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The Fall of the Roaming Empire

12 February, 2007

By Anwaar Hussain

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The American imperial behemoth finally lies panting at the sandaled feet of its nemesis, the ragtag resistance fighters, in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan. Desperate attempts are on by the deniers to infuse new life into the flagging leviathan but alas, it is dying as sure a death as that of its masters’ dream. Albeit hideously so, even its death is promising to be spectacular. For the event will scatter far and wide, bits and pieces of the myth of American supremacy and the delusion of an empire.

Nothing can be sadder than the fact that a country that welcomed to its bosom victims of the abuse of other powers for centuries, finally became the greatest abuser of power itself. And in so doing, wrote its own epitaph.

The reason, as frequently is the case in the fall of empires, will be imperial overreach--that fatal roaming bug that spelled the end of most empires. From Philippines to Vietnam to South America to Afghanistan to Iraq and now to Iran…American Empire’s inevitable journey toward its grand finale suggests that it indeed has been administered the concluding dose by the colonial roaming bug.

Why it is happening is that America, drunk with its military power, stayed glued to its strategy of dominance while the world quietly passed her by. In her inebriated state, she failed to notice her rapid isolation and falling out of favor with most of the rest of the world and that, sooner or later, this universal dislike for Pax Americana was bound to result in an almost universal backlash.

It is happening because in far flung corners of the world, it tried to roughly shove down its targets’ parched throats its economic, political, and cultural packages with an un-oiled military ramrod, resulting in a natural throwing up by the subjects of this force-fed diet.

It is happening because America, riding bareback on the 'God is on our side' moral conviction, took on certain peoples who consider themselves as ‘God’s most chosen people’ with a certainty that blowing up themselves and others for their belief was a child’s play for them. The obvious result being that dialogue for problem solving became the first casualty in this clash of divinities. In the ensuing vicious game, the other side naturally became evil and crushing and exterminating in the name of God became the name of the game.

It is happening because America forgot that many other empires have had their day in the sun as superpowers before which others trembled. But today their crumbling ruins stand witnesses in mute silence to the fact that none were sovereign over the kingdoms of men for infinite times. All came to sad, inglorious ends.

It is happening because America failed to pay attention to the fact that Britain, its former colonial master and demonstrably the greatest empire the world has ever seen and where the sun never set, stands so withered today that now it hardly ever sees a sunrise. Within a generation it was history.

It is happening because America failed to notice that due to its arrogant display of ruthless power, some truly bizarre alliances have emerged in response in recent years. Fundamentalist Muslim countries like Iran are teaming up with godless atheist communist nations like China and Stalinist North Korea to trade oil, nuclear know-how, and deadly missile systems. And with Iran and North Korea rushing to produce nuclear arms, Russia and China refuse to whole heartedly support any meaningful UN action to prevent it.

It is happening because in doggedly threatening Iran, America absolutely refuses to see that most empires decay because in the end not only does the physical infrastructure become inadequate to sustain the frontiers, there is inevitably a loss of interest or will to sustain it due to hostile actions by neighbors. Like termite they continue to nibble away at the far edges.

It is happening because despite having a Judeo-Christian leadership at the helm of its command, it takes no heed of the warning contained in The Old Testament’s exclamation of, "How are the mighty fallen!" That remains one of the earliest recorded responses to the spinning wheel of fortune.

The spectacle of faded civilizations gives one a simultaneous sense of foreboding and nostalgia along with other practical considerations. The sense of history one gains from visiting a museum is staggering. For therein lie artifacts and remains from the great empires of history that marched across the sands of time—Egypt, Israel, Judah, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Objects from the reigns of ancient monarchs like Hezekiah, Sennacherib, Shalmaneser, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, and Herod almost leap to life from the glassed cabinets in dimly lit corridors of these museums.

As the Roaming American Empire does finally fall, however, all that its king, George W. Bush, is likely to add to that collection is a pair each of Levis jeans, cowboy boots, and a Stetson hat.

The irony is that, just like Shelley, at some point in future, a poet is likely to stumble upon the irresistible antiquity of America’s gloom and doom in the rubble of old realms and like him again conceive an ironic and admonitory epitaph : "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:/ Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

The epitaph of the American Empire, though, has long been written by one George Sutherland, that eminent US jurist and appointee to the US Supreme court before the Second World War. It reads,

“The saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while there was still time.”

Copyrights : Anwaar Hussain 

Reader Comments:

A Humanoid speaks Anwaar

Yes you call us Humanoids to demean us Anwaar Hussain. You have a twisted view of the world with a twisted mind. Two countries that tried to dominate the world just 70 years ago are stable democracies now. The people in those countries control them by voting. The countries are Germany and Japan. A horrible war World War II but Many Millions of people now live in freedom and economic security because of that war which We the USA DID NOT WANT ! We did not want to go to Iraq or invade the Afgan people but we have the right to change governments that seek to destroy us as a democracy. The people in the countries liberated will someday live in freedom and prosperity because of it. We will fight if threatened with destruction from you. We will not wait for you to come to kill us. And we are far stronger than you think. Just One Humanoid's OPINION

robert frobenius, United Kingdom - 12 February, 2007

Roaming Empire

The writer of this article has shown only what happened in the past and history has proof all those who thought were the Gods are no longer in sight. US thought its a jungle and no one is more powerful than America but George Bush was mistaken who with a false pretex of WMD in Iraq. No good reason to attack Afghanistan. A country who helped US to dismantle USSR, in return are invaded by US. So ungreatfull Americans killed so many kids, women and unarmed men, WHY. Its madness what else?
US is overstretched and no way will attack on Iran or on North Korea. In the meantime they are all ready to take on America and if its starts with Iran according to Allama M. Iqbal the end of US empire.
The days are near and Fall of the Roaming Empire is going to end just in Asia not beyond. No matter what resources they have all will finish with the will of God and they go back to square one. Its a failure of wisdom and power and asked for it. US could have done been better to keep their history clean but they have a George Bush who will be sadly remembered in American history.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 12 February, 2007

Really cool

Dream buddy Dream.
Fact is we all know woh is evil and it is not USA or Israel. Sometimes it takes guts to accept the facts and you guys never seem to do that.

John, Pakistan - 12 February, 2007


Yeh, nicely written. Very true america is acting like an empire, even though it claims to believe in democracy religiously.
Though i dont think america forgot that every empire falls, american knows it will fall, and to safegaurd itself has performed numerous plunders. I wont say that america will come down like europe in WW1 or the soviet will probabaly be more like the degrading for the british empire, slow, will decline greatly but will be an important enter for at least a century more.
It is ture the same things american tried to enforce on the world for its know benefits, backlashed...e.g. globalisation myth, free trade, democracy...all these things are never supported fully by america itself. It claims to carry out free trade even though it has set my numerous trade barriers from around the world, but will force other countries to open up, just like the britist did in their imperial times. China is killing everyone, and democracy leads to Hamas winning elections...bas days for america no doubt

uzair usman, United Arab Emirates - 12 February, 2007

Really Cool

Dream buddy Dream.
Fact is we all know woh is evil and it is not USA or Israel.
Sometimes it takes guts to accept the facts and you guys never seem to do that.

john, Pakistan - 13 February, 2007

Very Unfortunate..

It's very unfortunate that Afghanistan and Iraq are seen as United States failure and not that of those countries. As long as U.S has a stable democracy, you can never say that U.S failed. U.S hasn't failed in Iraq. It's Iraq that has failed. What do you think ? U.S just wants to occupy Iraq/Afghan and have its soldiers killed?? Neither does it want to destroy any country. Hey author, do you really know why Paks who come here never go back. You need to see the rights and privileges of being an U.S Citizen. Anyone can voice their opinion. U.S listens and responds. If you don't understand diplomacy, the answer is in military. I feel Hamas and other Taliban are cowards. Why do they need to hide among common ppl and fight? Why can't they come forward and fight as an army? You really don't know what U.S is capable of? It's beyond your wildest dreams.. I agree with you in one way that U.S shouldn't really interfere(help) these countries.. U.S should understand that some countries will never change. Why does Iran/Palestine have all this hatred against Israel? Why do they use the holy Islam as a reason for all their deeds? Islam is a beautiful religion and we respect peace. China, U.S.S.R are friends with Iran ?? How long is this gonna be? Funny :-)

Samir, United Kingdom - 13 February, 2007

Roaming Empire

It can easily be seen the downfall of British Empire after the Second World War. Prior to that no one could even think of it that one day Britain will be just half the size of California. History tells us what happened and what is going to happen we see when it comes to light Days are numbered for all big powers. Look at USSR went with the winds and lost 7 of its States. It was Pakistan with US arms and Taleban fighters forced USSR to accept defeat. No one is here to live for ever, whether its US or any other power. They are doomed to fail one day. Republic of China is going to be next Super Power followed by India catching up fast. World keeps on changing with powers today belongs to US tomorrow is for Asia.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 13 February, 2007


What destruction are you talking about. It would be foolish for any country to even consider destroying your country. You give those WTC smashers (whoever they were) far more credit than they deserve. What with all those subs and satellites and AirCraft Carriers and Missiles and Guns and all that new technology coming up everyday, who in thir right mind would even think of destroying you. The United States is a great country, anyone who denies this is deaf and blind and dumb. The Americans have worked really hard but just like a Mad Scientist it has lost its ground in other areas. The Americans have special interests in other parts of the world, that understood, no big deal, But those special interests sometimes conflict with the other nations right to live.There were no WMDs, Israel is on occupied land (read a bit), America supported brutal dictators in Cuba, Iran, Iraq at onepoint or another before the pot boiled over, and a lot more examples if you give me a days worth of pages to write. If those interests were linked to right to live, it was understood, every peoples has a right to defend it self. Be it the red indians, be it the africans, be it the poles or french against nazis, or be it the afghanis, iraqis defending themselves against the american occupiers. But thats not the case, the interest lies in them earning more and more money, and "them" includes only those big multinational owners. Nobody is insane enough to blow himself up to destroy the American way of life, but the death of a mother, father, child, sibling by a bomb is enough exuse to blow up the citizens who elected the leaeder who sent that bomb.NO?If only you know how much people suffer because of your way of life of gas guzzling SUVs, the huge Arms Export Industry, the hge amounts of bioweapons you export. If only you knew that the leaders you elect are elected not by your votes but by the campaign fundings by BIG OIl, Smokers, Cholestrol companies and what not, and your leaders in turn choose leaders for us who may or may not turn out good. They may provide clean streets, health care, social security oh which most an only dream of, but they are destroying the peaceof this world. You speak of democaricies, Ive spoken about America, even Britain is not lagging behind who cancelled a Fighter Jet Export to Saudia Scam on the pretext that it would lose some British jobs. This is what the good OLD nations have come to, where the rule of law is upheld by money and greed. You will destroy us if we plan to destroy you ?? You are so naiive, you have already destroyed us while we were sleeping soundly in our beds. Whats left is hope for a better tomorrow. Peace to you atleast, America has ensured that we will be without it for some time to come.
Inspite of all the great military might, Americas time will come. GOD is just ....... in all religions.

Ahmed Sajjad, Pakistan - 13 February, 2007

Ayasha's random thoughts

Sadly, I felt I was looking at a writer's disconnect with reality when I read his article.

The title was very clever though.

If hatred could solve problems, then the world would be at peace. When will we all learn that?

Mr. Sajjad. You accuse the U.S. of supporting dictators. Who else is there to deal with? Who allows this situation and then blames the U.S. for its dealings with these same people that are, decade after decade, given leave to rule? Although, I do feel you are lucky to have Mr. Musharraf. With him at the helm, you seem to have gained many new civil liberties. May there be more...

Business dealings are not "support" as you indicated, Mr. Sajjad.

I live in the U.S. and believe me, I have no sense of falling. I do see great challenges for America in these difficult times, but I have no sense of any great fall. Someone else will have to wear the mantle of Humpty Dumpty. Actually, I don't wish the fate of Mr. Dumpty on any country. Word has it that, after his fall, the pieces never could be put together again.

The U.S. has paid, and still pays, reparation to the "Red Indian." In my opinion, Europe should pay reparation as well - for all the harm caused by years of colonialism. With that history, no wonder so many of you think of Iraq as occupied. However, times change. Can't we just move on and pray that the U.S., in time, can help end decades of suffering for the Iraqi people?

In any event,America isn't going to ever just let itself die. We are not that noble and will leave that sacrifice to others.

Well, there it is... I will take my leave, in confidence that nothing I have said will make any earthly difference. Words cannot stop wars. Nor can they change ideologies...

Ayasha, United Kingdom - 13 February, 2007

I agree

Dear Mr Anwaar ,
You right. America is begging now for help in Afghanistan and they don't have the will to attack Iran .One thing you forget .The economic fall of the US .They have now a huge export deificit .It is normaal. I am responsable. I boycot America .My childeren will do the same. I didn't attack anybody. America attacked me .How many Muslims in Europe didn't suffer from American inspired fascisme? From one day to another I became terrorist .My wife has been discriminited because of her scarf.

Noureddine, Pakistan - 14 February, 2007

To Ahmed

The mail from Ahmed Sajjad, Pakistan is far better than the Article itself. This is exactly what we call as Sanity. Not very ppl think this way.. Good one !! Ahmed..

Samir, United Kingdom - 14 February, 2007

A work of art

It is a beautiful, poetic rendition of what I have felt for some time now (though some may be as deaf to the sentiment of the article as cows are to music). Thank you Mr. Hussain for saying what needed to be said.

The crminals running the roost in America will surely bring the downfall of this once great-nation sooner than later. Of that I am sure.

Maximus, Canada - 14 February, 2007

bye bye usa

We do witness the fall of the Empires: Iraq , Iran , Somalia ,Afghanistan .
Do not forget Cuba , Venezuela , Bolivia .
Economically you have China and India in their growth .They take jobs from the Americans .
There is also a small but continues effect of Boycot and disgust to everthing which is American .
Don't forget that lot of dictators like our friend Musharaf don't know shame , they only know treat and let's be honnestUSA have each day less power to treat with .

Noureddine, Pakistan - 14 February, 2007

Roaming Empire

I disagree with the opinion of Mr. Noureddine of Pakistan
who has picked on Gen. Musharraf, just thinking that he is being treated good by US. Its not the case but the story is different when you look in minute details. US needs Pakistan and vice versa. Its the business nothing else. No one likes no one its purely business what Pakistan is trying to get from US and others. There is lot of room for improvement in Pakistan including in political system which is well behind in their thinking and approach. Its easy to criticise but when it comes to see the facts then its otherwise. Pakistan government is not weak and must have friendship with all the countries of the world including India. The fall of Roaming Empire is the topic and let us come to this which is bothering everyone perhaps but not me. I go for the facts and they are like this. Republic os China is going to be the next Super Power and followed by India. US will eventually lose business and power but will take little longer. Its the law of the nature that anything goes up do come down with a faster speed. All Empires are gone incluidng British Empire they did have a hold on lot of countries but not any more. Each are riding on each others back and its purely business and survival. The survival of the fittest is the game and US is strong able to dictate terms but not for long. Who would think of China coming up so fast, took more than 50 years and came this far. With a surlus of over $1 trillion shows how strong China is today and given a few more years when China sends man on the moon which is in couple of years time. World will be surprised of the progress achieved. There are more countries in the region and one of them is Pakistan also who got a very strong Leadership who has brought the country from ruins to $13.25B in treasury. With US technology Pakistan can develop faster and they
e both allies, no harm in give and take but each country has its own interests and no one is giving away too much. Pakistan is very safe under the present government no matter what others who are connected with political parties might say. I stick to my opinion that living with harmoney with others is good. Whatever US is doing its their foreign policy and that will fail as it failed before in Vietnam. Bush is the worst President of present time what America got and he will be going in the next elections then some change will happen. World has never been without troubles and will remain this way. History tells us all.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 15 February, 2007


Ok so this strange...lets look at the timeline..America accuses of Iran and Korea to be terrorists states...check out Nixon's public speeches and how he used to degrade and claim that China and Russia were terrorists and a threat to world peace. Today america cant even say such a thing, because times both these countries have vito power, even though China is still communist and Putin openly degrades the US. Saying that America wont come down is pathetic, ottaman emprie did, British did, and this will so. Not that its a good thing, its just a cycle. I don't think any country with democracy is a good country, it doesnt make sense. Today they say democracy, tommorow something else...e.g. UK 5 years ago sex shops were banned, today they are allowed..Do morals change in 5 years? In a democracy..yes! and america really is nothing, if you want to see free speech and freedom look at europe. Europe took a loan from america, and today they arer far ahead when it comes to social secuirty and living standards. In america, anyone who doesnt have a job, begs, u dont see that in europe. I dont understand why those countries arent known as the best e.g. the scanadavian countries...its only the media and economic, and military influence of america. If you want to talk about development, werstern europe is far, far ahead.

Uzair, United Arab Emirates - 15 February, 2007

Reply to Mr. Noureddine

Mr. Noureddine,

China and India are indeed rising.

Can't we just wish another country well in Its success without wishing for another to fall?

Ayasha, United Kingdom - 16 February, 2007

Is this America?

Mr. Uzair,

People don't beg in America. Oh,the drunks and the druggies might do what we call "spare changing," but, unless someone deliberately ruins their life by making wrong choices, they will succeed in America - those who are willing to study and work very hard, that is.

Those who might become suddenly unemployed, receive unemployment benefits. They can receive help from the government to retrain for another career as well.

If a woman finds herself alone with children, she will get public assistance, health care, dental care, housing and she and her family will not go hungry. All this help comes from the U.S. government.

My head is spinning with confusion. I live in America and your view must be too foggy with dislike or even hate because it all wrong.

In spite of what our far, far, far left or Secular Progressives tell you, America is not what you seem to think.

It's nice, though, considering all the harm European colonialism has done to your part of the world, that you don't hold a grudge.

No Country is perfect. In my opinion, the article is not only unkind, but totally unfair.
America's economy goes from lukewarm to red hot. It's been that way since I can remember. Sorry to disappoint, but we will survive...

Ayasha, United Kingdom - 16 February, 2007

Every quick and illegel rising fails

America after the fall of Russia with its communism did try to become the master of the world but those are also humans who are not Americans. Bush was just to become a universal Emperor but is on the path of downfall with his Pentagon and ordering the world.

Shirin, Pakistan - 16 February, 2007

I do go along with this sweet writer Shirin who does not wish that America do fall but tells the truth that US especially Bush admininstration think they are God and universal Emperor. May be for a little while but nature has got its own course. If USSR can be dismantled by Taleban and Pakistani forces then what next. World geography keeps on changing and so are the powers. India coming up though not a fear for anyone as history tells us. A race never went out of their borders to take over other countries. Intruders came into India and took wealth including British the last Rulers of India. Look at today India becoming a Super Power in over 60 years. I wish them success and a good understanding and unity with Pakistan. United they can progress quicker. Asia got a future and 21st Century belongs to them. It does not mean that US will not be there but must effect when their export to the world of 48% armaments is declined. Recent visit of Putin to Middle East and offer of civilian nuclear technology and their acceptance must take a twist in power game. Foreign policy of US has failed badly and going into Iraq and Afghanistan is the biggest mistake made by American President and left a slurr on the reputation of a kind nation. Very kind and generous nation who did help all and helping today but killing innocents as well. Where to draw the line is rather hard. Good luck Shirin keep giving your opinion, I do like it.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 16 February, 2007

a time for war and a time for peace

The USA is a huge country .You have people like Bush living here but the majority are peace loving .The people like Bush try to ruin this country .But i'll tell you why this won't happen .It won't happen because we have a democracy .The Bushpeople made a mess .The next president will defeat the terrorists .He or she will normalize our ties with Muslims .He or she will cut funding for extreme right- wing politicians and anti Islam populists in Europe .
A democracy is able to recover so for those who hate my country I say "dream on" .To all others I say If you are with terrorists you are against me .But your free to disgree with me .

Jim, United Kingdom - 17 February, 2007

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