Errors by the party in power can get America into trouble; real catastrophes require consensus.
Rarely have both parties been as unanimous about a development overseas as they have in their shared enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring during the first months of 2011. Republicans vied with the Obama Administration in their zeal for the ouster of Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak and in championing the subsequent NATO intervention against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Both parties saw themselves as having been vindicated by events. The Obama Administration saw its actions as proof that soft power in pursuit of humanitarian goals offered a new paradigm for foreign-policy success. And the Republican establishment saw a vindication of the Bush freedom agenda.
“Revolutions are sweeping the Middle East and everyone is a convert to George W. Bush’s freedom agenda,” Charles Krauthammer observed in February 2011. “Now that revolution has spread from Tunisia to Oman,” Krauthammer added, “the [Obama] administration is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom.” And William Kristol exulted, “Helping the Arab Spring through to fruition might contribute to an American Spring, one of renewed pride in our country and confidence in the cause of liberty.”
They were all wrong. Just two years later, the foreign-policy establishment has fractured in the face of a Syrian civil war that threatens to metastasize into neighboring Iraq and Lebanon and an economic collapse in Egypt that has brought the largest Arab country to the brink of state failure. Some Republican leaders, including Sen. John McCain and Weekly Standard editor Kristol, demand American military intervention to support Syria’s Sunni rebels. But Daniel Pipes, the dean of conservative Middle East analysts, wrote on April 11 that “Western governments should support the malign dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad,” because “Western powers should guide enemies to stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong their conflict.” If Assad appears to be winning, he added later, we should support the rebels. The respected strategist Edward Luttwak contends that America should “leave bad enough alone” in Syria and turn its attention away from the Middle East—to Asia. The Obama Administration meanwhile is waffling about what might constitute a “red line” for intervention and what form such intervention might take.
The once-happy bipartisan consensus has now shrunk to the common observation that all the available choices are bad. It could get much worse. Western efforts have failed to foster a unified leadership among the Syrian rebels, and jihadi extremists appear to be in control of the Free Syrian Army inside Syria. Syria’s war is “creating the conditions for a renewed conflict, dangerous and complex, to explode in Iraq. If Iraq is not shielded rapidly and properly, it will definitely slip into the Syrian quagmire,” warns Arab League Ambassador Nassif Hitti. Iraq leaders are talking of civil war and eventual partition. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, meanwhile, warned on May 1, “Syria has real friends in the region, and the world will not let Syria fall into the hands of America, Israel or takfiri [radical islamist] groups,” threatening in effect to turn the civil war into a regional conflict that has the potential to destabilize Turkey. And the gravest risk to the region remains the likelihood that “inherent weaknesses of state and society in Egypt reach a point where the country’s political, social and economic systems no longer function,” as Gamal Abuel Hassan wrote on May 28. Libya is fracturing, and the terrorists responsible for the September 2012 Benghazi attack are operating freely.
This is a tragic outcome, in the strict sense of the term, for it is hard to imagine how it could have turned out otherwise.
* * *
In January 2012, after the first hopes for Arab democracy had faded, former Bush Administration official Elliot Abrams insisted:
The neocons, democrats, and others who applauded the Arab uprisings were right, for what was the alternative? To applaud continued oppression? To instruct the rulers on better tactics, the way Iran is presumably lecturing (and arming) Syria’s Bashar al-Assad? Such a stance would have made a mockery of American ideals, would have failed to keep these hated regimes in place for very long, and would have left behind a deep, almost ineradicable anti-Americanism.
The neoconservatives mistook a tubercular fever for the flush of youth in the Arab revolts, to be sure, but they read the national mood right—as did the Obama Administration.
There were dissenters, of course. Daniel Pipes warned against pushing Islamists toward elections, writing in 2005:
When politically adept totalitarians win power democratically, they do fix potholes and improve schools—but only as a means to transform their countries in accordance with their utopian visions. This generalization applies most clearly to the historical cases (Adolf Hitler in Germany after 1933, Salvador Allende in Chile after 1970) but it also appears valid for the current ones.
Henry Kissinger excoriated the Obama Administration for toppling Mubarak, arguing that no other force in Egypt could stabilize the country. Francis Fukuyama broke with his erstwhile neoconservative colleagues in 2004, after hearing Vice President Dick Cheney and columnist Charles Krauthammer announce the beginning of an American-led “unipolar era.” “All of these people around me were cheering wildly,” Fukuyama remembers. “All of my friends had taken leave of reality.”
It is a widespread misimpression (reinforced by conspiracy theorists seeking the malign influence of the “Israel Lobby”) that the neoconservative movement is in some way a Jewish thing. On the contrary, it is a distinctly American thing. As the born-again Methodist George W. Bush said in 2003, “Peoples of the Middle East share a high civilization, a religion of personal responsibility, and a need for freedom as deep as our own. It is not realism to suppose that one-fifth of humanity is unsuited to liberty; it is pessimism and condescension, and we should have none of it.” The Catholic neoconservative and natural-law theorist Michael Novak put it just as passionately in his 2004 book The Universal Hunger for Liberty: “The hunger for liberty has only slowly been felt among Muslims. That hunger is universal, even when it is latent, for the preconditions for it slumber in every human breast.”
By contrast, Israelis were overwhelmingly pessimistic about the outcome of the Arab revolts and aghast at the celerity with which Washington dumped Mubarak. “The message to the Middle East is that it doesn’t pay to be an American ally,” a former Israeli intelligence chief told me in 2012. Although the prominent Soviet refusenik-turned-Israeli-politician Natan Sharansky believed in a universal desire for democracy, the vast majority of Israeli opinion thought the idea mad. As Joshua Muravchik wrote in 2011, the Arab Spring:
precipitated a sharp split between neoconservatives and hard-headed Israeli analysts who had long been their allies and friends. While neocons saw democratization as a balm to soothe the fevered brow of the Arab world, Israeli strategists (with the notable exception of Natan Sharansky) thought this utterly naive. Their message in essence was this: you do not know the Arabs as we do. Difﬁcult as their governments are to deal with, they are more reasonable than their populations. Democratization of the Arab world would lead to radicalization, which would be a bane to you and us.
The Israelis are accustomed to living with long-term uncertainty; Americans want movies with happy endings. The alternative to the Bush Freedom Agenda or Obama’s proposed reconciliation with the Muslim world would have been ugly: the strategic equivalent of a controlled burn in a forest fire, as Daniel Pipes proposed—prolonging conflict, at frightful human cost, as the Reagan Administration did during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. It was one thing to entice prospective enemies into a war of attrition in the dark corners of the Cold War, though, and quite another to do so under the klieg lights. The strategy might have been correct on paper, but Americans are not typically in the market for pessimism.
The American public fell in love with the young democracy activists who floated across the surface of the Arab revolts like benzene bubbles on the Nile. More precisely, Americans fell in love with their own image, in the persons of hip young Egyptians who reminded them of Americans. Conservatives and liberals alike competed to lionize Google sales manager Wael Ghonim. Caroline Kennedy gave him the JFK Profiles in Courage Award in May 2011. He made Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The conservative Lebanese scholar Fouad Ajami kvelled in the Wall Street Journal:
No turbaned ayatollah had stepped forth to summon the crowd. This was not Iran in 1979. A young Google executive, Wael Ghonim, had energized this protest when it might have lost heart, when it could have succumbed to the belief that this regime and its leader were a big, immovable object. Mr. Ghonim was a man of the modern world. He was not driven by piety. The condition of his country—the abject poverty, the crony economy of plunder and corruption, the cruelties and slights handed out to Egyptians in all walks of life by a police state that the people had outgrown and despaired of—had given this young man and others like him their historical warrant.
Republican hawks advocated the furtherance of the Arab Spring by force of arms, starting with Libya. On Feb. 25, 2011, a month after Mubarak’s fall, Kristol’s Foreign Policy Initiative garnered 45 signatures of past officials and public intellectuals “urging President Obama, in conjunction with NATO allies, to take action to end the violence being propagated by the regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi.” Three weeks later a NATO force led by the United States intervened. By September, the Qaddafi regime was beaten, and Robert Kagan lauded President Obama in the Weekly Standard: “By intervening, with force, the NATO alliance not only saved the people of Libya and kept alive the momentum of the Arab Spring … the end of Qaddafi’s rule is a great accomplishment for the Obama administration and for the president personally. Furthermore, the president deserves credit because his decision was unpopular and politically risky.” A month later the victorious rebels put the cadavers of Qaddafi and his son on public view.
The national consensus behind the Arab Spring peaked with the Libyan venture. Elliot Abrams was in a sense right: To intimate that democracy might not apply to Arabs seems to violate America’s first principle, that people of all background have the same opportunity for success—in the United States. It seems un-American to think differently. Isn’t America a multi-ethnic melting pot where all religions and ethnicities have learned to get along? That is a fallacy of composition, to be sure: Americans are brands plucked out of the fire of failed cultures, the few who fled the tragic failings of their own culture to make a fresh start. The only tragic thing about America is the incapacity of Americans to comprehend the tragedy of other peoples. To pronounce judgment on other cultures as unfit for modernity, as Abrams wrote, seems “a mockery of American ideals.”
The neoconservatives triumphantly tracked the progress of what they imagined was Arab democracy. After Iraq’s March 2005 elections, Max Boot wrote:
In 2003, more than a month before the invasion of Iraq, I wrote in the Weekly Standard that the forthcoming fall of Baghdad “may turn out to be one of those hinge moments in history—events like the storming of the Bastille or the fall of the Berlin Wall—after which everything is different. If the occupation goes well (admittedly a big if), it may mark the moment when the powerful antibiotic known as democracy was introduced into the diseased environment of the Middle East, and began to transform the region for the better.” Well, who’s the simpleton now? Those who dreamed of spreading democracy to the Arabs or those who denied that it could ever happen?
Similarly, in April 2011, Kristol wrote:
The Arab winter is over. The men and women of the Greater Middle East are no longer satisfied by “a little life.” Now it’s of course possible that this will turn out to be a false spring. But surely it’s not beyond the capacity of the United States and its allies to help reformers in the Arab world achieve mostly successful outcomes. … And who knows? Helping the Arab Spring through to fruition might contribute to an American Spring, one of renewed pride in our country and confidence in the cause of liberty.
Writing in the Weekly Standard in September of that year, Robert Kagan was so confident of the march of democracy that he proposed to throw the Jordanian monarchy under the bus after Mubarak, despite Jordan’s longstanding alliance with the United States.
Even when Islamists trampled the democrats in the aftermath of Mubarak’s fall, the foreign-policy consensus held strong. The Obama Administration courted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while Republican sages argued that Islamist rule, while suboptimal, nonetheless represented progress on the road to democracy. Joshua Muravchik pooh-poohed the risks of the Muslim Brotherhood role in a September 2011 essay: “[I]t seems unlikely that the Egyptians, aroused as they are and having lived through the Nasser experience, would succumb to a new despotism. The most likely force to impose it, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been having trouble keeping its own members in line, much less the rest of the country.” Muravchik wrote:
Perhaps the most important of the region’s hopeful signs is the rebellion in Syria. Who would have thought that Syrians, of all peoples, would have earned the world’s admiration? Yet it is hard to think of many cases in which nonviolent protestors have exposed themselves to shoot-to-kill security forces for months on end without being cowed into surrender. If these brave people persevere and drive the Assad dynasty from power, that itself would go far toward making the Arab Spring a net beneﬁt for the region and the world.
But the democracy enthusiasts missed a crucial feature of the Arab Spring: The toppling of Hosni Mubarak and the uprising against Syria’s Basher Assad occurred after the non-oil-producing Arab countries had lurched into a dangerous economic decline. Egypt, dependent on imports for half its caloric consumption, faced a sharp rise in food prices while the prices of cotton and other exports languished. Asia’s insatiable demand for feed grains had priced the Arab poor out of the market: Chinese pigs were fed before Egyptian peasants, whose labor was practically worthless. Almost half of Egyptians are functionally illiterate, and its university graduates are unqualified for the global market (unlike Tunisians, who staff the help desks of French software firms). Out of cash, Egypt faces chronic food and fuel shortages and presently is on life support through emergency loans from its neighbors. The insoluble economic crisis makes any form of political stabilization unlikely.
Syria’s economic position is, if possible, even worse. Yemen is not only out of money, but nearly out of water. Large portions of the Arab world have languished so long in backwardness that they are beyond repair. After the dust of the popular revolts dissipated, we are left with banana republics, but without the bananas.
It is a salutary exercise to consider the views we hold with impassioned conviction and ask: “What would it imply if we are wrong?” Neoconservatives of all stripes believed with perfect faith that the desire for liberty is a universal human impulse, requiring only the right institutions to reinforce it. The Obama Administration believed that all cultures have equal validity and that—as Obama said early in his presidency—that he thinks of American exceptionalism the same way that the Greeks think about Greek exceptionalism. In both cases, Republicans and Democrats believe that there is nothing inherently unique about America—except that this country was the first to create the political framework that corresponds to the true nature of every human being.
Kristol’s 2011 assessment of the Arab Spring was erroneous, but he was right to link America’s state of being to events in the Middle East. We stumbled by national consensus into a strategic morass, from which there is no apparent exit, in the naïve belief that under every burka was a prospective American ready to emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis.
But if large parts of the Muslim world reject what seemed to be an historic opportunity to create democratic governments and instead dissolve into a chaotic regime of permanent warfare, we might conclude that there really is something different about America—that our democracy is the product of a unique set of precedents, the melding of the idea of covenant brought here by radical Protestants, the traditions of Anglo-Saxon democracy, and the far-reaching wisdom of our founders. To present-day Americans, that is an unnerving thought. We do not wish upon ourselves that sort of responsibility. We eschew our debts to deep traditions. We want to reinvent ourselves at will, to shop for new identities, to play at the cultural cutting-edge.
What these events might teach us, rather, is that America really is exceptional and that there is no contradiction in cultivating our democracy at home while acting elsewhere in tough-minded pursuit of our security interests.
Of Friends And Countries
“The bird, a nest; the spider, a web; man, friendship,” William Blake reminded us in 1790. Much earlier, Confucius warned in the 5th century BC, “Have no friends not equal to yourself.” Seneca was ahead of his time and certainly not thinking of the business lunch when he noted that cultivated friendships for personal gain were of limited duration.
When it comes to countries, we have been informed repeatedly, there are no friends … just interests. So it is with Afghanistan, from which the US decided to withdraw unilaterally and quickly. Allies such as Britain who still have a presence there were caught off-guard. Not altogether happy, slang words like ‘doolally’ have been used to describe President Biden who was also reluctant to respond promptly to British prime minister Boris Johnson’s urgent calls, and kept him waiting several days. So much for the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.
It wasn’t always a cosy relationship. Quite frosty for the first hundred years or so after American independence, it included an attack on Washington and the city’s temporary capture. During the Civil War they helped the Confederacy surreptitiously but as American power and industrial might continued to grow, the British realized an accommodation would be to their advantage and proceeded to emphasize ties of kinship, language and even democracy. In the event, they even persuaded the US government to help in two world wars and even join them eventually.
Next, consider the case of England and France. After the Normann conquest in 1066, French became the court language and continued so for a good three hundred years. But the relationship also started a rivalry often with claims and counterclaims of being the rightful ruler, which sometimes led to war. Following the French revolution came the Napolionic wars and their devastation, culminating in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo and French defeat.
The 19th century also saw the German states being united by Bismarck, and, through industrialization, turned into a single powerful country. Viewed as a threat by both Britain and France it brought about an entente cordiale … a rapprochement between centuries old implacable enemies.
Their efforts to choke off German growth could have only one result in the end — war. And the 20th century suffered two with devastating loss of life. The plan to help Germany (at least the western half) recover after the Second World War had flattened it, brought it within the US ambit. Lest anyone think the aid was entirely altruistic, far from it, for a new threat had arisen … that of the mighty Soviet Union, and a quivering Western Europe was trying to shore up its side. Yes indeed, countries do not have friends … only interests.
And so the Afghans who helped the US (the translators and such like) tried to get away during the withdrawal; with the rapid Taliban takeover, they could feel the threat to life and limb in their bones, and some knew they were on lists. Many did leave on the American planes but out of the crowds packing Kabul airport, most were left behind.
20 years after 9/11: American decline in the Islamic world and China- Russian emergence
The main headlines and axes
- The first axis: American strategy in the Islamic world, to draw a new political and economic map for establishing the (New Middle Eastern order)
- The second axis: The developments of American strategy in the Islamic world after the events of September 11
- The third axis: The internal and external overall results of American policies after September 11
- The fourth axis: The implications of American withdrawal from Afghanistan on the image of the USA in the Islamic world
- The fifth axis: The “ideological and religious clash” between the Islamic world and the USA after the American accusations to the “Saudi Arabia’s responsibility” on the September 11 events
- The sixth axis: The impact of “Chinese automatic control and Russian disobedience theories” on the theory of “American hegemony” in the Islamic world after September 11events
The American strategy towards the Islamic world was not the result of the events of September 11, 2001. Rather, the United States of America has a tight strategy towards the region that has crystallized clearly since the beginning of the Cold War era and to this day, but the events of September 11 formed a sign, on the world arena and in the field of international relations in particular. It prompted the United States of America to announce a new strategy based on the so-called (War on Terror).
Although the American strategy in the Islamic world is based on a set of constants represented in “controlling oil, maintaining Israel’s security and protecting other American interests”, the post-9/11 world has produced new American goals in the region, such as what led to changing the means of achieving the strategy’s goals. The American approach in the Islamic world towards the direct use of military force to protect and preserve these goals or to achieve new goals has become the core of this strategy in the region.
Based on the mentioned facts, the American strategy towards the Islamic world after the events of September 11th came to briefly address this strategy through a number of axes:
The first axis: American strategy in the Islamic world, to draw a new political and economic map for establishing the (New Middle Eastern order)
The end of the Cold War constituted a major international variable in its impact on the American strategy in the world in general and in the Middle East and Islamic world in particular. We mean the Islamic world as a wide region, which enjoys its specifications, structures, complexities and paths that link the East to the West and are composed of a group of diverse regions. It is located in southwest Asia, which is in the middle of the world, and there are several seas extending into it. It has an international strategy. The “Islamic world” in particular is one of the richest regions in the world with its oil wealth, and it is in the middle of the near and Far East.
The Islamic world is considered a strategic region from a political and economic point of view because it contains the most important sea straits in the world. In addition, this region contains the most important American interests in the world, represented by the presence of Israel in it, and the richness of the Middle East region in oil, as it possesses the largest production and oil reserves in the world, and the schemes show the political and economic importance of this region.
The end of the Islamic world and the accompanying international and regional changes contributed to the achievement of most of the goals of the American strategy in the Islamic world, because the change that took place at the level of the regional regions, particularly the Middle East, through what the transformations of the international system made possible for the United States of America and the advanced industrial countries from New mechanisms are used to possess a growing power to control the internal and external interactions of the region and the events of strategic change in it, since the Islamic world is one of the regions most affected by the strategic shifts in the structure of the international system. The events of 1990 and the end of the Cold War between the American and Soviet poles had a prominent impact on The emergence of the new American strategy in the region, especially after the success of the American administration in the events of the comprehensive and massive mobilization of the coalition forces against Iraq in the second Gulf War in 1991, which showed that American power was built on the fact that the United States of America is the only country that possesses very huge capabilities in diverse fields militarily politically, economically and diplomatically.
If these events open the way for “drawing a new political and economic map” for the Islamic world and establishing (the new Middle Eastern order), through the basis of settlements between the Arabs and Israel and in the light of the Madrid Conference in 1991, accompanied by American efforts to keep Israel stronger than the Arab countries in order to achieve its goals in the Islamic world, after the “destruction of Iraq’s power”, which, from the American point of view, was the greatest danger to Israel’s security and existence in the region.
The United States of America, at the beginning of the nineties, and after the collapse of the Soviet system, put forward a set of ideas and the foundations of its systems on the basis that it is the new world order based on what they call “democracy and human rights, and openness to the free world under intellectual and ideological justifications of totalitarianism, and the imposition of American hegemony on vital areas”, such as: the Islamic world and the Arab Gulf region, after the Madrid Conference, a dangerous methodology was followed with the aim of weakening the Arabs’ political, economic and cultural power and their defensive ability, and preaching the “Islamic world and the Middle East new system as a regional system in which Israel would have a central role”, it was an actual attempt to “marginalize the regional Arab and Islamic role and squander the sources of its true power”. It also sought the American administration, as the leader of that regime, prevented the dismantling of some Arab countries and regions in accordance with the so-called Israeli peace desire and the development of special policies for some countries, such as the “policy of double containment towards Iraq and Iran”.
After the second Gulf War, the United States of America began to consolidate its direct military presence in the Islamic world as an application of the principle of the “new international order”. On this basis, the American strategy in the Islamic world after the Cold War was based on several concepts, the most important of which, are:
- Deterring and repelling any external or internal aggression or aggression that harms the interests of the United States of America and its allies and friends inside and outside the Islamic world and Arab Gulf region, according to the American perception.
- Preventing the Iranian military adventure in the region.
- Containing Iraq and Iran by following the policy of “dual containment and preventing the emergence of new regional powers capable of threatening American interests in the region”.
- As well as setting new security arrangements for the Islamic world and maintaining a continuous and permanent US military presence, and relying on local allies such as Israel and Turkey, in preparation for “linking the Middle East with a security-economic-military alliance led by the USA”.
- Maintaining American hegemony over the oil, financial and investment markets and encouraging “American political, economic and cultural penetration”.
- Seeking to “change the political discourse towards democracy and human rights”, rejecting all forms of individualism, terrorism, arbitrariness and injustice, and working to create a “new social system for progression and development”.
- Facilitating of the “cultural and economic normalization with Israel for the sake of peace” between the Arabs, Islamic world and Israel.
- There are many American several measures that could lead to the path to lasting peace in the Islamic world, including the following:
- Ending the Arabs once and for all, what he called the “illegal boycott of Israel”, this constitutes an “economic war”.
- Establishing economic and commercial relations between Israel and its neighbors.
- Forming “multilateral agreements to protect the environment in the Islamic world and Middle East region”, with an emphasis on ensuring that each country has adequate supplies of water resources.
The American strategy towards the Islamic world continued on the above-mentioned foundations, some of which it inherited from the Cold War phase, where it has not changed significantly except the “issue of containing the communist influence in the region, which ended after the collapse of the Soviet Union”, but the issue that affected the change in the American strategy is represented by the means and tools used by the United States of America to achieve its main goals, so that the “American direct use of military force has been activated in achieving American goals and consolidating American influence in the Islamic world and Middle East region”.
The second axis: The developments of American strategy in the Islamic world after the events of September 11
The events of September 11, 2001 are a “decisive point in re-formulating the American strategy in the Islamic world in particular”, as the events of “September 11 were considered a “transit point between two different international systems, crossing the post-Cold War order to the new order, which so-called “war on terror”.
On this basis, the “events of September 11, 2001, were an influential change on the American global strategy in general and the American strategy towards the Islamic world in particular”, as these events produced the reality of military power as a force that controls the situation and sets it on the American tone.
As a result of the so-called “war on terror”, the United States of America began to market daily the new political geography that it intends to impose on the world by military force to achieve its goals and hegemony. On the so-called “war on terror”, as it was the “starting point of the American strategy to redraw the map of the Islamic world, Middle East and Central Asia to expand the area of American hegemony”.
The Islamic world is not only the field in which the United States of America demonstrates its strength and tests its weapons, but it is also the site from which the United States of America circulates a “new formula for the new world order, under the pretext of what so-called “war on terror” as a justification used by the United States of America to resort to military force in Islamic world”. In this regard, “Daniel Babis” said that:
“Islamic fundamentalists are challenging the West with greater force and depth than the Communists, and they are violating our policies”
Referring to the statement led by “Edward Dejerejian”, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs says:
“The United States, as the only remaining superpower that is looking for an ideology to fight it, should move towards leading a crusade against Islam”
Here, we can as well notice the same expression used by the American administration at the beginning of the new American campaign against the Islamic world, which began in “Afghanistan and Iraq”.
This vision was “prepared even before the events of September 11”, which confirms that the “developments were prepared and the ideas were ready and was waiting for the moment of their theatrical release into existence”.
The events of September came to be the “opportunity for the emergence of this American scheme”. As is clear, the “ideological dimension” is clear in the American vision that was clearly expressed by politicians and thinkers in an important book which entitled: (America and political Islam, a clash of cultures or a clash of interests).
The third axis: The internal and external overall results of American policies after September 11
The events of September 11, 2001 constituted a “major turning point in the history of the United States”, whether in terms of its domestic or foreign policy, or in terms of international relations, especially “what links the West with the Arab and Islamic world”.The war on terror became the primary focus of international relations under the pressure of the United States after the events of September 11th. The latter organized a “military campaign in Afghanistan and then invaded Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism”. The war on terrorism has changed the situation of many countries in the world, such as Pakistan, which has transformed from a pariah state subject to economic sanctions to a preferred partner in the fight against terrorism and the “Al-Qaeda” organization it represents, so, we can identify the whole results of the American strategy after September 11, on the American internal and external policies, as follow:
The defense budget is constantly increasing
In its infancy, this war provided the administration of US President “George W. Bush” with a cover to do whatever it wanted. This administration got all the money it asked for from the US Congress for a national missile defense program, the “Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty” was abolished without internal or external fanfare, and it got big increases in the Pentagon’s budget.
The economic effects of the September 11 attacks on the United States
Except for the loss of life, the two towers and the four planes hijacked by the terrorists, there are no direct and negative economic effects that led to a crisis. The effects did not exceed what was mentioned, with other immediate losses, including the closure of the American Stock Exchange for some days, and the effects on airlines and tourism for a period of one or two years. As for the only direct impact, it was in the American and global insurance sector, which rose after the events by 400 percent as a result of the compensation paid by the insurance companies. There was also an increase in the amount of risks in air and sea transport and life insurance.
Reducing the freedoms of the American citizen
The war on terrorism during and after the Bush era led to a “curtailment of freedoms for American citizens and foreign residents alike”, as there were numerous of “harassments of public liberties and the American citizen became subject to extensive searches”, especially at airports, and electronic wiretaps and other modern means that enable the American authorities to follow anyone in a way minutes, whether by e-mail or mobile phone.
Cultural and intellectual monuments
The cultural and intellectual effects of the post-9/11 events have not stopped yet, and they are still multiplying and continuing. The phenomenon of terrorism after 9/11 revealed to the United States that it had another “enemy” that it had been searching for since the fall of the Soviet Union, and by that we mean Islam, especially “radical Islam”. These events showed great transformations at the “cultural and intellectual level among Americans and the West in general”, and led to the emergence of what is known as the “clash of civilizations” where “Islam, through this theory, became the enemy of civilization and peace”, because it represents, according to the proponents of this theory from among the hard-line conservatives, the “real problem” behind the emergence of terrorism In the world, which is reflected intellectually and culturally on the “image of Muslims and Arabs and their societies in the United States and the rest of the world”.
An imbalance of power in the world
One of the important effects of the attacks of September 11, 2001 was those that led to an imbalance in the balance of power in the world, as no country had ever controlled the world in this way, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the defense budget constantly rising, the United States has tightened its economic, technical, and cultural grip on the nations of the world. The United States has maintained its position as a superpower through nuclear weapons and the extent of their spread according to its defense strategy, and this is evident in dealing with the Iranian nuclear file, as a prominent example.
Emerging the new concept of “Preventive war” after the September 11 attacks
Prior to the September 11 attacks, political crises depended on solving these problems through international or diplomatic bodies. But after the events, the military sides became dependent on a new principle, which is “preventive war”, which relied on surprise strikes without waiting for confirmed evidence of the hostility of the target party.
Here, US Defense Secretary “Ronald Rumsfeld” said at an important “NATO meeting in Brussels” in 2002 that:
“The alliance cannot wait for irrefutable evidence to act against terrorist groups or countries that possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons”
This statement was a prelude to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and a “preemptive strike according to the new concept of the US military strategy”.
The fourth axis: The implications of American withdrawal from Afghanistan on the image of the USA in the Islamic world
The withdrawal from Afghanistan represents a “major blow to the prestige and confidence of the United States and its allies around the world, but especially in the Islamic world and Middle East”, as follow:
It is expected that after the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, the “Islamic world will witness more daring jihadist movements after the collapse of Afghanistan”.
The caveat here is that Afghanistan will serve as a “center of cooperation between terrorist groups, which will encourage various attacks in the Islamic world”.
The Taliban’s control of the Afghan arena is also linked to the “increased frequency of attacks launched by ISIS in the Islamic world after the withdrawal from Afghanistan in Iraq and Syria and the attack on Kabul Airport”.
It is expected that with the Taliban movement taking control of Afghanistan that the “extremist movements will continue to politically and militarily flourish in the Islamic world”.
America’s allies in the Islamic world have taken notice and benefited from the Afghan lesson, and “Washington’s allies in the Islamic world have increased fears that the United States will abandon its friends in the region when it becomes politically appropriate”, for example, while the corrupt Afghan government and army bear some responsibility for the Taliban seized power, but the Americans weren’t supposed to turn their backs on their allies just because they had a failed state.
As examples of the United States abandoning its allies in the Islamic world, the “Kurds in Syria who prepared Washington and played a pivotal role in defeating ISIS” can now be seen, as the United States continues to “abandon its responsibilities as a leader in the Islamic world in favor of China and Russia”.
The American failure at Afghanistan has also created a “regional vacuum in the Islamic world” that countries such as (Iran and Turkey) are trying to fill.
Here, we find that the right-wing establishment in the United States is the last political faction in Washington that understands long-term security goals. The reality is that “US allies in the Islamic world and Middle East cannot now count on a democratic administration or even within a conservative populist president”.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is due to a “long-decade bipartisan failure to achieve Washington’s goals and the loss of US support for the war”, but the way in which the Biden administration withdrew is inefficient, and US leaders have repeatedly exaggerated and claimed the ability of the Afghan army, and it is also clear That Washington had no plan to evacuate the Americans or the Afghans who helped the international coalition.
The United States is struggling now to take steps to “ensure that its allies have the ability and willingness to defend themselves, and work to build regional alliances that can defend each other against any threat”, particularly from Iran.
The “Joe Biden’s administration” is trying to ensure that major “U.S. deployments in the Islamic world are unlikely to change”, and that U.S. adversaries, whether “Iran, China, or Russia”, are expected to discredit the allies of the United States in the usefulness of their friendship in Washington.
We find here that tens of thousands of Afghans who risked their lives to work for freedom and a modern state in Afghanistan, their efforts went in vain, a situation similar when the United States withdrew from Iraq in 2011, where “USA has failed as well to protect some of the Iraqis who worked with it during the first years of that the war”.
The current priority in Washington is to “overcome the negative effects of the unorganized withdrawal, and work to prevent the emergence of security threats inside Afghanistan, which could spread regionally and globally, especially in the Islamic world”, as we witnessed in (Iraq and neighboring Syria with the rise of ISIS) in 2012-2014, with some fears and expectations that the “security dynamics can change dramatically with the influence of “extremist Islamic factions in the Islamic world”.
Here, We can conclude that “Afghanistan is not just a war that went wrong, as the many mistakes in the American war in Afghanistan are shared by 4 American presidents”, and President “Joe Biden” bears responsibility for his decisions, as his administration failed in an orderly withdrawal, and is striving to ensure the safety of diplomats and other Americans in the country.
The fifth axis: The “ideological and religious clash” between the Islamic world and the USA after the American accusations to the Saudi Arabia’s responsibility on the September 11 events
The disclosure of the secret documents of the September 11 attacks, if (it is proven that Saudi officials were involved in them), may restore relations between Riyadh and Washington to their worst condition, especially if the US courts decide to impose huge compensation payments to the families of the victims against the Saudi government.
And this American crisis in the face of Saudi Arabia comes due to the pressures that US President “Biden” is subjected to respond to the continuous pressures from the American families of the victims, which sent a clear message to President “Biden” with “not aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on this issue”, referring to the bias what was clear to his predecessor “Trump”, towards Saudi Crown Prince “Mohammed bin Salman” during the case of the assassination of opposition journalist “Gamal Khashoggi” in Turkey, and the events that followed.
Here, the US Department of Justice announced its decision to review confidential documents related to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which the US government had imposed (a cover of secrecy) on them for more than 20 years, following the warnings of the families of the victims of those attacks of the need to hold the Biden administration accountable. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is implicated in this matter, which has exacerbated the crisis between Riyadh and Washington in the recent period.
Here, the Biden administration is facing pressures to declassify US government documents, which they claim to show that “Saudi Arabia’s leaders were supportive of attacks against American targets”, with the US officials declaring that “a lot of investigative evidence has been revealed that proves the involvement of Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks against Washington”.
We find here that a “number of American agencies and various administrations sought to prove Saudi Arabia’s responsibility for the events of September 11”, which is what both (the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) actively sought, while claiming that they maintained the confidentiality of this information and prevented the American people from knowing the full truth about 9/11 attacks.
President “Biden” and the White House staff welcomed the US Department of Justice’s decision to review the documents and reveal the facts to the American public, with President Biden’s affirmation that:
“As I promised during my campaign, my administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency by law, and to adhere to the strict guidelines issued during the Obama and Biden administrations on invoking the privilege of state secrets”
With the Biden’ stress that: “In this context, I welcome the filing of the Department of Justice, which is committed to conducting a new review of the documents, as the government has previously confirmed the privileges, and to do so as quickly as possible”
We find that at a time when the families of the victims of the September 11 events are calling for Saudi Arabia to be held accountable, the latter has denied its involvement in those terrorist attacks against Washington. For several years, family members of 9/11 victims have sought “US government documents relating to whether Saudi Arabia aided or financed any of the 19 individuals associated with Al-Qaeda who carried out the devastating attack against those US targets”
Because of this “ideological and religious conflict between Washington and Saudi Arabia”, US-Saudi relations have been greatly affected, especially after the case of the killing of the Saudi dissident journalist “Jamal Khashoggi” in Istanbul in 2018.
In February 2021, the Biden administration issued a report that found that Saudi Crown Prince “Mohammed bin Salman” was directly responsible for approving the killing of “Khashoggi”, while Washington imposed sanctions on dozens of Saudis linked to human rights violations, and decided to “end American support for the Saudi war in Yemen”.
At that time, Biden and other officials confirmed that they would end the warmth that characterized the (Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia), noting their desire to end America’s blindness to human rights violations inside Saudi Arabia, but they also made it clear that the United States would continue to support, protect and work with the Kingdom because of their common interests.
Hence, we find that the “current negative relations between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” have reached their lowest levels during the administration of “Joe Biden” and Saudi Arabia, as one of the most complex and problematic issues during the era of the Democratic US President “Joe Biden”, unlike his Republican predecessor “Donald Trump”, which takes the form or character of an “ideological or religious conflict” between American liberal values, especially that of the American Democratic Party followed by “Joe Biden”, and those American accusations of Saudi Arabia of adopting the “Wahhabi Salafi ideology”, and of its involvement in terrorist attacks against Washington.
Accordingly, all of these mentioned factors will definitely negatively effect on the “American- Islamic world relationships”, given that “Saudi Arabia is the leader and locomotive of the Sunni Muslim sectarian in the Islamic world”, and may lead to “ideological clash between American values in the face of Saudi religious ideology”, which Washington accuses of supporting terrorism and causing its victims, which in turn will lead to the “collapse of American influence in the entire Middle East and Islamic word, given Saudi Arabia’s regional position in it”.
The sixth axis: The impact of “Chinese automatic control and Russian disobedience theories” on the theory of “American hegemony” in the Islamic world after September 11events
The Chinese and Russian ideologies are similar in their view toward the (events of September 11th), a real change in the course and directions of international relations since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and Russia and China agree that the scene of “unilateral American hegemony” is what brought the world to September 11, 2001. And that the direction of international relations for China and Russia represents the direction of (American hegemony) over the world, according to the “two theories” that are fundamentally important for Russia and China, namely:
The Russian theory of “contradiction” in the face of the policies of American hegemony, especially after the events of September 11:
This trend in international relations is based on (imposing the Russian method) in the international arena in the face of the (theory of unilateral American hegemony), especially in the Islamic world, in addition to this was clearly demonstrated by the “Russian rejection position to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003”, and the “Russian tendency towards rejecting Washington’s policies), Russia is trying to implement its violation of the United States of America through a “long-term strategy”, such as “containing American unilateralism and its failed policies in the Islamic world”, which caused the “emergence of terrorism and ISIS in Iraq and then Syria”, participating in efforts to combat terrorism in the Arab region, and to ensure the flow of oil and the stability of its prices, with the beliefs of the peoples of the Middle East and the Islamic world in the possibility of (Russia and China leading the world together), but they play a role Pivotal in confronting and violating the unilateral American tendencies, to contain the dangers of the American power of domination and hegemony.
Chinese automatic control theory in confronting the ideology of unilateralism and spreading the trend of one American liberal values:
This is a Chinese theory formulated by the Chinese researcher “Li Hong Xing”, and known as “automatic control theory”, in his book “China will lead the world”, and he believes that China’s “automatic control” of international relations and the world is carried out through the following points of control, which are media control, China’s tough diplomatic confrontation with the United States of America, maintaining China’s energy and oil security against Washington, securing waterways, and others.
By integrating the two theories of “Russian Contradiction theory to the UA and automatic Chinese control theory in the face of American hegemonic policies in the Islamic world” after the events of September 11, we find that it has been able to undermine and control the unilateral, hegemonic American power, through:
The global Sino-Russian diplomatic and media blockade on the United States: in the sense of showing all of its negatives to the international community, and causing many crises in global international relations to carry out that task.
The expansion of Russian-Chinese blocs in the Asia-Pacific and Pacific region: by trying to control the oil of Asian regions, expanding economic activities through the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and Russian partnerships for energy security, natural gas and oil across the axis of Siberian territories, in addition to working to establish political blocs It revolves around the Sino-Russian axis, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and for collective security, and others.
China and Russia’s control over important strategic waterways: Here comes the work to create a reality of Chinese-Russian control over some important passages around the world, especially in the Middle East, to protect the interests of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and Russian partnerships, and the Russian-Chinese military presence, especially in Syrian territory.
Chinese and Russian direct confrontation with American policies in the Islamic world and Middle East: in order to maintain the flows of “international energy security” to Russia and China, and to oppose the policies of American hegemony in international organizations, such as: the United Nations, by using the “veto” to confront any American political or military moves In the Middle East, and calling “the countries allied to Russia and China” to the Middle Eastern countries that cooperate with them, and working together to confront the American expansion in the Middle East, on several political and economic axes, to weaken the American hegemony to control the region.
Strengthening the Chinese presence in the Islamic world through the “Belt and Road Initiative” and Russian partnerships and increasing influence: It is an organized and long-term strategy based on Chinese and Russian projects, development partnerships, and China’s assistance to the Belt and Road countries in the Islamic world by modernizing infrastructure and working joint projects, in addition to provide grant support and training.
Attempting to restore Chinese and Russian power internationally in contrast of the decline of the USA: in an attempt to move towards force in international relations, as this has become an imposed reality in the world today due to the policies of American hegemony, and this trend uses (Asian depth) mainly, and (European depth) in a secondary, and that guarantees Russia and China the restoration of their strategic and political prestige in international affairs.
Sino-Russian energy strategy in the Middle East, Asia and the world: by following the “international energy security” approach, in which Russia and China are trying to strengthen their direct control over oil and gas transmission lines from (Central Asia, Caspian Sea, Iran and the Islamic world), and to establish future energy projects on their lands, “International energy security” depends on economic and political control by securing transit routes for the interests of Russia and China, subjecting them to Chinese-Russian control, and deploying missile shields, submarines and barges to secure these routes, in addition to security cooperation with Asian, Arab and Islamic countries, and encouraging the establishment of unions and economic development partnerships with all institutions and countries, and support the political positions of Arab, Islamic and Asian countries.
Through the overall previous analysis of the case before and after September 11 events, we conclude that what is known as “religious coups and the emergence of radical terrorism” is one of the most prominent transformations in the global scene after Al-Qaeda’s attack on the heart of modern Western capitalist civilization in the United States of America. After the return of the “Taliban movement” to power in Afghanistan, many questions are raised about the lessons learned from the post-9/11 years on the world.
Accordingly, we can conclude and reach out here that “all the wars led by the United States in the name of spreading Western values, democracy, modernity, human rights, the aid of allies and friends of Washington around the world)….etc., all of which are American strategies and tools that have proven to be unsuccessful, especially in the developing world. Therefore, many theories have appeared today, rejecting and emphasizing the futility of the theory of the “clash of civilizations”.
Noting that after two decades of the events of September 11, and the failure of the United States to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, the control of the “Taliban movement” and the strengthening of the Islamic State organization “ISIS” in the Islamic world, which led to the “collapse and decline of the power of the United States of America in exchange for the rise of the Russian Federation and the Chinese in the Arab Gulf and the Muslim world”, which has “lost confidence in the American machinery”.
In my concluded opinion, this is the general attitude towards Washington in the Islamic world and the Middle East region, especially after the “American escalation of its dispute with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its accusation, after two decades, of being involved in the events of September 11”, which led to the “religious, moral and ideological collision between the Muslim world and the Arab Gulf states in the face of USA”, due to the “failed American mechanisms” in the region in favor of the emerging of both “Russia and China” power.
China And U.S. Are On the Brink of War
Right now, the neocons that Biden has surrounded himself with are threatening to accuse him of having ‘lost Taiwan’ if Biden backs down from his many threats to China, threats that the U.S. Government will reverse America’s “One China” policy, which has been in place ever since the 28 February 1972 “Shanghai Communique”, when the U.S. Government signed with China to the promise and commitment that “The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.” If Biden sticks with that, and fails to follow through on his threats that America will invade China if war breaks out between Taiwan and China, then the neocons will say that the U.S., under Biden, has failed to ‘stand up for our allies’, and that therefore China will have effectively beaten America to become the #1 power, on his watch — merely because he had refused to change U.S. policy in the way that the neocons (America’s “Military-Industrial Complex” or “MIC” or weapons-manufacturers — and their many lobbyists and supporters in Congress, the press, and elsewhere) have recently been demanding.
The Truman-created CIA edits, and even writes, Wikipedia; and, so, Wikipedia’s article on “Taiwan” opens by saying “Taiwan,[II] officially the Republic of China (ROC),[I][h] is a country in East Asia.” But that assertion of Taiwan’s being “a country,” instead of a province of China, is a lie, not only because Taiwan (despite its propaganda urging the U.N. to accept it to become a member-nation of the U.N.) has not been accepted by the U.N. as a member-nation, but also because the U.S. Government itself promised, in 1972, that both in fact and in principle, the U.S. opposes any demand that might be made by any government of Taiwan to become a separate nation — no longer a part of China. Ever since 1972, any such demand by a government in Taiwan violates official U.S. Government policy since 1972, and is merely another part of the MIC’s wishful thinking, that America will invade China. So: the demand by the neocons, for America’s Government to support a public declaration by Taiwan’s government that it is no longer a part of China, is part of the pressure upon Biden, to yield to the Pentagon lobby (which largely made him the President). Biden’s threats might be made in order to satisfy his financial backers, but, if he fulfills on any of those threats, there will then be a war between America and China.
China is insisting that the anti-communist Chinese who in 1945 escaped to China’s island of Formosa or Taiwan — which Japan had conquered and militarily occupied between 1895 and 1945 — illegitimately controlled that land just as the Japanese had illegitimately controlled it between 1895 and 1945, and so China claims that Taiwan remains and has remained a province of China, as it has been ever since at least 1683, when China’s Qing Dynasty formally declared it to be a part of China. Taiwan was ruled that way until 1895, when Japan conquered China and one provision of the peace-treaty was that Taiwan would henceforth be part of Japan’s territory, no longer Chinese.
After WW II, when FDR’s America was allied with China against Japan, Truman’s America (the source of neoconservatism, or overt U.S. imperialism) supported the anti-communist Chinese, not mainland China, and therefore generally backed Taiwan’s independence from the mainland. However, that intense Trumanesque U.S. neoconservatism ended formally with the 1972 Shanghai Communique. And Biden is now considering whether America will go to war in order not only to restore, but now to further intensify, Truman’s neoconservative, imperialistic, U.S. thrust — going beyond even Truman.
Here is how that is currently playing out:
On September 10th, the Financial Times headlined “Washington risks Beijing ire over proposal to rename Taiwan’s US office” and reported that the neocons were pressing for Biden to change the diplomatic status of Taiwan’s “representative office in Washington” so as to become, in effect, a national Embassy. “A final decision has not been made and would require President Joe Biden to sign an executive order.” This executive order would, in its implications, terminate the Shanghai Communique, and go back to the hard ‘anti-communist’ (but actually pro-imperialistic) policy in which the U.S. Government will be bringing its weapons (and maybe also its soldiers) close enough to China so as to be able to obliterate China within ten minutes by a surprise nuclear attack which would eliminate China’s retaliatory capabilities. It would be even worse than the 1963 Cuban Missile crisis endangered America. So, of course, China’s Government wouldn’t tolerate that. And they don’t.
On September 12th, the Chinese Government newspaper Global Times issued “Teach the US, Taiwan island a real lesson if they call for it: Global Times editorial”, which stated that:
If the US and the Taiwan island change the names, they are suspected of touching the red line of China’s Anti-Secession Law, and the Chinese mainland will have to take severe economic and military measures to combat the arrogance of the US and the island of Taiwan. At that time, the mainland should impose severe economic sanctions on the island and even carry out an economic blockade on the island, depending on the circumstances.
Militarily, Chinese mainland’s fighter jets should fly over the island of Taiwan and place the island’s airspace into the patrol area of the PLA. This is a step that the mainland must take sooner or later. The name change provides the Chinese mainland with sufficient reason to strengthen our sovereign claim over the island of Taiwan. It is anticipated that the Taiwan army will not dare to stop the PLA fighter jets from flying over the island. If the Taiwan side dares open fire, the Chinese mainland will not hesitate to give “Taiwan independence” forces a decisive and destructive blow.
More importantly, if the Chinese mainland turns a blind eye to the US and the Taiwan island this time, they will definitely go further in the next step. According to reports, Joseph Wu, leader of the external affairs of the Taiwan island, participated in the talks between senior security officials from the US and the island in Annapolis on Friday. Next time, they may publicly hold the meeting even in the US State Department in Washington DC. As the US will hold the “Summit for Democracy” by the end of this year, if we do not contain the insolence of the US and the Taiwan island, Washington might even really invite Tsai Ing-wen to participate in the summit. It will be much worse in nature than former Taiwan regional leader Lee Teng-hui’s visit to the US as an “alumnus” in 1995.
Will peace come if the Chinese mainland puts up with all this and swallows its anger for the sake of peace? If the mainland doesn’t strike back decisively, US warships will dock at the island of Taiwan, its fighter aircraft will land on the island and its troops may be stationed in the island again. At that time, where will be China’s prestige as a great power? How can the country maintain its system of defending its interests on the international stage?
So: either the U.S., or else China, must back down — or else, there will be war between China and the U.S.
Of course, each side has its allies. Perhaps UK will put its neck on the line to conquer China, and perhaps Russia will put its neck on the line to conquer America, but in any case, the result if Biden yields to the neocons, will be World War III.
They press him hard. For example, the British neocon, Niall Ferguson, wrote in the Economist, on August 20th:
There is nothing inexorable about China’s rise, much less Russia’s, while all the lesser countries aligned with them are economic basket cases, from North Korea to Venezuela. China’s population is ageing even faster than anticipated; its workforce is shrinking. Sky-high private-sector debt is weighing on growth. Its mishandling of the initial outbreak of covid-19 has greatly harmed its international standing. It also risks becoming the villain of the climate crisis, as it cannot easily kick the habit of burning coal to power its industry.
And yet it is all too easy to see a sequence of events unfolding that could lead to another unnecessary war, most probably over Taiwan, which Mr Xi covets and which America is (ambiguously) committed to defend against invasion. …
The ambitions of China’s leader, Xi Jinping, are also well known — along with his renewal of the Chinese Communist Party’s ideological hostility to individual freedom, the rule of law and democracy. … If Beijing invades Taiwan, most Americans will probably echo the British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, who notoriously described the German bid to carve up Czechoslovakia in 1938 as “a quarrel in a far away country, between people of whom we know nothing”. …
That brings us to the crux of the matter. Churchill’s great preoccupation in the 1930s was that the government was procrastinating — the underlying rationale of its policy of appeasement — rather than energetically rearming in response to the increasingly aggressive behaviour of Hitler, Mussolini and the militarist government of imperial Japan. A key argument of the appeasers was that fiscal and economic constraints — not least the high cost of running an empire that extended from Fiji to Gambia to Guiana to Vancouver — made more rapid rearmament impossible.
It may seem fanciful to suggest that America faces comparable threats today — not only from China, but also from Russia, Iran and North Korea. Yet the mere fact that it seems fanciful illustrates the point. The majority of Americans, like the majority of Britons between the wars, simply do not want to contemplate the possibility of a major war against one or more authoritarian regimes, coming on top of the country’s already extensive military commitments.
Scholars get well paid to write such propaganda for the MIC (companies such as Lockheed Martin). Comparing China’s Government with that of Nazi Germany, and proposing that Biden become, for present-day America, what (the equally imperialistic) Churchill was for Britain’s in the late 1930s, might be stupid enough, in just the right way, to inspire someone like Biden, in precisely the wrong way, as it’s intended to do. If so, there will be WW III.
On September 14th, the Editor-in-Chief of Global Times wrote that “China has absolutely no way to retreat. The one-China principle is the fundamental principle that we must insist on.” Similarly, in the 1963 Cuban Missile Crisis — when the Soviet Union was about to place its missiles on an island near America’s coast — America was willing to go to WW III if necessary in order to prevent that from happening. America established its “red line,” and the Soviet Union did not cross it. We’ll see what Biden does. And, if he makes the wrong decision, we’ll then see what Russia does.
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