Home » Posts tagged 'imperialism'

Tag Archives: imperialism

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

The militarization of the Western Empire: How the COVID pandemic accelerated the process

The militarization of the Western Empire: How the COVID pandemic accelerated the process

Donald Trump may not have been not such a warlike emperor as previous Western Emperors have been (and probably will be). But, even assuming that Trump is trying to avoid wars, he cannot oppose the militarization trends of the Western economy that was boosted by the COVID-19 epidemics. 

History repeats itself – oh, yes! And sometimes it repeats itself so fast and so ruthlessly that it leaves you out of breath. Think of what’s happening right now: the COVID; the lockdowns, the face masks, the limitations to movements: all that happened in a few months, and the world of last year looks so remote that it could be seen as part of the still ongoing Middle Ages.

And, yet, there is some logic in what has happened. History may surprise you and it usually does (the only sure thing we learn from history is that people never learn from history). But whatever happens in history has a reason to happen. And what we are seeing is not unexpected. We have seen it already, stark clear and unavoidable: it is the militarization trend of a decaying society.

Let’s go back to the Roman Empire, as always the paradigmatic story of a state that went through a full cycle of growth and collapse. The Roman world was not so technologically sophisticated as ours, but the basic needs of the citizens were the same and the Roman government provided many of them. You may have heard the expression “Panem et Circenses” (bread and circus games). That described two of the services that the Roman state ensured: the shipment of  wheat from Africa to the Roman cities and the various kind of games performed in the amphitheaters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Imperialism on Trial: 8th September 2020 ‘The Phone Hacking Scandal and the Case of Assange: a Comparison’

Imperialism on Trial: 8th September 2020 ‘The Phone Hacking Scandal and the Case of Assange: a Comparison’

The event was held on the second day of the extradition trial of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey.

I gave a short talk comparing the phone hacking scandal with the Assange case.

For anyone unfamiliar with the former, here is a summary:

The UK phone hacking scandal started around 2005 and peaked around 2012. The journalistic malpractices and illegal practices on which it focused long pre-date 2005, and continue today. It came to light through the testimony of victims, and the investigative journalism of publications such as The Guardian, that several publications owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News International (UK subsidiary of News Corp), and others including Daily Mirror andSunday Mirror, were engaged in practices including hacking individuals’ phones and bribing the police in order to obtain stories. Rupert Murdoch’s influence over UK politicians was also scrutinised. Victims of phone hacking included members of the royal family, politicians, murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and victims of the 7th July 2005 London bombings.

The public outcry at these revelations and resultant investigations resulted in high-profile resignations including those of Rupert Murdoch as director of News Corporation, his son James as its executive chairman, and the commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Force. There were multiple charges and seven convictions in criminal trials held between 2004 and 2014. News of the World, a News International outlet, closed down after 168 years of publication.

In 2011 Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron established a public inquiry into the culture and ethics of the UK press under Lord Justice Leveson. This inquiry resulted in the 2012 Leveson Report, which made several recommendations concerning regulation of the UK press by an independent regulator, which would give alleged press victims access to arbitration without financial risk.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

Donald Trump is often represented wearing some kind of imperial garb. Actually, his presidency may have been less imperial than that of his predecessors. Yet, his style as president is very much “imperial” and his winning slogan in the 2016 elections, “MAGA,” (make America great again) has a deep imperial ring to it. Earlier on, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the Italian government between the two world wars, was destroyed (and with him Italy and not just Italy) by his Imperial ambitions.

When things get tough, people seem to think that they need tough leaders and this is a clear trend in the world, nowadays. It is a deadly mechanism that tends to bring dangerous psychotic personalities to the top government positions. I already noted in a previous post how imperial ambitions coupled with incompetence (both common conditions in high-level leaders) can destroy entire countries.

Here, let me examine an interesting feature of how Benito Mussolini (1883 -1945) ruled Italy. Despite his warlike rhetoric, during the first phase of his government he pursued a moderate foreign policy, avoiding wars. Then, the second phase of his rule was characterized by a series of disastrous wars that led to the destruction of Italy (and not just of Italy) and to the downfall of Mussolini himself. Whether this story can tell us something about a possible second term for Donald Trump as president, is left to the readers to decide.

Benito Mussolini and the Italian Empire: How Leaders’ Absurd Decisions Lead to Collapse.

Benito Mussolini ruled Italy for 21 years after the “March on Rome” of 1922. Many things happened during those years but, on the whole, you could think of the Fascist rule as having two phases: one before and the other after the turning point that was the invasion of Ethiopia, in 1935.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

You Can Have Peace Or The US Empire. You Can’t Have Both.

You Can Have Peace Or The US Empire. You Can’t Have Both.

Just in the last few days Israel has reportedly dropped cluster munitions and white phosphorus on southern Lebanon, bombed Gaza, and fired missiles on Damascus, because Israel is a nation whose existence depends on unceasing military violence.

In order for Israel to continue existing as the imperialist apartheid state that it is, it needs to wage war in all directions at all times, both against its neighbors and against the increasingly brutalized Palestinian population. If the bombings end, so too does Israel as we know it, because the regional population will never stand for its oppression, tyranny, and multiple illegal occupations.

Peace and Israel are therefore two mutually exclusive concepts. You can have peace or you can have today’s Israel; you can’t have both.

 

A nation that cannot exist without ceaseless war is not actually a nation at all: it’s an ongoing military operation with some suburbs and schools mixed in. A nation that cannot exist without constant war is like a house that can’t exist without constant construction: if your house needed 24/7/365 construction work in order to remain standing, you’d either completely redesign the way it’s built or you would move.

This is true of Israel, and on a larger scale it is true of the globe-spanning, empire-like oligarchic world order that is loosely centralized around the United States.

This US-centralized empire, of which Israel is a part, is entirely dependent upon endless war for survival. If military violence ceased to be a tool which power structures could use to enact their agendas, this empire would necessarily cease to exist, because there’d be nothing to stop nations from exercising their sovereignty on the world stage. Currencies, resources and commerce would begin moving along completely different channels.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Imperialists Run The Same Tired Old Script Day After Fucking Day

Imperialists Run The Same Tired Old Script Day After Fucking Day

Imperialist pundit and Obama administration cold warrior Michael McFaul recently tweeted the following:

“Belarusians, inside and outside of the country, have reached out to me this week to ask why the West is so indifferent to their courageous fight for democracy. I can’t explain. Can you?”

I am not highlighting this tweet because it is remarkable (except for the extremely dubious claim that anyone ever reaches out to Michael McFaul). I am highlighting it because it is completely unremarkable.

Two months ago Moon of Alabama published an article titled “Belarus – A U.S. Sponsored Color Revolution Is Underway” documenting all the telltale signs that the Moscow-aligned nation would soon be overrun with protests in opposition to its Soviet-style government. Here’s an excerpt from that June 16th article:

On August 9 Belarus will hold presidential elections. Lukashenko will do his best to win again.

Color revolutions are usually launched over controversial elections. The results are publicly put into doubt even before the election begins. When the results finally arrive western media will claim that they diverge from the expectation it created and therefore must have been faked. People will be pushed into the streets to protest. To increase the chaos some sharp shooters may be put to work to fire at the police and at protesters like it was done in Ukraine. The revolt ends when it is flogged down or when the U.S. favorite candidate is put into place.

Last year the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy financed at least 34 projects and organizations in Belarus. The U.S. does not do that out of charity but to put its finger on the scale.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan

Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House Armed Services Committee has added a Liz Cheney-spearheaded amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which throws severe roadblocks in the Trump administration’s proposed scale-down of US military presence in Afghanistan and Germany.

As The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald notes, both parties advancing the amendment cited in their arguments the completely unsubstantiated intelligence leak that was recently published by credulous mass media reporters alleging that Russia has paid bounties to Taliban fighters for killing the occupying forces in Afghanistan. Yet another western imperialist agenda once again facilitated by unforgivably egregious journalistic malpractice in the mass media.

Every aspect of this development is enraging.

The mass media have continued to add to their mountain of Gish gallop fallacies promoting this narrative with a new Daily Beast report citing former senior Taliban figure Mullah Manan Niazi who asserts that “The Taliban have been paid by Russian intelligence for attacks on U.S. forces—and on ISIS forces—in Afghanistan from 2014 up to the present.” The Beast’s own article admits that its source has severe conflicts of interest and is believed to be a CIA asset by Taliban leadership, and that Niazi provided no evidence of any kind for his claim or any further details whatsoever.

These flimsy, poorly-sourced allegations are being hammered into mainstream liberal consciousness on a daily basis now in the exact same way the discredited Russiagate psyop was, and just like with Russiagate the narrative they are being used to shape helps advance military expansionism and new cold war escalations which just so happen to fit perfectly into pre-existing geostrategic agendas of planetary domination.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Goodbye to All That: The Demise of Globalization and Imperial Pretensions

Goodbye to All That: The Demise of Globalization and Imperial Pretensions

The decline phase of the S-Curve is just beginning.

Globalization and Imperial Pretensions have been decaying for years; now the tide has turned definitively against them. The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t cause the demise of globalization and Imperial Pretensions; it merely pushed the rickety structures over the edge.

It’s human nature to reckon the current trend will continue running more or less forever, and that temporal, contingent structures are permanent. Globalization flourished because a unique set of conditions created fertile ground for the transfer of production to China and other emerging economies and the global expansion of the magic elixir of skyrocketing consumption, credit.

Credit-starved economies which are suddenly flooded with credit (for example, China) experience an explosion of investment in production, infrastructure and in business and household consumption.In this boost phase of globalization, capital flows from stagnant developed economies to emerging economies to earn higher returns, and production moves to these low-cost economies to take advantage of low labor costs and lax environmental standards.

It’s a win-win dynamic for credit-starved emerging economies and stagnant developed economies, as the emerging economies get investment capital, jobs and technology transfers while the developed economies get higher profits due to the lower production costs and lower-priced goods and services.

Put another way: globalization is simply one manifestation of the financialization of the global economy. Developed-world central and private banks create trillions of dollars in fiat currencies that then slosh around the world, seeking the highest return. Whatever can be exploited in the short-term is exploited and then capital moves on, leaving environmental destruction and distorted economies in its wake.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.

Before we begin I should highlight that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own cofounder was set up to do overtly what the CIA had previously been doing covertly, namely orchestrating narrative management geared toward the elimination of governments which refuse to comply with US interests. NED is funded directly by the US government, which means that Bellingcat is funded by the US government via an organization set up to promote imperialist regime change agendas. Bellingcat is also funded by Open Society Foundations, another imperialist narrative management operation.

Syria has been the target of what may be the most sophisticated propaganda campaign in history, and Bellingcat has been consistently rallying behind even the most transparently ridiculous tools of this campaign. This includes the notorious Bana Alabed psyop which at its height saw CNN staging a fake, scripted interview featuring a seven year-old girl assigning blame to Bashar al-Assad for an alleged sarin gas attack in Khan Shaykhun. Bellingcat’s stellar investigative work (which has been praised in fawning puff pieces by mainstream outlets like The Guardian and The New Yorker) concluded that this obvious propaganda construct was in fact nothing other than a little girl and her mother independently composing viral tweets, giving interviews and authoring books about how the Syrian government must be toppled via western interventionism.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these “endless wars.”

Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly.

Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. soldiers will stay in Syria to guard oil wells that we and the Kurds captured in the war with ISIS. Another 150 U.S. troops will remain in al-Tanf to guard Syria’s border with Iraq, at the request of Jordan and Israel.

And 2,000 more U.S. troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom from Iran, which raises a question: Are we coming or going?

In his conflicting statements and actions, Trump seemingly seeks to mollify both sides of our national quarrel:

Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

In Middle America, anti-interventionism has carried the day. As Trump says, no declaration at his rallies is more wildly welcomed than his pledge to end our Middle East wars and bring the troops home.

But in this imperial capital, the voice of the interventionist yet prevails. The media, the foreign policy elite, the think tanks, the ethnic lobbies, the Pentagon, the State Department, Capitol Hill, are almost all interventionist, opposed to Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Rand Paul may echo Middle America, but Lindsey Graham speaks for the Republican establishment.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Millions of people are uniting in demonstrations worldwide against our civilization’s ecocidal march toward extinction, which makes me so happy to see. It’s really encouraging to see so many young people burning with love for their planet and a hunger to reverse the damage that has been done to our ecosystem by the refusal of previous generations to turn away from our path of devastation. This must continue if we are to survive as a species.

The challenge now is the same perennial challenge which comes up every single time there is a massive and enthusiastic push from the public in a direction that is healthy: such movements always, without exception, become targeted for manipulation by establishment interests. I write all the timeabout how this has happened with the intrinsically healthy impulse of feminism; I just finished watching an MSNBC pundit proclaim that anyone who still supports Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren is a sexist. This corralling of healthy energy into the advancement of corrupt establishment interests happens with feminism, it happens with the healthy fight against racism and antisemitism, and of course it happens with environmentalism.

Of course it does. People get very emotional when you say this, even if you fully support environmentalism and don’t have any objections to the overall scientific consensus about what’s happening to our environment, but environmentalism is not destined to be the one and only popular movement which establishment interests don’t move mountains to co-opt.

We know that our oligarchic empire will do literally anything, up to and including murdering a million Iraqis, to secure control over energy resources. We know this with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jeff Bezo’s Politics

Jeff Bezo’s Politics

It’s a billionaire’s world and the biggest of them all is in the thick of it, as Eric Zuesse explains.


Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post, which leads America’s news-media in their almost 100 percent support and promotion of neoconservatism, American imperialism and wars. This includes sanctions, coups, and military invasions against countries that America’s billionaires want to control but don’t yet control — such as Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, and China.

These are aggressive wars against countries which have never aggressed against the United States. They are not, at all, defensive, but the exact opposite. It’s not necessarily endless war (even Hitler hadn’t planned that), but war until the entire planet has come under the control of the U.S. Government, a government that is itself controlled by America’s billionaires, the funders of neoconservatism and imperialism — in both major American political parties, think tanks, newspapers, TV networks, etcetera. 

Bezos has been a crucial part of neoconservatism, ever since, at the June 6-9 2013 Bilderberg meeting, he arranged with Donald Graham, the Washington Post’s owner, to buy that newspaper, for $250 million. Bezos had already negotiated, in March of that same year, with the neoconservative CIA Director, John Brennan, for a  $600 million ten-year cloud computing contract that transformed Amazon corporation, from being a reliable money-loser, into a reliably profitable firm.

That caused Bezos’s net worth to soar even more (and at a sharper rate of rising) than it had been doing while it had been losing money. He became the most influential salesman not only for books, but for the CIA, and for such mega-corporations as Lockheed Martin. Imperialism has supercharged his wealth, but it didn’t alone cause it. Bezos might be the most ferociously gifted business-person on the planet.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire

De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire

Guest: Michael Hudson

Economist Michael Hudson continues his discussion of Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire with a focus on US monetary imperialism; President Trump’s demand for lower interest rates undercuts America’s requirement for foreign investment to fund its domestic and balance of payments deficit, increases the carry trade and turns IMF and World Bank policies on the US; analysis of US economic domination of the world from its position as the world’s largest creditor post-WWI; analysis of US economic domination of the world from its position as the world’s largest debtor after the 1971 close of America’s gold window; emergence of the dollar-debt standard; how war has bankrupted the US; the difference between imperialism and super imperialism; US bribes foreign governments; China’s banking system; China and Russia stockpile gold as the world breaks out of dollar domination.

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

Yes, Moscow Boosts Western Anti-Imperialist Voices. So What?

In an extremely weird article titled “Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials“, CNN reports that Facebook has suspended popular dissident media outlet In The Nowand its allied pages for failing to publicly “disclose” its financial ties to a subsidiary of RT. According to CNN, such disclosures are not and have never been an actual part of Facebook’s official policy, but Facebook has made the exceptional precondition of public disclosure of financial ties in order for In The Now to return to its platform.

I say the article is extremely weird for a number of reasons. Firstly, according to In The Now CEO Anissa Naouai, CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform. Secondly, the article reports that CNN found out about Maffick’s financial ties thanks to a tip-off from the German Marshall Fund, a narrative control firm which receives funding from the US government. In The Now‘s Rania Khalek has described this tactic as “a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world.”

Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

What Trump’s Syrian Withdrawal Really Reveals

A wise decision is greeted by denunciations, obstructionism, imperial thinking, and more Russia-bashing.

Imperialist Aggression against Venezuela: Canada Tries to Use International Law to Justify Interventionism

Like the shopkeeper in the Monty Python dead parrot sketch who insists a deceased bird is actually alive, imperialist aggression against Venezuela is turned into promotion of the “international rules-based order”.

At the opening of the UN assembly in September Justin Trudeau said the International Criminal Court is a “useful and important way of promoting an international rules-based order.” Simultaneously, Canada announced it (with five South American nations) would ask the ICC to investigate the Venezuelan government, which is the first time a government has been formally brought before the tribunal by another member.

Liberal officials and the sycophantic media portrayed Canada’s move to bring Caracas before the ICC as a challenge to the US. Evan Dyer reported, “Government sources told CBC that Canada’s decision to refer Venezuela is also meant as a show of support for the ICC, an institution this country believes in that is under attack” from the Trump administration. In other words, Ottawa will challenge Washington by showing Trump how the “international rules-based” ICC can undermine a government the US and Canada are seeking to overthrow through unilateral sanctions, support for the opposition and threatening an invasion, which all contravene the UN Charter.

Unfortunately, some people are willing to buy a dead bird for a pet, the proof of which is that the “international rules-based” ICC Trudeau is promoting has previously been employed to enable violations of international law. In 2011 ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo helped set the stage for NATO’s war on Libya, which contravened UN resolutions 1970 and 1973. (Ottawa defied the UN Security Council resolutions authorizing a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians by dispatching ground forces, delivering weaponry to the opposition and bombing in service of regime change.)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase