By Fazal Elahi
On his arrival in Davos, Switzerland on January 25, 2018 to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) US president Donald Trump said he brings a message of “peace and prosperity” to the annual world economic summit held in the Swiss Alps. This was president Trump’s maiden appearance at the World Economic Forum.
On being asked by the media about his message for the gathering of world leaders, business executives and celebrities, Trump said it’s about “peace and prosperity.” As reported in the national and international media, Trump’s presence at the annual assembly of free-trade-loving political and business elites raised many eyebrows, given his protectionist proclivities. Trump, in fact, is the first sitting US president to attend the forum since former US president Bill Clinton in the year 2000.
US president Donald Trump or for that matter the US talking of “peace and prosperity” has raised the eyebrows of not only the eminent world leaders attending WEF 2018 but the entire civilized world. They were, in fact, totally flabbergasted by the nonconforming rhetoric of the US president; utterly nonconforming when viewed in the context of the mayhem that the US and its allies have created world over, over the decades, and immensely shattered world peace and prosperity. Unambiguously, peace and prosperity are two critically important elements that the world badly needs today. Unfortunately, however, both these elements have been made a rare phenomenon, particularly for the underdeveloped and the developing world, by the US and its opulent and ever belligerent western allies.
Divide and rule has been the cornerstone of US policy, always. This policy never has and never will change because it serves the American interest well. This perception is impudently and glaringly reflected in Donald Trump’s repeated rhetoric “America comes first”. Peace is what Donald Trump, once again, talked about the moment he set his foot on the soil of Davos. But the question is what has the US done or is doing to translate this rhetoric into reality?
History is replete with petrifying episodes of US crusade against world nations, particularly the weak and less privileged. The hegemonic designs of the US to serve its national interest has always reigned supreme and has pushed this otherwise great country to keep itself deeply engaged in war with nations. All that the US has done and continues to do does not by any means reflect its intent to see the world at peace. On the contrary, all its actions out-and-out negate its vociferous and spurious rhetoric propagating world peace.
America’s inordinate desire for global domination has dragged it into innumerable devastating conflicts across the world. A situation that could perhaps been avoided had it sincerely hankered more for peace than wars. It is common knowledge that America’s ruthless escapades launched against the weaker nations of the world have always made it face ignoble defeats. History stands testimony to the fact that since the end of World War II the United States lost every war it started and failed every time it used force without a just cause. A series of wars that the US has unilaterally or jointly fought, in the not too distant past, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Lebanon and the ongoing Afghan war are some glaring examples of America’s utter failure.
According to WashingtonsBlog 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. “We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable”. Indeed, most of the military operations launched since World War II have been launched by the U.S. And American military spending dwarfs the rest of the world put together. No wonder polls show that the world believes America is the number 1 threat to peace.
Iraq evidently is a perfect example of spitefulness of the United States in particular. The basis on which the war was waged against Iraq by the US and its Western allies was not strong enough to justify military action of inestimable magnitude. It is now known to the entire world, including the American nation, that this war was launched against the Iraqi nation despite UN inspection team’s explicit declaration that during their umpteen visits to and inspection of the identified locations no trace, whatsoever, of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was found. In spite of this, a ruthless war against Iraq was launched by the US joined by its belligerent western allies.
The wars that the US in particular and its allies in general have fought and hideously lost have taken a heavy toll on world peace and prosperity. It is time for the US in particular and its western allies in general to revisit their policy vis-à-vis global hegemony. The susceptible nations of the world are anxiously looking up to the powers that be to give up their antagonistic escapades against them, bring a holistic change in their stance towards the vulnerable nations, and work in concert to bring genuine peace and prosperity to today’s turmoil-ridden and increasingly peace-starved world.
*The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org