Dr Jack Perry, ex ambassador to Bulgaria way back in the last millennium and on again off again academic (he also shares an uncanny resemblence to jolly old St. Nick) unleashed a bizzaro blend of conjecture that cautions patience and perhaps the need to re define 'greatness' in the new millennium.
"Half of us still think we are the superpower who bestrides the earth
like a colossus and can enforce our will on the world. Others see a different world, with new challenges – many of them not at all susceptible to military solutions – and with the United States no longer in the position of unchallengeable dominator.
This does not boil down to questioning American greatness. It does
boil down to defining “great” in novel ways, and understanding that meeting energy needs and healing the global environment and suppressing human rights violations may be just as vital as combatting terrorism or fighting traditional wars.
"You will not be surprised to hear that a former diplomat believes
we are entering a new period when statesmanship will turn increasingly to negotiation, to the partnership of nations and people and groups, and away from guns and supersized “defense” budgets. Isn't this the same liberal twaddle we heard in the '20s and '30s?
No, I sincerely believe we are fated to enter a time now when the
uniting of the nations and peoples against common problems will start to take precedence over that everlasting question, who is most powerful?
We as a nation are so imbued with military ways of looking at the
political world that we are not too far from militarism itself, from thinking that guns and bombs and soldiers and ships take precedence over all politics and all diplomacy. That needs to change, and Obama can't do all the changing."