I agree. America (and the rest of the 1st world) need to show clear leadership to bring the rest of the world to the human rights and freedoms and proseperity we regard as aspirational. The current situation where the "coalition of the willing" has been unable to enforce its will (straining resources militarily and finacially) on several small countries on the opposite side of the world shows that the current approach is not working - America had great sympathy after 7/11 but now in much of the world it is being postioned as the enemy - as bad as what if struggles against, and being simply self centred.
American leaders have shown great foresight,leadership and generosity in the past to good effect - think of America's leadership on the treatment of Germany at the end of WWII and how well that has worked
Bizzarely the Climate Change crisis might provide an opportunity for America to lead again