What will the US foreign policy be tomorrow ?
- 30 Oct 2008
When Bush goes, everyone will be hoping for a change – or fearing the worst. McCain or Obama ? What will that change for Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Africa, Caucasia, Cuba and Venezuela ? And for US relationships with the big powers : Europe, Japan, Russia, China ?
We don’t believe that US foreign policy is decided at the White House. In fact, at the moment the US elite is hesitating about the strategy to follow in the coming years. This text analyzes the two possible options. The question of how does United States think to remain the super power dominating the world becomes even more burning in view of the economic crisis.
This text is extracted from our book The 7 sins of Hugo Chávez (Chapter 11 : [The United States] Black gold and the wars of tomorrow), shortly to be published. The preceding pages explained the reason for the rise and then decline of the United States. Investig’Action felt it was urgent to publish this extract to shed more light on the discussions under way during the elections in the United States of America.
What would be the balance sheet of this global war on terror led by the Bush administration as from 11 September ? Negative. Virtually everywhere.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States has launched two wars which they are unable to win and which they will never win. Bush wanted to launch a third war against Iran but, the US being seriously weakened, he has had to renounce it. The aim of this war was to have been to ensure Washington’s control over oil. In five years, it has risen from 25 dollars to over 100 dollars [per barrel], with very negative consequences for the US and world economy.
In South America, the United States has lost, entirely or partially, control over almost all their colonies : Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. All that remains to them, at the time of writing, are Peru, Chile and Colombia.
In Africa, too, resistance has made some advances. Kabila of the Congo refused to go on his knees. And when Washington tried to find somewhere to set up their new military command, AFRICOM, all countries politely refused.
Also in South Asia, there has been an increase in resistance over the whole region which has alarmed US strategists, who propose reinforcing the US’s ‘projection capacity’ in South Asia. In their jargon, that means organizing military landings and bombardments, and supporting coups d’etat. But the group emphasize that, given the unpopularity of the United States in this region it will be impossible to find a country that will accept the headquarters of such a US force.
Bush’s policy has aroused resistance even among their European allies. Thus, at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April, George Bush demanded further expansion of the organization, this time to integrate Ukraine and George – which was like pointing a couple of cannons at Russia. But there were firm and open refusals from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg, none of them wishing to make troubles with Moscow which provides them with gas. Steve Erlanger and Steven Lee Myers, two analysts close to the Pentagon, saw in this « a manifest failure of US policy in an alliance normally dominated by Washington ».
Indeed Russia’s attitude is hardening. Moscow rejects the installation on the European continent of arms that the United States call an anti-missile shield :
« If part of the US nuclear potential is in Europe (…) we have to have targets in Europe .» Moreover, in May 2008, Russia tested a new, multi-head intercontinental missile « in response to unilateral and groundless acts by our partners » declared Putin. Washington however stated that the anti-missile shield was not directed against Russia, only against states like Iran. But Putin replied : « There is no Iranian missile that has a sufficient range. It is therefore evident that this news concerns us Russians too . »
Like Russia, China has also refused to back down when confronted by numerous campaigns and pressures exercised by Washington.
The US elite is divided
Ten years ago, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to President Carter and the leading strategist in the United States, published his book]The Great Chessboard. More or less « How to remain the superpower dominating the world » . He explained, with the brutal frankness of someone no longer in official position, that Washington must absolutely weaken its rivals : Russia and China, but also Europe and Japan, and prevent them from allying with each other. Divide and rule.
Today, what is the balance sheet from George Bush using Brzezinski’ criteria ? Has he managed to weaken the great power rivals ? We would say : fairly well as concerns Japan, fairly well (for the moment) as concerns Europe, but badly as concerns Russia and very badly as concerns China.
Globally, Bush has provoked so much resistance that United States’ domination has been weakened. The business interests that had brought him to power – armaments, oil, automobiles, defence, pharmaceutical companies – have seen that Bush’s wars have not brought great profits, or new areas for exploitation. In fact, they have cost more than they have gained. And the Bush administration has been shown up as being a small, restricted circle whose members thought a lot about filling their own pockets but who were incable of tactical finesse and genuine long-term vision.
Once the failure had become obvious, the divisions among the US elite, and even in the Bush administration, became exacerbated. As from 2006 the neocons had to cede territory. They had to accept replacing the War Minister, Donald Rumsfeld, by Robert Gates, a Trilateral man belonging to the Brzezinski tendency. The new minister had to some extent admitted the weakness of US militarism in a speech he gave to the cadets at the West Point Military Academy : « Don’t fight unless you have to. Never fight alone. And don’t fight for long. » Then the bi-partisan Baker-Hamilton Commission condemned the effort of Bush to reshape the ‘Great Middle East’ as being unrealistic. They advocated, on the contrary, a more tactical approach towards Syria and Iran.
Even within the secret services and the army there are a number of revolts. In December 2007, when Bush wanted to prepare an attack against Iran under the classic pretext of it having weapons of mass destruction, sixteen US intelligence services surprised everyone by publishing a report stating that Iran had suspended its military nuclear programme since at least 2003.
« The decline of the United States is inevitable »
Brzezinski, in his book, proposed an agressive and machiavellian strategy to save the US Empire. But even he, did he really believe it would work ? Strange as it may seem, it appears not.
« In the long term, global politics are destined to become less and less favourable to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of only one state. America is thus not only the first global super power, it is very probably the last one. » (CH – p. 267)
The reason for this is the evolution of the economy : « Economic power also risks becoming dispersed. In the coming years, no country will be likely to attain some 30 per cent of the world GNP, a figure that the United States has maintained during most of the 20th century – not to mention the high point of 50 per cent that they reached in 1945. According to certain estimates, America could still hold 20 per cent of the world GNP at the end of this decade, which would then fall to 10 – 15 per cent from now to the year 2020. The figures for other powers – Europe, China, Japan – are expected to increase to reach the approximate level of the United States … Once the decline of the American leadership has set in, the supremacy that the country now enjoys cannot be taken over by any single state. » (CH – p. 267-8)
« Once the decline of the American leadership has set in ». Brzezinski is therefore not talking about a possibility, but a certitude. He wrote that in 1997. Today it has become clear that the decline is well on its way. The world is becoming multipolar.
But perhaps Brzezinski is an isolated pessimist ? Perhaps the neocons who inspired Bush are more ‘optimist’, if one can use that word ? In fact, they are not much more optimistic. In the founding text of the administration’s whole policy, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), drawn up in 1992 by Paul Wolfowitz and his friends, the whole ideology of a new militarist crusade is evident, but there is also a remark worthy of note : « At the moment, the United States has no world rival. The overall strategy of America must aim at preserving and extending this advantageous position as long as possible (…) Preserving this desirable strategic situation in which the United States finds itself at the present time requires predominant military capacities at the world level. » (CH)
« As long as possible » : here, too, there is no belief that the United States can remain the masters of the world for ever. It is a real paradox. The whole world fears the United States. But the rulers of the country themselves know that they are at the controls of the Titanic. And to save the Empire as long as possible, they are divided between two options.
Two options for saving the Empire
What will be the foreign policy of the United States in the years to come ? The choice of president will certainly give some idea. But it is not decisive. We should remember that, during the presidential campaign of 2000, George Bush had promised a much milder foreign policy and less interventionist than its precedessor ! And the other candidate, Al Gore, had proposed a bigger military budget than that of Bush. We believe that the general orientations of foreign policy are not decided by presidents but by the multinationals, in function of their requirements of the moment and their evaluation of world power relationships.
And, in fact, after the balance sheet of the Bush years that we have just described, the US elite seems quite divided about the line to follow. How to resolve this delicate situation ?
The first possible option is the military one. Bush’s neocons embodied this the last few years with the Wolfowitz strategy, one of aggression and intimidation. Multiply the wars, inflate to the maximum the orders to the military-industrial complex to promote growth and the domination of the US multinationals, and also to intimidate allies and rivals.
The other option, which is defended by Brzezinski, is what he likes to call ‘soft power’. Others call it ‘intelligent imperialism’. In fact it aims at the same objectives, but through forms of violence that are less direct, less visible. It would count less on very expensive US military interventions and more on secret services, destabilization manœuvres and proxy wars, as well as corruption.
Five NATO generals prepare a world government …
The first option consists of militarizing political life still further and increasing the number of wars. Bush squared, in fact.
In January 2008, five former NATO generals presented a preparatory document for the NATO summit meeting at Bucharest. Their proposals reflect a terrifying tendency. And what gives weight to their document is that, up until recently, all of them held very high positions. General John Shalikashvili was US Chief of Staff and Commander in Chief of NATO in Europe, General Klaus Naumann ran the German army and was president of the military committe of NATO in Europe, General Henk van den Breemen was chief of the Dutch Chief of Staff and Admiral Jacques Lanxade held the same post in France, while Lord Inge ran the General Staff and was also Chief of the Defence Staff of Great Britain. This is just the big shots – and very aggressive they are too, as we shall see.
Page 6 : « [The authors] propose ways how to overcome possible rivalry with the EU and also how to enable NATO to have access to non-military instruments. » Two observations :
• in fact, this rivalry is not only possible, it is completely real. In what way do they want to overcome it ?;
• what does NATO mean by having « access to non-military instruments » ?
Is it a question of having more control over civil society in western countries ?
Page 7 : « In order to start off the process, they propose establishing a directorate bringing together the United States, the European Union and NATO. Its mission would be to coordinate all operations in the Atlantic sphere. » For what objectives ?
The Five explain this on page 42 : « What the Western allies expect is the pro-active defence of their societies and their way of life maintaind over the long term. »
« Defending our way of life » has already been used as an argument by Bush senior to launch the first war against Iraq. In fact, « way of life » is a hypocritical term that means the domination of the multinationals over economic life : it is a domination that keeps half of humanity in poverty. The aim of the Five is in fact to use military means to maintain the gap between the rich and the poor. Anyone who doubts this should read, on page 92 : « The objectives of our strategy are to preserve the peace, our values, economic liberalism and stability. »
It is, therefore, to preserve the stability of the multinationals. Against what enemies ? The authors give some examples of what is not to be tolerated in the Third World. Page 52 : « We have less important examples of non-desirable aid, from Venezuela to the Cuban regime. » The world gendarme takes upon itself the right to intervene everywhere against countries that do things that the multinationals don’t like.
But among the undesirables, who is the main enemy ? The answer is on page 44 :
« China is in a situation to wreak great harm on the US and the world economies, based on its enormous reserves in dollars. » And, on page 52 : « China is in a position to use finance to impose itself on Africa and acquire the capacity to utilize it on a much greater scale – if it so decides. »
So here we have, well-defined, the good and the bad. Liberalism needs NATO to impose itself on the whole world. And to carry out this economic war, what means does NATO require ?
International law and the United Nations thrown overboard
In fact, the five generals feel frustrated. On page 76 : « One of the chief problems in the current strategic conception of the Atlantic alliance is that its actions remain reactive rather than preventive, and are limited to military means. On page 91 : « An ambitious strategy must include the well-integrated use of all accessible means, political, economic, military, cultural, social, moral, spiritual and psychological. »
So there we are ! The Gang of Five wants to move beyond its military tasks and exercise control over the functioning of civil society. But will the law be respected at least by this new world government ? It is very doubtful. On pages 94-95 : « Another principle to be respected is legality. All action must be legitimate, authorized and respect international law. That can be a considerable handicap when the adversary has no respect at all for any law whatsoever, but to act differently would mean, in the end, applying the law of the jungle and undermine our own credibility. Nevertheless this principle does not prevent adapting existing international law in an international context that is constant evolution. »
In this quote, the first sentences serve as window dressing and the real content comes at the end. « Adapting » the law means, in effect, violating it, denying the principles proclaimed up until now. After Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, torture, the assassination of heads of states, the extraordinary rendition flights and secret prisons of the CIA : are they proposing to combat these violations of the law ? No, they propose to legalize them, ‘adapting’ the law.
Already two wars against Iraq and the one against Yugoslavia have violated international law, the UN Charter and even NATO’s own Charter. But it is precisely international legality that the Five want to get rid of. Pages 104-105 : « The approval of the United Nations may not be necessary according to Article 51 of the UN Charter (legitimate defence) and it is perhaps possible to renounce it on the basis of the Convention on Genocide. »
« Long live preventive war ! » Even if it is nuclear
Page 96 makes for reading that is just as disturbing : « What we need is a form of dissuasion through pro-active refusal, in which the preemption is a form of imminent reaction and prevention an attempt to take back the initiative and put an end to the conflict. »
« Pro-active defence » in military jargon, means preventive war. The term is constantly repeated in the document of the Five. George W. Bush had already invoked a ‘preventive war’ against terrorism. As did Hitler in his time. Aggressors often take refuge in the pretext of preventing danger. In actual fact, international law explicitly forbids wars claiming to be preventive.
But our fears don’t end there. On page 94 : « At first sight, the nuclear weapon might seem disproportionate, but if one takes into account the damage that it prevents, it may be reasonable. » Here the immorality of these five Gangits bursts out into the open. Nuclear war is an atrocity and humanity has constantly demanded the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction. Here it is claimed that they are justified. The hypocrisy is flagrant : « to prevent damage ». This is completely vague and, without doubt, racist. The lives of adversary peoples are not worth anything.
The truth is that these criminal generals, observing that classic bombardments are not enough to break resistance, and that wars on land are expensive and dangerous for the invaders, propose the nuclear weapon as a solution to the problem of the world hegemony of the multinationals.
Preparing peoples’ minds
As can be seen, the goods that the Gang of Five wish to sell us are completely rotten and poisonous. This is the reason why they count on manipulating public opinion through long-term propaganda campaigns. On page 104 : « These measures must be accompnied by pro-active and coordinated efforts of communication through the media (,,,) Furthermore, such a media campaign can prepare peoples’ minds for an armed intervention. »
« Prepare peoples’ minds » ! Of course, this is nothing new. Drawing up the balance sheet of the war against Yugoslavia, which was the most successful example of organized disinformation, a NATO general admitted, after the war ended, that false information had been systematically issued while embarrassing information was eliminated or marginalized in order to « anaesthetize opinions ». He thus acted upon NATO’s philosophy that « Opinion can be worked upon, like other things. » In each war, Western generals commission spin doctors to sell their war and manipulate public opinion. But this time, this is taken much further : there is to be a long-term campaign to condition opinion.
Page 129 : « Therefore NATO must develop an information strategy that serves three objectives simultaneously. It must persuade the world that NATO is a force for good. It must move before its adversaries start to disseminate their information : that is, NATO must impose its domination in public relations. It must win the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the NATO countries (convince them that the Atlantic alliance’s position is a correct one), but also the hearts and minds of the populations where the armed intervention is taking place. »
« Impose its domination in public relations .» Information is seen as a war that is won by eliminating the forces of the adversary. This is no idle accusation. The US army bombed and imprisoned Al Jazeera journalists, NATO bombed Belgrade television station (17 killed), the Pentagon has prepared plans to eliminate embarrassing information on the Internet, whose democratic character is upsetting it considerably.
A plan for world dictatorship
At the beginning of their document, the five generals announced « ways how to overcome possible rivalry with the EU » How are they going to do that ?
In effect, they use the framework of NATO to organize the submission of the EU to Washington’s will :
Page 137 : « We consider that multinational forces are the key for a rapid and inexpensive modernization of NATO’s force, but we stress that this is not possible unless member states accept without reserve that these forces will be at the disposal of NATO for all operations authorized by the NATO Council. » Translation : the European armies will be obliged to obey NATO decisions (currently unanimity is required).
The Five’s plan would give three advantages to the United States : it would integrate European forces into their own wars ; it would share the costs among the allies ; and it would also share the unpopularity.
The antidemocratic character of the Five is shown clearly on page 139 : « We are not formulating proposals for the reform of the EU in such detail as we have for NATO for two reasons : first, a new ‘smooth’ treaty, that has just replaced the ‘constitution’ that had been condemned, has now been adopted so as to avoid consulting the populations. »
Their plan will make it impossible to carry out any opposition. Page 144 : « In order to avoid all sources of inconvenience, it could be decided that first of all an issue will be treated inside NATO and then the NATO members who are also members of the EU will undertake not to depart from the vote taken at NATO when the issue is brought up in the European bodies. » Thus, once NATO has decided, no European country will have the right to oppose its decision.
In conclusion, this plan of the Gang of Five, prepared by people who have been at the top of world military power, exposes a significant tendency among the elite. Their plan for a super world government by the three blocs (effectively dominated by the United States) would relegate all vestiges of international law to the dustbin, legitimize preventive war and nuclear weapons andorganize systematic manipulation of public opinion. The plan is nothing if not fascist.
This is one of the two options that the elite in the United States are currently considering for resolving their problems. The other is embodied by Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom we spoke about earlier.
« Intelligent imperialism » ?
The US military strategists distinguish three types of war that they could launch :
high intensity wars between big powers such as the two world wars ; medium intensity wars involving also the US military directly, but against much weaker powers, as in Iraq and Yugoslavia ; low-intensity wars, in which there is not a direct US military involvement but which are organized to defeat others. They provoke conflicts between neighbouring countries, or through paramilitary and terrrorist movements.
The term ‘low intensity’ is misleading, as it could give the impression that there are fewer damages. In fact there are fewer only for the United States. Thus the so-called « low intensity » war that Washington launched against the Congo (through the armies of neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, and various militias) resulted in five million deaths and it has paralyzed the development of the Congo.
Brzezinski’s strategy is different from that of Bush in that it favours low-intensity wars. In no way, therefore, is it more moral, but it claims to being more intelligent.
But Brzezinski also proposes other forms of intervention. We often think of military intervention by the United States as the most visible form of aggression. But in fact they dispose of a wide range of forms of aggression.. To establish a complete typology, it would look like this, in order of ascending intensity :
• corruption of local leaders ;
• blackmail of local leaders ;
• demonization media campaigns ;
• various destabilization actions ;
• embargos and commercial blockades ;
• coups d’état ;
• provoking separatist movements ;
• war by proxy ;
• bombardments ;
• territorial occupation.
As can be seen there is a wide variety of methods which, evidently, can be combined. But they are all aggressions. Of course all US governments have had recourse to all these methods, and not only certain ones. But the dosage and financing vary.
After the crimes committed by Bush, it is tempting to think that there will be a change of method. However, if Washington decides to changes its tactics they will not be more pacific but only less visible. Brzezinski, it should be remembered, was the man who financed bin Laden in Afghanistan to tie the Soviet Union down in a long and costly war and to break its alliance with the Muslim world. Brzezinski is very proud of his success and never loses an opportunity to refer to it.
If the United States decide to apply the Brezinski strategy there will certainly be fewer direct wars. And they will be carried out as often as possible in conjunction with allies. This will help to take care of their media image and the manipulation of the public. And above all the CIA will be more active : efforts will be made to replace wars carried out directly by the United States by indirect wars, making neighbouring countries fight each other, supporting ‘the good war’ and using all kinds of appropriate pretexts. This was the method used successfully by Clinton against Yugoslavia.
The Brzezinski method has two advantages for the United States. They would regain a more presentable image and re-establish their moral authority. And by paying less money to the military-industrial complex the US economy would reinforce its competitive position vis-à-vis Europe, China, India, etc.
In order to economize on wars the Brzezinski strategy would make more use of blackmail as well as of clandestine activities. Blackmail, especially, can be channelled through world economic organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. These are multilateral institutions but dominated by the United States, who can dictate their wishes for the Third World in an apparently more objective manner. But this will not be easy because the World Bank and the IMF have created such antagonism among the countries they have dealt with that the latter are looking for alternatives. The idea of a Bank of the South, launched by Chávez is making progress …
More use would also be made of clandestine activities – in other words, the CIA. This makes it possible to get rid of obstreperous governments at a lower cost.
That is why those who support Brzezinski’s strategy call themselves partisans of ‘soft power’ or ‘intelligent imperialism’. But the danger with this soft power is that the Left will be so glad that Bush has gone that they will reduce their vigilance because – for a certain time – there will be fewer direct wars. Thus the international anti-war movement, which is going through an evident crisis, will react even less strongly when confronted by the more discreet strategies of the Empire.
At any rate, the Empire will not become more peaceful. Sooner or later it will launch more Bush-type wars. This is because the US elite in fact practise the two options alternately.
Presidents come and go, the multinationals remain
These two options, militarist or ‘intelligent’ are not new. And it is not a question of the opposition between republicans and democrats. These two parties do not represent ‘war’ or ‘peace’ but only different electorates, different tactics, and are always at the service of the multinationals. Hence it is not a republican but a democrat, Harry Truman, who launched the war in 1950 against Korea and China. It was not a republican, but a democrat, John Kennedy, who started the war against Vietnam in 1961.
And it is not a popular vote either, against the bourgeois vote. The US multinationals always finance both candidates, putting their eggs in both baskets. But their preferences can be judged by the amounts they contribute. At the beginning of the 1990s the multinationals invested in both candidates, but gave 59 pour cent more to Clinton and the democrats. Instead, from 1996 onwards they gave greater support to the republicans by 67 per cent. In the presidential elections of 2000 it was Bush who was massively financed. And he was declared elected in spite of the fact that the ballots had given his rival Gore the victory. On the other hand, in the presidential elections of 2008 the multinationals have changed sides again and finance Obama more than his rival McCain.
However, the same president can change his own policy. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Bill Clinton reduced the military budget and the orders to the military-industrial complex – for a while. By so doing, he had hoped to relaunch the US economic machine in general. But, although the decision was almost unnoticed, at the end of his mandate the same Clinton made a U-turn : « The military budget of the United States must be increased by 70 per cent. » This just confirms what was said previously : the great political decisions do not depend on the character of one president or another, but on strategies decided higher up. Presidents come and go, the multinationals remain.
US policy alternates its methods
So we shall talk about alternative US policies. After each important setback, there is a – temporary – return to ‘soft power’.
After the defeat of Vietnam and the moral condemnation of the dictatorships installed by Washington in Latin America, the US multinationals brought the nice pastor Jimmy Carter to power, with his wonderful speeches on human rights. After the Cold War and the first war against Iraq, President Clinton tried to involve the Europeans in his wars and gave special attention to media presentation. In fact, the US bourgeoisie was in fact always hesitating between the two options to solve its problems. Or, rather, it alternated between them : a bit more stick, a bit more carrot. But its choices became increasingly difficult. Neither method really solved the problems.
Now, after the disastrous results of the Bush regime, the US bourgeoisie is hesitating between the two options. Either the headlong plunge into more wars or a tactical withdrawal, moving back in order to get a better run-up. The question is not what president they are going to choose, but rather what strategy.
At all events, it is not sure that the Brzezinski strategy is, when all’s said and done, less brutal than that of Bush. It is true that in 2008 he publicly criticized the president, saying that he was stupid to want to attack Iran, because he could not win and that a war would harm the situation of Israel and affect the price of oil, hence the US economy. Certain analysts think that Brzezinski wants to domesticate Iran because he hopes to turn the country around and make it participate one day in the encirclement of Russia. This is the power that remains his bête noire, the obsession of the author of The Great Chessboard. Some think that Brzezinski wants to completely encircle and weaken Russia, if not to wage war on it, and we should not forget China, which has obviously become a major target now. If this should happen, soft power will be transformed into Apocalypse Now.
Their solutions will only exacerbate the problems
That the US bourgeoisie is divided about which line to follow stems from the fact that, in the final analysis, the United States are not so powerful as is believed, neither in the economic field, nor in the military. Each time that the rulers thought they had found the solution, it turned out, after a while, that the solution only made things worse.
For example, in the 1980s, in order to escape recession, the US multinationals fell upon Latin America and other regions of the Third World, gobbling up their raw materials, their businesses and their markets. But this neoliberal offensive so impoverished these countries, provoking economic catastrophes and hence increasing resistance that Latin America turned to the left. From 1989 Washington launched a global war to ensure its total control over oil. But oil continues to escape it. As from 2001 Bush launched his war against the so-called Evil Axis, but only succeeded in strengthening resistance in all regions of the world.
The United States seem to be very strong, but are they really so ? With all their dollars, all their technologies and all their crimes, they have lost the war in Korea (1950) and the war in Vietnam (1961-1975), they have had to withdraw from Lebanon (1982) and from Somalia (1993). They would not have won in Yugoslavia (1999) if President Milosevic had accepted a land war. They have already lost in Iraq and in Afghanistan, even if they do not yet recognize the fact. Are they not a ‘paper tiger’ ? In the long run, aren’t people who defend their wealth and their future stronger than dollars and missiles ?
The United States spend far more on their military budget than all the other nations of the world together but that no longer succeeds in ensuring their world supremacy. One might say that they are their own victims of their fundamental contradiction : everything that they do is against the interests of the immense majority of the inhabitants of the planet, so they themselves create the force that will destroy them.
An army cannot be stronger than the economy that finances it. And the basic weakness that will prevent the US rulers from attaining their objctive is that the US economy is sawing the branch on which it is sitting. By underpaying its workers, by delocalizing part of its production, by ruining the countries of the Third World that should be its partners it is ceaselessly impoverishing those to whom it should be selling. This problem cannot be resolved by either of the two options, the militarist or the ‘intelligent’ one. The militarists increase the expenditure and the resistance.
The ‘intelligent’option, while reducing the terror disseminated by direct warfare, also encourages resistance.
Whatever tactics are chosen the United States will continue to wage war throughout the world in order to impose their economic system and their interests. It is urgent to recreate a strong peace movement and for peoples’ sovereignty.
1 September 2008
The links between the economy and the war are analyzed in the book Bush le cyclone : <
These questions will also be tackled at the next seminar organized by Investig’Action in Brussels (in French) on 8-9 November. For information : [email protected]