With the breakup of the former Soviet Union and the emergence of America as the sole hegemonic power on the international stage, the country’s allies and dependents believed it would become the world’s sovereign, and that the 21st century would be the American century par excellence.
The way toward this was paved by some studies and intellectual and academic research, including the thesis of the American scholar of Japanese origin, Francis Fukuyama, titled “The End of History,” and the studies that followed of what it believed would govern international and social conflicts. This is what the American theorist Samuel Huntington moved toward in his book “The Clash of Civilizations.”
As if to confirm what these intellectual theses said, successive American administrations began to produce policies depending more heavily on the principles of military power and the power of American economic, media, cultural and financial influence to implement hegemonic policies, pursuing both hard and soft power and merging them in “smart power” (the carrot and the stick). There is no doubt that these policies faced no small amount of rejection and resistance from some countries and peoples, for whom they constituted a real danger to their interests and existence. In a popular and political reaction on a broad global level, a wave of anger toward America and its aggressive policies prevailed, pushing a number of research institutes and American research centers to pose the problematic question: Why do they hate us?
The logical answer is that American policies do not respect the will of the world’s people, particularly developing nations or those on the path toward developing, and especially those that did not fit into the American political framework during the Cold War. Despite America governing the pace of global politics to a large extent for two decades, the high cost of militarizing global politics — especially the American wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq and other countries — has contributed to the weakening of American financial and economic strength, and has thrown it into real crises, including the so-called ‘subprime’ crisis in the second half of the last decade.
This has raised the volume of sovereign debt to more than $16 trillion, which exceeds gross domestic product by a trillion dollars. This was followed by sales, mergers, and bankruptcy for a number of large companies, as American banks and the treasury were forced to sell treasury bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars to China, Japan and the Gulf countries. This economic jolt was accompanied by the rise of promising international forces critical of American policies, led by Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa (BRICS), and some other regional nations across the world, which helped limit the American surge toward hegemony over international politics.
In light of America’s uncomfortable economic situation and negative shifts in the general international mood, a new American administration entered the White House in 2009 represented by the Democratic President Barack Obama under the slogan of “change.” The White House’s new resident began with a speech calling for a break with the path of military force that had been pursued for a number of decades, for adopting a principle of dialogue in international relations and for depending on policy of soft power, or what is called “the attractiveness of the American model,” instead of brute force.
This is what Obama moved toward in a number of speeches delivered in Arab and Islamic nations, including Egypt and Turkey, in front of university students and intellectual elites, apparently believing new generations could hold a new image of America and market it in their societies and help break the problematic negative stereotypes in the collective consciousness. Indeed, these atypical speeches met immediate responses, some describing them as speeches of reconciliation with the world’s peoples, and breaking with the past against the backdrop of the problematic question we pointed to in the opening: Why do they hate us? There was an indulgence in optimism with the newcomer to the White House, who presented himself as “a dove of peace.” The Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize to encourage him in the hopes of translating his rosy speeches into practical political behavior — and this is what he has proven he is not committed to as a strategic model, except in some special cases, like what occurred with Iran and Cuba in the last year of his presidential term.
What the American president has said about theoretical positions or personal views on some international issues, and the description of some governments in his infamous interview with The Atlantic magazine does not give him a free pass in American policies toward some international issues and crises, such as the situation in Syria, which faces aggression and an unprecedented terroristic war in which it seems the Americans are a supporter and investor in international terrorism, while its allies and traditional dependents — some of whom were criticized by President Obama — practice these aggressive policies and support terrorism as proxies and agents or in collaboration with America, whatever attempts are made at camouflage, deception and deceit, with the aim of degrading political, moral and legal responsibility. These are facts whose consequences one cannot escape, because the material reality imposes itself on everyone, whatever ability the misleading media possesses to overturn concepts and make issues appear contrary to what is happening in reality.
What has been proven by facts on the ground, especially the daily events of the region’s crises and the terroristic war of aggression against the Syrian people and the American position of de facto support for terrorism — contrary to the media and political rhetoric — is the truth that American policies in the strategic sense are not governed by ethical rules or attractive political speech, but by what are called strategic interests and American national security and the tendency toward hegemonism, which are not limited in practice except by the logic of force and the confrontation and balance of terror, and perhaps the balance of interests. This is nothing but an exception when they are convinced of the inevitability of failure. The dreamers and the deluded believe that departure is a solution to the crisis which our region faces and the war of aggression which is being waged on the Syrian people, and that the arrival of a new resident to the White House will realize their dreams of overthrowing the national political system through American force… These beliefs are purely the dreams of one searching for a white crow or a needle in a haystack.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.