The fate of empire builders
Date: Friday, April 04 @ 12:07:00 UTC
Topic: crusader

Dr Muzaffar Iqbal

First comes a massive aerial attack, destroying cities, killing men, women and children, uprooting trees and ancient sites. Cities shake. Houses are destroyed, leaving behind huge craters where innocent children were playing a few hours ago. Then comes a ground assault launched by an army equipped with high-tech weapons and supported by an air force that has no rival. But even before all of this, there is a media blitz of tyranny that promises shock and awe, threatens annihilation and demands surrender.

In the pre-war period, there is much talk of American might by experts and victory is considered fait accompli; it is just a matter of days. Then comes the actual invasion, bringing death and destruction. The invasion of Iraq fits so well in the overall plan, which has already been in operation for more than a decade that its particular timing and the reasons to justify it are of little relevance. But just as the invasion of Iraq was a sure thing, so is the fact that it is only the first step in the remaking of the world map. No one should think that it is the last country which will be attacked in this process of building a new empire.

The re-colonisation of the world by the United States of America is seen by the architects of this plan as a God-given mandate. Some see it as their religious duty because God, "who continues to bless America", wants them to share their blessings with the rest of the world. Almost a decade ago, Newt Gingrich, the ex-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, had called it "America's right to world leadership"; his successors are more blunt. For them, the twenty-first century is the American century in which the whole world must submit to America.

Such ambitions are not new, and the military power of the United States of America is now self-evident. Hence, it is but natural for such a powerful state to do what America is doing: write its own laws for its behaviour and change them when it suits it.

Thus, when it did not suit its plan, it totally disregarded the flimsy hodgepodge of an organisation which the USA had itself helped to create in order to bring harmony to the world, and went ahead to use its shocking pile of new weapons. When its soldiers are captured, it calls for observance of Geneva Conventions and when it captures soldiers of another nation, it shows no respect for any convention; they become illegal combatants destined for a camp on a remote island where they continue to suffer the most degrading treatment. It calls for freedom of speech and press, but when variables change, it bombs al-Jazeera's offices and imprisons its journalists. It voices outrage at the destruction of Buddhist statues at Bamiyan and pulverizes the artefacts of early civilisation in the Fertile Crescent. And this list can extend to cite numerous other violations of civil norms and international laws. But that is merely repetitious.

That there is no moral or legal justification for this war is obvious. But it is also obvious that this war had to be waged. Why? The pundits have given us all kinds of reasons -- from oil to protecting Israel. Perhaps all of these have some validity and none of these is the only reason. There are, in fact, no reasons other than the self-serving internal logic of building of a new empire. Everything else is secondary and amounts to nothing but justification. The distinction between justification of an invasion and reasons for it must not be blurred.

The reasons are to be sought in the overall plan, in the greater vision of America as seen by those who control this unique state which has risen to achieve such a remarkable level of material wealth in merely 300 years that one would be hard pressed to find a comparable example. The combination of this material wealth and an awesome military power is of course intoxicating and those who have now taken effective control of the United States of America are thoroughly inebriated on this potent mixture. Their bellicose lexicon, their demeanour and their aggressive postures reflect this without doubt. They are not only oblivious to the history of tyranny, they are also insolent toward their own poorly educated and apolitical millions who have so far lived a life of material comfort and high consumption but who now face a world where no one respects them and where they are not safe beyond their own borders. This small group of individuals consists of men and women who are highly motivated, aggressive and, some would say, ruthless. But no matter how one defines them, there is little doubt that they have a very sharp and clear plan for the future of the whole world.

The coming together of this group is, in itself, an event of historical importance. The uniqueness of this event is the lack of any central charismatic personality that historically brought individuals of such diverse background and temperament to a single platform. From Genghis Khan to the Nazis, it has always been a dynamic and charismatic individual who brings desperate glory-seekers together. In the present case, there is no such person. Rather, it is a shared vision of the new America that has brought the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and Douglas Feith together.

They emerged in the post-Reagan era from various think tanks and policy study institutes and have gathered around a certain vision for America in which Israel looms large. Most of these neo-colonists have ties with the Zionist state. They all are interventionists with a strong and aggressive language that advocates use of overwhelming force and pre-emptive strikes. There is also a strong tendency toward the use of religious language: "a struggle between good and evil", "the moment of truth" and the "day of reckoning".

After the humiliating fall of the Soviet Union, the only force standing against the ambitions of this group was what it calls "militant Islam". But they know, and so does the rest of the world, that this "militant Islam" is not something that can be located in a physical sense and wiped out. Therefore it had to invent physical targets. Afghanistan was most certainly not the gold mine this group needed to finance its ambitious plan but it served as a test ground and as a prelude to what was to come.

Iraq, with its oil resources and strategic location, was the ideal choice right from the beginning. Once Iraq is under control, Syria and Iran will be next. With Egypt and Jordan already under firm control through puppet regimes, this would effectively amount to an expansion of their domination right up to the centre of Arabia, where an increasingly submissive Saudi regime would continue to serve the interests of greater Israel for the foreseeable future.

Abstracted from real life and human suffering, this cruel plan is built upon an ambition that is not new in human history. Neither, however, is the terrible fate of such men and women, whose ambition and self-proclaimed glory make them blind to all that is human.

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