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This can’t be greatest country on earth

Even on 6 January 2021, one of the darkest of dark days in American history, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, could not help but exclaim a well-worn cliche on the floor of the Senate: America is the greatest country on earth. There are other cliches bandied about at will in America as well. Such as it being the leader of the free world. Or the world’s sole superpower. Or American being an exceptional people. Or being God’s own chosen people?

What happens when too much power is given to a power that has gone mad? America happens. Scientists say that for every two people being reported dead from Covid, three people are actually dying. That means more than half a million Americans have died of Covid, the most of any nation in the world. America is supposed to have firstrate medical infrastructure. Why did it fail its people so badly? Who is responsible for so many deaths?

America’s military is vaunted, now much more by its own people than by its adversaries. Since World War II, the American military’s fighting record has been debatable. More recently, it has been pathetic. It went into Afghanistan to catch Bin Laden, but just when it had him in its grasp in the mountains of Tora Bora in December 2001, it outsourced his capture to Afghan warlords who let him slip away. Was anyone held responsible for that fiasco?