By Ray Salehi
The world of 20th century
doubtless was most marked and influenced by America insofar as politics, technology,
and culture. The downfall of the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence largely
upset the bipolar balance of the global superpowers that had stood firm since
shortly after the end of the Second World War. The New World Order was
America's vision that it gleefully embarked
upon as its dividend of bankrupting the Communist East. However, it did not take
long before America squandered its unique position in
America's vision of rapidly pulling ahead
of the rest of the world and exercising its pervasive hegemony unencumbered
began to falter for a myriad of reasons from neglect on one end to utter
brashness on the other.
Reflecting its hardened position
against the Palestinians, the early Bush administration in its conspicuous
absence of engagement in the Middle East peace talks, its deep-freeze policy of
sanction against Baghdad and its deprived populous, and its too cozy of
relationship with Riyadh to keep the world awash in cheap oil, much to the
chagrin of other producers, raised the ire of the "Arab Street," which the
extremist Islamists indirectly exploited and continue still.
Undeniably convinced that it could
repeat the Japanese economic magic but on a much grander and sustainable scale
and under intricately controlled autocracy,
China never felt the genuine and warm
welcome of America to capitalism's mat of production
and trade. The inexplicable China economic model was in the face of
America, disproving a long-held belief that
prosperity is the distinctive characteristic of only liberal democracies. By
some estimates within 20 years, China will be the greatest maritime
power, and by 2040 its GNP will overtake the
A powerhouse in its own right,
India has been viewed with neglect and
mostly in the context of its long conflict with
Pakistan over Kashmir.
America never rose to its rhetoric ideal of
democracy and freedom to ally itself with
India as the biggest democracy. In fact,
the US policy in South Asia has been one of mutually unease
alliance with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan bought mainly by way of the sale
of advanced military equipment and foreign aid in exchange for
Islamabad's compliance and cooperation in the
war against al Quaeda. America's policy toward
India has been disingenuous at best by
offering to help New
Delhi with civilian nuclear power
generation only in exchange for weakening
Iran's position, and outright hostile at
worst by tacitly backing Pakistan in its conflict against
India's young and vibrant work force is
projected to steadily expand her economy at a 6.5% clip.
America has sounded nothing but irreverent
rebuke against Russia especially since Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice took over from Colin Powell.
Russia may presently be no
USSR but it still commands huge arsenals
of nuclear missiles and the largest deposits of hydrocarbon that dwarf the Saudi
reserves by several folds.
No single point of commonality is
the impetus for the rise of this loose multi-polar world alliance other than
standing up to the hubris of an unrepentant, self-absorbed unilateralist.
Missing in this juggernaut is the ever more uneasy Europe that still sees itself allied with
America but ready to jump ship and go it
alone if the cost of alliance becomes a burdensome liability.