Networks of Empire and Realignments of World Power

Imperial states build networks which link economic, military and political activities into a coherent mutually reinforcing system.  This task is largely performed by the various institutions of the imperial state.  Thus imperial action is not always directly economic, as military action in one country or region is necessary to open or protect economic zones.  Nor are all military actions decided by economic interests if the leading sector of the imperial state is decidedly militarist.

Moreover, the sequence of imperial action may vary according to the particular conditions necessary for empire building.   Thus state aid may buy collaborators; military intervention may secure client regimes followed later by private investors.  In other circumstances, the entry of private corporations may precede state intervention.

In either private or state economic and/or military led penetration, in furtherance of empire-building, the strategic purpose is to exploit the special economic and geopolitical features of the targeted country to create empire-centered networks.  In the post Euro-centric colonial world, the privileged position of the US in its empire-centered policies, treaties, trade and military agreements is disguised and justified by an ideological gloss, which varies with time and circumstances.  In the war to break-up Yugoslavia and establish client regimes, as in Kosovo, imperial ideology utilized humanitarian rhetoric.  In the genocidal wars in the Middle East, anti-terrorism and anti-Islamic ideology is central.  Against China, democratic and human rights rhetoric predominates.   In Latin America, receding imperial power relies on democratic and anti-authoritarian rhetoric aimed at the democratically elected Chavez government.

The effectiveness of imperial ideology is in direct relation to the capacity of empire to promote viable and dynamic development alternatives to their targeted countries.  By that criteria imperial ideology has had little persuasive power among target populations.  The Islamic phobic and anti-terrorist rhetoric has made no impact on the people of the Middle East and alienated the Islamic world.  Latin America’s lucrative trade relations with the Chavist government and the decline of the US economy has undermined Washington’s ideological campaign to isolate Venezuela.The  US human rights campaign against China has been totally ignored throughout the EU, Africa, Latin America, Oceana and  by the 500 biggest US MNC (and even by the US Treasury busy selling treasury bonds to China to finance the ballooning US budget deficit).

The weakening influence of imperial propaganda and the declining economic leverage of Washington means that the US imperial networks built over the past half century are being eroded or at least subject to centrifugal forces. Former  fully integrated networks in Asia are now merely military bases as the economies secure greater autonomy and orient toward China and beyond.  In other words the imperial networks are now being transformed into limited operations’ outposts, rather than centers for imperial economic plunder.

Imperial Networks:  The Central Role of Collaborators

Empire-building is essentially a process of penetrating a country or region, establishing a privileged position and retaining control in order to secure (1) lucrative resources, markets and cheap labor (2) establish a military platform to expand into adjoining countries and regions (3) military bases to establish a chock-hold over strategic road or waterways to deny or limit access of competitors or adversaries (4) intelligence and clandestine operations against adversaries and competitors.

History has demonstrated that the lowest cost in sustaining long term, long scale imperial domination is by developing local collaborators, whether in the form of political, economic and/or military leaders operating from client regimes.  Overt politico-military imperial rule results in costly wars and disruption, especially among a broad array of classes adversely affected by the imperial presence.

Formation of collaborator rulers and classes results from diverse short and long term imperial policies ranging from direct military, electoral and extra-parliamentary activities to middle to long term recruitment, training and orientation of promising young leaders via propaganda and educational programs, cultural-financial inducements, promises of political and economic backing on assuming political office and through substantial clandestine financial backing.

The most basic appeal by imperial policy-makers to the “new ruling class” in an emerging client state is the opportunity to participate in an economic system tied to the imperial centers in which local elites share economic wealth with their imperial benefactors.  To secure mass support, the collaborator classes obfuscate the new forms of imperial subservience and economic exploitation by emphasizing political independence, personal freedom, economic opportunity and private consumerism.

The mechanisms for the transfer of power to an emerging client state combine imperial propaganda, financing of mass organizations and electoral parties, as well as violent coups or ‘popular uprisings’.  Authoritarian bureaucratically ossified regimes relying on police controls to limit or oppose imperial expansion are “soft targets”.  Selective human rights campaigns become the most effective organizational weapon to recruit activists and promote leaders for the imperial-centered new political order.  Once the power transfer takes place, the former members of the political, economic and cultural elite are banned, repressed, arrested and jailed.  A new homogenous political culture of competing parties embracing the imperial centered world order emerges.

The first order of business beyond the political purge is the privatization and handover of the commanding heights of the economy to imperial enterprises.  The client regimes proceed to provide soldiers to engage as paid mercenaries in imperial wars and to transfer military bases to imperial forces as platforms of intervention.  The entire “independence charade” is accompanied by the massive dismantling of public social welfare programs (pensions, free health and education), labor codes and full employment policies.  Promotion of a highly polarized class structure is the ultimate consequence of client rule.  The  imperial-centered economies of the client regimes, as a replica of any commonplace satrap state, is justified (or legitimated) in the name of an electoral system dubbed democratic – in fact, a political system dominated by new capitalist elites and their heavily funded mass media.

Imperial centered regimes run by collaborating elites spanning the Baltic States, Central and Eastern Europe to the Balkans is the most striking example of imperial expansion in the 20th century.  The break-up and take-over of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc and its incorporation into the US-led NATO alliance and the European Union resulted in imperial hubris. Washington made premature declarations of a unipolar world while Western Europe proceeded to plunder public resources, ranging from factories to real estate, exploiting cheap labor overseas and via immigration, drawing on a formidable ‘reserve army’ to undermine living standards of unionized labor in the West.

The unity of purpose of European and US imperial regimes allowed for the peaceful joint takeover of the wealth of the new regions by private monopolies.  The imperial states initially subsidized the new client regimes with large scale transfers and loans on condition that they allowed imperial firms to seize resources, real estate, land, factories, service sectors, media outlets etc.  Heavily indebted states went from a sharp crises in the initial period to ‘spectacular’ growth to profound and chronic social crises with double digit unemployment in the 20 year period of client building.  While worker protests emerged as wages deteriorated, unemployment soared and welfare provisions were cut, destitution spread.  However the ‘new middle class’  embedded in the political and media apparatuses and in joint economic ventures are sufficiently funded by imperial financial institutions to protect their dominance.

The dynamic of imperial expansion in East, Central and Southern Europe, however, did not provide the impetus for strategic advance because of the ascendancy of highly volatile financial capital and a powerful militarist caste in the Euro-American political centers.  In important respects military and political expansion was no longer harnessed to economic conquest.  The reverse was true: economic plunder and political dominance served as instruments for projecting military power.

Imperial Sequences:  From War for Exploitation to Exploitation for War

The relations between imperial military policies and economic interests are complex and changing over time and historical context.  In some circumstances, an imperial regime will invest heavily in military personnel and augment monetary expenditures to overthrow an anti-imperialist ruler and establish a client regime far beyond any state or private economic return.  For example, US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, proxy wars in Somalia and Yemen have not resulted in greater profits for US multinational corporations’ nor has it enhanced private exploitation of raw materials, labor or markets.  At best, imperial wars have provided profits for mercenary contractors, construction companies and related ‘war industries’ profiting through transfers from the US treasury and the exploitation of US taxpayers, mostly wage and salary earners.

In many cases, especially after the Second World War, the emerging US imperial state lavished a multi-billion dollar loan and aid program for Western Europe.  The Marshall Plan forestalled anti-capitalist social upheavals and restored capitalist political dominance.  This allowed for the emergence of NATO (a military alliance led and dominated by the US).  Subsequently, US multi-national corporations invested in, and traded with, Western Europe reaping lucrative profits, once the imperial state created favorable political and economic conditions.  In other words, imperial state politico-military intervention preceded the rise and expansion of US multi-national capital.  A myopic short term analysis of the initial post-war activity would downplay the importance of private US economic interests as the driving force of US policy.  Extending the time period to the following two decades, the interplay between initial high cost state military and economic expenditures with later private high return gains provides a perfect example of how the process of imperial power operates.

The role of the imperial state as an instrument for opening, protecting and expanding private market, labor and resource exploitation corresponds to a time in which both the state and the dominant classes were primarily motivated by industrial empire building.

US directed military intervention and coups in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Chile (1973), the Dominican Republic (1965) were linked to specific imperial economic interests and corporations.  For example, US and English oil corporations sought to reverse the nationalization of oil in Iran.  The US, United Fruit Company opposed the agrarian reform policies in Guatemala.  The major US copper and telecommunication companies supported and called for the US-backed coup in Chile.

In contrast, current US military interventions and wars in the Middle East, South Asia and the Horn of Africa are not promoted by US multi-nationals.  The imperial policies are promoted by militarists and Zionists embedded in the state, mass media and powerful ‘civil’ organizations.  The same imperial methods (coups and wars) serve different imperial rulers and interests.

Clients, Allies and Puppet Regimes

Imperial networks involve securing a variety of complementary economic, military and political ‘resource bases’ which are both part of the imperial system and retain varying degrees of political and economic autonomy.

In the dynamic earlier stages of US Empire building, from roughly the 1950s – 1970s, US multi-national corporations and the economy as a whole dominated the world economy.  Its allies in Europe and Asia were highly dependent on US markets, financing and development.  US military hegemony was reflected in a series of regional military pacts which secured almost instant support for US regional wars, military coups and the construction of military bases and naval ports on their territory.  Countries were divided into ‘specializations’ which served the particular interests of the US Empire.  Western Europe was a military outpost, industrial partner and ideological collaborator.  Asia, primarily Japan and South Korea served as ‘frontline military outposts’, as well as industrial partners.  Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines were essentially client regimes which provided raw materials as well as military bases.  Singapore and Hong Kong were financial and commercial entrepots.  Pakistan was a client military regime serving as a frontline pressure on China.

Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Gulf mini-states, ruled by client authoritarian regimes, provided oil and military bases.  Egypt and Jordan and Israel anchored imperial interests in the Middle East.  Beirut served as the financial center for US, European and Middle East bankers.

Africa and Latin America including client and nationalist-populist regimes were a source of raw materials as well as markets for finished goods and cheap labor.

The prolonged US-Vietnam war and Washington’s subsequent defeat eroded the power of the empire.  Western Europe, Japan and South Korea’s industrial expansion challenged US industrial primacy.  Latin America’s pursuit of nationalist, import – substitution policies forced US investment toward overseas manufacturing.  In the Middle East nationalist movements toppled US clients in Iran and Iraq and undermined military outposts. Revolutions in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Algeria, Nicaragua and elsewhere curtailed Euro-American ‘open ended’ access to raw materials, at least temporarily.

The decline of the US Empire was temporarily arrested by the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the establishment of client regimes throughout the region.  Likewise the upsurge of imperial-centered client regimes in Latin America between the mid 1970s to the end of the 1990s gave the appearance of an imperialist recovery.  The 1990s, however, was not the beginning of a repeat of the early 1950s imperial take off:  it was the “last hurrah” before a long term irreversible decline.

The entire imperial political apparatus, so successful in its clandestine operations in subverting the Soviet and Eastern European regimes, played a marginal role when it came to capitalizing on the economic opportunities which ensued.  Germany and other EU countries led the way in the takeover of lucrative privatized enterprises.  Russian-Israeli oligarchs (seven of the top eight) seized and pillaged privatized strategic industries, banks and natural resources. The principal US beneficiaries were the banks and Wall Street firms which laundered billions of illicit earnings and collected lucrative fees from mergers, acquisitions, stock listings and other less than transparent activities.  In other words, the collapse of Soviet collectivism strengthened the parasitical financial sector of the US Empire.  Worse still, the assumption of a ‘unipolar world’ fostered by US ideologues, played into the hands of the militarists, who now assumed that former constraints on US military assaults on nationalists and Soviet allies had disappeared.  As a result military intervention became the principal driving force in US empire building, leading to the first Iraq war, the Yugoslav and Somali invasion and the expansion of US military bases throughout the former Soviet bloc and Eastern Europe.

At the very pinnacle of US global-political and military power during the 1990s, with all the major Latin American regimes enveloped in the empire-centered neo-liberal warp, the seeds of decay and decline set in.

The economic crises of the late 1990s led to major uprisings and electoral defeats of practically all US clients in Latin America, spelling the decline of US imperial domination.  China’s extraordinary dynamic and cumulative growth displaced US manufacturing capital and weakened US leverage over rulers in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  The vast transfer of US state resources to overseas imperial adventures, military bases and the shoring up of clients and allies led to domestic decline.

The US empire, passively facing economic competitors displacing the US in vital markets and engaged in prolonged and unending wars which drained the treasury, attracted a cohort of mediocre policymakers who lacked a coherent strategy for rectifying policies and reconstructing the state to serve productive activity capable of ‘retaking markets’.  Instead the policies of open-ended and unsustainable wars played into the hands of a special sub-group (sui generis) of militarists, American Zionists.  They capitalized on their infiltration of strategic positions in the state, enhanced their influence in the mass media and a vast network of organized “pressure groups” to reinforce US subordination to Israel’s drive for Middle East supremacy.

The result was the total “unbalancing” of the US imperial apparatus:  military action was unhinged from economic empire building.  A highly influential upper caste of Zionist-militarists harnessed US military power to an economically marginal state (Israel), in perpetual hostility toward the 1.5 billion Muslim world.  Equally damaging, American Zionist ideologues and policymakers promoted repressive institutions and legislation and Islamophobic ideological propaganda designed to terrorize the US population.

Equally important Islamophobic ideology served to justify permanent war in South Asia and the Middle East and the exorbitant military budgets at a time of sharply deteriorating domestic socio-economic conditions.  Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent unproductively as “Homeland Security” which strived in every way to recruit, train, frame and arrest Afro-American Muslim men as “terrorists”.  Thousands of secret agencies with hundreds of thousands of national, state and local officials  spied on US citizens who at some point may have sought to speak or act to rectify or reform the militarist-financial-Zionist centered imperialist policies.

By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the US empire could only destroy adversaries (Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) provoke military tensions (Korean peninsula, China Sea) and undermine relations with potentially lucrative trading partners (Iran, Venezuela).  Galloping authoritarianism fused with fifth column Zionist militarism to foment Islamophobic ideology.  The convergence of authoritarian mediocrities, upwardly mobile knaves and fifth column tribal loyalists in the Obama regime precluded any foreseeable reversal of imperial decay.

China’s growing global economic network and dynamic advance in cutting edge applied technology in everything from alternative energy to high speed trains, stands in contrast to the Zionist-militarist infested empire of the US.

The US demands on client Pakistan rulers to empty their treasury in support of US Islamic wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan stands in contrast to the $30 billion dollar Chinese investments in infrastructure, energy and electrical power and multi-billion dollar increases in trade.

US $3 billion dollar military subsidies to Israel stand in contrast to China’s multi-billion dollar investments in Iranian oil and trade agreements.  US funding of wars against Islamic countries in Central and South Asia stands in contrast to Turkey’s expanding economic trade and investment agreements in the same region.  China has replaced the US as the key trading partner in leading South American countries, while the US unequal “free trade” agreement(NAFTA) impoverishes Mexico.  Trade between the European Union and China exceeds that with the US.

In Africa, the US subsidizes wars in Somalia and the Horn of Africa, while China signs on to multi-billion dollar investment and trade agreements, building up African infrastructure in exchange for access to raw materials.  There is no question that the economic future of Africa is increasingly linked to China.

The US Empire, in contrast, is in a deadly embrace with an insignificant colonial militarist state (Israel), failed states in Yemen and Somalia, corrupt stagnant client regimes in Jordan and Egypt and the decadent rent collecting absolutist petrol-states of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.  All form part of an unproductive atavistic coalition bent on retaining power via military supremacy.  Yet Empires of the 21st century are built on the bases of productive economies with global networks linked to dynamic trading partners.

Recognizing the economic primacy and market opportunities linked to becoming part of the Chinese global network, former or existing US clients and even puppet rulers have begun to edge away from submission to US mandates. Fundamental shifts in economic relations and political alignments have occurred throughout Latin America.  Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries support Iran’s non-military nuclear program in defiance of Zionist led Washington aggression.  Several countries have defied Israel-US policymakers by recognizing Palestine as a state.  Trade with China surpasses trade with the US in the biggest countries in the region.

Puppet regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have signed major economic agreements with China, Iran and Turkey even while the US pours billions to bolster its military position.  Turkey an erstwhile military client of the US-NATO command broadens its own quest for capitalist hegemony by expanding economic ties with Iran, Central Asia and the Arab-Muslim world, challenging US-Israeli military hegemony.

The US Empire still retains major clients and nearly a thousand military bases around the world.  As client and puppet regimes decline, Washington increases the role and scope of extra-territorial death squad operations from 50 to 80 countries.  The growing independence of regimes in the developing world is especially fueled by an economic calculus:  China offers greater economic returns and less political-military interference than the US.

Washington’s imperial network is increasingly based on military ties with allies: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan in the Far East and Oceana; the European Union in the West; and a smattering of Central and South American states in the South.  Even here, the military allies are no longer economic dependencies: Australia and New Zealand’s principle export markets are in Asia (China).  EU-China trade is growing exponentially.  Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are increasingly tied by trade and investment with China … as is Pakistan and India.

Equally important new regional networks which exclude the US are growing in Latin America and Asia, creating the potential for  new economic blocs.

In other words, the US imperial economic network constructed after World War II and amplified by the collapse of the USSR is in the process of decay, even as the military bases and treaties remain as a formidable ‘platform’ for new military interventions.

What is clear is that the military, political and ideological gains in network-building by the US around the world with the collapse of the USSR and the post-Soviet wars are not sustainable.  On the contrary the over-development of the ideological-military-security apparatus raised economic expectations and depleted economic resources resulting in the incapacity to exploit economic opportunities or consolidate economic networks.  US funded “popular uprisings” in the Ukraine led to client regimes incapable of promoting growth.  In the case of Georgia, the regime engaged in an adventurous war with Russia resulting in trade and territorial losses.  It is a matter of time before existing client regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Mexico will face major upheavals, due to the precarious bases of rule by corrupt, stagnant and repressive rulers.

The process of decay of the US Empire is both cause and consequence of the challenge by rising economic powers establishing alternative centers of growth and development.  Changes within countries at the periphery of the empire and growing indebtedness and trade deficits at the ‘center’ of the empire are eroding the empire.  The existing US governing class, in both its financial and militarist variants, show neither will nor interest in confronting the causes of decay.  Instead each mutually supports the other: the financial sector lowers taxes deepening the public debt and plunders the treasury.  The military caste drains the treasury in pursuit of wars and military outposts and increases the trade deficit by undermining commercial and investment undertakings.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina, and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed Books). Petras’ most recent book is The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack. He can be reached at: jpetras@binghamton.edu. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on January 3rd, 2011 at 8:34am #

    James Petras gives here a thorough analysis of the methods used by imperial powers to secure their dominance over less developed areas. These methods include military, economic and more subtle tehniques to achieve their objectives covered up by claims of securing democracy, freedom and fighting terrorism, facile claims as they often are. The US campaign is active to secure their empire, replacing longstanding European imperial empires. The American policy makers are being used by some, including American Zionists, to wage war against Muslim and Arab Countries, using Islamophobic methods and claims of wars against terrorism, amongst other manufactured pretexts. Sadly, these methods demolish the claims of promoting freedom and democracy, made by American leaders, and will bring back nothing but failure and dishonour.

  2. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:10am #

    petras:
    “In the war to break-up Yugoslavia and establish client regimes, as in Kosovo, imperial ideology utilized humanitarian rhetoric”.

    this observation appears incorrect. it omits the fact that it had been fascists in the main who broke up yugoslavia.

    eg, croatia had been ruled by communist part until early ’91. and had been ousted then mostly or solely because communists everywhere and not just in croatia swore allegiance to tito and preservation of his yugoslavia.
    not the serb one!
    when the serb tanks rolled into croatia late ’90, this signified even to some communist croatians, that serbs were after obtaining greater serbia and not for preserving tito’s yugoslavia.

    it seems now that all ex-yugoslav lands r ruled by supremacists– just as is u.s and many nato lands.
    so, birds of a feather [liars-thieves] flock together.

    for elucidation what went on in the balkans post-tito, let’s look at cuba.
    it is under sanctions. it had been invaded ’62. u.s tried to assassinate fidel.
    but cuba is still with us; fascism is still out.

    however, once serbia aggressed, and not once, but four times, it was all over for any serb-dominated region! tnx

  3. MichaelKenny said on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:16am #

    “The military, political and ideological gains in network-building by the US around the world with the collapse of the USSR and the post-Soviet wars are not sustainable”. That really says it all. And it is true that US decline is “both cause and consequence of the challenge by rising economic powers establishing alternative centers of growth and development”. In Europe, for example, the US elite didn’t grasp that by freeing Europe from the threat of communist dictatorship, it also freed Europe from dependence on the US! I think what the US elite dreamed of was to set up a US-dominated “counter-EU” in Eastern Europe, so as to undermine the real EU, far too independent, and thus not sufficiently subservient to Israel. The EU beat them to the punch by bringing practically all of those states in the EU very quickly. Hence the attacks on the EU via the euro and Latvia, for example. Hence the attempt to push Russia back into dictatorship and hype up “conflicts” with its neighbours. The US elite has realised that the wily old Polish Pope outfoxed them and that they were actually more powerful in cold war days than they are now. Most of the US elite now seems to accept the new situation and is slowly dismantling the dollar’s reserve role. A handful of extremists is fighting to the bitter end.

  4. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:24am #

    what the Left in u.s is doing is confusing serb dream [and other peoples' nightmares] of a yugoslavia and not tito’s dream of yugoslavia.

    the left thinks, i think, that one cause fro serbs invasions from ’91 were caused by a threat to serbs and their need to avenge serb deaths in ww2 perped by ustashe.

    not so. in fact, croatian partisans have avenged deaths of serbs, jews, and croats in ’45. some 80-120k ustashe soldiers had been slain by croatian partisans at that time at bleiburg, austria, and elsewhere.

    it had been said that tito [?commanded] advised to punish only those who actually committed crimes!

    why such nescience by the Left in u.s? tnx

  5. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:43am #

    petras:
    “The relations between imperial military policies and economic interests are complex and changing over time and historical context.”

    yes circumstances change; necessating change in tactics!
    however, me giver-u taker; me commander-u obeyer, relationship does not change.
    on some days, bigger and more crumbs fall dwn– on other days, smaller and fewer.
    still on other days one is told: if u want to eat, serve me–oops our country in afgh’n! tnx

  6. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 9:54am #

    “Instead the policies of open-ended and unsustainable wars played into the hands of a special sub-group (sui generis) of militarists, American Zionists.”

    i say that this is true. however, an astounding questions arises in connection with that event? was it legal or not? was it a constitutional demand-command: get rich anyway u can? tnx

  7. bozh said on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:19am #

    petras:

    “The process of decay of the US Empire is both cause and consequence of the challenge by rising economic powers establishing alternative centers of growth and development.”

    however, i read that superrich amers got even richer in the last decade.
    is it because of higher price for gas– now $1.20 per liter in canada. by over charging us a few pennies per liter more than otherwise, u.s may be paying for nato aggression and making some people richer.

    yes [if this is true] to decay for majority of the regionals [u.s being a region and not country–in deed, that is– and blessing for a few other regionals. tnx

  8. hayate said on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:23pm #

    From the article:

    “For example, US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, proxy wars in Somalia and Yemen have not resulted in greater profits for US multinational corporations’ nor has it enhanced private exploitation of raw materials, labor or markets. At best, imperial wars have provided profits for mercenary contractors, construction companies and related ‘war industries’ profiting through transfers from the US treasury and the exploitation of US taxpayers, mostly wage and salary earners.”

    This reinforces the view that these wars are not “for oil” as people on the left have been lead to believe, but political, geostratigic wars to further the aims of another goal. The israeloamericans have not really tried to conclude these wars, but have instead fueled and expanded them. This means the wars’ purpose is mainly regional destablisation. This is something that hinders resource expoitation, so the goal is not resource expoitation, but regional destabilisation. Eventually, they’ll get around to the resource exploitation bit, but right now, the name of the game, and the game is “the great game” here, is wrecking havoc in regions israeloamerica/eu do not control in Asia. Afghanistan is the gateway to Central Asia, and as long as israeloamerica/eu do not control Central Asia, they’ll keep their war going in Afghanistan to provide a way to infiltrate their rubbish into Central Asia and destabilise this region.

  9. shabnam said on January 3rd, 2011 at 10:39pm #

    {In contrast, current US military interventions and wars in the Middle East, South Asia and the Horn of Africa are not promoted by US multi-nationals. The imperial policies are promoted by militarists and Zionists embedded in the state, mass media and powerful ‘civil’ organizations. The same imperial methods (coups and wars) serve different imperial rulers and interests.}
    I agree with you Professor Petras.

    Unfortunately, the closet Zionists are determined to hide the hands of the Judeofascists in the wars against Iraq then, and now their active campaign for a war against Iran to hide the influence of Israel on foreign policy of the evil empire.
    Perry Anderson, from ‘the New Left’, writes:

    “The Israeli establishment and its arm within the US, naturally URGED AN INVASION OF IRAQ, a long-standing foe that had attempted to bombard it during the Gulf War. (Though had ISRAEL OPPOSED THE WAR, WE CAN BE FAIRLY SURE IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED).
    It means that ZIONISM IS THE FACE OF US IMPERIALISM AND THE zionists are in the driving seat, directing their servant to carry out zionist war plan.

    The Zionists who CONTROL MAJOR POLITICAL , ECONOMIC , AND CULTURAL spheres in the United States are able to select and present an opportunist and obedient client as ‘president’ but in fact is nothing but a petty, as Juan Cole said, COORDINATOR, to expand Israel interest around the world. All major embassies are RESERVE FOR Judeofascists, less than 2% of US population, and their servants, like Sudan Rice who was very active on Zionist behalf in Sudan to force the country into chaos to prepare it for partition LIKE IRAQ to create allies for Israel, not the US. This is a Zionist policy not American policy at the horn of Africa. The empire policy at the Horn of Africa is based on ODED YINON STRATEGY where, Professor Petras, fail to mention.

    Are American people going to allow these zionazis to run their foreign policy for them? Are they willing to go to war for Israel ONCE AGAIN instead of spending your tax money to create jobs for millions of unemployed people? Your politicians are NOT at your service. They are in the service of Zionism to hold their own PETTY POSITIONS. Don’t believe the nonsense of Hillary Clinton when she writes:

    The American people must understand that spending taxpayer dollars on ‘diplomacy’ and ‘development’ is in their interest, especially when those ‘investments’ support missions in ‘conflict zones’, fragile states, and states that can play a responsible role in their regions and in the world.

    Her lines are all lies. She is involved in act of terror to bring communities under control. Your tax money is funding nothing but PRISONS, overt and covert BASES, RAPE, TORTURE, ECONOMIC STRANGULATION, KILLING CHILDREN WITH MISSILES at the wedding ceremonies, killing civilians with ISRAELI MADE DRONES. She has done nothing for the children of Gaza but is willing to bribe Judeofascists with your $ billions of dollar to postpone illegal settlement expansion and house demolition for 2 months.
    Are you interested in this kind of ‘diplomacy’ that Hillary is conducting? This ‘diplomacy’ definitely is in the interest of Clinton family who just married off their daughter to another Zionist. They are ALL IN THE FAMILY. This is not your interest. When do you want to wake up?

    David Rhodes in Charlie Rose show said: Afghani people are so angry at American ‘diplomacy’ that they spit at US president’s picture whenever they see one. Clinton is lying and is using your tax money to create more ‘conflict ‘zone to destabilize the region to carry the Zionist foreign policy to expand the interest of an apartheid state which perhaps is in the interest of her daughter and grant children not YOURS.

    Look at Clinton’s analysis of ‘peace processes’ where Netanyahu slap on both faces of Hillary and Obama refusing to postpone the illegal settlement and end the blockade. He is PREPARING FOR A NEW WAR.
    What is Hillary going to do? Nothing.
    Hillary lies again when in “foreign affair” issue November/December 2010 says:
    “The resumption of ‘direct talks’ between the Israelis and Palestinians over the summer was the handiwork of talented and persistent ‘diplomacy’. But progress at the negotiating table will be directly linked to progress in BUILDING STRONG AND STABLE INSTITUTIONS for a Palestinian ‘state’ and provide SECURITY for Israel it NEEDS. ‘Diplomacy’ has been the ‘backbone’ of US foreign policy.

    Only ignorant people can accept these lines and stays inactive.
    Thank you for your excellent article.

  10. Deadbeat said on January 4th, 2011 at 4:00am #

    Contrast Petra’s analysis to that of William Blum. Blum’s analysis is ossified and still stuck in the 19th and 20th Century. Petra’s analysis is consistent with the political realities of the 21st Century. Yet look at the accolades Blum receives on the “Left” (read: pseudo-Left) while Petra’s analysis tend to get underplayed.

    The key to analyzing Political Economy is understanding the motivation and the key interests. Not all imperialisms are resource wars and clearly the power configuration have been altered in the 21st Century.

    However the pseudo-Left still tries to maintain their “credibility” based on configurations no longer project the same kind of power and influence. It it quite clear that Blum — who made it plain in a prior article” chooses not to analyze Zionism as a center in the realignment of the power configuration that has had a tremendous and OBVIOUS influence over the past decade — the initial decade of the 21st Century.

  11. Josie Michel-Bruening said on January 4th, 2011 at 5:39am #

    Appreciating this contribution by James Petras as another excellent analysis and having copied it for collecting more qualified arguments – I did so with William Blum’s new Anti-Empire Report as well – I want to say that both contributions tell us among others about the anachronism which is leading our world governments, but first of all that of the United States of America, to separate folks and peoples and persons from each other for a better manipulation when creating a short-minded profit for the so-called elites.
    They are following the same policy as the ancient Romans did: “Divide et impera!”
    Although, we are facing more global desasters than ever by destroying the livelihood of our planet caused by this ancient policy we are continuing in disagreeing to each other – even among the left – instead of joining each other in the need of saving all of our lives.
    More over, we seem to leave alone those who risked their individual lives by whistleblowing the concrete proves for some of the worst crimes having been caused by our politicians.
    Where is the international outcry within this forum and on the streets all over the world?
    What about Bradley Manning, what about the Cuban Five?
    What about so many people suffering from torture and arbitrary confinement?
    Instead we keep arguing about the possible differences which might seperate us from each other.
    What is more urgently needed than ever is to unite based on already internationally found agreements about human rights, mutual respect and the love for life and this on a world scale.
    Different “global players” are needed. Don’t you think so.

  12. Deadbeat said on January 4th, 2011 at 3:08pm #

    It is obvious that M(r/s). Michel-Bruening would rather come to the defense of William Blum rather than analyze his rhetoric. Blum is deploying the Chomskyite mode of minimizing the role and influence Zionism has on U.S. policy and her political economy. This key aspect of this minimization is to simply blame the U.S. with factoids of the CONSEQUENCE of these policies and avoid analysis of HOW these policies where formed. Who were/are the players, their motives, their alliances, and their INTERESTS.

    I chose to make my critique of Blum in the Petras thread because of the stark contracts and nuance of Dr. Petras analysis versus Blum. Blum deliberately omits Zionism while Dr. Petras exposes Zionism influence and confirms what I have argued in the past — that policies today is driven by BOTH Zionism AND Capitalism. These ideologies intersect meaning that there are places where both comes together as well as stand apart. Understanding BOTH is extremely important in order to CONFRONT both. Blum deliberately inflates one side (Capitalism*) while minimizing the other (Zionism/racism). Promoting this propagandistic tactic is the raison d’etre and marketing arm of the pseudo-Left.

    For example Blum cynically writes in the article Terminally Dumb People

    So, let me see if I have this right. It’s because of Israel that the US: …

    This was followed by the excellent rejoinder by hayate …

    hayate said on May 13th, 2010 at 8:53am #

    I wasn’t one of those who wrote Blum, in fact I thought the video excellent. But I do take exception to his claim israeli and zionist influence was not a factor in those american aggressions listed in his list.

    In that list of countries he listed that the usa attacked, I see no mention of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran or any other names of Mideast and western Asian countries the usa has attack (whether overtly or covertly), all of which were most certainly due to zionist and israeli influence. There is also no listing of the “color coups” in Eastern Europe and other regions. These are joint israeli, american and eu operations. One of the main players, soros, is a loyal israeli, and the israeli/zionist propaganda machine plays a huge role in these “soft” coups. Both in the countries under attack and through their zionist networks in the media and in political groups around the world.

    Followed by this response by dane …

    dan e said on May 13th, 2010 at 12:37pm #

    Yes, Blum’s rehearsing of Cold War-era stupidities was entertaining, probably informative too if you weren’t around when main boogeyman was Godless Comminism instead of “Islamo-Fascism” (sic) as currently. But what point was Blum making, other than reciting some history?

    Seems to me his argument is that we shouldn’t get too excited about the current fascistoid upswelling exemplified by Teabaggery & Mrs Palin, since this is all old stuff we’ve seen before.

    As one who was around during the Churchill/Truman/McCarthy/HUAC redscare, who knew people who lost jobs & suffered in other ways, I’m pleased to see the reality of those days recounted. I would have been more pleased if Blum had paid a little attention to the Jim Crow aspect.

    Even in his article Blum highlights Nixon’s recorded stereotypical attitude towards Jews. Nixon and his men also shared similar stereotypical attitudes toward Blacks of which Blum makes NO mention whatsoever to follow-on dane’s analysis. Blum is using the Nixon slurs in a cleaver way to deflect from the conclusion that Zionism couldn’t possibly influence his administration’s policy.

    Thus Blum reinforces what Jeff Gates has recently written as “false realities”. Blum’s faulty analysis becomes “reality” through inflation by the pseudo-Left’s ECHO CHAMBER. The same kind of “echo chamber”, that the pseudo-Leftist Amy Goodman accuses the mainstream media, also exists on the pseudo-Left reinforcing Chomskyite rhetoric. Blum’s recount sounds like “dissent” but in reality is MISINFORMATION, “false reality” and faulty analysis.

    A good historian tries to uncover all the threads and unravels these threads no matter whether if these threads are contrary to conventional beliefs. Rather than inform his readers of these threads, Blum chooses to stay within the confines of convention.

    * Actually the tendency of pseudo-Left is to avoid using the term “Capitalism”. It uses euphemism such as “Corporations”, “Business”, “Industry”, “oil companies”, “big phrama”, “lobbyists”, etc. The consequence of using these euphemism is that it fails to teach workers that the economic and political problems emanates from Capitalism. Since the pseudo-Left promotes these euphemisms, it reinforces the idea that Capitalism is not the problem and fails to introduce workers to Marxist analysis. The consequence of this failure only enhances the reactionary rhetoric of Right and apologists for Capitalism.

  13. hayate said on January 4th, 2011 at 6:13pm #

    Cheers, Deadbeat, and thanks for the well written post.

    I posted this material from Herman/Peterson after Herman’s Yugoslavia article, but since it covers, and adds to, a lot of what Petras mentioned in this article, I’m posting it here, as well.

    Herman and Peterson literally rip the ziofascist stephen zunes apart in this rejoiner about western capitalist regime change ops and their supporters:

    Reply to Stephen Zunes

    Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

    [http://www.zcommunications.org/reply-to-stephen-zunes-by-edward-herman]

    Apparently z-net is up to their old tricks, though. Herman wasn’t listed among the writers listed on their front page, so I tried searching his name on the site and promptly got an error message. They’ve done that before with Herman when he criticised z-net’s zionist, phony leftists who support israeloamerican “color revolutions” on that site. They surreptitiously bury the material and make it hard to find, unless one knows exactly what they are looking for. This is a typical zionist method of limiting exposure of views they disagree with, hide them and make access difficult, but do it on the sly so you can claim you’re not censoring those views and therefore maintain the illusion that the site is open to dissenting views.

  14. Deadbeat said on January 4th, 2011 at 7:02pm #

    It is impressive that Edward S. Herman, who in the past was a close collaborator and colleague of Noam Chomsky, now has distinguished himself by taking positions unpopular with the pseudo-Left. He writes in the article linked to by hayate the following about Zunes …

    We find it highly revealing, therefore, that one month before the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, while opponents of the imminent war were organizing protests on the streets of America’s cities, Zunes was extremely harsh towards Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), which had successfully mounted some of the major protests.

    This again confirm my experience during that period. As I wrote in the “Left Establishment” thread, the pseudo-Left needs to be held accountable for its role in defeating both the 2003 anti-war movement and Ralph Nader’s 2004 Presidential campaign. Now they pretend that its all “Obama’s fault” in its appeal to Progressive Democrats.

    As I have written, ANSWER (the Ramsey Clark inspired organization), having a sizable membership of people of color, raised and linked the issue of Israel/Palestine as a major reason for 9-11. To be clear ANSWER didn’t accuse Israel of causing 9-11 but that U.S. relationship to Israel and Israel RACIST oppression of Palestinian was a major reason for 9-11. This question was too close for comfort for the pseudo-Left and they QUASHED both the anti-war movement and Nader’s 2004 campaign that was closely aligned to the anti-war movement.

    I recall that the Marxist, Louis Proyect expressed his angst at ANSWER for voicing their arguments because he understood the consequences. But IMO that was both weak and immoral. IMO ANSWER helped to EXPOSE the pseudo-Left for the RACISTS that it is, and its Zionist agenda, and GRIP on U.S. politics.

    As we go into 2011 and as people become more agitated the pseudo-Left will be working overtime to embed themselves into fledgling organizations to misled people. This will have the consequences of “killing hope” and could bolt workers further into the hands of the right. The pseudo-Left IMO must be exposed and PURGED.

  15. Deadbeat said on January 4th, 2011 at 7:14pm #

    It is the “R” in ANSWER that threatened the pseudo-Left. They fight tooth and nail to prevent Israel from being labeled as “RACIST”.

  16. shabnam said on January 4th, 2011 at 7:17pm #

    {They surreptitiously bury the material and make it hard to find, unless one knows exactly what they are looking for.}

    I AGREE. I have not found Herman’s article on the front page. I found the article on Stephen Zunes while I was searching for something else. I look at Zmag front page everyday but I never found Herman’s article on that page. Zmag should STOP ITS DIRTY game at once.

    Zmag, funded, by CIA agent Gloria Steinem, Ms. Magazine, does not post Herman’s articles on the front page. This space is reserved for articles by the Iranian monarchist turned pro American ‘democracy’, Saeed Ranema, who has NO FIGHT with Zionism and Imperialism, instead go after Ahmadinejad and Iranian government. Saeed Ranema is embedded in HOPI who were thrown out of the anti war movement in Britain because of their slogan with hidden agenda, REGIME CHANGE supported by Chomsky and CPD. Rahnema has close cooperation with other NED agents like Payam Akhavan and Jahanbegloo.

  17. Mulga Mumblebrain said on January 4th, 2011 at 8:41pm #

    Very interesting deadbeat. I hold Herman in the highest regard, and what he says makes sense. Any organisation that is infiltrated by Zionist Jews must be suspect. I find anti-Zionist Jews quite admirable, as they must overcome the conditioning to see themselves as divine and the goyim as animals of lesser type, and the tremendous social and familial pressure to conform. The ‘self-hating Jew’ insult must be rather disheartening for those merely living up to the best humanist ideals, but the vile nature of those leveling the abuse must make it easier to bear. However, Zionist Jews are, in my opinion, innately untrustworthy, and can be relied on to put Israel and Zionism first, last and always.

  18. Deadbeat said on January 5th, 2011 at 1:18am #

    I agree Mulga and also agree that Herman must be overcoming a lot of pressure to advance his recent anti-pseudo-Left views.

  19. Deadbeat said on January 5th, 2011 at 2:56am #

    Once again, just to contrast how either ossified and gutless William Blum is or how wedded he is to Chomskyism, now that she was force to resign, Helen Thomas is now free to speak succinctly the ideological control of U.S. foreign policy. This is information that Blum, Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn spent decades concealing while being promoted by the pseudo-Left as “dissidents”.

    And having covered the White House since JFK has real credibility with many more news outlet today than ever, she cannot be dismissed.

    ‘Zionists control US foreign policy’

    My guess is that Ms. Thomas won’t be getting a return invitation to be on Democracy Now! from Amy Goodman any time soon to discuss this very pertinent and important issue.

  20. bozh said on January 5th, 2011 at 8:55am #

    however it may be and to whatever degree ‘jews’ control u.s. governance or, rather, u.s. constitution, endless spaghetti and endless blame may never end for some people.
    in short, what u gonna do when they come for u?
    so organize or support a governmental party! maybe even some ‘jews’ wld join it!
    tnx

  21. Deadbeat said on January 5th, 2011 at 9:35am #

    Here is bozh using the same cynical tactic that Max Shields deploys…

    however it may be and to whatever degree ‘jews’ control u.s. governance or, rather, u.s. constitution, endless spaghetti and endless blame may never end for some people. in short, what u gonna do when they come for u?
    so organize or support a governmental party! maybe even some ‘jews’ wld join it!

    When bozh offer his commentary no one disparages his remarks by labeling it as “endless blame”. But when the analysis is about Zionist power he immediately scrawls commentary dismissively labeling it as “blame” and scolds with “go out and organize” rhetoric. This tactic is commonplace of psuedo-Leftists.

    Weeks ago both Shabnam and I posted a link about the rising influence of Zionism in Canada (where bozh lives) as reported by Al Jazeera. Bozh clearly had not gone out to organize an effort to stop the rise of Zionism in his home country. No he rather “blame” the “United States” and not just the “United States” but “99%” of her captive voters as well.

    It is clear what makes bozh uncomfortable is that someone having the huge credibility of Helen Thomas has come out and spill the beans and is finally calling out Zionism.

    For your information bozh this is called EDUCATION.

  22. hayate said on January 5th, 2011 at 9:54pm #

    Deadbeat

    “My guess is that Ms. Thomas won’t be getting a return invitation to be on Democracy Now! from Amy Goodman any time soon to discuss this very pertinent and important issue. ”

    I….don’t think so. :D

  23. bozh said on January 5th, 2011 at 11:03pm #

    db,
    i’v said many times that i do not blame most of the american voters for what the u.s ruling class does. i am suggesting people vote for a second political party.
    i even don’t blame an overwhelming number of u.s soldiers.
    i am voting for a communist party because i believe this party alone can reduce power of ‘jews’.

    db, u’r right! i am not organizing any movement that wld oppose ‘jewish’ influence above its rightful measure.
    i am 80 yrs old; very hard of hearing and with voice that is hard to hear. i am much unfit to lead even my own small head let alone other people.
    so, for who are u going to vote next time? socialist or communist party? tnx

  24. catguy00 said on January 5th, 2011 at 11:28pm #

    Helen Thomas has already been on Democracy Now to talk about Israel and the Iraq War.

  25. 3bancan said on January 6th, 2011 at 1:17am #

    catguy00 said on January 5th, 2011 at 11:28pm #
    “Helen Thomas has already been on Democracy Now to talk about Israel and the Iraq War”
    So that is the reason – according to ziogatto – why she – most probably – won’t be invited to be on DN…

  26. 3bancan said on January 6th, 2011 at 1:21am #

    cont.
    Ie, she won’t be given the chance to “tarnish” DN’s “good name”…

  27. 3bancan said on January 6th, 2011 at 1:25am #

    (cont.)
    and spew her “irrational antijewish hatred” in form of “the antijewish conspiracy”…

  28. mary said on January 6th, 2011 at 3:20am #

    This brave woman will not be silenced by the Zionist lobbies in the US. Pity there are no such public figures in the UK.

    {http://www.presstv.ir/detail/153755.html}

    ‘Zionists control US foreign policy’
    Fri Dec 3, 2010 6:19PM

    Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas
    Renowned American author and veteran journalist Helen Thomas says the “Zionists” are in full control of the US foreign policy and its other institutions.

    Thomas, a former White House journalist, said Israel can never be criticized in the US because Zionists are in control of the American foreign policy as well as its main institutions.

    “I can call a president of the US anything in the book, but I can’t touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank,” Thomas said.

    The 90-year-old national columnist says the White House, Congress, Wall Street and Hollywood are all owned by the Zionists.

    “Congress, the White House, Hollywood, and Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion,” she said.

    Thomas also said that she stands by the comments she made about Israel earlier this year, which was condemned by the local Jewish community.

    Thomas had said that Israelis should get out of Palestine and return to their homes in Europe and the US.

    In an interview, Thomas said that criticizing Israel was the reason she was forced to resign from Hearst Newspapers and was ostracized in Washington.

    The longtime White House correspondent, who grew up in Detroit as the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, was in Dearborn for a workshop on anti-Arab bias.

    Jewish groups have called Thomas’ earlier remarks unfair and bigoted. They have also slammed Thursday’s remarks.

    HSH/HGH/MMN
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