Trumping up: A history of America’s lessons on power and war

While Trump tries to breathe new life into the wheezing American colonial goliath in Afghanistan, obtuse statements are flying every which way in USA as the aftermath of his new Afghan policy. We are going to pump in more troops, we are going to withdraw, we are not going to withdraw, and we are going to partially start withdrawing, we are winning, we are not losing, we are talking to the Taliban, and we are not talking to the Taliban etc, etc. Regardless, the deniers of America’s huge Afghan pratfall continue trying to flog new life into the panting behemoth. And the easiest step to do that is to blame Pakistan for America’s dismal failure in Afghanistan.

It is a sad moment, however, to witness America’s squirming state. Sad, because not very long ago, certain charlatans at the helm of affairs in this great country, a country that welcomed its bosom to victims of the abuse of other powers for centuries, turned it into the greatest abuser of power itself. And in doing so, wrote its epitaph on the one hand and a revival of the very retrograde forces they were apparently fighting on the other. Now that concluding doses are regularly being administered to the Empire building dream of Uncle Sam, it’s time to take a look at the hows and whys of it all.

Perhaps the biggest single cause of the debacle is that while America, drunk with power and taut, with an over bulging military muscle, stayed glued to its strategy of dominance, the world quietly passed her by. Thus intoxicated, fixated on grandeur, deaf to saner voices, she failed to notice that there are limits to the power even of a super power. With brute force in far-flung corners of the earth, using an un-oiled military ramrod, it tried to roughly shove down its targets’ parched throats alien economic, political, and cultural packages. That the subjects tend to throw up such forced-fed foreign doses was clear to all but the American leaders.

Furthermore, to fool the gullible American citizenry, America’s administration back then, rode bareback on ‘God is on our side’ rallying cry to let loose the dogs of war. In using this age-old ‘god factor’, they forgot that they were about to take on a people who considered themselves as ‘God’s most chosen people’ with a certainty that has no equal on planet Earth. They also did not take into account that when divinities are made to clash, good and evil fuse with each other in the ensuing melee that it is hard to tell one from another.

The Americans need to ponder over what went wrong in Afghanistan. They need to record for posterity, how fighters armed only with light weapons but armoured in faith, forced the world’s best-paid, best-trained and best-equipped army to its knees. For this, the American military philosophers stand beholden to future generations of American leaders.

Here are a few suggestions for putting together this historic document.

Embossed in bold golden letters under the title on the cover should be American historian Howard Zinn’s epic quote that says, ‘There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people’. Then from the first chapter onwards, the historians should start putting together how its wilful, premeditated genocide of innocent people, every canon of the United Nations and the 1945 Nuremberg Charters, the International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions was blown to bits by the criminal cabal then ruling the United States of America.

Next, they should catalogue not just the murder of a million plus human beings, but also America’s bullying unilateralism, dismissive approach towards international treaties, rude attitude towards other nations and cultures, and disrespect for institutions of the world government. They should confess the real reason for America’s onslaught on a defenceless, but resource rich people. They should admit in clear words that there is no limit to the horrors that the ruling American class will not inflict to stay in power and gobble up the fast dwindling resources of planet earth. They should record for posterity the ugly truth of America’s wars and inform the Americans that these wars were waged for nothing other than corporate greed and global conquest notwithstanding the death, destruction and oppression these caused.

They should then record the dichotomies of American policies. They should note, for instance, how America has been supporting Israel, a state bristling with nuclear weapons, not a signatory to nuclear pacts and baring its nuclear fangs at the slightest of provocations, but had a sledge hammer out for Iran for even saying the word ‘nuclear’. They should record in the manuscript, the irony that Iraq was blown into smithereens for violating a few trumped up, aye ‘Trumped up’, UN resolutions yet Israel, the world’s record holder of violations of UN resolutions, never gets even a rap on the knuckles for the same.

They should neatly manifest the names of all the dictators that America has been bedding with while wanting to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the nations they suppressed. And that from Idi Amin of Uganda, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, and General Zia of Pakistan to Pol Pot of Cambodia, America has been the biggest friend and patron of the most crooked and brutal dictators of the world over. In the end result of this ‘happy union’, it may be noted, was that America, the principal champion of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, herself became the architect of the darkest dungeons on earth. And those reckless American acts of arbitrary detentions, extraordinary renditions, torture, and abuse of prisoners of war in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan shamed even those of certain banana republics in the Third World.

The last four chapters, all written in bold, may be thus titled:

* Why an ideology cannot be bombed out of a people.

* How the only way to defeat an ideology is with a better ideology.

* Some people push back.

* Lessons

The epic volume should be titled as My Name Is Ozymandias, King Of Kings and Shelley’s instructive warning should be given as its concluding epitaph.

My name is Ozymandias, king of kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
And nay…….. it’s not Pakistan Mr Trump,
You are trumping up.

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