The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewMike Whitney Archive
Beating Uncle Sam at His Own Game
The Skirmish in the Spratlys
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

“Washington is not looking for peace or war. They’re looking for domination. If they can achieve domination peacefully – that’s fine. If they can’t, they’ll use war. It’s that simple.” William Blum, Interview with Russia Today

“The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia…. The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon.” Jack A. Smith, Hegemony Games: USA vs. PRC, CounterPunch

The vast build up of military assets in the Asia-Pacific signals a fundamental change in U.S. policy towards China. Washington no longer believes that China can be integrated into the existing US-led system. Recent actions taken by China– particularly the announcement that it planned to launch an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that would compete head-to-head with the World Bank and IMF— have set off alarms in the Capital where behind-the-scenes powerbrokers and think tank pundits agree that a more “robust” policy is needed to slow China’s ascendency. The current confrontation in the South China Sea–where the US has demanded that China immediately cease all land reclamation activities–indicates that the new policy has already been activated increasing the prospects of a conflagration between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.

There’s no need to go over the details of China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands since reasonable people can agree that Washington has no real interest in a few piles of sand heaped up on reefs 10,000 miles from the United States. The man-made islands pose no threat to US national security or to freedom of navigation. The Obama administration is merely using the Spratlys as a pretext to provoke, intimidate and harass Beijing. The Spratly’s provide a justification for escalation, for building an anti-China coalition among US allies in the region, for demonizing China in the media, for taking steps to disrupt China’s ambitious Silk Roads economic strategy, and for encircling China to the West with US warships that threaten China’s access to critical shipping lanes and vital energy supplies. This is the ultimate objective; to bring China to its knees and to force it to comply with Washington’s diktats. This is what Washington really wants.

In a recent speech at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said that “there is no military solution to the South China Sea disputes.” Just moments later, and without a trace of irony, Carter rattled off a long list of military assets the Pentagon plans to deploy to the Asia-Pacific to shore up US offensive capability. The list includes “the latest Virginia-class [nuclear] submarines, the Navy’s P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft, the newest stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, and brand-new carrier-based E-2D Hawkeye early-warning-and-control aircraft.” The Pentagon is also going to add “new unmanned systems for the air and sea, a new long-range bomber, (an) electromagnetic railgun, lasers, and new systems for space and cyberspace, including a few surprising ones.”

For someone who doesn’t believe in a military solution, Carter is certainly adding a lot of lethal hardware to his arsenal. The question is: Why? Is Washington preparing for war?

Probably not. The United States does not want a war with China. What Washington wants is to be the dominant player in this century’s most promising and prosperous market, Asia. But China’s meteoric growth has put Washington’s plan at risk, which is why Obama is wheeling out the heavy artillery. The anti-China coalition, the China-excluding trade agreements (TPP) and the unprecedented military build up are all aimed at preserving Washington’s dominant role without actually starting a war. The administration thinks that the show of force alone will precipitate a change in behavior. They think China will back down rather than face the awesome military power of the American empire. But will it? Here’s another clip from Carter’s speech at Shangri La:

The United States will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight – principles that have ensured security and prosperity in this region for decades. There should be no mistake: the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as U.S. forces do all around the world.

America, alongside its allies and partners in the regional architecture, will not be deterred from exercising these rights – the rights of all nations. After all, turning an underwater rock into an airfield simply does not afford the rights of sovereignty or permit restrictions on international air or maritime transit.

Who is Carter kidding? China poses no threat to freedom of navigation or overflight. The real threat is China’s participation in the \$100 billion BRICS Development Bank which is set to finance some of the “largest projects of the modern history (including) the construction of new Eurasian infrastructure from Moscow to Vladivostok, in South China and India.” The so called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) “represent 56% of world economic output, and account for 85% of world population. They control about 70% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves. They grow annually by an average of 4% —5%.” (Sputnik News) In other words, US-backed institutions are going to lose their exalted role as “underwriter for the global economy” because the world’s biggest infrastructure projects are going to be funded by China and its allies. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Washington where policy bigwigs are worried that US influence will gradually erode as global power inevitably shifts eastward.

US hegemony is also threatened by China’s Sino-centric economic policy which author Robert Berke sums up in an article on Oil titled “New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

China is building the world’s greatest economic development and construction project ever undertaken: The New Silk Road. The project aims at no less than a revolutionary change in the economic map of the world…The ambitious vision is to resurrect the ancient Silk Road as a modern transit, trade, and economic corridor that runs from Shanghai to Berlin. The ‘Road’ will traverse China, Mongolia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, extending more than 8,000 miles, creating an economic zone that extends over one third the circumference of the earth.

The plan envisions building high-speed railroads, roads and highways, energy transmission and distributions networks, and fiber optic networks. Cities and ports along the route will be targeted for economic development.

An equally essential part of the plan is a sea-based “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR) component, as ambitious as its land-based project, linking China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. When completed, like the ancient Silk Road, it will connect three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa. The chain of infrastructure projects will create the world’s largest economic corridor, covering a population of 4.4 billion and an economic output of \$21 trillion…

For the world at large, its decisions about the Road are nothing less than momentous. The massive project holds the potential for a new renaissance in commerce, industry, discovery, thought, invention, and culture that could well rival the original Silk Road. It is also becoming clearer by the day that geopolitical conflicts over the project could lead to a new cold war between East and West for dominance in Eurasia. The outcome is far from certain. (“New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever”, Robert Berke, Oil Price)

China is perfectly situated to take advantage of Asia’s explosive growth. They’ve paid their dues, built up their infrastructure and industrial capability, and now they’re in the catbird seat fully prepared to benefit from the fact that “Half of humanity will live in Asia by 2050″ and that “more than half of the global middle class and its accompanying consumption will come from that region.” US corporations will be welcome to compete in these new markets, but they won’t do nearly as well as businesses located in China. (This is why the Pentagon has been asked to intervene by powerful members of the corporate establishment.)

Washington’s gambit in the Spratly’s is an attempt to reverse the tide, derail China’s current trajectory and insert the US as the regional kingpin who writes the rules and picks the winners. As Sec-Def Carter said in an earlier speech at the McCain Institute in Arizona, “There are already more than 525 million middle class consumers in Asia, and there will be 3.2 billion in the region by 2030.” US corporations want the lion’s-share of those customers so they can peddle their widgets, goose their stock prices and pump up their quarterly profits. Carter’s job is to help them achieve that objective.

Another threat to US global rule is the aforementioned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The danger of the AIIB is not simply that it will fund many of the infrastructure projects that will be needed to integrate Europe, Asia and Africa into one giant free trade zone, but that the bank will replace key US-backed financial institutions (The IMF and World Bank) which have helped maintain Washington’s iron-grip on the global system. As that grip progressively loosens, there will be less need for cross-border transactions to be carried out in US dollars which, in turn, will threaten the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. As author Bart Gruzalski notes in his excellent article at Counterpunch, “China and Russia are creating alternatives that threaten the dollar’s status as the sole dominant international currency. By instituting trade alternatives to the dollar, they challenge the value of the dollar and so threaten the US economy.” (“An Economic Reason for the US vs. China Conflict”, Bart Gruzalski, CounterPunch)

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers offered a particularly bleak assessment of the AIIB flap in an editorial that appeared in April in the Washington Post. He said:

This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. True, there have been any number of periods of frustration for the United States before and multiple times when U.S. behavior was hardly multilateralist, such as the 1971 Nixon shock ending the convertibility of the dollar into gold. But I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out. (Washington Post)

Summers goes on to acknowledge the threat that political dysfunction (on Capitol Hill) poses to “the dollar’s primary role in the international system”. It’s clear that Summers grasps the gravity of what has unfolded and the challenge the AIIB poses to US hegemony. Readers should note that Summers ominous warnings were delivered just months before Washington dramatically revamped its China policy which suggests that the announcement of the AIIB was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Shortly after, the Obama administration made “crucial changes” to the existing policy. Containment and integration were replaced with the current policy of intimidation, incitement and confrontation. Beijing was elevated to Public Enemy Number 1, America’s primary strategic rival.

What happens next, should be fairly obvious to anyone who has followed US meddling in recent years. The US is now at war with China, which means that it will use all of its resources and capabilities, except it’s military assets, to defeat the enemy. The United States will not militarily engage an enemy that can fight back or inflict pain on the US. That’s the cardinal rule of US military policy. While that precludes a nuclear conflagration, it does not exclude a hyperbolic propaganda campaign demonizing China and its leaders in the media (Sadly, the comparisons to Hitler and the Kaiser have already started), asymmetrical attacks on Chinese markets and currency, excruciating economic sanctions, US-NGO funding for Chinese dissidents, foreign agents and fifth columnists, intrusions into China’s territorial waters and airspace, strategic denial of critical energy supplies, (80 percent of China’s oil supplies are delivered via the Malacca Strait to the South China Sea) and, finally, covert support for “moderate” jihadis who are committed to toppling the Chinese government and replacing it with an Islamic Caliphate. All of these means and proxies will be employed to defeat Beijing, to derail its ambitious Silk Roads strategy, to curtail its explosive growth, and to sabotage its plan to be the preeminent power in Asia.

Washington has thrown down the gauntlet in the South China Sea. If Beijing wants to preserve its independence and surpass the US as the world’s biggest economy, it’s going to have to meet the challenge, prepare for a long struggle, and beat Uncle Sam at his own game.

It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Economics, Foreign Policy • Tags: China, South China Sea 
Hide 17 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Beijing was elevated to Public Enemy Number 1, America’s primary strategic rival.

    What happens next, should be fairly obvious to anyone who has followed US meddling in recent years. The US is now at war with China, which means that it will use all of its resources and capabilities, except it’s military assets, to defeat the enemy. The United States will not militarily engage an enemy that can fight back or inflict pain on the US. That’s the cardinal rule of US military policy. While that precludes a nuclear conflagration…

    Have to call Bullshit on these lines in what is otherwise an excellent article. From ongoing, nearly non-stop NATO war games of Russia’s borders in Europe replete with Pentagon/NATO coordinated ‘Russian Aggression’ propaganda integrated to what the head of STRATFOR has called a “blatant coup” in Ukraine, spurring Kiev to persistent aggressive acts towards Russia, moving to upgrade the B61 tactical nuclear bomb kept in Europe (reducing its ‘payload’ from 400 kilotons to 50 kilotons, making their use more ‘acceptable’), scrapping the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, moves towards reintroducing medium range nuclear capable missiles into Europe, building a missile ‘shield’ in Europe … clearly Mike Whitney has provided erroneous conclusions. Russia remains target #1 in the present, the religious extremist generals (see at the Pentagon and NATO (e.g. Dempsey/Breedlove) who just so happen to believe in literal Armageddon as a matter of their ‘Christian Dominion’ personal faith, are those same personalities making policy pronouncements on ‘pushing back’ Russia and could be trusted not to pull the trigger about as far as Mike Whitney could throw a sumo wrestler.

    ^ The overlooked facts of the madmen comprising NATO

    • Replies: @Kiza
  2. Kiza says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Hello Ronald, you took words right out of my keyboard. I agree 100% with you, this is an excellent article but with a misunderstanding of the US military strategy.

    The main point of the article is correct – the US does not want war, it wants domination and exploitation of other nations. China is a much bigger challenge than Russia. The US intends to engage Russia and China in a low intensity war, through proxies in Ukraine and Xin Jiang, but also directly. The US will keep doing “for your eyes only” provocations, as they always did against Soviet Union, for example, ramming submarines or trying to cause some major accident, always with plausible deniability, fervent protestations of innocence and clams that it was a simple accident (bombing of Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia).

    The biggest question unanswered by Mike is: will the US economy be able to sustain such low-intensity war of provocations, that is, how long will the US be able to poke both the bear and the dragon without collapsing under the weight of its own financial and social corruption (e.g. police brutality).

    In Europe, there is a common belief that Hitler lost WW2 only because he did not pick out his enemies one-by-one, but engaged everybody at the same time. The German military was absolutely superior to any other military in the World at the time, just like the US military is now. But impatience got better of Hitler. Many people think that the US should have engaged first only China, because Russia does not have anything close to sufficient economic power to challenge the US domination and would have been an easy prey after China is taken care of. But greed for resources got better of US elite and it engaged both.

    • Replies: @Simon in London
  3. @Kiza

    The modern USA has the same problem as Nazi Germany in that their own ideology propels them to more and more destructive confrontations. Hitler was impelled by his own Narrative Frame to invade the USSR, no matter how stupid. He went from a commanding position at the start of 1941, to a disastrous position by the end, at war with all three of the British Empire, USSR and USA. Likewise the USA’s “indispensable nation” “full spectrum dominance” narrative requires her to seek absolute global hegemony with all other nations as vassals implementing versions of US culture and politics. She cannot accept a position as just a major player in an international system, with allies accorded equal status. This propels her to conflict with each and every nation that will not accept a subordinate position. The USA is well placed to be first among equals in a global inter-state system, but is not strong enough socially or (increasingly) economically to achieve the true total global domination to which she feels entitled.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @SolontoCroesus
  4. Georgios says:

    “”There’s no need to go over the details of China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands since reasonable people can agree that Washington has no real interest in a few piles of sand heaped up on reefs 10,000 miles from the United States.””

    Why is there no need?
    These “islands” are far away from China as well, Vietnam or the Philippines
    might have some “right” on them.
    The ominous “oil” there is not a sufficient explanation for the chinese actions,
    which give most states in east Asia and Europe a lot to think about which
    power to prefer as an ally.
    I think these Spratley-“adventure” is well calculated by the Chinese to send
    a message to the neighbors and US:
    Don’t try to play childish games with us!

  5. unit472 says:

    China is doing exactly what Japan was doing 75 years ago. Creating a Beijing centered ‘Co-Prosperity Sphere” aimed at pushing the US from its position in the Western Pacific in the same way Japan pushed the US and European powers out in 1941. The Spratleys are claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines , Indonesia and, I think even Brunei has asserted a claim to the reefs as well. China is ignoring their claims and simply seizing and militarizing them in much the same way Japan did with Truk and other islands in Micronesia.

    It makes sense if you are China since nature and history did not endow it with much in the way of offshore territory for forward defense of the Chinese mainland while the US has Guam, Okinawa and other Japanese bases to operate out of. The US will probably be back in Subic and Cam Rahn Bays soon too as Vietnam and the Philippines rejoin the Western defense alliance.

    Not a lot of right and wrong to it. It is simply geopolitics and with China a generation away from having a Navy capable of approaching the US mainland building some sand airstrips in the South China sea is their version of a low tech aircraft carrier to protect the sea approaches to Southern China.

    • Replies: @Jonathan
  6. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    So, when do we get our factories back?

    • Replies: @unit472
  7. unit472 says:

    Charles Hugh Smith suggests we may get ‘our factories back’ sooner than you might think if the crisis in the health of Chinese workers is anything like he outlined yesterday. That Chinese economic miracle may have come at a very high price that is going to be paid out in diabetes,lung and coronary disease owing to the pollution of China’s air, water and even soil!

    • Replies: @Hrw-500
  8. Jonathan says:

    The biased Western (the U.S. particularly) media and anti-China commentators never mention the fact that Taiwan is a claimant of the South China Sea as well. Also the reclaiming of land and the stationing of troops on some of the islands in the SCS were initiated by Vietnam and the Philippines, although China is doing it much later, but on a bigger and faster scale. During the Vietnam War, The Communist Vietnam government had agreed that the SCS islands belonged to China, because they had been taken from China by the French when they colonized and made French Indochina. The Vietnamese Communists needed China’s help to fight first the French and then the U.S. and acceded to China on the SCS islands. Taiwan is a claimant, because China, under the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek was a claimant of all those island and remained a claimant even though Chiang fled to Taiwan after the Communists took over mainland China.

  9. Renoman says:

    They owe China a ton of money so they’re going to war instead of paying their bill. They really don’t have a choice, it’s either tax the Rich into paying their share [unthinkable] or try to bomb their way out of it. Standard CIA stuff really, nothing new.

  10. Kiza says:
    @Simon in London

    The regular shelling of civilians in Eastern Ukraine is a out of a rule-book example of low intensity war (constant provocations) that the US will keep going as long as needed to provoke. This new/old US military doctrine aims to destabilize a heavily nuclear-armed military power, to drain it and collapse it whilst not starting a nuclear confrontation:
    1) keep constantly provoking, poking militarily but bellow the threshold for a direct nuclear confrontation,
    2) apply economic sanctions of your block to weaken an already economically shaky nuclear power, and
    3) use NGOs and other internal tools to create political instability inside the country.
    To some extent, this doctrine is modeled on the previous success against Soviet Union in Afghanistan, but it is broader. In short, the shelling of Easter Ukraine and the economic sanctions on Russia by the Western block will end only when Russia collapses (listen to G7).

    Whilst the “Ukraine crisis” is tailor made to Russia and its weaknesses, the US approach to China is quite different because the weaknesses are different. The only real weakness China has is its dependence on the South China sea route for exports and imports, very similar to WW2 dependence of Japan on the same (the US drew Japan into WW2 by imposing a maritime blockade of its islands). The fuss about land-reclamation, in my view, is preparation for a maritime blockade of the South China Sea by the US navy and airforce. The US overflights and ship incursions aim to provoke China to react military, which would then be used as an excuse for imposing a sea-route blockade. This would be highly damaging to the still mostly export-dependent Chinese economy (although internal market is growing strongly). Russia is developing an alternative Northern trade route. South Korea and Japan will lend air and navy basis for blockading of this new Northern trade route, whilst Vietnam and Philippines will be the military basis for the blockading of the Southern China Sea route. Therefore, there is a less publicized strategic reason for the revival of the land Silk Route by China – there is no navy which could blockade it and isolate China from its markets.

    Therefore, the US strategy is well thought out although obvious, but it will not be easy because Russia is not Soviet Union and China is not Japan. It will be interesting and highly risky World in the next few decades.

  11. There’s a strong argument that one of the central causal factors or WWI was Germany’s Berlin-to-Baghdad railroad —
    Silk Road Beta -2 —

    The war in Yemen may be as much about clearing the decks for the bin Laden family’s Bridge of the Horns and related towns at each end to cross the Red Sea and link Djibouti and Yemen
    Silk Road Beta 1
    It a reasonable speculation that Madeleine Albright’s firm has an interest in the project that has American investors, architects and design firms among its participants. Wendy Sherman, who is negotiating on the (ostensibly) American side of the Iran nuclear agreement, is a principal in Albright’s firm.

  12. denk says:

    from a german netizen on scs,

    -*Was suchen die USA im südchinesischen Meer? Die haben danicht zu suchen wie China ebenso nicht im Golf von Mexiko oder imSt-Lorenz-Ästuar und St.-Lorenz-Golf. Schliesslich ist nicht Krieg. Aber fürdie USA ist ständig und überall Krieg. Sie sind die grössten Stinkstiebel derWeltgeschichte.*

    basically he’s saying the snake is the world’s no1 shit stirrer !
    i’ve been saying that all along !

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t really buy it. I mean the US also had lots of pollution when it was industrializing along with Europe too. Plus Chinese health care is not the boondoggle it is in the US where getting a cold treated will cost you several hundred.

    No doubt it will hurt China, but it just seems like the latest wishful thinking on why China will fail.

  14. @Simon in London

    Agree there are linkages between USA policy and quest for global dominance, and Germany under NSDAP, but I would arrange them differently and, I believe, in a way more in keeping with the facts of each entity’s situation.

    In the years between the wars Bolshevik Communist Russia had been attempting to destabilize Germany. “Zinoviev is best remembered as the longtime head of the Communist International and the architect of several failed attempts to transform Germany into a communist country.” Communist agitators from Russia as well as refugees from Poland flooded into Germany, creating political, social and economic strain and turmoil in already prostrate nation that had endured the loss of 800,000 of its citizens to starvation in WWI, and suffered further starvation and instability in the Weimar years.

    Germany had that set of grievances with Bolshevik Russia; it also shared a wish to destroy Bolshevism with the West: Woodrow Wilson had sent troops to destroy Bolshevism in 1918-1919; the scheme backfired.

    In his speech in the House of Commons in 1940, Winston Churchill said, “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.” But in 1920, Churchill wrote:

    It may well be that this same astounding race [the ‘national Jews of Russia] may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible.

    It’s reasonable to conclude that Churchill was in favor of vanquishing Bolshevism.

    The USA spent more than fifty years, untold sums, and half-a-century of pursuing otherwise imprudent policies, all in service of the single-minded quest to destroy Communism, Stalinist Bolshevism’s heir.

    So while Hitler’s 1941 campaign against Russia may have been ill-timed and ill-prepared, it was well within the mainstream of Western, “Christian” ideology, and the West took on the battle after Germany failed.

    The curiosity is why Churchill and FDR did not take Herbert Hoover’s advice and stand back as Russia and Germany fought each other to exhaustion but instead interposed themselves to give Bolshevik Russia a victory!

    Unlike Germany, USA has not been invaded by any of the nations it seeks to overthrow in the Middle East or in Russia. The American political and financial systems have not been destabilized by Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Libya; quite the contrary: the USA has set out to destabilize the cultures, politics, and economies of other nations in preparation for a full-bore overthrow and occupation.

    So I don’t think that comparison of US quest for world dominance matches Germany’s attempt to conquer Russia.

    As stated in the opening sentence, there is, nevertheless, a linkage between USA actions and Nazi Germany.

    In remarks about his book, Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War, at Texas A&M University, Jeff Engel talked about what drove George H. W. Bush to decide to invade Iraq in 1990:

    We should be frank about what moved them to act. It was NOT the argument that Kuwaiti independence mattered much at all.

    Neither was it that Hussein’s particular brand of evil and tyranny required an American response.

    Nor was Bush persuaded that Iraq’s aggression carried immediate concerns, or that Iraq might someday turn its oil wealth into dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

    Each of these reasons, in time, influenced Bush’s thoughts, his actions and his statements in the months to come.

    None, however, not freedom, evil, human rights, democracy or WMDs affected his thinking in those first fateful days of August.

    Bush was instead, and this is important, Bush was instead persuaded by the growing realization that he stood at a pivot moment in the course of history.
    . . .

    And the key question I think is WHY? Why did Bush go against decades of American policy, injecting force into a region like never done before? . . .

    I argue Bush took the dramatic step into the Gulf Crisis because he saw it as a bridge to a better world. His New World Order, a phrase unveiled in response to Hussein’s invasion, was not just a catchy phrase, it was rather the culmination of a long and difficult journey of of intellectual discovery. . . .

    Bush saw in the Gulf War AN OPPORTUNITY as well as an invasion,. .. He saw within it a chance to demonstrate that Washington would continue to lead. Leading it in particular towards the kind of world promised to his generation as their reward for service in World War II.

    I should insert that I consider the Allied victory in 1945 a liar’s victory:
    ~As Irving Kristol said in a 1996 panel discussion, “FDR took the United States to war against Germany based on deceptions and manipulations.”
    The United States had no reason to wage war on Germany, no genuine cassus belli (I am aware that Germany declared war on USA, but can anybody rationally maintain that the USA would not have drawn Germany into war sooner or later?)

    ~The USA and Britain engaged in a firebombing campaign that deliberately targeted German and Japanese civilians, by any measure, war crimes.

    The USA has never been called to account for those ignoble actions.

    Thus, when George H. W. Bush relies on memories of the kind of world promised to his generation as their reward for service in World War II, I submit that his reminiscence carried a large portion of delusion.

    The United States committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the course of World War II and its aftermath. It has never acknowledged this evil behavior to itself. It has, instead, repeated the behavior in those states where George H. W. Bush and his successors — all of them — took it upon themselves to impose their version of how the world should work.

    As Engel noted above, that New World Order had nothing to do with democracy or with liberating oppressed people from tyrants — if that were so, the USA would have insisted that Israel “tear down those walls.”

    FDR and Churchill allied with the regime that was by all accounts inimical to the value-set they supposedly endorsed in order to destroy Germany and Japan and acquire dominance over them. That dominance is only slightly abated to this day, and those states still experience the long-term effects of a declining demography set in motion by the war.

    George H. W. Bush did indeed set those same hardships in motion, and for much the same reason: to establish U.S. dominance in the world.

    Herbert Hoover did not like Hitler one bit. But after meeting with him in 1938, Hoover reported that Hitler’s three “idées fixe” included vanquishing Bolshevism, but world dominance was not on his agenda (Hitler’s government made numerous gestures to ally with Britain, whom it believe the appropriate hegemony).

    The same was not the case for George H. W. Bush.

  15. pyrrhus says:

    Thankfully for the rest of us, the timing of these psychopaths in the White House and Pentagon is off quite a bit, as US technology (exemplified by the F-35 disaster and the continued building of \$10 billion targets called aircraft carriers) has hit the skids. And the performance of our military against medieval infantry using donkeys for transport has been anything but impressive……China can and will simply play a waiting game, and watch the US fall apart.

  16. The so called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) “represent 56% of world economic output, and account for 85% of world population

    Err, both these are obviously untrue.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply -

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Mike Whitney Comments via RSS