Abraham Bril

The Declining Empire

It was heart warming to see the Congressional leaders of Democrats and Republicans to hold hands and proclaim their bi-partisan support for Israel at Tuesday’s event in Washington DC. With all the anti-Israel demonstrations all over the US and around the world, it still gives hope that morality has a chance to survive.

Unfortunately they missed the opportunity to publicly announce an agreement to vote for the $ 14 billion help for Israel. Regretfully, the hand-holding was forgotten when they returned to their respective offices in Congress where they are pulled by their partisan extremes.

The US political divide, between MAGA and the radical left, leaves the average moderate American pulling out their hair thinking of a choice next year between an impulsive, revengeful, narcissist and a physically as well as mentally weakening person. The majority of Americans don’t want either, but the GOP and DNC leaderships have long forgotten to consider what is best for the country.

That divide feeds Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The US may have the most powerful weapons but its reluctance to use them is clear to our opponents and enemies. A clear example is what happened this week. Iran sponsored terrorists in Iraq and Syria attacked American military and our response was to destroy some building supposedly used by these groups. There is much to criticize Trump for, but when he had Qasem Soleimani killed, Iran paid attention.

Of course Americans remember our failures in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and have lots of hesitations about entering a new war. But showing weakness instead of determination is what leaves Russia invading Ukraine, China build artificial military islands in the Pacific Ocean, North Korea build dangerous ballistic nuclear missiles, and Iran to sponsor terrorists in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Gaza. They are no longer scared of the declining American empire. However we, yes we, should be scared of a declining America.

A strong and determined US would have firmly told Erdogan and Al-Thani to cut their support to Hamas and would have warned Iran that it will suffer the consequences for any aggression by Hezbollah, the Houtis and other terrorists supported by them.

A strong and determined US would also tell King Abdullah and his Queen Rania that Hamas is their worst enemy and a danger to their survival, and therefore they should keep their arrogant mouths shut and pray for Israel to destroy Hamas.

That strong and determined US does not exist right now. Instead we have the MAGA Republicans withholding support for Ukraine and the Radical Left supporting ‘from the river to the sea’.

That declining US and spiraling deficit and debt must be of great concern to the generation of my kids and grand kids. Their future will be a roller coaster, hopefully ending on top rather than at the bottom.

Israel has many lessons to learn. First of all of course, the lessons of the 10/7 failures, but while it can probably count on US support for some years to come, the future of that support, whether that is an isolationist MAGA or a Israel hating radical left, is uncertain and therefore self reliance must be Israel’s theme of the future.

Nuclear deterrence may work against States, but not against terrorists. Long lasting conflicts require lots of weapons and ammunition, and Israel should do its utmost to reduce its reliance on a declining US.

About the Author
Born in the Netherlands, graduated from the Universite de Geneve and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, also in Geneva. Fluent in Dutch, French, English and Spanish, with some knowledge of German, as well as a bit of Ivrit. Spent my working career working in finance in Amsterdam, Paris, London, Geneva, Panama, Mexico and Miami. I am now semi-retired.
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