Thomas L. Friedman has it right in quoting a “senior” South Korean official concerning the current world situation:
““No other country can substitute for the U.S.,” a senior Korean official remarked to me. “The U.S. is still No. 1 in military, No. 1 in economy, No. 1 in promoting human rights and No. 1 in idealism. Only the U.S. can lead the world. No other country can. China can’t. The E.U. is too divided, and Europe is militarily far behind the U.S. So it is only the United States … We have never had a more unipolar world than we have today.”“
As Friedman writes:
“Somewhere in the back of their minds, a lot of people seem to be realizing that the alternative to a U.S.-dominated world is not a world dominated by someone else or someone better. It is a leaderless world….
“There is no one who can replace America. Without American leadership, there is no leadership,” said Lee Hong-koo, South Korea’s former ambassador to Washington. “That puts a tremendous burden on the American people to do something positive. You can’t be tempted by the usual nationalism. When things don’t go well, most people become nationalistic. And in the economic world, that is protectionism … We are pleased to see President Obama is not doing that. Americans, as a people, should realize how many hopes and expectations other people are putting on their shoulders.”
Hat tip to CaryGEE.