In 1991, the old Soviet Union collapsed after overextending it's military in the Afghanistan quagmire, rampant military spending coming at the expense of social spending, and serious inflation that had destroyed the average Russian consumer's buying power. Today, under the leadership of the Bush Administration all signs are that the United States may well be on the way to joining the same scrap heap of history, and is well on the road to the eventual collapse as a major world empire.
Like the ill-fated Soviet war in Afghanistan, the United States military and it's NATO allies seem to be unable to defeat a resurgent weak enemy comprised of poorly equipped and trained Muslim fighters. The United States military was built around an expensive high tech effort to defeat potential opponents with expensive technology and has no real answer on how to fight and win low tech wars with weak opponents. Weapons systems costing tens of billions to develop are a useless defense against an opponent that straps on a suicide vest and walks into a crowded Iraqi market.
When Bush was elected president in November 2000, oil was a mere $28 a barrel, but has now soared to around $110 a barrel since the failed 2003 war for oil in Iraq, which Bush still stubbornly defends as a "noble" effort. For a few months, sending even more troops into this major foreign policy mistake reduced the violence somewhat, however since February both the violence against Iraqi civilians and American troops is on the rise again as the weak Al Qaeda terrorist organization and secular Shiite and Sunni fighters find new ways to adapt their warfare to any new security measures.
And the huge increase in oil has only helped to destroy many American consumer's buying power, forcing them into home heating bills costing hundreds of dollars each month, higher fuel costs approaching $4 a gallon and massive inflation of food and other essential products as the economy collapses into recession and rampant inflation eats away consumer buying power both at the same time.
As the Bush Administration struggles to pay for the massive costs of two failing wars as well as the continued huge expenses of preparing new high tech weapons, although every war since the 1950's Korean War has been largely a low tech warfare situation, former foes such as China, with now powerful banks help to bail out the American government from all the budget problems it has brought on itself by overextending it's military in long drawn-out low tech wars with small bands of terrorist fighters. Weak bands of low-tech terrorist warriors have brought America to it's knees, which certainly seems almost like a Biblical parable about the weak humiliating the once powerful.
Archaeologists always look for pottery and other goods that a civilization once produced as a sign of it's strengths and social advancements. Today, with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs to China or other labor cheap nations, the United States is no longer even considered to be a manufacturing based economy, but a service based economy, much like a giant Wal-Mart store that merely sells the goods manufactured in China almost like some cheap souvenir stand or something. Any pottery sold in the U.S. is most likely now produced in China or elsewhere these days, setting aside the United States alone as a sign of industrial and civilizational weakness like world history has never before witnessed.
And like the once powerful Roman Empire that only fell into collapse, there is real increased lack of political civility, ethics and personal moral values where even the airwaves have become polluted by angry and rude talkshows that often espouse reactionary right wing nonsense rather than offer an intelligent and civil discourse on finding the best and most workable solutions to complex problems. The Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters have replaced the scholars and the experts, where their rudeness and arrogance becomes more respected by legions of loyal followers than any real sense of knowledge or sense of truth.
By any definition, the Bush years have brought such great damage to the United States that if a foreign power would have done the same thing it would no doubt be considered an act of war, yet the old and bumbling John McCain, who cannot always get his facts straight, little doubt due to advanced age, is the most likely to be elected president to continue the ruination of the United States. Whatever George Bush hasn't trashed or ruined in the United States, the old John McCain can continue to ruin with a continuation of the same old policies that haven't worked so far. Just Monday, McCain first claimed that the Sunni terrorist organization, Al Qaeda was receiving training and support in Shiite Iran. McCain's handlers urged him to retract this nonsense later in the day.... It's 3AM, and an old bumbling John McCain has his finger on the nuclear trigger.
By any real objective and measurable evaluation, the United States is on the wrong path on so many fronts and is fast becoming a declining world power in a vast number of areas including a declining currency, loss of manufacturing, overblown military budgets unable to supply an answer to low-tech wars, huge budget deficits, and citizens living on credit cards, losing their homes and unable to afford decent health care, and rising oil inflation of heating oil, gas and basic items such as food. Nero himself could not have done much worse. Mr. Bush and his party have had the keys to the kingdom for the last eight years and have only managed to squander away the empire.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!