The U.S. had a golden opportunity to promote peace and to divert resources from the military to more worthwhile recipients after the Soviet Union dissolved. That opportunity was wasted as America pursued empire instead. From Benjamin Braddock at amgreatness.com:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
—William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
The center is not holding, things are falling apart. We have moved on from mass psychosis over vaccines to mass psychosis over the urgent need to go to war with Russia.
The sanctions are bad enough; the early economic fallout from them is already causing pain for working and middle-class Americans. But we did sanctions last week, the public demands more. Do something, even if that thing is horrifying in its implications. Two years of pent-up dissociated rage is being channeled and redirected at an external target by the same people responsible for the response to COVID-19, among the worst atrocities in American history.
Americans of Russian descent—the vast majority of whom have no association with Putin or the Russian state, not that their mistreatment would be justified if they did—are bearing the brunt of a particularly vicious campaign of racial hatred and attacks. Quite the contrast to the early days of COVID when liberals were tripping over themselves to get to their nearest Chinese restaurant to prove that racism was the real virus. Joe Biden couldn’t find time in his State of the Union address to mention the 13 Americans killed in Afghanistan but he did find time to celebrate the idea of Ukrainian pensioners throwing themselves under the tracks of Russian tanks. It is hard to imagine a more ignominious end to Pax Americana.
Pax Americana is dead and we have killed it.