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The Post American World

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  • The Post American World

    A photo recently (and by "recently," I mean "withing the last 5 years" in this case) showing President Obama getting into his Limo presumably on some tarmac somewhere and in his hand was the book The Post American World, by Fareed Zakaria.
    obama_book.jpg
    Of course, the photo was intended to inspire ire at a president who DARED read books that foretold the downfall of America, as if he is planning to lend a hand or something.

    But I decided to look up the book and the author. Turns out able pols from either side of the aisle (including both George Stefanopolous and Henry Kissinger) herald him as highly intellectual and very politically astute, though he campaigned for Obama in both the 2008 primary and the presidential election.

    Mind you, I don't necessarily agree with the premise of the book, but I cannot argue with the strategy he lays out for the United States going forward (whether or not we are in deline):

    Zakaria's guidelines for the US in the 'post-American world'
    1. Choose: Choose priorities rather than trying to have it all
    2. Build broad rules, not narrow interests: Recommit to international institutions and mechanisms
    3. Be Bismarck, not Britain: Maintain excellent relations with everyone, rather than offset and balance emerging powers
    4. Order א la carte: Address problems through a variety of different structures (e.g. sometimes UN, sometimes NATO, sometimes OAS)
    5. Think asymmetrically: Respond to problems (e.g. drug cartels, terrorists, etc.) proportionately and do not respond to bait (i.e. small attacks meant to draw attention)
    6. Legitimacy is power: Legitimacy creates the means to set agendas, define crises, and mobilize support


    As a list of priorities, I think they are quite applicable to us whether or not we are in decline.

    There is an article on Wikipedia that goes into the book, itself, in much more detail but I have to note at this point, I'm not all that offended that Obama would be reading it UNLESS he is reading it in order to know how and when to bring us down (which I do not believe is the case at this time).

  • #2
    Re: The Post American World

    My personal observation is that the US still carries a big stick. The difference today, I think, is that other sticks are starting to catch up to ours. In that sense I don't think that our clout is still quite as unilateral as it once was.

    Culturally we still seem to export globally to a great extent but with a global economy I'm not sure it translates into the same earnings for us as it once did.

    There seems to be no downside to being realistic about the slow decline of our primacy in an evolving global economy. I'd agree that no President is going to purposefully seek to degrade our position, that's a position for fearmongers to take.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: The Post American World

      Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
      My personal observation is that the US still carries a big stick. The difference today, I think, is that other sticks are starting to catch up to ours. In that sense I don't think that our clout is still quite as unilateral as it once was.

      Culturally we still seem to export globally to a great extent but with a global economy I'm not sure it translates into the same earnings for us as it once did.

      There seems to be no downside to being realistic about the slow decline of our primacy in an evolving global economy. I'd agree that no President is going to purposefully seek to degrade our position, that's a position for fearmongers to take.
      I agree that there seems to be no downside. Whether or not we are in decline, those strategies are worth reviewing.

      Zakaria points out in the book (which I take from Wikipedia, and not from the book directly), that the U.S. will remain a super-power ... but like you said, others are quickly catching up to our big stick.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: The Post American World

        Originally posted by Good1 View Post
        I agree that there seems to be no downside. Whether or not we are in decline, those strategies are worth reviewing.

        Zakaria points out in the book (which I take from Wikipedia, and not from the book directly), that the U.S. will remain a super-power ... but like you said, others are quickly catching up to our big stick.
        Some celebrate the demise of America:

        Bill Ayers to University Students: America’s ‘Game Is Over’ and ‘Another World’ Is Coming

        The great challenge for our generation [is] to find a way not just to live differently as individuals, but to find a way to think differently about what work means, to think differently about citizenship means, to think differently about what it means to be a ‘citizen of the world.’ One of the great dangers that we live in right now, is I don’t think there’s any question, and I don’t think any of you would question, that the American Empire is in decline–that economically, and politically, and in some ways culturally, that we are in decline. And yet, the United States remains the most powerful, weaponized military system the Earth has ever known.

        That’s a treacherous combination. A declining economic power, and an expanding military power. And we are going to have to find ways to re-imagine what it means to live in this coun–in this world. And here we are 4% of the world’s population, 4.5% of the world’s population, consuming vast amounts of natural resources, consuming vast amounts of finished goods, and no politician will say that the empire is declining and that the game is over.

        It’s over. Now what?
        Bill Ayers to University Students: America’s ‘Game Is Over’ and ‘Another World’ Is Coming | Video | TheBlaze.com

        Once a terrorist and murderer, now a distinguished leader of the left.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: The Post American World

          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
          Some celebrate the demise of America:

          Bill Ayers to University Students: America’s ‘Game Is Over’ and ‘Another World’ Is Coming



          Bill Ayers to University Students: America’s ‘Game Is Over’ and ‘Another World’ Is Coming | Video | TheBlaze.com

          Once a terrorist and murderer, now a distinguished leader of the left.
          Agreed, Dan, and I personally find people like Ayers and his main squeeze, Bernadette Dorn repugnant.

          But insofar as I can determine from what little I've read, Zakarias' book doesn't seem to be celebrating it at all: Simply sounding the horns that it's coming and we would do well to prepare for it.

          I don't think anyone can argue that future America will bear little resemblance to former America.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: The Post American World

            I believe the country is in decline and people like Obama and Ayers and Alinsky celebrate this decline as an opportunity to remake it in their image. They believe they have to destroy what we have to get to where they want the country to be.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: The Post American World

              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
              I believe the country is in decline and people like Obama and Ayers and Alinsky celebrate this decline as an opportunity to remake it in their image. They believe they have to destroy what we have to get to where they want the country to be.
              Wow. If you really believe our President's true motivation is to destroy our country, I truly feel sorry for you.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: The Post American World

                Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
                Wow. If you really believe our President's true motivation is to destroy our country, I truly feel sorry for you.
                Maybe "destroy" is too emotionally loaded a word.

                I do believe most of the decisions Obama (et al) make are not in the best interests of this country. I firmly believe someone who does want to bring America more quickly into decline is pulling Obama's strings because, frankly, the man is simply not smart enough to be making these calls on his own. It is my observation that his lack of leadership and business acumen is the primary cause behind him waiting for so long to decide what to do in certain situations (like the Arab spring in Libya, for example).

                I don't think he really sets out to destroy America, per se. But I do think he doesn't give the future implications of his decisions and actions enough thought.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: The Post American World

                  Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
                  My personal observation is that the US still carries a big stick. The difference today, I think, is that other sticks are starting to catch up to ours. In that sense I don't think that our clout is still quite as unilateral as it once was.

                  Culturally we still seem to export globally to a great extent but with a global economy I'm not sure it translates into the same earnings for us as it once did.

                  There seems to be no downside to being realistic about the slow decline of our primacy in an evolving global economy. I'd agree that no President is going to purposefully seek to degrade our position, that's a position for fearmongers to take.
                  Not so much that other's sticks are getting to be as big as ours, but more so, I think, that the target has changed. It used to be Russia and Communists, and now it's small terrorist cells all over the place. Our stick is going to have to change and adapt, and has been for at least 12-12 years now.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #10
                    Re: The Post American World

                    Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                    Maybe "destroy" is too emotionally loaded a word.

                    I do believe most of the decisions Obama (et al) make are not in the best interests of this country. I firmly believe someone who does want to bring America more quickly into decline is pulling Obama's strings because, frankly, the man is simply not smart enough to be making these calls on his own. It is my observation that his lack of leadership and business acumen is the primary cause behind him waiting for so long to decide what to do in certain situations (like the Arab spring in Libya, for example).

                    I don't think he really sets out to destroy America, per se. But I do think he doesn't give the future implications of his decisions and actions enough thought.
                    That's funny, this is pretty much exactly the same way I felt about W. It really just reflects how we see the world the way we read other folks actions and intentions. but as much as I disliked Bush and his policies, I never said he wanted to destroy our country like some folks say about Obama. I really want to believe that first and foremost the POTUS, any POTUS really is a patriot. Anything else would be too conspiritorial for me to accept. That's the stuff for political fiction and TV shows in my Pollyanna world.

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • #11
                      Re: The Post American World

                      Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                      I believe the country is in decline and people like Obama and Ayers and Alinsky celebrate this decline as an opportunity to remake it in their image. They believe they have to destroy what we have to get to where they want the country to be.
                      You are looking to the wrong people to use as scapegoats oldman. America is certainly in decline, but that decline has been orchestrated not by Ayers or obama. It is much deeper, more nefarious than that. Remember, he who has the gold makes the rules. America is being used, by a certain group of people to further their wealth creation.

                      If you forget for one nanosecond who actually calls the shots, brings the changes economically, those with the gold, you will go after the wrong people. Yet you hold these people to high regards, while ideologically not being able to see who the real enemy is. You just refuse to believe who the real enemy to america is.

                      These other people, the folks without the gold and who are intellectuals like Ayers really believe in a world where all link hands, but human nature will never allow that. You cannot take the consciousness shared by mankind, a consciousness driven by things that are not constructive and have that consciousness to lead to where Ayers think we can go. And so we must go back to what we did in order to get to where we once was, not do the exact opposite! As long as we stay on this path that we took over the last several decades america will continue to decline. We HAVE to go back to taking care of america, not big business, not banks, not small but powerful special interests, but america! In the same way as you would take care of the nuclear family unit. That is the key, to survival, to maintaining prosperity for the american people. But obviously the power of gold is not allowing this to happen. The amercian empire will continue to decline unless we get back on track. And I don't think it is possible. The repubs nor the dems will do that, but instead they will continue to bow to the power of special interests as they try to keep their seats of power in DC.

                      מה מכילות החדשות?


                      • #12
                        Re: The Post American World

                        Originally posted by hermanboo View Post
                        That's funny, this is pretty much exactly the same way I felt about W.
                        That's funny... if you didn't like Bush, you must HATE Obama...

                        -GITMO still open
                        -Increased rendition
                        -Increased drones (no trial executions)
                        -Expanded Patriot Act.
                        -5 years in, still fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan
                        -Increased DOD budget

                        Many on the left are even calling this 'Bush's 4th term'

                        And yet... you still support Obama. Amazing how leftist ideology always trumps the facts.

                        מה מכילות החדשות?


                        • #13
                          Re: The Post American World

                          Originally posted by tsquare View Post
                          That's funny... if you didn't like Bush, you must HATE Obama...

                          -GITMO still open
                          -Increased rendition
                          -Increased drones (no trial executions)
                          -Expanded Patriot Act.
                          -5 years in, still fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan
                          -Increased DOD budget

                          Many on the left are even calling this 'Bush's 4th term'

                          And yet... you still support Obama. Amazing how leftist ideology always trumps the facts.
                          You are right, he has perpetuated many of Bush's programs, and yet you call him a leftist. Amazing. Did you notice where I clearly stated I never thought it was Bush's intention to destroy America?

                          I support him in the sense that he does differ in some respects regarding social engineering and I see that being a better choice than Romney. I don't like everything about him, and you'd be hard pressed to find a post where
                          I've been his cheerleader. I am not the droid you are looking for, t.

                          מה מכילות החדשות?


                          • #14
                            Re: The Post American World

                            So... you guys want to 'look at' a 'post-American world?'

                            Take a look...

                            For half a century, the United States kept the peace through the force of its existence. There were some difficult times, but for the most part it was the sheer bulk of its military budgets and the ranks of nuclear warheads that prevented not only the big war, but also most of the little wars.

                            The left complained incessantly about those budgets and those missiles. It draped itself in peace signs and slapped on bumper stickers like “Cukes Not Nukes”. Its entertainers made movies ridiculing generals who believed in the balance of power as maniacs. Its pundits wrote books explaining why every problem in the world was caused by American power being used to aid fascist dictators and keep down progressive rebels like Che and Pol Pot.

                            And then American power finally collapsed. There had been early warning signs under Carter and Clinton, but with Obama it finally happened. The message went out that there was no longer a great power to serve as a stabilizing influence. If anyone wanted to discuss global warming or a fund to empower women in Southeast Asia, they could come down to Washington, but if they wanted to discuss how to use the balance of power keep the world from falling apart, they were out of luck.
                            The message was received. It was received in Cairo where the Muslim Brotherhood got to work overthrowing allied governments and replacing them with theocracies. It was received in Asia where China and North Korea set to work moving in on American allies.

                            The Middle East is burning. Asia looks like it might be next. The experts offer all sorts of proposals from giving more free stuff to North Korea to giving free stuff to the Syrian rebels instead, but stability against aggression can’t be achieved with giveaways. Even soft power requires hard power behind it. When there’s no hard power then the soft power is helpless.

                            Asia and the Middle East are the Post-American wars of a Post-American administration. They are the conflict of the power vacuum that Obama left in his wake.
                            The Middle East is a grenade. American power was the pin. When Obama pulled the pin, the unstable elements went off and the natural conflicts between Shiite and Sunni broke out again. And those won’t be the last conflicts. The region is a tinderbox of ethnic and religious tensions. American power couldn’t keep a lid on all of them, but it provided a stabilizing element that is gone now.

                            In his Cairo speech, Obama ceded American influence in the Middle East. And the fight was on to fill the vacuum as leaders allied with the United States lost their support from Washington.

                            The Islamists smashed the left. The Sunni and Shiite Islamists began waging a bloody war over Syria, Bahrain and soon enough, Lebanon and Iraq. And with Iran developing nuclear weapons and Turkey fighting a proxy war with it in Syria, the fighting won’t end there.

                            The Middle East is in the middle of a Post-American war. The humanitarian crises, the bombings, murders and rapes that the media splashes across every channel and paper are the wages of Hope and Change.

                            American power was never the problem. American weakness was. Carter couldn’t figure out international power politics and gave us Iran. Clinton couldn’t figure it out and gave us Al Qaeda. Obama topped them both by taking down almost every allied government in the region.

                            The next Post-American War looks to be breaking out in Asia. American power froze the natural conflicts of the region. Now with American power subtracted from the equation, the postponed conflicts between Japan and China and between South Korea and North Korea have returned.

                            Obama’s pivot toward Asia consists of sending Hanoi John to reassure South Korea and Japan that the United States will support them in trying to negotiate with Kim III. Japan and South Korea are willing to take the cheap photo ops, but their governments are not formulating their plans based on American support. Japan and South Korea have shifted more to the right because they know that the days when they could count on American power are gone.

                            Like the Islamists in the Middle East, China and North Korea are moving against countries that had grown dependent on a regional stability built on American power. South Korea and Japan are adapting themselves to a world in which America is good for little more than sending out emissaries to propose more negotiations while its diplomats pay more attention to Global Warming and the Palestinian peace process than to North Korea’s threats of war.

                            The Post-American World War has begun. It will either end with the destruction of the United States or its reemergence as a world power.
                            Enjoy...


                            The Post-American World War | FrontPage Magazine

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Post American World

                              Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                              A photo recently (and by "recently," I mean "withing the last 5 years" in this case) showing President Obama getting into his Limo presumably on some tarmac somewhere and in his hand was the book The Post American World, by Fareed Zakaria.
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                              Of course, the photo was intended to inspire ire at a president who DARED read books that foretold the downfall of America, as if he is planning to lend a hand or something.

                              But I decided to look up the book and the author. Turns out able pols from either side of the aisle (including both George Stefanopolous and Henry Kissinger) herald him as highly intellectual and very politically astute, though he campaigned for Obama in both the 2008 primary and the presidential election.

                              Mind you, I don't necessarily agree with the premise of the book, but I cannot argue with the strategy he lays out for the United States going forward (whether or not we are in deline):

                              Zakaria's guidelines for the US in the 'post-American world'
                              1. Choose: Choose priorities rather than trying to have it all
                              2. Build broad rules, not narrow interests: Recommit to international institutions and mechanisms
                              3. Be Bismarck, not Britain: Maintain excellent relations with everyone, rather than offset and balance emerging powers
                              4. Order א la carte: Address problems through a variety of different structures (e.g. sometimes UN, sometimes NATO, sometimes OAS)
                              5. Think asymmetrically: Respond to problems (e.g. drug cartels, terrorists, etc.) proportionately and do not respond to bait (i.e. small attacks meant to draw attention)
                              6. Legitimacy is power: Legitimacy creates the means to set agendas, define crises, and mobilize support


                              As a list of priorities, I think they are quite applicable to us whether or not we are in decline.

                              There is an article on Wikipedia that goes into the book, itself, in much more detail but I have to note at this point, I'm not all that offended that Obama would be reading it UNLESS he is reading it in order to know how and when to bring us down (which I do not believe is the case at this time).
                              I am impressed.

                              I remember when that photo came out and thought the people spreading that photo were....hard to take seriously.

                              Yes, it's only wise to be forward looking.

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