James Wolcott: On Borrowed Time: “This is the argument made in Emmanuel Todd’s After the Empire, one of the most important books of the last few years. Contrary to those Le Monde intellectuals who see the US as a super-superpower, a hyperpuissance, Todd, a French demographer and author of a book correctly foreseeing the fall of the Soviet Union, says the US has become a ‘big little bully’ incapable of picking on anyone its own size. It makes a show of force attacking the weak–dirtpoor countries with no air defences, such as Iraq and Afghanistan–because a ‘show’ is precisely what it is”


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