How New is the New Imperialism? By William Bowles

24 April 2003

Reagan-Thatcher, Bush-Blair, can you spot the difference?
I hope you can still recall the days of Ronald Reagan and the ‘Evil Empire’, ‘Star Wars’ and all that other Hollywood-inspired propaganda crap. Well in any case, it’s around twenty years ago that we were subjected to the formative stirrings of the ‘neo-con revival’ after a long lapse since the days of the ‘Red Menace’ and the House of Un-American Activities (remember that?). The ‘Axis of Evil’ and the ‘Patriot Act’ are the contemporary names but differ little from the originals except in scope, style and execution (pun intended).

And why then and indeed why now? By the 1980s it was clear that the days of the ‘Soviet Empire’ were numbered. Unable to keep up with the sheer productive power of US capitalism, especially in the field of armaments, by the 1980s the Soviet economy was effectively bankrupt. Sensing that it was time to ‘go for the jugular’ (my phrase, not Reagan’s), the anti was upped and Reagan increased the ‘Defence’ budget and went to ‘proxy’ war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Not unconnected to this new round of Cold War hysteria was the dire state of the US economy, which was driven by the hi-tech armaments revolution (remember the ‘military-industrial complex?) and in serious competition with the rising ‘Pacific Rim’ economies (remember them?). Indeed, the ‘de-industrialisng’ of America started around the same time.

Do I sense a pattern to all this or is it just my paranoia? But it seems that the US needs an enemy, indeed, it’s lost without one. And could it be connected to the US economy I wonder?

Farce or Tragedy? Take your pick
One is tempted to say that when history repeats itself, the second time it’s as farce, except of course, in this case it’s a tragedy of global dimensions. And of course, it is the same old story, but the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

A road to nowhere or is it Tehran?
And on the day after the ‘road map’ was made public, we read that:

“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. ‘These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve,’ Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen…. Sharon said that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention was focused on Iraq.” – Haaretz May 1, 2003

Stripped of WMDs? Deal with Iran, Libya and Syria? Note that it’s the US who are going to have to do the ‘taking out’. Talk about the tail wagging the dog! How quickly the lies become myth and enter into the lexicon of rationalisation for warmongering. If the expansionist aims of the Sharon mini-empire were not clear before, surely by now, we should have gotten the message. In order to guarantee the future of the expansionist state of Israel, it’s necessary to ‘take out’ (to use Bush Junior’s favourite expression) any country that poses even the slightest ‘threat’ to the expansionist policies of the Sharon government.

Of course, all who mention the US-Israel connection are labelled ‘anti-semitic’ or in my case, I’m a ‘self-hating Jew’ being a person of Jewish descent (who dreams up these phrases?). But then being Jewish is not the same as being Israeli, another sleight of hand performed by the imperialists. It’s akin to equating being Arab with being a terrorist or a Moslem.

And what of the ‘road map’? Anybody who has taken the time to read the ‘small print’ will notice that the key elements that any self-respecting Palestinian will reject are:

“GOI [government of Israel] immediately dismantles settlement outposts erected since March 2001.”

Since March 2001? What of UN resolution 242 which called for the reestablishment of the pre-1967 borders? If memory serves me right, since 2001 even more chunks of Palestinian territory have been stolen by the expansionists and the remainder carved up into to little Bantustans.

And what of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state? Check out the wording:

“In the second phase, efforts are focused on the option of creating an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty”. [my emph. WB]

It goes on to say:

“Phase II starts after Palestinian elections and ends with possible creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders in 2003.” [my emph. WB]

What kind of independent state has the attributes of one or borders that are merely provisional or indeed call for the possible creation of an independent Palestine? Another sleight of hand.

‘Oy veh’ as my mum used to say. The devil lives in the details. And you can bet that Sharon will scream blue murder about these pathetic ‘concessions’ to ‘responsible’ Palestinians. Whatever, it’s a non-starter in spite of all the hand-shaking and wide grins all round as the warmongers handed over the doc yesterday.

Iraq for the Iraqis!
And if you need any further proof of US intentions over the issue of Iraqi oil, just check out this little gem taken from$724

‘Iraq doesn’t need International Monetary Fund loans and World Bank grants conditioned on an austerity program. The country has the expertise and the personnel to restart oil production, begin generating revenue immediately and make the repairs and capital improvements necessary to maximize production within a three- to five-year time frame. What Iraq needs is a functioning oil company (and eventually several private Iraqi oil companies with Iraqi CEOs and boards of directors comprised of Iraqis [my emph. WB…]’ © 2003 Copley News Service 4/22/2003 Jack Kemp

Hmm, all it needs, according to Jack Kemp, co-director of Empower America and Chairman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and ‘friend’ of the Iraqis is a little privatisation and Iraq’s problems are all sorted.

And Palestine for the Palestinians! And this from the man who said:

‘…recognition of [a] Palestinian state would reward and encourage terrorism…’ – Jack Kemp press release dated 6/20/2002

I could go on but you can find the full text of this outrageous piece of right-wing (neo-con) rubbish @$54

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