The very ideology that the United States assumed would defeat all comers has in fact been turned against the United States. Liberal democracy contains within it the very seeds of the American empire's destruction. Call it blowback, TINA-style.
The role Russia, and to a lesser extent China, is currently playing in the Middle East is destructive and self-defeating. Russia's obstructionist approach is reminiscent of the Soviet Union Cold War mentality based on a zero-sum game.
Isn't the whole point of winning the office of president that you can talk to the nation without others belittling what you say? I began to think of some great presidential moments and what their rebuttals might have sounded like, had they been allowed at the time.
One of the reasons the U.S. economy did so well in the last half of the 20th century is that we ignored ideology in favor of pragmatism. That is no longer true. Ideology has again become fashionable. And, we are paying for it, dearly.
Americans should support the rarer and rarer Republican candidates that are pro-science. Nations that have strayed too far down the path of placing ideology ahead of science have come out losers, both economically and in terms of global power.
As the first journalists to enter Kabul in 1981 following the expulsion of the Western media, we continue to be amazed at how the American disinformation campaign between Hollywood, Washington and Wall Street built around the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan lives on.
Mighty as we are, we cannot govern the world by force or intimidation. Traditional military power might awe inferior regimes, but not insurgents. And we pay a heavy price in respect when we operate outside our proclaimed principles.
It wasn't the mutants. It was humans that caused the Cuban Missile Crisis. Only luck saved us from nuclear war. But other than that, the new film, X-Men: First Class, gets a lot right about the historic crisis that is central to its plot.