By Ramzy Baroud
"After eight months of wrangling to push talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority forward, US Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged the latest setback to be a "reality check" for the Palestinian peace process. But for the Americans, the last few years have been less a "reality check" around the globe, more the new reality itself.......
Even the "pivot" to Asia is likely to end in shambles. On the one hand, the US's opponents, Russia notwithstanding, have grown much more assertive in recent years. They too have their own agendas, which will keep the US and its willing European allies busy for years. The Russian move against Crimea had once more exposed the limits of US and NATO in regions outside the conventional parameters of Western influence.
If the US proved resourceful enough to stage a fight in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, the battle - over energy supplies, potential reserves, markets and routes - is likely to be the most grueling yet. China is not Iraq before the US invasion - broken by decades of war, siege and sanctions. Its geography is too vast to besiege, and its military too massive to destroy with a single shock and awe.
The US has truly lost the initiative, in the Middle East region and beyond it. The neo-cons' drunkenness with military power led to costly wars that have overwhelmed the empire beyond salvation. Now, US foreign-policy makers are mere diplomatic firefighters, from Palestine, to Syria to Ukraine. For the Americans, the last few years have been less a "reality check", more the new reality itself. "