Might Makes Wrong

Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games

If modern universities were honest institutions instead of overpriced degree mills, Imperialism 101 would be a required course for all undergraduate students and political science majors. Eric Walberg draws from a wide and relevant variety of sources to tell the story which stretches throughout what he calls the three periods of imperialism: Great Game I (classical imperialism); GGII (Capitalism vs Communism); and GGIII The US-Israel Post Modern Imperialism, our very frightening present day era.

Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism ((Eric Walberg (2011). Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games. )) reads like a whodunit novel about the real world but would also serve as a fine — and boldly politically incorrect — political science textbook. Nothing is assumed by the writer beforehand and all terms are clearly defined. As an anti-imperialist Canadian, he has lived in Soviet-era Russia, Uzbekistan, and Egypt. What he offers the reader is therefore nothing less than a lifetime’s work, theoretically original in scope yet comprehensible and assiduously documented. The book abounds with valuable gems scoured from the lost pages of history that are relevant for where we find ourselves amidst the dizzying New World Order, or, is it, Chaos Theory Realized? Walberg notes that “… ‘a postmodern imperialism’, devoid of messy competitive wars for colonies” was the post Cold War era goal for world peace — but as we can see entropy seems to outweigh equilibrium these days.

This book includes 5 chapters and a number of appendixes. Chapter one deals with classical imperialism Great Game I (GGI); Chapter two with GGII, the anti communist period and the Cold War; Chapters three and four sharply define the role of Israel, Jewish and Zionist power in global and especially US politics/imperialism. The final chapter gives us a current scenario of struggles for power and political machinations to grab the last resources, winner take all and devil take the hindmost.

The setting for the classical “Great Game” is focused largely on Europe’s important role in Central Asia and the Middle East where European, North American and other powers such as Russia and China have struggled to expand their influence and territories. Walberg notes, “[t]he term ‘Great Game’ was coined in the nineteenth century to describe the rivalry between Russia and Britain.” The focus of this book is on the last two centuries, and takes us up to the present day analyzing many regions of the world where imperialism has had an affect.

Chapter 1 of the book, “GGI: Competing empires”, tells the story of how European powers “carved up” much of the world to their own advantage. I found this chapter very interesting since one often wonders how the countries we have today in the world came about. In many parts of the world it was directly due to GGI, where arbitrary borders were drawn in places like Africa that separated tribes according to new and arbitrary national borders.

After seven centuries, the fates of both the Middle East and Central Asia have once again converged. But today, the vast region, with its dozens of ethnic groups, tribes, and clans, is composed of largely artificial states, the result of imperial divide-and-rule, inciting friction between peoples who had not experienced such brutal wars and invasions since the fourteenth century. The vast region is once again discovering common roots in Islam, now the chief catalyst of dissent and resistance to the imperial players, the US and Israel, bent as they are on further dismembering the region.

GGI also included the United States, although less of a power at that time,

America’s geography prevents any rival from challenging this state of affairs, unlike the much vaster Eurasia, stretching both east-west and north-south, containing more than 80 per cent of the world’s population, with many rivals contending for hegemony.

As one reads along startling claims jump off the page: did you know WWI was caused by the British Empire and the “International Bankers” in order to push Germany out of competition? Previous to that time, “[t]raditional imperialism was based on the gold standard and mercantilism — the center amassing gold from the periphery either through direct theft or trade. London was the banking center that ensured the pound as international reserve currency based on gold.” Try that line out at the next party you attend and cause a Fox News fan to spill their drink on their Armani suit. If that doesn’t startle the uninitiated, Walberg states that “the events of [September] 2001 had far more to do with US imperialism—and Israel—than Islam.” This fact may cause the Islamophobes, which includes a great many Americans due to their having been brainwashed by the media, to sputter in a fit of anger, possibly spurting blood from a bitten lip or chipped tooth.

Basic concepts of imperialism are explained: “[t]he term geopolitics refers to the use of politics in controlling territories.” This in itself is interesting given the term “geopolitics” is the academically acceptable form of “imperialism.” This is similar to when the US War Dept. changed its name to the Dept. of Defense (DOD, or, Dept. of Killing the Defenseless).

We also learn about “Lebensraum” the German term which defines that:

that Eurasian land borders in the massive expanse of Eurasia are arbitrary and can be changed to meet the increasing needs of the population and industry…. states are organic and growing, artificial constructs, that the land and people form a spiritual bond, and that a healthy nation’s borders are bound to expand. This was the Monroe Doctrine and the concurrent Manifest Destiny writ large for the Eurasian continent.

Not surprisingly, “[t]he goal of empire, and of all the games described here, is some variation on economic growth, the pursuit of profit, and (for public consumption) improving the well-being of the backward peoples — the latter infamously dubbed “the white man’s burden” by Rudyard Kipling…” Thus, as nation states solidified their own territories in Europe and America, technology allowed for ever greater expansion and expressions of violence of conquest. Although imperialism began as far back as the days of Columbus, by the 19th century the great game of “might makes right” was underway against the indigenous peoples of the world.

Already by the nineteenth century there was no such thing as neutral territory. The entire world was now a gigantic playing field for the major industrial powers, and Eurasia was the center of this playing field. The game motif is useful to describe the broader rivalry between nations and economic systems with the rise of imperialism and the pursuit of world power.

But as all good people of common and natural sense know, violence begets violence, and to live by the sword is to die by the sword: World War I which was started by the International bankers, was a disaster for European society. Death on a large scale in the first world war led to WWII due to the unjust arrangements dictated to Germany, largely under the influence of Jewish financiers. ((A.J.P. Taylor (1961). The Origins of The Second World War. ), ((Ingrid Rimland Zundel (July, 2011). “Japan in WWII: A Casualty of Usury? Was WWII Fought to make the World Safe for the Bankers?“)) Walberg writes:

Whichever side ‘won’ WWI, the international bankers were guaranteed to emerge the true victors, with both warring parties deeply in debt to the international banking elite… in 1919, the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] was established in New York, financed by Morgan money, which would be the mouthpiece of the American branch of the now Anglo-American empire…. The international bankers, who enjoyed the protection of the British crown around the world, were well aware that the British government was virtually bankrupt by the outbreak of WWI. They were already focusing on the US and were able to pressure President Woodrow Wilson to sign the US Federal Reserve Act in 1913, putting money creation in the US in the hands of private bankers rather than of government, as it was already in Britain, France and Germany. These GGI central banks were already moving towards the financial endgame of imperialism — the creation of a world system of financial control in private hands…. The creation of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, in 1930, ostensibly to manage German reparations payments, marked a new stage in the globalization of financial capital, with the BIS a ‘coordinator of the operations of central banks around the world’.

Indeed, as the book The Empire of the City: The Secret History of British Financial Power claims, the international banking cartel played a decisive role in intentionally setting off some 20 wars, by funding multiple parties, during the 19th and 20th centuries. When countries are at war they go into debt, and the debt must be paid to the bankers. ((E. C. Knuth (1944). The Empire of “The City.” ))

Walberg places attention on the Rothschild banking family, especially during GGI, yet noting that even today “[t]here are only 5 nations without a Rothschild model central bank: North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, and Libya. Until recently, there were two others: Afghanistan and Iraq.” As Michael Collins Piper who recently tackled the issue of Rothschild banking and political power has written:

The Rothschild family are the “King of Kings” — if only by virtue of their immense wealth. And they are, beyond doubt, the royal family of Jewry. It is thus no coincidence that on Jan. 2, 2009, Moses L. Pava, a Jewish professor of business ethics admitted candidly in the Jewish newspaper, Forward, that: ‘Our Jewish communities which once honored rabbis and scholars, now almost exclusively honor those with the biggest bank accounts.’ And those with the biggest bank accounts are the Rothschilds. ((Michael Collins Piper (2009).The New Babylon: Those Who Reign Supreme, a Panoramic Overview of the Historical, Religious and Economic Origins of the New World Order.))

Walberg’s interpretation of the Russian revolution will be controversial to some on the political Right, who see that part of history as an overthrow of an imperfect monarchy by something far worse, Soviet communism. Walberg is mindful of the Stalinist holocaust against Russian peasants and mass starvation in the Ukraine, as well as ecological destruction caused by the Soviet system. But he writes, “the Russian revolution in 1917 was a declaration of war against the imperialist system itself. This marked the beginning of what is called here Great Game II (GGII) — the Cold War between imperialism and communism.”

Thus, during the Cold War years the US branded any form of independent development around the world as “communist” whether it was or not, and had to destroy it through a variety of hard and soft power methods. Which brings us up to “the collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc in 1989–91 and the beginning of what is called here Great Game III (GGIII)” which mainly concerns “the two regions—the Middle East and Central Asia.” As anyone who follows the news today knows, many savage wars of geopolitics in the search for abundant natural resources are taking place in those regions of the world.

Speaking of how Walberg himself came to a critical view of politics, he recalls his days as a student when his view about communism became sympathetic: “[i]mperialism was not an abstraction, but a devastating force that destroyed good, idealistic people, whole peoples. Enemies of imperialism must be reconsidered, in the first place, the Soviet Union, which until then I had accepted as a dangerous and evil force in the world.” From the end of WWII the US became the global policeman (or thug): “[t]he US itself is the source of much of the world’s terrorism, its 1.6 million troops in over a thousand bases around the world the most egregious terrorists.” Walberg does not draw a simplistic analysis of Soviet crimes, yet still sides with the ideals of the former SU against the evil West:

The Soviet Union produced environmental disasters, notably the death of the Aral Sea. Collective farming enforced at gunpoint destroyed a vibrant peasant tradition. The gulags and Stalinist repression were a terrible tragedy. But colonialism and fascism killed far more innocent people, and both were aggressive, starting wars with other countries. The Soviet Union was a one-party system, a dictatorship, but not an aggressively expanding empire, contrary to what we were and are indoctrinated into believing.

I found Chapter 2 to be the least exciting given that it reads like a standard Left critique of post WWII US foreign policy, as encountered in such important works as William Blum’s Killing Hope and the works of Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti. While all of these authors including Walberg are correct that the US used the pretext of “fighting communism” in order to crush independent democratic and free market development in the Third World, many believe this argument makes the former Soviet Union come off smelling too sweet whereas communism’s crimes have been too much ignored by the Left.

Chapters 4 and 5 integrate the classic critique of imperialism with an understanding of the Jewish power structure, as readers of the works of Israel Shamir, James Petras, and a fairly large and growing number of Internet journalists and bloggers have now championed. This aspect of the book breaks new ground. The synthesis of Zionist ideology and American military might emerged as the new political ideology of neoconservatism, which led to the Iraq war blood bath of 2003 and the death of millions of Iraqis. This is the doorstep we find ourselves sitting on today, a world of wars on the behest of Israel, Big Oil, Military Industry and ultimately the international banking cartel. A postmodern and most deadly game.

While it is now possible to criticize Israel, Walberg notes that “[n]one of the mainstream critics of the [Israel] lobby dares to point to the continuity between the Israel lobby and the fatal embrace by Jewish elites of past empires.” Indeed, Benjamin Ginsberg’s Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, details with pride Jewish involvement in the economic history of the United States. He shows how Jewish families in the 19th century such as the American Seligman’s financed the US Navy and the building of the Panama Canal and the German Schiff’s helped finance the post Civil War railroad building that tamed the American continent. “Like their British counterparts, late nineteenth century American-Jewish financiers were proponents of imperialist programs and policies and participants in the American imperialist coalition of the period.” ((Benjamin Ginsberg (1993). The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State.))

The departure from a standard Left critique of US imperialism is boldly evident by reading Walberg’s chapter and subheading titles which include: Chapter 3 GGIII: US-Israel Postmodern Imperialism; Chapter 4 GGII: Israel — Empire -and-a-half; Judaism and Zionism — goals; Jews and the state through history; and The Israel Lobby and ‘Dog wags tail’ debate. Walberg cites plenty of evidence that Jewish interests control the US political system, which as Walt and Mearsheimer are famous for arguing is onerous not only to the United States but to Israel itself, both of which countries are set on a path of self and mutual destruction, from within and from enemies whom they have created through their bellicose behavior. Minds as sharp as professor emeritus of politics, James Petras, to Obama’s failed nominee (he was too anti Zionistic) for chair of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), Charles Freeman, have shown beyond doubt, The Tail Wags The Dog. Anyone who cares to research the topic can see that Jewish interests are involved in political, financial, and media far out of proportion to the numbers of Jewish voters or consumers they purport to represent. The pseudo Bibilcal and cranky ideology of the 70 million Christian Zionist supporters of the Jewish power system is heading us into moral degradation, economic collapse and brutal Soviet style police state conditions.

The final chapter of the book deals with the complex machinations of nation states and multinational corporate interests, that overlap and conflict. In a world of scarce resources and grotesque inequality, the Great Game is increasingly turning into a Terrible Nightmare for a majority of the world’s population that must battle the latter stages of an ecocidal and unsustainable imperialist system.

  • See also “Empire and Zionism.”
  • Richard Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from a social science, holistic perspective. He teaches at a number of universities in the Tokyo, Japan area. His most recent interview with Jeff Rense is available. Many of his environmental articles are archived here. Read other articles by Richard.