Posted by: Lister | March 10, 2008

Getting away with defiance

Tony Karon has an article about how things have changed since the Cold War.

It used to be that regimes like Apartheid South Africa could rely on American support and that America could rely on weaker nations that wanted trade. But:

The collapse of the Berlin Wall changed everything, of course; that much quickly became clear in South Africa. The apartheid regime got the message that it could no longer count on U.S. support, and the regime began negotiating with the ANC, suddenly deemed kosher by Washington.

[…] Today, editorialists in the U.S. sniff that African governments are being given too many opportunities to buck Western tutelage on good governance (and on limiting social spending) because China is offering massive loans and investments without the conditions typically attached by Western lenders.

[…] When the U.S. demanded support for its position on Iraq at the United Nations Security Council, it made clear to Chile, for example, that a coveted trade deal was at stake if the Chileans refused to back Washington. Same thing with Mexico’s coveted immigration law changes in the U.S. To no avail. Longtime allies defied the U.S. and got away with it, signaling the onset of a geopolitical era in which the nations of the south face unprecedented economic and political choice. It’s no longer a case of choosing between the U.S. or some rival power
bloc. Why not both?

This is not shaping up as the New American Century.

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