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The Wednesday Report
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Volume 18, Number 7, February 11, 2004

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Comment:

Decline of The American Empire

Has the United States abdicated its self-defence to an apathetic domestic majority more poorly briefed than ever?

At least a near-majority is only able to focus would there be a very large number of powerful missiles aimed at their homes (the former Soviet Union) while not able to grasp the concept of danger inherent in the strong will of tens of thousands of ordinary persons, if not millions of fanatics with case cutters and rocket propelled grenade launchers.

Was that a unique era extending from 1989 to 2001? Was it a 'head-in-the sand' era; a fearful era; a decadent era of self-indulgence? Has that era ended? Maybe not. But why hasn't the U.S. defended itself until recently?

The rise of the United States to world power has ended and the decline of the American dynasty has begun, at the will of its own people.

A point of comparison would be the post-WWII  "duck and cover" generation birthed into the terrible threat of atomic weapons and the cultural memory of millions dead and a foe willing to use any killing device to annihilate any number of millions of opponents (Hitler's bizarre quest.). The will to oppose any hint of aggression and tyranny was strong; perhaps, arguably too strong if the Viet Nam war were to be attributed to that mind set.

What thinking followed this period was entirely opposed. Americans stood back and watched almost with indifference as ordinary U.S. citizens were murdered all over the globe. This recent-era/generation point of comparison comprises a pre-April 2003 inclination of the United States to shy away from acting aggressively against  global bullying and murder of Yankees who have been killed in streets, boats and planes all over the world by a wide ranging assortment of anti-American fanatics and nations.

The American Eagle hung its head sadly as each day passed while U.S. citizens were held as hostages in Iran by a band of fanatics who thumbed their noses at that great bird. Is that when it all began? Or was it truly when the last U.S. Army Bell Huey helicopter hovered over the throngs of left-behinds at the Embassy Compound in Saigon before fleeing that place did America stop caring about defending itself.

Whenever the decline began, that same, shamed, figurative emblem of American freedom and democracy watched as Saddam Hussein killed 32 crew on the USS Stark in 1987. Abu Nidal attacked. Al Qaeda attacked. The rising number of terrorist attacks against Americans or U.S. property grew from 88 in 1993 to 228 in 2001, then dropped to 77 in 2004.

U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 7, 1998.

  • Yr  - # of attacks on Americans

  • 1993 - 88

  • 1994 - 66

  • 1995 - 99

  • 1996 - 73

  • 1997 - 110

  • 1998 - 100

  • 1999 - 169

  • 2000 - 200

  • 2001 - 228

  • 2004 - 77

What was it with Saddam Hussein's Iraq? Why was the U.S. so tolerant? In 1991 the road from Kuwait to Baghdad was open. Why did the U.S. not keep its promise to the Iraqi people it incited to revolt. The U.S. had every reason to storm Baghdad and remove its bloody handed government in favour of a democratic opposition. But it didn't and the price was a hallucious slaughter of the uprising Iraqis by Saddam.s loyalist army and death squads.

Saddam Hussein hated America and Israel as an alliance and vowed to kill it! The U.S. was ambivolent?

Meanwhile Saddam Hussein:

  1. built reactors and factories geared to producing weapons-grade plutonium with which to destroy U.S. ally Israel and eventually attack America; (a portion of which (Osirak nuclear facility near Baghdad) Israeli PM Menachem Begin's order hammered to dust in June 1981) 
  2. paid a $25,000 USD award to any Palestine family of a successful suicide bomber who would murder an Israeli or an American;
  3. paid a cash reward and a Mercedes Benz to an Iraqi pilot in 1987 to attack the USS Stark killing 32 American crew members;
  4. vowed to kill the U.S. President and made repeated assassination attempts to achieve that end;
  5. vowed to destroy the so-called "U.S. infidels anywhere in the world they may be";
  6. offered cash rewards to anyone capable of pulling off an attack on the U.S;
  7. mass-murdered population sectors in his own country;
  8. ordered invasion, looting, killing and wrongful imprisonment against the sovereign nation of Kuwait despite U.S. warnings to stay clear;
  9. killed or jailed his political opponents;
  10. ordered the purchase of NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) weapons and manufacturing components despite U.N. sanctions;
  11. ordered the purchase of NBC delivery systems (missiles and Guns);
  12. entertained and did business with black market arms dealers in violation of U.N. sanctions
  13. hijacked the U.N. "Oil-for-Food" programme, stealing global taxpayers' money for his own personal purposes;
  14. deployed America, Canadian and British citizens as human shields at military targets in 1991;
  15. invaded his neighbors and murdered and pillaged wherever he could;
  16. ordered the shooting down of U.N.-tasked American and British No-Fly-Zone Air Patrols; and
  17. violated the terms of the 1991 U.S./Iraq Cease-Fire truce, thereby returning the state of war with the U.S, which fact the U.S. ignored for eleven years.

Finally, after a day which has truly outdone the Churchillian "day of infamy" the U.S. resumed the conflict with Iraq and knocked down its self-declared enemy.

But oddly, today the debaters sound out as they have these past fifteen years of indifference. Perhaps America will never again fire a round in anger to defend itself. Meanwhile, those who are avowed to destroy this world power are, albeit weakened,  no less committed to destroying America.

Micheal J. O'Brien


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Revised:May 17, 2004.

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