Listen to a reading of this article:
In response to questions he received during a press conference on Monday about Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin cementing a "new era" in strategic partnership between China and Russia, the White House National Security Council's John Kirby made no fewer than seven assertions that the US is the "leader" of the world.
Here are excerpts from his comments:
"The two countries have grown closer. But they are both countries that chafe and bristle at U.S. leadership around the world."
"And in China's case in particular, they certainly would like to challenge U.S. leadership around the world."
"But these are not two countries that have, you know, decades-long experience working together and full trust and confidence. It's a burgeoning of late based on America's increasing leadership around the world and trying to check that."
"Peter, these are two countries that have long chafed, as I said to Jeff — long chafed at U.S. leadership around the world and the network of alliances and partnerships that we have."
"And we work on those relationships one at a time, because every country on the continent is different, has different needs and different expectations of American leadership."
"That's the power of American convening leadership. And you don't see that power out of either Russia or China."
"But one of the reasons why you're seeing that tightening relationship is because they recognize that they don't have that strong foundation of international support for what they're trying to do, which is basically challenge American leadership around the world."
The illusory truth effect is a cognitive bias which causes people to mistake something they have heard many times for an established fact, because the way the human brain receives and interprets information tends to draw little or no distinction between repetition and truth. Propagandists and empire managers often take advantage of this glitch in our wetware, which is what's happening when you see them repeating key phrases over and over again that they want people to believe.
We saw another repetition of this line recently at an online conference hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, in which the US ambassador to China asserted that Beijing must accept the US as the "leader" of the region China happens to occupy.
US empire managers are of course getting very assertive about the narrative that they are the world's "leader" because that self-appointed "leadership" is being challenged by China, and the nations which support it with increasing openness like Russia. Most of the major international news stories of our day are either directly or indirectly related to this dynamic, wherein the US is struggling to secure unipolar planetary domination by thwarting China's rise and undermining its partners.
The message they're putting out is, "This is our world. We're in charge. Anyone who claims otherwise is freakish and abnormal, and must be opposed."
Why do they say the US is the "leader" of the world instead of its "ruler", anyway? I'm unclear on the difference as practically applied. Is it meant to give us the impression that the US rules the world by democratic vote? That this is something the rest of the world consented to? Because I sure as hell don't remember voting for it, and we've all seen what happens to governments which don't comply with US "leadership".
I'm not one of those who believe a multipolar world will be a wonderful thing, I just recognize that it beats the hell out of the alternative, that being increasingly reckless nuclear brinkmanship to maintain global control. The US has been in charge long enough to make it clear that the world order it dominates can only be maintained by nonstop violence and aggression, with more and more of that violence and aggression being directed toward major nuclear-armed powers. The facts are in and the case is closed: US unipolar hegemony is unsustainable.
The problem is that the US empire itself does not know this. This horrifying trajectory we're on toward an Atomic Age world war is the result of the empire's doctrine that it must maintain unipolar control at all costs crashing into the rise of a multipolar world order.
It doesn't need to be this way. There's no valid reason why the US needs to remain in charge of the world and can't just let different people in different regions sort out their own affairs like they always did before. There's no valid reason why governments need to be brandishing armageddon weapons at each other instead of collaborating peacefully in the interest of all humankind. We're being pushed toward disaster to preserve "American leadership around the world," and I for one do not consent to this.
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There's a vast divide between the considered and restrained rhetoric that comes out of the Kremlin and China and the hysterical chest beating of the US.
I am chafing at John Kirby's leadership in English language vocabulary. You don't see that kind of vocabulary out of Russia or China.