Tag Archives: American empire

American Foreign Policy: The Problem of Applying the Monroe Doctrine Everywhere, by Doug Bandow

Empires are hard to maintain, probably impossible. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

When the new American nation was created, it was a lightweight in an international political game dominated by heavyweights. The U.S. was forced to develop a serious, measured, and realistic foreign policy.

The colonists outlasted the British during the Revolution in part because the New World revolt triggered an Old World war, in which the United Kingdom also had to fight France and Spain, which allied with the colonies. London’s North American battle became secondary. Yet French and Spanish assistance for the colonists remained limited, intended only to weaken the UK. The absolute monarchies did not desire a strong, independent republic on a continent where Paris and Madrid still possessed colonies.

It was a dangerous world for the weak, young nation. Nevertheless, the purchase of Louisiana from France in 1803 removed one threat from the continent. America survived – barely – another military round with Britain in 1812. A decade later colonial revolts against Spain seemed to dispatch the last serious regional rival.

President James Monroe then announced in 1823 that European efforts to recapture old or conquer new colonies would be seen as exhibiting “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, he publicly eschewed intervention in European affairs.

This was pure chutzpah, given America’s evident lack of a military capable of enforcing such sentiments. Nevertheless, the proclamation was a fine effort to bolster US security. Europe, the fount of war for centuries, should stay out of Washington’s neighborhood. And the US would not get entangled in the Old World’s endlessly disastrous conflicts.

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From 9/11 to the Great Reset By Pepe Escobar

From 9/11 to the Great Reset is a steep downhill ride for individual rights and freedom. From Pepe Escobar at lewrockwell.com:

The events of 9/11 were the foundation stone of the new millennium – ever as much indecipherable as the Mysteries of Eleusis. A year ago, for Asia Times, once again I raised a number of questions that still find no answer.

A lightning speed breakdown of the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune trespassing these two decades will certainly include the following:

The end of history. The short unipolar moment. The Pentagon’s Long War. Homeland security. The Patriot Act. Shock and Awe. The tragedy/debacle in Iraq. The 2008 financial crisis. The Arab Spring. Color revolutions. “Leading from behind.” Humanitarian imperialism.

Syria as the ultimate proxy war. The ISIS/Daesh farce. The JCPOA. Maidan. The Age of Psyops. The Age of the Algorithm. The Age of the 0.0001%.

Once again, we’re deep in Yeats territory: “the best lack all conviction/ while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

All along, the “War on Terror” – the actual decantation of the Long War – proceeded unabated, killing Muslim multitudes and displacing at least 37 million people.

WWII-derived geopolitics is over. Cold War 2.0 is in effect. It started as US against Russia, morphed into US against China and now, fully spelled out in the US National Security Strategy, and with bipartisan support, it’s the US against both. The ultimate Mackinder-Brzezinski nightmare is at hand: the much dread “peer competitor” in Eurasia slouched towards the Beltway to be born in the form of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Something’s gotta give. And then, out of the blue, it did.

A drive by design towards ironclad concentration of power and geoconomic diktats was first conceptualized – under the deceptive cover of “sustainable development” – already in 2015 at the UN (here it is, in detail).

Now, this new operating system – or technocratic digital dystopia – is finally being codified, packaged and “sold” since mid summer via a lavish, concerted propaganda campaign.

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America Was Supposed To Be a City on a Hill, Not Model Its Foreign Policy After Nazi Germany, by Doug Bandow

A city on a hill does not pursue an imperialistic foreign policy. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

When a country’s foreign policy begins to resemble that of Nazi Germany it’s time for a rethink. That undoubtedly is a shocking thought to some. But noting how Washington brutally treats both friends and foes doesn’t mean the U.S. is Nazi Germany, in intent or behavior. However, anyone who wants America to be the fabled city on a hill should challenge Uncle Sam’s often unreasonable behavior.

The end of the Cold War led to extraordinary hubris in Washington. What we say goes, became the new foreign policy watchword. Even as America’s relative unilateral power waned, US policymakers became more determined to impose their will on the rest of the world, irrespective of cost.

Today no controversy is too small to ignore. No issue is too distant to disregard. No country is too friendly to harass. And no price is too high to impose.

Hence successive administrations have attempted to micro-manage the world to America’s specifications and force every person in every state to obey America’s commands. Failing to do so risks being on the receiving end of threats, sanctions, drones, bombs, invasions, and occupations.

Washington has accumulated a steadily growing list of adversaries it is attempting to destroy economically: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, and possibly China. America’s demands are peremptory, even when wrapped in diplomatic rhetoric. In practice, no compromise is permissible. Cuba must release political prisoners and adopt democracy. Iran must abandon its independent foreign policy as well as its nuclear energy program. The North must yield its nuclear arsenal. Russia must surrender Crimea, abandon support for ethnic Ukrainian separatists, leave Libya, Syria, and Venezuela, and stop otherwise resisting American dominance. Syria must defenestrate the Assad government, or adopt political reforms guaranteeing his ouster. Venezuela’s government must leave. China must stop oppressing its people, aggressively asserting itself, and more.

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It’s Time for a Geopolitical Reset, by José Niño

The US government, by trying to stop the evolution of a more multipolar world order, may actually be hastening that evolution. From José Niño at mises.org:

Foreign policy seems to have been placed on the back burner in the Trump era. Domestic issues, generic outrage politics, and the present covid-19 pandemic have sucked the oxygen out of American political discourse.

The fact that the media opts to cover more sensationalist material does not make foreign policy a trivial matter. If anything, the lack of foreign policy coverage reveals the dilapidated state of contemporary political debate. When the Fourth Estate does bother to broach foreign policy it does so for the most hysterical reasons.

The ongoing Russian hysteria is the embodiment of the media’s infantile coverage of foreign policy. Although the Cold War has been over for decades, pundits on both the left and right remain convinced that Russia—a country of nearly 145 million and with an economic output smaller than Canada’s—is hell-bent on reenacting its past Cold War aspirations.

Iran has always been on neoconservatives’ minds as well. Suffering from the trauma of the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, neoconservatives and their establishment liberal counterparts have spent decades slapping on sanctions and trying to push for regime change in Iran. Earlier this year, the neoconservative bloodthirst was partially quenched after the US government assassinated Major General Qasem Soleimani at the Baghdad Airport. In a surprising display of restraint, the Trump administration has not escalated any further in Iran and potentially thrust America into another disastrous intervention. Had Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush been at the helm, God knows where the US would find itself.

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Questions for the European Dependencies, by Fred Reed

Why does Europe continue to be America’s lap dog? From Fred Reed at unz.com:

This admirable column gets a modest trickle of mail from European readers, for some reason chiefly in France and Italy but some from the Nordic realms. While these correspondents are intelligent and thoughtful, and sometimes translate my maunderings into their languages, they do not give a comprehensive view of what Europe thinks of the United States—the populations, I mean, not the politicians, who think what will profit them, but actual people. A question of particular interest to me is why Europe, and Europeans, put up with America.

For example, European countries seem to be almost entirely subservient to the US, vassals, protectorates held in quiet contempt by America. Do not you in Europe obey almost every wish of the Americans? Do you not do everything for their benefit, not your own? How could they not scorn you?

The whole world sees this. England wanted to use Huawei in its Five G installation, but Mommy Washington said no. Boris Johnson wriggled and squirmed like a trained seal hoping to be given a fish…and then obeyed. Europe almost always obeys. Huawei wanted to build a research center in England, but Mr. Trump cracked the whip. England appears poised to obey. As usual.

“Yass, Bwana. Yassuh. What you say, boss.”

This is the England of Nelson and Churchill and the Battle of Britain? “Yass, Bwana”? How do you stand it?

Yes, I know, you Brits hide your subservience by saying that you have a “special relationship” with America, as if you were somehow coequals. In reality, the special relationship is only that of Most Servile Vassal.

But this acceptance of humiliation is not unique to England. You know this. Americans certainly know it.

All of Europe wanted to trade with Iran, as did Russia and China, countries representing far more population and GDP than America does. and you all supported the nuclear deal. But Washington said no. When Mother America gives orders, you all obey like circus dogs—Why do you do this? When did Europe become a gentleman’s club of bootlickers?

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Gold Pressures Empire by Steve Brown

How do you maintain an empire when the world loses faith in your fiat-debt currency (aka scrip)? From Steve Brown at lewrockwell.com:

Ian Fleming wrote Goldfinger for good reason. The most important market in the world is gold. Not US stocks. Not shares in Amazon. Not bitcoin. Not Facebook. Sovereigns use gold – real gold – as the foundation for their most important deals.

Now consider that 40% of the world’s physical gold trade passes through bin Zayed’s United Arab Emirates. The same United Arab Emirates that blundered Bush into the Dubai Ports World scandal. The same UAE that hosts one of the largest US airbases in the Middle East… and the very same al Nahayan plutocracy that touts Israel as its closest friend and ally, beside the former United States.

But first, consider that the United States began weaponizing the US dollar as a matter of policy long before alleged criminal Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced it. Weaponization of the dollar is isolating the US in world trade, but as regime star Kushner noted, “you cannot turn a battleship around overnight.”

The ‘battleship’ has been turning for fifty years since the disaster of the Nixon Shock, when the United States ‘temporarily’ abandoned the international gold standard thus heralding the ‘permanent’ era of central bank by-decree currency. Fifty years hence, a new perfect storm of events may prove that the consequence of August 15th, 1971 must now be confronted.

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A United State of Delusion, by Patrick Lawrence

The US is not the world’s indispensable nation or global policeman, it’s an empire in decline. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Americans are caught in a kind of national psychosis, wherein little of what is said about foreign conduct — from Germany to the South China Sea — can be taken at face value.

Applause for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on “Communist China and the Free World’s Future,” at Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, California, July 23, 2020. (U.S. State Department, Ron Przysucha)

Let’s face it: The Trump regime has from the first had a tenuous relationship with reality. A thousand jobs at a Midwestern air-conditioner plant don’t go to Mexico and the revival of American manufacturing is coming to a theater near you. The U.S. supports jihadist savages in Syria in the name of “freedom” and human rights. The administration is about to ban TikTok, a harmless but highly popular video application, and it’s not about suppressing a superior competitor: It’s about protecting Americans in the name of “national security.”

Sure thing.

President Donald Trump can hardly be blamed for inventing this nation’s dangerous detachment from what we quaintly call the real world. By my reckoning, the last president to speak honestly of things as they are and to say what he meant was Franklin D. Roosevelt. But the national malady, our shared delusions, has worsened markedly under the Trump regime, it is true.

Look westward across the Pacific, eastward across the Atlantic and southward to Latin America: The U.S. leadership and the clerks in the press who serve it have swooned deeply into delusions of this sort over the past couple of weeks. Here’s the thing to note: Fewer and fewer people, other than a regrettable proportion of Americans, seem any longer to take seriously what America says it is doing and why. The effect, we must not miss, is increasing isolation.

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‘The God That Failed’: Why the U.S. Cannot Now Re-Impose Its Civilisational Worldview, by Alastair Crooke

The US lacks the power to impose its vision on the world. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

It was always a paradox: John Stuart Mill, in his seminal (1859), On Liberty, never doubted that a universal civilisation, grounded in liberal values, was the eventual destination of all of humankind. He looked forward to an ‘Exact Science of Human Nature’, which would formulate laws of psychology and society as precise and universal as those of the physical sciences. Yet, not only did that science never emerge, in today’s world, such social ‘laws’ are taken as strictly (western) cultural constructs, rather than as laws or science.

So, not only was the claim to universal civilisation not supported by evidence, but the very idea of humans sharing a common destination (‘End of Times’) is nothing more than an apocalyptic remnant of Latin Christianity, and of one minor current in Judaism. Mill’s was always a matter of secularized religion – faith – rather than empiricism. A shared human ‘destination’ does not exist in Orthodox Christianity, Taoism or Buddhism. It could never therefore qualify as universal.

Liberal core tenets of individual autonomy, freedom, industry, free trade and commerce essentially reflected the triumph of the Protestant worldview in Europe’s 30-years’ civil war. It was not fully even a Christian view, but more a Protestant one.

This narrow, sectarian pillar was able to be projected into a universal project – only so long as it was underpinned by power. In Mill’s day, the civilisational claim served Europe’s need for colonial validation. Mill tacitly acknowledges this when he validates the clearing of the indigenous American populations for not having tamed the wilderness, nor made the land productive.

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Let’s Talk Privilege…. by Mark E. Jeftovic

The title may make it look like this is an article about race, but it’s not. From Mark E. Jeftovic at outofthecave.io:

After the 9/11 terror attacks, when our privacies were permanently revoked, and we entered into “a war which would never end in our lifetimes”, Bush II proclaimed “They hate us because of our freedoms”.

Some critics thought that was an almost nonsensical statement to make, while the credulous took it at face value. It framed whoever perpetrated the attacks as some inhuman “other” that despised happiness itself. It was unthinkable anybody could have an actual foreign-policy derived reason for doing it, and anybody who suggested as much was usually hounded out of the public eye.

However I always thought that utterance did have a kernel of truth to it. If you looked at the United States as a global empire, and that the freedoms “they” hated were not actually the ones to assemble, or worship or to vote, as Bush intimated, but rather the ones where America acted unilaterally in its own interest observing American Exceptionalism as a type of infallible axiom, then Bush would have been closer to the substance of the matter.

Here was world hegemon who claimed the freedom to overthrow governments, the freedom to bomb or invade any country it pleased, the freedom to support brutal dictators, assassinate enemies, interfere in elections and basically do whatever it wanted. Seen in that light, then yes, the 9/11 attackers did hate our “freedoms”.

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Caesar Tries To Suffocate 17 Million Syrians, by Rick Sterling

The Syrian regime change project has gone the way most US regime change projects go these days. From Rick Sterling at antiwar.com:

Since 2011, the US and allies have promoted, trained and supplied militants trying to bring about “regime change” in Damascus. Having failed in that effort, they have tried to strangle Syria economically. The goal has always been the same: to force Syria to change politically. This month, June 2020, the aggression reaches a new level with extreme sanctions known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.

The new law is fraudulent on two counts. It is called “Caesar” in reference to a 2014 propaganda stunt involving an anonymous Syrian who was alleged to be a military photographer. He claimed to have 55,000 photos showing about eleven thousand victims of Syrian government torture. As the Christian Science Monitor said at the time, the “Caesar” report was “A well-timed propaganda exercise funded by Qatar.” A 30 page analysis later confirmed that the “Caesar” report was a fraud with nearly half the photos showing the OPPOSITE of what was claimed: they documented dead Syrian soldiers and civilian victims of “rebel” car bombs and attacks.

The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act is also fraudulent by claiming to “protect civilians”. In reality, it is punishes and hurts the vast majority of 17 million persons living in Syria. It will result in thousands of civilians suffering and dying needlessly.

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