The isolated giant enjoying a period of Enlightenment while the rest of the known world staggered under the burden of its war-caused blight has been made to encounter the world again, a world no longer so abject, without the benefit of isolation, without even a veil of wishing to do what is right. We don't even need Sauron.
America's power and influence in the previous century was built not just on its military and economic prowess, but especially on the belief of many that it would use its power to the benefit of all rather than of the United States alone. But that view of the United States as a benevolent power is now gone. America's image in the world has been tarnished by launching an unnecessary war of choice, flouting international law, and its appalling abuse of detainees. Polls indicate that large majorities in Europe have an unfavorable opinion of America and, shockingly, that a majority of Europeans now believes the United States poses the greatest threat to international security.
When trust is broken, a commitment to diplomacy can only do so much. When an American secretary of state has to spend an entire week in Europe to argue that the United States does not torture people -- and leave without having convinced anyone that she's speaking the truth -- you know something profound has changed in America's relations with the world. In such circumstances, a willingness to talk, to negotiate, even to compromise is not enough. It will take a new administration, fully committed to restoring trust in an America rededicated to the rule of law, to begin to reverse the damage that has been done.
The Limits of Rice's Diplomacy
And the King's Men are once more beating the war drum, trying to stir up support for an attack upon Iran. It would be just desserts if the movement brought to power by Iran is finally defeated by the same.