Big powers get big and remain big when they think big and act big. But when they are shackled by domestic compulsions and petty politicking, then they become a figure akin to Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians. The US political culture today is polarised and strangulated by the grip of narrowly focused special interests, as demonstrated through Washingtons opposition to the Palestinian drive to seek statehood at the UN. On the saga of Palestinian statehood, Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds more sway in the US than President Barack Obama. When the history of Americas decline shall be written - and, without exception, all civilisations do decline - it shall be directly attributable to the subordination of vital American concerns to vested interests. 2011 has been a nightmare year for autocrats, with regimes in Tunis, Cairo and Tripoli consigned to the dustbin. Unnerving, too, has been the impact of the tumult in Yemen and Bahrain. Syria is similarly unravelling, with its potentially explosive impact on Israel, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. The ripple effect of the slow motion shattering of the status quo is spreading beyond. The Turkey-Israel rift is a new dimension in the region. And Turkey, by picking up the Palestinian banner, has hit a touchstone issue, which defines Western-Muslim relations and tensions while, at the same time, shaming the Arab autocrats as a bunch of do-nothing nitwits. US policymakers - long comfortable in dismissing critics of its pro-Israeli policies as the violent extreme - now find it harder to be that dismissive about Turkey, which was presented as a secular moderate role model. David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, studied law in Istanbul. Israelis are worried. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in particular, in a New York Times article of September 22, warned Israel of a future where it will find making reconciliation impossible. It also underlines a vulnerability in US policy in that those it has tried to cultivate in the Muslim world have been exposed as the least representative of popular aspirations in the Muslim world. The biggest casualty of US policy is the United States itself and its isolation on the global stage. It is now incapable of being a neutral umpire. Forty years ago, the late Senator Fulbright had warned that the US would become a crippled giant. The Palestinian cause is the grandmother of global issues. According to the New York Times of September 23 - during separate meetings with Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General - virtually every leader has brought up the need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. No justice there means no peace anywhere. With much of the West Bank annexed, Jerusalem occupied, borders unsettled, settlements expanding, the return of refugees thwarted and the Palestinian people still uprooted, the two-state solution is effectively gone. Chilling consequences loom ahead. But, as far as the impostor leaders of the Muslim world are concerned, they continue to pursue a course of personal gain for themselves, their family and cronies. In doing so, they only represent themselves and the few that follow their personal agendas and profit from it. The writer is an attorney-at-law, writer, and policy analyst based in Washington DC. He is the first Pakistani American member admitted to the US Supreme Court Bar.