China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

Global Research, October 28, 2017
Global Research 7 March 2012

First published on GR in March 2012

The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.

China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.

First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.

In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .

In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.

Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.

China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China

The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.

Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].

Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.

China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.

Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.

Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.

By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.

British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest

The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.

What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.

China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution

The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.

In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.

Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.

China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism

Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.

The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.

The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .

China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .

Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?

China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.

Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.

Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.

Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.

In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.

The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.

Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.

China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.

Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.

This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.

China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.

China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].

Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.

There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.

These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.

There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).

Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.

China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.

China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.

China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]

Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].

China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.

In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.

Notes

[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012

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Crimes Against Humanity: The British Empire

Source

By Paul Gregoire,

First published by Sydney Criminal Lawyers and Global Research in July 2017.

It was the largest empire ever to have existed. And as the saying used to go, the sun never sets on the British Empire. At its height in 1922, the colonial power was lording it over a fifth of the world’s population and for many of them, the sun never rose again.

Under the policies of British colonialism, people around the globe were subjected to mass famines, atrocious conditions in concentration camps, and brutal massacres at the hands of imperialist troops. The Brits also played an integral role in the transatlantic slave trade.

Although the atrocities of the British Empire are well documented, the myth of the noble colonising power continued into recent decades.

The Migrated Archives

During proceedings in the British High Court in 2010, University of Warwick historian David M Anderson submitted a statement referring to 1,500 files that went missing from Kenya as British rule in the region was coming to an end.

This led the British government to concede that they had hidden or disposed of those files, and many others at a high-security facility north of London. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was hiding around 600,000 historical documents in breach of the 1958 UK Public Records Act.

The stash included around 20,000 undisclosed files from 37 former British colonies. Indeed, it’s common knowledge that as the British colonial edifice was disintegrating, administrators of the colonies were told to either burn their documents or try and smuggle them out.

The legal proceedings where Mr Anderson made his revelations related to a case brought against the British government by three elderly Kenyans who claimed they’d been tortured and abused by the colonial authorities during the British occupation of their country.

The British gulag in Kenya

The British first moved into East Africa in the late 19th century, and Kenya was declared a Crown colony in 1920. In the 1940s, after half a century of British occupation, a small group of Kikuyu people – the country’s largest ethnic group – formed the Mau Mau movement and vowed to oppose colonial rule.

As word spread, Mau Mau resistance grew and they began knocking off colonial officers and local loyalists. In October 1952, Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency, which held until 1960.

In 1964, the colonial army began erecting a network of concentration camps. Historians estimate that 150,000 to 1.5 million Kikuyu people were detained. Conditions within the camps were atrocious, and people were systematically beaten and sexually assaulted during questioning.

The grandfather of Barack Obama, Hussein Onyango Obama suffered severe mistreatment in the camp where he was held, which included having pins forced under his fingernails.

The British government, after being continually defeated in the High Court, agreed to settle the Mau Mau case in 2013.

On June 6 that year, then UK foreign secretary William Hague announced 5,000 survivors would each receive £3,800 payment, and he also expressed the nation’s sincere regrets to Kenyans who were subjected to “torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration.”

The desecration in India

It’s said that India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. The British East India Company began making avenues into the subcontinent in the 17th century, and India was established as a Crown colony in 1858.

The British Raj systematically transferred the wealth of the region into their own coffers. In the north eastern region of Bengal, “the first great deindustrialisation of the modern world” occurred.

The prosperous two centuries-old weaving industry was shut down after the British flooded the local market with cheap fabric from northern England. India still grew the cotton, but the Bengali population no longer spun it, and the weavers became beggars.

India suffered around a dozen major famines under British rule, with an estimated 12 to 29 million Indians starving to death.

The Orissa famine occurred in north eastern India in 1866. Over one million – or one in three local people – perished. As the region’s textile industry was destroyed, more people were pushed into agriculture, and were dependent on the monsoon.

That year, the monsoon was weak. Crops didn’t grow and many starved to death. The colonial administration didn’t intervene as the popular economic theory of the time reasoned that the market would restore proper balance, and the famine was nature’s way of responding to overpopulation.

When the British finally got out of India, they simply drew a line down the map and partitioned the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The move led to the mass migration of around 10 million people, and when it escalated into sectarian violence an estimated one million lost their lives.

A southern invasion

The British began invading Australia in 1788, under the pretext that it was terra nullis: a land with no owners. The High Court of Australia abolished the legal fiction of terra nullius in its 1992 Mabo versus Queensland (No 2) ruling.

It was a landmark decision, but not everyone was surprised that the court found that there were actually sovereign people living on the land prior to the arrival of the British. At that time, there were an estimated 750,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living across the continent.

The First Fleet arrived in the vicinity of what is now the city of Sydney in 1788. Around 15 months later, at least 50 percent of the local Aboriginal population was dying due to a smallpox epidemic.

Some historians put the outbreak down to contact with the Macassans from Sulawesi in the far north of the continent. However, others argue that bottles of smallpox were brought across on First Fleet ships, and the disease was then released, either accidentally or with clear intent.

Dozens of massacres of Indigenous people were carried out by the British right up until the 1920s. On June 10 1838, the Myall Creek massacre occurred near Inverell in NSW. This tragedy is well-known as it was the first time Europeans were brought to justice for such an atrocity in Australia.

At the time about 50 Aboriginal men were working for stockmen in the area. One evening the stockmen rode into the local people’s camp, tied up 29 men, women and children, and beheaded them. Seven of the perpetrators were eventually brought to trial and hanged.

Today, in Australia, the colonial legacy continues. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the most incarcerated population on earth.

As of March this year, there were 11,288 Indigenous adults detained in the Australian prison system. First Nations peoples account for only 2.5 percent of the overall Australian adult population, yet they represent 28 percent of the adult prisoner population.

A bloody trail

But these are only some of the crimes perpetrated by the British as they carried the greatest land grab the world has ever seen.

There were the concentration camps in South Africa, where tens of thousands of the Boer population were detained in the first years of the 20th century. The Irish potato famine occurred in the 1840s, leading to the deaths of well over a million people.

There were the torture centres in Aden in the 1960s, where nationalists were kept naked in refrigerated cells. When the Empire was facing communist insurgents during the Malaya Emergency of the 1950s, they simply decided to imprison the entire peasant population in detention camps.

And the list goes on…

Featured image from Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Letter to my American friends

Letter to my American friends

The Saker

Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the USA) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely mislead people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

——-

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The USA needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the USA needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The USA has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the USA “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the USA compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would we have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word I coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not so sure.

Either way, my point is this:

We are hard-coded to be credulous and uncritically accept all the demonization of Nazis and Soviets because we are Jews and White Russians. Careful here, I am NOT saying that the Nazis and Soviets were not evil – they definitely were – but what I am saying is that we, Jews and Russians, are far more willing to accept and endorse any version of history which makes the Nazis and Soviets some kind of exceptionally evil people and that, in contrast, we almost instinctively reject any notion that “our” side (in this case I mean *your* side, the American one since you, unlike me, consider yourselves American) was just as bad (if only because your side never murdered Jews and Russians). So let’s look at this “our/your side” for a few minutes.

By the time the USA entered WWII it had already committed the worse crime in human history, the poly-genocide of an entire continent, followed by the completely illegal and brutal annexation of the lands stolen from the Native Americans. Truly, Hitler would have been proud. But that is hardly all, the Anglo invaders then proceeded to wage another illegal and brutal war of annexation against Mexico from which they stole a huge chunk of land which includes modern Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico!

Yes, all this land was illegally occupied and stolen by your side not once, but TWICE! And do I even need to mention the horrors of slavery to add to the “moral tally” of your side by the time the US entered the war?

Right there I think that there is more than enough evidence that your side was morally worse than either the Nazis or the Soviets. The entire history of the USA is one of endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression and wars. Endless wars of aggression. None of them defensive by any stretch of the imagination. That is quite unique in human history. Can you think of a nastier, more bloodthirsty regime? I can’t.

Should I even mention the British “atrocities tally”, ranging from opium wars, to the invention of concentration camps, to the creation of Apartheid, the horrors of the occupation of Ireland, etc. etc. etc.?

I can just hear you say that yes, this was horrible, but that does not change the fact that in WWII the USA “saved Europe”. But is that really so?

To substantiate my position, I have put together a separate PDF file which lists 5 sources, 3 in English, 2 in Russian. You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByibNV3SiUooWExTNGhMTGF5azQ

I have translated the key excerpts of the Russian sources and I am presenting them along with the key excerpts of the English sources. Please take a look at this PDF and, if you can, please read the full original articles I quote. I have stressed in bold red the key conclusions of these sources. You will notice that there are some variations in the figures, but the conclusions are, I think, undeniable. The historical record show that:

  1. The Soviet Union can be credited with the destruction of roughly 80% of the Nazi military machine. The US-UK correspondingly can be credited with no more than 20% of the Allied war effort.
  2. The scale and scope of the battles on the Eastern Front completely dwarf the biggest battles on the Western Front. Battles in the West involved Divisions and Brigades, in the East they involved Armies and Groups of Armies. That is at least one order of magnitude of difference.
  3. The USA only entered the war a year after Stalingrad and the Kursk battle when it was absolutely clear that the Nazis would lose the war.

The truth is that the Americans only entered the war when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated and that their real motive was not the “liberation of oppressed Europe” but to prevent the Soviets from occupying all of Europe. The Americans never gave a damn about the mass murder of Jews or Russians, all they cared about was a massive land-grab (yet again).

[Sidebar: By the way, and lest you think that I claim that only Americans act this way, here is another set of interesting dates:

Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation: August 9–20, 1945

We can clearly see the same pattern here: the Soviets waited until it was absolutely certain that the USA had defeated the Japanese empire before striking it themselves. It is also worth noting that it took the Soviets only 10 days to defeat the entire Kwantung Army, the most prestigious Army of the Japanese Empire with over one million well-trained and well-equipped soldiers! That should tell you a little something about the kind of military machine the Soviet Union had developed in the course of the war against Nazi Germany (see here for a superb US study of this military operation)]

Did the Americans bring peace and prosperity to western Europe?

To western Europe, to some degree yes, and that is because was easy for them: they ended the war almost “fresh”, their (stolen) homeland did not suffer the horrors of war and so, yes, they could bring in peanut butter, cigarettes and other material goods. They also made sure that Western Europe would become an immense market for US goods and services and that European resources would be made available to the US Empire, especially against the Soviet Union. And how did they finance this “generosity”? By robbing the so-called Third World blind, that’s all. Is that something to be proud of? Did Lenin not warn as early as 1917 that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”? The wealth of Western Europe was built by the abject poverty of the millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americas.

But what about the future of Europe and the European people?

There a number of things upon which the Anglos and Stalin did agree to at the end of WWII: The four Ds: denazification, disarmament, demilitarisation, and democratisation of a united Germany and reparations to rebuild the USSR. Yes, Stalin wanted a united, neutral Germany. As soon as the war ended, however, the Anglos reneged on all of these promises: they created a heavily militarized West Germany, they immediately recruited thousands of top Nazi officials for their intelligence services, their rocket program and to subvert the Soviet Union. Worse, they immediately developed plans to attack the Soviet Union. Right at the end of the WWII, Anglo powers had at least THREE plans to wage war on the USSR: Operation DropshotPlan Totality and Operation Unthinkable. Here are some basic reminders from Wikipedia about what these operations were about:

Operation Dropshot: included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Plan Totality: earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable: assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

[Were you aware of these? If not, do you now wonder why?]

I am not making these things up, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the Anglo idea of how you deal with Russian “allies”: you stab them in the back with a surprise nuclear attack, you obliterate most of their cities and you launch the Nazi Wehrmacht against them.

I won’t even go into the creation of NATO (before the WTO – known in the West as the “Warsaw Pact” – was created in response) or such petty crimes as false flag terrorist attack (Operation Gladio).

[Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio or the August 1980 “Bologna massacre”, the bombing of the Bologna train station by NATO secret terrorist forces, a false-flag terrorist attack (85 dead, over 200 wounded) designed to discredit the Communist Party of Italy? If not – do you now wonder why you never heard of this?]

The sad reality is that the US intervention in Europe was a simple land-grab, that the Cold War was an Anglo creation, as was the partition of Europe, and that since WWII the USA always treated Europe as a colony form which to fight the “Communist” threat (i.e. Russia).

But, let’s say that I am all wrong. For argument’s sake. Let’s pretend that the kind-hearted Americans came to Europe to free the European people. They heroically defeated Hitler and brought (Western) Europe peace, prosperity, freedom, happiness, etc. etc. etc.

Does this good deed give the USA a license for future interventions? You both mentioned WWII as an example and a justification for the need for the USA to maintain a military large enough to counter regimes such as the North Korean one, right? So, let me ask again,

Does the fact that the USA altruistically, kindly and heroically liberated Europe from both the Nazis and the Soviets now grant the moral legitimacy to other, subsequent, US military interventions against other abhorrent, aggressive or evil regimes/countries out there?

If you reply “no” – then why did you mention it as a justification?

If you reply “yes” – then please forgive me for being so obtuse and ask you for how long this “license to militarily intervene” remains valid? One year? Five years? Maybe ten or even seventy years? Or maybe this license grants such a moral right to the USA ad aeternam, forever? Seriously, if the USA did liberate Europe and bring it peace and happiness, are we to assume that this will remain true forever and everywhere?

I also want to ask you this: let’s say, for the argument’s sake, that the moral license given by the US participation in the war in Europe is, truly, forever. Let’s just assume that, okay? But let me ask you this: could it be revoked (morally, conceptually)? Say the USA did something absolutely wonderful in Europe. What about the subsequent horrors in southeast Asia, Latin America or the Middle-East. How many murdered, maimed, occupied, terrorized, bombed and otherwise genocided “non-West Europeans” would it take to outweigh the putatively “happily liberated” Europeans which, according to you, grant the USA the license to intervene? Even if the US in Europe was all noble and pure, do the following seventy years of evil mass murder worldwide really count for nothing or does there come a point were “enough is enough” and the license can be revoked, morally speaking, by people like us, like you?

May I point out to you that your words spoken in defense of a supposed need for the USA to maintain a military capable of overseas operations strongly suggest that you believe that the USA has a moral right (if not a duty!) to conduct such operations, which means that the post WWII atrocity-tally of the USA is not, in your opinion, sufficient to elicit a “enough is enough” reaction in you. Are you sure that you are comfortable with this stance?

In theory, there could be another reason to revoke such a moral license. After all, one can have the moral right to do something, but not necessarily the capability to do so. If I see somebody drowning in a flood, I most certainly have the moral right to jump in the water and try to save this person, do I not? But that does not mean that I have the strength or skills to do so. Right? So when you say that the USA needs to maintain a military capable of protecting friends and allies from rogue and dangerous regimes like the one in North Korea, you do imply that besides having the right to extend such a protection the USA also has the capabilities and the expertise to do so?

Really?

And what is the evidence for that, may I ask?!

I asked you to name me a single successful US military intervention since WWII and you could name none. Good! I agree with you. The reality is that every single US military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster either on the humanitarian, political and military level (often on all of them combined). Even Grenada was a total (military) failure! Also, do you see who sits in the White House today? Do you really want The Donald in charge of protecting “our friends and allies” and are you confident that he has the skillset needed to do this competently? Or Hillary for that matter? Even Sanders has a record of defending catastrophic military operations, such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 which, you guessed it (or not), ended in abject defeat for the Israelis and untold civilians horrors in Lebanon. But forget the President, take a look at US generals – do they inspire in you the belief that they are the kind of people who can be trusted to skillfully execute a military intervention inspired by moral and ethical reasons?! What about US “Congresspersons”? Would you trust them? So where do you see honest and competent “saviors of others” in the US polity?

Did you notice that there was no Islamic State in Iraq before the US invasion? Or did you notice that ever since the US declared a war on ISIS the latter has been getting stronger and stronger and taking over more countries. Yes, of course, once the Russians got involved ISIS began suffering defeat after defeat, but all the Americans had to say about the Russian intervention was to denounce it and predict it would fail. So why is it that the Russians are so good at fighting ISIS and the Americans, and their allies, so bad? Do you really want the Americans in charge of world security with such a record?!

Is insanity not repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Now I hear the reply you gave me to this point. You said “yes, mistakes were made”.

Mistakes?!

I don’t think that millions of murdered people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are “mistakes” (how would you react if somebody conceded to you that Hitler and Stalin made “mistakes”?). But there is something even more insidious in this notion of “mistake”.

How would you define “success”?

Say the US armed forces were not only good at killing people (which they are), but also good at winning wars (which they ain’t). Say the USA had been successful in not only invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in fully pacifying these countries. Say the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been successfully defeated, their economy had bounced back, and democratic regimes put in power: capitalism everywhere, 100 channels on each TV, McDonalds in every Afghan villages, gay pride parades in downtown Kabul, gender-neutral toilets in every mosque, elections every 4 years or so and not a single shot fired, not a single bomb going off? Would that be a “success”?

I pray to God and hope with all my heart that your reply to this question is a resounding “no!!”. Because if you answered “yes” then you are truly messianic genocidal imperialists. Yup, I mean that. Why? Because your notion of “success” is the spiritual, psychological and cultural death of an ancient civilization and that makes you, quite literally, an mortal enemy of mankind as a whole. I can’t even imagine such a horror. So I am sure that you answered “no!!” as every decent human being would, right?

But then what is a “success”? You clearly don’t mean the success as defined by your rulers (they would enthusiastically support such an outcome; in fact – they even promise it every time over and over again!). But if their idea of “success” is not yours, and if you would never want any other nation, people or ethnicity to ever become a victim of such as “successful” military intervention, why do you still want your rulers with their satanic notion of “success” to have the means to be “successful” in the future? And that in spite of the fact that the historical record shows that they can’t even achieve any type of “success” even by their own definition, nevermind yours?!

Did you notice that nowhere in my arguments above did I mention the fact that the USA has never asked people (as opposed to local Comprador elites) whether they wanted to be saved by Uncle Sam or not? Neither did they ask the American people if they wanted to go to war, hence all the well-known false flags from the “remember the Maine”, to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, to Pearl Harbor, to the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”, to September 11th: every time a lie had to be concocted to convince the American people that they had to go to war. Is that really people power? Is this democracy?!

Are there people out there, anybody, who really favor US military interventions? Yes, I suppose that there are. Like the Kosovo Albanians. I suspect that the Afghan Tajiks and Hazara were pretty happy to see the US bomb the crap of the Taliban. So there might be a few cases. Oh, and I forgot our Balt and Ukrainian friends (but then, they were also happy when the Nazis came, hardly much of an example). But it is pretty safe to say that in reality nobody wants to be liberated by Uncle Sam, hence the wordwide use of the “Yankee go home” slogan.

This letter is already way too long, and I will forgo the listing of all the reasons why the USA are pretty much hated all over the planet, not by the ruling elites, of course, but by the regular people. And when I say “the USA” I don’t mean Paul Newman, Mark Twain, Miles Davis, Quentin Tarantino, James Taylor or the Bill of Rights or the beautiful country called “the USA”. But the regime, as opposed to any one specific government or administration in Washington, the regime is what is truly universally hated. I have never seen any anti-Americanism directed at the American people anywhere, not even in France, Greece or Latin America. But the hate for the Empire is quasi universal by now. Only the political elites whose status, power and well-being is dependent on the Empire do, in fact, support the Empire and what it stands for. Everybody else despises what the USA stands for today. And every military intervention only makes this worse.

And you want to make sure this continues? Really?

Right now the US is desperately trying to save al-Qaeda (aka IS, ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra, etc.) from defeat in Syria. How is that for a moral stance after 9/11 (that is, if you accept the official narrative about 9/11; if you understand that 9/11 was a controlled demolition in which al-Qaeda patsies were used as a smokescreen, then this makes sense, by the way).

By the way – who are the current allies the US are so busy helping now?

  • The Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia
  • The Nazi regime in the Ukraine and
  • The last officially racist regime on the planet in Israel

Do these really strike you as allies worth supporting?!

And what are the American people getting from that? Nothing but poverty, oppression, shame, hatred, fear and untold physical, psychological and moral suffering.

These are the fruits of Empire. Every Empire. Always.

You mentioned that every time you see a veteran you thanked him for his service. Why? Do you really think that he fought in a just war, that his service is something he can be proud of? Did he fight for his people? Did he defend the innocent? Or was he an occupier in a foreign land and, if he saw combat, did he not kill people who defended their own land, their families and their way of life? What exactly do you thank that veteran for? For following orders? But is that not something the Nuremberg trials specifically condemned as immoral and illegal?

Do you remember how you told me that xxxxx’s Marine husband lived in a nice house with all their material needs taken care of? You added “compare that to Russian servicemen”. Well, you clearly are not aware of how Russian soldiers live nowadays, under your hated Putin, but that is besides the point. The question which I wanted to ask you then and which I will ask you now is this: is the comfortable lifestyle granted to US Marines good enough a reason to be a Marine – that is being part of the very first force called in to murder innocent people and invade countries? Do you even know what Marines did to Fallujah recently? How much is a human soul worth? And it is really your belief that being a hired killer for the Empire is an honorable way of life? And should you think that I am exaggerating, please read the famous essay “War is a Racket” by Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, who had the highest rank a Marine could achieve in his time and who was the most decorated Marine in history. If war is a racket, does that not make Marines professional racketeers, hired thugs who act as enforcers for the mobsters in power? Ask yourself this: what would be the roughly equivalent counterparts of the US Marines in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? To help you answer this question, let me offer a short quote from the Wikipedia entry about the Marine Corps: (emphasis added)

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny; to the latter end, their quarters on ship were often strategically positioned between the officers’ quarters and the rest of the vessel.

Does that help you identify their Nazi or Soviet counterparts?

Of all people, is it not we, Jews and Russians, who ought to recognize and categorically reject the trappings of Empire and all the rationalizations used to justify the subservient service to Empires?

I believe that history shows beyond any doubt that all Empires are evil, inherently and essentially, evil. They are also therefore equally evil. Shall I explain why?

Do you know what crimes is considered the ultimate, supreme, most evil crime under international law? It is not genocide, or crimes against humanity. Nope, the ultimate crime is the crime of aggression (that, by the way, makes every single US President a war criminal under international law, think of it!). In the the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the ultimate crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes. Well, to paraphrase Jackson, imperialism contains within itself all the accumulated evil of all empires. Guantanamo, Hiroshima, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Gladio and all the rest, they “come with the territory”, they are not the exception, they are the norm.

The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say “enough is enough”? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?

The Saker

Stonewalling Washington: Trump pushes leftist view of US racism further than Obama or Clinton

August 18, 2017

by Ramin Mazaheri

Stonewalling Washington: Trump pushes leftist view of US racism further than Obama or Clinton

I feel sorry for Americans – they have such lousy leaders they feel compelled to defend.

I don’t mean Trump or Obama or Clinton or even JFK – I mean George Washington.

It’s really gotta be a blow to the national pride when Americans have to admit, if only to themselves: “Trump makes a fair point: the father of our country, George Washington, was a slave-owning bastard, just like Confederate leaders Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.”

LOL, Trump deserves some sort of leftist medal: “Unwitting Service to the Advance of Leftism Despite Overwhelming Idiocy,” or something, because his recent statement has done more to push a truly leftist analysis of American history than anyone could have hoped.

Racist, imperialist, bourgeois, repressive, anti-worker, pre-modern…this describes all of the US leaders Trump mentioned . A true leftist must be a wall of stone on this point, so…kudos to Trump, no?

It’s just that Washington, Lee, Jackson and Thomas Jefferson have previously only been lumped together by modern leftist leaders like Ho Chi Minh, Castro, Khomeini, etc.

So what’s America to do? They can’t admit the truth: “It’s not George’s fault he had slaves!” And Trump – he can’t be right even if he finds a cure for cancer.

Like I said – I feel sorry for Americans: they know their emperor has no clothes…that weren’t made by slaves.

How much can an American truly identify with slave-owning George Washington? “No taxation without representation” still holds up, but what about his demand that a slave overseer be “vigilant” because, “I expect to reap the benefit of the labour myself.”

LOL, and we all know there’s much, much worse out there from dear, honest George! But it’s “bad form” to say such things out loud.

Contrarily, it’s going to be a very, very long time before Mao’s “Serve The People” slogan is outdated.

And the flustered response of the US media is just too, too priceless!

But Trump has broached the unresolved issues in American culture which Obama’s speechwriters worked with every breath to sidestep. When it was claimed that Obama’s election meant that the US was now a post-racial society, all us leftists just laughed. But how many Baby Boomers actually agreed, and patted themselves on the back for what a great job they’ve done?

The victory of Hillary would have certainly just continued Obama’s whitewashing: She would have never, ever called George Washington out as a racist, and certainly not with the blunt, irrefutable logic of Trump.

So Trump has, as predicted, has not only undermined the presidency but he has undermined all presidents, as well as the American elite’s revision of their own history.

Trump admitted you can’t explain away the reality of American Gangsterism

The reality is that only when America admits that their 18th century Founding Fathers are bourgeois, racist, anti-99%, false idols – only then can they advance to true leftism.

There’s no way around that, but there are many in the way. “American Salafists”, as I call them: People who think the US Constitution is perfect and that all we need to do is to return to living exactly as those living centuries ago originally intended.

Before I get to the hilarious way the media is trying to spin this issue, the impact goes even deeper than just media spin: How can American parents explain to their kids that Trump is totally, completely wrong?

They can’t, is the answer.

I was reminded that this very same issue was superbly handled by the greatest American dramatic TV series of all-time: The Sopranos. The scene goes like this:

It’s Columbus Day, which is mainly a day for Italian-American pride.

Tony Soprano’s weak, Millennial teenage son (named A.J.) is at the kitchen table and reading from the indispensable “A People’s History of the United States” by the leftist Howard Zinn.

A.J. doesn’t know what to make of Columbus’ written admiration of the Native Americans’ potential to…make good slaves.

A.J. – “That doesn’t sound like a slave-trader to you?”

Carmela (the Mom) – “George Washington had slaves – the father of our country.

A.J. – “What’s your point?”

Tony (the Dad) – “So you finally read a book…and it’s bulls—t!”

(LOL at Tony, he’s hilarious, and I hate gangster movies. But it’s not surprising that this sociopathic capitalist gangster waxes sympathetic for the slave-trader…)

Tony – “Look, you had to walk in Columbus’ shoes to see what he went through: They thought the world was flat, for cryin’ out loud. And he lived on an island with a bunch of naked savages and – that took a lot of guts. You remember when we went to Florida – the heat!? And those bugs?!”

A.J. – “Like it took guts to murder people and put them in chains!”

Carmela – “He was a victim of his time.”

A.J. – “Who cares? It’s what he did!”

Tony: “He discovered America, is what he did!!! He was a brave Italian explorer and, in this house, he’s a hero! End of story!!!!!”

Here’s the full scene.

Today, at kitchen tables across America, the always-idealistic younger generation certainly sees the truth of Trump’s comparison.

And this TV scene is exactly how the US media has responded to Trump’s statement: “George Washington was a hero and Stonewall Jackson was the real racist! End of story!!!!!”

It might help you to imagine CNN anchor, journalism industry joke and African-American Don Lemon as “Tony Soprano”. Don is trying to stifle the justified teenage outrage of “Deplorable/99%-er” A.J. And you can maybe picture MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as Carmela, with her misplaced moral relativism and idiotic jingoism.

The media can try to completely use the whole incident as a way to discredit Trump – just as Tony can bully A.J. into silence – but the damage is already done.

Capitalist, private media can only spin in circles – it’s not socialist, state media, after all…

George Washington’s slaveholding is not an “irony” of history, nor a “paradox”, nor any other of the endless moral backflips American media is doing. I’d say they are blinded by bloodlust to discredit Trump with every teleprompted word, but it goes deeper than that.

Ever notice that you never hear the phrase “anti-imperialist” from the mouth of a mainstream American journalist?

But…isn’t that the big difference between Washington/Jefferson and Jackson/Lee?

That’s all that really divides them: Both had slaves, both upheld the system of slavery – but the former fought against British imperialism while the latter sought to divide America.

But because the US media establishment is terrified of, and probably even unequipped to properly discuss, the issue of imperialism, all they can do is hysterically act like Trump has single-handedly invented White Nationalism in 7 months.

Absurd….

Racism is indeed a key part of the foundation of America, but any leftist knows – and maybe even young A.J. now sees as well – that imperialist capitalism is the truest bedrock. America used racism to serve capitalist interests, not the other way around.

But the US media never wants to delve honesty into such realities. They don’t even want to acknowledge that imperialism exists, and they work tirelessly to fool the 99% into believing it. Just look at the very opening paragraph from a New York Times op-ed on Venezuela the day after Trump made his comparison: “No one should be worried about American military action anywhere in Latin America. The notion is risible.”

What’s laughable would be the idea that nearly ALL of Latin America doesn’t have reason to be worried about American military action, and not just Venezuela!

But…c’mon, let’s be content that Trump has unwittingly forced the US to deal with their racist idols and whitewashed history – let’s not ask for the moon and have him call into question American imperialism.

Thanks to Donald, Confederate statues are coming down!

You know that so many Blacks are DYING to say: “Trump is right! Washington was a racist bastard!”

But how many are foolishly holding their tongue in order to score points against Trump, who is already getting beaten so badly they should invoke the slaughter rule?

However, I wouldn’t recommend that an African-American back up Trump out loud in the lunchroom…if they want to keep their job. “Silent but dignified” – same old survival tactic….

For talking heads like Don Lemon, the cognitive dissonance resulting from lauding Washington and denigrating of Robert E. Lee results only in a pathetic knee-jerk nationalism. Don said that anyonesupporting Trump’s words is “complicit in racism”.

Whatever Don…you’re so far behind you actually think you’re in the lead. Go cash your paycheck – you’re doing a great job for the 1%!

The only way out for everyone – not just Blacks – is true leftism: total denunciation of both Washington and Jackson, and demanding socialism’s ethnic solidarity, which capitalism has never provided. It also can never provide it, despite the propaganda efforts of people like Lemon.

For true leftists – I don’t see how Trump’s comments can’t be seen as a major positive! The idea that Trump is fomenting White Nationalism in America is like being worried about rain falling in the ocean.

And hey, a lot of Confederate statues are being hauled down! You can actually close your eyes in 2017 America and imagine its 1917 Russia! Isn’t that amazing?! This type of unreflective ancestor worship is exactly what Mao and Chinese communists fought against!

So enjoy yourself! Maybe even get a backpack together and pretend a Long March is around the corner!

But this incident proves in a serious way that the true leftists who were not browbeaten into supporting Hillary were right: Do you think one fascist statute would have fallen under Clinton II?Of course not.

Trump will always represent an advance by a retreat, which only the most rabid Pentagon warmonger could fail to understand.

But this incident proves the predictably positive leftist effect of Trumpism: Americans are increasingly forced to openly question the system, to create grassroots movements, to take an open political and moral stand, and to deal with the horrible aspects of American society that would have certainly been swept under the rug with a Hillary victory.

I’m still waiting for my predicted “Mexican Power” movement to happen, but it’s early, after all.

It’s seven steps back, one step forward with the Donald..but Hillary would have just turned on her pumps and walked away from the very start.

And Trump’s comments did another thing many people thought was impossible: it got the media off Russophobia for a few days.

Enjoy the silence and the falling statutes!

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

Understanding the Geopolitics of Terrorism

By Bill Van Auken

June 08, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The latest in a long series of bloody terrorist attacks attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) unfolded in Iran early Wednesday with coordinated armed assaults on the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) and the mausoleum of the late supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini. At least 12 people were killed and 43 wounded.

The reactions of the US government and the Western media to the attacks in Tehran stand in stark contrast to their response to the May 22 bombing that killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena and the London Bridge attacks that claimed nine lives last Saturday.

The Trump White House released a vicious statement that effectively justified the killings in Iran, declaring,

“We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote,” an attitude that found its reflection in the relative indifference of the media to the loss of Iranian lives.

It is clearly understood that terrorism against Iran serves definite political aims that are in sync with those of US imperialism and its regional allies.

For its part, Tehran’s reaction to the attacks was unambiguous. It laid the responsibility at the door of the US and its principal regional ally, Saudi Arabia. “This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the US president (Donald Trump) and the (Saudi) backward leaders who support terrorists,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement, published by Iranian media. The attack was understood in Tehran as a political act carried out in conjunction with identifiable state actors and aimed at furthering definite geostrategic objectives.

The same can be said of the earlier acts of terrorism carried out in Manchester and London, as well as those in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere before them.

The Western media routinely treats each of these atrocities as isolated manifestations of “evil” or religious hatred, irrational acts carried out by madmen. In reality, they are part of an internationally coordinated campaign in pursuit of definite political objectives.

Underlying the violence on the streets of Europe is the far greater violence inflicted upon the Middle East by US, British and French imperialism, working in conjunction with right-wing bourgeois regimes and the Islamist forces they promote, finance and arm.

ISIS is itself the direct product of a series of imperialist wars, emerging as a split-off from Al Qaeda, which got its start in the CIA-orchestrated war by Islamist fundamentalists against the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan. It was forged in the US war of aggression against Iraq that killed close to a million Iraqis, and then utilized in the 2011 war to topple Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi. Fighters and arms were then funneled with the aid of the CIA into the war for regime change in Syria.

The latest round of terror has its source in growing dissatisfaction among Washington’s Middle Eastern allies and its Islamist proxy forces over the slow pace of the US intervention in Syria and Washington’s failure to bring the six-year war for regime change to a victorious conclusion.

The people giving the orders for these attacks live in upper-class neighborhoods in London, Paris and elsewhere, enjoying close connections with intelligence agencies and government officials. Far from being unknown, they will be found among the top ministers and government officials in Damascus if the US-backed war in Syria achieves its objectives.

Those who carry out the terrorist atrocities are expendable assets, foot soldiers who are easily replaced from among the broad layers enraged by the slaughter carried out by imperialism in the Middle East.

The mass media always presents the failure to prevent these attacks as a matter of the security forces failing to “connect the dots,” a phrase that should by now be permanently banned. In virtually every case, those involved are well known to the authorities.

In the latest attacks in the UK, the connections are astonishing, even given the similar facts that have emerged in previous terrorist actions. One of the attackers in the London Bridge killings, Yousseff Zaghba, was stopped at an Italian airport while attempting to travel to Syria, freely admitting that he “wanted to be a terrorist” and carrying ISIS literature. Another was featured in a British television documentary that chronicled his confrontation with and detention by police after he unfurled an ISIS flag in Regent’s Park.

The Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was likewise well known to British authorities. His parents were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), who were allowed to return to Libya in 2011 to participate in the US-NATO regime-change operation against Muammar Gaddafi. He himself met with Libyan Islamic State operatives in Libya, veterans of the Syrian civil war, and maintained close connections with them while in Manchester.

What has become clear after 16 years of the so-called “war on terrorism”—going all the way back to the hijackers of 9/11—is that these elements move in and out of the Middle East, Europe and the US itself not only without hindrance, but under what amounts to state protection.

When they arrive at passport control, their names come up with definite instructions that they are not to be stopped. “Welcome home, sir, enjoy your vacation in Libya?” “Bit of tourism in Syria?”

Why have they enjoyed this carte blanche? Because they are auxiliaries of US and European intelligence, necessary proxies in wars for regime change from Libya to Syria and beyond that are being waged to further imperialist interests.

If from time to time these elements turn against their sponsors, with innocent civilians paying with their lives, that is part of the price of doing business.

In the aftermath of terrorist actions, governments respond with stepped-up measures of repression and surveillance. Troops are deployed in the streets, democratic rights are suspended, and, as in France, a state of emergency is made the overriding law of the land. All of these measures are useless in terms of preventing future attacks, but serve very well to control the domestic population and suppress social unrest.

If the mass media refuses to state what has become obvious after more than a decade and a half of these incidents, it is a measure of how fully the linkage between terrorism, the Western intelligence agencies and the unending wars in the Middle East has become institutionalized.

Innocent men, women and children, whether in London, Manchester, Paris, Tehran, Baghdad or Kabul, are paying the terrible price for these imperialist operations, which leave a trail of blood and destruction everywhere.

Putting a stop to terrorist attacks begins with a fight to put an end to the so-called “war on terrorism,” the fraudulent pretext for predatory wars in which Al Qaeda and its offshoots are employed as proxy ground forces, operating in intimate collaboration with imperialist intelligence services and military commands.

This article was first published by WSWS

Copyright © 1998-2017 World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.


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The Complete History of Nasser, the Icon of Arabism [English Subtitles]

A must see to understand why Syria and its LION are WANTED

 

“WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? THE WESTERN LEFT’S OBSESSION WITH EMPIRE”–DANNY HAIPHONG

In Gaza

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(Meme by Eva Bartlett.

“From 50:24 in this video, Ambassador al-Ja’afari: “…too many ambassadors of the United Nations, they come to me and they say, “You know, Bashar, you are right. Your government is right. We know the truth, but we cannot say it. You can God bless you but we cannot say it.” )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3LTTbOYVfU&feature=youtu.be

Apr 18, 2017, Black Agenda Report

-by Danny Haiphong

“The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World.”

The Trump Administration’s decision to conduct tomahawk missile strikes on a Syrian Arab Army airfield prompted activists in the US to hit the streets in protest. Protesters marched and spoke out against the airstrikes, which killed over a dozen Syrian soldiers on April 6th. The strikes come amidst intense pressure on the Trump Administration to abandon his campaign promises to ease relations with Russia and end regime change policy in the Middle East. In the days prior to the strike, Trump removed Steve Bannon as a formal leader in the National Security Council. Then, an alleged chemical weapons attack hit Idlib province, prompting President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to reverse their position that the future of the Syrian government rested in the hands of the Syrian people. Once again, the anti-war movement was put to the test.

The Western left struggles with the question of war because its ideology is rooted in the social relations of imperialism. In the US in particular, the social relations produced by over two centuries of white supremacist war on Black and indigenous peoples has cemented the notion that all who fall outside of the flexible spectrum of whiteness can be made expendable at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, war has historically advanced the level of development in the US. While World War II destroyed much of Europe, the US came out of the rubble with the most prosperous capitalist economy on the planet. This only intensified the thirst for war among the ruling elites. The US military took advantage of capitalist prosperity by turning its guns toward former European and Japanese colonies in East Asia, beginning with the carpet-bombing of Korea from 1950-1953.

Now fast forward to 2017. The US is hotly involved in a war to destabilize the Syrian government. Since 2011, there has been a wall-to-wall corporate media attack on Syria that paints the Syrian government as a murderous dictatorship led by President Bashar Al-Assad. Assad has been accused of “killing his own people” with the most ruthless of methods. In 2013, the Obama Administration accused President Assad of using sarin gas on civilians in Ghouta. Journalist Seymour Hersh eventually corroborated what US intelligence likely warned Obama at the time: that the gas attack was the work of “rebels” (terrorists) who were supplied by an intricate rat line network involving Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The world was destined for another US military confrontation that year when Russia stepped in to diffuse the situation.

Anti-war activists find themselves in a very similar predicament almost four years later. Throughout the duration of the war on Syria, strong lines have been drawn on the question of the Syrian government’s future. A small segment of the anti-war left has defended Syria’s right to self-determination. Others have done extensive work, such as Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett, traveling to Syria and documenting concrete evidence that contradicts the corporate media narrative of the conflict. Indeed, much evidence suggests that the so-called “rebels” are merely jihadist mercenary groups sponsored by the Empire’s many players. Washington and its corporate masters have been foaming at the mouth to bring Syria to heel since at least 2001, when the secular government was placed on a list with six other countries targeted for destabilization.

However, rather than defend Syria’s self-determination, many in the West have bought into the imperialist narrative. This includes a large section of what passes for the left in the Western world. Jacobin, for example, calls itself a leading voice on the American Left but has historically aligned with US imperialism. After April 7th’s US airstrikes, Jacobin posted a statement about why opposing Assad matters too. The statement falsely compares Palestine’s struggle against Israeli occupation with the mythical struggle of the Syrian people against President Bashar Al-Assad.

Of course, Jacobin fails to provide any proof that the Syrian people are in fact waging a struggle to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad. No mention of the Syrian government’s decades-long solidarity with Palestinian resistance is cited.

Jacobin repeats the imperialist line that Assad is murdering “his own people” and causing hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee the country. Yet the statement omits the fact that Assad was reelected with nearly ninety percent of the vote in 2014. Also left out are the reputable opinion polls that prove President Assad is more popular than any other force operating in Syria at the moment. Jacobin instead throws its weight behind the jihadists waging holy war in Syria on behalf of US imperialism and its junior partners.

Since the fall of Libya, tens of thousands of jihadists have flooded into Syria to overthrow the Syrian government. The jihadists have been given both air and media cover from the US-led coalition operating in Syria. In September of 2016, the US coalition bombed an airport in Deir ez-Zor, killing around 100 Syrian soldiers. The airstrikes gave ISIS cover to lay siege to the area and claim additional territory. And for over five years, sources such as Amnesty International and the US-UK-French funded White Helmets have peddled the narrative that the Syrian Arab Army has been massacring Syrians even as evidence suggests that NGOS such as the White Helmets are completely embedded in the membership of Al-Qaeda affiliated, head chopping organizations.

That Jacobin condemns Washington’s failure to transfer anti-aircraft weaponry to the jihadists yet ignores all of the evidence against Washington’s official narrative on Syria should make clear where the “leading voice” of the left stands. History completely contradicts their narrative. Washington and its allies have never come to the aid of the oppressed in their struggles for liberation. Rather, it has acted as the primary dictator of imperialism’s rabid exploitation of the sovereign nations. What Jacobin essentially demands is a brand of “internationalism” that arms and funds head-chopping, imperialist-backed mercenaries at the expense of the Syrian people.

Such a distortion of internationalism is in keeping with the infantile state of the anti-war left in the US. The anti-war left’s attachment to the anti-Assad narrative is based in a colonial mentality which presumes that Westerners have the right to determine the destinies of peoples residing in what was formerly known as the Third World. It is the same mentality that drives the criminalization of Black America, reducing mass incarceration and police murder to products of the innate criminality of Black people. The white supremacist, colonialist worldview is the most useful tool in the imperialist toolbox. When wielded properly, the vast majority of so-called progressives can be herded to disseminate pro-war propaganda without the added labor cost associated with direct infiltration by the state.

Many questions arise from the behavior of those individuals and organizations caught in the ideological web of US imperialism. Is Jacobin’s support for the overthrow of the Syrian government at all beneficial to workers and oppressed people in the US and West? Do their conclusions about Syria stem from verified study of the objective conditions in the region and its relevant historical context? Can anti-imperialists really occupy neutral space between the dialectic of imperialist war and self-determination for the oppressed? Or is such an attempt merely a cleverly disguised project meant to legitimize the very imperialist system that the left claims to oppose? The answer to these questions will depend on the recipient, but the fact they must be asked indicates that the US anti-war movement needs serious reconstruction.

There may not be time for such an overhaul barring a significant change in the objective situation in the US and West. Recent developments over the course of five years suggest that at any given moment, the world struggle against imperialism could transform into a global military confrontation between the big powers. The threat of US military escalation in Syria cannot be isolated within a national context. Russia and Iran’s presence in Syria ensures that any US move to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad by direct military means will have an impact far beyond Syria’s borders. Solidarity with Syria against US-sponsored war is thus of utmost importance for the future of humanity. However, don’t expect the Western, white dominated left to drop its chauvinistic worldview anytime soon. The task of ending imperialism will have to rest on the shoulders of a new anti-war movement, one based on the respect of self-determination for all oppressed peoples and an internationalist worldview that connects exploitation within US borders to the ceaseless war imperialism wages from without.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com
Danny Haiphong’s blog

RELATED LINKS:

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria (with over 1100 Palestinian signatories, including prominent Palestinians such as His Eminence Theodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop, Greek Orthodox Diocese of Sebastia, Jerusalem and Palestinian Popular Forum, Yarmouk, Syria)

Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict, by Sharmine Narwani, Nov 10, 2014

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon, by Eva Bartlett, May 30, 2014

The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t, by Stephen Gowans, Oct 22, 2016

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’, by Eva Bartlett, March 7, 2016

Why Syrians Support Bashar al Assad, by Prof. Tim Anderson, Sep 30, 2014

Decriminalising Bashar – towards a more effective anti-war movement, by Carlos Martinez, Sep 23, 2013

The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels, Apr 17, 2014

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