For the United States, it's nice to have the rest of the world respect us but failing that, it's important for the stability of the globe at large to have them fear us. The current complete disintegration of the situation in Gaza is demonstrating nicely that they do neither anymore. Blaring headlines across the global news sphere are now announcing that the 72-hour ceasefire, negotiated by the very obviously out of his depth John Kerry after a solid week of bumbling and public embarrassments, has dissolved after 90 minutes. Libya and Iraq are now either in flames or are under the control of militant Islamists who are destroying U.S. interests with impunity, or both. Russia is slow playing an out-and-out reconstitution of the former Soviet Union while shooting civilian passenger jets out of the sky.
The unifying theme to all these stories is that no one in the world gives a crap what the United States thinks about what ought to happen in world events anymore. There is absolutely no reason to believe, at least for the next 2.5 years, that there will be any military reprisal from the United States at all for any action whatsoever. While this is doubtless a vision that is enticing for the Glenn Greenwalds and Rand Pauls of the world, for those caught in the crosshairs of the unfolding chaos, it's a markedly less comforting world (whether they are cognizant of the fact or not).
Liberal historians love to scoff at the excesses of Pax Romana, Pax Brittanica, and now Pax Americana - and we will grant the premise that none of these eras were even close to perfect - but history reflects that the world at large is a much worse place when there isn't a reasonably civilized nation carrying a big and at least quasi-global stick. The collapse of these successive empires threw much of the world into centuries of chaos marked by the almost total lack of advance of civilization in the case of the Romans, a worldwide mass conflagration in the case of the British, and who knows what if America falls victim to the same internal rot, either through the incompetency of the Obama Administration or the active cheering of the demise of American power a la Greenwald and Rand and Ron Paul. What we do know is that the weapons that will be left lying around for the various barbarians now marauding the globe to use on each other are of significantly greater destructive capacity than they were at the fall of Rome or Britain.
We have lost the ability to even mount a pretense of meaningful influence over a foreign policy crisis that has captivated the attention of the entire world, much of which is galvanized against our only true ally in a dangerous yet important region of the world. As viscerally satisfying as it is to point out the manifest ineptitude of this blind and arrogant administration and its foreign policy foibles, we should only instead pray that America has yet again learned, as they learned in 1980 but forgot in the interim, that Democrats can never be trusted to man the helm of United States Foreign Policy.