By HUSSAIN SAQIB
According to Wikipedia, Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is a set of unequal relationships: between the colonists and the indigenous population.
The term colonialism normally refers to a period of history from the late 15th to the 20th century when European nation states established colonies on other continents. In this period, the justifications for colonialism included various factors such as the profits to be made, the expansion of the power and various religious and political beliefs.
The American continent was colonized by various European states including Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. The motive was economic gains through expansion of power. While present day USA got its independence from colonial powers in 1776, the other colonies were not that fortunate. The independence struggle of the USA is a history of “blood, sweat and tears”, but this history does not adequately mention the Red Indians, the people who accepted the immigrants in the first place. The history of USA is remarkable, its values are driven by its own experience and place emphasis on human rights and human liberties. This is the strength of American society which made it the mightiest power as it stands today on the face of the planet. However, it seems to have started suffering from the very same grandeur syndrome which pushed Europeans to enslave nearly half of the planet. It has economic and military power and is using it to subjugate the lands bestowed with mineral resources.
What we are observing in Libya is the rebirth of this colonialism of which American people were themselves a victim. Only this time it is not individual European governments competing for empires and resources. The new colonialism operates under the cover of “the world community,” which means NATO and those countries that cooperate with it. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was once a defense alliance against a possible Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Today NATO provides European troops in behalf of American hegemony.
According to an analysis of Paul Craig Roberts which recently appeared in Counterpunch, Washington pursues world hegemony under the guises of selective “humanitarian intervention” and “bringing freedom and democracy to oppressed people.” On an opportunistic basis, Washington targets countries for intervention that are not its “international partners.” Caught off guard, perhaps, by popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, there are some indications that Washington responded opportunistically and encouraged the uprising in Libya. Khalifa Hifter, a suspected Libyan CIA asset for the last 20 years, has gone back to Libya to head the rebel army. Gaddafi got himself targeted by standing up to Western imperialism. He refused to be part of the US Africa Command. Gaddafi saw Washington’s scheme for what it is, a colonialist’s plan to divide and conquer.
The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) was created by order of President George W. Bush in 2007. Its approach is based upon supporting U.S. national security interests in Africa as articulated by the President and Secretaries of State and Defense in the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy. Forty-nine countries participate in the US Africa Command, but not Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, and Ivory Coast. There is Western military intervention in these non-member countries except for Zimbabwe.
One traditional means by which the US influences and controls a country is by training its military and government officers. The program is called International Military and Education Training (IMET). AFRICOM reports that “in 2009 approximately 900 military and civilian students from 44 African countries received education and training in the United States or their own countries. Many officers and enlisted IMET graduates go on to fill key positions in their militaries and governments.”AFRICOM lists as a key strategic objective the defeat of the “Al-Qaeda network.” The US Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) trains and equips “partner nation forces “ to preclude terrorists from establishing sanctuaries and aims to “ultimately defeat violent extremist organizations in the region.”
The al-Qaeda threat has become Washington’s best excuse for intervening in the domestic affairs of other countries and for subverting American civil liberties. Sixty-six years after the end of World War II and 20 years after the Collapse of the Soviet Union, the US still has an European Command, one of nine military commands and six regional commands. No other country feels a need for a world military presence. Why does Washington think that it is a good allocation of scarce resources to devote $1.1 trillion annually to military and security “needs”? Is this a sign of Washington’s paranoia? Is it a sign that only Washington has enemies? Or is it an indication that Washington assigns the highest value to empire and squander taxpayers’ monies and the country’s credit-worthiness on military footprints, while millions of Americans lose their homes and their jobs?
Washington’s expensive failures in Iraq and Afghanistan have not tempered the imperial ambition. Washington can continue to rely on the print and TV media to cover up its failures and to hide its agendas, but expensive failures will remain expensive failures. Sooner or later Washington will have to acknowledge that the pursuit of empire has bankrupted the country.
It is paradoxical that Washington and its European “partners” are seeking to extend control over foreign lands abroad while immigration transforms their cultures and ethnic compositions at home. As Hispanics, Asians, Africans, and Muslims of various ethnicities become a larger and larger percentage of the populations of the “First World,” support for the white man’s empire fades away. Peoples desiring education and in need of food, shelter, and medical care will be hostile to maintaining military outposts in the countries of their origins.
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