Monday, February 18, 2008
By Jim Lobe
".....Nine months later, the notion that Washington has entered a "New American Century" – a phrase used by the nationalist and neoconservative unilateralists who championed the Iraq war – in which the U.S. can do whatever it wants, where it wants, and when it wants, without consulting anyone else, seems largely to have gone the way of the dodo bird.
"We are in a multipolar world," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Washington Post columnist recently in what has to be considered the ultimate heresy to pro-war hawks led by the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Gates' predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld......
Almost as pathetic in their own way were the recent exhortations by Gates – the steward of a military establishment that spends more money each year than the combined defense budgets of all of the world's other nations – for Washington's NATO allies to contribute 7,000 more troops to help U.S. forces pacify Afghanistan six years after Rumsfeld and his neoconservative advisers contemptuously spurned their offers of help.
That the response Gates received was not much more favorable than that delivered by Saudi Arabia's oil minister to Bush's entreaties spoke volumes not only about the way that his administration has both misunderstood and mishandled its "global war on terror," but, more ominously, about the weakness and fragility of the alliance which Washington led to victory against the Soviet Union in the Cold War......."