At this time of year we look at the past and hope for a better new year. A happy new year. But if we gaze into the crystal ball and have a look, we may shudder in horror. Chances are, the future will be filled with danger. The danger may be confined to the Middle East in the short term, but further on, we are all in grave danger.
The fact that the Americans lost the war in Iraq sets up a rather gruesome scenario. Imagine a world map to be a large game board with four players sitting at the table. One player represents America, the second player represents China, the third, Russia, and the fourth, Europe.
The first two players are most worriesome.
To win the game, control of resources, and particularily oil, is key.
Player two had not been a serious factor until recently. But now China, with a population of well over one billion, has been growing and growing an increasing thirst for oil to sustain its industry and higher standard of living.
The Decline of the American Empire
Bush gambled in Iraq and lost. For the Americans, the stakes were high. Winning the war would mean that they not only gain control of the vast oil resources in Iraq, but they would also be in a key position to control the politics of the region. Losing this war has consequences that may cripple the empire.
America spends approximately as much as the rest of the world in its military. This has nothing to do with defending its borders. It has everything to do with control and plunder. What America has lost the world over is respect. That loss of respect as well as a general loathing for not only the Iraqi massacre, but military interference in countries all over the world, has a substantial impact on their global influence. Iraq has shown the world that all the hype about The New World Order and their military might is just that; hype. Bush said that he has political capital after his last election. An ironic statement given the fact that America has gone into deep debt in that respect.
To make matters worse for the Americans, its traditional backyard, Central and South America have swallowed too much of the poison medicine that has been force fed to them by the Americans. They have had enough. America and the IMF and World bank have plundered Latin American nations to the point of crisis. Chavez of Venezuela has been using oil wealth to not only help the people of Venezuela but in neighbouring countries as well. Throughout Latin America, there is a resurgence of leftist energy as well as deep suspicion about the motives of the American state and private enterprise. Moderate socialists such as the recently elected Evo Morales in Bolivia have taken a sharp turn to the left to gain electoral support. Even his opponent, Jorge Quiroga, had done his best to distance himself from the Americans during their final debate before the election.
Perhaps most telling on the subject of respect is what is happening at the moment in the Canadian election. The Americans are openly attacking Prime Minister Paul Martin for his apparent anti American stance. The Americans charge that his attacks on America are a ploy to win the election. What is most significant about this is that the closest country to America, both geographically and politically, is Canada. But to win an election, to appeal to the electorate, cadidates must distance themselves from America and particularily, Bush.
For the past century and particularily the past 50 years, America has been able to control and influence heads of state all over the globe. World leaders in true quissling fashion, bowed to the might of American wealth, bribes, and the threat of military intervention. The key ingredient here was fear. The Americans used fear on a number of levels.
Tactics of the Empire
The tactics used by the empire to take control where they wanted to gain control were first, to use fraud and to seduce leaders with wealth and trinkets.
In this fascinating article (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/11/09/1526251) about his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, spells out the methods the empire uses to take control. Here is an excerpt from the interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman. "And in Iraq we tried to implement the same policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein didn't buy. When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are C.I.A.-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn't work, they perform assassinations. or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren't able to get through to Saddam Hussein. He had -- His bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn’t get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we’ve obviously done in Iraq." -Perkins
Their tactics, including all out war, failed in beleagured and impoverished Iraq. World leaders over the globe are thumbing therir noses at Bush and people the world over are not only thumbing their noses at him, but showing open contempt for Bush and American power generally. Where in the past it was politically advisable to sidle in with the Americans, it has now become a political liability.
The Americans hoped to walk through Iraq and set up a puppet govenment. It backfired as a result of the political capital of Iranian born Ayatollah Sistani who demanded elections. As a result, Iraq will be governed by Shi'ite clergy either behind the scenes or explicitly. They have made vain attempts to install criminals such as Allawi and his cousin, Challabi, but it isn't working. We can predict then, that their next move will be to try to buy the Shi'ites. It probably won't work. The Americans don't understand the sincerity of a true faith in and fear of God. They will assasinate politicians and they will try and try again, but they will fail in Iraq.
The stupidity and insanity and greed that has taken Bush and his masters into Iraq has proven to be their biggest liability. It continues to be their biggest liability and it will continue to be. At this point everybody knows their game and they don't understand that. They are far too arrogant.
The scenario in the Middle East is one of increasing independence from American influence. It is likely that Iraq and Iran will forge an alliance and it will be quite natural given the Shi'ite populations in those countries. This also threatens Saudi Arabia with a large Shi'ite population and a large pool of oil. The spoiled princes of Saud can't be sleeping comfortably with threats not only on their doorstep, but within Saudi Arabia itself. A population that will be emboldened along with the whole Islamic world with the defeat of the Americans in Iraq.
Iraq is situated in a very strategic position geographically, but politically as well.
The Global Gameboard
Click on this link for a list of American interference incidents in foriegen nations since world war two:
At this point th empire is in a desperate situation. They cannot afford to lose in Iraq but it is impossible for them to win. If history is an indicator, they will not simply cut their losses and run, at least not yet. The people of Iraq will have to endure more war through 2006. The Americans will try to maintain as much influence as possible.
It is also possible that Bush will be foolish enough to raise the stakes and attack Iran to try to cut the influence of the Shi'ites in the Middle East. It is not probable however. Doing so would not only be a further risk, but it would completely scrap any shread of credibility America may maintain at this point. The possibility that Iranian and eventually Iraqi oil may be exported mainly to China is a significant threat to them however. An expansion of the present war is certainly within the realm of possibilities.
But there are compelling situations cropping up all over the globe. Perhaps most significant is the developing situation in Latin America. While war is being waged in Iraq, the Americans are developing a military presence in Latin America that is unprecedented. Even poor countries like Haiti are important to the Americans at the game board. While busy in Iraq, they weren't too busy to invade and usurp the legitimate government of Aristide. Chavez would be well advised to surround himself with body guards in 2006. Not only Venezuela, but other Latin American countries are increasing exports of raw materials to China. The future may see more military activity in South America.
Standing up to the Americans has proven to not only be possible as in Iraq, but a worthwhile endeavor as shown when the Argentianians have shown the IMF the way to the door. The Argentians and now the Iraqis have shown the world that defiance of America is no pipe dream. It can be done. The Americans are attempting to show the world the cost of defiance through the bloody massacre of thousands of innocent people.
As America fumbles and trips, the Chinese seem to know exactly what they are doing. Russia is watching and waiting and Europe may carefully distance itself from Uncle Sam. Everybody is getting a sense of direction and it isn't going well for the empire. Where this game could go eventually would make today seem a picnic.
At this point in history, when imperialism has reached its zenith, the father of all imperialists has received a staggering blow. As the situation becomes more desperate, the possibility for more war increases. Unfortunately, this is not a game. It is very real and this year, as in 2005, that reality will be felt mostly by the people of Iraq. Beyond that, the struggle for control of the planet's wealth may place many of us in the same brutal situation as the Iraqis are today.
The year 2006, perhaps more than ever, demands a call for peace. We all have a part to play. In fact this is not some obscure game that is out of our reach. In reality, we can make a difference. The time to be meek has passed. Demand peace for the people of Iraq in 2006. And if you don't care about the people of Iraq, consider this: War clouds are on the horizon whether you see them or not and you may be swallowed up by them beyond 2006.