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View Diary: 'Does [Gaddafi] not say that authority is with the people? WE are the people!' (149 comments)

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  •  This is not a question mere self-image (1+ / 0-)
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    It's an appreciation of the historical record.  The facts for Europe and Japan are straightforward:  the US provided security and public goods at a very low cost, which Europe and Japan ran with to become wealthy social-welfare states.  Europe and Japan had the option and still have the option to create greater geo-political independence from the US, and have chosen not to do so.  And still choose not to.

    To the extent that the our self-image goes beyond that essential bargain, you are correct.  Here, regarding wether Japan and Europe (and Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand for that matter) trust the US, you are fundamentally mistaken.  

    When you talk with people from those countries who are involved with strategic issues, they view the relative decline of American power great trepidation.  Frankly, they consider the relative rise of China and Russia with cold terror.  As much as they may resent American impositions, obviously they prefer the devil they know.

    Insofar as the populace of those nations, you need to confront the question that if they are democratic societies, why they continue to abide the bargain their leaders have made with American power.

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