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 BlogviewJames Petras Archive
Foreign Policy

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The US empire spans the globe; it expands and contracts, according to its ability to secure strategic assets, willing and able to further military and economic power to counter emerging adversaries. The map of empire is a shorthand measure of the vectors, reach and durability of global power and wealth. The map of empire is... Read More
Introduction The Trump regime proclaimed that the vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations regarding the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a strategic US decision. Both President Trump and his bombastic UN Ambassador Nikki Haley threatened that all decisions and agreements regarding alliances, loans, aid and diplomatic relations were... Read More
Introduction Clearly the pendulum has swung to the right in the past few years. Numerous questions arise. What kind of right? How far right? How did they gain power? What is their appeal? How sustainable are the right wing regimes? Who are their international allies and adversaries? Having taken power, how have the rightist regimes... Read More
Introduction For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation. The criteria for determining an... Read More
Introduction Saudi Arabia has built a powerful network of regional and local political, military and economic relationships incorporating a shared extremist-religious affiliation. As a result, despite its reputation as a backward despotic clerico-monarchy with an extreme dependency on oil sales, it has become a deadly political force in the Middle East and beyond. To understand... Read More
The US selection of leaders has virtually nothing to do with democratic processes and outcomes. It is useful to contrast this with the process in China. In most instances, China’s selection of leaders is far more meritocratic, successful and performance-based. In both the US and China, the process lacks transparency. US Economic, Political and Cultural... Read More
Can Generals James Mattis (US Secretary of Defense) and John Hyten (Head of US Strategic Command) Prevent a Disaster?
Introduction Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations are leading President Trump, like a puppy on a leash, into a major war with Iran. The hysterical ’52 Presidents’ and ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu are busy manufacturing Holocaust-level predictions that a non-nuclear Iran is preparing to ‘vaporize’ Israel, the most... Read More
Weapons for Empire Building or National Liberation?
Introduction Since World War II most of the world’s conflicts have revolved around struggles for independence against Western and Japanese colonial/imperial regimes Following formal independence, a new type of imperial domination was imposed – neo-colonial regimes, in which the US and its European allies imposed vassal rulers acting as proxies for economic exploitation. With the... Read More
Erdogan’s Turkey and Seven Deadly Sins
Introduction Multiple wars ravage the Middle East. Turkey has inserted itself into the middle of most of these regional conflicts and ended up a loser. Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has intervened and formed alliances with a rogue’s gallery of imperial warlords, terrorists-mercenaries, Zionist expansionists, feudal potentates and obscure tribal chiefs, with disastrous economic,... Read More
Introduction Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ‘the Generals’ to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas. In this paper we will discuss... Read More
Washington and Brussels’ response to foreign affairs challenges, as they face their own political and economic disasters and decline, has been to impose economic sanctions, boycotts and issue increasingly reckless military threats against rival nations. The ruling and main opposition parties in the US and EU have taken over the major media, turning ‘news programs’... Read More
Introduction Many experts and commentators describe the political process in Latin America as one of ‘alternating right and left governments’. Journalists focus on the abrupt regime changes from democratic to authoritarian; from neo-liberal to progressive programs; and from oligarchs to populists. The financial media present the ‘right’s’ socially regressive policies and strategies as ‘reforms’, a... Read More
Introduction US policy in the Middle East and South Asia is shaped by several basic considerations: 1) US Imperialism is the force of global domination 2) US imperial policy in the Middle East focuses on encircling, destroying and dismantling Iran’s allies (Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shi’a Militia), Qatar and Yemen with the intent of overthrowing... Read More
Reversing Five Decades of Working-Class Power
Introduction: Whatever has been written about President Emmanuel Macron by the yellow or the respectable press has been mere trivia or total falsehood. Media lies have a purpose that goes beyond Macron’s election. Throughout Europe and North America, bankers and manufacturers, NATO, militarists and EU oligarchs, media moguls and verbal assassins, academics and journalists, all... Read More
Introduction Over the past two decades Washington has pursued the age-old imperial strategy of divide and conquer throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and East Africa. Unable to dominate and dictate national policy of the nation-states, Washington has worked to break-up central governments and sub-divide them into ethno-mini-states amenable as imperial rule. Washington’s strategy of... Read More
Introduction: Every day in unimaginable ways, prominent leaders from the left and the right, from bankers to Parisian intellectuals, are fabricating stories and pushing slogans that denigrate presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.… They obfuscate her program, substituting the label ‘extremist’ for her pro-working class and anti-imperialist commitment. Fear and envy over the fact that a... Read More
Introduction: US Empire building on a world-scale began during and shortly after WWII. Washington intervened directly in the Chinese civil war (providing arms to Chiang Kai Shek’s army while the Red Army battled the Japanese), backed France’s re-colonization war against the Viet Minh in Indo-China and installed Japanese imperial collaborator-puppet regimes in South Korea, Taiwan... Read More
Introduction Every day and throughout the world we read and hear of turmoil, of threats, violence, divisions, wars for peace and peace for wars, freedom as oppression and oppression as freedom. In a world where words have lost their meanings and meanings have no words, how do we go about understanding turmoil? Surely, economies rise... Read More
Introduction: From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse. They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to... Read More
Latin America, the Middle East and Ukraine
Introduction: Over thirty year ago a savvy Colombian peasant leader told me, “Whenever I read the word ‘peace accords’ I hear the government sharpening its knives”. In recent times, ‘peace accords’ (PAs) have become a common refrain across the world. In almost every region or country, which are in the midst of war or invasion,... Read More
From Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump
Introduction: US militarism expanded exponentially through the first two decades of the Twenty-First Century, and was embraced by both Democratic and Republican Presidents. The mass media’s hysteria towards President Trump’s increase in military spending deliberately ignores the vast expansion of militarism, in all its facets, under President Obama and his two predecessors, Presidents ‘Bill’ Clinton... Read More
Introduction By the end of the first month of President Trump’s Administration we are in a better position to evaluate the policies and direction of the new President. An examination of foreign and domestic policy, particularly from a historical and comparative perspective will provide insights about whether America is heading for a catastrophe as the... Read More
Introduction President Trump is deeply embedded in the politics of the deep state structure of American imperialism. Contrary to occasional references to non-intervention in overseas wars, Trump has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors. While neoconservatives and liberals have raised a hue and cry about Trump’s ties to Russia, his ‘heresies’ over NATO and... Read More
Introduction: The malady, common among political leaders who commit heartless crimes while craving popular adulation as heroes and misunderstood saints, is ‘Political Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy’ (PMSP). PMSP best explains the pathologic drive of politicians and policy makers who inflict relentless, systematic mass destruction and then intervene in a most theatrical manner to save a... Read More
Introduction The global growth and survival of ISIS, in the face of opposition by governments, armies, intelligence agencies and police forces from nearly a hundred countries, requires analysis. We understand ‘ISIS’ as the organized, militant, violent Salafist movement sometimes funded by the royal family of Saudi Arabia. The Opposition Those generally opposed to ISIS, in... Read More
The events leading to the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey has a long and torturous trail. The beginning and end are found in President Obama’s attempt to militarily encircle and discredit Russia through massive propaganda and sanctions. Obama built military bases on Russia’s borders; organized a putsch in the Ukraine; launched violent attacks... Read More
Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff CC BY 3.0 br
Brazil under Lula Da Silva 2003-2010
Introduction: Leftwing academics, writers and journalists have written tendentious articles where they manage to transform reactionary political leaders into working class heroes and present their dreadful policies as progressive advances. Recently, leftist pundits throughout US and Latin America have plagued the reading public with gross distortions of historical events contributing, in their own way, to... Read More
Introduction Castigating the US electorate as accomplices and facilitators of wars, or at best describing it as ignorant sheep herded by political elites, speaks only to a partial reality; in public opinion polls, even in ones weighted overwhelmingly to the center-right, the American people consistently opposse militarism and wars, past and present. The right and... Read More
Without resorting too much to the wisdom of the ancient Greek myths, we have come to believe that states, regimes, movements and people finally will emerge to act as the inescapable agents of the justice leading to the downfall of the Western empire ‘Nemesis, Winged balancer of life, dark-faced goddess, daughter of Justice’ Introduction Seven... Read More
Pre-mature Political and Military Ejaculations
Introduction: Wall Street and the Pentagon greeted the onset of 2016 as a ‘banner year’, a glorious turning point in the quest for malleable regimes willing to sell-off the most lucrative economic resources, to sign off on onerous new debt to Wall Street and to grant use of their strategic military bases to the Pentagon.... Read More
Introduction: In 2012 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter launched a new chapter in their quest for global dominance: a realignment of policies designed to shift priorities from the Middle East to Asia. Dubbed the ‘Pivot to Asia’, it suggested that the US would concentrate its economic, military and... Read More
<Introduction: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office through a well-organized, carefully planned operation among the corrupt Brazilian political elite, closely linked to the stock-market, financial institutions and foreign energy companies. This ‘legislative coup d’état ‘eliminated the democratically-elected ‘political intermediaries’ and installed a regime directly controlled by the CEO’s of leading multi-nationals. The corporate... Read More
The US representative to the United Nations, Ambassador ‘Ranting Sam’ Samantha Power, accused the Russian and Syrian governments of ‘barbarism’, claiming Moscow or Damascus had attacked an unarmed United Nations humanitarian convoy delivering aid to civilians in Aleppo. Introduction The US representative to the United Nations, Ambassador ‘Ranting Sam’ Samantha Power, accused the Russian and... Read More
Introduction: Washington’s quest for perpetual world power is underwritten by systematic and perpetual propaganda wars. Every major and minor war has been preceded, accompanied and followed by unremitting government propaganda designed to secure public approval, exploit victims, slander critics, dehumanize targeted adversaries and justify its allies’ collaboration. In this paper we will discuss the most... Read More
Introduction: Bombs, domestic and foreign, are defining the nature of politics in the United States, the European Union and among radical Islamist groups and individuals. The scale and scope of bomb-politics varies with the practioner. ‘Wholesale bombers’ are state actors, who engage in large-scale, long-term bombing designed to destroy adversary governments or movements. ‘Retail bombers’... Read More
US empire building depends on regional regimes’ support, especially in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. These proxy regimes fulfill valuable military roles securing control over neighboring regions, populations and territory. In recent times, however, we witness the same proxies developing their own tendency toward expansionist policies - in pursuit of their own mini-empires.... Read More
Introduction: The Financial Times editorial page carries a logo that proclaims: “Without fear and without favour”. Indeed the editors have shown no fear when it comes to. . . fabricating lies, promoting imperial wars decimating countries and impoverishing millions, whether in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and now Venezuela. The fearless “Lies of Our Times”... Read More
Introduction: For the past decade, the US intelligence agencies operating in Turkey have worked closely with the increasingly influential parallel government of Fethullah Gulen. Their approach to power was, until recently, a permeationist strategy, of covertly taking over political, economic, administrative, judicial, media, military and cultural positions gradually without resort to elections or military coups.... Read More
Introduction The coup in Turkey was made to order. A group of military officers and police officials were set-up to seize power by senior intelligence operatives in the Erdoğan regime. They were allowed to drop a few bombs, seize bridges and buildings before they were encircled, rounded-up and arrested using a list of targets for... Read More
Introduction: The European Union is controlled by an oligarchy, which dictates socio-economic and political decisions according to the interests of bankers and multi-national business. The central organs of power, the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have systematically imposed austerity programs that have degraded working conditions, welfare... Read More
Introduction: Amid raging corruption, social pathologies and outright political thuggery, a new gang of vassal regimes has taken-over Latin America. The new rulers are strictly recruited as the protégé’s of US financial and banking institutions. Hence the financial press refers to them as the “new managers” - of Wall Street. The US financial media has... Read More
Sergey Kohl /
Introduction: Over the past fifty plus years, over 125 mass shootings/massacres have occurred within the United States but not one perpetrator has been identified as a trained member of an international Islamist terrorist organization. A review of the massacres will shed considerable light on the political, cultural and socio-psychological features of US society. The frequent... Read More
a katz /
Introduction During her 4 years as Secretary of State of the United States (2009- 2014), Hillary Clinton controlled US foreign policy. She had access to the most confidential information and state documents, numbering in the tens of thousands, from all of the major government departments and agencies, Intelligence, FBI, the Pentagon, Treasury and the office... Read More
Introduction: What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?... Read More
The Sun Never Sets but the Mote remains in the Emperor’s Eye
Post-colonial empires are complex organizations. They are organized on a multi-tiered basis, ranging from relative autonomous national and regional allies to subservient vassal states, with variations in between. In the contemporary period, the idea of empire does not operate as a stable global structure, though it may aspire and strive for such. While the US... Read More
Introduction: President Obama is racing forward to establish his imperial legacy throughout Russia, Asia and Latin America. In the last two years he has accelerated the buildup of his military nuclear arsenal on the frontiers of Russia. The Pentagon has designed a high tech anti-missile system to undermine Russian defenses. In Latin America, Obama has... Read More
Introduction: The terror bombings in Paris and Brussels have raised a cacophony of voices, ranging from state officials, Prime Ministers and Presidents, to academics, journalists and media consultants. Tons of ink and print have focused on the psychology, networks and operations of the alleged perpetrators - radicalized young Muslim citizens of the EU. Few have... Read More
The role of the class struggle has been the most slighted dynamic dimension of Latin American development. The most influential writers have at best paid passing reference to the class struggle in discussing the capital accumulation process, while the high priests of underdevelopment, dependency and world systems have relegated it to the status of a... Read More
Introduction: The class struggle from above found its most intense , comprehensive and retrograde expression in Argentina, with the election of Mauricio Macri (December 2015). During the first two months in office, through the arbitrary assumption of emergency powers, he reversed, by decree, a multitude of progressive socio-economic policies passed over the previous decade and... Read More
thomas koch /
What Makes Recep Run? The Making of a Modern Pasha Erdogan began his ascent to power as a social reformer in opposition to the power elite; he was a rabble-rouser for popular Islam and social welfare. Once he takes political power he enriches his family and the business elite and purges adversaries and rivals. With... Read More
James Petras
About James Petras

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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