Is this the beginning of the end of the American Empire?

The United States has by far the largest military in the world, but Vietnam proved that sometimes that's not enough. An empire needs other nations submit or at least cooperate.
That becomes difficult when you're extremely unpopular. That's where America is today.

In 20 of the 29 countries and areas that Gallup has results for so far in 2020, approval ratings of U.S. leadership are at new lows or they tie the previous lows.

Median approval across the 29 countries and areas stood at 18% in 2020, down from 22% for this same group in 2017. On its face, this decline is not good news for the next U.S. administration, but even worse news is the number of allies on the list of countries where approval dropped to historic lows: Ireland (20%), the United Kingdom (15%), Denmark (14%), Switzerland (10%), Germany (6%) and Iceland (5%).

This doesn't necessarily mean anything to the American Empire if the leadership of those nations are still in our pockets. However it does create a window of opportunity to get out from under our thumb.
Judging by what happened this week, that appears to be exactly what's going on.
First there was the judge in the UK ruling against extraditing Assange.

More importantly, there's the developments with the Nord Stream pipeline.

In Germany, the Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation approved by the parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will take risks of the U.S. sanctions against contractors of Nord Stream 2 as Deutsche Welle reported.

The foundation will deal with the purchase of equipment and construction materials to carve out other contractors from the possible U.S. sanctions.

This is a big deal because it allows Russia access to hard currency, and ensures their ability to withstand our sanctions. While at the same time it weakens the right-wing governments in Poland and Ukraine. The American Empire loses its leverage in Eastern Europe.
This isn't the first time Europe stood up to US sanctions. Europe created Instex a few years ago to avoid sanctions on Iran. However they were never truly serious about using it.
This time it appears Europe is serious, it's not just a symbolic act.

But the big surprise was when the EU decided to part ways with our Venezuela policy.

The European Union has dropped its recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president after he lost his position as head of its parliament.

Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign affairs chief, referred to him in his latest statement as one of the "political and civil society actors striving to bring back democracy to Venezuela", after controversial incumbent Nicolás Maduro took control of the Venezuelan National Assembly at last December's disputed elections.

But the European Commission explained that it was a decision taken collectively by EU governments.

This isn't exactly a bold brave stand. It's more like a reluctant admission of reality.
But what it does do is it opens the door to diplomacy with the actual government of Venezuela.
The reality is that the members of the Coalition For A Coup have been quietly slipping out the backdoor for months.

However, the press statement issued by the US State Department and GAC is notable because of the dwindling number of ally countries that are now “committed to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.” What used to be a long list of more than 50 nations is now down to just 19

As for Guaido, it's just embarrassing that the governments of the world continue to recognize him as anything but a grifter, fraud, and imperialist puppet.

I'm starting to think the government of Venezuela might actually survive. It's hard to say because the American media lies so much about the situation there. Remember about six years ago the right-wing media said Venezuelans were eating rats and zoo animals? If that was true they'd all be dead by now.

Going forward we could be looking at virtually the entire continent of South America (except for Brazil) shifting to the left and outside the reach of the American Empire.
Next month the Ecuador election in which the Socialist candidate is leading in the polls.
The following month Peru gets their chance to elect someone good.
And later in the year it's Chile's turn, where a communist mayor is leading in the polls.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

of the empire - we've been in decline for some time. We are closer to the end than most realize. Pleasantry

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

Pricknick's picture

@Raggedy Ann
Your picture of course.
I hope it's just we've instead of all.

we've been in decline for some time

Happy growing.
Smile

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Pricknick !
Glad someone finally did! Drinks

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

snoopydawg's picture

Thanks. They always said that wars abroad have a way of coming home and we’ve been under sanctions for some time. Now we are seeing an all out assault by congress refusing to support people and letting them lose everything.

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32 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@snoopydawg

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@snoopydawg Our foreign wars (and who am I kidding, this probably is hardly unique to America) serve partly as proxies/vents for a civil war - like an abusive significant other who puts on a show of breaking fragile housewares in front of you.

This was driven home to me last summer, of course, when (and I admit forgetting the details now) some of what was going on with the riots echoed/elaborated on what they'd done in Iraq - they fought them over there to practice fighting US over here.

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Pricknick's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat
Most are subservient here.
Little work to corral a stampede.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

This was driven home to me last summer, of course, when (and I admit forgetting the details now) some of what was going on with the riots echoed/elaborated on what they'd done in Iraq - they fought them over there to practice fighting US over here.

Not just the military, but it’s probably the reason cops are sent to Israel to be trained by its military. Not ours because they are still under human rights rules like they can’t use tear gas, but our cops can in many states. And for years they have been changing their uniforms to look more like the military. On the Telly they’ve been showing them like this for almost a decade or longer. Then they got all of the military equipment they wanted. Long planned for.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

Our foreign wars (and who am I kidding, this probably is hardly unique to America) serve partly as proxies/vents for a civil war

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Pluto's Republic I was talking about historically, though, before what history ought to remember (in spite of all its horrors) as the Miracle Century; I'm suggesting 'this is part of why war happens at all'.

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In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

@snoopydawg Haha!

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Thanks for the post; as always, I enjoyed reading you.

A pivotal moment for the beginning of the end was the attack on Afghanistan after 9/11. (I think the decline started before then, but this was a Moment.) I'm not going to summarize the bad and the ugly. I'll only say that really no one is asking any questions about how Afghanistan or other countries targeted for American invasions is doing these days, but it's far from over on the ground and is an astronomically expensive façade to maintain.

And then, the election of Donald Trump, the worst way to demonstrate a rejection of busted, broke-down neoliberalism, but nonetheless, quite a clear response. I feel strangely grateful that Donald Trump's antics on foreign policy have permanently altered the World's Cop perception and persona. I don't think I've had any non-American disagree when I've said Donald Trump is the perfect representation of the country. I know people will disagree, take offense, scoff (as they have), but think about what American foreign policy has been for 200 years. It's been extraordinary to watch the United States being pitied and scorned, a country no one wants to aspire to or emulate or revere. Rwanda has a national healthcare system and the U.S. doesn't, for perspective. Donald Trump was quite a departure from promoting the American Dream and its ideals with his unusual nationalistic cynicism. Couple that with the institutional systems of American power themselves broke and dysfunctional (infrastructure, clean energy, social services, corrupt politics, education, you name it) and that no one is fixing them. No. One. It's my opinion that this completed collapse of the country has cemented the demise of any ability to protect and project its power abroad.

Electing Donald Trump was a very bad move in successfully existing in a globalized world, a world in which the concept of super power nations is not embraced by regular people. And then there's the Great Bland Less-Bad "Hope" Joe Biden, a conservative septuagenarian who can't be left talking to people very long before saying something offensive, groping a woman or girl, or getting too confused to continue. He'll be aimlessly wandering around the inferno for the duration of his tenure.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Le Frog

I feel strangely grateful that Donald Trump's antics on foreign policy have permanently altered the World's Cop perception and persona. I don't think I've had any non-American disagree when I've said Donald Trump is the perfect representation of the country. I know people will disagree, take offense, scoff (as they have), but think about what American foreign policy has been for 200 years.

Well said. Yes Donald Trump has shown the world who and what the United States really is. Many people knew it before Trump, but he has opened others eyes to it too.

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15 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg I wish there was a way to separate the bad actions of the state from the impact on the populace.

I'm also totally in favour of the decline/disappearance of the super-power nation. It doesn't matter who it is (Russia, China, EU, etc.), a power imbalance among nations is wrong.

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Pricknick's picture

@Le Frog

It unfortunately hurts so many Americans

By doing nothing, we invited it.
A beating is coming when the bully rules or loses.
The bully is long due for a beating.

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13 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick as much as storming the Capitol building by Trump-supporting scrotes was little more than a massive tantrum and Instagram photo brag, I had no problem with Congresspeople feeling the fear. It dawned on me that maybe this gave them a taste of what kids and teachers in schools being shot up go through, and then I thought, there really is no end to my naivete. The right picks up guns and storms the Capitol over something made up while the left can't generate a sliver of this energy for M4A, and all the people in Congress are saying it's too soon to act on guns or M4A.

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lotlizard's picture

@Le Frog  
and they handed us the Warren Report — or after it was revealed that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked and the 55,000 commemorated at the Vietnam War Memorial died for LBJ’s lie — or, or, or etc.

But that’s just me.

The thing is, I live in Dresden now, in former East Germany. People, even here on c99p, have already forgotten how the government of East Germany was forced to reform and ultimately rejoin West Germany.

Something about unarmed people in large numbers, marching on and later occupying buildings and seizing documents to prevent them from being destroyed by fleeing employees of the regime? Anyone? Bueller?

——

Not all the points raised by right-wing (or even white nationalist) writers are wrong:

The Congress has no clothes: the Capitol occupation and post-Trumpian populism

The lesson of 2020: what’s the point of pointing out the hypocrisy?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Le Frog

A pivotal moment for the beginning of the end was the attack on Afghanistan after 9/11. (I think the decline started before then, but this was a Moment.)

.
Attacking Afghanistan was a dumb strategy. A geopolitical trap from which the US would never regain its advantage. The invasion was so senseless and ill-informed that one could only conclude the US was on a different mission. Perhaps it was an attempt to corner the global heroin market. On the other hand, Afghanistan is where Empires go to die.

But, to your point about the end of empire:

The average age of empires — according to the late Sir John Bagot Glubb, a specialist on the subject — is 250 years.

As they enter the home stretch, empires can behave erratically. They start blindly lashing out at enemies — both real and imagined. They bully their allies with accusations of disloyalty, spreading chaos wherever they go. They overwhelmingly trigger their own collapse in their greedy overreach for supreme power.

The America of 1776 will reach its 250th year in 2026.

Godspeed.

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Pluto's Republic Can Sir Glubb tell us what happens next?

How can an individual still thrive as "society" crumbles? I have hopes, dreams, and potential, and I deserve better than to wind up just another unit of collateral damage.

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1 user has voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

enhydra lutris's picture

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

maybe it is in the RT video. But anyways, the EU/China trade deal is a big FU to Amureeka

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Cassiodorus's picture

-- is that it's not really a "world order" in the sense that a "world order" would have this notion that everyone has their place in the order and we are all supposed to play our parts like participants in a symphony orchestra.

Rather, neoliberalism is this notion, as pointed out in this diary, that the economy, global economy, local economy, whatever economy, exists for the same of "investor freedom." What this is is a "principled" glorification of what Max Horkheimer called "subjective reason" -- the sacred, sovereign individual (basically an investor) has a purpose, and a freedom to carry out that purpose, and we run that freedom up the flagpole and salute it, and that's neoliberalism in its Friedrich von Hayek nutshell.

At any rate, the "subjective reason" of the United States is not the same as that of the European Union, and so even though both the United States and the EU are neoliberal entities, they are at odds with each other now. For the United States, foreign policy exists to support corporate imperialism and to keep the cash pipeline to the military industries nice and full at all times. And the EU, having no armed forces significant enough to invade and conquer Venezuela, could use a decent deal for Venezuelan oil, especially (and this demands a look at the future here) if the participating parties are unable to keep the price of oil depressed for too much longer. Nobody really buys all the hype as to how solar is super-cheap now and there's no future in fossil fuels -- they want that Orinoco Valley oil, and when it runs out, its kerogen.

Maybe Biden will attempt to conquer Venezuela. NPR and others have certainly been putting out the preparatory propaganda for such a thing. But it's a big country so who knows?

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"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine