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2014 Marks An End of The American Era And Beginning Of The Post-American Age

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

I feel that the year 2014 will be remembered most for the end of the American Era and the beginning of the Post-American age. America remained the leading country for about a century and the only superpower for the last quarter of a century, after the fall of the Soviet Union. In the final analysis, the American domination and hegemony were based upon America being the leading and the dominant economic power in the world. America lost that status in 2014 to China, based upon the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared China as the number one economy of the world.

America became a regional power at the end of nineteenth century when it defeated Spain in the war. After the First World War, America became a very important world power. After the Second World War, America became the leader of the western world. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, America became the only superpower of the world. For the last quarter of a century, American hegemony and domination of the world was almost total. Decline of the American power, most likely follows the same course, from the only super power of the world to an important world power, then to a leading western power, and finally to a regional power. Even though China’s economic rise ended America’s status as the biggest economy of the world, yet it is the rise of Russia which finally ended the only superpower status of America. Therefore, it can be said that the combined forces of Russia and China brought America down from the top.

In the year 2014, it became obvious that Russia has reemerged as one of the most important players in the world scenario. The Ukraine War and annexation of Crimea by Russia remained one of the most important news throughout the year. Russia has challenged America in Europe, the most important region of the world. It will be no exaggeration to say that Europe is the birthplace of the modern capitalist society. It is no wonder that the two World Wars were fought in Europe. The western countries overthrew the elected government of Yanukovych in Ukraine by a coup. This coup was led by the ultra-nationalists and fascists. This is a classical example of western democracy imposed on people with force. However, Russia refused to give in and annexed Crimea and supported the Russian people in the Eastern Ukraine. The Ukraine army and the NATO have taken a beating and overall, instead of a quick victory, the West is being perceived as unable or unwilling to stand up to Russia.

Putin has raised stakes. His new doctrine includes use of nuclear weapons. America could use atomic weapons in Japan because Japan did not have atomic weapons to retaliate with. However, Russia, even today, has more nuclear weapons than America. Not only that, Russia is more likely to use the nuclear weapons than America and the other western countries. The western countries imposed economic sanctions against Russia. Russia also retaliated and imposed counter sanctions. The main thing Russia is doing is diverting its natural resources from the West to the East. In the long run, the Russian moves will affect Europe and the world much more than the western measures against Russia. Diversion of Russian resources from the West to the East will change the power equation between the East and the West. The western sanctions have not reduced Putin’s popularity in Russia. About 80% of Russians agree with Putin while Obama’s popularity ratings in America are below 40%.

Forbes magazine declared Putin as the most powerful leader of the world in 2014. This is the second consecutive year that Forbes magazine has done that. We have to also bear in mind that Forbes is an American, and not a Russian magazine.

In another ominous sign for America, Russia beat America in the Sochi Winter Olympics in the medal count. America and the western countries tried very hard to sabotage the Sochi Olympics as they did during in the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. They spread rumors that there was a big threat of terrorist attack in the hope that the games will be cancelled. In 1980, America and many western countries boycotted the Olympics. Putin certainly emerged the victor. Another Russian victory and American defeat was the re-election of Assad as the President of Syria for the third time. Unlike Saddam of Iraq, and Gaddafi of Libya, the western countries have been unable to get rid of Assad. The American change in its policy toward Cuba is also the result of the fear of Russia’s rise. America changed its policy to thwart an emerging alliance of Russia, China and Cuba. America was also afraid that Russia may not give nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction to Cuba in reaction to America’s giving dangerous weapons to Ukraine which Russia considers a threat to its security.

Besides the economic challenge from China and the military challenge from Russia, America faced an ideological challenge from the Islamic fundamentalists. The rise of Islamic State (IS) in 2014 was another very serious challenge for America and the West. The Islamic fundamentalists, regardless of their differences all agree that America is their biggest adversary.

America also saw increased racial tensions. The acquittal of two white policemen, who shot two black men to death, by white-majority grand juries, infuriated the black community. There were big protests all over the country. Many people from other minority groups as well as justice-loving white people joined the protests.

Bringing the American soldiers back from Afghanistan is being claimed a victory by the Taliban. Defeat in Afghanistan played a very big role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the year 2014, Afghanistan may play the same role for the USA. No matter what the USA and NATO say, most of the people will see it as their defeat.

The year 2014 will go down in history as the year when the unipolar world order ended and a multipolar world order became a reality.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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