the poorest nations in the world per capita (111th lowest GDP per capita to be precise) they aren't growing any faster than China and China is almost twice as rich per capita. You might like them to become the most powerful economically of these three because they have good relations with the US but that doesn't mean the statistics favor this. They have a huge population but no where near the resources of China because of their smaller geographic size. The EU on the other hand doesn't really need to grow to become a economic superpower because they already have a greater combined GDP than the US. That said, to remain competitive with the US they will need to either grow faster or need the US to have a recession.

India: Per Capita - $2900, Total - $3 Trillion, 8.3% growth

China: Per Capita - $5000, Total - $6.5 Trillion, 9.1% growth

EU: Per Capita - $25 700, Total - $11.05 Trillion, 1% growth

USA: Per Capita - $37 800, Total - $10.99 Trillion, 3.1% growth

www.cia.gov...

[edit on 28-2-2005 by Trent]



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 09:13 AM
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Remember that France & Germany were secretly still buying oil from Iraq and ignoring U.N. Sanctions. They were opponents against the invasion cause they would be caught buying illegal oil through the oil for food program. If some dire threat arose against Europe & North America they would unite quickly and put the threat down immediately. All we need is an attack buy killer dolphins or aliens.



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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U.S. fighter pilots, disguised as aliens?

soficrow.....

there's a difference between "declining" and being run through the mud, beaten to a pulp, and then left for the vultures......

One could "decline" gracefully, and live to raise another day. Europe would be a good example of that.

[edit on 28-2-2005 by dawnstar]



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 11:06 AM
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The US economy is essentialy dependent on managing asset bubbles in the stocks, bond, and real estate market. Productive sectors of the economy have been losing jobs for the past five years, save for the food service sector (700,000 new jobs) and real estate/finance (300,000 new jobs). Even though total payrolls have gained 100,000 jobs since January 2001, the real driver of the job growth has been the government. 1.1 million jobs were created by the government, primarily in public education, and another 1.5 million jobs were created in the medical service sector, an industry dependent on more than half its revenues on government expenditures.



posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by drfunk
Do you think America is in decline??

I'm sure many in the UN and EU hope so ... but
I highly doubt it.


The Bush Administration's rhetoric of the 'axis of evil'
has contributed to the supposed development of nuclear weapons
in the Korean peninsula and in Iran, which could spark off a global
arms race in the entire Asian continent and may make the NPT
worthless.


Not true. Korea made anti-nuke deals with Clinton but Korea lied
and continued their nuke work ... all the while taking our money
and food donations that were supposed to go to the poor in
exchange for them being 'nuke free'
(Clinton had a nice idea, but he didn't verify. ALWAYS VERIFY)
The N. Korean nukes were well underway BEFORE Bush got in.

Claus Christian Malzahn (Der Spiegel) - "We Europeans
always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas
the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow."



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 12:41 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

Claus Christian Malzahn (Der Spiegel) - "We Europeans
always want to have the world from yesterday, whereas
the Americans strive for the world of tomorrow."



And what is that world of tomorrow?

If say, all the countries in the world were democracies, would peace reign eternally?

If China was a democracy, would relations between US-China be better?

The two questions, are of course, rhetorical



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 12:44 AM
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Bush sucks. But Ill say there's others behind the decisions he's making. (dont think it's necessarily him)



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 12:51 AM
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Thanks Rapier for bumping this thread up, I should add some more comments.

Firstly, thanks all for responding!


FF, I don't think I ever claimed that NK didn't stop developing. But however, since the Bush Administrations rhetoric we have seen them become public, the treaty end, them re-enrich uranium and become a supposed nuclear power (something which I am still skeptical of) I would say that the NK program has escalated in speed once the veil of secrecy was lifted.

I have given many reasons to which I believe why the US may be in decline, there are a variety of different reasons to which I believe that they may be. As I said this is only an opinion piece and I am interested in opinions more over short rebuttals.

Would you all agree that the US's prestige and credibility as a nation has lessened in the past 4 years? and that this has reflected on their diplomatic ability to work with friendly nations and hostile nations? and who is to blame? I feel Bush administration is largely to blame.

thanks,
drfunk



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by suburban
Bush sucks. But Ill say there's others behind the decisions he's making. (dont think it's necessarily him)


I agree Suburban. I feel that Bush is little more than a political figurehead who enjoys the pomp and ceremony of being president and has delegated a lot of his duties to other people in the administration. He always refers to himself in the third person and he seems to like the office and neglect the unnecessary paperwork to others compared to previous presidents.

I've read his daily briefings are no better than orchestrated stage shows with prepared speeches and briefings that are quick and to the point.

I don't think he has much intellectual capacity and experience for policy formation in many fields except for his own gut feelings. I feel his intellectual weakness makes him a perfect tool for the neocon element in his administration, he can be moulded in their form.

thanks,
drfunk



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 01:14 AM
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People have been betting against America for a long time and so far they've always lost. Problems between the U.S. and some European countries over Iraq just shows how morally bankrupt and irrelevant those countries are, not an indication of American decline.



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 05:32 AM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Problems between the U.S. and some European countries over Iraq just shows how morally bankrupt and irrelevant those countries are, not an indication of American decline.


Ok, if you are reflecting the majority opinion of Americans then the US is in bigger trouble then we thought.

The Europeans, like the rest of us, do not like to be "irrelevant" and called "morally bankrupt". This was the problem in the first place, the word is DIPLOMACY. The Bush administration does not understand the word.

If you disregard everyone who disagrees with you as "evil" then you will have alot of enemies.

Even you cannot deny that ever since President Bush took over, he has alienated most civilians across the world.



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 05:34 AM
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Originally posted by rapier28
Ok, if you are reflecting the majority opinion of Americans then the US is in bigger trouble then we thought.

The Europeans, like the rest of us, do not like to be "irrelevant" and called "morally bankrupt". This was the problem in the first place, the word is DIPLOMACY. The Bush administration does not understand the word.

If you disregard everyone who disagrees with you as "evil" then you will have alot of enemies.

Even you cannot deny that ever since President Bush took over, he has alienated most civilians across the world.


Well if you dont like to be caled morally bankrupt, I suggest europe begin to recultivate morals, and if you don't wish to be called irrelevant the do saomething to make yourselves relevant, stand up and be counted instead of just tryng to appease every dictatoral regime in the world.



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 06:02 AM
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That is where THE problem lies.

You seem to believe that every war America fights is for the good of the people in that country, this is rarely the case.

Sure, Saddam is a tyrant and many died under his regime. But how many died in the "liberation" of the Iraqi people? How do you justify sacrificing a certain amount of lives to save another certain amount of lives?

The ordinary people are never benefitted by any wars, it is them who suffer the most. Even under Saddam's oppression, the ordinary people can work and live they life, sure under political oppression. But can they do that now with out fear of suicide bombings? How many have died to get the vote?

It is very nice to say that the any sacrifices should be made for democracy, but about the people who died during and since the war, can you bring them back?

Most importantly, can you guarantee that America will destroy the insurgency in Iraq anytime soon? Can you guarantee that Iraq will not turn into a dictatorship in the next decade? What happens then? Start again? Another invasion?

People often like to make the comparison between European appeasement of Hitler to Iraq. This is the most stupid comparison you can ever make.

Iraq did not annex Sudetenland, Czech, Austria. It had no WMDS, barely a credible conventional force. It has no links with Bin Laden.

The war with Iraq was simply not justified.



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 07:40 AM
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Its so interesting how most of the responses had nothing to do with the quesiton .... lol

Well im saying USA is in decline !!!!!

* Firstly economic recessions throughout these few years and of course the greenback's decline . National Account Deficits etc ..
All these factors point to one thing a country is in decline .. be more specificly not making enough money simple explaination .

* Other countries such as Jap,China,India are making more money and later on what does this mean >>>> More budget for the troops


The only reason USA still is No 1 coz of its military domination espeically in the air and sea . I will bet any1 in 40-50 years some other country 's technological military equipment will be twice as advance as USA.
Look at it this way Some1 name me a country who as been imperial throughout our history ??? Its a matter of time ..... i reckon another 50 years plus until the fall of MAX PAYNE ( USA ) Lol



posted on Mar, 4 2005 @ 07:43 AM
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Yes, thats why the world bank's forcast for this year has the US growing fster than the euro zone, why our unemployment is lower than the euro zone, why our home ownership levels are higher than the eurozone, and why 50% more americns expressed the desire to own thier own business than europeans. Becuase or economy is in decline.



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