The Long War on Central America

The story behind America’s immigration issues today

…150 Contras attacked two villages in the southern province of Rio San Juan with 88-mm mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, killing six children and six adults and injuring 30 others. Even cooperatives of religious pacifists who refused to bear arms were destroyed… In El Salvador too, the army attacks cooperatives, killing, raping and abducting members[1].

These were the killing fields of Central America. Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed, trained and funded terrorist death squads worthy of ISIS:

Many top Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan army officers were trained at the School of the Americas in Panama, and then after 1984, Fort Benning in Georgia… The 15,000-men contra army – employing kidnapping, torture, rape and murder – targeted health clinics, schools, agricultural cooperatives, bridges and power stations (i.e. State Department-authorised ‘soft targets’[1]).

…Similar atrocities occurred in neighbouring El Salvador, where US-trained troops stabbed, decapitated, raped and machine-gunned 767 civilians in the village of El Mozote in late 1981, including 358 children under age thirteen. Congress ended up funding almost $6 billion to this tiny country, making it the largest recipient of US foreign aid per capita in the world. Wealthy landlords were running the right-wing death squads and murdered thousands of suspected leftists. The death toll from the war reached 70,000[2].

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The contras: America’s terrorists

In 1988, an Amnesty report accused Reagan’s El Salvadoran death squads of “killing and mutilating victims in the most macabre way…[bodies] mutilated, decapitated, dismembered, strangled or showing marks of torture…or rape”. Women were publicly hung from trees by their hair, their breasts cut off and faces painted red.

Two years earlier, the US had dismissed a World Court ruling against its “unlawful use of force” against Nicaragua, quickly vetoing a pair of subsequent UN resolutions to the same effect and providing an extra $100m in military aid to the contras in 1987[1].

Of the 20-30,000 civilians who ultimately perished in the Nicaraguan conflict, the contras were responsible for the vast majority[2]. Among the victims were six Jesuit intellectuals and archbishop Oscar Romero, “the voice of the voiceless” whose radical liberation theology favoured the empowerment of the poor: a threat to US finance capital.

The US war on Central America began long before Reagan. In 1823, the Monroe Doctrine asserting America’s divine right to singularly control the hemisphere. The first to challenge this was Augusto Sandino’s poorly-armed guerrilla insurgency against the US invasion of Nicaragua, launched in 1912 to defend its conservative puppet Adolfo Diaz against a Liberal revolt, secure US monopoly over canal construction and open the country up to international banking[3].

Sandino favoured the unification of all of Central America. “Nicaragua shall not be the patrimony of Imperialists”, he proudly declared. “I will fight for my cause as long as my heart beats”.

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Anastasio Somoza (left) and Augusto Sandino (right)

The outbreak of the Great Depression forced the US to withdraw its troops from Nicaragua in 1933 but, the following year, head of the US-commanded National Guard Anastasio Somoza ordered Sandino’s assassination and seized power in an eventual coup d’état.

For the next 44 years, Somoza ran a mafia-like dynasty that controlled whole swathes of industry and almost half the country’s arable land. Somoza’s opponents were often dumped alive into a live volcano from his US-supplied helicopters. The Carter administration sponsored a $65m IMF loan for Somoza even as he bombed his own people[3].

A month before his overthrow by the 1979 Sandinista revolution, a member of his National Guard shot dead American reporter Bill Stuart live on camera, cementing US antiwar opposition that forced Reagan to resort to clandestine terror: Somoza’s national guard regrouped in neighbouring Honduras with CIA funds, arms and training before launching a ferocious campaign to undermine the revolution’s remarkable social reforms.

During the 1980s, the Reagan administration also armed, trained and funded the Guatemalan army as it conducted a brutal genocide of some 100,000 indigenous Mayan peasants. The general responsible, finally sentenced in the Hague a few years ago, was welcomed to the White House by fellow born-again evangelical Reagan, who called him “a man of great personal integrity”[2]. According to documents seen by the late investigative reporter Robert Parry, Washington had full knowledge of the subsequent native Indian genocide, yet continued to give him aid[4].

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In 1989, Reagan’s successor and former CIA chief George Bush Sr. launched an invasion of Panama to secure US control of the strategic Panama Canal, indiscriminately killing thousands of civilians[5] and leading to the capture and sentencing of one of his ex-employees, Manuel Noriega, for crimes mostly committed while on the CIA payroll[1].

Washington’s long war on Central America continues today in different forms. In 1994, the Clinton administration passed NAFTA, a profit bonanza for US corporations and Wall Street while a disaster for Mexican agriculture unable to withstand the competition. Earlier that year, Clinton had the border militarized via Operation Gatekeeper, clearly anticipating – notes Chomsky – the exodus from Mexico that NAFTA would generate[1].

In 2009, the Obama administration engineered a coup against the elected government of Honduras. Since then, US “anti-drug” operations constitute an occupying force echoing previous US occupations of the island: the victims of a helicopter attack on a boat of Mothers Day celebrants included two pregnant women, one of them a single mother of six, and apparently no traffickers. Such helicopters are piloted by Guatemalan mercenaries on the US payroll.

Criminal violence related to the drug war in Central America is skyrocketing. Homicides are way up. There is massive deforestation, driven in many places by the demand for biofuels; intensified corporate mining, including open-pit mining, is poisoning water supplies. Political repression is likewise on the rise, in places like Honduras’s Aguán Valley and in Guatemala’s Polochic Valley. The old Cold War alliance between death squads and a landed class seems to be back in operation, albeit updated: “death squads” are now legal security companies, often staffed with veterans from global hot spots, including former paramilitaries from Colombia, while landlords now receive funding from international development agencies to convert their fields into biofuel plantations to supply the United States with its energy needs[1].

Today’s atrocious policy at the US-Mexico border is the latest chapter in this long war on Central Americans and Mexicans. Mexican protesters called Obama the “deporter-in-chief”: he warehoused and deported 2.7 million, more than any US president before him. Under Obama, they were systematically beaten, tortured and raped by CBF agents. In one case, hungry babies were deprived of milk, while others vomited from repeatedly receiving contaminated meat and milk[6].

His successor Donald Trump has accelerated this savage policy, including the now suspended (due to public outrage) family separation policy that violated the US-ratified Genocide Convention.

US-NATO wars this century helped create the conditions of “Europe’s” refugee/migrant crisis. Reagan, Clinton and Obama’s policies have had a similar contribution to the flight of Central Americans and Mexicans to North America.

Trump’s proposed wall epitomises the mentality of imperial self-entitlement that discards history and refuses to acknowledge responsibility. Such an attitude of blind arrogance brought down the Roman empire. History does not bode well for Donald Trump’s campaign slogan!

  1. Chomsky.info
  2. Oliver Stone, The Untold History of the United States (PBS Mini Series)
  3. Nicaragua (freely viewable at johnpilger.com)
  4. consortiumnews.com
  5. The Panama Deception
  6. ACLU report 05/18

The Irrelevance of the World Cup

So your team lost. Never mind. It’s just a game, after all. Grab a happy meal.

They say that simple things please simple minds, but that formulation hardly explains the phenomena of national mourning attending England’s loss in the World Cup. With internet and the like, knowledge is at our fingertips today.

Western power has obliterated whole sections of other societies whilst its corporations are bringing the industrialised world to the brink of ecological collapse. Unfortunately, the real world has no place in the artificial universe of a self-indulgent consumerist society. Terrorism is only objectionable when it happens to us, but we sleep tight (or endlessly twitter on our made-in-sweatshop devices) knowing that we “don’t know” our governments are doing the same. And God forbid that the victims should expect to just turn up at our shores on dingies to escape war!

One is hard-pressed to think of anything more pathetic and childish (not to say criminally negligent, given the above) than a grown man or woman crying after losing a game. Other connotations come to mind, not least of which are self-absorbed and shallow.

It was said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Today, the triumph of evil relies mostly on silent witnesses whose tacit consent puts them at odds with any designation of “good”.

“Even when it was happening, it wasn’t happening”

As a dozen boys were rescued from Thailand, hundreds of children lay dead in Yemen from UK bombs and missiles dropped by Saudi Arabia. They continue to die. Those children and their families are not worth the same attention and concern accompanying a football these past couple of months. The Thai kids did, though, because the media told us to care. If the media omits something, that means it’s not happening. “Even when it was happening”, to quote UK playwright and “lefty” Harold Pinter, “it wasn’t happening”.

Hundreds of children and women perished under the illegal drone attacks of that wonderful progressive Barack Obama. According to herd ethics, the doubling of drone attacks by Trump is far less grevious a crime than his bigotry and mysoginy. That’s because his bombast unmasks the predatory nature of US empire, whose European dependents have duly benefited.

And let’s remember: Russia is the source of all evil. They poisoned the Skripals, they’re trying to take over Europe, and they interfered in the US elections. We know this, because we heard it on the “news”. The lack of evidence substantiating any of these delusions is moot: they are political lies designed to suit a geopolitical agenda. Tony Blair may be retired from politics, but his spirit continues to haunt the corridors of Whitehall.

Luckily for the denialists, I’m not going to go into details of climate change evidence. Got google? Use it. Try reconnecting with what’s really going on in the world. You already know the mainstream corporate media is lying to you. Stop pretending otherwise. Take responsibility as a citizen of the planet. Knowledge is power.

Oh yeah, and screw the World Cup.

 

The Skripal Narrative Continues to Implode

The full recovery of former MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, currently held by MI6 at an undisclosed location as it negotiates with the CIA to have them resettled to the US with brand new identities, has completely destroyed the British government’s claims that they were poisoned by a “military grade nerve agent” just last month, of which the alleged poison (Novichok) is said to be the most deadly ever developed.

The poison’s alleged application to Sergei Skripal’s front door handle was undiscovered for weeks and completely contradicts the lack of additives found in the substance analysed by the OPCW.

In a letter to the Sunday Times in the wake of the attack, Salisbury hospital medical consultant Dr Stephen Davies wrote that none of the three patients (i.e. the Skripals and PC Bailey) showed symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.

More Novichok poppycock

As reporter Gareth Porter reasons, London’s failure to explain its withholding of intelligence on Russia’s decade-long “novichok program”, e.g. on the grounds that such would endanger the presumed Russian insider source, suggests the confinement of said intelligence to Boris Johnson’s limited imagination. Ditto Britain’s failure to call a challenge inspection which, notes Porter, Russia would have had no choice but to comply with.

No wonder, then, that UK national security adviser Mark Sedwell’s letter to NATO concedes the lack of evidence for the secret program which, we are to believe, managed to dodge a comprehensive OPCW inspection regime that last year certified the 100% destruction of Russia’s entire chemical weapons stockpile: a fact repeated incessantly by that veritable fourth estate called the British media.

Meanwhile, Spiez’s failure to clarify their position in response to Russian claims that they identified it as BZ, merely tweeting their “confidence” in Porton Down’s conclusion that it was Novichok (“Novichok…or a closely related agent” (i.e. any nerve agent), to be precise), suggests conflicting results between the two labs.

Consortium News‘ James O’Neill argues that the “almost complete absence of impurities” (OPCW report) means th&e samples obtained and analysed by the OPCW team were planted hours beforehand by the UK government just hours before the team’s arrival three weeks after the attack, since even VX has a durability of only 2-3 days. Just picture May creeping about like Dr. Frankenstein with her bumbling assistant Boris, helping her plant the evidence in the dead of night.

Now May is screaming, “They’re alive!!!”. One wonders for how long while in MI6 custody…

The Real Factors That Have Driven RussiaGate

A manufactured ‘grand enemy’ that serves to unify a crisis-ridden and divided Western power structure

The manufactured RussiaGate scandal that has engulfed US politics since the election of President Donald Trump has been branded my some as the New McCarthyism. Despite memo after memo, the US Intelligence Committee recently concluded there was no proof of Russian interference in the 2016 election: the suspicion of all those with “a modicum of intelligence” (John Pilger).

It all started with the leakage of DNC emails to Wikileaks, a whistleblowing organisation whose courageous editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, denied that Moscow was the source, who was more likely a DNC employee disgruntled by the DNC’s replacement of Bernie Sanders with Hilary Clinton, effectively guaranteeing Trump’s victory.

Wikileaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange: Russian government is not the source for 2016 DNC email leak

Clinton, whose corruption and war crimes were laid bare by the emails’ contents, began to cite Russian President Vladimir Putin as the leak’s source, having “hacked” the DNC’s computer system. An evidently unhinged Hilary threatened (nuclear) war against Russia and China in response to their alleged cyberattacks.

Having previously threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran in response to a hypothetical Iranian missile strike on Israel, Clinton obviously does not extend this right to Iran, victim of cyberwarfare by the Obama administration and Mossad.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that the RussiaGate story was the conclusion of a dozen agents he handpicked from America’s top three intelligence agencies, not all seventeen as Clinton had claimed during the election campaign. Clapper’s belief that Russians are genetically anti-Western may give an indication as to how random his handpicking was…

It is remarkable that no proof for RussiaGate emerged prior to the election, America being in possession of a global surveillance racket whose exposure by State Department whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 did not elicit a comparable response from the media and politicians. Oh, well. If saint Obama’s reputation can survive massacring hundreds of children by drone and arming Saudi and Israeli war crimes, it can surely survive an illegal spying program…

RussiaGate has been driven by both domestic and geopolitical factors:

1. Consolidate US elite and public support for the New Cold War

Since the 2014 Ukraine crisis, the world has effectively entered a New Cold War. Profitable as ever for the military industrial complex, the US establishment obviously wants US public opinion on board.

Significantly, even US elite opinion was divided as to whether Russia or China should be prioritised as the chief challenge to US global dominance. Since RussiaGate, however, it seems both nuclear rivals are in Washington’s crosshairs. This is perhaps the most dangerous period since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. Criminalize domestic dissent
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The 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement reflected growing anti-capitalist sentiment among the American masses, sentiment bound to increase as police shootings, gun rampages and other social ills increase. As society breaks down, dissent must be silenced.

As Facebook and Google seek to censor real journalism under the guise of curbing “fake news”, the criminalization of dissent as treasonous collaboration with a foreign adversary has clear totalitarian implications. Fascism, said Lenin, is capitalism in crisis.

3. Scapegoat Trump and other societal ills
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Trump capitalised on the anger created by neoliberal deindustrialization, a bipartisan policy the Democrats hope to distract from by blaming a foreign source for his election victory. This obviates critical analysis of the Trump phenomena and externalises the blame, as if it has no roots in American society. Estranged from the Democrats, many of Trump’s rustbelt voters were from former Obama strongholds, who suffered the brunt of job offshoring and infrastructure decay.

By the same token, US politicians are now blaming gun rampages – an expression of societal breakdown courtesy of bipartisan pro-corporatism – on fictional Russian Twitter trolls!

When it becomes increasingly obvious who is really responsible for America’s social ills, namely the ruling 1%, the latter are forced to resort to nonsense that only further reflects the reality they seek to obstruct.

US corporations and Wall Street are the ultimate meddlers in US politics: according to a congressional study, 93% of US elections have been won by the candidate that got the most funding. Millions of dollars are required to get on the ballot, guaranteeing the constant monopoly of the two main bought-and-paid-for parties: the Demopublicans and Republicrats.

Insofar as its economic/strategic interests determine both domestic and foreign policy, this elite also meddles in the blood of US citizens, not to mention that of millions of innocent civilians in the countries targeted by US wars. By the logic of RussiaGate, this is ample grounds for a domestic insurrection. For the American people, the real election meddlers are at home.

Why the West is against Russia and China

Purchase my ebook of the New Cold War at https://www.amazon.com/Eurasian-Tinderbox-Buildup-Against-Russia-ebook/dp/B076VVH3CR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509133426&sr=8-1&keywords=eurasian+tinderbox

Here’s more shit for your face.

Such is how former US President Bill Clinton recalled his relationship with Russia’s first post-Soviet President Boris Yeltsin, an unscrupulous drunk who oversaw his country’s shock transition to free market capitalism.

Yeltsin’s imposition of the IMF’s “shock therapy” measures, assisted by Clinton-sponsored academics led by Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs, spelt disaster for the Russian people: 30% were plunged into poverty, most of their savings were wiped out by hyperinflation sparked by the removal of price controls, the GDP halved and crime and corruption soared. As Clinton preached the wonders of capitalism during a speech in Moscow, people froze to death in the streets: American beneficence at its finest.

The Western press praised Yeltsin as Russia’s first democrat. Putin, by contrast, is given pariah status by the same press today, which never extends its self-righteous hysteria against Russia – by now bordering on the psychotic – to Western ally Saudi Arabia for its stoning of gays, much less its largely unreported slaughter of Yemeni women and children with American and British supplied weaponry.

Where in the West do you hear that Putin has presided over a record reduction in Russian poverty? Yeltsin did the opposite and was praised. Putin’s unforgivable sin has been to pull Russia from the chaos of the Yeltsin era and restore the country’s sovereignty.

Eurasia: The Grand Imperial Prize

With its huge geographic size and strategic location, a powerful and sovereign Russia poses a direct challenge to America’s dominance over Eurasia, home to much of the world’s markets and resources: the ‘Grand Chessboard’ concept developed during the 1990s by the late godfather of global jihadism Zbniew Brzezinski.

From the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to the BRICS alliance to the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia has formed an eastern sphere of influence with China and Iran that undercuts America’s post-WWII hegemony. Like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, the aforementioned nations are poised to stop trading in the dollar. China has just announced the “petro-yuan”.

The US is determined to maintain its unipolar order and reverse the new multipolar dawn by a desperate gunpoint strategy: seizing on “Russian aggression” in Ukraine, NATO has carried out the biggest buildup on Russia’s borders since WWII, generating over sixty near-miss incidents with Russian forces. Any one of these incidents could have sparked a terminal nuclear war.

In response to China’s military and (enormous) economic rise, Washington’s “Pivot to Asia” has sought to redeploy 60% of US naval and air assets to the Asia Pacific by 2020. In the event of war, the Pentagon’s “AirSea Battle” plan envisages huge missile strikes on China and a naval blockade of her economic chokepoints in the South China Sea, where US incursions to challenge Beijing’s articial airstrips have raised the spectre of a devastating conflagration.

The Historic Crisis of Imperialism

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Fifteen years ago last month, the Middle East was plunged into chaos by the illegal invasion of Iraq. Like the Nazi attack on Poland in 1939, “Shock and Awe” was a textbook case of the crime of aggression, described at Nuremberg as the worst of all crimes because it is responsible for, and hence encompasses, all the evil consequences that follow.

A million deaths later, we have seen a failed Western regime change operation in Syria, where Assad’s ouster would isolate growing Russian and Iranian influence in the Middle East. Having failed to transform Iraq and Afghanistan into strategic outposts and reassert its control over the energy markets of the Middle East and Central Asia, the West is desperate to salvage its declining hegemony.

Impunity has emboldened the war criminals: today, fabricated WMD lies are directed not against defenceless Iraq but nuclear-armed Russia. Washington’s determination to sustain a dying unipolar order portends an even greater, perhaps terminal, calamity for the great mass of humanity. Unless, for its own sake and that of its children, it finally awakens from its long slumber.

The Rise and Fall of American Liberalism

Having sold out the working class since the neoliberal counter-revolution, the Democratic Party nowadays appeals to the privileged top 10% on the pitch of identity politics.

Fearing the prospect of revolution, the US ruling class – through the ‘New Deal’ policies of American liberalism’s pioneer President Franklin Roosevelt – granted the key concessions demanded by a restive labour movement during the Hungry 30s. Roosevelt, in his own words, sought to rescue capitalism: “I am capitalism’s best friend”, he boasted, “if they (1%) only knew”.

Roosevelt could appeal to the American people on a pitch of social justice and opportunity. But Ronald Reagan’s neoliberal counter-revolution in the 1980s killed the material basis for the realization of the American dream, in turn depriving Rooseveltian liberalism of the traditional pitch by which it appealed to the broad mass of the American working class.

Having sold out the working class since the neoliberal counter-revolution, the Democratic Party nowadays appeals to the privileged top 10% on the pitch of identity politics, be it of the racial, sexual or gender variety[1].

For the bottom 90%, these are obvious abstractions: their priority is to curb the historic decline in living standards and incomes since the 1970s, a struggle that the top 10% are far too privileged to identify with, preferring instead to prioritise the abstract nonsense that is identity politics.

Liberalism’s bankruptcy is evidenced by its tight embrace of an ultra-corrupt mass murderer (Hilary Clinton) for protection from the clutches of a quasi-fascistic buffoon (Donald Trump): as if the alienation of so many ‘white workers’ from the Democratic party – as expressed by the millions who welcomed and voted for Bernie Sanders before the DNC replaced him by Hilary for the presidential race, evidently preferring election defeat to the most minimal material improvements for the American people – did not already render Trump’s success a foregone conclusion. That the top 10% cannot perceive the obvious, namely that the Trump phenomena is rooted in the crisis of American society, underlines how cocooned they are from the real world.

Politically unable to admit the real causes of Trump and their involvement, lest they thereby expose the entire corporate two-party system and suicidally call for its overthrow, the Democrats now appeal to conspiracy-mongering tripe[2]: RUSSIA put Trump in the White House! The Trump Presidency is thus explained by a grand conspiracy led by Vladimir Putin, a new Stalin seeking to destroy the great American democracy.

Notice how this narrative serves to reinvigorate public support, currently at record lows, for a corrupt political system that is far more plutocratic than democratic. The narrative also reduces the complexity of the Trump phenomena to that of a grand attack by a foreign enemy, in turn serving to solidify both public and elite opinion (some sections of the latter instead deem China to be the main threat to US geo-dominance) behind the imperialist project against Russia initiated by Obama in the Ukraine. Like the environmental rape of global corporations, NATO’s unprecedented build-up on the borders of nuclear-armed Russia amounts to a gamble with the very future of the human race[3].

Capitalism has entered a truly moribund state since the 2008 financial crash, incapable of providing solutions for the planet. The objective conditions for revolutionary overthrow are thus becoming patent for the minority of Westerners willing to free their minds of the mainstream media. As the threat of environmental catastrophe and nuclear war looms, we would do well to recall Rosa Luxemberg’s remark on the eve of the First World War: the choice now is between socialist revolution or capitalist barbarism.

1. For brilliant analysis of this phenomena, see Wsws.org
2. See Consortiumnews.com for critical examination of RussiaGate’s so-called “evidence”
3. See my 2017 documentary Flashpoints on Youtube

Donald Trump and the Crisis of Imperial Decline

Above all, the Trump presidency expresses an entire US political and economic system in decline.

Mainstream commentary on Donald Trump invariably reduces him to an individual phenomenon. Be it a twitter comment or a public outburst, everything is about him.

The truth, of course, is that Trump is not some other-worldly demon that crossed into this dimension out of nowhere. Above all, his presidency expresses an entire US political and economic system in crisis.

In the early 20th century, the major economic centres of the world were Germany, the US and Japan. Europe as a whole was secondary; Britain had been in decline since the Victorian era.

Except for the US, these economies were left in tatters by the Second World War. This transformed America from a traditional hemispheric power (e.g. Monroe Doctrine) into the global dominant superpower virtually overnight: after 1945, the US alone accounted for some 50% of world economic output.

By the early 1940s, US policy planners had seen this coming, as Hitler’s defeat on the Eastern Front – where, the West forgets, the Soviets inflicted 75% of all German WWII casualties – seemed only a matter of time. Accordingly, these planners developed what they called a ‘Grand Area’ in which US corporations could plunder the planet’s markets and resources to satisfy an unfettered drive for profits.

Everything seemed great for the American empire, until the late 60s. The economies smashed in WWII – esp. West Germany, Japan and the new Asian ‘tiger’ economies – had rebuilt themselves and became viable competitors in the international market.

This meant that world power became multipolar, notwithstanding the considerable clout US imperialism managed to retain. But to reverse this trend entirely, the Reagan Administration initiated its neoliberal offensive of financial deregulation, union busting and austerity: all designed to sustain the massive postwar profit rates of Corporate America.

The Empire Strikes Back
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The Bush I Administration saw the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 as an historic opportunity to reassert America’s political and strategic dominance in world affairs by brute military force, initiating a devastating air war against Iraq in order to tame a former ally, Saddam Hussein, after he disobeyed Washington’s diktats in the crucial oil-rich region.

Maintained by the Clinton and Bush II Administrations, the simultaneous economic embargo strengthened Saddam’s grip on the country rather than induce his overthrow. This strategic blunder was eventually recognised by the latter administration, whose solution became a war in 2003 with manufactured pretexts that proved even more futile: 1 million dead, 4 million displaced, and a Shia government friendly with Iran.

Then came the 2008 crash, sending the world capitalist economy into its biggest crisis since the Great Depression.

Since then, US decline has entered a heightened phase. China has now eclipsed America as the world’s biggest economy, prompting Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ military buildup. On the other side of the Atlantic, he subjected America’s other chief rival in Eurasia and the Middle East (Syria), Russia, with the biggest military buildup on its borders since the Nazi invasion.

“Make America Great Again”

Donald Trump expresses a psychology of denialism within the US elite. Unlike Reagan and Bush, he has come to power within the context of a much more existential phase of American decline. He personifies a ruling class with no solution for reversing the new reality: the US is no longer top dog.

Those who want rid of Trump need to go beyond the individual. Trump would never have emerged in the 1950s. He expresses the crises of American capitalism. The struggle against Trump is invariably bound up with the struggle for socialism.

Who is Responsible for Today’s Middle East?

From the Israel-Palestine conflict to the crisis in Iraq and Syria, very few in the West will have heard of the Anglo-French plot at the root of more than a century’s turmoil in the modern Middle East.

In 1916, as the collapse of the Ottoman Empire appeared imminent, two civil servants – one British (Sykes), the other French (Picot) – plotted the partition of the Middle East between the British and French empires[1], drawing up the modern-day borders of the region.

Sharing a common Islamic identity for 1300 years, the region would now be factionalised along national lines. When he invaded Palestine and conquered Jerusalem, Gen. Allenby is alleged to have said: “Today, the crusades have ended”.

By far the worst fallout was from the partition of the Levant into British Iraq and French Syria. Under the Ottomans, the various ethnic minorities and religious sects of the Levant enjoyed autonomy and lived in relative harmony.

Sykes and Picot, the self-proclaimed experts on the Middle East, simply ignored these divisions as they drew their “line in the sand”, thus planting the seeds for the current sectarian mess.

Those seeds, however, only erupted into violence following the destabilisation of the Saddam and Assad regimes, whose shared Arab nationalism (Baathist ideology) meant a ruthless containment of these ethnic/religious tensions. With the toppling of Iraq’s Saddam and the past several years’ Western-sponsored destabilisation of Syria’s Assad, these divisions have now exploded and are ripping the region apart.

These are the consequences of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, whose Western nation-state system replaced the traditional Islamic Caliphate system to which the Muslim World had been continuously accustomed and homogenised for 1300 years. The murderous intent of the partition is chillingly underscored by the fact that the human consequences were already precedented by the earlier bloody partition of Africa.

The next target was and remains Iran, whose political power has counterbalanced US/Saudi/Israeli hegemony in the oil-rich region. This is the context behind the recent attempts by the Western media to prettify the Saudis, identified by a leaked US diplomatic cable as the chief financier of international terrorism, as the new crusader against terrorism. The resulting blackout of Saudi genocide in Yemen, sponsored and armed by Britain and America, shows the depths to which our bloody-handed “reporters” will stoop to follow the script and keep their lucrative careers.

1. For a short documentary on the subject, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ozeoyn3CL4

The Colossal Hypocrisy of Liberal America

#MeToo vs state terrorism

Has anyone managed to avoid vomiting at the epic hypocrisy of Liberal America’s #MeToo campaign?

Self-proclaimed liberals have spearheaded a hysterical pitchfork hunt worthy of Witchfinder General. Their redefinition of sexual assault threatens to take on a legislative form that can only serve to strengthen the very trend of authoritarianism they purport to oppose.

Those who backed Hilary Clinton have no issue with the fact that she butchered thousands of innocent children and women in Libya. Liberal America, from the media pundits to the public at large, blissfully acquiesce to state terrorism. Such is the moral insanity engendered by generations of corporate media brainwashing and value manipulation.

Take Katy Perry, who actively campaigned for Hilary in the 2016 presidential election: appalled by Trump’s ban on Muslims, deafly silent on his (and Hilary’s) slaughter of same. Her feminist hero advocated the nuclear genocide of the entire population of Iran and knowingly voted for an imperialist war for oil based on verifiable lies that produced 700,000 widows. And defended a rapist in court.

Clintonian feminism is the kind that uses identity politics to distract from the issue of class/plutocracy. The constituents of such politics are the top 10%, whose political engagement can hardly be expected to prioritise the working class majority. With nothing to fight for, they resort to the nonsense that is identity.

What are the liberals’ vision for the American people? Obama resumed his predecessor’s bank bailouts and concurred with his opponent John McCain that “we need to start going after” social security, medicaid and pensions. His takeover of the auto industry meant a 50% wage cut for new autoworkers. 90% of jobs created under his presidency were part-time and casual. Yet Meryl Streep thanked him for bringing change.

The bankruptcy of American liberalism – a historical phenomena that, like its right-wing counterpart embodied in Trump, is a product of the debased stage of late American capitalism – is evident in the reactionary form that its ‘opposition’ to Trump is taking: half-crazed hysteria about a mythical Russian election theft, designed to shift public anger off the two-party capitalist system and onto a perceived foreign enemy attacking the great democracy. Soon all social ills will be blamed on those pesky Russians as the masses are rallied behind the flag rather than against the social order it cloaks.

With the NATO buildup on Russia’s borders, unprecedented since Hitler, the Democrats and Republicans alike are playing nuclear roulette with the entire human race: proof of the utter insanity not of ‘the world’, but of the capitalist-imperialist order and the need to overthrow it.

Top Five Enemies Created by US ‘Blowback’

1. Pol Pot
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During the Vietnam War, the US dropped a conservative 0.5m tonnage of bombs on Cambodia. Killing an estimated 50,000-150,000 mostly innocent civilians, the indiscriminate bombing – requested by the Cambodian government – created a tide of anti-American/government hatred upon which Pol Pot’s horrific Khymer Rouge rose to power, leading to the horrific genocide of 1.7m people (21% of the population)[1].

Following this holocaust, the Carter Administration arranged an annual $100m in Chinese military aid for the Khymer Rouge, whose guerrilla allies received tens of millions in direct US money during the 1980s[1].

2. Ayatollah Khomeini
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In 1953, an MI6-CIA coup ousted the democratically elected president of Iran, Mohamed Mossadeq, in response to his popular nationalization of Iranian oil. He was replaced by the Shah of Iran, who restored the monopoly of Anglo-American Oil Company (now British Petroleum) over the Iranian economy. The brutal dictator was finally toppled in the 1979 Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini, formerly on the CIA payroll during the 1953 coup[2].

3. Saddam Hussein
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Iraq’s Saddam Hussein received diplomatic and military support from the US and other Western countries for his brutal war against post-revolutionary Iran, which cost 1m Iraqi and Iranian lives.

Private American, British and German firms sold Saddam various biochemical components that would end up contributing to his WMD buildup, including its brutal deployment against the town of Halabja in which 25,000 Kurdish civilians were gassed to death[2].

The Reagan Administration sought to deflect attention by erroneously blaming the Iranians for the vicious massacre[2].

4. Osama bin Laden
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In July 1979, the US authorised a $0.5b fund for the Afghan Mujahideen, an Islamist rebellion against the then communist regime in Afghanistan. President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor Zbniew Brzezinski saw this as an opportunity to “give the Soviets their own Vietnam”, informing Carter that “in my opinion, this was likely to induce a Soviet military intervention”. But with the rest of the US intelligence community rejecting this view, Carter proceeded with the fund for the Afghan Mujahideen[2].

The following December, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, provoking a flood of foreign Muslim volunteers including Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden*. When the US deployed 0.5m troops to Saudi Arabia (Islam’s holy land) during the 1991 Gulf War, bin Laden perceived a new ‘crusade against Islam’ and turned his guns on the West[3].

Two other major recruiting tools for bin Laden was US support for the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as the 0.5m Iraqi children who died from US-British economic sanctions[3].

In 1998, Brzezinski insisted that Europe’s “liberation from communism” was more important to history than “a few stirred up Moslems”[2]. Three years later, on September 11 2001, some of bin Laden’s “stirred up Moslems” brought down New York’s World Trade Center, killing 2996 people and ushering in a perpetual ‘War on Terror’ abroad and assault on democracy at home.

5. ISIS
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In late 2002, in response to the pending US invasion of Iraq, Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi infiltrated the lawless north and founded AQI[3]. Later renaming itself ISI, it morphed into ISIS after extending its activities to neighbouring Syria as part of a Western-sponsored ‘jihad’.

By 2014, ISIS had overrun Western-backed “moderate” factions in the Syrian civil war and seized much of their US-supplied weaponry[4], as well as purchasing weaponry from the US-armed Free Syrian Army[5].

*A common myth is that he was a CIA asset. This is due to the false equivocation of the Muslim volunteers with the indigenous Afghan Mujahideen. The CIA armed and trained the latter but not the former. See 911myths.com

1. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/04/khmer-rouge-cambodian-genocide-united-states/
2. Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States
3. Peter Bergen, The Osama bin Laden I Know, Chapter 12: How al Qaeda Took Root in Iraq and the Story of Abu Musab al Zarqawi
4. http://www.conflictarm.com, Evidence from a 20-month investigation in Iraq and Syria
5. https://www.rt.com/news/322996-islamic-state-journalist-todenhofer/