Too Will Fall
By Ali Al-Saeed
21 July, 2004
we had learned one thing in life it is that history repeats itself,
that what goes around comes around, that life goes in a full perfect
circle; that Karma will, in more than the traditional sense, get us.
Since the begining
of time human history has witnessed the rise and fall of many great
Empires; Empires that seemed invincible and indestructible at the times;
Empires that were bound to rule the earth forever and more; Empires
in the West and the East. They came and went, hundreds and thousands
of years ago.
We think of the
great ancient ones: The Roman Empire, The Greek Empire, The Islamic
Empire and The Ottoman Empire. Each of these have lasted decades and
centuries and at their peak it was unthinkable that they would be gone,
remembered only by the few bare rocks and stones and history writings
of ancient times, glorifying their achievements and great powers. Each
was built for its own time, designed and created to adapt and adjust
to the constant and inevitable changes of the world. But what did these
Empires have in common? What made them so great?
No matter how you
look at it and what you dig up from the past, the same two words will
always come up: War and Money. Or what is known today as Freedom and
Democracy. And when you ask yourself what had brought them down? How
did they fall? Again another two words will keep flashing in front of
your eyes: Greed and Power. Or what is known today as Economy and Politics.
No doubt how ever
that each empire that followed the last got better and better in its
quest for immortality and devised cunning and intelligently devious
strategies to proclaim its divine throne on the shoulders of the rest
of the world, stepping over the little nations, holding them by a leash.
Today, in our time,
we have our own Great Empire. One just like those before her will raise
and fall, sooner or later. And the day will come when people will talk
about the American Empire as a long gone, forgotten concept, an idea
that was meant to grow endlessly and read about it in books of ancient
history, remembered for what it was and what it could have become. It
will fall for no other reason but the fact that that is what empires
do, they fall. It might take a century or it might take a millennia
but the inevitable end is always there.
Just like the Romans
before them and the Ottomans, the Americans are now busy with their
empire-building, both in the territorial and power accumulating sense.
They are taking matters in their own hands, they are their own destiny,
they make the rules and they break them,destructible, an invincible
force clutching the whole world firmly in its hand of dominion.
The United States
maintains more than 800 foreign military installations, 60 of which
are considered as major. These are spread over a total of 140 countries
around the world, including Asia, Europe and Africa with considerable
concentration within the Middle East; a military presence estimated
at around 85% of the entire member states of the United Nations.
It was such approach
that prompted the Romans for greatness, establishing military presence
and maintaining armed forces in the lands the conquered and further.
Yet on the other
hand, we see that one of the main factors behind the fall of the Roman
Empire was its laborious, constant war with the Germanic hordes. Who
would have thought back then that such a grand and magnificent empire
would crumble and fade on the hands of thugs with nothing to lose but
their pitiful lives and corrupt politicians whose only concern was their
wealth and power? If you had predicted its fall back then you would
have been laughed at.
Even one of our
modern, most eccentric empires, the Russian Empire, with all its might
could not put down the resistance of the Afghan rebels, the constant
confrontation between another mighty superpower with a rebel mob resulted
in the degradation and fall of another empire.
One cannot but draw
comparisons with these past empires and ours. Today we see the Americans
lead a fruitless, draining war against an unseen enemy in the name of
freedom and democracy when it only gives it the perfect excuse to invade
more lands and spread its territorial authority further across the Atlantic.
History tells us
that making enemies is not the way to go. Even at the height of the
Islamic Empire, its great forces did not help it maintain its grip on
half of the world, stretching through Africa and the Middle East from
Spain to China. Its successful campaign faltered bit by bit and eventually
came to an abrupt end. The Romans had the same fate, as did the Persians.
Sadly, and very
unfortunately, we see history gradually repeating itself under a new
guise and we can only but hope that Man would learn from the past and
look at the bigger picture for once.
In each one of these
cases, the ancient empires, we find that there were good and great people
behind its rise at one point or the other, but who soon end up in the
backseat of the running of the imperial organization and the priorities
change from building a great empire with great people to simply extending
its military strengths and political and territorial advantage.
The Romans and the
Greeks and the Muslims were all pioneers in the field of science, medicine,
philosophy, engineering, physics and mathematics in their time and could
have created the idealistic world for all of us to live in, but their
leaders have neglected one true, simple and basic fact. That life is
not about great Empires and who builds them, it is about great People
and who leads them.
Ali Al-Saeedis a
writer and a journalist from Bahrain. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org