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  The United States is a declining technological and economic power relative to the advanced

technologies and aggressive economic powers of Europe and East Asia (including China, Japan,

and South Korea). Nonetheless, along with Russia, the U.S. remains one of the dominant nuclear powers. 

 

 

PaxAmerica in Decline 

U.S./E.U. Rivalry and Blix Bombshell

 

By Lil Joe

 

An Athens daily news paper (Sunday, September 21, 2003) carried an interview of Hans Blix, Europe's former UN chief weapons inspector. Hans Blix, in diplomatic jargon, denounced the United States and Britain for their “unnecessary” invasion and occupation of Iraq.

I say, "diplomatic jargon," because the wording, used by Blix, is vague enough for any number of "interpretations."  Blix spoke of the "questionable honesty" of the governments of Britain and United States in presenting their "case" for the invasion and occupation of Iraq (actually re-occupation since Britain was there before).  Blix's opposition to the invasion – the same as Germany, Russia and France – is that Iraq had no WMDs and thus that Iraq was posing no immediate threat.

This implicit criticism, by a prominent European operative, of the U.S. and Britain's foreign policy in Iraq must be analyzed, critically, in context of the economic competition between the United States and the European Union.

This economic rivalry manifested in politics, and wars, has been acerbated and aggravated by the Anglo-American bilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq.  This follows upon the heels of the Invasion of Afghanistan.  The invasion and occupation of Iraq was, however, the first time in recent history that the U.S. Pax-America openly overthrew a government it didn't like and install one to its liking.

Of course, the direct participation of U.S. in overthrowing governments, and killing the leaders of governments it didn't like, has been going on for some time, covertly e.g., Iran 1953 (CIA); Guatemala 1953-1954 (CIA); Costa Rica 1955 (CIA); Indonesia 1957-1958 (CIA); Guatemala 1960-1963; Ecuador 1960-1963 (CIA); Congo 1960-64 (CIA); Brazil 1964 (CIA); Peru 1960-1964 (CIA); Dominican Republic 1960 (CIA); Chile 1972 (CIA); Guatemala 1970 (CIA); Nicaragua 1981-91 (CIA/Contra); Grenada 1984.

However, for the most part, these covert activities were carried out by surrogates of the Empire. The open military overthrow of the government of Afghanistan in 2002 was the first public activity of this kind, and had the political backing of the European Union.

Certainly, Britain's Tony Blair is the Bush surrogate in Europe, making Britain America's lapdog in Europe.  In the conflicts in the Middle East, on the other hand Britain has become a vicious, murderous "bulldog" as Britain's former prime minister Marguerite Thatcher put it (when she represented Ronald Reagan in the Cold War).

Blix's political criticism of the Anglo-American bilateral policy of aggression against, and occupation of Iraq, must be viewed in context of the European Union/ United States economic rivalry, in that the major economic powers in the European Union are in large degree dependent on Gulf oil to fuel their economies.  Europe's dependency on Gulf oil compels Germany and France as the foremost representative of the economic interests of the EU, to come out against the Occupation, and therefore "anti-war."

The United States is a declining technological and economic power relative to the advanced technologies and aggressive economic powers of Europe and East Asia (including China, Japan, and South Korea). Nonetheless, along with Russia, the U.S. remains one of the dominant nuclear powers. 

Undoubtedly, the military strategists in Japan, China, Russia, Germany, and France are analyzing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, on the ground taking an ass whipping.  If the Iraqi irregulars and guerrillas can inflict casualties as they are and getting away with it and by doing so demoralize American forces, it is likely that in ground combat with the millions man and woman army of China, or even North Korea, would face quick defeat. Not to mention a military conflict with a modern Franco-German  army operating with technologically advanced military hardware backed by Russia's vast nuclear arsenal.

But that's good!  The United States thought, by picking on a small country weakened by twelve years of economic sanctions and random bombing campaigns initiated by Bill Clinton, that the U.S. would show their power, and "shock and awe" not just the Iraqis, but the world.  But, not only were the Iraqis neither "shocked" nor "awed," but the invaders were the one's shocked and awed by the fierce Iraqi resistance on the road to Baghdad, and now in Baghdad itself.

Certainly the U.S. occupation of Iraq is about the oil.  That is true. But not in the crude economic sense that it has been discussed.  It must be analyzed from a more sophisticated dialectical materialist point of view regarding issues of global political economy and necessity.

The Anglo-American presence as occupying powers in Middle Asia must be understood, from the context of technological and economic competition between the United States and its junior partner in Europe, Britain on the one hand and the European Union and Japan and China on the other. The identity of opposites that were contained in the NATO group of imperialist countries, was a negative unity, i.e., a unity in opposition to the Soviet Bloc. Once the Soviet Bloc collapsed the NATO group had no unity of interests, politically.

In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s European countries were developing a technological revolution with Germany in the lead. Japan underwent a similar change in Asia. A new techno-capitalism sprang from the post World-War II rebuilding of Europe. An occupied and disarmed Germany was able to devote the bulk of its capitalist's profits  and plow them back into industrial expansion and technological advances; with the collapse of the Soviet Bloc and the Soviet Union, the expansion of capital continued with the annexing of the economies in the East including East Germany.

The German-French collaboration in the European Economic Community was a force which, based on those two powerful economies had economic interests that would compete with the United States – Germany in Eastern and Central Europe, including the former Yugoslavia, and France in Africa.

Iraq wanted to convert to the Euro.

Population (Millions)

European Union: 376

United States:  273

Area (1,000 km)

European Union: 3,236

United States:  9,809

GDP (Billions of Euro)

European Union: 7,809

United States:  8,729

Trade Surplus (Deficit)

(Billions of Euro)

European Union: 36

United States:  (-270)

Exports of Goods and Services

(Billions of Euro)

European Union: 988

United States:  862

Imports of Goods and Services

(Billions of Euro)

European Union: 952

United States:  1,132

GDP per capita (Euro)

European Union: 20,800

United States:  31,987

Exports as Share of World Exports

European Union: 20%

United States:  18%

Imports as Share of World Imports

European Union: 19%

United States:  22%

Foreign Aid to Third World in 1997 (Millions of US Dollars)

European Union: 31,873

United States:  6,878

Most of the U.S. "foreign aid" is to the garrison state of Israel, and to buying off  Jordan and Egypt.

At the same time Japan is the world's second largest economy.  An economy based on advanced industry  and high technology, Japan's economy is seven times the size of China's and produce seventy percent of all commodities in East Asia.  Based on this advanced industry and technology, and consequently high labour productivity, Japan has a culture that values hard work and savings (similar to the protestant work ethic in Germany). Availability of money in finance institutions has enabled Japan to heavily invest in U.S. treasury bills or government bonds.

Based on its advanced technology and economic power, the European Union, and also Japan, are becoming political powers and are beginning to demand that the U.S. remove its occupation forces from their respective countries. Being an economic powerhouse brings with it political power and diplomatic clout.  The European Union along with Japan, having the world's most advanced technology and strong economy, political power and ambitions are inevitable, as was the case of the United States in the 1950s and 60s

Technological economic power is "political power."  But national political power is expressed, inevitably, in military capacity. When a nationalist gang of capitalists achieves technological and economic parity with a country that has been subordinating them, it will rise up inevitably in opposition to the now relatively weakened country that has subordinated them.

In the 1950s and 60s the world's undisputed technological, economic, political power in the West was the United States. Although the Soviet Union had military parity, the U.S. had the most advanced economic technology, with which American capitalist rebuilt European industry with their state of the art technology, and also Japan (e.g., steel production facilities supplied American forces with military related hardware used by America in the Korean War).  The Soviet Union was surrounded by hostile capitalist states (which were homes U.S. military occupation garrisons) with advanced  technology.

In these decades, and especially in the 1980s "Reagan Era" -- so-called Reaganomics – the so-called "Laffer-Curve" (alternately called "supply-side") economics in the era of a Permanent Arms Economy (PAE) encouraged investments in military related production, mobile cruse missiles, SDI, etc. – which however wasted a lot of capital in this PAE in that it produced "goods" that could be neither consumed (outside of nuclear war) nor  sold as export capital nor commodities.

At the same time the high government deficits, which resulted from tax cuts to capitalists and government spending in the PAE, made the American government an international borrower, and a strong dollar made U.S. commodities less competitive both at home and abroad.

The "arms race" that bankrupted the Soviet Union undermined Americas economic global supremacy.  The European Union is the real "winner of the 'Cold War'," and is today the strongest economic power on earth. The United States has but its military supremacy to fall back on. Thus the wars in the Balkans were to anchor NATO as permanent and positive, which in fact would make the United States the modern Nazi occupation power in Europe, in the same regions of Eastern and Central Europe (minus France).

"Diplomacy is warfare without bloodshed." But the possibility of warfare as a  continuation of politics by other, i.e. violent means, has to be prepared for,  especially in a world dominated by a rogue superpower, the United States.

On 20 November 2000, European Union Defense Ministers met in Brussels and agreed to the creation of a European Union Rapid Reaction Force through the Military Capabilities Commitment. The force, at least initially, will consist of up to 60,000 troops.  This army will be independent of NATO and committed to operate on the behalf of the EU.

This is a follow-up on the establishment, on November 13, 1987, at the 50th Franco-German summit in Karlsruhe of a Franco-German Brigade, announced on that day by President Mitterand of France and Chancellor Kohl of Germany. The 5,000 strong Franco-German Brigade is the core of the emerging European Army.

Dominated  militarily and politically by the United States, NATO is deliberately excluded from participation in this European army. Thus, strategically, the United States is incorporating into NATO former WARSAW Pact countries – including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia (on the one hand),  and Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia (on the other).

What all these countries have in common, in addition with recent conflicts with the former Soviet Union, and fear of Russia is a history of oppression, wars, and occupation by Germany.  These countries, which supported the Anglo-American war against and occupation of Iraq, besides being economic basket cases have a political incentive to join NATO as a check on the Franco-German military alliance. The Bush regime called these poor, desperate countries the "New Europe," as against the "Old Europe" – that is, the powerful European Union with its own army, anchored economically in the technology and economic strength of the combined economy of Germany, France, and Italy, and others.

The U.S. has military forces in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan. With its occupation of Iraq, the U.S. is positioned to blackmail the European Union with the oil  that it is economically dependent upon to keep its modern industries a humming.

The United States has put in place a quisling regime that it wants to send to OPEC, to manipulate OPEC to the advantage of American capitalists to the disadvantages of its economic rivalries, not just the European Union, but Japan and South Korea as well.  

In fact, the U.S. initiated, and "led," NATO wars in the Balkans – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo – were directly related to the threat the U.S. perceived regarding the Germans and the French plans to reconstitute a military presence, a common European army.  The technological and economic superiority of the economies of Northern Europe in comparison to the United States, is capable of providing a superior military power as well.

Clinton's use of U.S. military policy in world politics to deflect the nation's attention away from the scene of Monica Lewinsky under the Oval Office desk does not explain why the Republicans voted for Clinton's overall war policies in Iraq and the Balkans. The truth of the matter is that both Democrats and Republicans have a common class interest and a common world-view and foreign policy.

Schroeder, Putin, and Chirac are no more morally opposed to killing people when it furthers their respective national class interests than is Thatcher, Clinton, Blair and Bush.  Neither is Hans Blix.

In the interview published today in the Athens daily Kathimerini, Blix said "In Iraq, there was no sign of an immediate threat" from weapons of mass destruction. "What worries me," said Blix, "is the questionable honesty of a government that publicly presents certain arguments, but privately has different thoughts."

So what does that mean?  That it would have been okay for the British and American imperialists to invade and occupy Iraq, had Blair and Bush "fessed-up" to their real motives?  But the posing of the issue of Iraqi WMDs was not just a lie. It was a lie which provokes fear in imperialist United States and such nations of Western Europe as well.  A fear shared by Blix.

The premise the United States and European governments operate from is that only White, European countries such as the United States, England, France, Israel and apartheid South Africa could be trusted to manufacture and possess nuclear, chemical and biological "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION."

When any 3rd world country not just possess but produce such weapons they are considered "dangerous," especially nations which U.S. imperialism cannot bully and dominate – China, Korea, Iran, Iraq.  Yet it was the U.S. that used biological weapons against the indigenous Americans (small pox, etc.), nuclear weapons against the Japanese, and chemical agents against the Vietnamese.

What Blix is saying is that it would have been okay for Britain and the United States to invade and destroy Iraq IF the Iraqi rulers did in fact manufacture and possess WMDs, but that since they didn't have that capacity it was not okay.

Yet, even if we were to accept the premise that "sand Niggers" (Saddam, Qua'daffi, etc.) ought not be allowed such dangerous weapons, logically, the follow-up question should have been asked: Since the Iraqis had no so-called weapons of mass destruction and posed no "immediate threat," then why has the United Nations, with European Union complicit involvement, imposed 12 years of monstrous economic sanctions on that small Muslim Arab country?

It is not to be forgotten that it was the UN weapons inspection "regime" (UNSCUM, etc.) that has provided political justification for the United States and its British Bulldog lackey to engage in bombings over the last twelve years. These bombings occurred whenever U.S. domestic politics needed an external "evil" to fight, to deflect gullible Americans attention from domestic problems, e.g., Clinton when he got caught with his pants down.

The Cold War is over and Russia is hungry for Western capital investments. This has given the U.S. temporary economic and even military hegemony over the world, which it exercises with reckless abandon.  But, as its technological and economic hegemony is being challenged by the European Union and Japan and South Korea, U.S. imperialism is forced to rely on its military options, including nuclear blackmail and armed invasions.

Meanwhile, three more U.S. Soldiers were killed in an Iraqi resistance assault and a U.S. installed quisling – Aquila al-Hashimi, one of three women selected by the U.S. occupation forces appointed to the 25-member quisling Governing Council, – was shot and wounded in a separate operation. By shooting this lackey, the Iraqi resistance is signaling that collaborators will not be tolerated.

What does the world expect?  The United States, which had forced the world to place deadly sanctions on Iraq for 12 years, and bombing that country whenever and wherever they pleased, reeking death, devastation and hardship on an entire people, has the stupidity that comes from arrogance, to place a quisling regime in front of their military occupation and call those quislings the "Iraqi Governing Council!"

Douglas Brand, a British imperialist with "experience" in occupying a hostile country, the British troops in Ireland, is now in Iraq training Iraqi police to kill Iraqis. He is now also heading up an "investigation" of the shooting of the quisling, and appealing to Iraqis to come forward with any information.

The representative of the British government, which together with the U.S. government ordered their respective armies to bomb, kill, and destroy from the safety of high flights and from distant warships, under cover of night darkness, had the gall to say of the courageous Iraqi resistance daylight operation, that wounded the lackey, the U.S. installed quisling, Aquila al-Hashimi, that:

This was a cowardly attack. She has undergone two operations. She remains in critical but stable condition at the hospital. Anybody who has any further information to offer us, to help us in the investigation, to hunt down those who committed this crime, we ask them to contact the Iraqi police service locally or the coalition forces.

Yeah, right.  The Brits can expect no more help from the Iraqis in their bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq, than they did from the Irish in their bloody occupation of Ireland.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow was in Baghdad smacking his lips, drooling at the mouth in anticipation of the lucrative kickbacks he expects at some point. He declared his plan to open all sectors of the economy to foreign investment — except oil.  This is selling off Iraqi national treasures and the labour power of the Iraqi proletariat ostensibly "to revive an economy shattered by years of armed conflict, mismanagement, and international sanctions." 

John Snow said the plan offered "real promise" of economic revival but cautioned that the resistance must be suppressed for "security in a country still facing daily violence." "Security" is the new word in Newspeak. Yesterday, the bloody invasion and ruthless occupation of Iraq was called "Liberation" (Doublethink!) and today brutal suppression, curfew, and violation of the Iraqi people by foreign occupation forces is called bringing "security" to that ancient civilized people. Double, double think on that one!

The reality on the ground is that the resistance is picking up as Iraqis see that the U.S. forces on the ground aint shit, not invincible.

Thus in an attempt to free Iraqi captives from U.S. custody, according to a military report two soldiers from the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade were killed when mortars struck a U.S. base at the Abu Ghraib prison on the western outskirts of Baghdad about 10 p.m. Saturday. Thirteen other soldiers were wounded in the attack.  No captive Iraqis were hit or wounded.

Shortly before the Abu Ghraib shelling, a soldier from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee outside Ramadi, about 60 miles west of the capital, the military said.

The head quisling, Ahmad Chalabi, the president of the so-called "Governing Council," without even a blush of shame blamed the guerrilla-style insurgency on "Saddam loyalists"!  But, this quisling has to say this, for to acknowledge that the resistance is by the Iraqi people themselves, on their own accord, getting even for the 12 years sanctions and repeated bombings, and to drive the U.S.-led forces from their country would be to acknowledge at the same time that they are lackeys, quislings.

[Vidkun Quisling —  from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonsson Quisling (July 18, 1887 - October 24, 1945) — was a Norwegian nationalist leader and Nazi collaborator who was tried for treason and executed by firing squad after World War II.]

Al-Hashimi had been preparing to leave for a key UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Tuesday, during which the quisling regime is expected to lobby to represent Iraq in the international bourgeois den of thieves, the UN.

Despite the impressive resistance to and guerrilla war against the U.S. and British occupation, and now continued operations against members of the quisling "Governing Council," the bourgeois lackey, Kamil Mubdir al-Gailani, acting as if he were the Iraqi Finance Minister, unveiled a plan in Dubai, where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are holding their annual meetings promising to open the Iraqi economy to foreign investments.

Under the plan, foreign banks will be allowed to enter Iraq, with some restrictions, and foreigners will be permitted to lease property for up to 40 years at a time. Al-Gailani also announced a 15 percent maximum tax rate for individuals and corporations starting Jan. 1 and a 5 percent reconstruction surcharge on all imports except for humanitarian goods. The British and the Americans destroyed Iraq, and the Iraqis are being taxed by the quisling regime to pay U.S. corporations to "rebuild" their torn country.

As choreographed, U.S. Treasury Secretary Snow applauded Al-Gailani's blueprint as "policies that make sense . . . that offer real promise," but acknowledged that the resistance continues, inviting European Union capitalists to send troops, to safeguard their investments.  This is their plan to get the EU to send troops and funds, but the EU wants to control operations directly through the Den of Thieves, the UN.

We shall see what happens on Tuesday. If the Germans and French bourgeois governments don't accept Bush's scheduled speech proposals, it will not be because they suddenly had a human conscience regarding the Iraqi people, whose oppression by the UN they supported for twelve long, devastating years. Rather it will be because they want a better deal —  that is, to remove U.S. control of the Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil fields.

Joe_Radical@earthlink.net written Sunday, September 21,2003

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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Sex at the Margins

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By Laura María Agustín

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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