The United States of America started off its postwar hegemony in August 1945, with the dropping of two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki, which ended World War II. Of course, it was not the destructive effect of the bomb blasts that had catapulted the USA to the world’s leadership, but what they represented; for the atomic explosions came to represent a symbol of America’s industrial and economic might, casting a tall shadow over the former imperial superpower, which, until then, had exerted the world’s hegemony; Great Britain. The most savage and global armed conflict in history had pulled America out of the ditch of the Great Depression, triggering intense and unprecedented industrial production and financial activity, with all the factories working full steam ahead to supply and meet the war needs. Far out of range of the German and Japanese bombers, this industrial growth went unperturbed, boosted by the vastness of its natural resources, waiting to be exploited to feed its industry’s demanding titanic maws. By unexpectedly using the first atomic bomb on an enemy country, the US government also gave the impression that it might have new deterring secret weapons hidden in its sleeve.
The emergence of the US as the new hegemonic power in the Western World was not only in the military and economical fields, but also in the geopolitical one, which could be seen with the implementation of the Marshal Plan in 1948, a financial program to aid and assist the European nations that had participated in the war and whose economies had collapsed or were on the verge of collapse and that also included former enemies, such as Germany and Italy; in Japan, the United States also put into effect a similar program as the adoption of a new and democratic Constitution and a new legal system was implemented, under the leadership of Douglas MacArthur, the temporary military governor of the Asian country. The US political influence in the international arena also served as a bulwark against communist aggression on democratic countries, such as the invasion of South Korea by the North Korean Army in June 1950, persuading the international community of democratic countries, under the auspices of the UN Security Council, to contribute to a multinational armed force to be deployed on the Korean peninsula, south of the 38th parallel. The Korean War did not end in a stalemate, as it has been written about, for the American intervention effectively prevented the unification of North and South Korea under a communist regime backed by both the Soviet Union and China.
As a democratic nation, the United States always stood as the main pillar the free world held onto when it felt threatened or was under attack, during and after the Cold War, by communist regimes and terrorist organizations, even though sometimes it failed to prevent aggression, invasions, and the fall of pro-Western countries in the hands of communist and tyrannic regimes, such as the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 and the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam in 1974; for the United States was not only concerned about the domino effect, but also about a world escalation of a small, low-intensity conflict into a Third World War; the atomic bomb that had launched the USA as a military power and dominant nation, had also deterred it from a total use of force against tyrannical aggression on a pro-Western country, since the Communist Block of nations had also developed their owned atomic weapons. However, America did successfully fulfill its role as the Free World’s leader when it came to defend West Germany from a possible Soviet invasion in 1948, when the Marxist superpower imposed a blockade on West Berlin, and the USA, with the help of its Allies, organized an airlift to supply food and medicine to the free Germans isolated in West Berlin.
Today, unfortunately, the United States of America political presence in world’s affairs, especially in Latin America and the Middle East, seems to have evaporated, leaving a big vacuum that is being filled in by dark sinister forces, such Iran, new Islamic terrorist cells, and drug cartels. The USA government has withdrawn from the international arena to become an aloof political entity that has lost its bearings, armed with a lot of secret weapons but does not know what to do with them; a paper lion with a gelatin heart, defiled by ideological influences from the President’s past.