by Paul Craig Roberts
The full text
of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly
last week was printed in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz (9-25-08).
Although our Founding Fathers would have comprehended and endorsed
Ahmadinejad's speech to the United Nations, present-day Americans would find
it strange should they happen to hear about it.
Unlike their forbears, Americans today live a material life, not a spiritual
one. Americans are far too likely to dismiss Ahmadinejad's words about
obeisance to God and justice as the mumbo-jumbo of an "Islamist extremist."
The hubris of Americans and their belief in U.S. "exceptionalism" would
cause them to reject Ahmadinejad's holding the US, its NATO puppets, and
Israel accountable before the UN General Assembly. So successfully has
Ahmadinejad been demonized by the propagandistic US media that his speech
would be dismissed out of hand by the arrogance of those who regard
themselves as the salt of the earth.
Ahmadinejad echos the statements of other world leaders when he says that US
power is rapidly waning. The US "superpower" is dependent on foreigners for
its financing. The US cannot exist without Chinese financing, just as Europe
cannot exist without Russian energy. America's European puppet regimes are
rethinking the consequences of serving US hegemony.
A "superpower" that cannot subdue Iraq and Afghanistan cannot subdue Russia
and China. Do Americans and their neocon leaders believe that China and
Russia will lend the US the money to finance a war against themselves? Do
they believe that Russia will keep America's NATO puppets supplied with
energy if American aggression against Russia intensifies?
Warnings about America's financial dependency on foreigners have been
The bailout of the US financial system is entirely dependent on the
willingness of the Chinese, Saudis, and other foreigners to use their trade
surpluses with the US to purchase the US Treasury instruments that must be
sold in order to raise the money for Bush's bailout of the financial
The bailout of the US government's budget has been going on for years, and
it takes place every time the US Treasury holds an auction of new American
debt. But now the bailout by foreigners of the US government is starting to
turn into much larger sums that carry much higher risks.
Last week the Financial Times reported that Peer Steinbruck, the Finance
Minister of Germany, said that the American financial crisis was "a
fundamental rupture" and that "the US will lose its status as the superpower
of the world financial system."
Steinbruck is being charitable. The US lost that status when it became
dependent on foreigners to finance American consumption of foreign goods and
US goods and services produced offshore in addition to the war-swollen
budget deficits of the US government. Indeed, foreigners finance Americans'
home mortgages. The Chinese alone hold about $400 billion of Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac bonds.
Is Ahmadinejad correct in his view that, with the waning of American
hegemonic power, the world is on the verge of a better, more humane, and
more just world? I wonder. Many Americans think of themselves as hard-nosed
realists. They believe that it is a dog-eat-dog world: We have to get "them"
before they get us. This paranoid view is the basis of US foreign and
military policy. It holds that America must not only have the military power
to overwhelm any combination of possible enemies, but also America must
prevent the rise of any country or countries that could challenge American
power. This is a "diplomacy" without any concept of peaceful coexistence or
good will among men. Yet, Americans think of themselves as a Christian
Neocons and macho Republicans think we don't win our wars because we lack
the balls to use enough force. They believe that the US should nuke every
country that doesn't follow our orders. Indeed, many American
"conservatives" are lusting for the US to nuke a country in order "to teach
the world a lesson."
To accommodate this blood-lust, the Bush Pentagon revised US war doctrine to
permit preemptive nuclear attack even upon non-nuclear-armed countries.
During the long cold war, preemptive nuclear attack was not a US option.
Which vision of the future will win out? Ahmadinejad's policy of peaceful
co-existence or neoconservative desires for American world dominance? The
chance is too high for comfort that the hubris and arrogance of the United
States will lead to a nuclear confrontation that will destroy the world.
People of good will hope that Ahmadinejad and Steinbruck's views will
prevail and that the rest of the world will wake up and ask if they want to
continue financing America's hegemonic ventures that threaten life on earth.
The day the foreign bankers turn off the credit spigot to the US Treasury,
American arrogance will be tamed.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial
page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions.
Simon Tisdall, "Ahmadinejad on
Israel: Global Danger or Political Infighting?," Guardian, December