Twenty First Century Imperialism `¦


By Ananya S Guha
The victory of Barack Obama signals the return of power and indicates that the policies of the US are by and large mandated by the people of the country. In his speech the arch rival of Obama Romney reiterated that he would still pledge his support to Obama’s Government and his prayers were with Obama. This is indeed a break away from the Indian political scene where the candidate who is defeated in an election immediately starts attacking and throwing diatribes against his opponent. But the Americans appear to be more graceful in defeat. This is a lesson which we might learn from their polity.

The other lesson equally significant is that whether it is Obama or no Obama America will still follow the path of aggrandizement and interference in other nation states. This has been a bellicose policy of theirs since the Vietnam War described by many commentators as a pyrrhic victory. Perhaps it was Presidents like Abraham Lincoln only who wanted the country to follow footsteps of racial equality. This has been followed by subsequent Presidents at least on paper, but the external policy of the US is not only self aggrandizing but literal interference in the affairs of other countries. True many of these countries have been ruled by dictators of the worst kind, starting from Iran but the whole question is whether political and military interference in Iran, Afghanistan, or Syria is justified.

The holier than thou stance that the US always adopts whether it is in Libya or in the Gaza strip, smacks not only of worldly power but poses itself as the world’s big brother out to save decimated populations in different parts of the world; and following the appeasement policy in a Hitlerian or Bismarckian status when adopting foreign policies with both India and Pakistan. And, expressions used to justify the claim of a saviour are interesting: creating peace zones and arbitrating peace through a redoubtable military presence. That presence militates against all forms of non violence and is a testimony to brute power.

True both Egypt and Libya had mass and popular uprisings, but who mandates another country to directly interfere in the affairs of countries through sheer brute force and muscle power, especially when the UN at the same time is talking about peace and a comity of nations? In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries it was British Imperialism which dominated world power, and today it is American imperialism which exerts control and no country in the world has the damned courage to say anything against it. The European Commission is just a lacquey of American dominance, so are countries like the United Kingdom.

Romney’s polite remark after defeat shows that irrespective of who is the presidential winner, the foreign policy of the country will not change, which in a word is imperialistic and that of the conquerer, to use a more atavistic term. The economic recession in the US did bring about a decline in the country’s resources but it has regained this to some extent by sheer merchandising and brain drain resources of the country, which makes it also weapon and arsenal packed. India’s role has always been to kow tow even when it is an open secret that the US clandestinely pampers Pakistan, otherwise how would one expect Gadaffi to be killed in Pakistan and search operations being carried on there even without Pakistan’s knowledge? America has made countries in the world its surrogates forcibly, hence the call for interference in the affairs of the countries and even justification for it!

So Romney’s statement comes as no surprise. It just shows that the country is united when it comes to justifying its dominance in the world and project itself as the world’s largest super power. Paradoxically and shamelessly it will however impugn other nations such as China when they demonstrate their nuclear power. However, China does its aggrandizing bit more subtly and silently without making too much noise, except when of course it flagrantly claims Arunachal Pradesh as a part of its country.   

And, the biggest tragedy is that our President wins the Nobel Prize.


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