The American Empire
We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order. (David Rockefeller, Statement to the United Nations
Business Council, 1994)
War Without Borders
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the world is at an important crossroads in its history. The “campaign against terrorism” constitutes a “war of conquest” with devastating consequences for the future of humanity.
America’s New War is not confined to Central Asia. Using the “war on terrorism” as a pretext, the Bush administration had announced already in 2001, the extension of US military operations into new frontiers, including Iraq, Iran and North Korea. While accusing these countries of developing “weapons of mass destruction”, Washington has not excluded itself from using nuclear weapons as part of the “war on terrorism”.
Moreover, Israel, which now possesses an arsenal of at least 200 thermonuclear weapons with a sophisticated delivery system, “has made countless veiled nuclear threats against the Arab nations”.(1)
The ongoing war waged by Israel against the Palestinian people is part and parcel of America’s New War strategy. The 2003 invasion of Iraq could trigger a broader war throughout the Middle
East in which Israel would be aligned with the Anglo-American military axis.
In 2001, military planners at the Pentagon had drawn up a “blueprint for a two-pronged invasion of Iraq involving up to 100,000 US troops”.(2) Gun boats were on standby in the Gulf of Oman. “Military contingency plans [were] being refined for Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Indonesia and Yemen. …Special forces and US intelligence agencies are active overtly and covertly in all of these countries with local militias or militaries.”(3) Meanwhile, Britain had been asked by the US “to help prepare military strikes against Somalia in the next phase of the global campaign against Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda”.(4)
The War on Afghanistan was Illegal
In launching the war on Afghanistan in October 2001, the Bush administration-with the full support and military backing of Britain, and with the prior consent of member governments of the Western military alliance-is in blatant violation of international law:
This war is illegal because it is a flagrant violation of the express words of the Charter of the United Nations….In fact, it is not only illegal, it’s criminal. It is what the Nuremberg Tribunal called “the supreme crime”, the crime against peace.(5)
In turn, these same political leaders, responsible for thousands of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, have launched a process within their respective countries, which recasts-in the framework of the “anti-terrorist legislation”-the legal definition of “terrorism” and “war crimes”.
In other words, the actual protagonists of state terrorism-namely, our elected politicians-can now arbitrarily decide, through their “legally constituted” secret tribunals,”who are the war criminals” and “who are the terrorists”. Ironically, the “elite war criminals”-using the powers of high office-decide who can be prosecuted. Moreover, by derogating the Rule of Law and setting up kangaroo courts, their own “hands are clean”-i.e., they will not be prosecuted on charges of war crimes: they cannot be blamed since these military tribunals will ultimately decide if an accused person should be executed.
The American Empire
The onslaught of the US-led war also coincides with a worldwide depression, leading to the impoverishment of millions of people. While the civilian economy plummets, extensive financial resources are funneled towards America’s war machine. The most advanced weapons systems are being developed by America’s military-industrial complex with a view to achieving a position of global military and economic dominance, not only in relation to China and Russia, but also in relation to the European Union, which Washington considers as an encroachment upon America’s global hegemony.
Behind America’s “war on terrorism” is the militarization of vast regions of the world, leading to the consolidation of what is best described as the “American Empire”. Since the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, an Anglo-American military axis has developed, based on a close coordination between Britain and the US in defense, foreign policy and intelligence. Israel is the launch pad of the Anglo-American axis in the Middle East. The objective behind this war is to “re-colonize” not only China and the countries of the former Soviet block, but also Iran, Iraq and the Indian peninsula.
War and globalization go hand in hand. The powers of the Wall Street financial establishment, the Anglo-American oil giants and the US-U.K. defense contractors are undeniably behind this process, which consists in extending the frontiers of the global market system. Ultimately, the purpose of “America’s New War” is to transform sovereign nations into open territories (or “free trade areas”), both through “military means”, as well as through the imposition of deadly “free market” reforms.
Defined under Washington’s 1999 SRS, America’s war is intent upon destroying an entire region, which, in the course of history, was the cradle of ancient civilizations linking Western Europe to the Far East. In turn, covert support to Islamic insurgencies (channeled by the CIA through Pakistan’s ISI) in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, China and India has been used by Washington as an instrument of conquest-ie. by deliberately destabilizing national societies and fostering ethnic and social divisions.
More generally, war and “free market” reforms destroy civilization by forcing national societies into abysmal poverty.
America’s NATO Partners
While significant divisions have emerged within the Western military alliance, America’s NATO partners including Germany, France and Italy, have nonetheless endorsed the 2001 US-U.K.-led military operation into Afghanistan. Despite their differences, Europe and America appear to be united in the planned “re-colonization” and “partition” of a broad geographic area extending from Eastern Europe and the Balkans to China’s Western frontier.
Within this broad region,”spheres of influence” have nonetheless been agreed upon largely between Germany and America. This “partition” must be understood in historical terms. It is, in some regards, similar to the agreement reached between the European powers at the Berlin Conference pertaining to the partition and territorial conquest of Africa in the late 19th century. Similarly, colonial policy in China’s treaty ports in the years leading up to the First World War was carefully coordinated and agreed upon by the same imperialist powers.
The Military-Intelligence Apparatus
While civilian state institutions increasingly assume the role of a façade, elected politicians in most Western “democracies” (including the US, Britain and Canada) increasingly play a nominal role in decision-making. Under this evolving totalitarian system, the institutions of civilian government are being superseded by the military-intelligence-police apparatus (see Chapter XXI). In the US, the CIA has come to play the role of a de facto “parallel government” in charge of formulating and implementing US foreign policy.
Moreover, the intelligence apparatus in the US has been integrated into the workings of the financial system. Senior military and intelligence officials in the US have become full-fledged “partners” in a number of lucrative business undertakings.
As mentioned earlier, the CIA’s official budget is in excess of $30 billion a year. This colossal amount does not include the multi-billion dollar revenues and proceeds of CIA covert operations. Documented by Alfred McCoy, the CIA has, since the Vietnam war, used the flow of dirty money from the drug trade to finance its covert operations conducted in the context of Washington’s foreign policy initiatives.(6)
In other words, the extensive accumulation of money wealth from the proceeds of the drug trade has transformed the CIA into a powerful financial entity. The latter operates through a web of corporate shells, banks and financial institutions wielding tremendous power and influence.
These CIA-sponsored “corporations” have, over time, been meshed into the mainstay of the business and corporate establishment, not only in weapons production and the oil business, but also in banking and financial services, real estate, etc. In turn, billions of narco-dollars are channeled-with the support of the CIA-into the spheres of “legitimate” banking, where they are used to finance bona fide investments in a variety of economic activities.
In other words, CIA covert activities play a crucial undercover role in ensuring the appropriation of drug money by powerful financial and banking interests. In this regard, Afghanistan is strategic because it is the world’s largest producer of heroin. The Taliban government was crushed on the orders of the Bush administration because it had (under United Nations guidance) curbed opium production by more than 90 per cent. (See Chapter 16.) The bombing of Afghanistan served to restore the multi-billion dollar drug trade, which is protected by the CIA. Immediately following the installation of the US puppet government, under President Hamid Karzai, opium production soared, regaining its historic levels. (See Chapter 16.)
War: A Money Making Operation
The military-intelligence community has also developed its own money-making operations in the areas of mercenaries services, defense procurement, intelligence, etc. Key individuals in the Bush administration, including Vice-President Dick Cheney through his company, Haliburton, have links to these various business undertakings.
Under the New World Order, the pursuit of profit hinges upon political “manipulations”, the bribing of officials and the routine exercise of covert intelligence operations on behalf of powerful corporate interests. The US-sponsored paramilitary armies in different parts of the world are trained and equipped by private mercenary outfits on contract to the Pentagon.
Ultimately, the conduct of war, rather than being controlled by the state, is subordinated to the pursuit of private economic interests.
While interfacing with Wall Street, intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have also developed undercover ties with powerful criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade. These syndicates, through the process of money laundering, have also invested heavily in legitimate business undertakings.
Under the New World Order, the demarcation between “organized capital” and “organized crime” is blurred. In other words, the restructuring of global trade and finance tends to favor the concurrent “globalization” of the criminal economy, which is intricately tied into the corporate establishment. In turn, the state apparatus is criminalized. Amply documented, senior policy-makers in the Bush administration in charge of foreign policy have links to various drug cartels.(7)
Dollarization and the Big Picture
While securing corporate control over extensive oil reserves and pipeline routes along the Eurasian corridor on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants, Washington’s ultimate objective is to eventually destabilize and then colonize both China and Russia. This means the takeover of their national financial systems and the control over monetary policy, leading eventually to the imposition of the US dollar as the national currency. This objective has, in part, already been achieved in parts of the former Soviet Union where the US dollar has become a de facto national currency.
While the US has established a permanent military presence on China’s Western frontier, China’s banking system has also been “opened up” to Western banks and financial institutions following China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in October 2001. The tendency in China is towards the demise of the state banking system, which provides credit to thousands of industrial enterprises and agricultural producers. Ironically, the system of state credit has sustained China’s role as the West’s largest “industrial colony”, producer of cheap labour-manufactured goods for the European and American markets.
This deregulation of state credit has triggered a deadly wave of bankruptcies, which in all likelihood will devastate China’s economic landscape. In turn, the restructuring of China’s financial institutions could lead, within a matter of years, to the destabi-lization of its national currency, the Renminbi, through speculative assaults, opening the door to a broader process of economic and political “colonization” by Western capital.
In other words, the outright manipulation of currency markets by “institutional speculators”, similar to that of the 1997 Asian crisis, also constitutes a powerful instrument, which contributes to the fracturing of national economies. In this regard, financial warfare applies complex speculative instruments encompassing the gamut of derivative trade, forward foreign exchange transactions, currency options, hedge funds, index funds, etc. Speculative instruments have been used with the ultimate purpose of capturing financial wealth and acquiring control over productive assets. In the words of Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad: “This deliberate devaluation of the currency of a country by currency traders purely for profit is a serious denial of the rights of independent nations.”(8)
TEXT BOX 8.1
Financial Warfare: An Instrument of Conquest
In Korea, Indonesia and Thailand the vaults of the central banks were pillaged by institutional speculators, while the monetary authorities sought, in vain, to prop up their ailing currencies. The speculative assaults waged against these countries constitute a “dress rehearsal” for the application of a similar process directed against China’s national currency, the Renminbi.
In 1997, more than $100 billion of Asia’s hard currency reserves were confiscated and transferred (in a matter of months) into private financial hands. In the wake of the currency devaluations, real earnings and employment plummeted virtually overnight, leading to mass poverty in countries which had, in the post-war period, registered significant economic and social progress.
The financial scam in the foreign exchange market had destabilised national economies, thereby creating the preconditions for the subsequent plunder of the Asian countries’productive assets by “vulture foreign investors”.
The Demise of Central Banking
This worldwide crisis marks the demise of central banking, meaning the derogation of national economic sovereignty and the inability of the national state to control money creation on behalf of society. In other words, privately held money reserves in the hands of “institutional speculators” far exceed the limited capabilities of the world’s central banks. The latter, acting individually or collectively, are no longer able to fight the tide of speculative activity.
Monetary policy is in the hands of private creditors who have the ability to freeze state budgets, paralyse the payments process, thwart the regular disbursement of wages to millions of workers (as in the former Soviet Union) and precipitate the collapse of production and social programs. As the crisis deepens, speculative raids on central banks are extending into China, Latin America and the Middle East with devastating economic and social consequences.(9)
Together with the liberalization of trade and the deregulation of agriculture and industry (in accordance with WTO rules), China is heading towards massive unemployment and social unrest. In turn, the US-sponsored covert operations in Tibet and the Xinjiang-Uigur Autonomous Region, in support of secessionist movements, contribute to fostering political instability, which in turn tends to support the “dollarization” process.
More generally, the deregulation of national banking institutions has created havoc worldwide. Washington’s foreign policy agenda consists in eventually encroaching upon the Euro and imposing the US dollar as a “global currency” (in overt confrontation with the powerful banking interests behind the European currency system).”Militarization” of vast regions of the world (e.g., where the dollar and the Euro are competing) tends to support the “dollarization” process. In other words, “dollarization” and “free trade”-supported by US militarization-constitute two essential pillars of the American Empire.
Militarization and Dollarization of the Western Hemisphere
In the Western hemisphere, Wall Street has already extended its control by displacing or taking over existing national financial institutions. With the help of the IMF, Washington is also bullying Latin American countries into accepting the US dollar as their national currency. The greenback has already been imposed on five Latin American countries including Ecuador, Argentina, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala.
The economic and social consequences of “dollarization” have been devastating. In these countries, Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve system directly control monetary policy. The entire structure of public expenditure is controlled by US creditors.
“Militarization” and “dollarization” are the essential building blocks of the American Empire. In this regard, “Plan Colombia”, financed by US military aid, constitutes the basis for militarizing the Andean region of South America in support of “free trade” and “dollarization”.
Meanwhile, the same Anglo-American oil companies (Chevron-Texaco, BP, Exxon-Mobil), which are vying for control over the oil wealth of the former Soviet Union, are also present in the Andean region of South America. Under the disguise of the “war on drugs” or the “war on terrorism”, US foreign policy has led to the militarization of both of these regions. The hidden agenda is to protect both the oil pipelines and the powerful financial interests behind the multibillion dollar drug trade. In Colombia, many of the paramilitary groups “responsible for hundreds of murders and thousands of disappearances” are financed by US military assistance under Plan Colombia.(10)
In turn, Plan Colombia is implemented in close liaison with the imposition of IMF “guidelines”. In Colombia, for example, the IMF’s economic medicine has led to the destruction of domestic industry and agriculture. More generally, the militarization of the continent is an integral part of the “Free Trade” Agenda. The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) initiative is being negotiated alongside a “parallel” military cooperation protocol signed by 27 countries of the Americas (the Declaration of Manaus), which virtually puts the entire hemisphere under the military control of the US.
Already in Latin America, the economic and social consequences of “dollarization” have been devastating. The current economic and social crisis in Argentina is the direct result of “dollarization” imposed by Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve system, which directly control monetary policy. The entire structure of Argentinean public expenditure is controlled by US creditors.
Real wages have collapsed, social programs have been destroyed and large sectors of the population have been driven into abysmal poverty. The Argentinean pattern, engineered by Wall Street, will undoubtedly be replicated elsewhere as the “invisible fist” of the American Empire extends its reach to other regions of the world.
- John Steinbach, “Israeli Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Threat to Peace”, DC Iraq Coalition, March 2002, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/STE203A.html, 3 March 2002.
- Iain Bruce, “Pentagon Draws up Plans for Invasion of Iraq”, The Herald (Scotland) January 31, 2002.
- Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, 17 February 2002.
- Deirdre Griswold, “Will Somalia be next? US targets another Poor Country”, Workers World , December 2001, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), http://globalresearch.ca/articles/GRI112A.html, 13 December 2001.
- Michael Mandel,”This War is Illegal and Immoral: It will not Prevent Terrorism”, Science Peace Forum & Teach-In, December 9, 2001, Centre for Research on Globalization, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAN112A.html, Dec. 2001.
- Alfred McCoy, op. cit.
- For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, “Globalization and the
Criminalization of Economic Activity”, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 58, Fall 1996;
Michel Chossudovsky, “Financial Scams and the Bush Family”, Centre for Research
on Globalization (CRG), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO202C.html,
18 February 2002.
- Quoted in Michel Chossudovsky, “Financial Warfare”, Third World Network, Penang, http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/trig-cn.htm. 1999.
- Michel Chossudovsky, “Financial Warfare”, op. cit.
- See Kim Alphandary,”Colombia War: ‘Highest Priority'”, Centre for Research
on Globalization (CRG), http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ALP204A.html,
5 April 2002.