Over more than 1,500 years the modus operandi of imperialism in the Christians dominated West has evolved but not in the lands where Islam has spread through extraterritorial expansions. Before Industrial Revolutions both Roman Catholics and Caliphate brand imperialisms in occupied lands were coupled with proselytization. After the industrial revolution, Europeans occupied Americas and Australia, eliminated its Indian and aboriginal populations and inhabited it to spread European settlers.
In other parts Europeans imperialism resulted in colonization to extract valuable commodities and exploit human resources. Two examples of Muslim imperialism in recent times were the Ottoman Empire inMiddle East and Mughal Empire in India.
After WWII European colonization ended in most parts of globe. In South Asia in 1947 Pakistan appeared in two parts. In 1971 it disintegrated and was reincarnated into Pakistan in the west wing and Bangladesh in east wing of South Asia, separated by the Republic of India. In a tradition of Caliphate style imperialism Pakistan has tried but failed (1996 to present) in extraterritorial expansion through Warlordism using proxy of private army of Taliban.
An unintended consequence of maintaining the American hegemony of Middle East by outsourcing the first Afghan War (1979 – 89) to Pakistan is a blowback in the form of non-state al Qaeda movement responsible for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on America. The blog describes aspects of American imperialism after WWII and it covers the following topics plus one reference.
- Era of Endless Conflict and War
- Heritage, Awakening and Imperial Powers
- Proselytizers and Warmongers
- American Wars and Management of Economy
- Remembering Victims of 9/11
- Economic Impacts
- Global Financial Crisis, Jihad and the US Republicans
Era of Endless Conflict and War
The 21st century started with a bang. America suffered a terrorist attack on 9/11. With American retaliations the US, NATO and the Islamic nations entered an era of endless conflicts and wars with infusion of radical religious ideologies and new technologies – GPS guided drone attacks that are relatively cheap and powerful weapons. Contrary to political rhetoric otherwise, except for a remote possibility of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling in hands of irrational jihadi terrorists and extremists a nuclear war appears unlikely even though the US, NATO and Pakistan are nuclear armed.
Heritage, Awakening and Imperial Powers
My blog titled, “Heritage and Awakening” documented history of imperial powers build by political opportunities. They brainwashed people in occupied lands by labeling them as non-believers and exploited faith based proselytizing to convert them to their faith. The imperialists imposed oppressions were to streamline and facilitate administration of the occupied lands. The clerics with evangelical bend in Christianity and Islam offered a simple pretext to oppressed people in occupied lands. They persuaded non-Islamic or non-Christianity followers that the proselytizers were engaged in saving them from hardships they experienced under new dictators.
The imperialists followed the God of “laws, rewards and punishments” and not the God of “love, mercy and forgiveness” that the religions promised. Imperialists gained power and wealth by looting the occupied lands. Imperialist lost the empire if they ignored heritage driven awakening of masses in occupied lands.
Imperialists were not immune from engaging in tribal wars. Muslims were known for sectarian wars instigated by tribal political opportunists. Europeans in 20th century fought two tribal wars known as WWI and WWII. With the end of WWII many colonized lands in Asia and Africa gained freedoms and the membership of the UN grew from 61 (1944) to 196 (2011) nations.
Proselytizers and Warmongers
Non-Christian and non-Muslims have been victimized for more than 1,500 years by the imperial powers from Europe and Middle East.
As for the proselytizers, in modern day street language I say, what a centuries old scam to profit from man-induced sufferings of fellowmen by clerics engaged in collecting donations from the congregation. The larger congregations were likely to bring in the higher potential collections.
With time the indispensable dictators disappeared as new political ideologies took root. The imperial powers including Roman Empire, Caliphates, the British Raj, the USSR and that of other European nations have come and gone (3rd – 20th centuries). The Cold War era (1944 – 91) ended with implosion of USSR to settle the argument for Capitalism and against Communism.
However, Muslim majority nations are exception to the new paradigm, which for America is simply to enforce regional global hegemony. Most Muslim majority nations in 2011 are ruled by dictators in collaborations with government approved religious authorities that favor theocracies and gender and faith based discriminations.
Self-righteous politicians, political opportunists with inflated egos and delusion for imperial powers have been responsible for the downfall of many empires.
Exploiting faith based proselytizing is second nature to empire builders. For such egotists empire builder’s human suffering of innocent by-standards is acceptable collateral damage. The success of terrorist attacks to me showed power of handful religious fanatics guided by ego driven political opportunists, who destabilized world and destroyed tranquility enjoyed for 25 years prior to the 9/11.
American Wars and Management of Economy
Vietnam War era (1955 – 75) marked the beginning of the outsourced first Afghan War (1979 – 1989) and end of American and European dominance for controlling pricing of energy from Middle East producer states. The al Qaeda guided terrorist attacks of 9/11 provoked America to end 5 year old rule by Pakistan’s proxy Taliban co-linked to al Qaeda in Afghanistan (1996 – 2001) .
In stead of remaining focused on destroying al Qaeda in the Af-Pak region President Bush Jr diverted attention away from al Qaeda to Iraq to destroy Dictator Saddam Husain, who had tried and failed to assassinate George Walker Bush Sr. With the attack on Iraq the US entered new era of endless conflicts and wars waged to counter terrorism by proxy’s of nations like Pakistan with delusion for imperial power in 21st century.
Not having fully understood the power of awakened Vietnamese masses, The US under President Johnson, a Democrat (1963 – 69) promised victory in Vietnam while at home he was busy institutionalizing number of social programs that Republicans detested.
Republicans (1969 – 74) under leadership of a dynamic duo of President Nixon and Secretary of State Dr. Kissinger expanded the war to cover Vietnams’ neighbors in Southeast Asian – Cambodia and Laos. At home, President Nixon took several actions that had long term significance. These actions included the delinking of American currency from gold. Industrialized nations under the US leadership allowed oil producing nations to form OPEC, which started spiraling upwards of price for energy supplies from Middle East.
With Watergate political scandal the Nixon Presidency collapsed and paved way for withdrawal of America from a long drawn-out war that had strained American economy to an unacceptable level.
For next twenty-five years America stayed away from direct major military engagements.
- Contrary to political rhetoric otherwise both Republican and Democratic administrations selectively raised taxes to control debt from rising. President Reagan (1981 – 89) was known for opposing new taxes yet he was responsible for 7 of 11 tax increases in his 8 years in office during the period of 25 years.
- The President Clinton (1993 – 2001) program for a balanced budget to gradually eliminate long term national debt came to an end with America’s need to engage in the war of necessity to destroy Taliban control of Afghanistan.
Remembering Victims of 9/11
Wikipedia has listed that there were a total of 2,996 deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In addition to disrupting lives of families of about 3,000 killed in the attacks, hundreds of thousands have died in the killing fields in two Muslim governed nations. History is repeating itself in killing fields of Iraq and the Af-Pak region and it will go on in the Af-Pak areas for at least three more years to 2014. The motive behind these killing is to retain political power and hegemony in the area, which is a new paradigm of imperialism.
In 2002 the US Secretary of Defense was insisting that America had a capacity to fight two wars simultaneously and for a decade it did. The short-sighted Republican politicians did not see a need to provide for additional necessary revenues to fight wars. They had forgotten lessons of the Vietnam War era.
They also forgot that distractions aggravate problems. In addition to diverting attention away from destroying al Qaeda in safe heavens of the Af-Pak region America not only got engaged in Iraq (2002 – 08), the dynamic duo of Bush, Jr and Dick Cheney (2001 – 09) with helping hands from financial and banking industry at home was busy manufacturing housing or mortgage and associated financial mega bubbles. The bubbles created an illusion that even in war times America continued to prosper without additional tax revenues or thrift on the part of citizens. The illusion crashed with the global economic crisis of 2007 – 09.
American debts in last decades mounted from about $4 trillions in 2001 to $14.5 trillions in 2011. The wars drained America of $4 trillion and by 2014 another trillion or two will be drained away from its economy. The global economic crisis wiped out estimated $6 trillions in savings invested in financial markets by millions of Americans.
Wars are a costly business. Not generating savings and taxes needed to pay for conventional decade long wars with relatively cheap drone and GPS technology in foreign lands have drained American economic might. A simple marketing aphorism is you can pay now or pay later but you must pay if services must be provided.
Not paying for the decade long wars in Iraq and Af-Pak region in general and against the non-state al Qaeda in particular has indirectly influenced global economies of developed nations. After the global financial crisis of 2007 – 09 the economic fragility of the US, Europe, Middle East and China are now coming into focus as evident from the higher volatility of stock markets, slumps in housing markets and sustained levels of high unemployment rates in developed nations.
The unintended consequences of trying to deliver manufactured prosperity to middle class Americans and not providing for tax revenues to cover costs of the two wars was that in 2011
- America is economically going broke
- The enemy al Qaeda lives on in mythical proportion and
- Civilian air travel all over world is now not safe unless globally spread extraordinary safety net is continuously upgraded and maintained.
Not only America, many European nations and Pakistan are also economically broke albeit for different reasons. Pakistan is broke as in a decade it collected about $20 billion from America while spending an estimated $68 billion on the decade long war on terrorism.
Global Financial Crisis, Jihad and the US Republicans
Three of four global economic systems – the Middle East, The European Union, and China – like that of the US are in the beginning process of failure and need to be rebuilt for an economic future.
The willing participation in the US sponsored war on terrorism has turned jihadist elements against Pakistan to internally destabilize the nation. The wrath of the terrorist and extremist elements was turned on to Pakistan that had nurtured jihadis from 1978 onwards with institutionalization of the Islamization policies of Dictator Zia ul Haq.
Considering what was precipitated by political opportunists only in last decade, I suggest that for self-preservation the BACWAS (bureaucrats, army, clerics, warlords and scholars) establishments of politicians should be concerned about global stability not just their own political power and gains.
The failures of the US economic system, starting 21st century are associated with:
- Easy credit and sub-prime mortgages
- A lack of emphasis on education and skill-building innovations needed to solve the nation building problems and
- A dysfunctional political system.
The US financial crisis in 2011 essentially is due to high unemployment rates of 9+% responsible for sagging consumer demands. The unemployment rate is aggravated by government cutbacks. A minority represented by the Tea Party Republican’s nature is to cater to baser instincts of bigots. Republicans as a whole do not play nice to President Obama, a democrat from an ethnic minority.
- The President Bush on December 8, 2003signed into law a healthcare reform bill related to Medicare Plan D for prescription drugs without providing funding for it. It has aggravated the debt crisis.
- A senior savvy politician from South, the US Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell keeps repeating age old political rhetoric calling it a “new” plan. May be he should refresh history lessons.
- Emperor Cicero, in war ravaged Rome, 55 BC demanded of his senate that the budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debts should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom be controlled and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed least the Rome becomes bankrupt.
- Kishan Bhatia, “Heritage and Awakening” (2,520 words) at http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2011/08/31/heritage-and-awakening/
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