The Empires Strike Back

There was a short time after the collapse of communism in Russia when the USA was the only superpower in the world and its influence was dominant.  Then came Pres. Obama, apologizing for American power and accepting America’s enemies description of its supposed abuse of its power. Now, as a result we have chaos in the international arena. Former Empires are reasserting themselves, filling the power vacuum, to the detriment of the people of smaller countries and to the loss of American deterrence.

Consider these former Empires: Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. They are all today controlled by regimes and individuals that are expansionist and have indeed started to expand.  Let’s first take Russia, Pres. Putin has taken over the Crimea from the Ukraine and has occupied Eastern Ukraine.  Good democrats of course will argue that the people of these regions want to be Russian, but that’s not the point, the point is that these regions were under Ukrainian sovereignty and that has been breached in defiance of international law.  Can we allow any country to decide that it wants part of another country, this will end in chaos and war.  In addition, Russia’s base on the Syrian coast at Tartus has become the excuse for Russia to intervene in the Syrian Civil War on the side of the Assad regime. Now Russia is asserting itself in the Mediterranean region, where it always wanted to expand.

Turkey is controlled by a pro-Islamic dictator named Erdogan.  He has imperial ambitions, and has sent his army into Syria and Iraq that Turkey used to control long ago, in order to prevent the Kurds from establishing a sovereign entity there.  He will no doubt wage a war to take over these areas if the Kurds declare independence.  Meanwhile, although Turkey is economically moribund, Erdogan looks to enhance Turkish ambitions wherever he can.

Similarly Iran, now under the Shia Muslim sect, but remembering the former greatness of the Persian Empires, the Ayatollahs seek to expand, at the expense of the inferior Sunni Muslim countries surrounding them.  Iran now controls an arc across the Middle East, including Iraq, that has a Shia-dominated Government, Syria, that has the pro-Shia Assad regime and the Hezbollah Shia militia in Lebanon.  Also, Iran has expanded its influence to Yemen in league with the Houthis, who control the capital Sana’a, and by doing so has encircled the leading Sunni Arab State of Saudi Arabia.  A new Persian Empire in the making?

Finally China, that has been asserting its new-found naval influence in the South China Sea, where is has taken over several small islands and has built landing strips and military bases.  The Philippines and other countries also claimed sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, but in order to achieve that Pres. Duterte of the Philippines has changed his alliance from the US to China, and in exchange has been given some concessions in these islands. Soon he will order all American forces out of the Philippines.

So if we tot up how many countries has Obama lost: Iraq to Iran, Syria to Russia, Philippines to China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.  And Germany is slowly building its own European Empire, called the EU, this time economically rather than militarily.



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