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Clinton's Comments

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Guest TheMikeSC
Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but here's the story:

"US won't stay on top, says Clinton

AAP

Sydney

ACKNOWLEDGING the United States would not be the world's most powerful nation forever might lead to a better approach in its current international relations, former US president Bill Clinton said today.

Speaking at the 2002 World Congress on the Peaceful Reunification of China and World Peace in Sydney, Mr Clinton said this "brief moment in history" when the US had pre-eminent military, economic and political power, would not last.

"This is just a period, a few decades this will last, and I think that all of us who are Americans should think about this and ask ourselves how do we wish this moment to be judged 50 years from now," he said.

"And how would we like to be treated when we no longer have this pre-eminent position and we have to work in a cooperative fashion with others to a far greater extent than we have to do today.

"It seems to me if we would think about it like that it would be much more likely to lead all Americans, without regard of their party, to making the right decisions about how we should approach a lot of these problems that we face."

The former president said he did not want to be critical of the current US Administration.

"I feel that I should be careful in what I say [but] I believe that the [current US] President has been much more interested in international cooperation since September 11th, and I take that to be a very positive sign," Mr Clinton said.

He also said he hoped President George W. Bush's recent visit to Korea would have a positive outcome.

"I certainly have no illusions about the North Korean Government," he said.

". . . But the fact is they ended their nuclear program in 94, in 98 they ended testing of long-range missiles and in 2000 we had the elements of an agreement with them to end their entire missile program."

Mr Clinton's comments come after Mr Bush named North Korea as one country in its "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran last month.

Mr Bush visited South Korea for the first time last week. AAP"


Now, I feel that Clinton's comments came mainly from another attempt by him to actually defend his useless administration (8 years and no actual accomplishments). It is ego masturbation that is unseemly for a former President--well, unseemly for MOST former Presidents.

However, let's look at the commenton its own merits.

Will anybody ever replace the U.S as THE superpower on Earth?

I cannot see anybody being in a position to ever threaten the U.S' position.

Let's look at the possibilities:

Europe: The EU, by its own admission, is at least one full generation behind the U.S in terms of military hardware. They also lag behind the U.S in terms of technological innovation or economic power. Add into that the unlikelihood of the EU really lasting with countries that have never been able to get along for a long time and I think it's highly unlikely.

Japan: No. Their economy is on the verge of outright collapse. If anything, the future looks really dark for Japan, not bright.

China: Government won't allow freedom to generate innovation that is needed to dominate the world. The Chinese military is also an unknown quantity and, quite frankly, is not all that close to our military's level of technological advancement. Also, China has been a country that is sorely incapable of actually adapting to changing times and that has been a historic problem.

Middle East: The U.S could ruin the Middle Eat if we ever decided to become more self-sufficient in terms of oil. The militaries, outside of Israel, are basically inept. The economies are also quite weak.

Russia: Economically, still weak. Military has never been that good and is technologically backwards.

I really don't see any other possible contenders to the throne of being the world's hegemon.

Anybody else have any other possible considerations?
             -=Mike

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Guest Some Guy
I agree with you Mike, there are no country who could realistically become strongrer than us in the next 50 years, while I doubt that we will be on top forever (no one ever is) it'll be a long time before we are knocked of the top.  
Clinton is all about his legacy and always has been.  If he spent more time actually doing things of substance during his administration he might not be an afterthought today.  He will go down in history for his sex scandels rather than his (ahem) merits as a Prez, because they were the most newsworthy thing outside of his lies and corruption.  His reign was a black eye on this country in many ways.  If Clinton were smart and no so egotistical than he would step completly out of the spotlight ubtil the next campaign starts up and then start making speeches and raising funds for his party, but he won't and as such he will be further villified by many.  It's his own fault anyway.

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Guest kkktookmybabyaway
"Speaking at the 2002 World Congress on the Peaceful Reunification of China and World Peace in Sydney, Mr Clinton said this "brief moment in history" when the US had pre-eminent military, economic and political power, would not last.

"This is just a period, a few decades this will last, and I think that all of us who are Americans should think about this and ask ourselves how do we wish this moment to be judged 50 years from now," he said."

Ahhh, NOW I know why he sent China all those nuclear secrets. He was America's top babyface for eight years and has now pulled a heel swerve.

Was Vince Russo a Clinton White House advisor?

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Guest Vyce
I agree with Mike.  Regardless of whether or not we should consider Clinton's points, let's just call it as it is - he wants to be remembered as someone other than the guy who got blowjobs when he was supposed to be running the country.  Tough luck, Bill, sex always sells more than peace & prosperity.

The former president said he did not want to be critical of the current US Administration.

Ha ha, sure you do, Bill.

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Guest J*ingus
50 years is a long time.  I think another superpower could easily arise in that time period.  Let's look at precedents:

-Germany: was in complete ruin in 1919.  Rebuilt and became one of the strongest forces in the world by the beginning of WWII.  

-Japan: shattered in 1945.  By the 1980's became so powerful that they were an actual economic competitor to the U.S.  

-Russia: in depression and starving in 1905, when they couldn't even defeat a near-medieval Japan.  Fifty years later were one of the major nuclear superpowers controlling the globe.  

-The United States of America: in 1865, half of the country was devastated from the civil war, and hundreds of thousands were dead.  Fifty years later, they were a major factor in the first world war.  

In short, don't commit the sin of hubris.  Romans thought that they would rule the world forever; after all, there were never any competiting superpowers that could rival them.  There didn't need to be.  They fell on their own.

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Guest El Hijo Del Lunatic
QUOTE
Will anybody ever replace the U.S as THE superpower on Earth?

Sure.  Someone will, at some point.  It's probably relatively close, too:  the average shelf life of "the strongest nation in the world" (for the last 500 years or so) is probably less than the 60 or so years that the United States has been the top superpower, and the fact that it's been a dozen years since there was a clear contender to the second-place throne is irrelevant.  It only took Germany 25 years to become the strongest nation in the world, and it did so right under England and France's noses.  I'm sure that the people of every other major superpower said things like "we won't fall for a long time", too.

In this day and age of nuclear weaponry, biological and chemical warfare, and terrorism, all it really takes is the right leader in the right place at the right time.  There will be another Napoleon, another Bismarck, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror, Metternich, FDR, or Lenin - somewhere, someone will come along with the skills to lead a country efficiently, the charisma to win over the people, and the cojones to pull the trigger on something really terrible.

QUOTE
Europe: The EU, by its own admission, is at least one full generation behind the U.S in terms of military hardware. They also lag behind the U.S in terms of technological innovation or economic power. Add into that the unlikelihood of the EU really lasting with countries that have never been able to get along for a long time and I think it's highly unlikely.

Actually, the EU's probably the best place for someone to gain the power necessary to challenge the US.  They've got infrastructure (which is a BIIIG deal), they've got the best technological chance to "catch-up", and they've got a currency that could either tank ... or catch on like wildfire.  They've got the economic power now of, what, a dozen countries?  All they'd really need is probably 20-30 years under the right direction and one good, destructive military weapon the U.S. can't get a handle on - probably biological.  

I know you guys only really wanted to use this thread to bash Clinton, so since I stay away from political tripe like that, I'll back off and leave you to your bashing now.

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Guest TheMikeSC
Quote  
Will anybody ever replace the U.S as THE superpower on Earth?

Sure.  Someone will, at some point.  It's probably relatively close, too:  the average shelf life of "the strongest nation in the world" (for the last 500 years or so) is probably less than the 60 or so years that the United States has been the top superpower, and the fact that it's been a dozen years since there was a clear contender to the second-place throne is irrelevant.  It only took Germany 25 years to become the strongest nation in the world, and it did so right under England and France's noses.  I'm sure that the people of every other major superpower said things like "we won't fall for a long time", too.>>

The difference here, though, is that the U.S has far fewer external probems to end their empire.

We don't have colonies. We have a vey large population (unlike just about every other superpower in history); considerable natural defenses; the most technologically advanced military on Earth by a healthy margin; an economy that still outperforms almost everybody else's.

Most superpowers over the past few centuries have had colonies to deal with and that was a considerable drain on their resources. They had to deal with the eventual uprising of the colonies and usually attempted to suppress them, which only caused them more problems.

The U.S doesn't have that.

<<In this day and age of nuclear weaponry, biological and chemical warfare, and terrorism, all it really takes is the right leader in the right place at the right time.  There will be another Napoleon, another Bismarck, Alexander the Great, William the Conqueror, Metternich, FDR, or Lenin - somewhere, someone will come along with the skills to lead a country efficiently, the charisma to win over the people, and the cojones to pull the trigger on something really terrible.>>

Somebody can launch a terrorist attack upon this country---and as was shown after 9/11, the country will simply unify and go after whomever did it.

Somebody must have the MEANS to lead in order to take over. No other country or group has the combination of population, resources, technological dominance, and natural defenses that the U.S posesses.

<<Quote  
Europe: The EU, by its own admission, is at least one full generation behind the U.S in terms of military hardware. They also lag behind the U.S in terms of technological innovation or economic power. Add into that the unlikelihood of the EU really lasting with countries that have never been able to get along for a long time and I think it's highly unlikely.

Actually, the EU's probably the best place for someone to gain the power necessary to challenge the US.  They've got infrastructure (which is a BIIIG deal), they've got the best technological chance to "catch-up", and they've got a currency that could either tank ... or catch on like wildfire.>>

Yes, they do.

However, what are the odds of all of the countries staying on board as their soreignty is further chiseled away?

And until Europe decides to actually spend the money to catch up technologically, they won't. They have a lot of money to spend and, honestly, it doesn't seem that many European companies are on the forefront of technological advance.

<<They've got the economic power now of, what, a dozen countries?  All they'd really need is probably 20-30 years under the right direction and one good, destructive military weapon the U.S. can't get a handle on - probably biological.>>

By their own admission, they are far behind us on anything. We can't work with the EU because nothing on their DRAWING BOARDS is comparable to what we have right now.

The Europeans are loathe to spend money militarily so I dispute their ability to ever catch up to us.

<<I know you guys only really wanted to use this thread to bash Clinton, so since I stay away from political tripe like that, I'll back off and leave you to your bashing now. >>

No, I honestly posted this for discussion.

I can bash Clinton for anything--lord knows he's an easy target.
                -=Mike

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Guest TheMikeSC
<<50 years is a long time.  I think another superpower could easily arise in that time period.  Let's look at precedents:

-Germany: was in complete ruin in 1919.  Rebuilt and became one of the strongest forces in the world by the beginning of WWII.>>

Much of the "power" they had was purely fictional until 1938 or so. The West let them rise up and never attempted to stop a weak country.  

<<-Japan: shattered in 1945.  By the 1980's became so powerful that they were an actual economic competitor to the U.S.  >>

True. However, the U.S was a major part of their rebuilding and their system that seemed to work so well in the 1980's is now leading Japan to become a declining state.

<<-Russia: in depression and starving in 1905, when they couldn't even defeat a near-medieval Japan.  Fifty years later were one of the major nuclear superpowers controlling the globe.>>

Never were as powerful as people thought. They had the nuke and, honestly, not much else. The Russian Army was never known as being terribly effective (they did lose A LOT of troops all of the time). U.S intelligence was aware of how weak the U.S.S.R actually was, though Reagan was the first guy to go after the weaknesses.  

<<-The United States of America: in 1865, half of the country was devastated from the civil war, and hundreds of thousands were dead.  Fifty years later, they were a major factor in the first world war.  >>

The U.S has considerable natural resources, considerable natural defenses, a large population, and no territories to deal with.

That alone gives the U.S  huge advantage.

<<In short, don't commit the sin of hubris.  Romans thought that they would rule the world forever; after all, there were never any competiting superpowers that could rival them.  There didn't need to be.  They fell on their own. >>

Oh, no doubt we could easily fall on our own.

However, I don't foresee in my lifetime or the next lifetime anybody replacing us.
                    -=Mike

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Guest DrTom
Sounds to me like Clinton's just trying to keep his name in the news.  I don't put a lot of stock into what he said, mainly because I don't see someone rising up to superpower status and knocking us off anytime soon.  There are a lot of factors other countries would need to overcome to do that, and the historical examples that have been cited haven't been terribly relevant to the modern world.

"Speaking at the 2002 World Congress on the Peaceful Reunification of China and World Peace in Sydney, Mr Clinton said this "brief moment in history" when the US had pre-eminent military, economic and political power, would not last."

The easiest way to make that statement a self-fulfilling prophecy is to elect more closet Socialists like Clinton.

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Guest big Dante Cruz
The whole Clinton thing sounded most like two things: 1) an ego boost for himself and 2) backhanded compliments to George W.  W is actually trying, going to Korea and whatnot and Clinton says that he did all the work to put the situation where it is today.  Yeah, thanks Bill.  All you did was watch the clock run down during your administration.  North Korea is starving to death and has basically burned about every bridge out there, so yes, they stopped nuke and missle testing to feed people because they were out of cash.

In all honesty, what can Clinton say he did during his administration before dropping his pants?  Um... he got his healthcare plan shot down, downsized the military... what else?  Shows how much he really cared.

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