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When America Loses Power, Things Fall Apart

07/28/2014 05:04 EDT | Updated 09/27/2014 05:59 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014. The President announced that the program will be renamed in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela. The summit is the lead-up event to next week’s inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest gathering any U.S. President has held with African heads of state. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world", in his immortal poem, "The Second Coming" Yeats famously writes these now poignant words. In many ways, the world does appear to be coming apart. What follows is a world tour of what increasingly feels like a prologue to the world's ending. And at its end, an explanation of what we're really seeing -- what the world looks like when the United States retreats. A world in which instability, civil wars in strategic regions, violence, danger and death are ever more present -- much like how the world looked prior to the emergence of the United States as a global superpower and the horror that was multi-polarity in the global political system.

THE MIDDLE EAST: It is a cauldron of chaos -- civil war is in full swing in Libya, where weeks of fighting have killed hundreds (most of them civilians) in clashes in Benghazi and Tripoli. The fighting there so deadly, foreign diplomats have pulled out the country. In Syria, the death toll from its on-going civil war is now above 150,000 (most of them civilians) as variously armed amoral monsters wreak havoc on the local population. In Iraq, a terrorist group called "ISIS" (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has surged, killing hundreds of (do you notice a pattern here?) civilians, threatening the vision of Iraqi democracy so many American's died for. In Egypt, where democracy appeared to planting its first small roots, a coup overthrew the country's first democratically elected leader. Its present dictator now behaves in a manner similar to its prior dictator. Israel is once more at war with the Palestinians, with the prospect of a long term peace so unlikely commentators speak only of a cessation in the violence between both peoples as opposed to how they might live together. Afghanistan is once more falling apart, with the Taliban making new territorial gains. Last week, Taliban insurgents pulled over a bus in central Afghanistan, checked the identification of all the passengers and murdered the Shia. Yemen is in sporadic chaos, as Sunni and Shia tribes exchange suicide bombers and explosives laden cars. Saudi Arabia remains Saudi Arabia and Somalia remains Somalia -- two places that could be considered candidates for the worst nations on Earth, albeit for very different reasons. And all the while, Iran's centrifuges are still spinning.

IN EUROPE: Russia, buoyed by American weakness, is intimidating its neighbors and contributing to global destabilization. Remember in 2012 when Mitt Romney called Russia the United States' number one geopolitical foe? Remember when he was mocked by President Obama and others on the left? How did Mrs. Clinton's "reset" go? So strengthened is Russia by a weak United States, that despite delivering sophisticated rockets to poorly trained brutes and accidentally shooting down a passenger plane, they feel comfortable enough in the space surrendered by America to brazenly lie to the international community and lob artillery shells into Ukraine from their borders. And this from a country whose economy in all practical terms is the size of Italy's, so hobbled has the United States become.

IN ASIA: China, whose economy is over four times the size of Russia's, has begun attempts to assert dominance in the South China sea. Regional dominance will allow China to assert itself more fervently abroad. China's military spending has become so worrying that Japan has decided to effectively re-arm and change the nature of its anti-war Constitution. North Korea is in talks with Hamas to deliver them weapons. South Korea is increasing its military spending to keep pace with China and India is increasing its spending to keep pace with the region. Pakistan is as unstable and dangerous as it has ever been.

IN AFRICA: Troubling news from the sunshine continent, as the spread of Ebola to the population hub of Lagos, Nigeria, has been confirmed. And although the so called "Nigerian government" has assured the international community it is on "red alert" this is the same government so incompetent it could not locate or protect its own teenage girls (or thousands of other civilians) from Boko Haram. On Sunday, that same terrorist group invaded neighbouring Cameroon and captured the wife of Cameroon's Vice President, killing three in the process. As to those girls who were the subject of #bringbackourgirls tweets, what do you know, the tweets were ineffective and they have yet to be "brought back".

The United States is not responsible for every global problem and is incapable -- quite frankly -- of completely dominating any world that is not retrograde in some respect (such as during WW2 when the world was a broken place) but a weak America endangers us all. The forces that rush in to fill America's void are not in the best interest of Canadians and our security, or the security of the values we hold dear. No one likes the Hegemon, but a hegemon breeds stability. Those who years ago during the Bush era yearned for a more multi-polar world where America was not so dominant are seeing now a glimpse of that future. They should have been more careful what they wished for.

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