NEWSFLASH: Mattel issued an urgent recall on Monday of its Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization plastic doll series after the battery-powered talking toys were found to have too much lead in their speeches.
On a more sensible note, the Power and Interest News Report gives a brief history of the SCO and concludes that the organization may have a way to go before it might become a NATO of the East, but it shows distinct signs of moving successfully in that direction. (For some reason the link simply will not work, so I’ve put an alternative link at the bottom of this post.)
Last year, Dilip Hiro wrote this brief piece about prospective new members and observers at the SCO. Near the end, he noted that the United States had applied for observer status and been rejected. Now, in more detail, he chronicles the decline of the United States from its status as undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in 1991. Among the challengers to the New World Order is of course the Shanghai Cooperation Organization led by the big boys China and Russia. But there’s also the smaller players like Iran, Venezuela and many others. And then of course there is the challenge to hegemony in international English-language TV news, led by al-Jazeera.
All this reminds me of an article (I think originally from the LA Times, but 17 years is too long ago for me to be sure) reproduced in Taiwan’s China Post in late summer or early autumn, 1990. The writer warned that the United States was about to go the way of Britain in the late 19th Century. At that time Britain had seemed invincible, but this was an illusion because it had already overextended itself and thus sown the seeds of its own collapse. The United States was now ready to make its grand imperial move, but it would live to regret it.
It also reminds me of a cartoon in a British magazine about 20 years ago that looked something like this:
The United States is not in imminent danger of becoming a giant Haiti. But once you’ve had your sweet dreams of empire, its a good idea to wake up before the nightmares begin.
P.S. Most tasks are easy via proxy; some are difficult; one or two begin to seem almost impossible. Publishing this post fell into the last of these categories. Most of the initial problems now seem to be fixed, but I still can’t get the Power and Interest News Report link to work. Here’s an alternative link that may or may not work: http://tinyurl.com/2dmtg4
Alternatively, the website is here: http://www.pinr.com