Real US intentions made clear
by Peter Symon Just occasionally the mass media publishes an article that reveals the real state of affairs and the real intentions of the leaders of the Western powers. An article written by a Mr Max Boot for The Wall Street Journal and republished in The Australian (15/10/01) does just that. Mr Boot is the opinion page editor of The Wall Street Journal so he is no slouch among journalists and his opinions are certain to be taken seriously. His bold headline already gives the flavour of what follows: "Colonise wayward nations — a dose of US imperialism may be the best response to terrorism." He argues that the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon was "a result of insufficient American involvement and ambition. The solution is to be more expansive in the US's goals and more assertive in their implementation." Mr Boot admits that the US was involved in Afghanistan in what he calls a "proxy war" but pulled out when that war was over and "let the Afghans resolve their own affairs". It is not true that the US played a "proxy" role in the war against the Soviet Union and the progressive revolutionary government that came to power in 1978. Nor is it true that the US "pulled out" after that war was over. The US, together with the military regime of Pakistan, was instrumental in bringing the Taliban to power and creating Osama bin Laden as part of the anti- communist crusade that the US and conservatives everywhere continue to this day. The US needed the Taliban to destabilise the southern republics of the former Soviet Union in preparation for the next major move of US imperialism — to penetrate these republics, thereby putting more pressure on the Russian Federation and, as a strategic move, to encircle the People's Republic of China. The main objective of the current "war on terrorism" is to advance this target a stage further. It is of no concern to Mr Boot that he repeatedly disregards the facts or blandly disposes of them in his attempt to argue for a more "assertive" role for the USA. He claims that "US imperialism — a liberal and humanitarian imperialism to be sure, but imperialism all the same — appears to have paid off in the Balkans". Mr Boot disregards entirely the role played by US, German and British imperialism in promoting religious and separatist forces in Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia and Kosovo in their drive to dismember Yugoslavia. He asserts that "Luckily, NATO and the US intervened to stop the fighting in Bosnia and later in Kosovo". And how did the US and its NATO allies intervene in Kosovo? By arming and financing the neo-fascist Kosovo Liberation Army and then, when that failed, by bombing Yugoslavia for almost three months. It needs an enormous stretch of imagination to describe this intervention as "liberal and humanitarian". Returning to the call for American assertiveness, Mr Boot writes: "The question is whether having now been attacked (the attack in New York and Washington) the US will act as a great power should." And how should American "assertiveness" be pursued? How should a "great power act"? Apparently with breath-taking arrogance and disregard of history Mr Boot writes: "It is striking — and no coincidence — that the US now faces the prospect of military action in many of the same lands where generations of British colonial soldiers went on campaigns. "Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Palestine, Persia, the North-West Frontier (Pakistan) — these are all places where by the 19th century, ancient imperial authority, whether Ottoman, Moghul or Safavid was crumbling and Western armies had to quell the resulting disorder. "Afghanistan and other troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helments. Is imperialism a dusty relic of a long-gone era? Perhaps. "Unilateral US rule may no longer be an option. But the US can lead an international occupation force under UN auspices ... This would be a huge improvement in any number of lands that support or shelter terrorists", claims Mr boot. The real terrorists in Mr Boot's mind are those who fought against British imperialism which, if it had been "enlightened", would not have suffered rejection after rejection as the people of the former British colonial possessions fought for their national independence, often suffering considerable loss of life as the benign colonialists attempted to hold on to their rich possessions. It is only when severe difficulties emerge that the US and Britain wish to involve the United Nations but no-one should be misled into believing that this is anything more than a cover. In its current bombing campaign of Afghanistan the US and its ardent British ally have ignored the UN Security Council. They neither sought nor were given authority by the UN Security Council to carry out bombing raids. Furthermore the bombing campaign is a specific violation of the UN Charter which the US and other nations are all pledged to uphold. Having disposed of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, (assuming that that is the objective), Mr Boot asks: "But what comes next after the Taliban are ousted? "Will the US repeat its mistake of a decade ago and leave? What if no responsible government emerges? What if millions of Afghans are left starving? Someone would have to step in and help — and don't bet on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees getting the job done." Undaunted by the facts, Mr Boot declares in respect of Afghanistan that "the US in cooperation with its allies, would be left with the responsibility to feed the hungry, tend the sick and impose the rule of law." The very US and other forces who created the refugees from Afghanistan, who created theTaliban regime in the first place, are now bombing cities, towns and even villages with US Tomahawk missiles and the full range of bombs and rockets. Who is it that has devastated the very limited economy of Afghanistan by overthrowing a progressive government that was building schools and hospitals and bringing enlightenment to the formerly mullah-ridden society? Was it not the US in league with Pakistan? There are millions of other sick and hungry people in the world who have had starvation and suffering imposed upon them by the policies pursued by the corporations that Mr Boot rubs shoulders with as a journalist for "The Wall Street Journal" and it is for these corporations that he speaks. By the "rule of law", Mr Boot means just those laws which suit the US leadership and in particular those laws which regulate a capitalist economy as imposed by the US dominated IMF, World Bank and WTO. The US has the least regard for the "rule of law" having specifically violated the UN Charter in this and many other US military operations that it has undertaken. Did the US have the sanction of the UN to bomb Panama or Grenada or to undertake the years of secret bombing of Cambodia at the time of its illegal invasion of Vietnam? Mr Boot proclaims that "unlike the 19th century European colonialists, US rule [notice how the UN has been already dropped out of the task] should not be imposed permanently. Instead as in West Germany, Italy and Japan, occupation would be a temporary expedient to allow the people to get back on their feet until a responsible humane preferably democratic government has taken over." Mr Boot knows very well that American troops continue their occupation of the three countries mentioned and show no sign of leaving. The US retains its presence in South Korea and has built a huge concrete wall across the whole of the peninsular to keep out infectious ideas from the north. After 100 years, the US retains its Guantanamo base on the island of Cuba and has bases in many other countries. Only when popular anger reaches boiling point or a base has become no longer strategically necessary have American forces left. Furthermore, the US has supported by finance, armaments and the military training of death squads a number of the military dictatorships of Latin America. Was it not the US that was behind the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvadore Allende in Chile and replaced it with the military fascist dictatorship of Pinochet? Is it not the US that has maintained the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia without any protest over decades and continues to this day to support it? Mr Boot has already selected the next target for US attention. It is Iraq. He writes: " Once Afghanistan has been dealt with the US should turn its attention to Iraq. It will probably not be possible to remove Hussein quickly without a US invasion and occupation." And what is in Mr Boot's mind as the replacement for Saddam Hussein? A popularly elected democratic government? Not exactly. He writes: "Once Hussein is deposed, an American-led international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul should be imposed." So, the crusade of the US to bring democracy and enlightenment everywhere boils down to the restoration of feudal monarchies imposed by US power — whether the people want it or not. It is no coincidence that the US has already dragged the former King of Afghanistan out of his exile in an endeavour to have him play a "key role" in the American plans to saddle the long-suffering Afghani people (who kicked the king out long ago) with this old and doddering puppet. It is not democracy that the US wants but puppets. The only criterion is that they should be puppets and do exactly as demanded by the American super-race. As to enlightenment, once again it means acceptance of the ideology and culture of Nike, Coca Cola, Exxon, Citibank and other corporations. When it comes to economic systems it is the rule of capital which has created the poverty, unemployment, and appalling living conditions which are suffered by millions upon millions of people, despite today's technological wonders and scientific progress. The US administration's war plans are not aimed at righting these wrongs. Their aim is to impose everywhere the rule of the corporations for whom Mr Boot writes. This is what "a dose of US imperialism" means in practice.