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OP-ED: Our World Domination
Hubris? Yes. Their stated belief: “American leadership is both good for America and good for the world.” The next few years were a complete fiasco, leveraging an attack that emanated from the remote caves of Afghanistan by mostly Saudis (and no Iraqis) into war on both Afghanistan and Iraq. The drawdown of American treasure and global goodwill is unprecedented.
Since 9/11 we have been fighting land wars against people we designate as terrorists in foreign lands. These wars have been total failures: real democracy has not taken hold in these nations and has not spread in the region except when overthrowing American puppets (e.g. Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak) by nonviolent methods. We have lost so much credibility from these wars that even democracy has a bad name in much of the world, since we have framed our invasions, bombings and occupations as bringing democracy.
Now, even as we prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan, our war preparations are expanding in Asia and Africa. Learning from our failures, our new approach to world domination, revealed first in Catherine Lutz’s 2009 book, Bases of Empire, and then David Vine’s investigative article, The Military’s New Lily-Pad Strategy, The Nation, July 16, 2012, is to avoid costly land wars by establishing bases everywhere staffed with small, high tech forces. Changing our style doesn’t change the basic danger of being overextended in distant lands.
At the same time, we are developing high tech means of dominating the world through far greater information and precision weapons in space. Alfred W. McCoy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, notes, “As with the Philippine Insurrection and the Vietnam War, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have served as the catalyst for a new information regime, fusing aerospace, cyberspace, biometrics and robotics into an apparatus of potentially unprecedented power.”
The forces for peace in the United States have been opposing the wars, the waste, the ballooning military budgets and influence—far beyond what President Eisenhower predicted—with limited results. The core of the problem is the imperial mindset of the neo-cons, which has taken root amongst many military, war profiteering corporate leaders, and members of Congress elected in part by those corporate donors.
We will not substantially reduce our military budget or relinquish our nuclear weapons as long as the hidden goal of our nation is planetary control. We will continue to neglect the needs of our society and discount our national future as long as we are pursuing this unattainable goal.
The decline of the United States in the last decade is an indictment of these imperial goals. The beneficiaries of our imperial policy are the international corporations, many of which avoid taxes in the U.S. As a result of our military influence, they get increased access to labor, materials and markets abroad with less regulation and environmental restrictions. In the meantime, our huge military budgets have further indebted our nation and caused budgetary cuts in programs needed for the national future, particularly in this time of violent climate change.
Not since the run-up to the Spanish-American (Cuban/Philippines) war of more than a century ago has there has never been a national debate on the desirability of global hegemony, or an opportunity for our people to knowingly vote on the issue. In spite of Chalmers Johnson’s The Sorrows of Empire andDismantling the Empire, Joseph Gerson’s Empire and the Bomb and others, the media has ignored this root cause of our ongoing militarism and continuous war preparations.
This enterprise of secret bases and secret devices to implement the secret dream of world domination is unconstitutional, un-American and unlikely to succeed. It overwhelms the constitutional provision to “provide for the common defense” as a tsunami obliterates a sandy beach. It seriously neglects the “general welfare” in its pursuit of ever greater military funds. It robs us of our liberties in the search for an absolute homeland security, while it does nothing to prevent the violence of our homegrown terrorists.
Even for those who subscribe to a philosophy of violent self-defense, our current aggressive, war-fighting policy, with the intent of imperial ruling power, is a distortion of our national character. America must rid itself of this sick, irrational fantasy and return to the more modest and far healthier occupation of building a free and viable future for our nation.
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Tom H. Hastings, Ed.D. Director, PeaceVoice Program, Oregon Peace Institute http://www.peacevoice.info/