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  • Writer's pictureSaleem Qamar Butt

USA Needs to Revisit Newton’s Third Law

Newton’s 3rd Law of motion states that ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction that acts with the same momentum and the opposite velocity’. In slightly different words, ‘when two bodies interact, they apply forces to one another that are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction’. The third law is also known as the law of action and reaction. Examples of Newton's third law of motion are omnipresent in everyday life. For example, engineers apply Newton's third law when designing rockets and other projectile devices. The same law is equally applicable in our routine human interaction and more pertinently in global states’ policies. That begs the question as to how and why a technologically most advanced country with the strongest economy and military might continually ignore it while indulging in interventions in dozens of countries and regions all over the globe and expect no reaction in response to its ‘Hammer versus Nail head Policies’? The same lesson remained missing in just concluding misadventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen; besides, regular scheming against Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and a number of Latin / South American countries. The fiasco in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are also still fresh in my mind.

One wonders as to why a global Super Power with largest and strongest military might in the human history never seems to learn from own blunders and keeps covering descend on the slippery geo-strategic slopes by regular spread of the false narratives through compliant think tanks/ advisers and with monopoly over all the facets of global media. But how long do these catastrophic misadventures go on? Until and unless one believes in conspiracy theory of ‘planned and controlled global chaos’, it appears that the US is determined to prove yet another global reality: "The world has witnessed the rise and fall of monarchy, the rise and fall of dictatorship, the rise and fall of feudalism, the rise and fall of communism, and the rise of democracy; and now we are witnessing the fall of democracy... the theme of the evolution of life continues, sweeping away with it all that does not blossom into perfection."

The analyses of U.S. government declassified documents captured from Osama Bin Laden compound by Nelly Lahoud(the author of the book The Bin Laden Papers) provide an unparalleled glimpse into bin Laden’s mind and over a portrait of the U.S. “war on terror” as it was seen through the eyes of its chief target. Bin Laden’s Catastrophic Success Al Qaeda Changed the World—but not in the Way It Expected. On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda carried out the deadliest foreign terrorist attacks the United States had ever experienced. To Osama bin Laden and the other men who planned it, however, the assault were no mere act of terrorism. To them, it represented something far grander: the opening salvo of a campaign of revolutionary reactive violence that would usher in a new historical era. Although bin Laden was inspired by religion, his aims were geopolitical. Al Qaeda’s mission was to undermine(or contest an ever exploitative West led by USA) as the contemporary world order of nation states and re-create the historical Ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims that was once held together by a common political authority. But Washington and its allies have come to realize (or at least they should have) that an open-ended war on terrorism is futile and that a successful counterterrorism policy must address the legitimate political grievances that al Qaeda claims to champion—for example, U.S. support for dictatorships in the Middle East. Washington cannot quite claim victory against al Qaeda and its ilk, which retain the ability to inspire deadly, if small-scale, attacks. The past two decades and U.S. forced exit from Afghanistan and unavoidable departure from Iraq, Syria, Libya and some other places due to unbearable human, economic and political cost, however, have made clear just how shortsighted and counterproductive the use of excessive military power as leading a component of the foreign policy was. While still bombing in Afghanistan since 2001, the confession by U.S. General Wesley Clark in 2007 about orders received from the office of Secretary Defence to take down a list of seven Muslim countries in next five years without any given reasons (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and back to Iran) laid bare West’s animosity towards political Islam and put a stamp on the veracity of ‘Clash of Civilization’ hypotheses by Samuel P. Huntington. Going by what has already been accomplished so far by the hard line U.S. establishment; Iran seems on the anvil now. Nevertheless, Pakistan with nuclear deterrence in place and with war hardened military forces as well as successful Turkey being a new thorn in the eyes of the West despite being a NATO member, cannot afford to blink under any complacency. Luckily, spectacular rise of China and resurgent Russia with prospective as well as existing regional economic, diplomatic and military alliances like CSTO and SCO besides a long list of BRI countries are around now to make the targeted countries stand together lest they get targeted and fall one by one.

Hoping against the hope, it is recommended that the US administration and more-so the Presidents should drive home a lesson from Newton’s third Law (action and reaction) and be mindful that “Reputations rise and fall almost as regularly as the tides." For centuries, the world has been hearing from the American founding fathers about high morals and values of freedom. However, in the last seventy years American top hierarchy has consistently ignored that "our world is constantly in change and the great change is always toward freedom. When we speak of freedom we speak of equality. Nations will rise and fall but equality remains the ideal." Inadequate American general knowledge notwithstanding, it may be remembered that "history is a voice forever sounding across the centuries the laws of right and wrong. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity." If American deep state remains committed in proving to the world that "No, the shark in an updated JAWS could not be the villain; it would have to be written as the victim, for, worldwide, sharks are much more the oppressed than the oppressors,” their stature as world leader won’t stay much longer!

August 29, 2021

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