Neo-Imperialism, Part 2
No More Big Brother Policeman of the World, but a Truly United Family of Nations
Of course it is a good thing to advocate freedom and democracy and fight and prevent despotic, dictatorial, totalitarian rule. However, just as a federal or national government overlooks and protect its states or provinces, so should the United Nations overlook and protect the nations of the world.
A truly United Nations should consist of equal sovereign nations of this world cooperating and collaborating to look after one another, share with one another, and protect one another, as good neighbors should do, and they should do so by consensus and agreement by the overwhelming majority rule – with no "veto" power by any single nation – so that no single nation or small coalition of nations can overrule all others. For as it is, the United Nations is not really what its name implies.
As it is, and as it has been, the United Nations has little power to prevent or stop war or oppression, or even genocide. Just ask the people of El Salvador and other countries in South America who have suffered (particularly in the 1980s). Ask the people of East Timor or Darfur or Myannmar (Burma). Ask the Palestinians. Ask the Afghans, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Sudanese. Ask any of the people in countries where people are oppressed and persecuted by theocratic and/or despotic regimes.
See, Americans would like to think that authoritarian Muslim-Arab states and organizations are the only offenders. However, the U.S. is also guilty, like England and certain other European nations. And Israel has been able to get away with violating international laws and U.N. resolutions with impunity, particularly the U.N. Security Council resolutions 446, 452, 465 and 471, made under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. Israel has also been able to ignore the International Court of Justice, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and world opinion. But the U.N. has been unable to enforce the laws and resolutions, which is why Israel has been able to continue abusing its power.
The powerlessness of the U.N. is also why the U.S. Government has been able to do what it has been doing in the world under the rule of presidents who favored military and/or industrial interests over the will of the United Nations.
For example, even though the efforts of President Jimmy Carter had significantly lessened the tensions of the Cold War with Russia, the Reaganites heated things up again in the 1980s to justify an even greater military buildup than Carter had initiated.
The Reaganites, serving in the interests of American international corporations that had stakes in foreign countries, continued and expanded financial support. And when that wasn’t enough, the U.S. rationale justified resorting to covert military operations and even direct military intervention when "necessary."
What most Americans have not known, though, is that during the Reagan presidency the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) was established. It is a secret, covert organization with the mission of removing (assassinating) supposed "enemies of the U.S." It is independent of the normal chain of command, reporting only to the vice president or president. The Congress has no oversight of it, nor do the Joint Chiefs of the military or the Secretary of Defense.
Thus the Reaganites didn’t merely perpetuate American Neo-Imperialism. They expanded it, making it more covertly forceful, all in order to serve certain American individuals and corporations. And, while the U.S. preferred to do all this without appearing as a bully, it was not above sending in the covert operatives or overt military troops when all else failed.
During the eight years under President Bill Clinton, however, the U.S. started to change, because even though he did approve strategic military air strikes, such as the strikes against the Serbs and and against al Queda in Afghanistan, he did not use U.S. Military might to protect any American-supported foreign dictators or American economic interests in foreign countries.
Clinton deserves credit for being the first American president to accomplish that since 1945, establishing a precedent that should have been followed, but was not. Bush instead practiced the ways of offensive war, as has Obama as he has continued Bush's policies regarding wars.
That has been very harmful to America’s reputation, so we must be honest. Americans can no longer deny or ignore the facts, and there are many more.
Another one has to do with the notorious School of the Americas, a military school located at Fort Benning, Georgia, renamed "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation."It was used especially during the Reagan era, and it has trained more than 61,000 pro-American leaders, soldiers and policemen from Central and South American, ostensibly to provide training for anti-communist and anti-insurgency operations.
However, its main purpose is to serve American strategic and industrial interests, and the interests of pro-American regimes installed and/or supported by the U.S. military and CIA. And, the U.S. government has typically not minded if their support was for a cruel dictator or not. The important thing seemed to be to establish easy access for American industrial giants to extract natural resources, and for the U.S. Military to benefit from strategic bases of operation.
Many graduates of the school became notorious for human rights violations in Panama, Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico. And during the 1980s some of the leaders of the covert "death squads" in El Salvador had been trained there. That is why Americans should close it for good, because training by the U.S. CIA and military has contributed to more than enough human rights violations by its graduates.
In fact, most U.S. foreign policies should be analyzed and reformed, because too many U.S. actions in too many foreign countries were and still are driven by self-interest, and often even by greed.
Now it is time that Americans learn and acknowledge that the United States was instrumental in creating and/or allowing such terrible conditions for the people in certain countries that they were driven to violent revolution to overthrow regimes supported by the U.S. And, unfortunately, while the result of revolution has occasionally been an improvement, it has often made things even worse when the wrong people took power after the revolution.
In fact, it could be said that most of the more recent trouble and strife in many countries can be directly attributable to conditions that were created under American imperialism or neo-imperialism, if not under European imperialism and colonialism.
That is part of the reason why there are many people in the world who don’t like the United States. It’s why so many people all over the world know or at least suspected George W. Bush for attacking and occupying Iraq because of its huge oil reserves. He did indeed, and even people like the economist Milton Freedman have said as much. So, while America can and should be proud of much of what it has done, it would be healthy to admit its mistakes and express some shame and sorrow for the bad things its government has done. It is a sign of a mature and noble nation to admit mistakes, apologize for them, and make amends.
Of course, as such villains go, America has certainly and obviously not been the worst, and most people would probably say that other nations have been worse in the past. Just look at the horribly brutal and cruel imperialist history of the British in Ireland and Scotland, then in America, India, Palestine, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Honduras, and other places. Look at the history of the French, particularly in "Indo-China," Vietnam, Cambodia, Haiti and Africa. Look at the history of the Belgians, particularly in the Congo and Ruanda. Look at the history of the Spanish in Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, Central America, and South America.
In fact, all imperialist conquerors and colonists have done much the same thing all over the world. And it could be said that many have been worse than the United States in terms of imperialistic wrongdoings — although that is debatable if we also consider the things already mentioned along with the U.S. Government’s treatment of indigenous Native Americans for the last several hundred years. It depends on one's point of view.
Fortunately, many of us know all this, and most of humanity is realizing just how wrong all that was and is. We are evolving, and our knowledge is expanding. Most of us have realized that imperialism and colonialism resulted in terrible violations of human rights, and in terrible offenses, injustices, crimes, and atrocities — most of which were motivated by sheer greed, arrogance, bigotry, racism, nationalism, and ethnocentrism. We realize that the legacy and consequence of that arrogance, imposition and exploitation is a large part of the reason why the world is as it is now.
All this is important and relevant right now, because some Americans still do not realize how American is seen in the eyes of many people all over the world, and certain Americans don't realize why right-wing conservative Americans are seen as arrogant, self-righteous imperialists by much of the world community.
That’s why in 2008 polls showed that most people in the world wanted Barack Obama to win the presidency (because they thought he would stop the wars). The vast majority of people in the world view the right-wing Neo-Conservative Republicans in the U.S. as shameful failures who were and are far too greedy, corrupt, self-righteous, and even arrogant.
It’s also clear that the Bushite-Reaganites abused their power and ignored the human rights and civil liberties of those they suspected of standing in their way, which was clear in their accusing Democrats of being "unpatriotic," and in all their "security" policies, from the U.S. "Patriot Act" to the treatment of prisoners in the prisons in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and other places not so well known -- something that Barack Obama has not stopped either.
Of course, the Republican Neo-Conservatives claim to have the best of intentions, and they may even believe that. But, when you examine their plan, their actions, and the impact of their actions, that claim does not ring true.
Their plans and actions have proven that they want to be in a position to use American financial and military power to influence and even dictate what happens in the whole world, particularly in the oil-rich Mid-East, and even in the Caspian Sea region, which has the potential of becoming one of the world’s major oil and natural gas sources. And that, by the way, was one of the main causes of the conflict between Georgia, Russia and the United States.
That is further confirmed in another right-wing document titled Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century. It describes how America is facing the biggest energy crisis in its history. Long before Bush started to beat his war drum against Iraq this document described how Saddam Hussein must be "targeted as a threat to American interests" because of his control of Iraqi oil fields, and how the use of "military intervention" should be used as a means to fix the U.S. energy crisis. The report was championed by Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2001, five months before the September 11 terrorist attack, which shows that Bush’s policy of using military force against Iraq was planned long before he claimed, and was designed to gain access to and control Middle Eastern oil fields.
That’s why Bush’s steadfast denials about it were so disingenuous and even dishonest and hypocritical. Bush and Cheney clearly served the interests of U.S. oil companies. That was confirmed when Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, was given the green light for repair, maintenance and operations of the oil fields in "post-war" Iraq. In fact, according to documents discovered in August 2003, Halliburton won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom, and stood to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were up to no good not only in other countries, but inside the U.S. against American citizens. And that's not just talking about the illegal wiretapping, but something much worse. Seymour Hersh has written that V.P. Dick Cheney was running an "executive assassination ring" directly under his control and outside of the normal chain of command, utilizing the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Hersh reports that: "It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, … Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the Ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving."
Of course, the American corporate network commercial television networks do not report things like that. That’s why things haven’t changed much in that regard. But it's also because President Obama buys into Reaganism and the Nixonian and Reaganite idea that government secrets and covert "black ops" are necessary, and that almighty police and military forces are the only way to establish law and order in the country and in the world.
The problem is that the Reaganite ideology ignores a very important fact: Good leadership recognizes that even more important than strong police and military forces is to establish fairness, equity and justice for all -- treating all peoples and all nations as we would want to be treated if we were them --- which is crucial in establishing peace and tranquility in the nation, and in the world.
Reaganism tends to ignore that fact, and the hegemonist Reaganite world view is that the U.S. Military must be the Policeman of the world, at any cost, which is why Reagan’s 1986 budget included $553 Billion for the military. In contrast, Bill Clinton's last budget called for $371 Billion for military. But then George W. Bush's last military budget was $771 Billion. And now, even though Americans elected Barack Obama because he promised change, his defense budget for this year calls for spending $813 Billion on the military.
It is self-defeating, self-destructive, vain folly to assume that military might will "win" a lasting peace. Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword, and war leads to another, sooner or later.
So, we the people of the world, must change that. But we have a lot of work to do to come together and become the truly united states, and the united family of humanity. And the first step is to recognize, stop and prevent any and all forms of imperialism, colonialism, and foreign control of any country.
That would mean, for example, recognizing that the best way to defeat hypocritical, tyrannical, murderous terrorist who claim to be Muslims is to turn the tables on them. Use the overwhelming truth in the Qur’an to expose their hypocrisy.
It would mean getting Israeli troops out of all Palestinian areas and ensuring that the Palestinians finally have at least part of their home land back (see the page on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict).
It would mean getting all foreign military forces out of all countries where they don’t really belong, including U.S. forces.
It would mean strengthening the United Nations so that it truly serves the best interests of all the people of the world, and so U.N. peace-keeping forces can deal effectively with outlaw groups, terrorist groups, and rogue nations and regimes. And, in order to do that, military bases now occupied by one occupying foreign power could be instead used by U.N. peace-keeping forces.
The only way we can progress forward will be through a revived and empowered United Nations. It should be a new and improved U.N., truly representative of all the nations of the world, governed by an executive council freely chosen by equal U.N. representatives of each nation. No individual person would have sovereign executive power. Power would be shared by a representative international executive council, and the security council, which would ensure the equal rights of each nation and of all people in the world. There could be an effective legislative and policy-making body, and a strong law enforcement and peace-keeping force, which would not only lay down international laws and enforce them, but also keep the peace.
This is absolute necessary to establish real equality and equal rights for all nations, and also to ensure that we, the people of the world, have the ability and the power to protect people and rescue people who are being oppressed or persecuted, whether it be by their own government, by an internal group, by an occupying foreign force, or by a puppet government supported by a foreign government. We must look out for our own, and "our own" must become each and every one of our fellow human beings on the face of the earth. We are all members of one family of humanity, and we must act like it.
While the U.S. has a right to maintain a strong military so that it can protect itself, it should stop trying to play Big Brother and Policeman of the world. America should simply be the most generous member of a revived and reformed United Nations Peace Keeping Force, cooperating, collaborating and working in concert with all other nations of the world to keep all human being safe and free.
That is crucial, because the Reaganite-Bushite plan for global military industrial dominance has caused horrible repercussions, and Obama has not repudiated it. But Americans must repudiate it, and stop it. Americans must now face the reasons why so many people in America and in other countries hate the U.S. Government. They have good reason, and Americans must face that fact, and make amends.Therefore, since in many respects the U.S. is influential all over the world, it is time for Americans to acknowledge that Article I of the U.S. Constitution endows Congress with exclusive authority to commence war. That was because the Founding Fathers did not want to give any president the authority and power to initiate or commence war.
James Madison, a principle author of the Constitution, wrote to Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, saying: "The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature."
The Founding Fathers understood that a president could be inclined to concoct excuses for war, and there have been several presidents who have done so (Bush among them). And there have also been many covert "wars" and covert military actions and "special operations" in foreign countries launched by presidents, without prior approval from Congress, in violation of the Constitution.
Prior to becoming President, Barack Obama said that wars initiated by a president are illegal and unconstitutional. Being a scholarly expert on the Constitution, he knows that. And yet, because Republican presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush set dangerous precedents ignoring the Constitution regarding presidential power, it has made it much more tempting, and easy, to do the same.
We need to fix that.
As mentioned above, President Eisenhower warned against the growing power of the Military-Industrial Complex when he left office. But, Eisenhower’s warning was not heeded. In fact, it not only grew and became more corrupt, it has became the Religious-Military-Industrial Complex since 1981, and even more so since 2000.
However, it is religious in name only, and it has not served God or humanity. It has served Mammon and the wealthiest few Americans, and thus it has proven fatal to truly democratic, representative government.
Remember this: While there have been just wars, such as the The Second World War, there is no such thing as a holy war. For the "weapons" of God’s true servants are not carnal, or lethal. They are divinely inspired words of truth. And the truth about imperialistic militarism is that it is always fueled by propaganda about an evil enemy to stoke the fires of militancy and aggression.
However, even though we should practice the ways of peace rather than the ways of war, war is sometimes needed, even though it is an atrocious last resort. But we should keep in mind that it is through religious and military indoctrination justified by a religious doctrine of preeminence and superiority that fascist states come into being, and their military empires are forged and expanded by the fire of war and force of arms.
The reality is that the U.S. Religious-Military-Industrial Complex has grown fat and rich, and it has been plunging down a slippery slope by militarizing the culture of our nation to prepare for endless war. It has conditioned Americans to think of the U.S. as a beacon of light and the global force for good, God, and morality. But while there is some truth to that, and while most people in the military industrial complex are good people or at least think they are doing the right thing, it is in part propaganda and a smokescreen to hide some very scandalous facts.
Americans need to realize that the U.S.A. cannot perpetuate the Reagan myth that America has nothing to be ashamed of, nor can it perpetuate the polarizing, arrogant Bush doctrine that “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Not true. Nations need not agree. But they do need to act in concert when there is very clear and urgent need to protect people from being oppressed, persecuted, exploited, dislocated, injured and killed.
The U.S. is not the ruler of the world, but the perception of some people in the world is that it wants and tries to be the world's "Policeman." In fact, the reason Vladimir Putin of Russia is so successful in re-establishing such strong nationalism in his country is in reaction to the words and actions of American presidents, and to blatant American hegemony and dominionism.
Russia in the Putin era is, in part, driven by a nostalgic desire of many Russians for a dominant empire. But it is also reaction to the "Christian" Dominionism that became aggressive and offensive during the Bush Regime with "preemptive" war, etc.
Additionally, growing numbers of Americans and most other people in the world are well aware of the sins of the U.S. Government and its military, and we realize that we must become as a family of equal nations and religions and races and cultures if we are to put an end to conflicts and hostilities and save the world from utter destruction. (However, that is not to say that Russian hegemony would stop if America were to reform itself, and the U.N. or N.A.T.O. may have deal with Russia if it pursues its ways, but there is a lot to be said for the U.S. leading by good example.)
We should keep in mind that two wrongs don't make a right. Smugness is ugly. Violence is not the answer, nor is taking the law into your own hands. Only truth can prevail, and only good can overcome evil. And lasting peace cannot and will not be "won" by waging war -- especially not today or in the future. We will have lasting peace only when truth overcomes falsehood, when love overcomes hate, and when good overcomes evil that masquerades as good. And we will have lasting peace only when nations confess our offenses, make amends, reconcile our differences, and actually make peace.