Friday, October 17, 2008

A Reagan Written Obituary That Went Wrong!!


The fall of 2008 would be remembered if not for one of the great presidential campaigns and the possibility of the first colored president of America; it would surely be recalled for the economic turmoil that the world has seen. Stranger things have happened in the world, but not in the recent memory has anyone known the United States as helpless and clueless as it seems today. Many believe it was the un-quenching greed of the so called Wall Street 'Masters of the Universe' that bought about this downfall, and then there are others who think that it was callousness with which the politicians de-regulated the markets resulted in this mayhem.

But I'd like to believe that reasons for this loss of face for the US is more in their attitude and psyche as much as it is in their actions. A little over a couple of decades go, the then President of USA, Mr. Ronald Reagen announced

"The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written."

The United States, which was the beacon of capitalism, assumed that in the post-cold war era there was nothing which could stop its economic and military supremacy. Their obsession with their own capitalism was dwarfed by their hatred for communism. Their desire to impose their will and supremacy on others left them unguarded at their own turf. No one imagined that it wouldn't need an enemy to topple them off the perch, 'cos they've been digging their own grave all along. Two decades on from that quote from Mr. Reagan, it doesn't appear that communism has been quite transcend by the West. On the contrary, whats transcended everyone is the National Debt in America. Couldn't have been more ironic when their own 'Debt Clock' ran out of digits to reflect the numbers.

The last pages of communism which were written at the time of Reagan, were in fact a great work of fiction. China has shown everyone that Communism is alive and kicking, and the glorious Olympics which the Chinese hosted only seem to contrast the glorious achievements of China against the dirty mess in the US. If Communism once seemed sad and bizarre to Americans, its no cruel coincidence that its the same Communist China which is one of US' biggest trade partners and holds trillions of dollars of American treasury bonds.

I am no prophet of Communism neither am I any anti-American preacher, what I am though is someone who expects a leader to be more caring than condescending. A super power to be equitable rather than selfish and self-centered. Leadership often comes with responsibility and somewhere, the American leadership let go of this.

Iraq war for instance, they went ahead with their military actions without a clear mandate to do so from the Security Council. Saddam Hussein was a dictator and so was Pervez Musharraf, and yet while one was attending State Luncheons with the American President the other was hung by the gallows. Both Muslim states, if the Bhaat party was breeding terrorists so was the ISI; and yet while one was showered with missiles from B-52 bombers the ISI was gift-wrapped F-16's.

Surely, a country has a sovereign right to support or oppose, but not in a manner which is blatantly arbitrary and smacks of injustice to the others. If they had chosen capitalism as there way of life, congratulations to them; their democracy is well appreciated and their supremacy well regarded. But the sad part is that they faltered in their judgement of others, and it is this failure of judgement, a direct cause of their unwarranted & exaggerated pride which has brought their Treasury Secretary to his knees.

Two decades on from Ronald Reagan's Obituary of Communism, a new chapter in American Capitalism is taking the very same color which their former president declared dead. The $700 billion bailout, is the biggest, most costliest and shameless form of communism every to have seen!

The Americans might be feeling bitter right now, but what we sow is often what we reap. They have to go through this painful process, but by the time they stagger back to their feet the contours of the power landscape would have been changed for ever. China, India, Brazil and many others would have cemented their place on the high table by then. Though we cannot deny back the US its rightful place, surely it would not have the top slot for granted anymore.

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