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 TeasersJames Petras Blogview

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Introduction

Few, if any, believe what they hear and read from leaders and media publicists. Most people choose to ignore the cacophony of voices, vices and virtues.

This paper provides a set of theses which purports to lay-out the basis for a dialogue between and among those who choose to abstain from elections with the intent to engage them in political struggle.

Thesis 1

US empire builders of all colors and persuasion practice donkey tactics; waving the carrot and wielding the whip to move the target government on the chosen path.

In the same way, Washington offers dubious concessions and threatens reprisals, in order to move them into the imperial orbit.

Washington applied the tactic successfully in several recent encounters. In 2003 the US offered Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi a peaceful accommodation in exchange for disarmament, abandonment of nationalist allies in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, the US with its European allies applied the whip – bombed Libya, financed and armed retrograde tribal and terrorist forces, destroyed the infrastructure, murdered Gaddafi and uprooted millions of Africans and Libyans. . . who fled to Europe. Washington recruited mercenaries for their subsequent war against Syria in order to destroy the nationalist Bashar Assad regime.

Washington succeeded in destroying an adversary but did not establish a puppet regime in the midst of perpetual conflict.

The empire’s carrot weakened its adversary, but the stick failed to recolonize Libya ..Moreover its European allies are obligated to pay the multi-billion Euro cost of absorbing millions of uprooteded immigrants and the ensuing domestic political turmoil.

Thesis 2

Empire builders’ proposal to reconfigure the economy in order to regain imperial supremacy provokes domestic and overseas enemies. President Trump launched a global trade war, replaced political accommodation with economic sanctions against Russia and a domestic protectionist agenda and sharply reduced corporate taxes. He provoked a two-front conflict. Overseas, he provoked opposition from European allies and China, while facing perpetual harassment from domestic free market globalists and Russo-phobic political elites and ideologues.

Two front conflicts are rarely successful. Most successful imperialist conquer adversaries in turn – first one and then the other.

Thesis 3

Leftists frequently reverse course: they are radicals out of office and reactionaries in government, eventually falling between both chairs. We witness the phenomenal collapse of the German Social Democratic Party, the Greek Socialist Party (PASOK), (and its new version Syriza) and the Workers Party in Brazil. Each attracted mass support, won elections, formed alliances with bankers and the business elite – and in the face of their first crises, are abandoned by the populace and the elite.

Shrewd but discredited elites frequently recognize the opportunism of the Left, and in time of distress, have no problem in temporarily putting up with Left rhetoric and reforms as long as their economic interests are not jeopardized. The elite know that the Left signal left and turn right.

Thesis 4

Elections, even ones won by progressives or leftists, frequently become springboards for imperial backed coups. Over the past decade newly elected presidents, who are not aligned with Washington, face congressional and/or judicial impeachment on spurious charges. The elections provide a veneer of legitimacy which a straight-out military-coup lacks.

In Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela, ‘legislatures’ under US tutelage attempted to ouster popular President. They succeeded in the former and failed in the latter.

When electoral machinery fails, the judicial system intervenes to impose restraints on progressives, based on tortuous and convoluted interpretation of the law. Opposition leftists in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador have been hounded by ruling party elites.

Thesis 5

Even crazy leaders speak truth to power. There is no question that President Trump suffers a serious mental disorder, with midnight outbursts and nuclear threats against, any and all, ranging from philanthropic world class sports figures (LeBron James) to NATO respecting EU allies.

Yet in his lunacy, President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times, Washington Post, the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

Thesis 6

When a bark turns into a bite, Trump proves the homely truth that fear invites aggression. Trump has implemented or threatened severe sanctions against the EU, China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and any country that fails to submit to his dictates. At first, it was bombast and bluster which secured concessions.

Concessions were interpreted as weakness and invited greater threats. Disunity of opponents encouraged imperial tacticians to divide and conquer. But by attacking all adversaries simultaneously he undermines that tactic. Threats everywhere limits choices to dangerous options at home and abroad.

Thesis 7

The master meddlers, of all times, into the politics of sovereign states are the Anglo-American empire builders. But what is most revealing is the current ploy of accusing the victims of the crimes that are committed against them.

After the overthrow of the Soviet regime, the US and its European acolytes ‘meddled’ on a world-historic scale, pillaging over two trillion dollars of Soviet wealth and reducing Russian living standards by two thirds and life expectancy to under sixty years – below the level of Bangladesh.

With Russia’s revival under President Putin, Washington financed a large army of self-styled ‘non-governmental organizations’ (NGO) to organize electoral campaigns, recruited moguls in the mass media and directed ethnic uprisings. The Russians are retail meddlers compared to the wholesale multi-billion-dollar US operators.

Moreover, the Israelis have perfected meddling on a grand scale – they intervene successfully in Congress, the White House and the Pentagon. They set the Middle East agenda, budget and priorities, and secure the biggest military handouts on a per-capita basis in US history!

Apparently, some meddlers meddle by invitation and are paid to do it.

Thesis 8

Corruption is endemic in the US where it has legal status and where tens of millions of dollars change hands and buy Congress people, Presidents and judges.

In the US the buyers and brokers are called ‘lobbyists’ – everywhere else they are called fraudsters. Corruption (lobbying) grease the wheels of billion dollars military spending, technological subsidies, tax evading corporations and every facet of government – out in the open, all the time and place of the US regime.

Corruption as lobbying never evokes the least criticism from the mass media.

On the other hand, where corruption takes place under the table in Iran, China and Russia, the media denounce the political elite – even where in China over 2 million officials, high and the low are arrested and jailed.

When corruption is punished in China, the US media claim it is merely a ‘political purge’ even if it directly reduces elite conspicuous consumption.

In other words, imperial corruption defends democratic value; anti-corruption is a hallmark of authoritarian dictatorships.

Thesis 9

 
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Introduction

For decades and longer, the United States and Europe lectured and encouraged countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia to welcome and accept foreign investment as the virtuous path to modernization, growth and prosperity.

With few notable exceptions western leaders and academics promoted unlimited flows of capital (and the outflows of profits). No section of the targeted economies was off-limits – agriculture, mining, manufacturers, utilities, transport and communication were to be ‘modernized’ through US and European ownership and control.

Third World leaders, whether generals, bankers or landowners who abided by the ‘open markets’doctrine and ‘invited’ foreign ownership, were praised, whether they were dictators or elected by hook or crook. Nationalism and nationalists were condemned as restricting the wheels of progress and blocking the March of History.

To be fair, the western regimes encouraged all countries to open their doors to capital flows – but of course only the imperial countries had the capital, technology and political power to do so.

Economists preached the doctrine of specialization in ‘comparative advantage’: the West to invest, profit and dominate markets and the South to accept low wages, junior partnerships and dependent industries.

This system worked very well for the West as long as they were the dominant power and shaped the markets, flows of capital and the terms of exchange.

Nationalist leaders were condemned, sanctioned, ousted and demonized throughout the time of Anglo-American ascendancy.

Through time and efforts, Third World countries followed another path – through revolutions or reforms, through state direction and national entrepreneurs, they invested, innovated, borrowed and transformed their economies. Over time, some like China, began to successfully compete with Western powers for markets, minerals and technology.

Role Reversal: Imperial Washington Denounces China for Colonizing the Economy

As the US Empire failed to out-compete China, not only in overseas markets, but in sectors of the domestic economy, local manufacturers relocated to China and Mexico or went bankrupt or merged or were acquired by foreign capital – notably China.

Nationalism replaced neo-liberalism and globalism among sectors of the ruling class especially among political ideologies grouped around President Trump.

The nationalists forged a national pluto-populist alliance, linking Wall Street, backward sectors of the capitalist class with displaced and under and unemployed workers under the umbrella of ‘protectionist rhetoric’: massive business tax cuts and tariffs, quotas and taxes on European, Asian and North American competitors. Gone were Washington lectures on free markets and the virtues of globalization and multi-lateral trade agreements.

The new protectionism echoed the rhetoric of 18th and 19th century America and the Great Depresion era Smoot-Hawley tariff. Earlier the US claimed tariffs were necessary to protect and foster so-called ‘infant’ industries; twenty-first century protectionism claims it is to protect ‘national security’ from cross oceanic rival (China) and cross border (Canada, Mexico)—-mortal military threats………..

President Trump adopted the ideology of Third World national liberation governments to undermine its—imperial competitors. Washington,s ersatz ‘nationalist’ empire builders were abated by their media allies, who spilled tons of ink attacking ‘imperial’ China’s overseas investments as ‘plundering’ Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Washington projected an image of the US surrounded by enemies everywhere, who were ‘taking advantage’ of their privileged position in order to exploit a ‘weak America’.

President Trump reverted the nationalist slogans of Third World liberation into imperialist calls to “Make Americas Empire Strong” “

Third World nationalism is an ideology to create domestic markets and industries in largely agro-mineral economies, through public-private investment and state ownership, oversight, regulation and subsidies.

Nationalism of declining empires is the ideology of authoritarian militarists and fascist regimes which no longer can compete in the market place.

Imperial countries in decline have several options.

  1. They can adapt to the new realities by upgrading their economies , reducing overseas military commitments, reallocating budgets and investments and educating their labor force to productive activity.
  2. They can form partnerships with emerging competitors via power sharing, innovations, joint ventures and multi-lateral trade agreements.
  3. They can engage in trade wars, overseas military conquests or encircle emerging rivals through sanctions, tariffs and protectionist fiats.

Nostalgia for the past ‘glory’ of unipolarity , economic supremacy and unquestioned ideological superiority, is a formula for losing wars and a Hobbesian world of all against the predator.

Conclusion

In the beginning a nationalist-populist revival can stimulate growth as rivals will appease the aggressor; the imperial classes will prosper through lower taxes; the ‘deplorables’ may glory in the rhetoric of nationalism and expectation of ‘great thing are coming’.

But tax gains mean bigger debts; appeaser nations in the face of permanent losses of vital exports will retaliate .. and succumb to the protectionist contagion. Imperial globalists will turn into nationalists.

Nationalist will replace impotent neo-liberal social democrats. Workers will turn to nationalists to recover their lost workplace and neighborhood solidarity; nationalists will exploit downward mobility and appeal to images of past prosperity.

National plutocrats will turn to authoritarians who speak to popular grievances in order to deflect class antagonism.Nationalists will gain a popular audience in the face of a left that avoids , dismisses or rejects the shared values of local communities. Liberal and progressive support of overseas wars which increase the flow of immigrants , alienates the working and middle class taxpayers

The declining empire will not die early.

The nationalist revival can revive imperial ‘last hurrah! The fear and loathing of being colonized is the driving force for the new imperial revival.The lies and hypocrisy accompanying the older imperial claims of conquest in the name of ‘defending western values’ no long works.

A consequential opposition can only emerge if it links class and nationalist appeals to community values and social solidarity.

 
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Introduction

Political leaders, media moguls and journalists have saturated the public throughout the world with claims and accusations that President Trump is destroying the World Order, undermining historic alliances, western values, the world trade organizations and violating national and international constitutions and institutions.

In the United States, legislators, judges and leaders from both parties have accused President Trump of being a traitor for fraternizing and serving as a tool of Russian President Putin.

This paper will analyze and discuss these claims and accusations. We will begin by comparing and discussing the actions and reactions of President Trump’s predecessors to determine whether there has been a ‘break’ with the past. This requires an examination of his ‘inheritance’ – what actions preceded his Presidency.

Secondly, we will evaluate what President Trump has said and what he has done and their significance.

We will conclude by examining whether the conflicts are of world historical significant or a tempest in a teapot and whether President Trump has acted against the current World Order in search of a new world order.

President Trump’s Inheritance: What ‘World’ what ‘Order”?

To speak of a “World” is an abstraction – our life is built around many micro, local, regional and macro ‘worlds’ which are connected and disconnected. The world of President Trump is the imperial world, centered in US supremacy; the regional world is centered in its allies and satellites. In so far as Trump has forced divisions with the European Union, and threatened China he has called into question the existing world order. However, he has failed to construct a new ‘world order’.

Trump inherited a world disorder riven by prolonged regional wars in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Under the previous four presidents imperial values replaced democratic ideals as witnessed by the millions slaughtered in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine over the past two decades.

President Trump is attempting to reconfigure a world order based on economic pressure, military threats and political bluster.

In the process of ‘remaking’ a US centered world order Trump generates chaos and disorder in order to strengthen his hand in future negotiations and settlements. Trump’s so-called ‘craziness’ is a tactic to secure a ‘better deal’, as is the case today in the agreement with the EU . An approach with short term gains unforeseen middle term consequences.

In fact Trump has done little to unmake the existing order. The US militarily surrounded China under ex-President Obama a policy Trump follows to the letter. Washington remains in NATO and trades with the EU. The Pentagon continues wars in the Middle East. Treasury finances Israeli ethnic cleansing.

In other words, Trump has been un willing and unable to extricate the US from the political mess of his predecessors.

He has increased the military budget but has not been able to project power. Trump has threatened trade wars across the globe but in fact trade has increased and deficits remain in place.

Despite Trump’s claims of a ‘great’ transformation and his enemies’ charges of systematic destruction, the question remains —what has really changed?

Rhetoric is Reality under Trump and Anti-Trump

Few signposts changes have taken place despite the bluster and the rhetoric in the political ‘playpen’.

Despite changes in personalities the underlying political structures remain in place and promise to continue, despite elections and unending investigations and revelations.

The so-called ‘trade war’ has failed to reduce world trade; employment remains unchanged; inequalities persist and deepen.Policies threatening war alternate with peace overtures.Increases in military budgets are spent by and for armchair generals.

Democrats and Republicans denounce each other ,and share coctails and dinner, believing they have done an ‘honest day’s work’…

Immigrants are seized, interned and expelled to nations run by death squads funded by elected US politicians from both parties.

Trump threatens a catastrophic war against Iran while sanctions fail to deter Teheran from developing ties with Europe and Asia.

Domestic agendas promising ‘transformations’ come and go, while trillion dollar infrastructure promises disappear down the memory hole.

Rousing denunciations echo in the legislative chambers but are suspended, to secure bi-partisans’ approval, so that multi billion dollars can be added to the military budget.

Tax giveaways to the very rich provoke inconsequential debates.

Armchair assassins pretend to be journalists and direct the Pentagon to disobey the ‘traitor’ President and launch a war, evoking a response by the President— threatening new wars. Neither of whom will risk their own skin!

Employers claim there is a shortage of skilled workers, forgetting to fund vocational education or raise wages and salaries.

Candidates for office spend millions but the more they spend, the fewer the voters.

Abstention is the majoritarian response to phony trade wars, fake Russian meddling, bipartisan charades, porn politics, and tweets as hand shaped turds.

Conclusion

The overwhelming reality is that ‘chaos’ is like foam on a stale beer: very few, if any, changes have taken place.

The World Order remains in place, unmoved by inconsequential trade tiffs between Europe, and North America .

Washington’s angry voices are hollow farts compared to China’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure expansion of the Belt and Road across West Africa.

In the ongoingworld order, Washington increases its Israeli handouts to 38 billion for the next decade and budgets 4% of its GNP to robotize the military-industrial complex.

The President alternates tweets commands on war and peace, to his trusted and disloyal cabinet members,and honest and dishonest intelligence operative.

Under the same tent, investigators investigate each other.

All of which is not a bad thing – because nothing changes— for the worst at least up to now: no treason or impeachment trials; no peace or new wars in the Middle East, no trade or nuclear wars!

But there is no reason to believe that threats could not become a reality.

Netanyahu can lead Trump by the nose to a catastrophic war against Iran.

Trump can provoke a trade war with China.

Climate change can lead to the seven plagues of Biblical proportions.

Economic bubbles can burst and central banks may be unable to bail out the banks too big to fail.

Every disaster that has been promised and not happened can become reality.

In the meantime, prophets of doom and gloom cash their weekly checks and tick off the list of inequities of their chosen adversaries. The ten percent who defend or opposes the world order still determine who rules the rest of the ninety percent. No wonder there is bipartisan support to increase police powers!

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Donald Trump, Neoliberalism 
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Introduction

Journalists, academics, pundits and experts have ignored the complexity of President Trump’s impact on the state of the US Empire.

To properly assess the geopolitical configuration of power, we will consider the military, economic, political and diplomatic advances and setbacks of the Trump regime in Latin America, the European Union and Asia (including the Middle East).

Secondly, we will examine the time frame – the shifting direction of the present configuration of forces.

We will conclude by discussing how the influence and results of foreign policy shape domestic political power.

Background to President Trump’s Empire Building

First and foremost, we must take account of the fact that much of Trump’s policies build on and reflect the policies of his predecessors, namely Presidents Bush and Obama.

The US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria were started by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, The US bombings of Libya and the destruction and uprooting of millions of Africans was inaugurated by Obama.

The expulsion of millions of Central American and Mexican immigrants from the US was common practice prior to Trump.

In brief President Trump continued, and in some cases exacerbated, the socio-economic and military policies, of his predecessors. In a few areas Trump reversed policies, as was the case with Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran.

The successes and failures of Trump’s empire building policies cannot be attributed solely to his regime. Nevertheless, President Trump must be held responsible for the current state of the empire and its direction.

President Trump Marches Forward in Latin America

President Trump has built upon and extended US imperial victories throughout most of Latin America. Satellite regimes are in place in Brazil thanks largely to judicial-legislative coup which overthrew President elect Dilma Rousseff. The puppet regime of Michel Temer has privatized the economy, embraced Trump’s dominance and aligned with efforts to overthrow Venezuela’s government.

Similarly, Trump inherited from Obama the present client regimes in Argentina (President Mauricio Macri), Peru (President Martin Vizcarra) ,Honduras (President Hernandez) Paraguay (President Cartes), Chile (President Piñera), Ecuador (President Moreno), and most of the ruling elites in Central America and the Caribbean. Trump has added to the list current efforts to overthrow the Daniel Ortega regime in Nicaragua.

Under President Trump, Washington succeeded in reversing relations with Cuba and the so-called peace accord in Colombia between the guerrillas and the Juan Manuel Santos regime. In July 2018, Trump succeeded in backing the accession to power of Ivan Duque a protégé of the far-right party of Alvaro Uribe in Colombia. President Obama’s reversal of center-left regimes via coups have been consolidated and expanded by Trump with the important exception of Mexico.

Trump partially reversed Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba and threatens to militarily invade Venezuela.

Trump’s imperial empire in Latin America is, for the most part, inherited and largely sustained . . . for now.

But there are several crucial caveats.

Mexico’s new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) is likely to pursue independent and progressive foreign and domestic policies, renegotiating NAFTA, oil contracts and border disputes.

Secondly, Brazil and Argentina’s neo-liberal economic policies are in deep crises and the incumbent puppet regimes are economically unstable, face mass social opposition and likely will suffer electoral defeats in 2018.

Thirdly, Venezuela and Cuba have successfully resisted economic and diplomatic sanctions.

Militarily, President Trump retains US military bases in Colombia and has incorporated Bogata into NATO and he has secured military operations in Argentina and Ecuador.

The biggest challenge to Trump’s empire building in Latin America is in the all-important economic realm.

Trump has failed to gain ground in trade, investment and raw materials in the face of competition with China.

Despite the political and military subordination of Latin American regimes to Washington, the bulk of their trade ties are with China. Moreover, Brazil and Argentina will increase their agro-exports to China in line with Beijing’s trade tariffs on US exports. In the so-called trade war not a single Latin American client state has sided with the US. On the contrary, all are taking advantage of Washington’s loss of the China market to enhance their exports.

Clearly the US does not exercise ‘hegemony’ over Latin America’s trading relations.

Worse still, Trump’s dumping of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and threats to withdraw from NAFTA have reduced Washington’s leverage over Latin America and Asia.

Trump’s boasts and claims of dominance over Latin America is largely a product of his predecessors’ imperial policies.

At most, Trump’s policies have hardened the far right, which however, is weakening politically and economically and has provoked the rise of the left to power in Mexico and increased opposition in Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.

In sum the Trump regime’s empire building retain decided influence in Latin America but faces major challenges – and reversals.

Trump in Asia: One Step Forward, Two Step Backward

Washington has gained prestige for its diplomatic overtures to North Korea but is losing the trade war with the world’s second greatest power, China.

China, faced with Trump’s economic war, has diversified its trading partners thus undermining key US agro-business enterprises.

China has implemented tariffs on: canola, soybeans, corn, cotton, pork and beef.

Moreover, China has replaced the US as the main trading partner throughout Asia.

While Japan, South Korea and Australia provide military bases for the US they are eager to replace Washington’s export to China.

Moreover, China’s multi-billion dollar, Belt and Road Initiative has secured sixty-eight nations as partners, with the prominent absence of the self-excluded USA.

US economic sanctions against Iran have failed to undermine the governments’ oil exports, while banking transactions and imports of manufacturing and service products are replaced by China, Russia , India and most of Asia. All of whom will increase their trade with Teheran.

In the Middle East and South Asia, the US can no longer count on clients or allies except for Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the Saudi’s rejected Trump’s demand to increase oil production to lower oil prices for US consumers.

Israel is a ‘loyal ally’ to Washington when it suits their own economic advantages and hegemonic aspirations. For example, Israel has continued to expand ties with Russia even in violation of US sanctions.

Pakistan, Myanmar and Cambodia have moved closer to China as a result of increasing financial and infrastructure aid.

In balance, the US continues to exercise military dominance in Asia via its bases in South Korea, Japan and Australia. However, it is losing economic influence and presence in the rest of Asia. If history is any precedent, imperial empires without economic foundations, sooner or later crumble, especially when rising regional powers are capable of replacing them.

The European Union and Trump’s Empire: Partner, Client or Rival?

The European Union (EU) is the largest market in the world and yet remains a political and military dependency of Washington.

The EU has suffered from its lack of an independent foreign policy – its reliance on NATO, a US subsidiary is one of the main reasons.

 
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Introduction

“Immigration” has become the dominant issue dividing Europe and the US, yet the most important matter which is driving millions to emigrate is overlooked is wars.

In this paper we will discuss the reasons behind the massification of immigration, focusing on several issues, namely (1) imperial wars (2) multi-national corporate expansion (3) the decline of the anti-war movements in the US and Western Europe (4) the weakness of the trade union and solidarity movements.

We will proceed by identifying the major countries affected by US and EU wars leading to massive immigration, and then turn to the western powers forcing refugees to ‘follow’ the flows of profits.

Imperial Wars and Mass Immigration

The US invasions and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq uprooted several million people, destroying their lives, families, livelihood, housing and communities and undermining there security.

As a result, most victims faced the choice of resistance or flight. Millions chose to flee to the West since the NATO countries would not bomb their residence in the US or Europe.

Others who fled to neighboring countries in the Middle East or Latin America were persecuted, or resided in countries too poor to offer them employment or opportunities for a livelihood.

Some Afghans fled to Pakistan or the Middle East but discovered that these regions were also subject to armed attacks from the West.

Iraqis were devastated by the western sanctions, invasion and occupation and fled to Europe and to a lesser degree the US , the Gulf states and Iran.

Libya prior to the US-EU invasion was a ‘receiver’ country accepting and employing millions of Africans, providing them with citizenship and a decent livelihood. After the US-EU air and sea attack and arming and financing of terrorist gangs, hundreds of thousands of Sub-Sahara immigrants were forced to flee to Europe. Most crossed the Mediterranean Sea to the west via Italy, Spain, and headed toward the affluent European countries which had savaged their lives in Libya.

The US-EU financed and armed client terrorist armies which assault the Syrian government and forced millions of Syrians to flee across the border to Lebanon,Turkey and beyond to Europe, causing the so-called ‘immigration crises’ and the rise of rightwing anti-immigrant parties. This led to divisions within the established social democratic and conservative parties,as sectors of the working class turned anti-immigrant.

Europe is reaping the consequences of its alliance with US militarized imperialism whereby the US uproots millions of people and the EU spends billions of euros to cover the cost of immigrants fleeing the western wars.

Most of the immigrants’ welfare payments fall far short of the losses incurred in their homeland. Their jobs homes, schools, and civic associations in the EU and US are far less valuable and accommodating then what they possessed in their original communities.

Economic Imperialism and Immigration: Latin America

US wars, military intervention and economic exploitation has forced millions of Latin Americans to immigrate to the US.. Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras engaged in popular struggle for socio-economic justice and political democracy between 1960 – 2000. On the verge of victory over the landed oligarchs and multinational corporations, Washington blocked popular insurgents by spending billions of dollars, arming, training, advising the military and paramilitary forces. Land reform was aborted; trade unionists were forced into exile and thousands of peasants fled the marauding terror campaigns.

The US-backed oligarchic regimes forced millions of displaced and uprooted pr unemployed and landless workers to flee to the US.

US supported coups and dictators resulted in 50,000 in Nicaragua, 80,000 in El Salvador and 200,000 in Guatemala. President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a military coup in Honduras which overthrew Liberal President Zelaya— which led to the killing and wounding of thousands of peasant activists and human rights workers, and the return of death squads, resulting in a new wave of immigrants to the US.

The US promoted free trade agreement (NAFTA) drove hundreds of thousands of Mexican farmers into bankruptcy and into low wage maquiladoras; others were recruited by drug cartels; but the largest group was forced to immigrate across the Rio Grande. The US ‘Plan Colombia’ launched by President Clinton established seven US military bases in Colombia and provided 1 billion dollars in military aid between 2001 – 2010. Plan Colombia doubled the size of the military.

The US backed President Alvaro Uribe, resulting in the assassination of over 200,000 peasants, trade union activists and human rights workers by Uribe directed narco-death squad.Over two million farmers fled the countryside and immigrated to the cities or across the border.

US business secured hundreds of thousands of Latin American low wages, agricultural and factory workers almost all without health insurance or benefits – though they paid taxes.

Immigration doubled profits, undermined collective bargains and lowered US wages. Unscrupulous US ‘entrepreneurs’ recruited immigrants into drugs, prostitution, the arms trade and money laundering.

Politicians exploited the immigration issue for political gain – blaming the immigrants for the decline of working class living standards distracting attention from the real source : wars, invasions, death squads and economic pillage.

Conclusion

Having destroyed the lives of working people overseas and overthrown progressive leaders like Libyan President Gadhafi and Honduran President Zelaya, millions were forced to become immigrants.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Colombia, Mexico witnessed the flight of millions of immigrants — all victims of US and EU wars. Washington and Brussels blamed the victims and accused the immigrants of illegality and criminal conduct.

The West debates expulsion, arrest and jail instead of reparations for crimes against humanity and violations of international law.

To restrain immigration the first step is to end imperial wars, withdraw troops,and to cease financing paramilitary and client terrorists.

Secondly, the West should establish a long term multi-billion-dollar fund for reconstruction and recovery of the economies, markets and infrastructure they bombed The demise of the peace movement allowed the US and EU to launch and prolong serial wars which led to massive immigration – the so-called refugee crises and the flight to Europe. There is a direct connection between the conversion of the liberal and social democrats to war -parties and the forced flight of immigrants to the EU.

The decline of the trade unions and worse, their loss of militancy has led to the loss of solidarity with people living in the midst of imperial wars. Many workers in the imperialist countries have directed their ire to those ‘below’ – the immigrants – rather than to the imperialists who directed the wars which created the immigration problem. Immigration, war , the demise of the peace and workers movements, and left parties has led to the rise of the militarists, and neo-liberals who have taken power throughout the West. Their anti-immigrant politics, however, has provoked new contradictions within regimes,between business elites and among popular movements in the EU and the US. The elite and popular struggles can go in at least two directions – toward fascism or radical social democracy.

 
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Introduction

The world is riven with class conflicts in Latin America, political conflicts between the Anglo-Americans and Russians, and economic conflicts between Washington against Europe and Asia.

The conflicts have called into question the capacity of ruling elites to promote growth, to secure international stability and to foster global as co-operation.

To understand the underlying source of conflicts it is essential to identify and unmask the underlying political and economic interests which spread and deepen class, regional and global confrontations.

Latin America: Reforms Which Deform

In recent decades throughout Latin America, rulers have spoken and demanded ‘reforms’ as essential to stimulate and sustain growth and foster equity and sustainability. The ‘reforms’ involve implementing ‘structural changes’ which require large scale privatization to encourage entrepreneurship and end state corruption; deregulation of the economy to stimulate foreign and domestic investment; labor flexibility to ‘free’ labor markets and increase employment; and lower business taxes. According to the reformers all this will lead to free markets and promote democratic values.

Over the past thirty years, ruling elites in Latin America have carried out IMF and World Bank structural reforms in two cyclical periods: between 1989-1999 and more recently between 2015-2018. In both cases the reforms have led to a series of major economic, political and social deformations.

During the first cycle of ‘reforms’, privatization concentrated wealth by transferring public means of production to oligarchs, and increased private monopolies, which deepened inequalities and sharpened class divisions.

Deregulation led to financial speculation, tax evasion, capital flight and public- private corruption.

‘Reforms’ deformed the existing class structure provoking social upheavals, which precipitated the collapse of the elite led ‘reforms’ and the advent of a decade of nationalist populist governments.

The populists restored and expanded social reforms but did not change the political and economic ‘deformations’, embedded in the state.

A decade later (2015) the ‘reformers’ returned to power and restored the regressive free market policies of the previous neo-liberal ruling elite. By 2018 a new cycle of class conflicts flared throughout Brazil and Argentina, threatening to overturn the existing US center free market order.

Anglo America Russophobes as Fake Miracle workers; the Post Christ Resurrections

As part of the propaganda campaign to discredit and isolate Russia, the UK and the Ukraine, stalwart flunkies of Washington, accused Moscow of assassinations by poison and bullets. Both alleged victims appeared live and well in due time!

On March 4, 2018, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May claimed that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by Russian secret agents. Foreign Secretary Boris “Bobo” Johnson called the poison, ‘the most-deadly agent known to man’ (sic) – Novichok. According to “Terry and Bobo” the poison kills in 30 seconds. Two months later Sergei and Yulia were seen taking a stroll in a park.

The fake charges were promoted by the entire Anglo-Americans mass media. The UK proceeded to charge Putin with ‘crimes against humanity’ , backed additional diplomatic and economic sanctions, increased military spending for homeland defense and urged President Trump to take forceful action. Once the ‘victims’ ‘rose from the dead’ the media never questioned the regime’s claim of a Russian conspiracy planned at the highest level.

The UK scored a few trivial merit points from Washington, which, however, did not prevent President Trump from slapping a double-digit tariff on British steel and aluminum exports (with more to come)!

The Ukraine joined the line of toadies trying to secure President Trump’s approval by cooking up another Russian murder plot. This time Ukraine leaders claimed Kremlin agents assassinated one Arkady Babchenko, an anti-Russian journalist and self-proclaimed exile in Kiev.

On May 29, 2018, Arkady was found ‘murdered’ or so said the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and repeated, embellished and circulated by the entire western mass media.

On May 31, a wide-eyed ‘Arkady’ turned up alive and claiming his ‘resurrection’ was a planned plot to catch a Russian agent!

Western regimes systematic use of lies, plots and conspiracies are central to the imperial drive for world power.

In Syria, the US accused Damascus of using poisonous gas against its own people in order to justify NATO’s terror bombing of Aleppo’s civilian population!

In Libya, Obama and Clinton claimed President Gaddafi distributed Viagra to his armed forced to rape innocent civilians, precipitating the US-EU terror bombing of the country and rape and murder of President Ghaddafi.

The question is whether western leaders will seek papal recognition of CIA directed resurrections to coincide with Easter?

Appeasement and Trump’s ‘Triumph of Will’

EU kowtowing to President Trump’s grab for global power, has only aroused his desire to dominate their markets, dictate their trade relations and defense spending. Trump tells the EU that his enemies are theirs.

Trump believes in the doctrine of unilateral trade and ‘deals’ based on the principle that the US decides what you sell, how much you pay, and what you buy. The giant French oil multinational Total, which had promised to invest in Iran ,submitted to Trump and withdrew from its agreement and turned a deaf- ear to the French President

President Macron facing US tariffs on French exports bent his knee to Trump. Paris would support ‘joint efforts to reduce overcapacities, regulate subsidies and protect intellectual property’. Trump heard the ring of the EU begging cup and imposed tariffs and demanded more

The EU ‘vowed’ to retaliate to Trump’s tariffs by . . . sucking up to Trump’s trade war with China. The European Commission (EC) announced it was launching a case against . . . China! Echoing Trump’s allegations that Beijing was committing the ‘crime’ of insisting (‘forcing’ in EU rhetoric) foreign investors transfer technology as part of the basis for doing business.

Trump turned on Mexico and Canada, his flunky allies in NAFTA by slapping both with tariffs.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ‘dismayed’ after wining and dining Trump in an embarrassing charm offensive, Trump ate, drank, and slapped a tariff on steel and aluminum and threatened to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In response Trudeau cited Canada’s century and a half military support for US imperial wars. To no avail!

For Trump, the past is the past. It’s time to move ahead and for Canada to ‘buy American’.

And when Trudeau talked of imposing reciprocal tariffs on US exports, Trump countered by threatening to break all trading agreements. At which point Trudeau proposed ‘further’ negotiations.

Trump’s tariff on Mexican steel and aluminum exports evoked the robust response of a true Treaty lackey – the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto claimed negotiations were ‘continuing’ and US companies were ‘involved’!

The harder Trump pushed, the greater the retreat of his EU and North American ‘allies’. Facing rhetorical retaliation from the EU, Trump tweeted German Prime Minister Merkle’s nose out of shape, by threatening to slap Germany with car tariffs worth $20 billion dollars.

 
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Introduction

Nero played his fiddle, Obama shot baskets and Trump twittered while their empires burned.

What makes empires decay and what makes empires expand has everything to do with their relations between rulers and the ruled. Several factors are decisive. These include: (1) rent, land and housing, (2) the direction of living standards, (3) the rise or fall of mortality rate, (4) decline or rise of families.

Throughout history rising empires incorporate their population into the task of empire by distributing a portion of their plunder to their masses, by providing them with land, low rents and housing. Large scale landlords facing returning young war veterans reduced excessive land concentration to avoid domestic unrest.

Rising empires raised living standards,as salaried employees, workers and artisans, merchants and scribes found employment as the oligarchies expanding conspicuous consumption and expanded the state bureaucracy running the empire.

A prosperous empire is cause and consequence of increases in families,and the growth of healthy and educated plebeians who serviced and served the rulers.

In contrast, declining empires plunder the domestic economy; concentrated wealth at the expense of the labor force, heedless of the diminution of its health and life expectancy. As a result deteriorating empires experience an increasing rate of mortality; homeownership and land is concentrated in an elite of rentiers living off of unearned wealth via inheritance, speculation, rents which degrades productive work based on skill and knowledge.

Declining empires are cause and consequence of deteriorating families composed of opioid addicted workers suffering from rising inequalities between rulers and ruled.

The US imperial experience over the past century embodies the trajectory of the rise and fall of empires. The past quarter century describes the relations between rulers and ruled at a time of declining empire.

Living standards of Americans have declined precipitously. Employers have ceased paying for pensions; reduced or eliminated health coverage; reduced corporate taxes thus lowering the quality of public education.

Over the past two decades, wages and salaries for the majority of households have stagnated or declined; education and health expenses bankrupting many and reducing university graduates to long-term debt peonage.

Accessibility to home ownership for Americans under 45 years has fallen dramatically from 24% in 2006 to 14% in 2017. At the same time, rents have skyrocketed especially in large cities across the country, in most cases absorbing between a third and half of monthly income.

Business elites and their housing experts divert attention to “intergenerational’ inequalities between pensioners and younger wage and salaried employees instead of reconizing rising inequalities between CEO and both workers and pensioners which have risen from 100-to-1 to 400-to-1 over the past three decades.

Mortality rates between the business elite and workers have widened as the wealthy live longer and healthier lives while workers have experienced declining life expectancy, the first time in American history! As the business elites income from profits, dividends, interest increase they can afford high cost private medical care, prolonging life, while millions of workers are prescribed death-inducing opioids, to ‘reduce pain’ and precipitate premature death.

Births are declining as a result of the high cost of medical care, the absence of day care and paid maternal or paternal leave. The most recent studies revealed that 2017 experienced the fewest babies in 30 years. The so-called “economic recovery’ following the financial collapse of 2008/9 was class based: the real estate and financial elites received over two trillion dollars in bailouts while over 3 million working class households were evicted by financial mortgage holders. The result was a rapid rise in homeless people especially in cities with the highest rate of recovery from the crises.

Homelessness and crowded overpriced rentals and minimum wages are likely causes of declining birthrates and increasing mortality rates.

Imperialism Expands, Living Standards Decline

Unlike the earlier, post WWII decades in which overseas expansion was accompanied by low-cost higher education, accessible low-cost mortgages and increasing home ownership, and employer paid pensions and health coverage, over the past two decades imperial expansion is based on forced reductions of living standards.

The empire grew and living standards declined because the capitalist class evaded trillions of taxable income via overseas tax havens, transfer pricing and tax exemptions. Moreover, capitalists received massive state subsidies for infrastructure, and cost-free transfers of public funded technological innovations.

Imperial expansion now is based on the relocation of multi-national manufacturing corporations overseas to lower labor costs, increasing the percentage of low wage service workers in the US .

The decline of living standards for the majority is a result of the restructuring of the empire, the advent of the regressive tax system, the redistribution of State welfare transfers from public social spending to private finance and real estate subsidies and bailouts.

Conclusion

In the beginning imperialism involved an explicit social contract with labor: overseas expansion shared profits, taxes and income with labor in exchange for workers political support for imperial overseas economic exploitation, resource plundering as well as serving in the imperial armed forces .

The social contract was conditioned by a relative balance of power: unionized workers represented the majority of manufacturing, public sector and skilled workers. But this balance of power in class relations was based on the capacity of labor to engage in class struggle and influence the state. In other words the entire imperialism and welfare configuration was based on a particular set of conditional relations intrinsic to the social pact.

Over time imperial expansion faced overseas constraints from rising national and socialist opposition which forced or encouraged corporations it to relocate capital abroad. Imperial rivals in Europe and Asia competed for overseas markets forcing the US to increase productivity, lower labor costs, relocate abroad or reduce profits. The US chose to reduce domestic living standards and relocating abroad.

Labor unions divorced from the broader community movements and lacking an independent political movement, corrupted from within and committed to a disappearing social compact, declined in number and capacity to formulate a new combatative post social pact strategy. The capital class gained total control over class relations and, therefore, unilaterally set the terms of taxation, employment, living standards and, most important, state expenditure.

Imperial military and economic expenditures grew in direct proportions to the decline of social welfare payments. Rival power groups fought over the share of capitalist budgets and political-military priorities. Economic imperialists competed with or converged with military imperialists; free market neo-liberals competed for overseas markets with national militarists pursuing territorial occupations, conquests, closed markets and submissive clients. Rival political power configuration competed over imperial priorities – powerful Zionist configurations sought regional wars for Israel while multi-nationals looked to advance their political-economic expansion in Asia – China, India and Southeast Asian markets.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Imperialism, Poverty 
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Introduction

For some time, critics of President Trump’s policies have attributed them to a mental disorder; uncontrolled manic-depression, narcissus bullying and other pathologies.

The question of Trump’s mental health raises a deeper question: why do his pathologies take a specific political direction?

Moreover, Trump’s decisions have a political history and background, and follow from a logic and belief in the reason and logic of imperial power.

We will examine the reason why Trump has embraced three strategic decisions which have world-historic consequences, namely: Trump’s reneging the nuclear accord with Iran ;Trump’s declaration of a trade war with China; and Trump’s meeting with North Korea.

In brief we will explore the political reasons for his decisions; what he expects to gain; and what is his game plan if he fails to secure his expected outcome and his adversaries take reprisals.

Trump’s Strategic Framework

The underlying assumption of Trump’s strategic thinking is that ‘power works’: the more intransigent his posture, the greater his belief in a unipolar world based on US power. As a corollary, Trump interprets any ally, adversary, competitor who seeks negotiations, reciprocity or concessions is ‘weak’ and should be pressured or forced to concede greater concessions and further retreats and sacrifices, up to the ultimate goal of surrender and submission. In other words, Trump’s politics of force only recognizes counter-force: limitations in Trump’s policies will only result when tangible economic and military losses and costs in US lives would undermine US imperial rule.

Reasons Why Trump Broke the Peace Accord with Iran

Trump broke the accord with Iran because the original agreement was based on retaining US sanctions against Iran; the total dismantling of its nuclear program and calling into question Iran’s limited role on behalf of possible allies in the Middle East.

Iran’s one-sided concessions; trading military defense for market opportunities encouraged Trump to believe that he could intimidate Iran militarily by closing all its markets.

Trump views President Rohani as a rug seller not a military strategist. Trump believes that an economic squeeze will lead President Rohani to sacrifice his allies in Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Yemen (Houthi), Palestine (Hamas) and Iraq (Shia)and to dismantle its ICBM defense strategy.

Trump pursues the strategic goal of weakening Iran and preparing a regime change, reverting Iran into a client state – as it was prior to the 1979 revolution under the Shah.

The second reason for Trump’s policy is to strengthen Israel’s military power in the Middle East. The Trump regime is deeply influenced by the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the US, dubbed ‘the Lobby’.

Trump recognizes and submits to Zionist-Israeli dictates because they have unprecedented power in the media, real estate, finance and insurance (FIRE). Trump recognizes the ZPC’s power to buy Congressional votes, control both political parties and secure appointments in the executive branch.

Trump is the typical authoritarian: at the throat of the weak, citizens, allies and adversaries and on his knees before the powerful ZPC, the military and Wall Street. Trump’s submission to Zionist power reinforces and even dictates his decision to break the peace accord with Iran and his willingness to pressure. France, Germany, the UK and Russia to sacrifice billion-dollar trade agreements with Iran and to pursue a policy of pressuring Teheran to accept part of Trump’s agenda of unilateral disarmament and isolation. Trump believes he can force the EU multi-nationals to disobey their governments and abide by sanctions.

Reasons for Trump’s Trade War with China

Prior to Trump’s presidency, especially under President Obama, the US launched a trade war and ‘military pivot’ to China. Obama proposed the Trans-Pacific Pact to exclude China and directed an air and naval armada to the South China Sea. Obama established a high-powered surveillance system in South Korea and supported war exercises on North Korea’s border. Trump’s policy deepened and radicalized Obama’s policies.

Trump extended Obama’s bellicose policy toward North Korea, demanding the de-nuclearization of its defense program. President Kim of North Korea and President Moon of South Korea reached an agreement to open negotiations toward a peace accord ending nearly 60 years of hostility.

However, President Trump joined the conversation on the presumption that North Korea’s peace overtures were due to his threats of war and intimidation. He insisted that any peace settlement and end of economic sanctions would only be achieved by unilateral nuclear disarmament, the maintenance of US forces on the peninsula and supervision by US approved inspectors.

Trump’s unilateral declaration of a trade war against China accompanied his belief that military threats led to North Korea’s “capitulation” – its promise to end its nuclear program.

Trump slapped a trade tariff on over $100 billion dollars of Chinese exports in order to reduce its trade imbalance by $200 billion over two years. He demanded China unilaterally end industrial ‘espionage’, technological ‘theft’ (all phony accusations) and China’s compliance monitored quarterly by the US.

Trump demanded that China not retaliate with tariffs or restrictions or face bigger sanctions.

Trump threatened to respond to any reciprocal tariff by Beijing, with greater tariffs, and restrictions on Chinese goods and services.

Trump’s goals seek to convert North Korea into a military satellite encroaching on China’s northern border;and a trade war that drives China into an economic crisis.

Trump believes that as China declines as a world economic power, the US will grow and dominate the Asian and world economy.

Trump believes a successful trade war will lead to a successful military war. Trump believes that a submissive China, based on its isolation from the ‘dynamic’ US market, will enhance Washington’s quest for uncontested world domination.

Trump’s Ten Erroneous Thesis

Trump’s political agenda is deeply flawed!

Breaking the nuclear agreement and imposing harsh sanctions has isolated Trump from his European and Asian allies.

His military intervention will inflame a regional war that would destroy the Saudi oil fields. He will force Iran to pursue a nuclear shield against US-Israeli aggression and lead to a prolonged, costly and ultimately losing war.

Trump’s policies will unify all Iranians, liberals and nationalist, and undermine US collaborators.

The entire Muslim world will unify forces and carry the conflict throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Tel Aviv’s bombing will lead to counter-attacks in Israel.

Oil prices will skyrocket, financial markets will collapse, industries will go bankrupt.

Trump’s sanctions and military aggression against Iran will lead to mutual economic destruction.

Trump’s trade war with China will lead to the disruption of the supply chain which sustains the US economy and especially the 500 US multi-nationals who depend on the Chinese economy for exports to the US.

China will increase domestic consumption, diversify its markets and trading partners and reinforce its military alliance with Russia.

China has greater resilience and capacity to overcome short-term disruption and regain its dominant role as a global economic power house.

Wall Street will suffer a catastrophic financial collapse and send the US into a world depression.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Donald Trump, Iran, North Korea 
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Introduction

Over the past half-century, I have been engaged in research, lectured and worked with social movements and leftist governments in Latin America. I interviewed US officials and think tanks in Washington and New York. I have written scores of books, hundreds of professional articles and presented numerous papers at professional meetings.

In the course, of my activity I have discovered that many academics are frequently engage in what government officials dub ‘de-briefing’! Academics meet and discuss their field-work, data collection, research finding, observations and personal contacts over lunch at the Embassy with US government officials or in Washington with State Department officials.

US government officials look forward to these ‘debriefings”; the academic provided useful access to information which they otherwise could not obtain from paid, intelligence agents or local collaborators.

Not all academic informants are very well placed or competent investigators. However, many provide useful insights and information especially on leftist movements, parties and leaders who are real or potential anti-imperialist adversaries.

US empire builders whether engaged in political or military activities depend on information especially regarding who to back and who to subvert; who should receive diplomatic support and who to receive financial and to military resources.

De-briefed academics identify ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ adversaries, as well as personal and political vulnerabilities. Officials frequently exploit health problems or family needs to ‘turn’ leftists into imperial stool pigeons.

US officials are especially interested in academic gate-keepers who exclude ‘anti-imperialist’ critics, activists , politicians and government officials.

At times, US State Department officials claim to be sympathetic ‘progressives’who oppose ‘Neanderthals’ in their institution, in order to elicit inside information from leftist academic informants.

Debriefing is a widespread practice and involves numerous academics from major universities and research centers, as well as non-governmental ‘activists’ and editors of academic journals and publications.

Academic participates in debriefing frequently do not publicize their reporting to the government. Most likely they share their reports with other academic informers. All claim they are merely sharing research and diffusing information for ‘science’ and to further ‘humane values’.

Academic informers always justify their collaboration as providing a clear and more balanced picture to ‘our’ policymakers, ignoring the predictable destructive outcomes likely to ensue.

Academics in the Service of Empire

Academic informants never study, collect research and publicize reports on US covert, overt and clandestine policies in defense of multi-nationals and Latin American elite which collaborate with empire builders.

US officials have no interest in ‘debriefing’ academics conducting anti-imperialist research.

US officials are keen to know any and all reports on ‘movements from below’: who they are, how much influence they have, their susceptibility to bribes, blackmail and invitations to the State Department, Disneyland, or the Wilson Center in D.C.

US officials fund academic research on militant trade unions , agrarian social movements , feminist and ethnic minorities engaged in class struggle ,and anti-imperialist activists and leaders, as they all serve as targets for imperial repression.

The officials are also keen on academic reports on so-called ‘moderate’ collaborators who can be funded, advised and recruited to defend the empire , undermine the class struggle and split movements.

Academic informants are especially useful in providing personal and political information on Latin American leftwing intellectuals, academics, journalists, writers and critics which allows US officials to isolate, slander and boycott anti-imperialists, as well as those intellectuals who can be recruited and seduced with foundation grants and invitations to the Kennedy Center at Harvard.

When US officials have a difficult time understanding the intricacies and consequences of ideological debates and factional divisions within leftist parties or regimes, ex-leftist academic informers, who collect documents and interviews , provide detailed explanations and provide officials with a political roadmap to exploit and exacerbate divisions and to guide repressive policies, which undermine adversaries engaged in anti-imperialist and class struggle.

The State Department works hand and glove with research centers and foundations in promoting journals which eschew all mention of imperialism and ruling class exploitation; they promote ‘special issues’ on ‘class-less’ identity politics, post-modern theorizing and ethnic-racial conflicts and conciliation.

In a study of the two leading political science and sociological journals over a period of fifty year they published less than .01% on class struggle and US imperialism

Academic informants have never reported on US government links to narco-political rulers.

Academic informants do not research widespread long term Israeli collaboration with death squads in Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina and El Salvador, in cases because of their loyalties to Tel Aviv and in most cases because the State Department is not interested in debriefings which expose their allies and their joint complicity.

Academic Informants: What do they want and what do they get?

Academic informers engage in debriefing for various reasons. A few do so simply because they share the politics and ideology of the empire builders and feel it is their ‘duty’ to serve.

The great majority are established academics with ties to research centers who inform because it fattens their CV– which helps secure grants, prestigious appointments and awards.

Progressive academics who collaborates have a Janus face approach; they speak at Leftist public conferences , especially to students and in private they report to the State Department.

Many academics believe they can influence and change government policy. They seek to impress self-identified ‘progressive’ officials with their inside knowledge on how to ‘turn’ Latin critics into moderate collaborators. They invent innocuous academic categories and concepts to attract graduate students to further collaboration with imperial colleagues.

The Consequence of Academic Debriefing

Former leftist academic informers are frequenly cited by the mass media as a reliable and knowledgeable ‘expert’ in order to slander anti-imperialist governments, academics and critics.

Ex-leftist academics pressure rising scholars with a critical perspective to adopt ‘moderate’ reasonable critiques , to denounce and avoid anti-imperialist ‘extremists’ and to disparage them as ‘polemical ideologues’!

Academic informants in Chile helped the US Embassy identify neighborhood militants who were handed over to the secret police (DINA) during the Pinochet dictatorship.

US academic informants in Peru and Brazil provided the Embassy with research projects which identified nationalist military officials and leftist students who were subsequently purged, arrested and tortured.

In Colombia, US academic informers were active in providing reports on rural insurgent movements which led to massive repression. Academic collaborators provided detailed reports to the embassy in Venezuela on the grass roots movements and political divisions among Chavista government and military officials with command of troops.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Academia, CIA, Imperialism 
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Introduction

In recent years US imperial strategy has sought to lessen the cost of defeating and overthrowing independent countries.

The means and method are fairly straight forward. World-wide propaganda campaigns which demonize the adversary; the enlistment and collaboration of European and regional allies (England, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel); the recruitment, contracting, training and arming of local and overseas mercenaries dubbed “rebels”, or ‘democrats’; economic sanctions to provoke domestic social tensions and political instability of the government; proposals to negotiate a settlement; negotiations which demand non-reciprocal concessions and which include changes in strategic weapons in exchange for promises to end sanctions, diplomatic recognition and peaceful co-existence.

The strategic goal is disarmament in order to facilitate military and political intervention leading up to and beyond defeat, occupation, regime change; the impositions of a‘client regime’ to facilitate the pillage of economic resources and the securing of military bases, international alignment with the US empire and a military springboard for further conquests against neighbors and independent adversaries.

We will apply this model to recent and current examples of US tactical and strategic empire building in diverse regions, especially focusing on North Africa (Libya), the Middle East (Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Iran), Asia (North Korea), and Latin America (FARC in Colombia).

Case 1: Libya

After several decades of failed efforts to overthrow the popular Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi via local tribal and monarchist armed terrorists, and international economic sanctions , the US proposed a policy of negotiations and accommodation.

The US opened negotiations to end sanctions, offered diplomatic recognition and acceptance in the ‘international community’,in exchange for Gaddafi’s demobilization and abandonment of Libya’s strategic arms including its long-range ballistic missiles and other effective deterrents. The US did not reduce its military bases, ready and alert, targeting Tripoli.

In 2003 Gaddafi signed off on the agreement with the George W. Bush regime. Major US Libyan oil agreements and diplomatic accords were signed. US security adviser Condoleezza Rice visited President Gaddafi as a symbol of peace and friendship, even as US military aid was channeled to armed US clients.

In February 2011 the US led by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined with their EU allies (France, UK . . .) and bombed Libya – its infrastructure, ports, transport centers, oil facilities, hospitals and schools… US and EU backed terrorists seized control of the major cities, and captured, tortured and murdered President Gaddafi. Over 2 million immigrant workers were forced to flee to Europe and the Middle East or return to central Africa.

Case 2: Iraq

Iraq under Saddam Hussein received arms and support from Washington to attack and invade Iran. This de facto agreement, encourage the Iraqi leader to assume that collaboration between nationalist Iraq and imperial Washington reflected a shared common agenda. Subsequently Baghdad believed that they had tacit US support in a territorial dispute with Kuwait. When Saddam invaded, the US bombed, devastated, invaded, occupied and partitioned Iraq.

The US backed the Kurds territorial seizure in the North and imposed a no-fly zone. Subsequently, President William Clinton engaged in several bombing attacks which failed to dislodge Saddam Hussein.

Under President G. W. Bush, the US launched a full-scale war, invasion and occupation ,killing several hundred thousand citizens and displeasing millions of Iraqis. The US dissolved the modern secular state and fomented religious and ethnic wars between Shia and Sunni.

The attempt by Iraq to collaborate with Washington in the 1980’s against its nationalist neighbor Iran, led to the invasion, the dismantling of the country, the killing of the secular leaders including Saddam Hussein, and the conversion of Iraq into a vassal state of the empire.

Case Three: Syria

Syria’s President Bashar Assad, unlike Gaddafi and Hussein, retained a degree of independence from Washington’s overtures, even as he sought to accommodate US incursions in Lebanon and its support for the largely minority christian and pro-western opposition.

In 2011, the US broke its tacit accommodation and provided arms and financing to its local islamic clients for an uprising which seized control of most of the countryside and major cities, including half of Damascus. Fortunately, Assad sought the support of Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Over the next seven years, the US-EU backed terrorists were defeated and forced to retreat, despite massive military, financial and logistic support from the US, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Syria has survived and reconquered most of the country, where Libya and Iraq failed, because it was able to secure an armed-alliance with strategic allies who succeeded in neutralizing domestic insurgents.

Case 4: FARC ( The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia)

The FARC was formed in the early 1960’s as a largely peasant army which grew,by 2001,to nearly 30,000 fighters and millions of supporters, mostly in the countryside.In effect a dual system of power predominated outside the major cities.

The FARC made several attempts to negotiate a peace settlement with the Colombian oligarchical regime. In the late 1970’s a temporary agreement led sections of the FARC to shed arms, form an electoral party, the Patriotic Union, and participate in elections. After several electoral gains, the oligarchy abruptly broke the agreement, unleashed a campaign of terror, and assassinated 5,000 party activists and several presidential and congressional candidates and elected officials. The FARC returned to armed struggle.

During subsequent negotiations, between 1980-81, the oligarchical regime broke off talks and raided the meeting site in an attempt to assassinate the FARC representatives, who successfully evaded capture. Despite the repeated failures ,in 2016 the FARC agreed to enter into ‘peace negotiations’ with the Colombian regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, a former Defense minister who was a leading force during the extermination campaign in the countryside and urban slums during between 2001-2010 . However major political changes took place within the FARC. During the previous decade the historic leaders of the FARC were killed or died and were replaced by a new cohort who lacked the experience and commitment to secure agreements which advanced peace with justice, while retaining their arms in the eventuality that the untrustworthy oligarchical regime, which had repeatedly sabotaged negotiations, reneged on the so-called ‘peace agreement’.

In blind pursuit of peace, the FARC agreed to demobilize and disarm its revolutionary army; it failed to secure control over socio-economic reforms, including land reform; it turned security over to the regime’s military forces linked to landlords, the seven US military bases and narco-death squads.

The ‘peace agreement’ destroyed the FARC. Once disarmed the regime reneged on the agreement: dozens of FARC combatants were assassinated or forced to flee; the oligarchs retained total control over land from dispossessed peasants,natural resources, public funding and elite controlled elections; FARC leaders and activists were jailed and subject to death threats and a constant barrage of hostile public and private media propaganda.

 
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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