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View Full Version : The United States still thinks it rules the world but it is losing control



Junon
02-07-2013, 12:52 AM
Salaam

Good interview

The principle on which the international system is based is that the US is entitled to use force at will and talk of it violating international law is completely silly.

Noam Chomsky will join the international conference Confronting War Today in London on Saturday 9 November, which will bring together leading activists and commentators from across the world to analyse continuing Western aggression and how to oppose it. Details...

Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?

The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab spring is limited, but it's not insignificant.

The western-controlled dictatorial system is being eroded. In fact, it's been being eroded for some time.

So, for example, if you go back 50 years, the energy resources – the main concern of US planners – have been mostly nationalised. There are constantly attempts to reverse that, but they have not succeeded.

Take the US invasion of Iraq, for example.

To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory.

The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism – mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn't deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets. Step by step, Iraq was able to dismantle the controls put in place by the occupying forces.

By November 2007, it was becoming pretty clear that it was going to be very hard to reach US goals. And at that point, interestingly, those goals were explicitly stated. So in November 2007 the Bush II administration came out with an official declaration about what any future arrangement with Iraq would have to be. It had two major requirements: one, that the United States must be free to carry out combat operations from its military bases, which it will retain; and, two, "encouraging the flow of foreign investments to Iraq, especially American investments". In January 2008, Bush made this clear in one of his signing statements. A couple of months later, in the face of Iraqi resistance, the United States had to give that up. Control of Iraq is now disappearing before their eyes.

Iraq was an attempt to reinstitute by force something like the old system of control, but it was beaten back. In general, I think, US policies remain constant, going back to the second world war. But the capacity to implement them is declining.

Declining because of economic weakness?

Partly because the world is just becoming more diverse. It has more diverse power centres. At the end of the second world war, the United States was absolutely at the peak of its power. It had half the world's wealth, and every one of its competitors was seriously damaged or destroyed. It had a position of unimaginable security and developed plans to essentially run the world – not unrealistically at the time.

This was called "grand area" planning?

Yes. Right after the second world war, George Kennan, head of the US state department policy planning staff, and others sketched out the details, and then they were implemented. What's happening now in the Middle East and north Africa, to an extent, and in South America substantially goes all the way back to the late 1940s.

The first major successful resistance to US hegemony was in 1949. That's when an event took place that, interestingly, is called "the loss of China". It's a very interesting phrase, never challenged. There was a lot of discussion about who is responsible for the loss of China. It became a huge domestic issue. But it's a very interesting phrase. You can only lose something if you own it. It was just taken for granted: we possess China – and, if they move toward independence, we've lost China.

Later came concerns about "the loss of Latin America", "the loss of the Middle East", "the loss of" certain countries, all based on the premise that we own the world and anything that weakens our control is a loss to us and we wonder how to recover it.

Today, if you read, say, foreign policy journals or, in a farcical form, listen to the Republican debates, they're asking, "How do we prevent further losses?"

On the other hand, the capacity to preserve control has sharply declined. By 1970, the world was already what was called tripolar economically, with a US-based North American industrial centre, a German-based European centre, roughly comparable in size, and a Japan-based east Asian centre, which was then the most dynamic growth region in the world. Since then, the global economic order has become much more diverse. So it's harder to carry out our policies, but the underlying principles have not changed much.

Take the Clinton doctrine. The Clinton doctrine was that the United States was entitled to resort to unilateral force to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources". That goes beyond anything that George W Bush said. But it was quiet and it wasn't arrogant and abrasive, so it didn't cause much of an uproar. The belief in that entitlement continues right to the present. It's also part of the intellectual culture.

Right after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, amid all the cheers and applause, there were a few critical comments questioning the legality of the act. Centuries ago, there used to be something called presumption of innocence. If you apprehend a suspect, he's a suspect until proven guilty. He should be brought to trial. It's a core part of American law. You can trace it back to Magna Carta.

So there were a couple of voices saying maybe we shouldn't throw out the whole basis of Anglo-American law. That led to a lot of very angry and infuriated reactions, but the most interesting ones were, as usual, on the left-liberal end of the spectrum. Matthew Yglesias, a well-known and highly respected left-liberal commentator, wrote an article in which he ridiculed these views. He said they were "amazingly naive" and silly. Then he explained the reason. He said: "One of the main functions of the international institutional order is precisely to legitimate the use of deadly military force by western powers." Of course, he didn't mean Norway. He meant the United States.

So the principle on which the international system is based is that the US is entitled to use force at will. To talk about the US violating international law or something like that is amazingly naive, completely silly. Incidentally, I was the target of those remarks, and I'm happy to confess my guilt. I do think that Magna Carta and international law are worth paying some attention to.

I merely mention that to illustrate that, in the intellectual culture, even at what's called the left-liberal end of the political spectrum, the core principles haven't changed very much. But the capacity to implement them has been sharply reduced.

That's why you get all this talk about American decline. Take a look at the year-end issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal. Its big front-page cover asks, in bold face, "Is America Over?" It's a standard complaint of those who believe they should have everything. If you believe you should have everything and anything gets away from you, it's a tragedy, and the world is collapsing. So is America over?

A long time ago we "lost" China, we've lost southeast Asia, we've lost South America. Maybe we'll lose the Middle East and north African countries. Is America over? It's a kind of paranoia, but it's the paranoia of the super-rich and the super-powerful. If you don't have everything, it's a disaster.

The New York Times describes the "defining policy quandary of the Arab spring as how to square contradictory US impulses, including support for democratic change, a desire for stability, and wariness of Islamists who have become a potent political force". The Times identifies three US goals. What do you make of them?

Two of them are accurate. The United States is in favour of stability. But you have to remember what stability means. Stability means conformity to US orders. So, for example, one of the charges against Iran, the big foreign policy threat, is that it is destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan. How? By trying to expand its influence into neighbouring countries. On the other hand, we "stabilise" countries when we invade them and destroy them.

I've occasionally quoted one of my favourite illustrations of this, which is from a well-known, very good liberal foreign policy analyst, James Chace, a former editor of Foreign Affairs. Writing about the overthrow of the Salvador Allende regime and the imposition of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1973, he said that we had to "destabilise" Chile in the interests of "stability". That's not perceived to be a contradiction – and it isn't. We had to destroy the parliamentary system in order to gain stability, meaning that they do what we say. So yes, we are in favour of stability in this technical sense.

Concern about political Islam is just like concern about any independent development. Anything that's independent you have to have concern about, because it may undermine you. In fact, it's a little paradoxical, because traditionally the United States and Britain have by and large strongly supported radical Islamic fundamentalism, not political Islam, as a force to block secular nationalism, the real concern.

So, for example, Saudi Arabia is the most extreme fundamentalist state in the world, a radical Islamic state. It has missionary zeal, is spreading radical Islam to Pakistan and funding terror. But it's the bastion of US and British policy. They've consistently supported it against the threat of secular nationalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt and Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq, among many others. But they don't like political Islam because it may become independent.

The first of the three points, our yearning for democracy, that's about on the level of Joseph Stalin talking about the Russian commitment to freedom, democracy and liberty for the world. It's the kind of statement you laugh about when you hear it from commissars or Iranian clerics, but you nod politely, and maybe even with awe, when you hear it from their western counterparts.

If you look at the record, the yearning for democracy is a bad joke. That's even recognised by leading scholars, though they don't put it this way. One of the major scholars on so-called democracy promotion is Thomas Carothers, who is pretty conservative and highly regarded – a neo-Reaganite, not a flaming liberal. He worked in Reagan's state department and has several books reviewing the course of democracy promotion, which he takes very seriously.

He says, yes, this is a deep-seated American ideal, but it has a funny history. The history is that every US administration is "schizophrenic". They support democracy only if it conforms to certain strategic and economic interests. He describes this as a strange pathology, as if the United States needed psychiatric treatment or something. Of course, there's another interpretation, but one that can't come to mind if you're a well-educated, properly behaved intellectual.

Within several months of the toppling of [President Hosni] Mubarak in Egypt, he was in the dock facing criminal charges and prosecution. It's inconceivable that US leaders will ever be held to account for their crimes in Iraq or beyond. Is that going to change anytime soon?

That's basically the Yglesias principle: the very foundation of the international order is that the United States has the right to use violence at will. So how can you charge anybody?

And no one else has that right?

Of course not. Well, maybe our clients do. If Israel invades Lebanon and kills 1,000 people and destroys half the country, OK, that's all right. It's interesting. Barack Obama was a senator before he was president. He didn't do much as a senator, but he did a couple of things, including one he was particularly proud of. In fact, if you looked at his website before the primaries, he highlighted the fact that, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, he co-sponsored a Senate resolution demanding that the United States do nothing to impede Israel's military actions until they had achieved their objectives, and censuring Iran and Syria because they were supporting resistance to Israel's destruction of southern Lebanon, incidentally, for the fifth time in 25 years. So they inherit the right. Other clients do, too.

rest here

http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/usa-war-on-terror/2224-noam-chomsky-america-still-thinks-it-rules-the-world-but-it-is-losing-control

Heres an interview

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MustafaMc
02-07-2013, 12:56 PM
Interesting post.
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Karl
02-08-2013, 10:29 PM
The USA is getting stronger not weaker. With it's multi national corporations everywhere, it's Zionist mind controlling tentacles encircling the globe and it's massive war machine. Because of nuclear weapons it can not take out Russia and China and other nuclear powers. But it can erode and grind down all the little countries through treachery,force and corruption. It also has it's social engineering, international propaganda machine and spies the United Nations. And it's Zionist legions of NATO. If the USA can get the technological edge like a shield to protect itself, it will conquer the world in a heartbeat by threatening destruction to all nations that do not submit to it's will.

And if America is falling, why does it's influence culturally, morally and politically grow in leaps and bounds across the world? Even many Muslims adopt American politics, morality and values, often deluded into thinking that the American way is Islamic or at least compatible with Islam.
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iRock
02-18-2013, 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
The USA is getting stronger not weaker. With it's multi national corporations everywhere, it's Zionist mind controlling tentacles encircling the globe and it's massive war machine. Because of nuclear weapons it can not take out Russia and China and other nuclear powers. But it can erode and grind down all the little countries through treachery,force and corruption. It also has it's social engineering, international propaganda machine and spies the United Nations. And it's Zionist legions of NATO. If the USA can get the technological edge like a shield to protect itself, it will conquer the world in a heartbeat by threatening destruction to all nations that do not submit to it's will.

And if America is falling, why does it's influence culturally, morally and politically grow in leaps and bounds across the world? Even many Muslims adopt American politics, morality and values, often deluded into thinking that the American way is Islamic or at least compatible with Islam.
USA can rule the world , no country in this world even China or any others countries can do it . The problem of USA is National Debt only ^o)
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Karl
02-21-2013, 09:27 PM
Originally Posted by iRock
USA can rule the world , no country in this world even China or any others countries can do it . The problem of USA is National Debt only ^o)
True they have National Debt but they have incredible private wealth and corporate wealth. Their National Debt is because of their manic level of imperialism and a race for supremacy against China and Russia. Three great capitalist countries going hammer and tongs to rule the world. USA is eroding it's constitution and democracy to make itself more efficient against it's enemies. USA is going red for the plebians and blue for the patricians. The Russians are going right wing Christian empire and the Chinese are staying one party system, one great collectivist horde which has always suited them. And Islam is a bystander because it is divided and anarchic, but that may be it's strength, no crowns to fall, no legions to die, just individuals trying to be better people.
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Jedi_Mindset
02-21-2013, 10:05 PM
Yes you see it clearly happening in the Middle east, an ongoing power struggle between NATO/US and its allies vs the Russian-sino alliance plus its very few allies in the ME.

Syria is a power struggle between the US and russia, but at one thing are they united: to prevent a islamic government to take power.
The zionists want to destroy islam, to destroy ahlus sunnah wal jamaah, with igniting the flames of secterian warfare they're good at that.

But their plans will fail insha'Allah.
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Karl
02-21-2013, 11:38 PM
Originally Posted by Jedi_Mindset
Yes you see it clearly happening in the Middle east, an ongoing power struggle between NATO/US and its allies vs the Russian-sino alliance plus its very few allies in the ME.

Syria is a power struggle between the US and russia, but at one thing are they united: to prevent a islamic government to take power.
The zionists want to destroy islam, to destroy ahlus sunnah wal jamaah, with igniting the flames of secterian warfare they're good at that.

But their plans will fail insha'Allah.
I don't think Russia and China care if Syria has an Islamic government but the West is rabid about inforcing democracy in the Muslim lands that are not their poodle eg Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc. Remember Iran after the revolution allied with Soviet Russia. And now that Russia is Christian and not too happy with the Zionists Iran gets on well with them. If Syria wants a big brother which it needs in this dog eat dog world Russia would be best.

I'm not sure of those rebels in Syria they seem to chant "democracy and freedom" and are financed and armed by the Zionists. Zionists don't want to destroy Islam they want to modify it to their Zionist standards.
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ba51th
02-22-2013, 12:27 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
I don't think Russia and China care if Syria has an Islamic government
don't care you think? if russia don't care, then why they keep supporting bashar butcher slaughter muslims? there is no such grey area, if it's not black, it's white. if it's not white, it's black.

Originally Posted by Karl
And now that Russia is Christian and not too happy with the Zionists Iran gets on well with them. If Syria wants a big brother which it needs in this dog eat dog world Russia would be best.
sorry, say no to kuffar

"O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people."

http://quran.com/5/51
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Logikon
02-22-2013, 02:17 AM
The USA has never wanted to rule the world.

All it has ever wanted is for all countries to be free.

If all countries are free then they are free to purchase goods and services ................. and the US has always hoped people would buy American.

During the cold war some countries got themselves dictators. The US spoke out against dictators. The dictators usually responded with "be friendly to me or else I will allow the Soviet Union to have bases here"

So the US becomes friendly with the dictator. Some of you have misinterpreted that as "support the dictator".
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Independent
02-22-2013, 10:22 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
I don't think Russia and China care if Syria has an Islamic government but the West is rabid about inforcing democracy in the Muslim lands that are not their poodle eg Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc. Remember Iran after the revolution allied with Soviet Russia. And now that Russia is Christian and not too happy with the Zionists Iran gets on well with them. If Syria wants a big brother which it needs in this dog eat dog world Russia would be best.
So long as you make the mistake of thinking world politics is entirely focussed on you, and issues that matter to you, then you will misunderstand what's happening. Political Islam as a world-scale issue is recent - just the last few decades. It barely factored into the foreign policy of any country at all until the Tehran Embassy crisis. Even now that it has become a major issue, it's very far from being the single obsession or focus of western foreign policy or that of any other country.

Russia's support of both Syria and Iran dates back to Communism verses democracy and the Cold War. Russia regards Syria as part of its 'sphere of influence', the same way they regard (Christian) Eastern Europe as theirs and theirs alone. Even though Russia is not even Communist any more they are still highly sensitive to what they see as a threat to Russian power and influence across the world. Russian policy in Syria is dictated by their priorities, not yours.

As for the US, at this exact point I would say they are more worried about China-Japan than any other issue.

You cannot understand world politics entirely through the prism of perceived religious issues.
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Jedi_Mindset
02-22-2013, 11:41 AM
Originally Posted by Karl
I don't think Russia and China care if Syria has an Islamic government but the West is rabid about inforcing democracy in the Muslim lands that are not their poodle eg Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc. Remember Iran after the revolution allied with Soviet Russia. And now that Russia is Christian and not too happy with the Zionists Iran gets on well with them. If Syria wants a big brother which it needs in this dog eat dog world Russia would be best.

I'm not sure of those rebels in Syria they seem to chant "democracy and freedom" and are financed and armed by the Zionists. Zionists don't want to destroy Islam they want to modify it to their Zionist standards.
The FSA is fighting for democracy indeed, hence the most lethal arms go towards them. But jabhat al nusra - mujahideen, who want to estabilish an islamic state gets the weaker arms, but they are proven to be very lethal against Assad's forces, hence they are leading the battles most of the time.

US and israel arming FSA? No doubt they do, when Assad is toppled they will most likely use the FSA, jabhat al nusra et cetera to go against Iran.
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