Thus the immortal Dick Nixon, back in April 1970 -- oh, I remember it as if it were yesterday:
If, when the chips are down, the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world.Totalitarianism and anarchy! There speaks a man of vision.
Old Dick must be spinning like a uranium centrifuge, out in his Underground White House in Yorba Linda. One of the most remarkable and wonderful things about the Egyptian uprising -- a conjuncture full of wonderful and remarkable things -- is the apparently empty-handed bystandership of the global hegemon. All the usual blustering gangsters in Washington, from Obie Himself down through Hillary and even into the yapping ranks of congressional Wilmers...
... are acting and speaking as though butter wouldn't melt in their mouths. A strange spirit of modesty and restraint has taken up residence in their heads. They're all like, wait and see, democracy is a good thing, on the one hand on the other hand....
Maybe they've got something frightful up their collective sleeve. But actually, I doubt it. What can they do? Nuke the place? Send the Marines?
Events in Egypt, I think, resoundingly confirm the More Of Us Than Them principle. Pulling Egypt into "our" orbit was perhaps the greatest foreign-policy achievement of the Imperium in my lifetime; and now the God-Emperor and the Gorgon Medusa and all the soup-hounds have to stand by, inconspicuously wringing their hands and trying to keep the dismay from their faces, as the jewel in the Mideast crown rolls inexorably toward what is, from their point of view, a sewer grate.
It's amazing how flimsy a thing Empires really are seen to be, when lit from the right angle -- how deeply they depend, like Oz the Great And Terrible, upon the manipulation of perceptions; and how rapidly thirty or forty million perceivers can suddenly agree to view matters in a different way.