Imperialism and Its Despotic Friends: An Alliance for Money and Power Dragging the World Through Terror and Wars
Some people, when you talk to them about the goings on in the world, will tell you that it’s become a dangerous world, that there are too many problems without an easy answer and that things are complicated. If you’re one of those people who think like that, I say you’re wrong! Things are actually not that complicated.
Now, I’m not one who will simplify things to avoid a sober and realistic analysis of the socioeconomic, political-economic and geopolitical realities of our times. Nor do I paint things in black and white and make uncalled for generalizations or give overly simplistic or infantile explanations, leaving out information vital to our understanding of the world around us. I always thought, for example, that a “creator” creating the entire cosmos and everything in it in 6 days and “resting” on the seventh was too simplistic, lazy and infantile, leaving far too many questions unanswered. But, sometimes much of, if not all, the current “problems” do have one single source. If you happen to have a tumor growing in your body, you may feel a multitude of symptoms, from pain to lack of appetite or sleep to having fever to throwing up etc. Likewise, all or most of the problems and danger spots in the world that we see or hear about today, such as terrorism, wars, massacres, assassinations, human rights violations, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine, political chaos and instability, economic crises, famine and mass starvation and rapidly spreading infectious diseases can be traced to one source: world imperialism headed by the U.S. government – the empire of large multinational banks and other giant corporations, headquartered in a few industrialized nations’ capitals, under the leadership of the U.S. military industrial complex, headquartered in Washington – which is the government of the multibillionaires who are the one tenth of one percent of the US population who set the agenda and policies of the US government with far reaching policy and socioeconomic implications throughout the world, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East that has been turned into a hotbed of violence and chaos threatening to drag the world into a dangerous conflagration, all thanks to the US. Those who say that there are too many problems and dangers without an easy solution need to reconsider.
Los Angeles Times reported (January 19) that on Sunday, January 18, Israel attacked a Hezbollah convoy with an airstrike “in the Quneitra region of southern Syria, close to the Israeli occupied Golan Heights”, killing a number of its members and an Iranian general who was accompanying them. Iran confirmed the unprovoked attack the following day. On January 26, AP wrote from Jerusalem about the attack, writing that “striking one of the group’s positions … for the first time since the sides fought a war” in 2006, “Israel has opened a new front … as part of a risky policy that could easily backfire by triggering retaliation”. The retaliation came yesterday when Hezbollah attacked an Israeli military vehicle, killing two soldiers and wounding 7. Israel responded to the retaliation by shelling inside Lebanon and threatened “an all out war”, which the US State Department once again quickly defended, repeating the line that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, saying nothing about the Israeli airstrike that caused the Hezbollah retaliation, in the first place. “Israel has the right to defend itself” really means two things: “Israel has the right to attack anyone at anytime” and “only Israel has the right to retaliate”.
Incidentally, the US considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, which should always make one think the group must be doing something right. And, indeed, they are. Hezbollah is the organization that was able to drive Israel out of Lebanon, which it had invaded and occupied since 1982. In 2006, 4 years after being kicked out, Israel attacked Lebanon again, undertaking massive bombings, similar to what they did last August to the defenseless people of Gaza, who had no way of protecting or defending themselves (remember: “only Israel has the right to defend itself”), or fighting back, save some harmless homemade missiles that landed in the desert. Not so in Lebanon where Hezbollah fighters made Israel suffer heavy losses and end its attack without any military or political gain. It’s that patriotic and spirit of resistance that has won the group the support of even most of Lebanon’s Christians as well as the honor of being on US “terror list”. incidentally, the US has another longer “terror list”: the list of nations and leaders it targets with its own terror, but that’s another topic.
Also, worth noting is that when Israel Attacks a convoy belonging to a group inside another country, without that group having attacked it first, it’s reported by US media as an airstrike with a legitimate purpose, such as preventing the group from obtaining weapons. That’s how the Israeli airstrike of January 18 was reported by news media, including AP, which I quoted above. But, when reporting Hezbollah’s retaliatory strike, it’s a “terrorist attack”, just as Hamas’ firing its primitive and useless rockets was reported which the group fired in retaliation for the siege and starving of Gaza and the “targeted killings” of some and arresting of hundreds of others of its members, which went largely unreported.
“While Israeli experts agree that Israel would never want to help al-Qaida”, AP article of January 26 continued, “in this case Israel and the al-Qaida-linked fighters have as a common goal opposing Hezbollah and its alliance with the Syrian government. This puts them at least indirectly on the same side”. That’s right; Israel – and the US – are fighting “on the same side” as Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, including ISIS. US imperialism and its client settler state, Israel, have no problem working with groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, as long as they help overthrow the Syrian government, even if it means creating another fertile ground for terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda to come in and set up shop, as it happened after their regime change in Iraq and Libya, where they replaced stable and secular governments with groups of Islamic fundamentalists vying for power and committing mass murder and before that, in 1980’s, in Afghanistan by supporting Mujaheddin who were the precursors of the Taliban.
The US even cooperated with and gave its military and political support to fascists and Neo-Nazis in Ukraine to help overthrow the democratically elected government in Kiev, and continued its full support to the new government which included the Neo-Nazis, even while they were massacring those in the East who opposed the coup, calling them “pro-Russia separatists” and calling on the coup government to crush them with heavy weapons. Hundreds of people were burnt alive in a trade union building in Odessa, when Neo-Nazis burned the building to ground, without any US corporate media reporting on it. Compare that to a Palestinian killing an Israeli occupation soldier in desperation. By the time Undersecretary of State, Victoria Nuland, stood with Senator John McCain, shoulder to shoulder with the victorious Neo-Nazis in Maidon square in Kiev, handing them cookies to celebrate their victory, seeing US government officials standing next to Neo-Nazis was not as much of a shock anymore to those who had been following the events in Syria. By then, we had already heard about the cooperation between the CIA and Al Qaeda forces to overthrow the Syrian government.
The AP goes on to explain that Israel doesn’t mind that Syrian government and Al Qaeda forces with whom it’s cooperating are killing each other. Thats not a first; that’s what Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988: “let them kill each other off”, he said. That’s the attitude of the US about the people of Middle East: honor and bow to those who help with imperialist agenda for total hegemony and control over the region and its oil, including barbaric medieval and despotic kings like the late King Abdullah who died a few days ago, who beheaded people, cut arms and legs for punishment, stoned gays to death, ordered journalists whipped and jailed and treated women like cattle, but when it comes to those who refuse to toe the Washington line, like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine (and in the future Iran), invade, bomb and overthrow their governments or sabotage and try to incite opposition as in Venezuela and elsewhere.
Present at King Abdullah’s funeral, wasn’t just US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia or Secretary of State John Kerry or Vice President Joe Biden. It was in the words of a TV reporter “who’s who” of the U.S. government, including top ranking House and Senate members such as John McCain and Nancy Pelosi and of course President Obama and his wife, who in the presence of the Saudi men coming forward to greet Mr. Obama, had to stand behind her husband, ignored by the Royal male family members and all-male Saudi government officials who, one by one, stepped forward to shake hands with Obama, turning and walking away from the “First Lady” because they don’t consider women equal human beings or worthy of respect. King Abdullah to whom Washington made sure to pay its utmost respect didn’t allow women to even drive. Women in Saudi Arabia don’t have the same rights as men. Their testimony in court doesn’t count as much as men’s. They don’t even have custody rights over their own children.
Obama left his India visit, leaving in the middle of a spectacular festival of songs and acts and performances the Indian government had prepared for him and his wife (a big mistake) to attend the funeral of a king who had personally spent about $200 billion over the years to promote the most extreme and fanatical branch of Islam, the Wahhabi sect, which forbids girls from attending school and stones women to death for leaving their husbands.
But, none of that matters because the King gave hundreds of millions of dollars to terror groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS to overthrow the Syrian government, which the US and Israel wanted to see gone, sent troops to crack down pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, which has a pro-US dictatorship and is home to a large US military base including the Fifth Fleet of US Navy, right next to Iran, was hostile against Iran, was indifferent towards Israel’s genocide against Palestinians and even cooperated with Israel “in regional security matters”, helped the U.S. drive down the price of oil to squeeze Russian and Iranian economies that are dependent on it and bought a huge amount of expensive and sophisticated weaponry from the US and its allies, returning much of its oil money back to US weapons companies, ostensibly and supposedly to defend “against Iran”, which never threatened it. These are some of the services the Saudi King provided to US imperialism.
As if all that outpouring of honor and respect that the US political establishment paid to a brutal Islamist despot wasn’t enough, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, established a “research and essay competition in honor of King Abdullah” hosted by the National Defense University. The Web site of the Department of Defense (DoD) says: “The king, who died Jan. 23 at age 90, oversaw the modernization of his country’s military during the time he spent as commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a position he held from 1963 until he became king in 2005”. He said: “the essay competition is a fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch”. Yes, who could forget the billions of dollars of weapons he bought from the US to “modernize” his country’s military?
Number two in the pack of imperialist wolves, British prime minister David Cameron, also praised Abdullah for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths” and ordered Flags to be put at half-mast at official buildings across London on Friday. US secretary of state John Kerry called him a “man of wisdom and vision”. “This is a sad day,” he said, adding: “The United States has lost a friend”. The praise for the medieval King in whose honor, Michelle Obama had to stand back and be ignored by the all male group of dignitaries because she’s a woman, went from outrageous to ridiculous and outright laughable when IMF head Christine Lagarde said: “In a very discreet way, he was a strong advocate of women”!
Offering effusive condolences, President Obama said: “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions.” Yes, the conviction to stone women and gays to death, the conviction to cut arms and legs and behead people and the conviction to whip journalists who dare write anything critical of the government. By the consent of the King, Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, to be meted out 50 at a time, to prevent him from dying before all 1000 lashes were completed, simply for writing in a blog dedicated to freedom of speech.
The King also leaves behind a country where Christians are banned from practising their faith, no church has been allowed to be built despite the presence of an estimated 1 million Roman Catholics, and where some have been detained for worshipping in their own homes. Compare that to the Iranian society, which the U.S. and its allies consider an enemy, where the largest Jewish Population in Middle East outside of Israel openly and freely practice their religion in their many synagogues and Christian Armenians practice theirs in their many churches. And, while you’re making comparisons, also compare the reaction and attitude and statements of US leaders about the untimely death of democratically elected and popular President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, with their statements for and reaction to the death of the Jihadist King. And, imagine their reaction from Washington to London to Paris when Fidel Castro dies. That alone should tell you all there is to know, but there is more.
The fact of the matter is: for imperialism, it all comes down to money and profits for corporations. Guardian of London noted: “European relations with Saudi Arabia are particularly affected by commercial concerns. France and the UK especially have vied to sign huge arms contracts with their biggest Gulf ally”. “The Saudis are too important economically and politically. Financial concerns are key”, said Julien Barnes-Dacey, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Faced with criticism for ignoring and whitewashing the atrocities of the dictator, Obama recited the old Pentagon line of “constructive engagement” that was used in 1980’s when President Reagan was being criticized for the close ties between the U.S. and its ally, the apartheid regime of South Africa.
What I hope I’ve been able to show in this piece is that there is no humanity or benevolence or good faith or good intentions of any kind or any moral values in anything that the U.S. military industrial complex and its allies in Europe do, despite disingenuous statements about freedom, democracy, liberty and human rights. It’s all about corporate profits for their giant corporations and their billionaire shareholders. To achieve maximum possible profits and accumulate maximum possible wealth of the world, the government of the 1% – or 0.1% – wages wars, commits massacres, overthrows governments, executes coups, supports brutal dictators, crushes revolutions, cooperates with and supports terror groups and Neo-Nazis, Attacks and invades countries and helps with the genocide against the Palestinian people with the help of its allies who are partners to its crimes. The group of bullies headed by the U.S. is thus directly and indirectly responsible for most of the instabilities, wars, terror and violence that’s engulfing our world today. Martin Luther King Jr. said 47 years ago that the US was “the biggest purveyor of violence in the world” and he had not seen a fraction of what it’s doing today.