Turning Point

After September 2001, America experienced its burning Reichstag moment - a trumped-up (or misinterpreted) crisis laid the groundwork (amid the rubble in Manhattan) for the rise of an extremist American Presidency, one that could be described as neo-democratic, or pseudo-fascist, but is basically a new hybrid form of ideology - hyper-capitalism fused to hyper-militarism: do as we say or your're f----d as one Bush lieutenant put it.

In 2003, when I and countless other poets were among the first to warn of this, many in the media suggested this was mere scare-mongering. Now, as Bush is poised to attack Iran (see this week's The Economist for their sober version of how this could very well happen) and is offering to cut health care for the weak and aged in America to pay for his continuing insane war aims in Iraq, a turning point has occured, today - a major breaking point you might say.

Russia has said enough is enough.

The days of the hegemony are over. Unipower is being challenged, and not in cafes in Paris. The world's second-most-powerful nuclear state, and one with gas and oil reserves second only to the Middle East (or Texas), is throwing down its gauntlet.

Vladimir Putin has just said that America is very dangerous, and its use of military power has exceeded its borders and international law, fuelling a new arms race.

Read another way: hands off Iran - this is Russia's new sphere of influence.

We are now officially in a new cold war - some pundits call it a cold peace. Same difference.

Bush and his war criminal cronies are to blame. America is being piloted by people who, in any other circumstances, would be considered insane, or worse, "evil". The time is fraught with hope (Obama, Clinton) and terrible dangers. The 00s are like the 30s. But who in the West is this time speaking out? Not Blair.

It's an ironic moment in history when America can be lectured to by Russia. They should listen.

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