IF the 21st were to be the last of America's centuries, two women could stand to be blamed for ultimate US damnation. One, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In 2011, she cockily proclaimed what she termed the "American Pacific Century," ventilated in an article she wrote in the Foreign Policy website as a grand US foray from its debacles in the Middle East into the vast commercial potentials of the Asia Pacific. And two, US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Just days ago, she dared make good her visit to Taiwan against an admonition from Chinese President Xi Jinping that "to play with fire is to die by it."

Clinton wrote with grit, "The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action."

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