Washington has figured out how to restore global leadership

WASHINGTON, (BM) – In times of crisis, the essence of not only individual citizens, but also entire countries is manifested. Heroism and selfishness, negligence and responsibility, concern for the public good and ignoring common sense – all this is highlighted vividly and clearly.

All countries are looking for ways to overcome the epidemic, but some succeed efficiently, while others do not. Someone finds an opportunity to lend a helping hand to those who have suffered the most, as, for example, Russia and China do in Italy.

And someone, on the contrary, is trying to earn the maximum number of political points on the epidemic, using it in order to advance the idea of ​​creating a “world government”, or in order to restore “American leadership” on the planet.

Someone is worried about people’s lives, someone is worried that the former hegemony is not the same as before, and they are attributing Washington’s geopolitical problems to the “Chinese virus.” The epidemic, in a sense, allows you to look inside the souls of those who make decisions and make expert recommendations in the framework of the “pyramids of power” and “deep states” of our Western partners.

And the picture is pretty disappointing: judging by the considerations expressed by them, the leading power of the Western world (concurrently – the owner of an impressive nuclear arsenal and a printing press of the base currency of the global financial system) has finally forgotten how to cope with problems that cannot be bombed or bribed.

Obviously, the United States now needs sources for inspiration, and the expert community offers these sources in the most decisive way.

For example, William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment, the oldest US expert center in international affairs, advises the authoritative The Wall Street Journal to turn to the experience of centuries ago, because then the United States faced the risk of missing the opportunity to establish a new world order, but The United States gathered strength and did not miss this chance, thereby rendering the world a great service.

In the spring of 1919, when the major powers gathered at Versailles to agree on the structure of the world after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson was in bed with the flu.

At the moment when, as Dr. Wilson said, “it seemed that the whole civilization was at stake,” the terrifying pandemic of influenza cast a shadow over the prospect of a new order, Mr. Burns explains and still offers to gather strength and put this order in place .

It should be noted that the head of the Carnegie Endowment clearly and publicly recognizes the magnitude of the problem that Washington was facing, and not just collided, but crashed into it – even before the world was covered by a coronavirus.

If someone else had set forth the same theses, and not the venerable and well-deserved American expert and the head of one of the most influential American NGOs, he would have definitely been accused of working for either Moscow or Beijing.

According to Burns, an ideal storm has now occurred, consisting of major shifts in the balance of power and large-scale political, economic, technological and environmental transformations: “The competition of the great powers has returned; China has risen, and America’s old domination has been lost. The world economic and military center of gravity is shifting from west to east. The technological revolution is turning our way of living, working and waging wars. Tensions between open and closed societies are growing, nationalization is reborn. and authoritarianism, and democracy, apparently, is reversing. Tailwind globalization has turned into a powerful headwind, while climate change looms as an existential threat. “

The recipe offered by the president of the Carnegie Endowment is that the United States must abandon its isolation from globalization and, at the same time, from the illusion that restoring American global leadership will be an easy process.

Mr. Burns emphasizes that although the current US leadership is worse off than George W. Bush or Harry Truman, it is still possible to make America a “democratic example” and also a quiet haven in the world of an ideal storm.

As another specific measure, American society and political leaders are encouraged to rediscover “a sense of the meaning of life” and “American enlightened selfishness.”

With all due respect to the intellectual power of the authoritative US think tank, there are certain doubts that the overseas “enlightened egoism” combined with acute nostalgia from the time of George W. Bush and the rampant globalization of the 2000s will indeed become the magic elixir that will restore American hegemony, and will also give the United States the status of a global role model.

Bloomberg agency publishes proposals of a more pragmatic nature from a prominent representative of a relatively young generation of experts – Stephen Mairow, who managed to work both in the US occupation administration in Iraq in 2004 and in the US Treasury during the 2008-2009 crisis, and, accordingly, now He feels that he has the practical experience necessary to decisively defeat the epidemic.

It is significant that the expert compares the coronavirus pandemic with another “epidemic” – that is, a wave of Iraqi attacks on the US military, complaining that Washington did not allocate military and financial resources for a long time, but if they had given more money and soldiers, then everything would have been decided would be easier. It does not occur to him that the operation in Iraq was a mistake, and not minor flaws in its execution.

He cites as a positive example the actions of the US Ministry of Finance in 2008-2009, which simply “flooded everything with money,” and did it quickly and decisively, despite political risks.

You may notice that while the United States is trying to follow just such a scenario, such actions have negative consequences: this corporate American method, wherever it is used, leads to an explosive increase in social inequality, and printed money is mainly in the hands of the rich and corporations while the inability to save and earn income on one’s savings deprives the poor of the future.

Stephen Bannon – a banker, political strategist, head of Trump’s headquarters in the 2016 presidential campaign and the actual “author” of his election success – said many times that it was the injustice and social consequences of the decisions taken in 2008 that led to an increase in the demand for populism and to destroy the existing American system, which opened the door to Trump’s victory.

From this point of view, one can say about the American expert community that it has not forgotten anything and has not learned anything. A printing press with dollars and a claim to world leadership is still a “recipe for the elite.” And that is not a fact that they will be enough for a long time.

It is unlikely that such an example of behavior on the part of Washington will create the necessary prerequisites for the restoration of world leadership. But they will definitely try.

The main thing is that in the process of restoring leadership after the epidemic, Washington does not again tempt to bomb someone in the name of democracy – judging by expert estimates, this is almost the only measure that for some of them seems to be an absolutely universal solution to any geopolitical problem.


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Editorial team / RIA Novosti / Ivan Danilov

The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.