The United States, the leader of the Western bloc, is immersed in itself and its problems: the city of Detroit – the city which, in the past, was the industrial center for American metals and cars – has gone bankrupt, and other cities may follow in its path. The American leadership is afraid to use the force at its disposal, and even when it goes to wars overseas it fails in them: the United States freed the Iraqis from the dictatorship of Saddam, but they became easy prey for regional Iranian supremacy. NATO freed Libya from Qadhaffi, and now Libya is sunk in a tribal bloodbath. And who will take control of Afghanistan when NATO withdraws from there? Won’t it be its Iranian neighbor?
The United States supported Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, but this support did not win the affection of the Muslims. On the contrary: as of today, all sectors in Egypt – the seculars as well as the Islamists – hate the United States. The seculars are angry with the United States because it supported the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamists hate it because it did not support them when Mursi was deposed. The cold shoulder that Obama turns to Sisi’s regime definitely might push the new Egyptian regime into the Russia-China bosom. Undoubtedly, this alliance has greater economic and political capability than the West has.
In Yemen, in Pakistan and in Afghanistan they hate the United States because it fought against terrorists, whom these countries’ societies consider to be righteous men, and it also kills innocent civilians in this war. Terror threats from al-Qaeda leaders and its affiliated organizations are enough to cause to the Americans to close their embassies and consulates over half of the globe. Is this how a superpower behaves? Perhaps the fact that four Americans were killed in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 made the United States lose confidence in itself and its strength?
Another damaging phenomenon that has darkened the American image is the great ease with which its most confidential and important secrets are revealed. A simple soldier in the American army, Bradley Manning, leaked thousands of government documents to the Wikileaks site. And until today the United States has still not managed to get its hands on Wikileaks or its founder. Another minor figure, Edward Snowden, revealed the innermost secrets of the National Security Agency to the eyes of the world and who gives him refuge? Russia and Putin, and the United States is unable to exert any pressure on them to extradite him. This phenomenon of leaking – that leads to revelation of many other countries’ secrets as well – causes leaders throughout the world to hesitate about having covert contact with the United States, because it seems to them that nothing will remain secret, and that the United States cannot defend itself and its friends from leaks. Have we ever heard of leaked documents from Russia?
Another factor that represents a big difference between the West and the Russian bloc is the way they deal with terror. Russia has suffered from Chechen Muslim terror, which hit Moscow and caused many casualties. Russia responded with a major offensive on the region of Chechnya, almost totally destroyed its capital, Grozny, and caused thousands of casualties among the Chechens, who were all – it must be remembered – Russian citizens. The United States and Western countries suffer from terror to a lesser extent and they are obsessive about it. The last large action that the West took against terror is the war in Afghanistan, which began with great success and over the years turned into a great failure: two weeks after the beginning of the war, the Western coalition had taken control of the whole territory of Afghanistan, and today it controls only a small part. The Taliban have returned to being the leading force, and the United States, which is losing its will to subdue its enemies, tries to engage with the organization that sees it as an illegitimate entity.
A few months ago, three people were killed and a few scores of people were injured in Boston at the Marathon. For two weeks the United States was in an uproar, the likes of which have not been seen since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the media hysterical presented the picture of a fear-stricken people and a situation where a few terrorists managed to intimidate the people and its leaders as well.
About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.
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