Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A decade of global crimes, but also crucial advances

US strategic defeat in Iraq, a discredited market model, China's rise and Latin American freedom offer hope for the world

Seumas Milne, Tuesday 29 December 2009

"....Of course, the positive dimensions of the events of this decade come with a heavy dose of qualifications. The US will remain the richest and overwhelmingly dominant global power, with a military presence in most countries in the world, for the foreseeable future. Its defeat in the Middle East, in any case partial, has been bought at huge human cost. It continues to wage the war on terror, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. And the emerging global multipolarity brings its own risks of conflict......

But at least there is now more space for progressive movements and states to manoeuvre. The Washington consensus is gone and the post-Soviet new world order is mercifully no more. Who predicted that at the millennium? Meanwhile, citizens of the US and its allies have shown increasing reluctance to send their sons and daughters to die in neocolonial wars. With the re-emergence of other independent powers, American leaders might even see the advantage in a rules-based system of international relations.

Liberal commentators in the US have branded the past 10 years as a "lost decade" and a "big zero". They have certainly seen catastrophes and crimes on a wanton scale. But for most of the rest of the world, there have also been crucial advances."

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