My father, now deceased, was a decorated Marine, and a hero warrior by any definition. He represented the Marines and the American military with valor and integrity. He must have turned over in his grave to see a brash American soldier, a woman, involved in torture of Iraqi captives in the most vulger of ways. What some American soldiers have done in Iraq is a disgrace to the uniform. It lowers all Americans when we tolerate this kind of behavior. It symbolizes another turning point in our nation.
We are seeing several pivotal turning points in the world economy and political environment.
TURNING POINT ONE: First, indications are that interest rates are starting a rise. This will be a major influence on world markets starting with the United States. The USA has enjoyed over 8 years of declining or low interest rates. We at Global Perspectives have anticipated and predicted this increase. Increased interest rates are inevitable because of the huge deficits of the US Government that have been brought about by the war in Iraq, and in general ill advised economic policies. Higher rates will have a negative impact upon the real estate industries, equity markets, import export markets and hundreds of consumer related industries. Plus rising rates in the USA will impact banking systems throughout the world. Investors, decision makers and planners are all calculating the economic cost and impacts caused by this new trend.
TURNING POINT TWO: The disclosure of the U.S. torture and degradation of Iraqi prisoners of war created revulsion among Americans and people the world over. Headlines from Mongolia, to India, Germany, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, and even Britain used phrases like " Shame on the USA" or "US tortures like Sadam did". Perhaps though the most important turning point is within the United States, where good hearted patriotic Americans now have seen a true face of U.S. military tactics. Americans want none of this and they will not tolerate it. Per his modus operendus, President Bush didn't take "responsibility" as Harry Truman would have when he said "The buck stops here". Rather, he ducked it and tried to shift blame on Donald Rumsfeld...who at least had the character to "accept full responsibility" although he hadn't even seen the reports of torture until they were published in the Washington Post newspaper.
Philosophically, the American people have been taught that American's are the good guys. Yet, here we see our government resorting to the most sordid and despicable violations of humanity. This shame will lead to a turning point politically. With this, many Americans are saying: "We have had enough," It could be a pivital political issue. Imagine TV advertisements showing George W Bush bragging that the U.S. will be "liberators, bringing the highest values of respect and American values to Iraq", and then cutting to the scenes of piles of naked Iraqi prisoners being roped, hooded, and wired with electric torture devices". Imagine a political add with Rumsfeld talking about how Iraqis will be cheering Americans when they arrive, and then a cut to young American G.I.'s standing over dead Iraqis and holding up the "thumbs up" gesture as they smile over the murder of another human. This is a big one...because the images, apparently hundreds of them, have such emotional impact when shown on TV and in the press.
TURNING POINT THREE: With America entering a period with the deepest deficits in history, and the highest debt burden , both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of GDP, could we be seeing the beginning of a long and sustained period of economic pain in the USA. Many economists have tried to project how long it will take for the American economy to absorb the expense and cost of Bush's "War on terror" and the invasion of Iraq. Best estimates say it could take over 20 years. 20 years of resources down the drain. Resources that could have been used to develop the US economy, or to build schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure in the USA. Resources that the USA could have used to help developing nations around the world, are no longer available, and won't bee for generations to come. This could be a turning point in the economic leadership of America in the World.