As the US military-corporate junta continues to intervene in sovereign nations’ internal affairs from Syria to Ukraine, hypocrisy and lies fly and reach a staggering height, and the corporate controlled media shows an incredible level of duplicity and deception, in defense of the actions of the corporate empire, which itself is a part of. TV networks, from MSNBC to NPR and newspapers from New York Times to Washington Post, who pretend to broadcast the news in an impartial way, continue their blatant lies. Officials of the Empire and their gangster allies in suits and ties, from London and Paris to Ankara and Tel Aviv, along with their medieval friends in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are conspiring to overthrow the government of the sovereign nation of Syria by funneling money and arms to jihadists who are beheading, shooting and massacring civilians. They have found common cause with the most brutal terrorists of the Middle East, who want to impose a medieval Islamic Caliphate on the nation and to achieve it are willing to massacre tens of thousands of innocent people. They, from President Obama to Prime Minister Cameron to President Hollande, all know exactly who these Islamist fighters are. They know innocent civilians are being massacred in the thousands, in the hands of these fighters. They know millions of people have been displaced and made refugees. They know these terrorists, whom they are funding and arming, have killed much more people than those killed by chemical weapons, which they falsely blamed the Syrian Army for, when there was evidence and at least strong suspicion that they were used by the terrorists, who got them from Turkey. Yet, they continue this vile crime against humanity and are destroying the country. Obama who is doing everything to go down in history as one of the most warmongering and criminal US presidents, ever, just promised to increase the aid to the terrorists by an additional $27 million, raising the US support for them to $287 million. The plan is to help the jihadists do as much killing and destruction, as possible, in order to change the regime. They care not that the country is being literally destroyed and turned into a pile of rubble, as they did to Iraq and Libya, before.
At the same time – literally at the same time – Obama continues to aggressively interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine in close cooperation with Neo fascists. While they decide on their own that the president of a sovereign nation “must go”, and to make that possible, give money and arms to terrorists, whose favorite way of killing those who don’t accept their Islamic Caliphate is beheading, in Ukraine, they plan and execute a coup d’tat, overthrow a democratically elected president and install their men, with the help of fascists. While in Syria they defend Islamist terrorists who are killing civilians, in Ukraine, they’re siding with Neo fascists and remnants of Third Reich Nazis who burn people alive. While they were condemning the Kiev police for fighting back against firebomb throwing Nazi sympathizers, they remained silent and ordered their controlled media to not mention the massacre of the opponents of the coup regime in a trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine. They complain of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, after they themselves have already intervened and overthrown the government in Kiev, while at the same time, they’re trying to overthrow the Syrian government, not long after bombing Libya and overthrowing its government, while they still are fighting in Afghanistan and attacking several countries with drones. But, no matter: the US media continues to repeat the Administration lies about “Russian aggression in Ukraine”. It’s no stretch of hypocrisy and quite within their double standards then when the genocidal Zionist regime in occupied Palestine suggests “bombing Syria if they use chemical weapons against civilians”, when they themselves use phosphorous and depleted uranium bombs against Palestinians. While the US and its allies are using an alleged chemical attack, which credible accounts link them to pro-Saudi terrorists, as justification for trying to violently overthrow the Assad government, with all means and at any human cost possible, it’s been revealed and admitted that the US gave Saddam Hussein chemical weapons to use against Iranian troops in the 8-year long Iran-Iraq war, which Saddam started in 1980, with the promised help from the US. The US was even giving Iraq the Iranian troop coordinates, knowing they would attack them with chemical weapons. The CIA was informing the Reagan Administration of the regular chemical weapons use by Iraqis, yet, they chose to shut their otherwise loud mouths and remain silent and dismiss the Iranian complaints at the UN about their use. Now, the US wants to overthrow the Syrian Government because they’re accusing it of using chemical weapons. And, of course, they’re the best and unbiased judge when it comes to making such judgement. We’re supposed to take their word for it because John Kerry says “we know”. We know things too, like Kerry’s family friend and Jo Biden’s son getting assigned to Ukraine’s gas company’s board of directors, shortly after the overthrow of the democratically elected government, there.
What they wanted in Ukraine was a puppet government that would give in to imperialist domination and accept International Monetary Fund (IMF) imposed loans with their required and mandatory austerity measures for working people, making the nation indebted to and dependent on the West, in addition to privatizing their major industries, especially oil and gas, which would end up channeling the nation’s wealth into the coffers of international capitalists, making the poor even poorer, as we’ve seen done so many times. Their other aim was to open the door to NATO to surround and threaten Russia into submission. Embedding John Kerry’s family friend and Biden’s son into Ukraine’s gas producing company’s board of directors was the icing on the cake for celebrating years of intensive bribing and propaganda which culminated in arming and funding of Neo fascists and Nazis and a coup for regime change. That cake cost US taxpayers $5 billion, money that was spent for the benefit of the likes of John Kerry and the rest of the super wealthy and which needy Americans will never see a cent of.
In Syria, they want to overthrow a government, which, though inadequately, still sympathizes with the struggle of Palestine for freedom and self-determination, allies itself with the Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is the only force in the region that has beat back Israel, and which does not open its doors to neoliberal policies and major US and European corporations or the IMF, and militarily does not cooperate with the US-Saudi-Israrli alliance in the region and instead cooperates with Russia and Iran. That’s the real “red line”. The other crime of the Syrian government is that it subsidizes basic necessities for the people, as did the former Libyan government. The latter also had plans to form an independent African unity against imperialism and become self-sufficient economically and militarily, in addition to having significant oil reserves, which explains why it was targeted and brutally overthrown. The thinking on Iran is along the same lines.
The common thread in all these interventions and wars, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Libya and Syria, and from Somalia and Yemen to Ukraine, as well as those in their kill list to deal with in the future, is that the corporate Empire is on a mission to take over the world for its corporations and their wealthy owners and is committing crimes against humanity, nonstop, in order to subdue, take over and bring under the rule of their corporate empire, as much of the world, as possible. This drive will not stop until it takes out all governments that stand on its way to total and complete hegemony, including Iran and even Russia and China, driving the world ever closer towards another world war. This also explains their continued accumulation of immense fire power and newer and bigger and more lethal weapons, including newer nuclear and bunker busting weapons and ever increasing number of military bases and aircraft carriers – a military might that already eclipses all the military capabilities of all other nations, combined. No other nation, or group of nations, even comes close in the number of military bases, occupying troops in other countries, aircraft carriers, bombers, warships, missiles. drones, etc. Such incredible accumulation of destructive power isn’t without a long term plan to use it. As Einstein smartly pointed out, it’s impossible to plan and prepare for war and at the same time work towards peace. The US sees its future in endless wars for complete world domination. A look at their new killing technologies and capabilities, including drones and robots, also reveals that their war preparations aren’t just for defeating armies of other countries, but people in the thousands, wherever they may be.
This penchant for world domination stems from the profit-at-any-cost logic and nature of world capitalism, which has found its leadership in US corporate government, with its henchmen, servants, attack dogs and shills that follow, bark and attack on cue by the top dog in Washington, ready to jump in and help tear victims to pieces. This imperialist alliance is nothing, but a criminal blood sucking gangster-type coalition, intent on robbing the peoples of the world dry to make themselves richer than they already are. Even though they already are obscenely wealthy through the sweat and tears and blood of most of the people of the world, they want even more because it’s never enough for them. Greed knows no bounds.
If you think my portrayal is too damning, just look at the events in their logical continuity and historical thread and the consequent results. This criminal gang, under the leadership of the US corporate government, is impoverishing the people of the world, making themselves richer than ever, committing the biggest crimes against humanity, in the process. What this criminal cabal headquartered in Washington is doing to accumulate more and more wealth is not only killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing millions and impoverishing hundreds of millions or billions of people, while imposing tyranny and oppression upon them, it’s also ruining the planet, making it uninhabitable for future generations. They must be stopped and stopped soon, and the only ones who can stop them is people on the streets, in the millions.
Destabilization and overthrow of governments by causing mayhem and chaos and death and destruction is nothing new for the corporate government of the United States. But, now, it’s doing it with incredible and unprecedented brazenness and shamelessness. What they used to do covertly, they’re now doing openly and even brag about it. Partly, this was brought on by the disappearance and lining up behind their president of the anti-war segment of the population with the election of Obama. Even much of the European population who could not approve of President Bush and his wars, celebrated the new President’s victory, which, in turn, encouraged their governments to line up more eagerly behind their new leader in Washington. Maybe the Nobel Peace Prize Committee knew what they were doing when they granted him the prize. Obama presidency will surely go down in history as a period of a qualitatively new level of bold and naked imperialist aggression and belligerence.
What also has been on display with the recent developments in Ukraine is how closely the US media toes the line and faithfully broadcasts the official government line, presenting Moscow as the culprit and aggressor. Doesn’t Malcolm X’s ageless comment about US “newspapers” ring truer than ever? When CIA backed Nazi protesters were throwing firebombs at the police, US TV personalities were talking about police overreach and overreaction, while trying to hide the fact that the most aggressive and violent of those protesters were neo-Nazis. I’m sure they would feel the same way had those protests been in the US! Then, when the government agreed to an internationally negotiated truce and ordered the police to back off and leave the protest sites, the neo-Nazis with the green light from the CIA, attacked and occupied government buildings. Again, I’m sure the US media would similarly defend the protesters and their actions had the government been “friendly” to US! Then, when the democratically elected President Yanukovych fled to avoid being captured by the violent neo-Nazis, the US media, shamelessly said: “well, he’s gone, so he’s not the president, anymore”. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, with the typical hypocrisy of Obama worshippers, who used to be “anti-war” and suddenly, overnight, became warmongers and defenders of cold-blooded murder and endless wars, mocked President Putin for insisting that Yanukoviych was still the legitimate President. While neo-Nazi protesters, who after the coup found their way in the coup government and were welcomed and greeted by the US Undersecretary, Victoria Nuland, suddenly became defenders of the central government and condemned protesters in the East! Rachel Maddow, once again, showed why she gets paid by NBC, when she suddenly and shamelessly – the typical shamelessness of Obama worshippers – became defender of a strong central government and called the protesters agents of Moscow! The so-called “free” and “independent” US media (the biggest lie in human history ironically happens to be about the biggest liars of human history) had nothing to report about 46 (at least – some estimates put the number at 116) opponents of the coup government, who were burned alive in a trade union building in Odessa! Rachel Maddow had not even crocodile tears for them.
And for those who continue to refuse to see the facts that clearly point to another shameless and brazen imperialist intervention – made possible by spending $5 billion, as bragged by Victoria Nuland – now comes the cold and irrefutable fact of US corporate role in this vile affair – not by Rachel Maddow’s boss, NBC, but the class of US corporations and their owners, who collectively pay for the likes of Rachel Maddow. Wall Street Journal reported:
“Hunter Biden, a lawyer by training and the younger of the vice president’s two sons, joined the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings Ltd. this month and took on responsibility for the company’s legal unit, according to a statement issued by the closely held gas producer.
“His appointment came a few weeks after Devon Archer —college roommate of the secretary of state’s [John Kerry] stepson, H.J. Heinz Co. ketchup heir Christopher Heinz—joined the board to help the gas firm attract U.S. investors, improve its corporate governance and expand its operations.”
“Help the gas firm attract U.S. investors”? Nice! Those liberals, including Rachel Maddow, who criticized President Bush for attacking and occupying Iraq – hard to defend the killing of a million people when done by a Republican, I guess – called the war senseless and pointless. They might not have liked to remind their viewers about one of the major reasons for the devastating and inhuman war on the defenseless people of Iraq, but Wall Street Journal, again, reminded its corporate readers after the war that the Secretary of State of the time, Hillary Clinton, went to Iraq and told US investors that Iraq was now open to US investors! Then, the new government of Iraq purchased $16 billion worth of weapons from the US, paid for by Iraqi oil money. So, you see Ms. Maddow, the war wasn’t as “senseless”, as you made it out to be. You just don’t want to reveal the true reasons for such imperialist and criminal interventions.
As, I’ve written in previous articles: there were two major objectives the US was pursuing from their bloody and violent intervention in Ukraine that is continuing to this day: one is to pull the nation under the imperialist economic dominance, by imposing an IMF (International Monetary Fund) loan on it, which comes with mandatory austerity measures, which puts the burden of the loan on working people, impoverishing them further and ends up privatizing and handing the nation’s assets, such as oil and gas, harbors and shipyards and industries and factories, to large Western capitalists, and two: to bring in NATO and turn Ukraine into a military base against Russia, thus blackmailing and militarily surrounding it, to prepare for a future regime change in Russia, herself. And, all the like of Rachel Maddow show to their viewers is President Putin horse riding shirtless!
Photo: from Wall Street Journal
It’s been said that the first casualty of war is the truth. I’d say all atrocities and war crimes come with a bag of lies – before, during and after. That’s why US history textbooks are full of lies. Genocide against the natives, slavery, frequent wars, massacres, invasions, bombings, lynchings, racism, detention camps for the Japanese, have all been whitewashed, explained away, misrepresented or outright lied about at one time or another. Just about every war has come with lies, not just about the reason for starting it, but also about massacres and atrocities committed by US troops during the war, from My Lai and Ha My massacres and indiscriminate carpet bombings in Vietnam and the massacre of unarmed civilians in No Gun Ri, Korea, to the Haditha massacre in Iraq and the Deh Bala wedding party bombing in Afghanistan, which killed 47 people, mostly women and children, leaving the party in a bloody mess of severed limbs and heads of women and children, for the villagers to clean up.
Lies always came without hesitation, even when there was public support for their action. Even the circumstances of the assassination of Bin Laden remains a mystery to this day; the White House changed its story several times, about whether he was armed at the time he was shot, about who else was with him that was also killed, and about the reason for dumping his body in the sea.
The lie about the Gulf of Tonkin gave the US the excuse to escalate the war in Vietnam. During the Tet Offensive, in 1968, the entire countryside in southern and central parts of the country became a “free-fire zone,” meaning that any human or animal within it was a legitimate target. A month after this incident, a similar massacre took place in the neighboring province of Quang Ngai, later known to the international community as the My Lai massacre. Declassified military documents also show how US commanders ordered their forces to target and kill refugees, caught on the battlefield in the Korean War. Fearing North Korean infiltration, in July of 1950, up to 400 Korean civilians were killed by US forces from the 7th Cavalry Regiment. They lied about all of these.
Although the systematic killings of the American Indians, which resulted in the biggest genocide of all time, stands out in its unsurpassed scale and level of cruelty and injustice in the entire history of mankind, there is another large and horrendous war crime, committed by this government that isn’t discussed much and has been lied about and misrepresented in history books. That’s the decision to drop the atomic bomb on two large and heavily populated Japanese cities, incinerating over two hundred thousand people at once. By 1950, another 230,000 Japanese had died from injuries or radiation. Not only is this unique in history, as far as the number of people killed in a matter of days, but also for the lies that have been told about it and accepted by the vast majority of the American people.
The official reason given to people is that the bombs were dropped to bring the war to a quick end and avoid many more casualties. The truth is something else, entirely. By 1945, the Japanese supply lines had been cut, their air force was a shambles, and Tokyo was nearly in ruins with 140,000 killed and a million injured. Its biggest ally, Germany, had been defeated and the Soviet Union was about to declare war on and enter the war with Japan, which would have ruined US plans for imposing their own exclusive terms on the Japanese and occupy it with their troops and thus keep the Soviets out of it, altogether. The US goal, looking forward from that point on, was to curtail the influence of the Soviet Union and stop socialism from spreading. That’s why they occupied Germany and Italy and have kept them occupied, to this day. That was also the biggest reason for the Marshall Plan to help Europe recover since the call for socialism was getting louder. Were the Soviets to enter the war with Japan and move on to enter the country, the US reasoned, their plan for imposing their exclusive terms and occupying and dictating their policy on Japan, would have collapsed and the Soviets would find a foothold in the Pacific, similar to what happened in Eastern Europe. That’s the only thing that can logically explain the US frantic rush to test and drop history’s first atomic bomb. If they were so worried about more US casualties, why not let the Soviets enter the war and help them finish it together? Why the rush, especially about undertaking such a huge mass killing? The test was conducted at Trinity, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945; the order to drop it on Japan was issued on July 25, almost immediately after observing the test results.
The second reason for dropping the atomic bomb also had to do with the Soviet Union. They wanted to intimidate and threaten the Soviets, by showing what they were capable of, as in “be forewarned”. Even though, the Soviets acquired the bomb themselves a few years later, in 1949, they were still threatened with nuclear attack in 1961, during the Cuban Missiles Crisis. You can see the potential such a weapon and its successful use, as demonstrated on two urban cities, could have, politically, for the US, which had risen to world dominance and had plans to expand that dominance. It gives the party owning it blackmail capability and the US wanted the Soviets to know what they might face, themselves.
The third reason for dropping the nuclear bombs was to be able to assess their effects when dropped on a populated area, rather than on an uninhibited New Mexico desert, and see its radiation effects, too. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not chosen because they were the most important cities, militarily. They were not. They were chosen to see the aftermath. Also, two different sizes of the bomb were used to see the different effects, on two different geographic topologies. Hiroshima is mostly flat because it sits on a flat river delta. The bomb was dropped on the city center, an area crowded with wooden residential structures. That’s why the death toll and destruction was greater there. Nagasaki, in contrast, is hilly with the hills concentrating the effects of the bomb in areas lying between them, killing almost everyone and destroying everything, while partially shielding other areas.
Sadako was two years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. She was taught at the time to make paper cranes. She thought that was supposed to protect her and make her recover from leukemia, which she contracted from exposure to nuclear radiation. So, she feverishly made paper cranes until she succumbed to the disease and died. The US and Japan went on to sign the surrender agreement, without the Soviets, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians dead and hundreds of thousands more in the following years, due to radiation.
It’s hard to shrug off the news or even the possibility of war, if the bombs will be dropped on the city or village where you and your loved ones live. The news or threat of war or even limited bombing takes a totally different meaning, then. Even living where any minute a drone may appear overhead and shoot missiles is not something you can easily ignore and say: “oh well – crazy world”. The world isn’t crazy. The world is fine.
One of the worst things that the ruling corporate cabal of billionaires has been able to do to the American people is to desensitize and getting them used to the idea of war, to the point that they think of war as an ordinary and routine occurrence – something the government does, like taking the trash – instead of getting outraged and shocked and reflecting on what it means to rain down bombs on defenseless people, and picturing what the children and their mothers must be going through, the fear, the screams…
What drones have been able to do for the US ruling class is to make mass killings of people overseas easier, cheaper and more removed from Americans’ day to day lives. But, imagine the police, for example, shooting missiles from a drone at a populated neighborhood or a shopping mall in a US city and killing tens of people, including children, because they wanted to assassinate someone who they believed was there. Or imagine a group of some hundred people at a wedding which looks threatening to the person sitting tens of thousands of mikes away with his finger on the trigger and pulls the trigger and kills and injures most of those people who had gathered to celebrate. And then imagine, while this is happening, the First Lady shows up on TV, with a sad face and expresses concern for missing Nigerian children. Things look different from the other side. Don’t they?
US On A Rampage From Ukraine to Syria: The Ways, Means and Strategies For Dominating the World and Dangers Involved
Some among the left who would generally take the correct anti-imperialist position on US wars and interventions, whether it be in Viet Nam or Korea or Central America or Iraq, surprisingly, when it came to Libya and Syria, or more interestingly, Ukraine, they took the wrong position and ended up on the wrong side, politically. I’m not talking about pro-Obama liberals, who were “anti-war” when Bush was President, but suddenly went through some mysterious metamorphosis when Obama was elected and who now defend everything he does, or keep quiet about things that they can’t possibly defend, such as his drone attacks. I’m talking about some revolutionary leftists, who have been active for many years and whom you could count on to always understand the issues correctly and make the right judgement. Some, who, understandably, were encouraged by the pro-democracy movements that began in Libya and Syria and were then rattled by the harsh crackdowns that ensued, failed to grasp the transformation that those initial movements for democracy went through, with the intervention of US and its allies, which made them into an imperialist imposed war for regime change from outside and turned the original movements on their head. Whereas, in Libya, NATO undertook a textbook colonial war to overthrow the government and install one of their own, in Syria, they allied themselves with the most brutal and reactionary Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists, who descended upon the country from several Arab countries, to try and impose an Islamic fundamentalist Caliphate, through sheer terror and massacre. US and its allies couldn’t care less if the entire country were destroyed. They’re waiting in the wings, funneling money and weapons to the jihadists, knowing people are being killed in tens of thousands and millions are being displaced and made refugees, just to see the government overthrown, so they can come in and install a pro-Saudi, pro-Israel corrupt sheikdom like the rest of the Gulf states that are behind this travesty.
It gets even more interesting in the case of Ukraine. A good leftist friend of mine who would probably agree with the analysis of Libya and Syria I gave above, ends up on the opposite side on Ukraine. She saw the protests that preceded the overthrow of the government as the genuine outcry of the people of Ukraine against a corrupt pro-Kremlin regime that was willing to let Russian capitalists exploit its people, although she agreed there were Nazis among the protesters and later in the new government and that the US and the European Union didn’t exactly have the best of intentions for Ukrainian people.
It’s for this reason that I decided to write this piece to put all these events and interventions in the right context and show the common character and historical continuity to all these otherwise disparate socioeconomic events which, though different, they all fall within a unified imperialist thrust, which defines the times in which we live.
When the Soviet Union broke up, many thought (or hoped) now that the Cold War was over, there would be peace. Many in the US hoped that the military spending, that was eclipsing everything else, could be drastically cut and the money used to create jobs, provide free universal health insurance for everyone, improve education, increase the money spent on combatting diseases, such as cancer, provide better public services, take steps to care for the environment and fix the aging infrastructure. It would have been nice. But, what happened was just the opposite. With the Soviet Union gone, the US capitalist class and their strategists and think thanks began strategizing and planning to expand the influence and hegemony of US corporations, especially into territories previously unavailable to them, such as Eastern European countries and former republics of the Soviet Union.
When taking over new nations, empires have never been so polite that they would respect the will of the people to see whether they want to be ruled or not. And, this is why the colonial and imperial subjugation of nations always comes with omission and rejection of democracy and democratic principles. Imperialism needs and therefore seeks and picks leaders who are willing to sell their people to the foreign usurpers and exploiters for their own wealth and power. Imperialism truly gives meaning to the phrase “the friends you keep”. But, that’s natural; profits always trump democracy and justice. That’s true domestically, as well. Leaders, who betray their own people for their own ambition, find their way into Congress and the White House, whereas those who truly speak for their people, end up on FBI watch list and assassinated. Obama is a good example of the former and Dr. King a good example of the latter.
Taking over and installing a puppet government takes different forms and requirements, depending on the situation and circumstances. Sometimes, simple bribes do the trick. Other times, it takes much more, including hiring thugs and mercenaries to incite protests and violence, planning and executing a coup d’état with the help of military leaders, threats, assassinations, etc. In case these ways fail or if they’re not available options, the military option is always “on the table”, as they like to say, whether it’s by using drones or missiles or heavy bombers, or by an outright invasion and occupation. How hard they push and how far they’re willing to go to overthrow a government depends on how important the country is to them – economically, geopolitically and strategically – as well as, on the costs and risks, involved.
Deciding factors as to which nations to go after and when also vary. Ever since the realization of the importance of oil for their economy and functioning, they’ve had their eyes on the Middle East oil fields. They already had puppet governments in most of the region, including such big producers as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but, they wanted more direct control. The 1991 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam and his subsequent defeat by the US, gave them the opportunity to station troops on Saudi land, not to mention selling an exorbitant amount of unnecessary weaponry to them. That was followed, of course, by the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, leaving over a million dead and many millions more displaced. Other factors influencing their decision, besides oil, may be how important the country is for controlling a region, the size of its economy, its proximity to another nation on their target list, etc. Analyzing such factors, we see that the future looks bleak for Iran, too. Let’s not forget that the attack on Iraq was preceded by years of heavy economic sanctions and IAEA inspections that left no military installation and weapons depots off limits, producing valuable military intelligence that was later used during the invasion. Now, they’re doing all that against Iran.
Basically, any inhabited land is a source of cheap labor and natural resources to exploit and a market to control for their products, as well as, a base to expand the empire further, especially if it’s located in a region they want to control or is near another target. And, if a place, such as an island, holds no people, it can still be grabbed and used as a military base to attack nearby nations from or to build a prison to hold the nationals of other countries in and claim it’s outside US jurisdiction, where US laws don’t apply.
Almost 70 years after the end of WWII, The US still has troops in Germany, Italy, Japan and elsewhere. They have also kept their troops in South Korea since 1950. One has to be incredibly naive to think that the purpose for such continued military presence is to prevent the return of Nazis. They don’t seem to have any problems with fascists when they don’t threaten their interests and don’t try to grab territories from them, as the Nazis tried to do during the last World War. They’re fine making an alliance with them when their goals coincide with theirs, such as in Ukraine, now. They even stand next to them and pose for photos, and eagerly support a government which includes Nazi remnants and sympathizers. Incidentally, such cooperation is not limited to fascists; as I mentioned before, they’re also supporting Islamic terrorists in Syria. Their support of apartheid Israel is also because their geopolitical goals coincide with the racist ideology of Zionism and because they use Israel as their regional policeman to protect their interests.
The real reason for continuing to keep troops in those and other countries is to make sure socialism doesn’t take hold. We should remember that they told – ordered rather – the Italian government, in 1945, to ban the Communist Party and again, years later, Kissinger warned them not to form a coalition government with them. They can work with fascists. The only ones they can’t work with are socialists and that’s of course due to what the US imperialism is all about: profits for US corporations. Their number one nemesis therefore is socialism and nationalization of industries. Much in Libya was nationalized and off limits to them, as are in Syria and increasingly also in Venezuela. Nationalizing a country’s industries and resources keeps them out of the hands of multinational corporations and is therefore considered a red line to imperialism. What can also be a red line is anti-imperialist policies of a government, which can possibly threaten its interests in the region, as did Libya’s in Africa when he tried to unite African states. Such countries also set a bad example to others to follow. For example, all basic necessities were subsidized for the Libyan people, as are in Syria for Syrians. In contrast, the first requirement of an IMF loan, as it’s now being offered to Ukraine, is to cut social spending and eliminate subsidies for the poor, because they cut into the profits of giant banks. The Russians’ competing offer of help, notwithstanding whatever fault we find in Putin, had no such draconian, anti-poor provisions. In addition, a clause in the IMF offer even opens the door to NATO to come in and provide “security”.
Some of the takeovers are planned in advance and the necessary groundwork is done before the regime change is attempted. In Ukraine, for example, they spent $5 billion through US-AID and other channels, such as non-governmental agencies, over the course of a few years, along with sending CIA and special ops agents and private security contractors, to do the preparations. Now, even the FBI is active there. In contrast, the 1953 coup in Iran was much quicker and cheaper (less than $100,000). But, not every case is planned in advance. In some cases, they try to utilize opportunities as they come, such as in Libya and Syria. Now, it seems Nigeria may have presented them with yet another opportunity.
Pretexts and explanations given for interventions also vary. In Southeast Asia and Latin America, it was to fight against communism. Lately, it’s been the “war on terror”. In Iraq, it was weapons of mass destruction, which was later changed to spreading “democracy” (which in reality, it was anything, but). In Iran, it’s about their nuclear program. In Libya and now Syria, it’s about punishing a brutal dictator for killing their own people (never mind that they themselves helped their allies and friends, Kings of Bahrain and Yemen, among others, kill their own people, including doctors and nurses who would treat the wounded). Not only does the US not complain about harsh treatment of protesters by these and other friendly regimes, they often help with the killings. During massive demonstrations in Yemen, US drones were hitting members of the opposition.
If the attack on Iraq was mostly (not only, but mostly) about oil, the intervention in Syria is mostly strategic and about controlling the region and defeating the opponents in the region, including the Hezbollah, while in Ukraine, the incentive is two-pronged: to make the country dependent on imperialism, economically, and use it to pressure, blackmail and surround Russia, militarily. The reason they’re going all out and provoking Russia is because Ukraine is very important to them, not only economically, but, strategically, due to its long border with Russia, which can be used by NATO to blackmail the latter militarily and ultimately be used for regime change, there. They didn’t spend the $5 billion because they like Ukrainians. To them that was an investment, just as they make investments in domestic politicians.
Imperialism, by definition, considers its area of operation, and hence the area to control, the whole world. That’s why they need Guantanamo and secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania. Imperialism sees people everywhere as a source of profits and tries to eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Those who challenge it, don’t have to be US citizens to be pursued and punished by the US. Their nationality makes no difference since their jurisdiction is the whole world. Julian Assange, notwithstanding his non-US citizenship, is just as punishable by the US, as Private Manning and Edward Snowden.
This is not to say that the US is the only country that tries to influence or take advantage of other nations for its corporations, or that anything that happens anywhere in the world is their doing and a part of their grand scheme to dominate and control the world – I don’t espouse such conspiracy theories. Nor do I claim everything to be simple and “black and white”, but what we must come to terms with is that it’s the US that’s pursuing world domination and is willing to go to any number of wars to achieve it for its corporations. The fact is: this is a unipolar world, where the US, with the support and help of its allies (mostly in Europe), has literally gone on a rampage to take over the world and eliminate any nation that stands in its way and poses a challenge. In such a scenario, wars are a constant feature and increasingly get more dangerous.
Not only did the breakup of the Soviet Union not usher in a period of peace, it made things much worse. And that should not surprise us, either. An economic system that’s run by corporations, whose only concern is to make profits and add to their wealth, will continue to go to wars to get what it wants, whatever it takes, even at the risk of starting a world war. Nothing is beyond them. “Everything is on the table”.
Putting aside the “ultra left” tendency, which Lenin rightly called the “infantile disorder”, there are currently two major “disorders” among the American left:
Most, among the radical or revolutionary left, who understand the concept of classes and the need to eventually wrest the state power from the ruling capitalist class in a revolution and subsequently ensure that the defeated class does not come back to power, suffer from a strong case of sectarianism. They often refuse to cooperate and work in coalitions with other groups and organizations that they may have a difference of opinion with. Internally, some of these organizations take only the second part of the idea of democratic centralism, tossing out the first. Leaders are often permanent and don’t get reelected in elections. People are often recruited to do footwork, without being given the opportunity to participate in real decision making, which is almost exclusively made at the top. While understandably, it takes a while to trust a new member, as too often FBI agents have infiltrated these organizations, a new member is always viewed with suspicion and kept on the periphery. Membership and membership rights seem arbitrary. Those who don’t question the internal authority and leadership and their positions are favored and encouraged, while discussions and questions that don’t exactly fit the party line are discouraged.
The sectarianism keeps the group tightly knit like a close family, but, it also turns the group into a clique and keeps them mostly talking to themselves, cut off from the outside world, distrusting and shunning others with opinions different from theirs, instead of finding common ground and working with others towards organizing at the grassroots level and educating to raise class consciousness, which most of these rather small groups believe in doing and should be doing.
The other major disorder is the opposite of the first: that of too much “inclusion”, as they like to call it. This is basically a liberal mindset, which although sides politically with the working class and is anti-imperialist and anti-war in worldview and largely even considers itself anti-capitalist, it suffers from liberalism in their thinking. What they lack is a clear understanding of class, class war and class enemy. In fact, they don’t like or don’t believe in the notion of “class war” or “class enemy” and try to avoid such terms. Instead, they believe in “inclusion” of “everyone”, including the ruling class, in trying to build a better and fairer future, not questioning why the ruling class that holds all the power would want to change anything or give up any of their power or influence.
They also, as a result, reject the idea of a revolution, often pointing to the ones which failed in the past or did not go as they would have liked them to go, and fearful of what may come after. They also point to the fact that revolutions are usually violent and destructive, even though the violence is always imposed by the rulers. Most of them do believe in grassroots organizing, but only to pressure the politicians serving the ruling class to serve the people, instead. Some see the problem only in the existence of too much money in politics and elections or in corporate lobbying or that corporations have too much power and exert too much influence. Their organizing usually involves campaigning for a more progressive candidate, including those who call themselves socialist. Some even think that progressives should join with right wing libertarians to unseat the politicians of the “corporatist state”, from the top and without the need for a movement. Some among this group even take a moralistic and religious approach, preaching changing ourselves first or being good to and inclusive of everyone, regardless of class or status to make a fairer, better and more peaceful world.
Their views on a post-revolution society (such as Cuba) or one which is going through one (such as Venezuela) are also naive, as they advocate inclusion of the apologists and ideologues of the capitalist class in public discourse, allowing them to continue their propaganda through their broadcasting networks with “equal” opportunity to express, organize and agitate, as in a “free and fair” competition, as if the whole endeavor, including the sacrifices made or to be made to get there, is some kind of game to be decided through competition and “equal time”, disregarding and ignoring all the brainwashing that have gone on before and overlooking the continued unevenness in power and resources that exist now and will continue to exist for some time after a revolution. Above all, they forget what the real point of the revolution is: the uprooting of the exploiting class, their unequivocal defeat and building of a new social order, rather than playing “fair”, as they understand it and want to impose on suffering masses. Building of the new starts with the destruction of the old. That’s what a revolution is about, whether or not it involves any actual act of destruction or violence, which incidentally, is always imposed on those wanting real change.
There are two things that stop this group from supporting a revolution: their own interest in the current system and the status quo and fear of losing those benefits and interests, on the one hand, and the fear of the new, on the other. That’s because this is largely a middle class intellectual group with middle class intellectual fears and apprehensions. Those who have nothing, also fear losing nothing. They, unlike the intellectual middle class, know that they can only gain from a fundamental and structural change. And, that’s why they’re the ones who can be relied upon to create and push forward a mass movement, leading up to a revolution, leaving it up to the liberals to join or not. Revolution is not some outdated last-century idea. Simply put, it’s the wresting of state power from the dominant class of super wealthy by the working class and doesn’t have to involve violence, although, it always does because the class of billionaires that’s in power will not relinquish that power, voluntarily. To reject the idea of a revolution is to reject empowering and liberating people from the persistent poverty and exploitation, no matter what the excuse – psychological, religious, whatever.
One day, during the last presidential campaign, while the Republicans were battling it out amongst themselves to pick their party’s nominee, a Facebook friend excitedly suggested to me that we progressives should all get behind Ron Paul’s presidency. I guess she had not read much of what I had written, especially on racism, or else she wouldn’t have made that suggestion to me. She wasn’t the only one I heard such absurdity from (my apologies to you the reader, if you were one of those excited “progressives”). There were many others. I was suddenly seeing Facebook posts in his support on the wall of people I thought were progressive. I tried to explain my reasons why I wouldn’t support Ron Paul in a piece and left it at that and forgot all about it. Forgot, that is, until I was once again reminded of it the other day. One of the things I’ve learned in my life is to never say “I’ll never see anything more absurd than this”. Chances are I will, and lo and behold, I did.
Ralph Nader, of all people, is apparently now advocating Rand Paul’s bid for President. In a book titled: “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State”, he argues, as the title suggests, for the unity of progressives and libertarians to defeat the “corporate state”. First of all, I guess it’s not that hard for Mr. Nader to suggest that we overlook the reactionary views of the libertarians on both social and economic issues, including on racial equality, women’s rights, immigration, minimum wage, unemployment benefits, social safety nets, etc. Apparently, he sees no problem standing next to someone who thinks the 1964 Voter Rights Act or Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other social programs which most libertarians are against should never have been made law. I suppose these are not that important to Mr. Nader, and I guess he proposes to forget about blacks, Latinos and women and make this alliance happen and win without their participation.
This is not the first time, Mr. Nader comes out with a book in which he tells us how we should vote. The difference is that this time, the candidate he supports is someone other than himself. My criticism of him during his past bids – he’s had three – was that he’d completely disappear for years and sometime before the elections, would reappear (or “return” from the mountains or wherever he would disappear to, to use a biblical analogy) with a new prophetic book in hand and announce his candidacy to save his people from the “corporate state”. But, this time, he’s made a slight modification in his prophetic return. He’s advocating a younger libertarian Messiah named Rand Paul.
I know, I know. I’m being too harsh on Mr. Nader, but what do you expect? I have the crazy notion that a political candidate who is on the right of Republicans and feels at home with Tea Partiers is not going to dismantle the military industrial complex and free people everywhere who are exploited and kept poor by US corporations, but rather, it will be the people, in the millions, in the streets, through general and nationwide strikes, with a class-conscious working class in unity with blacks, Latinos, immigrants, women and through protracted and non-stop massive protests who will be able to accomplish that. Not only that, but I also have the crazy notion, that no such movement has a fighting chance without the active participation – not just among the participants, but among its leadership – African Americans and women, whom Mr. Nader wants to leave out.
I must also add that his liberal naiveté pierces through his argument. Not only does his plan not include the bottom classes of the society who are the only ones capable and motivated enough to bring down the empire, especially African Americans and immigrants in coalition with the poor, he believes and wants us to believe that a right-wing libertarian is going to dismantle the empire’s military bases and bring home its troops and warships and missiles and end its endless wars and regime changes and bombings and assassinations and close its secret prisons and cancel its plans for world domination. Yes, Mr. Paul is going to march into the White House and stop all that and everyone is going to say: wow, Nader was so right! That was easy and it didn’t even take any clashes with the police or beatings or massive arrests.
You know, the more I think about this, the more I think he’s not that stupid. He does suffer from liberal naiveté, but at the risk of inviting criticism from friends and readers for saying this, I would say at least one of his motives here must be to sell his new book.