There is no denying that much of the Arab-Muslim world is in political, social and economic confusion and disarray as it strives for religious harmony in a similar manner that had divided Europe. The American Empire, however, is in chaos as it struggles with the economic, political and social home grown problems effecting and mirroring the Roman Empire2000 years ago. As they say in historical annals: those that reach the top of the mountain have to come down again. It’s a slow difficult ascent but an easy and fast descent.
Edward Gibbon’s voluminous work on the decline of the Roman Empire is a historic masterpiece that warrants commendation. What is yet more interesting is Cullen Murphy’s works in his book “Are We Rome? The Decline of an Empire and the Fate of America” which has investigated the parallels between the two empires. Listed among the reasons of the decline of Rome were economic troubles, over expansion and military overspending, government corruption and political instability, weakening of Roman legions, the perceived threat of Christianity, socio-religious decadence, avarice and loss of traditional moral values. The decline relates to the Western Roman Empire (capital Rome) and not the eastern Roman (Byzantine with its capital Constantinople) empire. As the western segment went into decline, the eastern half grew due to adopting the Christian values.
Certainly Rome did not fall in a day. Only four decades have passed and America has been engaged in 10 wars in the Middle East that have cost it trillions of dollars and loss of millions of innocent lives in the region and yet it has not succeeded in asserting itself as a regional power in spite of its technological and military (aggressive) prowess. In fact, the harder it has tried to assert its global power, other powers have arisen to challenge it. One of the dominant reasons has been that it has wasted its efforts through policies dictated by an elite group in the echelons of foreign and economic administration of Washington whose sympathies are with Israel’s expansion. Pax America is in its beginning throes- the same that afflicted pax Rome. Rome was challenged by a supposedly fanatical, extremist and fundamentalist movement that grew like a cancer till it ultimately destroyed it. Interestingly the socio-religious movement was founded by Jesus of Nazareth removed thousands of miles from the Romancapital.
Nothing could be further from the truth about Jesus’s movements that challenged Rome from its governate of Jerusalem than that captured by Reza Aslan in his book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”. Rome had no reason to fear Jesus and his movement that was localized to Jerusalem. Aslan and history have demonstrated that the movement was supported among the downtrodden Jews that were being exploited not by Rome but by an elite group of economically motivated Jews that sought power. The elite- the money changers- had set up an economic power structure in the Temple of Solomon, something like the US Federal Reserve Bank, not stashed with notes but with gold and silver. From here they exploited the poor Jews.
The mission of Jesus simply was to renew the Commandments that the Jews, after some 1400 years, had forgotten from the period when Moses led the Israelites to Canaan. The elites among them feared their economic game of illicit money changing would be exposed. According to Aslan and correctly so, the elite Jews sought help from the Roman governor to crush the movement. It succeeded in getting rid of Jesus but not his revivalist movement that had gathered strong support after him and eventually crossed the continental borders to penetrate the heart of the empire: Rome.
The Roman Empire took several decades before it receded from its outlying posts into a nation. In fact, it gave birth to the Christian eastern empire where the papacy was established with Constantinople as the seat of the empire.
The American empire, founded on Christian values, is in the throes of socio-religious decay with the moral teachings of Jesus all but forgotten. Morality which was the hallmark of the US for several years following the end of World War 2 has been replaced with decadence and all those reasons historians have identified that had gripped Rome at the zenith. The American moral fiber is being torn by the elite and by terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism which it has created. It fears its own creation and has attributed it to Muslims and Islam as an excuse. It fears a growing socio-religious teaching several thousand miles away that could revive morality, the same movement that brought the message to a morally deprived decadent nation Arabia, 1500 years ago. The labels – Judaism, Christianity or Islam are different but the moral message is the same.
The Egyptian empire under Pharaoh feared Judaism; the Roman Empire under its emperors feared Christianity and now the American empire fears Islam. That Islam hates America is an ill-conceived thought. The empire is causing a self-inflicted injury due to this fear.
Interestingly this same psychological fear of Islam not only prevails in the American psyche but also in the psyche of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of the Islamic movement, governed today by corrupt and decadent elite. History will witness the fall of Riyadh where Islamic teachings has lost its essence.
I came across an opinion by Jimmy Ma, founder of Alibaba as reported by Jim Edwards in the Business Insider of The Independent. Ma explains how America went wrong over the past 30 years.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world-0/alibaba-founder-jack-ma-has-a-brutal-theory-of-how-america-went-wrong-over-the-past-30-years-a7821396.html. “No matter how good your strategy is you’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “The money went to Wall Street. Then what happened? Year 2008. The financial crisis wiped out $19.2 trillion in US income … What if the money was spent on the Midwest of the United States, developing industry there?”
Now President Donald Trump has an agenda to make America Great. His strategy will fail if he does nottake the wealth from those 2% or less who have amassed trillions of dollarsfrom Wall Street and invest it in America. So long as the White House, Congress, Senate and the Federal Reserve continue to support the defense, political and economic agenda favoring Israeli expansion and Wall Street, America will not only never be great again but it will continue to descend intodeeper chaos till it will no longer be an empire. It has to shift its policies to favor Main Street America.
G. Asgar Mitha recently retired from working with a large oil company in Canada as a Technical Safety Engineer