Delusions of Imperial Grandeur Have Only Hastened Our Demise

01/11/2006 02:31 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Everyone must read Chalmers Johnson's "The Sorrows of Empire." In his justly famous book he explains how and why our American empire will end. Unfortunately, those that might have most benefited from reading him were the neocons whose misguided notions of empire have actually greatly sped up the deterioration of American might. Back in 1997 when Wolfowitz, Cheney, Libby, Kristol and the other leading neocons authored a statement of principles for the New American Century they aimed to "rally support for American global leadership." Less than a decade later we see what utter jackasses they were and how their hubristic naivete has done perhaps irreparable damage to our nation's standing in the world.

They lied us into Iraq to create a beachhead to reshape the entire region. Meanwhile in our own backyard Latin America is slipping forever away from us. For over a century we viewed Central and Latin America as our unofficial colonies (the same way we conceded Eastern Europe to the U.S.S.R. after World War II). For decades Cuba was the only neighbor in the hemisphere who refused to do our bidding. Now Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Honduras are either out of our pockets or actively contemptuous of us. And in July, if current polling holds, left-leaning Lopez Obrador will replace Vicente Fox in Mexico.

On the other side of North America, Canadians are no fan of the U.S. either. In a poll last year by the National Post it was revealed that Canadians believe George W. Bush is almost as great a threat to Canadian national security as Osama bin Laden. And in Great Britain, just about the only U.K. citizen that doesn't vilify us is Tony Blair.

Perhaps neo-Machiavellian and American Enterprise nutball Michael Ledeen is right when he claims that France and Germany unleashed arab extremism on us. Well before 9/11 neocons like Ledeen were quite explicit about the need to neuter any European attempts to challenge U.S. global authority. Perhaps the Europeans, watching us blunder into Iraq, have stood by to just watch us sink into this quagmire because they are tired of being pushed around. We were the big bull mastodon who mistakenly wallowed into the tar pit that is Iraq. We feel it sucking us down into its depths, yet despite our great strength, we can't seem to pull ourselves out. We reach our mighty trunk out to grab a branch but it is just out of reach. We bellow for help from France and Germany, "Please guys, just bend the branch down so we can wrap our trunk around it." But "old Europe," sick and tired of our high-handed and contemptuous ways, just waves goodbye as we, inexorably, sink into the slime.

So what should we do now that Bush has lost us the Americas, has us hated by every corner of the globe, and after the dust settles probably much of our last-remaining colony, Iraq, will not only not be pro-American but will be folded into a Greater Iran...?

Start taking lessons in Mandarin.