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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Superpower!

By: Michael Akerman


A friend of mine recently claimed that the US has a short future as a superpower if we maintain whatever practices are making foreigners angry. Aside from the folly of assuming that even diplomatic power is born from international appreciation, I find this foolish for another reason: the thing we would have to do to stop annoying foreigners is stop being a superpower.

To cite a recent example, consider the USSR. This massive powerhouse of a nation was almost universally aversive to other countries. Even with so much foreign antipathy, the USSR remained the only major competitor to the United States for fourty-odd years. Indeed, even to the end of the Cold War, it was not foreign antipathy that steadily damaged and destroyed the Union. Rather, it was almost entirely the economic disaster wrought by Communism (as well as intranational ethnic dissociation) that destroyed the USSR.

Entirely throughout history, superpowers have not been well received. It is the norm for the international juggernauts to be welcomed with cries of outrage and shouts of imperialism. The British and French were scum of the earth to the Germans, Norsemen, Welsh and Scots, not to mention the Irish. Rome, after its growth to an empire which quickly brought roads, wealth, science and the pax Romanus to its territory, was still greeted with outrage and rebellion, even from unconquered territories.

It's not easy being the biggest. Even now, former powers speak against the US largely because they yearn for their past influence. Some are still under the delusional impression that they are a superpower. This is not an unknown occurrence, of course: after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Rome attempted to exert influence over their now-sovereign territories. Indeed, they had moderate success, as the tactic of couching Roman controls as decrees of the papacy proved very effective within a short time of the collapse.

To be complete, there is danger from international antipathy. The single catastrophic risk to the US's status would be a massive invasion of our shores.

Bear in mind, this would only be possible through a uniquely concerted effort between dozens of large nations. Any single invading power would quickly and smoothly fail under the US's vastly superior military. Remember also that this is a virtual impossibility, as most antipathy comes from citizens, not leaders, and most citizens have an aversion to large scale war after the World Wars.

Even with a massive effort from many countries, I think there is reason to doubt the ability of even such a strike to succeed. We are a nation of individualists, fiercely loyal to our country and our rights, and we are absolutely ingenious in a pinch. Truly, Yankee ingenuity still exists.

I envisage the situation thusly: as foreign troops, Chinese, French and Middle Eastern, crowd on to our shoreline, there would be an immediate response. As we wait for the mobilization of the military, citizens everywhere would prepare to fight tooth and nail. The Bible belt would arm quickly with shotguns and rifles. The middle class families would pile into Hummers, Escalades, Chevy trucks, all manner of large vehicles, and plow through the invading infantry. As the invading forces' heavy armor gained the shore, the military would already be in force. As the tanks rolled toward each other, truckers would load their trailers with ballast: sandbags, scrap metal. Tearing down the beaches and city streets, line upon line of truckers from all sides will plow into the heavy armor, flipping it easily, slamming them into each other.

Others would play the role of hijacker. Bikers would tear up beside the rolling armor, leap on top, and quickly infiltrate the vehicles with crowbars and force of strength. The wealthy, with swift sports cars, would become special ops. Whipping behind enemy lines and nimbly dodging fire, they would take out the strategic objectives, plowing through the commanders' headquarters, tearing through the sleeping troops at night.

Surely, we are a nearly uninvadable country. I doubt severely that any force could ever take our land. For we are a nation of loyalists. Even the currently stunned and wounded Democrats, grumbling about secession, love this country, no matter its minor faults. All Americans stand by our flag; all would fight for Lady Liberty. We are a nation that loves its country, and we will never let it fall.


~Michael Akerman

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