The Current Discussion: Will the U.S. financial crisis lead to an erosion of U.S. influence comparable to the Iraq war?
Ever since the U.S. won the cold war, its influence has been soaking in the lukewarm water of erosion. This giant country (or rather its leadership) has not done anything since 1990 that could improve its "influence," in any sense of the word. From this point of view, the victory over the extinct Soviet Union was bloodier than anybody noticed. Before, you could always justify your actions with the threat of another superpower. Not so anymore - the U.S. has no such justification. So, smaller countries of the world feel a little compassion for the 'poor' United States.
Actually, the financial crisis makes the American superpower look more human. Earlier, its limitless economic and military power and even its size was simply frightening. When we can observe the giant bleeding, we experience a number of feelings:
1. Schadenfreude (gloating) and satisfaction.
2. Threat. If even the giant is so vulnerable, we may bleed much more soon.
3. Anger. Why can't the U.S. leadership solve this crisis? Why can't they see that it is really dangerous for the whole world?
All in all, the impotence of American economic and political leaders will certainly lead to an erosion of the U.S. influence. That erosion is not comparable to the one caused by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - because it will be even faster, and even stronger.
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