Is About To End
By Abid Mustafa
07 December, 2006
six years have elapsed since President Bush took office and the much
coveted 21st century belongs to America is about to come to an abrupt
end. America's pre-eminence in four corners of the world is being challenged
by friends and foes alike.
In America's own backyard-
Latin America-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is spear heading
a crusade to undermine US interests across the region. He has successfully
garnered the support of the leaders of Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador to
propagate his cause. Together they have challenged American supremacy
by embarking on a campaign to reclaim oil and gas fields from western
companies and put them directly under state control.
Across the Atlantic, Europe
smitten by the Iraq war and deeply hostile to the unilateralist agenda
of the Bush administration, has at best offered nominal assistance.
Rather, given the opportunity the Europeans-notably the French, the
Germans and the British have behaved more as foes than American allies.
French intransigence in Lebanon, Europe's refusal to commit significant
troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, Britain's interference in Palestine,
and French and British hostility towards a Darfur settlement have damaged
America's standing in the world and eroded her legitimacy.
Russia and China subdued
by twenty or so years of American power have reawakened to counter American
inspired revolutions sweeping Central Asia. Uzbekistan returned to Moscow's
sphere of influence, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus successfully thwarted US
backed uprisings; America failed to press home the political gains made
in Ukraine, and Georgia witnessed a severe backlash from Russia over
its ties with Washington.
Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan the minnow states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO) have become emboldened enough to demand withdrawal of American
bases. America's gains in this region almost stand to naught.
Worse still is that the war
on terror has inadvertently solidified China's relationship with Russia-undoing
years of American strategic planning to keep the two erstwhile enemies
apart. The China-Russian alliance reinvigorated with economic growth
and a common desire to see a bipolar
world has spread its tentacles across the globe harming US interests.
Russia unfazed by American
threats is equipping Venezuela and Iran with modern weaponry. Chinese
energy companies are signing oil deals in places that have traditionally
been the preserve of American oil giants. In the Middle East, both Russian
and China have taken strong objection to America's position over Iran.
On the Korean peninsula, Beijing's unfettered support for Pyongyang
has exposed Washington's inability to prevent North Korea from becoming
Throughout the Muslim world
America's credibility has plummeted to an all-time low. The ferocity
of the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan has broken the back of the
US army and forced President Bush to abandon his plans to advance democracy.
Bush unable to extricate America from Iraq and Afghanistan has had to
revert to the 'Truman Doctrine' and seek the help of secular autocracies
like Syria, Iran and Pakistan. Instead of reshaping the Muslim world
in America's image, the nefarious policies of the Bush administration
has Islamised the region, politicised the Muslim masses to awaken from
their spiritual slumber and galvanised the Muslim intelligentsia into
a powerful force for political Islam- to sum up the last six years-
it is suffice to say that America is precipitating the birth of the
After two decades of dominating
world affairs, America finds itself at the mercy of her friends and
enemies. Graham Fuller former vice chairman of the National Intelligence
Council described America's predicament correctly when he wrote in the
latest issue of the National Interest, "diverse countries have
deployed a multiplicity of strategies and tactics designed to weaken,
divert, alter, complicate, limit delay or block the Bush agenda through
death by a thousand cuts."
So what happens after America
has fallen from its perch as the world's sole super power? Europe is
too divided to take up the mantle of the leading state. Russia has yet
to translate her economic strength into political capital to position
herself as the pre-eminent power. Both China and India lack the political
will and the experience to affect world politics. For the
foreseeable future, both countries will be confined to their respective
spheres of influence.
Abid Mustafa is a political commentator who specialises in Muslim affairs
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