So-Called 'New Powers' Are Acting Spineless
Time to show some leadership and stop coddling Mugabe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 10:03 AM CDT
United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, center right, speaks to members of the Security Council Thursday, June 19, 2008 at United Nations headquarters.    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – Critics of unchecked and amoral American power should be wary of prospective new world hegemons—especially China, Russia, and South Africa, Thomas Friedman warns in the New York Times. America's international popularity has plummeted under President Bush, but it's the more popular countries that have been acting unconscionably on the world stage.

Witness, Friedman writes, the Chinese and Russian veto of sanctions against Zimbabwe. While America's ambassador argued passionately to help end Robert Mugabe's tyranny, the two countries (which poll higher than the US in Europe and Asia) sided with his regime. "Perfect we are not, but America still has some moral backbone," Friedman writes. "There are travesties we will not tolerate."