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“Pax Americana” always struck me as a somewhat misleading description of the postwar dispensation that the United States brought to the world, for two reasons. The first is its implied equivalence with earlier empires.
One of the most tiresome clichés about the Middle East is that it never changes. In the old days, this notion of stasis was called essentialism.
These are the most vexing questions of this historical moment, and I deny that anybody has the answers to them yet. Looking backward, I think that two observations can be made with some confidence.
The origins of a war do not always illuminate its outcome.