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Conflict at Home and Abroad as Clock Ticks Down on US Empire

In this Sept. 25, 2007, file photo, an Iranian woman walks past graffiti art characterizing the U.S. Statue of Liberty, painted on the wall of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran

John MilesJournalist Patrick Lawence sees weakness at the heart of American attempts to impose its will by force.A provocative new essay by author Patrick Lawrence suggests the collapse of US empire is on the horizon, with the repression of pro-Palestine campus protests serving as the most recent evidence of a global power in recession.“In this late phase of decline, no one or no entity is permitted to stand beyond the fence posts in the name of independent thought or free speech,” writes Lawrence for the website ScheerPost.“The special gravity of this when tertiary education is the target cannot be overstated. Destroy colleges and universities as sanctuaries of uncircumscribed, purposefully exploratory thought and speech – academic freedom in the common parlance – and you are a good way along to destroying the nation’s intellectual dynamism, and so the nation’s future.”Author and international security analyst David Oualaalou joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Tuesday to discuss the piece, reflecting on the turmoil increasingly experienced by the United States both at home and abroad.“Let’s start with the internal, or domestic front,” said Oualaalou, “the fragmentation that exists within the system which, by the way, didn’t start a year ago, or two years, or three. That was in the making for the last three or four decades. It’s just now it’s becoming more open, more vivid, more apparent, and the American people feel like coming to grips with this reality.”“The administration is sending our tax dollars to Ukraine – that is getting wasted and there is nothing in it for us American citizens,” he added.AnalysisScott Ritter: Student Protests Among ‘Most Important Things’ to Happen in US in Decades2 May, 03:04 GMTThe sentiment is increasingly shared by Americans across the political spectrum, with half of respondents in a recent survey agreeing US President Joe Biden is spending “too much” money on propping up Ukraine’s war effort and civil society.Polling shows Americans’ views about the economy more broadly are pessimistic, with 54% saying younger generations will likely enjoy a lower standard of living than their parents and 70% of people under 30 saying home ownership in the US has become more difficult. On the other side of the age divide, the country faces a major crisis as millions of older Americans approach retirement age with insufficient savings.Internationally the United States appears to be losing its clout in global institutions, with host Garland Nixon pointing to a letter drafted by 12 US senators threatening the International Criminal Court against taking action against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his cabinet. Whereas previously the country enjoyed a level of influence and respect that allowed it to mold global opinion, “it appears that the US [now] sees the [United Nations] only as a political tool,” remarked Garland.“That’s just the double standard but also it shows even a much bigger problem, and that is the end of American dominance and influence on the global stage,” agreed Oualaalou. “The American century is coming to a close whether we like it or not. And what comes with it? It’s the end, for example, of the financial dominance. It’s the end of the global economic dominance.”“What happened to freedom of speech?” the analyst asked, commenting on recent police crackdowns on campus pro-Palestine demonstrations in the US. “Freedom of expression in academia when they’re on campus, or wherever? So those people, if they are demonstrating peacefully, which was the case, against injustice – how can the government just send in these riot police like we are in a war zone here?“Or sending snipers on the roof of the colleges? That, to me, was degrading. And we have the audacity to say we are a democratic nation? Really?”Lawrence reserved his most withering criticism for the discourse surrounding an alleged “crisis” of antisemitism in the United States, which he compared to the McCarthyism of the 1950s.“This is an assault on reason, language, law – and even that highest of American ‘values’ – common sense,” he writes. “It is a sign of American weakness and further advances this weakness.”“Those purporting to lead this nation are very little interested any longer, if they are interested at all, in what the rest of the world thinks of America – or even what Americans think of America,” he adds. “Power is all the late-phase imperium has left to rely upon.”AmericasPro-Palestine Student Protest in Washington Continues Despite Demands to Remove Camp26 April, 21:29 GMT

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