The Empire’s Declining Authority

Imperialism has virtually vanished from communist vocabulary. Nor does anti-imperialist liberation struggle get currency in their discourse. Barring the anarchists no leftist outfit raises the question of class and class interests in defining war. Imperialism means war. And the roots of American imperialism lie in its war economy. The world is now suffering more wars than at any time since 1945. The on-going wars in Gaza and Ukraine demonstrate among other things the limits of American imperial power. The Pan-Americana is not yet dead but it is surely heading towards an inglorious demise. America’s abilities to support wars in Gaza and Ukraine are dwindling. In truth the White House looks powerless in influencing its western allies and Israel.

Biden’s appeal for a temporary cease-fire or what they euphemistically call ‘humanitarian pause’ was ignored by Israel. France is in favour of an immediate cease-fire in Gaza but Israel is not listening. And the strategists in Washington have no power to force Israel to obey the rules of war.

Washington is maintaining a delicate balance shielding Israel from international condemnation for war crime in Gaza and washing its hands of the bloody human catastrophe. Israel’s relentless air-strikes, the heaviest bombing campaign since the Second World War, have surpassed all previous records of barbarism. Every day every smart phone in the world brings forth bone-chilling horrors from Gaza: whole families extinguished, dead children pulled down from the ruins of their homes, entire districts reduced to rubble in an instant. With the Israeli authorities losing legitimacy, Hamas has already won a moral victory. They bombed the Jabalia refugee camp to kill just one Hamas commander while creating a living hell and turning a hospital into a huge cemetery.

Both sides pay lip service to the civilian-combatant distinction. But in practice civilians and military objects are equally targeted. Many Israelis argue that Gazans cannot expect full civilian protection because they elected Hamas 16 years ago and Hamas denies it to Israeli civilians on the grounds that they are all settlers. With hundreds held hostage in Gaza and thousands in Israeli detention the Uncle Sam is in no position to bring in a radical shift in the war, unless there is a prisoner swap, the possibility of which is nowhere in sight as Hamas has suspended hostage negotiations in Katar.

For one thing the Netanyahu government is wildly unpopular in Israel itself. As the Gaza war escalates and the release of hostage remains uncertain, more and more Israelis are taking to streets demanding pause and peace. And even in America opposition to America’s support to Israel is growing posing a strategic threat to the Jewish state. Not much is said about the Jewish Left that has been vocal in Israel and elsewhere about this unjust war launched by the Israeli killing machine—Israeli Defence Forces [IDF].

As Gaza attracts the world attention now Ukraine’s leadership is struggling to maintain focus on its own existential conflict. America’s Ukraine war is another example of the widening gulf between the Empire’s commitments and its dwindling capabilities. The present stalemate in Ukraine war, notwithstanding disinformation galore, suggests how America along with its western allies is trying, somewhat hopelessly, to get rid of the bind they have been in for the last two years. Their cherished dream of defeating and isolating Russia is evaporating very fast.

America and NATO encouraged the Zelensky administration to pursue war aims that have now proved a nightmare for the Ukrainians. America and European Union forced Ukrainian planners to broaden their goals from ‘ a return to the country’s de facto 2022 borders to a return to its de jure 1991 borders’ with a view to disintegrate Russia. But the dubious design of the White House war-lords has created a situation in which Ukraine now faces disintegration.

Pro-Palestine protest marches are everywhere. And American hegemony is declining. “The withering of American reach is already shaping up to be bloodier than the fall of the Soviet Union”.


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Vol 56, No. 22, Nov 26 - Dec 2, 2023