A common denominator to world ills is the declining power and prestige of the United States. "In 1945, the United States emerged from the war as the strongest military and economic power in the world. She had more than half the gross national product of the non-Communist world, and the monopoly of atomic weapons." How times have changed! Yet it was only a little over three decades ago when the above situation prevailed- as recounted by Mr. Lee Kwan Yew, prime minister of Singapore, in a world-overview speech delivered to his fellow heads of government at the annual Commonwealth Conference in London on June 8,1977. While American power, prestige and influence has skidded remarkably, the prime minister stressed, the Communist world has been emboldened in its aims. A huge chunk of Southeast Asia has fallen into the totalitarian orbit, with a sleepy resignation to the new reality there on the part of the United States and the rest of the Western world.
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