Washington has transformed Saddam Hussein, Iraq's President and a former U.S. government friend, into the reason the 21st century may become The Great Anti-American Century.
Today, the likes of J.P. Morgan, Nelson Rockefeller and Henry B. Luce -- the original promoters of the Great American Century who sought to make the U.S. the leader of the world -- would roll over in their graves. As the U.S. unleashes its military power in Iraq, they would wonder how it is possible that George W. Bush is losing, in only a couple of years, alliances that took a century to forge and that helped build the empire they envisioned.
Over a decade ago, the United States of America became the world's only superpower, with the greatest military force in the history of humanity. But after 9-11, the United States is shunning old friends and allies. Washington's actions are transforming catastrophe into the empire's Achilles' heel.
After the attacks, most countries around the world showed great sympathy and compassion towards the victims and this nation. Then the Bush administration turned around to make the fight against terrorism a war against Iraq. A dilemma appeared in the diplomatic horizon: Are you with us or against us? According to Washington, there are no dissenters, only loyal subjects or enemies.
Today, a ghost travels around Europe and the world. And it is not communism. It is a strong anti-American sentiment not manifested since the 1960s. The United States is becoming "the evil empire" that Ronald Reagan proclaimed to fight against.
The largest demonstrations since World War II are taking place today. England, Washington's closest ally, recently experienced the largest demonstration in that country's history. Instead of the Great American Century, this millennium is surprisingly becoming a century of regret and anti-Americanism.
Mexico is one of the nations struggling to wriggle out of the Washington's policy of Are you with us or against us? Mexico's conditioned support for Washington is not an acceptable foreign policy to the Bush administration.
As reported in the New York Times, Washington has received Mexico's indecisiveness with threats of a backlash against Mexicans in the United States, along with economic "discipline." The goodwill between the two countries has quickly vanished.
"Oderint dum metuant. Caligula's favorite expression has in fact become this administration's motto, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. The writer wonders if the idea of Let them hate as long as they fear us, the Roman Emperor's motto, is behind Bush's foreign policy.
© 2003 El Andar Magazine