VIEW: Uncle Sam, this is your century —Wasay Majid - Friday, April 29, 2011

Today we have it; the neocons eventually evolved a pathway for their ideology, turning it into a system dictating the future of mankind

The world has always been in conflict and the decisive player has always had access to sea routes. It has usually been said, throughout time, that whoever controls the seas controls the world. Well, in this present century, all other navies of the world combined are insignificant when compared to the US Navy. All oceans of the world are ruled by the US. Europe had its day and enjoyed it for the last 500 years but after World War II, the US reigned supreme on the much coveted North Atlantic route to dominate the world, at last.

While our Uncle was just a baby, he started his end goal’s grand design as early as the end of World War I (when the League of Nations was born) with the Treaty of Versailles. Baby Sam’s annoying dictates were unwittingly painful for the Germans and it was only a matter of time before it would result in its inevitable end — conflict. Germany was to follow strict orders on handing over territory, restrict its military, pay damages to the amount chosen at will by damaged nations and was to sign and accept a ‘War Guilt Clause’. Surely, even Germans have a tipping point. In 1933, Hitler refused to pay up and this started the systematic breaking of the terms. Thus came World War II and its end (the UN was born) brought the Washington Treaty of 1949 to give birth to a global attack force, abruptly named NATO. These were the sweet beginnings of the Cold War era. Baby Sam was out of the cot and knowingly used containment of communism as its main strategy to put the Soviet Union into a cot.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, interestingly, saw arrogance being flaunted by a proud and promising adolescent Sam, albeit in a clandestine manner initially. The sudden birth of the neo-conservatives was synonymous with the US becoming the dominant power of the world. Unlike the Dalai Lama, I think Sammy was becoming more a worldly kinda guy.

Looking at a brief history of neoconservative ideology takes us back to the 1930s and 1940s where one can explain it as once being leftist or liberal. Seeing Stalinism, they moved towards the right and supported the Cold War, thus moving into the realm of foreign affairs. They found refuge in the ideology of the liberal democrats in the 1960s, who demanded a hard line against the Soviet Union. They rejected the New Left of the 1960s, aka the ‘hippies’. The New Left were considered Anti-American by the neocons. Their focus on human rights abuses around the world and support for labour unions domestically was in contrast to a logical and superior pathway the US had paved out for its prosperity and control over the globe. Looking at Sam’s moral value and family ethics, do we not all want our daddy to be just like Sam?

The neocons were moving forward. They had think tanks, academic institutes and government covered. They had a plethora of white papers ripe to make them government policy. Most notably, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) achieved its systemic penetration. PNAC has its roots in neconservative ideology. PNAC outrightly blurts that after the end of the Cold War, the US is the most powerful state on the globe and it fears no one. If I am allowed to explain in plain words, the philosophy of the project has been that the US has to prevent an emergence of any rival and to make damn sure of this it can act in isolation and can pre-empt an attack. Secondly, it is required to police the world and has to keep tabs on all other nations and any conflicts. Academics like Paul Wolfowitz and Francis Fukuyama are original signatories of PNAC, including Dick Cheney, Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad and Donald Rumsfeld. Prominent members include Robert Zoellick, Richard Perle and Richard Armitage. Sam became the company he kept.

Furthermore, this god complex to monitor the world has also been reflected in the US Navy’s new strategy, presented in 2007, called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. Basically, it raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. PNAC’s fundamentals reflected the exact philosophy that the Roman Republic evolved into and were eloquently orated and cherished by Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero, who among his numerous legacies, as a republican, inspired the founding fathers of the US.

A similar philosophy has been around in the military establishment. RAND — a private sector think tank — is its base. RAND originated in the minds of leading air force generals after World War II. Sammy’s childhood toy soldiers came to life. RAND’s decision in the 1950s to re-model the globe towards a new world order changed everything. With the development of Rational Choice Theory, it turned people from citizens into consumers, as rights and responsibilities were replaced with choices and people’s lives slowly came to be dominated not by integrity or principle, but by what they spent their money on. Sam’s entrepreneurial itch started to play.

Interestingly, if you look into Leo Strauss’s views of the Republic, being a political philosopher, he points to Cicero’s explanation of Plato’s Republic through a quote of his: “The Republic does not bring to light the best possible regime but rather the nature of political things — the nature of the city.” In effect, the system is not stirred by efficiency and humanism, but lineage, law, society and suffrage. That is the reason Strauss believes politics and philosophy are intertwined and Socrates’ trial was the inception point of this fact. Strauss feared that people trying to force a world state to come into being in the future, would eventually result in it being a tyranny. Sam always knew tyranny is never suffered by the tyrant.

Today we have it; the neocons eventually evolved a pathway for their ideology, turning it into a system dictating the future of mankind. All their white papers are policy. It is inevitable. It is not forced but merely an eventual pathway.

Looking closely we see that people, thinkers, leaders, are a product of their previous generations to an extent, and ideas, although they have the luxury of centuries to shape and penetrate, hardly evolve. Ideas are in constant conflict throughout the ages as that is their characteristic. They rise and fall. They win battles, arguments, discussions and regime changes but the war continues.

In short, the new century will be a dangerous one: lots of conflict, war and death, not to mention the plethora of natural disasters gaining probability. Historically, Sam likes war. He reflects an increasing trend towards it. Though he has the muscle and will, he is still young and immature, and that is what makes him dangerous. Wherever the US takes its wars, its effects will be detrimental to those countries and their future, but for Americans these constitute distant skirmishes not affecting daily life. I reiterate: this is your century Uncle, though I will always be expecting presents on Christmas and Easter, at least.

The writer is an MSc (Oxon) and development professional. He may be contacted at

Source :\04\29\story_29-4-2011_pg3_4

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