Americans should stop believing propaganda and reconsider their idea of Washington’s world leadership, writes George D. O'Neill Jr., a member of the board of directors of the American Ideas Institute, which publishes The American Conservative.
“We are experiencing the death throes of the United States’ unipolar hegemony over large parts of the world. Until citizens begin to realise the magnitude of their government’s policy deceptions, it will become increasingly difficult to understand the United States’ changing global position and adjust to the effects of the growing negative perception of our country held by many people around the world,” wrote O'Neill Jr in his article “Death of a Myth”.
The author stressed that although the US emerged as the “dominant and unrivalled world power” after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country became “a destabilising bully” instead of “a peacekeeper and honest ‘world’s policeman’.”
Writing about the situation in Ukraine, O'Neill Jr mocks the idea “that the Russians would collapse from the shock and awe of the ‘sanctions from Hell’,” or how “the rouble has not turned into rubble as Joe Biden predicted.” He adds that “the US and its NATO clients are running out of ammunition and arms to send to Ukraine, which is being bled white at their behest. It appears that Russia will steadily grind down the Ukrainian military.”
In effect, the author is providing a bleak but realistic situation in Ukraine and the global system. In fact, he is so frank with his analysis that he calls out slogans like the “exceptional nation,” a “nation that sets aside its interests for the benefit of the world,” and an “important source of good” as examples of the propaganda that American citizens are constantly exposed to.
American citizens are led to believe in the idea that US leadership on the global stage, backed by its military might, are a categorical imperative needed so its own values and self-interests can be imposed all around the world. Successive military failures over the last two decades should have functioned as a self-reflective moment for not only US citizens, but especially foreign policymakers in Washington.
This did not occur because Washington continues to cling to the myth that the world needs more US military might, despite many failures. Rather than learn lessons from the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, the US encouraged renewed conflict in Ukraine, clearly indicating that the Biden administration is just continuing Washington’s long held policy of global war and destruction.
US President Joe Biden and his administration routinely describe the Ukraine crisis in ways that suggest an old-fashioned, self-righteous, and a grandiose view of American power. Biden's portrayal of Ukraine as a crucible for a new era of military-backed American dominance could lead to an entirely different and more disastrous reckoning.
The conflict with Ukraine has led the US to believe that it must once again take the helm of history, despite the fact that Russia does not pose a threat to the well-being of its citizens. This is precisely the kind of arrogance that has led the US astray and it is the same arrogance that their Anglo brethren had before the collapse of the British Empire in the early 20th century.
It is for this reason that O'Neill Jr stresses that “as US stature and power declines, large parts of the world have been seeking arrangements to protect themselves from US predation.”
He explains that we are entering a period, without giving it a title (such as Multipolar), where countries no longer ignore the US’ destructive behaviour and “may decide that being subject to American hegemony is not in their interests.” The author directly lists the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS as “alternative alliances outside US influence” that are seeing an “increasing numbers of countries” wanting to become members as they “believe their interests are better protected by these non-US affiliated alliances.”
O’Neill Jr highlights that the “tragic and unnecessary Ukraine war has accelerated this movement to seek other cooperative associations. As America’s European allies are learning, there can be huge political and economic costs to being associated with the US. The populations of Europe have watched their own economies suffer and paid dearly for energy because of the ten rounds of self-destructive sanctions imposed on Russia.”
For now, though, most of Europe has fallen in line with Washington’s demands. However, many experts are sceptical that Europe will want to experience another brutal winter with high energy costs that are directly attributed to their own self-destructive sanctions policy against Russia.
None-the-less, what O’Neill Jr does highlight is that regardless of Europe falling deeper into US control, there are many non-Western countries that are moving towards greater sovereignty and autonomy without fear when taking into consideration the interests of Washington, which are nothing more than self-serving. He essentially calls on American citizens to wake up from their inertia and realise that they are being fed a lie that the US is a force for good and the sole superpower in the world.