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January 27, 2008

SOT (incredibly shrinking) U

Nyt-Mag-Superpower

It’s the cover visual of a 7,500 word article about a worldwide political and economic movement toward interdependence — a bus the U.S. forgot to get on.

It’s striking for the fact the U.S. is pictured in complete isolation, in a sea of darkness.

Also following the article, those massive and powerful fingers would likely represent Europe and China, reaching around from “two ends of the great Eurasian land mass” to apply the squeeze.

Above all, however, its a fitting illustration to offer up the day before Bush’s last SOTU.

image from: Waving Goodbye to Hegemony (NYT Mag cover story)

Bush Would Never ‘Cease To Be Bold,’ But Now ‘Will Skip Bold Proposals’ In State Of The Union Speech (Think Progress)

(photo illustration:  Kevin Van Aelst.  January 27, 2008.  NYT Mag cover.  nytimes.com)

  • itwasntme

    Now if we could only stop ACTING like we were the only country in the world, I’d be happy.

  • Dale

    Heh…
    The finger and thumb held half an inch apart is also, whether we like it or not, an implicit critique of the, umm, shall we say, *phallic yardstick* that the US has been using to measure its worth in the world.
    I’m only sort of kidding.

  • tina

    Well, it couldn’t go on forever. Now we have to share the planet with the rest of the people who live on it. Eh.
    I’m not going to get too excited about the loss of hegemony. It is natural, had to happen, and we should be adjusting ourselves so that we remain a first world country, instead of sliding into becoming a third world one.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    About time. All Empires collapse, but they rarely go quietly into the night.

  • gasho

    Who shrank the superpower?
    The implicit answer, in my opinion, isn’t the other world powers, but Bush and the NeoCons who thought that our mighty military and economic power were invincible. They bet the whole pile of chips on our ability to pick and win any fight, only to find out that we had a weaker hand than they thought.
    On one hand, this is a vindication of the lefties, since we’ve been screaming all along that the world domination/empire thing was a mistake. On the other hand, we’re all going to feel the squeeze now that we’ve bet and lost the farm.
    If we can get a better leader in the White House to foster a new age of international cooperation and renewable energy exploration and overall policy of goodwill and benevolence, that would prove that the universe is flexible and can change course quickly. If the opposite is true, and there is a great deal of momentum to the course of history, then prepare to feel the pain.
    This really is a striking image.

  • bob h

    The extraordinary thing is how rapidly the decline and fall came. In 2000 the United States experienced unprecedented international respect, hard and soft power, and prosperity. When we fought wars, as in Kosovo, we did not lose a man.
    In addition to Bush and the Neocons, a big part of the explanation is the moral corruption that underlay the Enron/Tyco accounting frauds and the subprime mortgage scandals. These things do not happen in first-world countries, only in incipient banana republics.

  • jtfromBC

    Has Russia bought Alaska back or did China purchase the largest state in the union ?

  • arty

    jt: In keeping with the current style at the Times Magazine, the facts have been changed to fit the concept.

  • weisseharre

    S.P.Q.A.

  • lowly grunt

    THe picture evokes that Kids in the Hall bit of “crushing your head”. Only its our country and I would argue that the finger/thumb combo is China/Saudi Arabia – owner of all our loans.

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