Peter Beinart: “America Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” By the way, just to give you more details on who he is. He’s a senior political writer for the Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He first rose to national acclaim being an editor at New Republic, and he’s had a couple of books, and of course you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And of course he’s a leftist. “America Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” is the title of his piece. “As Europe takes the lead on the Libyan intervention, it’s a powerful signal of America’s weakening global influence. Peter Beinart on Obama’s Jeffersonian turn — and the end of an empire.” And they’re happy about this, even calling it Jeffersonian.

“In the summer of 1995, when the Clinton administration — after more than two years of deference — forced the Europeans into a humanitarian war against the Serbs, then-Lieutenant General Wesley Clark exulted ‘The big dog barked today.’ Back then, the big dog was not fighting any other wars. It was unchallenged in East Asia; its economy was beginning to boom and its fiscal problems were melting away. And even then, Americans only supported the Bosnia war, and its kid brother Kosovo, on the condition that no Americans died. Today, by contrast, America’s fiscal condition is terrifying and the Pentagon is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, trying to stay out of one with Iran, and keeping one eye on a rising China. I don’t know what it took to convince an obviously reluctant Robert Gates to permit American involvement in the Libyan no-fly zone, but it’s a reasonable bet that had Barack Obama not been able to promise that it would be a mostly European affair, Gates would now be a military analyst on Fox News.” Meaning Gates wanted to do it. Obama didn’t want to do it. Gates would have been canned, and so forth and so on.

Continue reading on