Imperialism in the Age of Obama
The election of Barack Obama was greeted in many circles with a combination of relief and euphoria. It was of course historic. But does Obama represent genuine change from the previous regime? Eloquence and charisma, while attractive qualities, are not policy. Obama is imbued with the same imperial mentality that prevails in Washington in that he believes America can reengineer other countries like Afghanistan. This hubris will lead to further death and destruction. Obama has declared that Afghanistan is “a war worth fighting” and has doubled the number of troops there. A little history would be instructive. The mighty British Empire, among others, on multiple occasions, tried to conquer Afghanistan. They never succeeded. One high 19th century British official astutely observed that the Afghans “do not want us, they dread our appearance in their country and will not tolerate foreign rule.”
John Pilger is an internationally renowned journalist and documentary filmmaker. Born in Australia, he has long been based in London. He has twice been selected as Journalist of the Year. His award-winning documentaries include Palestine is Still the Issue and The War on Democracy. He is the author of The New Rulers of the World and Freedom Next Time.