Islamic Renaissance

A Voice for the Muslim Freedom Struggle

We Still Live In An Age Of Empire

2016: The Age Of Empire

The more books I read, the more I realise we still live in an age of empire. I know, at first it sounds absurd, but it’s the truth. You and I just don’t know because we live in a fantasy world, we live in our small bubble, we only care about our immediate lives and our immediate relationships, and we never stop to consider the bigger picture. And that’s precisely why I’m here to help you see the bigger picture.

Before I explain further, let us first define what an empire is:
Supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a person or group”

From the oxford dictionary definition of the word ‘empire’, we understand that if the ultimate political power over several countries is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, it is classed as an empire. We also understand that an empire can only be established through imperialism [a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means]. Though in the past Empires expanded by establishing direct control, today they establish indirect control that secures their imperial interests.

How did this happen?

During the period of colonialism, Western imperial powers created an International Western Power Structure in their colonies. This was achieved in a number of ways such as installing and funding dictators, arming mercenaries, economic invasion, cultural colonisation, occupations and ideological hegemony.

This power structure is still being maintained till this day. I would like to prove the above with a few facts and anecdotes:

The occupation of Iraq, which was in direct violation of the International Law, robbed it of its natural resources. The entire economy of Iraq, except oil, was up for sale for foreign capital, combined with a free-market shock therapy programme, pre-empting the decisions of any elected government of Iraq. This is referred to as a ‘managed’ form of democracy where key economic and strategic decisions are taken in advance by the occupiers. As Seamus Milne explains in The Revenge of History, “The US will willingly hand over power only once it is confident of controlling the political outcome.”

The American government have also supported dictators in Iran, Libya, Iraq, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Arabia and many more countries. And if these countries try to resist the power structure, they are either invaded or overthrown. In 1954 the American government overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran. In 1965 the American government backed an attempted military coup in Indonesia, and in 2012, the second largest funded military by the US government, the Egyptian military, overthrew its democratically elected leader. On 9/11 – no, not 2001 but 1973 – the American government supported a military coup in Chile that cost 3,197 lives.

However, that is not all. Not only have western elites overthrown democratically elected governments, but have also provided arms to their puppets. The British government alone is responsible for approving arms worth £2.3 billion to 16 states since 2009. The American government has also sold arms as well as backed warlords in Somalia and Afghanistan. In fact, the international arms trade is worth $1.07 trillion a year. And of course, many of these arms are sold to dictators in the East who use them to suppress revolutions, just as we saw in the recent revolutions in the Muslim world, where Muslims were demanding their freedom.

Furthermore, western elites have also provided mercenaries to protect their puppet dictators. In the 1960’s David Sterling, a British Army officer, set up an organisation called Watch Guard, whose job was to provide African and Middle Eastern leaders with a private army of British mercenaries. Their task was to prevent the leaders who David Sterling approved off from being overthrown.

Through this power structure, western imperial forces are still able exploit and control their colonies and thus indirectly maintain their empire. So though they may not be physically present, they still have “Supreme political power over several countries”. (As per the oxford dictionary definition provided above) That being said, the American government does have over 1000 military bases around the world.

What we must understand is that the gruesome, barbaric world we used to live in still exists. The age of empire never ended, the venture of empire has continued and expanded. 2016 is the age of empire. The world didn’t evolve, it simply adapted.

 

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