There were two standout segments for me. Firstly this little peach:
In the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and the global economic recession, the US democratic-capitalist model no longer appears to be such an inevitable global template.Really? That's a bold and sweeping statement to make. Who thinks this exactly? The authors, clearly. And, I suspect, a fair few of the paper's staff and readers, but that's someway short of being the collective view of the entire world. I love the way they have conflated two entirely unrelated events to make their point, which seems to be: the US model is in decline - yay!
Then another beauty:
China's inferiority in "hard power", meanwhile, has turned to Beijing's advantage. It is benefiting from being the country that did not invade Iraq, and is not currently bogged down in Afghanistan. After the Bush experiment in exporting democracy militarily, China's mantra of non-interference in the affairs of other states seems benign by comparison, particularly in the developing world, where Chinese "soft power" has expanded dramatically.There's Iraq again (and Afghanistan), chucked in for good effect. Good old China, eh? Stayed well away from those hot potatoes - for selfless reasons, no doubt, principled nation that it is. I'm sure their motives for non-involvement were pure. "Non-interference"? "Benign by comparison"? China? Amazing.
Yet again, a blatant train of thought that is anti-Western and anti-American leads The Guardian by the nose and to some absurd conclusions. Anyone with an IQ above 35 could quickly Google some of the actions of China of late (both internally and where it has projected its power beyond its borders) and deduce that it is far from being a "benign" force in the world. But, being The Guardian, it's only bad when the USA exercises its influence.
I genuinely wonder why I continue to read or buy this paper anymore. Other than habit (coming up to twenty years of dipping in now) I think it must be only to see what lazy, half-arsed, blinkered nonsense passes for thought these days on the so-called 'liberal left'.