After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the pendulum of world domination shifted to the Western world and for the next 200 years the British Empire was the greatest empire in the world.  After the end of World War I a new nation, young and vibrant appeared on the scene. In the next 2 decades  it replaced the British Empire and became the greatest power the world has ever known. It was the United states of America. 

All empires and world powers  have periods of decline and rise, but great men have appeared who have arrested what sometimes looks inevitable. After World War I, the cracks had started showing in the British Empire and though at that time not appreciated, it had started creaking. One of the most formidable men who appeared on the scene was Adolf Hitler. This man  rode to power on a promise of "Making Germany Great". He won the largest number of seats in the Reichstag and was invited to form the government by the the then Chancellor Von Hindenburg. If I remember it was in about 1933, this happened. Hitler came to power by a popular vote. Hitler had however realized that to dominate the world he would have to face the British Empire. But again a reading of his autobiography " Mien Kampf" brings out some weird ideas.

One of the weird ideas was his admiration of Britain. He did not consider the British as ' natural enemies', unlike the Eastern and Slav races who he considered inferior and lacking in intellect. At places he has also referred to them as sub-humans. Hitler if he had his way, would have liked to have a separate peace with the British  and expand at the expanse of area in the East meaning Russia.  This is his theme of " lebensraum"  or living space for the German people in the East.

Hitler and Churchill

Here he ran foul of a man named Winston Churchill, who was a die hard opponent of Hitler. He was also a great pragmatist and had realized that Hitler and the British could not live together and so he opposed Nazism and Hitler with all his might. It was because of Churchill that Hitler hardened his attitude towards Britain and decided to oppose it. But his warped mind could not appreciate that Churchill was no ordinary leader and his decision to call off " operation Sea Lion" was on of the colossal blunders of his life. " Operation Sea Lion" was the code name for the German invasion of England. In-lieu he planned the invasion of Russia.

Even earlier during the British retreat at Dunkirk, during the Battle of France ( 1940), Hitler inexplicably delayed an assault by his Panzers and allowed the British Expeditionary Force ( BEF) to escape. These soldiers re-grouped and gave the English under Churchill breathing space.

Churchill galvanized the English and his speech when he talked of 1941 as being " England's Finest Hour" shows the mettle of the man. In fact during the bleak period of  1940-41, England stood alone against Hitler as America had not entered the war, the Russians had signed a nonaggression pact with Germany and France had ceased to exist.  Churchill despite the odds being against the Empire stuck to his guns as he refuse all overtures of HItler, with a one point agenda to defeat Nazism. In short Churchill went against the general opinion that England would be better off  in making peace with Germany. Churchill simply refused to consider any such proposal.

Churchill had also strong racial views. He is reported to have said that the principles of Islam are not compatible with Western thought.He was also against Indian independence and all along felt that Indians were not capable of governing themselves and if the English left India there would be all around chaos. Despite these opinions, the fact is Churchill inspired the English to defend their empire. In fact he was the need of the hour and in case Churchill had not been around the history of the world would have been different.

 Many people opinion that Hitler would perhaps been more sympathetic to India. But a reading of his book ( Mien  Kampf) shows he had an entirely convoluted opinion of India. He felt that Indians were not capable of governing themselves and the British rule was good for India.

America Now

The fact is that Churchill shored up the Empire. It's another story that after World War II, the USA became the superpower and England went into decline.  The period after World War II, saw the rise of the USA, but as I have written  great empires have cusps  and downsides  and after the 20th century, the USA began to slowly lose its status.  the signs were all there and like Germany threatening the UK, America because of a weak and ineffectual president who had his own axe to grind allowed leadership of America to slacken. Maybe it is not apparent but the signs are ominous. Maybe it had something to do with the mental make up of Barack Obama, who was born a Muslim. In my visits to America, I have observed that most White Americans were not enamoured of Obama . As pointed out by the New York times,Obama won by a combination of votes and voting patterns.  Obama  however never controlled Congress which thwarted most of his moves, some of which would have let America down the alley of no return.

 The situation in America is now akin to what England faced in 1939, with a  rampaging Hitler breathing down the  neck of the English. Churchill then appeared and now America needs a similar man. There is a the Islamic  State hell bent on fighting the great Satan, China is showing its fangs right from the South China Sea to domination of the Pacific . For this it is constructing 12 aircraft carriers. North Korea is a nuclear power, in real terms  just a proxy for China and Vladimir Putin has great power dreams of what the Soviet Union was.  America is thus at a loss. It is no longer decisive as Obama has followed his own agenda. I suspect greatness of America was not a  part of this.

Donald Trump?

Most countries around the globe trust America and that is a fact that cannot be wished away. Some one decisive is needed. There is one man who fills the bill and he is Donald trump. He has talked of making "America Great" again. He is a man who has ruffled many feathers by his brazen comments, yet all this is required to set the tone for the future. At a time when America is faced with a threat to its domination, there is a need for a man who has a clear insight and vision. This is required by the American allies as well an many in the Middle East who are waiting for the promised offensive against the ISI. There was also a need to realize who is friend and foe and in this at least 2 presidents gravely erred. The removal of Gaddafi  and Saddam was one of them. The attacks by the ISI on Americans were not given the necessary priority and Obama literally tried to present it as a simple law and order  problem. One shudders at the coverup of the  killings of the US citizens and its  ambassador in Benghazi. Trump has not minced his words and language regarding Muslims and that makes him stand out. His dream of making America great looks at the moment , the right direction and has struck a favorite chord with the Americans.

Donald Trump has won so far, but to get the nomination is a long way off as yet. He is on the right track and despite even ruffling the Pope, he has not backed down from his demand to erect a fence on the Mexican border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants to the USA. He has also asked for a temporary ban on Muslims into the USA. This has upset Obama who has in a statement i opined that the American people will reject  Trump as president. All this is better said than done. 

One cannot forecast the future. Trump may or may not win , but there is definitely a need for a man with his views to come on stage. It is about time some one stood by  countries threatened by the powers like China and supported the moderates against the ISI and its ilk. There is also need for accommodation with Putin and whether that man is Trump will be seen in the coming election.

If Trump becomes President, the situation is similar to what happened when Churchill became PM. At that time Neville Chamberlain had signed the infamous Munich pact ( 1938)  and sold to Hitler. It will give the new President  a chance to rectify the ills of the last few years and the drift in American policy. The situation as it stands is similar to when Churchill appeared on the scene. One will have to wait and see, whether this will happen. In many ways the nexy US presidential election will be a watershed that will decide how long America remains a great power.


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