America is exceptional – utterly and absolutely exceptional – because the rest of the world depends on American guns, American money and American mediation in a way that no other country or combination of countries possibly might replace. Any other power that suffered the setbacks that America sustained during 2010 under the Barack Obama presidency would have been pushed off the top of the hill. The reason America still has diplomatic currency to spend in Asia as well as actual currency to borrow demonstrates its indispensable role: no one, least of all Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao or Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, wants America to fail.
That is why a conspiracy of silence surrounds the observation that the emperor is naked. But the facts are depressingly clear.
After one trillion dollars and 5,000 casualties, America will leave Iraq with nothing to show for its Quixotic commitment to build a nation in the Mesopotamian sand. As Steven Lee Meyers reported on December 18 in The New York Times, “The protracted political turmoil that saw the resurgence of a fiercely anti-American political bloc here is casting new doubt on establishing any enduring American military role in Iraq after the last of nearly 50,000 troops are scheduled to withdraw in the next 12 months, military and administration officials say.” The pro-Iranian government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will eliminate America’s role in Iraq after America’s scheduled withdrawal.