All great empires crumble, like Greece, Rome or the Baldwin acting dynasty. This fact-checked historical fact isn't lost on America, a modern empire that enjoys unprecedented global economic and military superiority... for now. The US has a lot going for it, like Hot Pockets, VH1 and 7,000 tactical nuclear warheads. But while America is mega-awesome, it is also plagued by an $8 trillion deficit, an army stretched to the breaking point and a bitterly divided Congress. Bummer, America! Now, several other countries are poised to snag the title of "International Big Dog" from the reigning champ, so we've compiled an "it" list of the contenders. Only time-and World War III-will tell!
What's the 411? Communist China is a leading economic powerhouse with a steady 9% annual growth rate. Wow, that's a lot of cheap crap at Wal-Mart for stupid dumpling-shaped round-eyes to buy! Luckily, China is also underwriting America's war in Iraq and has a population of roughly 473 billion.
Fun Fact: China invented gunpowder, noodles and socially engineered famines
Likes: US treasury bonds, mass executions, body harvesting, North Korea
Dislikes: Taiwanese independence, Democracy, Opium War jokes, more than one baby
Chances It Will Take Over The World: Awash in both money and people, China is building up it's military strength while staring down the coming bird flu pandemic. Look for the Chinese to begin their global assault by catapulting infected citizens over the Taiwan Straits and right into that uppity chunk of former Chinese real estate! Not to mention that, according to some pretty sweet movies, the Chinese can fly!
What's the 411? For over twenty-five years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been funding terrorists, illegally developing nukes and generally talking smack to anyone that gets all up in its grill. If having a real bad attitude were loot, they'd be high rollers.
Fun Fact: Iran is a theocracy, so religious fanatics control the government-like Alabama, only without delicious pork BBQ.
Likes: Uranium, Syria, burning the American flag, being all crazy and stuff like that
Dislikes: Israel, the CIA, the Great Satan, Israel, diplomacy, Scorpios, Israel
Chances It Will Take Over The World: Iranian President Ahmadinejad is a real joker, especially when he said publicly that the Holocaust didn't exist! Ha-ha! It's that kind of terrifying humor, along with Iran's secret nuke program, that makes us laugh and laugh, then cry. Hey, did you hear the one about how the Shah, the crooked US-backed puppet dictator of Iran, didn't exist?