When preconceived notions are shattered

The World Trade Organization, to cite another example, was formed to allow for free trade

Imran Jan May 23, 2024
The writer is a political analyst. Email: imran.jan@gmail.com. Twitter @Imran_Jan


When you grow up in any country reading basic textbooks about history and international relations, you’d most likely learn that the post-World War II world order was established by the United States. You will also read that America has always been the force for good against evil in the world, which was backed by the communists and later the Jihadists.

In order to create a balance in the chaotic order of global politics, the United Nations was created primarily by the United States with a detailed charter designed to administer justice in global affairs by preventing the weak nations from the wrath of the powerful ones. Truth be told, it has been the United States that has been the biggest violator of that very charter and that very strong nation that invades, harasses, sanctions and threatens other countries that do not follow the dictates of the imperial power nestled securely on the western shores of the Atlantic. Everytime an American president opens his mouth about Iran, for example, he issues a threat, which is a violation of article 2(4) of the UN charter.

The World Trade Organization, to cite another example, was formed to allow for free trade. In those days and through many decades later, China was always accused of being the country that did not allow for free trade. Today, if you look at the facts then you’d realise that actually it is the United States that blocks free trade and China is the one nation that encourages it because it benefits enormously from it because of being the entire world’s giant manufacturing plant.

American love for free expression? Allow me to shatter that preconceived nonsense as well. TikTok is being threatened to be either sold to an American company or else face a ban in the US market.

The United States labels itself as the nation that defends democracy and liberties around the world. However, when you look at what and who the US supports, then you would again experience a shattering of this preconceived notion as well, if you have been memorising this a lot from your textbooks or reading it in the newspapers that like to publish all that is fit to print. Let us not even get to the American love for the Middle Eastern monarchies. Think of Egypt for a minute. Mohammad Morsi was the first ever democratically elected president of that country in its entire history. He was removed in a military coup led by General Sisi. You’d think that American politics would reject that and issue calls for sanctions and other punitive measures. There is even a US law which prevents American aid from being given to any country where a military coup happens. Lo and behold, the Obama administration simply got around it by saying that what happened in Egypt was not a coup. And that was it.

You have been told and perhaps have heard a million times in movies too that America doesn’t negotiate with the terrorists. Get ready for a huge shattering of this nonsensical preconceived notion. Narender Modi was banned from entering the United States due to his role in killing Muslims in the state of Gujarat in 2002. When Modi became the Indian prime minister though, President Obama hugged him like he was his old dorm roommate.

When President Biden was pushed about the Israeli killing of innocent people and the brutal genocide of the Palestinians, he simply plagiarised his former boss and declared that what was happening inside Gaza was not a genocide. That is a textbook Democratic party thing. When they tortured people in Gitmo and elsewhere, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation, their band aid solution to that critique was that those actions did not constitute torture but rather were “enhanced interrogation techniques”. I wonder if raping someone would be called enhanced expression of love? Count on it. They’ll say anything to justify their madness. All we can do is to escape the world of preconceived notions.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2024.

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