The Death of American Leadership
Posted on: 2009-02-02 10:43:58
A Bankrupt and Discredited Country
The Humiliation of America
By Paul Craig Roberts
Vast numbers of people in the United States and abroad are hoping that President Obama will end America’s illegal wars, halt America’s support for Israel’s massacre of Lebanese and Palestinians, and punish, instead of reward, the shyster banksters whose fraudulent financial instruments have destroyed economics and imposed massive sufferings on people all over the world. If Obama’s appointments are an indication, all of these hopeful people are going to be disappointed.
Obama chose as his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the man who helped Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, engineer the $700 billion dollar rip off of the US taxpayer, money that was gifted to the banksters who destroyed Americans’ pensions, jobs and health care coverage.
These banksters, and the negligent federal regulators that enabled them, should be put in prison, not handed hundreds of billions of dollars.
Obama’s National Economic Council is just as depressing. Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, is its head. Summers recently declared that he had no inkling that a financial crisis was about to hit. Why did Obama put a person without a clue in charge?
Summer’s colleagues are just as bad. Obama has appointed Diana Farrell, lead author of a phony study that claimed offshoring of American jobs is a win-win game for Americans, as deputy director of the National Economic Council. Farrell is affiliated with McKinsey & Company, a firm that helps American corporations offshore their operations. In his book, Outsourcing America, economist Ron Hira tore Farrell’s McKinsey report to shreds.
Why not appoint Ron Hira and Nouriel Roubina, who predicted the crisis, to the National Economic Council?
The discouraging fact is that even when faced with crisis in the economy and in foreign policy, the American political system is incapable of producing any leadership. Here we are in the worst economic crisis in a lifetime, perhaps in our history, and on the brink of war in Pakistan and Iran while escalating the war in Afghanistan, and all we get is a government made up of the very people who have brought us to these crises.
The era of American leadership has passed. America’s shyster financial system has brought economic crisis to the world. America’s wars of aggression are seen as serving no purpose except the enrichment of the military industries associated with Dick Cheney. The world is looking elsewhere for leadership.
Vladimir Putin made a play for this role at Davos, where his speech at the opening ceremony was the most intelligent speech of the event.