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August 26, 2019

 

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US Empire: The Reality of the “Greater United States”

Global Research, August 09, 2019

The US Empire is not a term you will commonly hear when people refer to the United States of America. Nor is the Greater United States, American Empire or even just Empire. There is something of a taboo quality to using the word empire to refer to the US. Yet, that is precisely what it is. With numerous territories and land acquisitions, around 1000+ military bases worldwide and the ability to project its power to influence and coerce foreign territories and nations, the USA is the biggest empire the world has ever known. Countless foreign nations, victims of US aggression and invasion, have denounced the US for its imperialism, a word with the same etymological root as empire. So why is it so strange to describe it as the US Empire?

USA: From Republic to Empire

It is a telling example that the American experiment in self-governance has turned out like this. What began as an attempt to set up one of the most limited, constrained and decentralized governments ever has transmogrified into a sprawling empire whose breadth, power and influence is unprecedented in world history. Those who believe humanity should run society without government (anarchists) based only on voluntary cooperation (voluntaryists) point to the results of the American experiment as proof that government by its very nature grows out of control. The results, they say, show that no matter what limits you attempt to put on government, they can always be undone, because politicians can simply change laws and find way to bypass constitutions once they are in power. For one example of many, look at how the US bypassed many privacy and surveillance laws in the Bill of Rights by dreaming up a new idea (terrorism), defining it in law (first international terrorists, then domestic terrorists), changing the definition to describe their political enemies (gun carriers, conspiracy theorists), then applying that by name-calling its citizens. Suddenly, the usual rules don’t apply when terrorism and the fake war on terror are invoked. All of this is gives credence to the idea that no government is better than small government in the anarchy vs minarchy debate.

US Empire Greater United States

The actual Greater United States. Image credit: Daniel Immerwahr

US Empire Land Acquisition

Right from the start, the US has always looked west. The original 13 colonies soon expanded. Just to name a few highlights, the US Republic bought Louisiana from the French in 1803, annexed Texas in 1845 and took California away from Mexico in 1848 (at the conclusion of the Mexican-American War). The US then expanded further, such that it then had a mainland of 48 contiguous states and territory beyond that. It bought Alaska from Russia in 1867 and it conquered Hawaii in 1893 after a coup by a small group of rich landowners put a gun to the head of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani. A watershed moment in the history of the US Empire, and its land and territory acquisition, came in 1898. At that time, the Spanish colonial Empire was falling, and Spain was having problems quelling dissent in its colonies such as Cuba. Through a false flag operation revolving around the USS Maine, the USA entered the conflict (named the Spanish-American War), defeated Spain and established itself as a new colonial and imperial power. While it was at it, it either purchased or annexed the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Wake Island. Thus, by end of the 19th century, the US had already transformed itself into the US Empire. In this video and in his book, Daniel Immerwahr makes the point that around this time, Americans began to redraw their maps and take pride in their new status; however later on, they sought more to play down and hide their power, figuring it would serve them better to keep it concealed. At one point in the video clip, Immerwahr tells the story of an American GI soldier in the Philippines during WW2, who was told by a Filipino that the US had colonized the Philippines, but didn’t realize it. “What?” he said, thinking he was fighting in a foreign country not on US territory, “We colonized you?”

Hiding the Empire: 1000+ Military Bases

Fast forward around 120 years, and just look at the state of affairs. The US emerged as the sole world superpower after WW2, but unlike the British Empire, it decided not to outright conquer or annex territory, but rather to build military installations on virtually every continent. The US hides the official number of its military bases so as to conceal the true extent of its imperial reach, however based on the research of people like Chalmers Johnson and Nick Turse, we know that it is at least 1000 bases, and quite probably more. Johnson died in 2010, but in a talk now removed from YouTube claims that in 2004, the Pentagon’s official number was 725 (as published in the Base Structure Report). However, he acknowledged that the Pentagon disguised many of its bases and had 300+ unacknowledged ones. Turse has written many articles and books on the topic of US military bases including this 2019 one Bases, Bases, Everwhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report:

“Officially, the Department of Defense (DoD) maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.”

To put this number in perspective, the emerging rivals to the US Empire have barely any foreign military bases: Russia has 21 (according to this source) and China has 2.

Hallmark of the US Empire: The Projection of Power without Annexation of Territory

The rulers of the United States Inc. have done a very good job of concealing the power and reach of the US Empire. Through domestic propaganda, they have obscured the reality of the empire such that not many Americans make the connection. They have also avoided colonizing too many weaker nations, instead preferring to project power without actually annexing land. This is achieved through economic warfare such as forcing smaller nations to buy US products, or the infamous use of sanctions as accelerated by Trump against nations like Venezuela and Iran. Then there is also the method described by former economic hitman John Perkins.

But, but … the US is a Republic, Right?

Some people at this point may say, “Well, the US may be an Empire, but its form of government is still a Constitutional Republic. Therefore, the US is a Republic.” Yes, the US is a republic in the sense that it has (highly controlled) elections where (s)elected individuals ascend to power, however, despite this form of governance, the US still behaves as an imperial bully, aggressor and invader to nations outside of it. That behavior is what defines it as an empire. In this context, the word “republic” means nothing. Have you noticed the irony with which nations around the world use the word republic in their official country titles? Both of the communist totalitarian nations of China and North Korea are “republics” since they are called People’s Republic of China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korearespectively. Never mind the censorship and control via social credit. In the so-called “free” West, in the Federal Republic of Germany, if you investigate the truth about the Holocaust you can be fined or imprisoned. In the French Republic, people are so taxed to the hilt they donned yellow vests to spark a worldwide protest movement. Republic means “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.” Do you really think the people hold the supreme power in the US, China, North Korea, Germany or France?

Conclusion

Words have power. Propagandists and magicians alike know this, since they know words help to mold perception and create reality. This is why you “spell” words, since uttered words are like a (magic) spell. The power of the US Empire lies in its narrative control and perception control. Whoever controls words, controls narrative; whoever controls narrative, controls perception. It’s a simple formula. Orwell’s great work 1984 showed what can come from word control. The question we must ask ourselves here is this: why is it so strange, uncomfortable and unfamiliar to call a spade a spade, and to admit internally to ourselves and externally to others that the USA is an empire? Surely this uncomfortability itself is evidence of the magic of word control and propaganda. Are we so programmed and conditioned with ideas of “USA = freedom and democracy” that we can’t fathom the idea of a US Empire? If so, then it is more crucial than ever that people begin to use terms like US Empire and Greater United States to take a small yet bold step of breaking the conditioning that holds them in chains.

*

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This article was originally published on The Freedom Articles.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

Sources

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/anarchy-vs-minarchy-pros-cons/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-mz7x2RAmI

*https://www.salon.com/2019/01/11/bases-bases-everywhere-except-in-the-pentagons-report_partner/

*https://theintercept.com/2018/12/01/u-s-military-says-it-has-a-light-footprint-in-africa-these-documents-show-a-vast-network-of-bases/

*https://www.newsweek.com/russias-military-compared-us-which-country-has-more-military-bases-across-954328

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/google-project-dragonfly-helps-china-censorship/

*https://thefreedomarticles.com/sesame-credit-gamification-control/

Featured image is from The Freedom Articles

The last western Empire?

The Saker

The last western Empire?

August 01, 2019

[this column was written for the Unz Review]

“Missing the forest for the trees” is an apt metaphor if we take a look at most commentary describing the past twenty years or so. This period has been remarkable in the number of genuinely tectonic changes the international system has undergone. It all began during what I think of as the “Kristallnacht of international law,” 30 August September 1995, when the Empire attacked the Bosnian-Serbs in a direct and total violation of all the most fundamental principles of international law. Then there was 9/11, which gave the Neocons the “right” (or so they claimed) to threaten, attack, bomb, kill, maim, kidnap, assassinate, torture, blackmail and otherwise mistreat any person, group or nation on the planet simply because “we are the indispensable nation” and “you either are with the terrorists or with us“. During these same years, we saw Europe become a third-rate US colony incapable of defending even fundamental European geopolitical interests while the USA became a third-rate colony of Israel equally incapable of defending even fundamental US geopolitical interests. Most interestingly looking back, while the US and the EU were collapsing under the weight of their own mistakes, Russia and China were clearly on the ascend; Russia mostly in military terms (see here and here) and China mostly economically. Most crucially, Russia and China gradually agreed to become symbionts which, I would argue, is even stronger and more meaningful than if these two countries were united by some kind of formal alliance: alliances can be broken (especially when a western nation is involved), but symbiotic relationships usually last forever (well, nothing lasts forever, of course, but when a lifespan is measured in decades, it is the functional equivalent of “forever”, at least in geostrategic analytical terms). The Chinese have now developed an official, special, and unique expression to characterize that relationship with Russia. They speak of a “Strategic, comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era.”

This is the AngloZionists’ worst nightmare, and their legacy ziomedia goes to great lengths to conceal the fact that Russia and China are, for all practical purposes, strategic allies. They also try hard to convince the Russian people that China is a threat to Russia (using bogus arguments, but never-mind that). It won’t work, while some Russians have fears about China, the Kremlin knows the truth of the matter and will continue to deepen Russia’s symbiotic relationship with China further. Not only that, it now appears that Iran is gradually being let in to this alliance. We have the most official confirmation possible of that fact in words spoken by General Patrushev in Israel after his meeting with US and Israeli officials: “Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner.”

I could go on listing various signs of the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire along with signs that a new, parallel, international world order is in the process of being built before our eyes. I have done that many times in the past, and I will not repeat it all here (those interested can click here and here). I will submit that the AngloZionists have reached a terminal stage of decay in which the question of “if” is replaced by “when.” But even more interesting would be to look at the “what”:

what does the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire really mean?

I rarely see this issue discussed and when it is, it is usually to provide all sorts of reassurances that the Empire will not really collapse, that it is too powerful, too rich and too big to fail and that the current political crises in the USA and Europe will simply result in a reactive transformation of the Empire once the specific problems plaguing it have been addressed. That kind of delusional nonsense is entirely out of touch with reality. And the reality of what is taking place before our eyes is much, much more dramatic and seminal than just fixing a few problems here and there and merrily keep going on.

One of the factors which lures us into a sense of complacency is that we have seen so many other empires in history collapse only to be replaced pretty quickly by some other, that we can’t even imagine that what is taking place right now is a much more dramatic phenomenon: the passage into gradual irrelevance of an entire civilization!

But first, let’s define our terms. For all the self-aggrandizing nonsense taught in western schools, Western civilization does not have its roots in ancient Rome or, even less so, in ancient Greece. The reality is that the Western civilization was born from the Middle-Ages in general and, especially, the 11th century which, not coincidentally, saw the following succession of moves by the Papacy:

These three closely related events are of absolutely crucial importance to the history of the West. The first step the West needed was to free itself from the influence and authority of the rest of the Christian world. Once the ties between Rome and the Christian world were severed, it was only logical for Rome to decree that the Pope now has the most extravagant super-powers no other bishop before him had ever dared contemplate. Finally, this new autonomy and desire for absolute control over our planet resulted in what could be called “the first European imperialist war”: the First Crusade.

To put it succinctly: the 11th century Franks were the real progenitors of modern “Western” Europe and the 11th century marked the first imperialist “foreign war” (to use a modern term). The name of the Empire of the Franks has changed over the centuries, but not its nature, essence, or purpose. Today the true heirs of the Franks are the AngloZionists (for a truly *superb* discussion of the Frankish role in destroying the true, ancient, Christian Roman civilization of the West, see here).

Over the next 900 years or more, many different empires replaced the Frankish Papacy, and most European countries had their “moment of glory” with colonies overseas and some kind of ideology which was, by definition and axiomatically, declared the only good (or even “the only Christian”) one, whereas the rest of the planet was living in uncivilized and generally terrible conditions which could only be mitigated by those who have *always* believed that they, their religion, their culture or their nation had some kind of messianic role in history (call it “manifest destiny” or “White man’s burden” or being a Kulturträger in quest of a richly deserved Lebensraum): the West Europeans.

It looks like most European nations had a try at being an empire and at imperialist wars. Even such modern mini-states like Holland, Portugal or Austria once were feared imperial powers. And each time one European Empire fell, there was always another one to take its place.

But today?

Who do you think could create an empire powerful enough to fill the void resulting from the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire?

The canonical answer is “China.” And I think that this is nonsense.

Empires cannot only trade. Trade alone is simply not enough to remain a viable empire. Empires also need military force, and not just any military force, but the kind of military force which makes resistance futile. The truth is that NO modern country has anywhere near the capabilities needed to replace the USA in the role of World Hegemon: not even uniting the Russian and Chinese militaries would achieve that result since these two countries do not have:

1) a worldwide network of bases (which the USA have, between 700-1000 depending on how you count)

2) a major strategic air-lift and sea-lift power projection capability

3) a network of so-called “allies” (colonial puppets, really) which will assist in any deployment of military force

But even more crucial is this: China and Russia have no desire whatsoever to become an empire again. These two countries have finally understood the eternal truth, which is that empires are like parasites who feed on the body which hosts them. Yes, not only are all empires always and inherently evil, but a good case can be made that the first victims of imperialism are always the nations which “host the empire” so to speak. Oh sure, the Chinese and the Russians want their countries to be truly free, powerful and sovereign, and they understand that this is only possible when you have a military which can deter an attack, but neither China nor Russia have any interests in policing the planet or imposing some regime change on other countries.

All they really want is to be safe from the USA, that’s it.

This new reality is particularly visible in the Middle-East where countries like the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia (this is the so-called “Axis of Kindness”) are currently only capable of deploying a military capable of massacring civilians or destroy the infrastructure of a country, but which cannot be used effectively against the two real regional powers with a modern military: Iran and Turkey.

But the most revealing litmus test was the US attempt to bully Venezuela back into submission. For all the fire and brimstone threats coming out of DC, the entire “Bolton plan(s?)” for Venezuela has/have resulted in a truly embarrassing failure: if the Sole “Hyperpower” on the planet cannot even overpower a tremendously weakened country right in its backyard, a country undergoing a major crisis, then indeed the US military should stick to the invasion of small countries like Monaco, Micronesia or maybe the Vatican (assuming the Swiss guard will not want to take a shot at the armed reps of the “indispensable nation”). The fact is that an increasing number of medium-sized “average” countries are now gradually acquiring the means to resist a US attack.

So if the writing is on the wall for the AngloZionist Empire, and if no country can replace the USA as imperial world hegemon, what does that mean?

It means the following: 1000 years of European imperialism is coming to an end!

This time around, neither Spain nor the UK nor Austria will take the place of the USA and try to become a world hegemon. In fact, there is not a single European nation which has a military even remotely capable of engaging the kind of “colony pacification” operations needed to keep your colonies in a suitable state of despair and terror. The French had their very last hurray in Algeria, the UK in the Falklands, Spain can’t even get Gibraltar back, and Holland has no real navy worth speaking about. As for central European countries, they are too busy brown-nosing the current empire to even think of becoming an empire (well, except Poland, of course, which dreams of some kind of Polish Empire between the Baltic and the Black Sea; let them, they have been dreaming about it for centuries, and they will still dream about it for many centuries to come…).

Now compare European militaries with the kind of armed forces you can find in Latin America or Asia? There is such a knee-jerk assumption of superiority in most Anglos that they completely fail to realize that medium and even small-sized countries can develop militaries sufficient enough to make an outright US invasion impossible or, at least, any occupation prohibitively expensive in terms of human lives and money (see herehere and here). This new reality also makes the typical US missile/airstrike campaign pretty useless: they will destroy a lot of buildings and bridges, they will turn the local TV stations (“propaganda outlets” in imperial terminology) into giant piles of smoking rubble and dead bodies, and they kill plenty of innocents, but that won’t result in any kind of regime change. The striking fact is that if we accept that warfare is the continuation of politics by other means, then we also have to admit, that under that definition, the US armed forces are totally useless since they cannot help the USA achieve any meaningful political goals.

The truth is that in military and economic terms, the “West” has already lost. The fact that those who understand don’t talk, and that those who talk about this (denying it, of course) have no understanding of what is taking place, makes no difference at all.

In theory, we could imagine that some kind of strong leader would come to power in the USA (the other western countries are utterly irrelevant), crush the Neocons like Putin crushed them in Russia, and prevent the brutal and sudden collapse of the Empire, but that ain’t gonna happen. If there is one thing which the past couple of decades have proven beyond reasonable doubt is that the imperial system is entirely unable to reform itself in spite of people like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Ross Perrot, Ron Paul, Mike Gravel or even Obama and Trump – all men who promised meaningful change and who were successfully prevented by the system of achieving anything meaningful. Thus the system is still 100% effective, at least inside the USA: it took the Neocons less than 30 days to crush Trump and all his promises of change, and now it even got Tulsi Gabbard to bow down and cave in to Neocons’ absolutely obligatory political orthodoxy and myths.

So what is likely to happen next?

Simply put, Asia will replace the Western World. But – crucially – this time around no empire will come to take the place of the AngloZionist one. Instead, a loose and informal coalition of mostly Asian countries will offer an alternative economic and civilizational model, which will be immensely attractive to the rest of the planet. As for the Empire, it will very effectively disband itself and slowly fade into irrelevance. Both US Americans and Europeans will, for the very first time in their history, have to behave like civilized people, which means that their traditional “model of development” (ransacking the entire planet and robbing everybody blind) will have to be replaced by one in which these US Americans and Europeans will have to work like everybody else to accumulate riches. This notion will absolutely horrify the current imperial ruling elites, but I wager that it will be welcomed by the majority of the people, especially when this “new” (for them) model will yield more peace and prosperity than the previous one!

Indeed, if the Neocons don’t blow up the entire planet in a nuclear holocaust, the USA and Europe will survive, but only after a painful transition period which could last for a decade or more. One of the factors which will immensely complicate the transition from Empire to “regular” country will be the profound and deep influence 1000 years of imperialism have had on the western cultures, especially in the completely megalomaniac United States (Professor John Marciano’s “Empire as a way of life” lecture series addresses this topic superbly – I highly recommend them!): One thousand years of brainwashing are not so easily overcome, especially on the subconscious (assumptions) level.

Finally, the current rather nasty reaction to the multi-culturalism imposed by the western ruling elites is no less pathological than this corrosive multi-culturalism in the first place. I am referring to the new theories “revisiting” WWII and finding inspiration in all things Third Reich, very much including a revival of racist/racialist theories. This is especially ridiculous (and offensive) when coming from people who try to impersonate Christians but who instead of prayers on their lips just spew 1488-like nonsense. These folks all represent precisely the kind of “opposition” the Neocons love to deal with and which they always (and I really mean *always*) end up defeating. This (pretend) opposition (useful idiots, really) will remain strong as long as it remains well funded (which it currently is). But as soon as the current megalomania (“We are the White Race! We built Athens and Rome! We are Evropa!!!”) ends with an inevitable faceplant, folks will eventually return to sanity and realize that no external scapegoat is responsible for the current state of the West. The sad truth is that the West did all this to itself (mainly due to arrogance and pride!), and the current waves of immigrants are nothing more than a 1000 years of really bad karma returning to where it came from initially. I don’t mean to suggest that folks in the West are all individually responsible for what is happening now. But I do say that all the folks in the West now live with the consequences of 1000 years of unrestrained imperialism. It will be hard, very hard, to change ways, but since that is also the only viable option, it will happen, sooner or later.

But still – there is hope. IF the Neocons don’t blow up the planet, and IF mankind is given enough time to study its history and understand where it took the wrong turn, then maybe, just maybe, there is hope.

I think that we can all find solace in the fact that no matter how ugly, stupid and evil the AngloZionist Empire is, no other empire will ever come to replace it.

In other words, should we survive the current empire (which is by no means certain!) then at least we can look forward to a planet with no empires left, only sovereign countries.

I submit that this is a future worth struggling for.

The Saker

الأفول الأميركي سياق تاريخي

الأفول الأميركي سياق تاريخي

يوليو 26, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لا تستقيم عملية فهم ما تشهده الزعامة الأميركية في العالم إلا إذا أُخذت في سياقها التاريخي، فأميركا التي بدأ صعودها كدولة عظمى مع الحرب العالمية الأولى، تكرّست مكانتها الاقتصادية والعسكرية والسياسية في نظام ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، كدولة قادرة على خوض حروب كبرى تدفع خلالها مئات آلاف الجنود في ساحات القتال وتنفق مليارات الدولارات على الحروب، وهي التي خاضت بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية حروباً طويلة ومكلفة رغم خسارة مئات الآلاف من جنودها في الحرب، فكانت الحرب الكورية وحرب فيتنام في ظل الحرب الباردة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي مساحات تثبيت المكانة الأميركية الجديدة، وهذا التجاذب بين النجاح والفشل في الحروب لا يمكن الحكم عليه إلا بنهايته، التي نقلت أميركا من دولة عظمى إلى الدولة العظمى مع نجاحها بتفكيك الاتحاد السوفياتي وسيطرتها على دول أوروبا الشرقية عام 1990، حيث يمكن القول إن الحرب الباردة الممتدة من مؤتمر يالطا عام 1954 إلى سقوط جدار برلين عام 1989، قد إنتهت بانتصار أميركي شكل بلوغ واشنطن قمة السيطرة على العالم وقمة النفوذ وقمة الصعود.

– في تاريخ الإمبراطوريات لا يمكن النظر لبلوغ القمة كحدث عابر، يمكن أن تكون الخيبات وعمليات التراجع بعده بميزان ما قبله ذاته. فالإمبراطوريات التي تبلغ القمة، وتبدأ بالتراجع تكون قد دخلت زمن الأفول، وبدأت تعيش شيخوختها. وبالنظر للحال الأميركية بعد الانتهاء من هزيمة الاتحاد السوفياتي والسيطرة على تركته كما فعلت بالسيطرة بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية على تركة بريطانيا وفرنسا، يمكن القول إن التوسّع الإمبراطوري الأميركي على حدود روسيا قد بلغ مداه، في عهد الرئيس بيل كلينتون، وأن ولايتَيْ الرئيس جورج بوش كانتا الفرصة لتطويع قوى الممانعة الآسيوية، وإكمال تطويق روسيا من الشرق. وهذا مغزى حربي أفغانستان والعراق، ومن بعدهما الحروب الإسرائيلية الصغيرة في لبنان وفلسطين، وهي حروب انتهت بالفشل جميعها، ومن بعدها كانت الحرب الناعمة المسماة بالربيع العربي درباً جديداً للفشل في إخضاع آسيا، حيث المثلث الروسي الصيني الإيراني، وحيث الحرب على سورية يمكن وصفها بآخر الفرص لتثبيت الزعامة الأميركية.

– يسهل الاستنتاج بتراجع حيوية المجتمع الأميركي بتراجع قدرته على خوض الحروب. فالمقارنة بين حرب فييتنام وما قدمته فيها أميركا قبل أن تبدأ بالتفكير بالانسحاب، وحرب العراق وما كان كافياً لتراجع أميركا عنها، يقول إنه الفرق بين الدولة التي قدمت خمسين ألف قتيل من جيوشها وصمدت عشرين سنة وهي تقاتل حتى بدأت تفكر بالانسحاب. والدولة التي لم تتحمل خسارة أقل من خمسة آلاف قتيل وخمس سنوات حتى استسلمت لفكرة الفشل واقتنعت بالحاجة للانسحاب، وتراجع الحيوية يظهر اقتصادياً بأرقام لافتة تحدث عنها الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في خطاباته الانتخابية من تراجع النمو حجم البطالة وتهالك البنى التحتية، وإقفال المصانع وكساد الزراعة، بينما كانت اقتصادات دول منافسة كالصين تسجل نسباً عالية في النمو، والقدرات العسكرية لدول منافسة كروسيا تسجل تطوراً في القدرة التسليحية النوعية، والقدرات البشرية القتالية لدول مثل إيران وقوى المقاومة تظهر قدرة احتمال في الميدان على التضحيات التي افتقدتها القوات الأميركية في جولات متتالية من المواجهة.

الأفول الأميركي تعبير غير مبالغ به بقياس الخط البياني للسلوك الأميركي في مواجهة الأزمات، فهل من مرة سابقة فقدت خلالها أميركا طائرة عسكرية على يد دولة اخرى تعلن مسؤوليتها، ولم تقم أميركا بالرد، وهل من سابقة عن مرة ضربت فيها أهداف قالت واشنطن إنها ستشعل حرباً إذا وقعت، كما كان الحال في الحديث الأميركي عن حماية المصالح النفطية في الخليج، وعندما حدث ذلك تراجعت أميركا، وبالتوازي أيضاً، هل من سابقة لوحدة وعزلة أميركا وفقدانها القدرة، تشبه إعلانها الانسحاب من الاتفاق النووي وبقائها وحيدة، أو تشبه إعلان تأييدها لاعتبار القدس عاصمة لـ إسرائيل وبقائها وحيدة أيضاً، أو إطلاقها مشروع صفقة القرن وعدم الحصول على أي تأييد دولي ذي قيمة؟

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ما يشهده الخليج من تجاذب إيراني أميركي يشبه التجاذب الأميركي الأسباني والأميركي البريطاني في القارة الأميركية، فعندما كانت بريطانيا إمبراطورية بدا أفولها بخسارة مكانتها في القارة الأميركية وعندما كانت اسبانيا إمبراطورية حدث معها الشيء نفسه، حتى ان الحركة البوليفارية التحررية في أميركا الجنوبية التي قادها سيمون دي بوليفار بوجه الأسبان، تمت تحت شعار التشبه بما فعله الأميركيون الشماليون مع البريطانيين. وما تفعله إيران اليوم مع أميركا يشبه ذلك الفعل يومها، خصوصاً لجهة الإعلان عن نهاية زمن إمبراطروية عظمى.

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فعلاً لم يحدث هذا منذ ألف عام

 

يوليو 25, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– في كلام سابق للأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله إشارة اعتبرها مرشد الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران الإمام علي الخامنئي بصيص أمل عن اقتراب موعد تحرير القدس من الاحتلال، وفقاً لما وصفه نصرالله بالاستدلال بالمنطق واقع المعادلات والتوازنات، رابطاً أمله الشخصي بالصلاة في القدس بمعادلة الحياة والموت التي لا يمكن التحكم بها، رغم وقوع توقعاته لتحرير القدس ضمن المدى المنطقي لما يمكنه من أن يكون شاهداً على التحرير، وفي كلام لاحق لمستشار الإمام الخامنئي الدكتور علي ولايتي، المعروف بمكانته في الملفات الاستراتيجية في فريق الإمام الخامنئي، إشارة إلى أن إسقاط الطائرة الأميركية الإلكترونية العملاقة واحتجاز ناقلة النفط البريطانية، أحداث تمثل منعطفاً في تاريخ العالم الإسلامي.

– بالعودة إلى التاريخ تبدو منطقة الساحل الشرقي للبحر المتوسط وعمقها الآسيوي، كميدان جغرافي للمواجهات التاريخية بين الغرب والشرق، مسرحاً لتسجيل انتصارات الغرب وهيمنته واستعراضاته العسكرية، وفرض مصالحه الاقتصادية منذ خمسة قرون على الأقل عندما بدأت الإمبراطورية العثمانية تقدّم التنازلات للدول الأوروبية في جنوب السلطنة، لضمان مصالحها في بلدان الشمال، وصولاً لتفكك السلطنة مع الحرب العالمية الأولى وما تبعها من ترسيخ للهيمنة الغربية، لكن حتى مراحل صعود السلطنة العثمانية لم تشهد ردعاً للصولات والجولات الغربية نحو شرق المتوسط، فخلالها نشأ ما عُرف بعهد القناصل، وتنامي الإرساليات، ونشوء النسخ البدائية للوكالات التجارية.

– آخر ما يكتبه التاريخ عن يد الشرق العليا في شرق المتوسط كان في تمكّن شعوب المنطقة من مواجهة حملات الفرنجة التي سُمّيت بالحروب الصليبية واتخذت الدين شعاراً لها لحشد المشاركة في التعبئة لقواتها تحت شعار الذهاب إلى القدس، بينما سحقت في طريقها إلى فلسطين كل الكنائس الشرقية وقتلت الآلاف من قساوستها ورهبانها، ودمّرت ممتلكاتها، وقتلت عشرات الآلاف من رعاياها، واللافت أن حروب الفرنجة نجحت يومها خلال الفترة الممتدة من نهاية القرن الحادي عشر إلى نهاية القرن الثاني عشر ببناء مستوطنات في فلسطين ونجحت بوضع يدها على القدس، بصورة لا تختلف كثيراً عن واقع كيان الاحتلال اليوم، وبقيت الأساطيل الغربية ومحاولات تأمين طريق بري بحملات مستديمة، هي مصدر الحماية الذي يشكل مصدر قوة هذا الكيان الاستيطاني الناشئ يومها.

– مع تحرير القدس في نهاية القرن الثاني عشر، وجعلها متاحة لكل المؤمنين لممارسة عباداتهم وشعائرهم الدينية، انتهت عملياً الحروب الكبرى وبقيت مناوشات استمرت تحت مسمّى حملات صليبية، لكنها لم تقدر أن تغير الواقع الجديد، حتى نشوء كيان الاحتلال منتصف القرن العشرين، لكن اللافت بالقياس التاريخي أنه منذ نشأة هذا الكيان القائم على اغتصاب فلسطين، للمرة الأولى يبدو محاصراً بصواريخ قوى المقاومة ومقاتليها من كل الجهات عاجزاً عن خوض حرب، وتبدو الأساطيل البحرية والجوية والبرية لنجدته عاجزة عن تشكيل توازن ردع في المنطقة. وهذا هو مغزى ما تمثله حوادث إسقاط الطائرة الأميركية واحتجاز الناقلة البريطانية.

– منذ ألف عام لم يحدث مثيل لذلك، رغم ما تلقته الأساطيل الغازية لنابليون بونابرت على سواحل مصر أو أسوار عكا، ورغم حروب المواجهة التي خاضها جمال عبد الناصر في مواجهة العدوان الثلاثي، فقد بقي في كل حالة منها مجال للإعداد لجولة مقبلة، حيث كان احتياط الغرب القوي ينتقل من ضفة إلى ضفة، كما هو حال الأفول الفرنسي لحساب بريطانيا والأفول البريطاني لحساب أميركا. وهذا مغزى القول اليوم إنه منعطف تاريخي، وبصيص أمل.

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No Peace Allowed in Afghanistan — Astute News

Whatever hopes of returning to normal life regular Afghans have had until recently, these days those are all but dissolving like a morning mist. The so-called Afghan reconciliation summit that was to be held in Qatar has been put on the back burner indefinitely. It was envisioned as a separate event, unrelated to the direct talks between the Taliban […]

via No Peace Allowed in Afghanistan — Astute News

Washington’s Mighty Warriors: Draft Dodgers and Scoundrels

By Philip Giraldi
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draft dodgers and scoundrels 2b994

Remember Shakespeare’s line “he jests at scars that never felt a wound?” That epithet could have been written with National Security Advisor John Bolton in mind. Bolton was notoriously a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, like his current boss, not due to any scruples regarding what was occurring, but out of concern for his own sorry ass. He is now credibly believed to be the driving force behind the punishment being meted out to Venezuela and, far more dangerously, of the creeping escalation that is taking place in the Middle East that is seeking to draw Iran into a misstep that would lead to war. Bolton, who has received the “Defender of Israel” award, has long been an outspoken advocate for attacking Iran and now he has the power to do just that.

The psychopaths in the White House have been pretending that the United States “and its allies” are being threatened by Iran, a ridiculous conceit in and of itself as the Persians are hugely outgunned by the local U.S. presence as well as by the weapons in place in the region in the hands of the Saudis and Israelis. Israel is, one might recall, armed to the teeth through the beneficence of the United States and is also the region’s only nuclear armed power by virtue of the theft of U.S. technology and enriched uranium. The Saudis, meanwhile, are about to receive another $8 billion American made weapons due to the “Iranian threat.” That Trump has arranged the arms sale on his own questionable authority as an “emergency response” seems to bother some in Washington and the media, but no one will ultimately do anything about it as everyone inside the Beltway hates Iran due to the assiduous work of the Israel Lobby.

Trump has already sent bombers to the Persian Gulf region as well as an aircraft carrier and he is now adding 1500 more troops because the Iranian threat is reportedly increasing. The alleged threat itself is based on generic Israeli intelligence about what the Iranians might do if they choose to react to U.S. pressure. The intelligence reportedly suggests that there might be attacks on American diplomatic missions in Iraq, which has led to the evacuation of dependents and unnecessary staff from the posts in Baghdad and Irbil. It is also claimed that the Iranians were mounting anti-ship missiles on small coastal vessels to deploy against American warships.

The Pentagon claims that it has photographic evidence of the anti-ship missile threat, but Gareth Porter has demolished the analysis that has been produced by the White House, noting that the truly dangerous missiles are largely shore based and hidden.

The reality is that the Executive Branch of the federal government is essentially contriving a phony war supportive of no conceivable national interest that is based on lies and might even include a “false flag” operation that will condemn Iran for something it did not do. Some have compared it to the lead-up to Iraq, which is a fair judgment, but one has to suspect that the current situation is much worse as a war with Iran is potentially far more damaging to actual American interests than Saddam Hussein ever was. Iran will fight back and has capable defenses, which means Americans, not Israelis or Saudis, will die. So too will many thousands of innocent Iranian civilians. And there will be new trillions of dollars to add to the already crippling war debt being amassed Washington with absolutely nothing to show in return.

If there is any hope on the horizon it might be coming from a number of media reports that President Donald Trump has expressed considerable irritation with the advice he is getting from Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He reportedly began to see the light when the attempted coup in Venezuela did not develop as planned, resulting in some comments by the president that he had been misled into thinking that the regime change would be “easy.” He has since that time stated that he does not want war with Iran, though his actions would suggest otherwise, and some news reports suggesting that he is unhappy and at odds with Bolton in particular.

Unfortunately the desktop warriors who are currently calling the shots in Washington have no idea what they might be getting into. The only former soldier among them is Pompeo, who is a West Point graduate. He missed Vietnam and has never been involved in actual combat. He is also is a Christian Zionist who welcomes a major war in the Middle East in hopes that it will bring about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Neither Pompeo nor Bolton has any real understanding that war means death. If Bolton has his way, many thousands will die and the United States will be reviled by nearly the entire world. President Donald Trump for all his self-proclaimed “genius” status does not appear to understand that reality either. For him, megadeaths and national humiliation might mean little more than the numbers on a balance sheet when one is reckoning up the costs of constructing a building.

This impending tragedy must be stopped. Back in 2003, a hundred thousand Americans gathered at the Washington Mall to protest against the drive to invade Iraq. Nothing like that has developed yet, but the people must rise up to demand that the government cease and desist from doing things in their name that do not help a single American but instead only bring death and destruction. Trump promised to do that when he ran for president. It is past time that he fulfill that promise.

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