Contrasting modern-day empires

“The last of the old-fashioned empires involving physical control is the current Chinese empire. This pretends, as does Israel, that the lands (forget the peoples) were ‘traditionally’ theirs. How far in history does tradition extend? What happened then to the once independent peoples of Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet, Xinjiang? Were they not also once credited with achieving, for a while, empires made up of contiguous lands but occupied by unrelated tribes? A rapacious China, having enslaved these peoples, will destroy whatever economic bases they have, as well as their ethno-religious cultures.

It is the new form of empire, however, that is most interesting. This is the hegemonic empire, based on influence (including threats and bribery). Only one exists, and it is almost global. Australia is a respected part of it. The empire of the USA does not physically control any foreign territory (except for a few islands here and there), unlike the Chinese and the colonising nations of Europe. It exercises influence in a variety of ways that are decidedly clever.

It appoints so-called ‘deputy sheriffs’ to safeguard the interests of the West in their respective bailiwicks; it has trade and mutual-defence agreements with nations which seek protection from imagined foes; and it has military bases here, there, and everywhere to protect the nations of the West and their allies. The USA will fight terrorism anywhere and everywhere; defend itself from attack by enemies, real or creatively conceived; keep the sea routes open, thereby making other navies unnecessary; sell armaments (its primary objective?), and contain political threats, even imagined ones. This has given it the right to have a foothold in all sorts of places; we Aussies are grateful for such protection!

It also makes generous grants as strategically needed, to keep unpopular, even undemocratic, foreign leaders in power. Their job is to ensure that the needs of the USA, viz. oil and other resources, bases, access routes and export opportunities, are met. Its deputy sheriff Israel is furnished with the latest weaponry to prevent an Islamic resurgence. This includes the intended breakup of Iraq into three ethno-religious regions; so wrote an Israeli scholar recently. A strong foothold on Iraqi soil will give the US power to over¬sight lesser nations and overlook the more powerful.

The US has installed its satrap in Afghanistan to enable that desired oil pipeline from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean to be achieved one day. The US will also enable Israel to recover Judah and Samarra as that pure Jewish nation that their God decided was OK, even as it works assiduously to bring about ‘peace’ between oppressor and oppressed. Justice? Only the Court of Cosmic Justice can ensure that. And it will!”

(There are interesting contrasts between empires which exercise direct control and the current hegemonic empire, the empire of influence. Refer future posts drawn from my book ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’)