The Paradox of Modern America: Both Strong and Vulnerable

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The Paradox of Modern America

Both Strong and Vulnerable

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Henry Kissinger's latest book articulates the American dream very well. He begins the first chapter of Does America Have a Foreign Policy? with the observation: "At the dawn of the new millennium, the United States is enjoying a preeminence unrivaled by even the greatest empires of the past. From weaponry to entrepreneurship, from science to technology, from higher education to popular culture, America exercises an unparalleled ascendancy around the globe" (2001, p. 17).

But the awful atrocities in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania show that Dr. Kissinger's evaluation is only a part of the overall picture. The Spectator in Britain adds: "There might seem to be no greater paradox in the history of civilization.

America, the global colossus, leading the world in scientific mastery, the possessor of unlimited military capability-but unable to defend itself against a handful of fanatics armed with knives. The gap between mighty America and its puny adversaries is far smaller than an inventory of American power would suggest" (September 15).

Though the raw capability of the World Trade Center terrorists and their network was vastly underestimated in this account, the main point is well taken. The Independent (London) bluntly declared: "For half a century, the U.S. has basked in the certainty of its commercial and military invulnerability, [but] now the confidence of the post-war era has been blasted away for ever" (September 12).

In but about an hour and a half the same technology that enables us to telephone just about anywhere on the earth or board an aircraft to any point on the planet was turned into an agent of incredible destruction in downtown New York City. Global mobility provided the means.

Of course this whole story is yet to be played out with all the reactive forces of American power and intelligence ready to be unleashed. But in the meantime if you want to know about the often unrealized origins of U.S. influence, wealth and prosperity and where its precipitous decline in moral values is taking the nation, please request our free brochure, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy.

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