هذا البحث مقدم الى الجامعه المفتوحه في لندن حول واقع الامبرياليه الامريكيه بعد الحادي عشر من سبتمبر
Discuss the nature of US imperialism in the post 9/11 international order.
Every time when the US is struck by a natural disaster like the one which hit South Carolina two years ago, or the series of tornados, I think deeply of a speech I have heard one day from a famous Iraqi muslin scholar during a TV programme in the time of the first days of the American invasion to Iraq in March 2003. He was analysing a text from the Holy Quran which explains the ways of the destruction of many nations thousands of years ago before the emergence of Christianity and Islam. The muslin scholar insisted that one of these nations was called Aad, and it was the unique nation which was given the specification of the “first” Aad, that means according to him that it will be in the future another nation holding the same characteristics of Aad the” first”, and as he said this would most probably to be the American nation because they are behaving in the same manner of Aad; very strong and dominating nation which almost has some kind of influence everywhere in this world .
I’m saying that in order to mention the conflicting nature of the human history on this planet, and then to say that the American type of hegemony is not new or not known in the past, in fact it is the same kind of actions taken by any people having such magnitude of economic and military powers, in a world which measures any country according to its potential capacities not to its level of values or morality position.
The American journey from a rebel colony which was the first one who disposes the British ruling, to an “empire” acting in the international level as the global constabulary, that journey was a unique and unprecedented. For more than a century ago, the Americans took over the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. A massive bloodshed was the price paid by the Filipinos as a result of their revolt against the American invasion to their land; this was due to “Paris Treaty “signed between Spain and the US in which Philippines were sold to the Americans for$20.
The quarrel of that war was the same as for the other wars, the propaganda of fear from the enemy who is stocking weapons of mass destruction to threaten the American style of life; this was the case in the first American –Spanish war, in the American invasion to Nicaragua and in the last American invasion to Iraq and Afghanistan. William Schroder wrote explaining that lethal propaganda “ One hundred years ago, industrial America was awash in textiles, steel and manufactured goods and needed to expand its markets across the Pacific to Asia. Spain, by then a corrupt, weakened empire, possessed colonies America coveted – Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. To get those assets, President William McKinley began a campaign of propaganda centered on America’s need to “free the Cuban people from Spanish tyranny.” With the assistance of the mass media of the day – William Randolph Hurst and Joseph Pulitzer – McKinley convinced Americans Spain was an imminent threat (just ninety miles from our shores), possessed weapons of mass destruction (Spanish warships), and it was America’s duty to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world (manifest destiny). -1-
With the aftermath of the II world war, the Americans were given the price for their support to Winston Churchill during the war time as a form of dominance over huge parts of former British colonies in the Caribbean, West Africa, and Asia. They also “occupied “parts of Germany and Japan as a result of what they called “the great victory on evil Nazism”, and later on, the other victory on the evil communism, and the Serbian nationalist in Bosnia and Kosovo , Then finally but not last , their “ creative chaos” in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, could we have a quick look on this American empire from the point of view of its political and economic perspectives to try to understand the American way of becoming the leader of a unipolar world?
The “new “type of imperialism led by the US is embodied via influence, relations and instructions which finally led to the fact that the heads of many states in the world act as partners or , say employees working within the instructions given to them from the American foreign office or directly by the American ambassadors. The “holy “state’s sovereignty no more enjoying its historical prestige because as Robert Cox states in his article “Beyond empire and terror”, the state’s sovereignties are in the
American era penetrated and taken away from the hands of the
contemporary authorities to be linked somehow to the Pentagon or to the American foreign secretary of sates, in the form of economic facilities or military integration. “The new ‘Empire’ penetrates across borders of formally sovereign states to control their actions from within through compliant elites in both public and private spheres. It penetrates first into the principal allies of the USA but also into many other countries where US interests wield influence. Translational corporations influence domestic policy in countries where they are located; and economic ties influence local business elites”. -2-
Today, seven years after the 9/11 attacks on America, the American empire is real and visible everywhere in today’s world. The brutality of the “Manhattan invasion” as Al Qaeda called it, has made the American injured giant act with imbecility , nobody could never imagine the scale of the damage caused to the American picture in the world by 19 members of Al Qaeda. In response as they declared via tens of media products that their attack on the US was a kind of revenge against the unlimited American support to Israel, and to manifest their sympathy for the thousands of Palestinians killed or injured in the continuous bloody conflict in the Middle East.
It is really –in my opinion- a clash of nations, civilizations, and in the first place a religious confrontation between Jews and Muslims over the holy territories in Palestine. The Americans are in the core of it, backing up and strengthening the Israeli occupation by all means of military, economic and diplomacy supply to subjugate the willing of the Palestinian people.
As a result of these massive attacks on the “arsenal of liberty” the US has been deeply transformed from the victorious nation which is used always to be superior , unique and dominant, to an injured superpower seeking to take revenge from a hidden enemy, invisible, who strikes at night and disappears in the daylight, which could be found anywhere in the world; in any street or village in Saudi Arabia, morocco, Italy, London, Somalia etc , and an enemy which generates himself and “hatch” every day a new strand
2- New political economy, Robert Cox p 308
of what Al Qaeda calls it “mojahidin”. After the 9/11 the whole world turned into a vast battlefield for the “war on terror” as the Americans called it, involving kidnapping suspects from the streets of Rome for example by the CIA members, and transport them secretly, then deport them to their home countries to face torture by the prison systems there. But the worst and the shamefully picture of the new United states after 9/11 was watched on billions of TV screens everywhere when their very civilized soldiers were filmed while giving seminars in the title “haw to build civilisation” at the Abu Ghareeb University in Baghdad .
This is a cross border war which apply to the point that the sovereignty of all countries could not prevent to take such action, for instant, the General Mosahrraf in Pakistan should use as much power he could to bomb his own people in order to satisfy the American leaders, the Saudi government should act aggressively against its base of Islamic fundamentalist, and the dictatorship regime of Syria will offer his various “gifts” via thousands of documents to the CIA in the hope that this may protect him from what is called now the Iraqi misery, and to provide his dirty prisons as temporary detentions centres for the CIA worldwide suspects before they are removed to the new American
“havens” called Goantanamo bye in Cuba, which represent today the new democratic face of the United States.
Among the massive changes and the total transformations within the American philosophy regarding security and defence , as a consequences of the 9/11 attacks, there was the adoption of the USA Patriot Act , just weeks after the attacks in order to reinforce the legislations against the so called “war on terror “ , without fully debating its deep impact on civil liberties. In the mean time, another legislation was passed by Congress called the Transportation Security Administration TSA for the same reasons. In 2002, there was the creation of the 4 colours to measure the status of security over the US territories, seeking to keep the authorities and the ordinary people aware of any emergency threats, after that , in August 2002 , the operation of the Terrorist Information and Prevention System TIPS to report any suspicious behaviour to the police , then , in January 2003 , there was the most vast and comprehensive step embodied by the foundation of the Department of Homeland Security DHS , under the management of Tom Ridge , as an attempt to avoid any further lack of coordination between the various federal home security agencies including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE , last but not least, there was the creation of the Terrorists Threat Integration Centre TTIC which is dedicated to gather information from all other security agencies CIA , FBI DHS , and analysis them in a single place. Another necessity emerged by the 9/11 attacks is the cut and the turbulences in communications between the police and the fire-fighters during the attacks, as a response there is now a new 24 hours operating hub to serve as the primary “national level nerve centre “ to organize the communication matters. So it is true to say that America after 9/11 is not the same as before and it would never be again.
These are developments that occurred on the internal level after the 9/11, but on the external one, there were even bigger and stronger response from the US administration against Al Qaeda and its presence in Afghanistan and the military removal of the Taliban ruling. The administration of the new conservative is prepared to do what ever costly and tough procedures in this war except one option; that is changing its foreign policy of supporting to the end the present and the future of the Israeli entity in Palestine. This remains unfeasible, undetectable until the day when they admit their continuous fault in the moral and even the economic levels.
This again, I believe, is another series of conflicts between peoples and nations which will not end until the very last day of our life on this planet. This is our nature from our first day, from the first murdered who was killed by his brother’s hands. We – all human beings – will keep fighting each other, exploiting each other humiliating each other until the very last day. It is worth mentioning here the question of the angels to God when the first new created Adam was seen by them, who is the father of all human beings. The angels asked God “Oh God why did you create some one who will corrupt in the planet and will shed while we hymn you, God answered them: I have the knowledge which you do not. Scholars said that this refers to the fact that the new created Adam was distinguished of others by the mind and his capability and ability to choose between the good and the evil, while the other created known at the time do not have this characteristics. They were before Adam, the Gin, the angels, and the Satan.
But unfortunately, many, many of Adam’s sons and daughters prefer to choose the second choice. Many believe that the acutely American new conservative are acting as leaders of this planet , but sadly , their behavior is pushing us from bad to worse. In my opinion of course. .
Ali Al Ahmad