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Sunday May 19, 2024, Zul-qaadah 11, 1445 Hijri

The Evil Empire

20 May, 2019

By Asif Haroon Raja

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“The US is the most warlike nation in the history of the world, forcing other countries to adopt our American principles.” - Jimmy Carter Asif Haroon Raja America’s history of aggression While there is a prevalent belief among the Americans that the US almost always wages war for noble purposes and in defense of freedom, global public opinion and facts paint a very different picture. Most countries surveyed in a 2013 WIN/Gallup poll identified the US as the greatest threat to world peace, and a 2017 Pew Research poll found that a record number of people in 30 surveyed nations viewed the US power and influence as a “major threat.” The US has invaded or bombed dozens of countries and supported nearly every single right wing dictatorship in the world since the end of World War II. The US has overthrown or attempted to overthrow dozens of foreign governments since 1949 and has actively sought to crush nearly every single people’s liberation movement over that same period. It has also meddled in scores of elections, in countries that are allies and adversaries alike and indulges in proxy wars. It employs coercive tactics through World Bank, IMF, economic and military sanctions, human rights violations, threats, hybrid war, debt trap, strategic encirclement, isolation and several other suchlike devices to force the targeted country to submit to its demands. In the Deep State USA today, colonialism, predatory capitalism and unilateral militarism are the norm. CIA and NASA are used for mind control through hypnosis, drugs, injections, and electromagnetic tuning. The US has been behind most wars, conflicts and proxy wars enabling it to sign big defence deals with affected countries. In most cases, the US has been deceitfully arming both the antagonists while CIA, Israel, India and NATO are used as its cat paws to launch overt and covert operations. Few nations have universities dedicated to the art of the coup, but few nations have a history of foreign interventions quite like the US. Since the end of World War II, the USA has brought its military might to bear on 72 interventions including 30 attacks on countries and sponsored scores of insurgencies and regime change operations worldwide. The US has been getting into bed with shady insurgents, rebels and hired proxies. Contra rebels in Nicaragua, Al-Qaeda, Afghan Mujahideen, Al-Nusra Front, TTP, BLA, Jundullah, have all been funded and backed by CIA. ISIS is private mercenary army of CIA and Mossad. The US had helped Taliban to gain power in 1996 but withdrew support when the oil and gas pipeline deal with UNICOL over profit sharing was cancelled by Taliban and is today fighting them since October 2001.

The US Special Operations Command has recently published a 250-page paper chronicling the highs and lows of seven decades of foreign interference including the proxy wars in the Middle East and Ukraine. Will Irwin has penned the account. Gen Smedley Butler has also given full account of shady activities of Pentagon, CIA, US Administration and their strategic allies Israel, India, UK, and Saudi Arabia in his book ‘War is a Racket’. The US has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history—1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and Carter’s 1977-80 presidency. The US under President Truman first air bombed Tokyo in March 1945 with 334 B-29 bombers killing 100,000 people and then nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 to force the Japanese armed forces to surrender and bring the war to a speedy end. Death toll in the two cities was 135000 and 75000 respectively. US military industrial complex (IMC) Emergence of Military Industrial Complex (IMC) in USA under President Truman in 1949 set the stage for the country to entertain global ambitions and to rob the resources of the world through use of brute military force. To achieve its geo economic and strategic ambitions, the IMC made the US military the world largest and most powerful armed forces. More than 50 years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower had warned the Americans not to let this profit-driven war machine endanger their liberties or democratic processes. In a speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on April 16, 1953, Eisenhower had highlighted the grave consequences of allowing the IMC to wage war, exhaust resources and dictate national priorities. He said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” The Americans however failed to heed to his warning and power and wealth went into their heads and megalomania overtook them. Interventions in South America To exploit and dominate South America, USA has systematically toppled revolutionary leaders and crushed popular movements and installed puppet dictatorships. Prior to 2nd World War, the US intervened in Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua and El Salvador. After the Great War, Guatemala (1954), Dominican Republic (1965), Chile (1973), Grenada (1983), and Panama (1989) were attacked by USA. Purpose was to steal raw material and their resources so as to enhance its influence and to confront USSR’s communism. The Cold War Government of Mossadegh in Iran was overthrown by CIA-MI6 in 1953 since it had nationalized oil industry. The Vietnam War initiated by USA President Johnson in 1964 on two disputed incidents involving US warships in the Gulf of Tokin dragged on for a decade and claimed lives of 57000 Americans and three million Vietnamese. Laos, Cambodia and Korea also became victims of the US aggression. Israel was militarily strengthened and fully backed by USA in the 1967 and 1973 wars, in arranging peace treaty with Egypt in 1978, invasion of Lebanon, policy of forward settlements, and attacks on Gaza. Recently, Trump has declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Syria’s Golan heights as part of Israel. CIA created a group of Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before Soviet invasion in December 1979. Osama bin Laden (OBL) was a CIA agent brought into Afghanistan to help fight the Soviet troops and to assist in forming al-Qaeda. Pakistan was induced with $3.5 billion aid package for conducting covert operations in Afghanistan. After achieving all its objectives, the US callously ditched Pakistan and Mujahideen and befriended India, which was an ally of USSR. There on, Washington got fixed with the idea of gaining complete global dominance. George W. Bush senior drafted the New World Order in 1989. Iraq under Saddam Hussain was instigated to attack Iran under Imam Khomeini in 1980 and the war dragged on inconclusively till 1989. Saddam was then given a green signal to occupy Kuwait in August 1991 and soon after, the US-NATO forces attacked Iraq in November 1991 under a false narrative that Iraqi soldiers had pulled Kuwaiti babies out of incubators and threw them on the floor to die. Harsh sanctions were imposed.

Collapse of USSR

When the Soviet Union dwarfed into Russian Federation in 1991 and USA became the sole super power, the opportunity to end once and for all the bipolar nuclear confrontation that threatened global annihilation was squandered as President Bill Clinton chose instead to humiliate and use NATO to contain an already disheartened Russia. American Exceptionalism became the battle cry for an increasingly clueless federal government as well as for a media-deluded public. Engineered 9/11 In order to impose its unchallenged hegemony over the world, 9/11 was engineered by Mossad, Pentagon, NorthCom, US Administration and FAA with a view to launch a crusade against Muslim countries, capture their resources, neo-colonize them and to undermine Islam. CIA controlled Major Mass Communication Media propagated round the clock that OBL and his Al-Qaeda had masterminded the attacks. President George W. Bush junior gave no third choice after roaring in anger, “You are either with us or against us.” It meant, ‘hitch the US bandwagon or get destroyed’. Pakistan was coerced and brought in line under this slogan. False narrative was constructed to invade and occupy Afghanistan in 2001. Another fake story was cooked up for Iraq in 2003 which took the lives of over 4000 Americans and two million Iraqis. Arab Spring was ignited in 2011 to topple regimes of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen. While Sudan was bisected, and Somalia turned into a failed state, trouble was brewed up in several North African countries. The US deliberately fomented chaos in the Middle East to pave way for the establishment of ‘Greater Israel’.

Orchestrated war on terror

Global war on terror (GWoT) to fight terrorism was coined by the neocons in USA and this tool is in play for the last 17 years in pursuit of the US strategic and geo-economic goals. It was a gimmick aimed at changing the boundaries of Af-Pak region and Middle East, as given in Lt Col Ralph Peter’s article with a new map, “Blood Borders” published in 2006, and stealing the resources of Eurasia to enable USA to maintain its monopoly over the world for next 100 years.

Earlier on, Brzezinski had propounded the concept of US uni-polarism in the 1970s. He held Eurasia as the key region, the capture of which would ensure control over Africa and facilitate world domination. He had recommended establishment of western front in Europe and southern front in Asia complementing each other. While western front was consolidated with the help of NATO, and later by integrating Eastern Europe, threat of communism was replaced with Islam, and Afghanistan - Iraq were selected to establish the southern front. According to a November 2018 study by Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs, the US has spent $5.9 trillion waging war in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations since 2001. Had this amount been spent in developing infrastructure, high-speed railroad, bridges and refurbished education system, America would have been in much better condition today.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, recently stated that during his meeting with Donald Trump, he found him worried about China’s growing economy and expressed concern that “China is getting ahead of us.” Carter, who normalized diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing in 1979, and is the only US President who didn’t go to war with any country, said he told Trump that much of China’s success was due to its peaceful foreign policy.

Both China and Russia have refrained from wars and covert wars and are fast progressing economically. China is now the second largest economic power and is likely to overtake USA by 2025 just because it opted for peace and friendship and avoided war after it invaded Vietnam in 1979. Since then, China has not wasted a single penny on war, and has been at peace with its neighbors and the world and concentrated on improving its economy, technology and military muscle. And that’s why China is ahead of USA in almost every way.

GWoT, IMC, Corporations, Jewish Lobby are drags for USA

While the war has become a drag on the economies of USA and Europe, it has become a huge money-making venture for the American IMC since it helps in keeping its arms industry running. The US is the world’s largest arms exporter. The IMC has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth. It has perpetuated a worldwide military empire with 800 military bases and American troops stationed in 177 countries. The US military consumes $600 billion a year. America’s war spending has already bankrupted the nation to the tune of more than $20 trillion dollars. Donald Trump is turning out to be the biggest deficit-and debt-increasing president of all time. In order to sustain America’s military empire abroad and expand the police state at home, he pushed for a $4.4 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2018/19 that has added $ 7 trillion to the already unsustainable federal deficit.

It’s the IMC that is pushing America towards bankruptcy. It is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour). The IMC is too powerful and wields control over power centres in USA including media and mass communications. It had prevailed upon Obama not to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan in December 2014 and is again pressing Trump not to pullout troops until a peace deal of its choice is signed.

The US military budget is excessively heavy because of which no purposeful relief can be given to the hard pressed Americans. Maintenance of 800 military bases and Homeland security put in place after 9/11 costs exorbitant amount. In 22 States out of 50, there is wide scale discontentment and resentment because USA is the most heavily taxed country in the world and is also under heaviest debt. The American society is afflicted with rampant socioeconomic problems and violence.

Besides the IMC, Corporations in USA have become too rich and powerful and are in a position to wield influence over the decision makers.

The Israeli lobby in USA controls all levers of power in USA and nothing can move without their consent. These three factors stand as huge barriers in the way of making USA great again as pledged by Trump. His reckless policies are taking the US towards ruins.

Another menace in USA is the gun culture which has become grave after series of acts of terror by the local Americans. Main reason why no steps have been taken by the successive regimes in Washington to control this menace is that arms industry managed by the Pentagon IMC is the major source of earning. To run this industry, wars and local conflicts are stoked, proxies are created and supported, mutinies and insurgencies are fomented all over the world.

Costs of war

Since the 9/11 attacks, America has poured $3.2 trillion into its wars, according to a study from Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The estimate includes what the US government has spent or pledged to spend on homeland security, medical and disability care for wounded veterans, the post stress disorder cases which run into thousands, and the military and diplomatic campaigns against terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria.

It’s not just that America’s post-9/11 wars include some of the longest wars in the US history. Taken together, they’re also currently the second-most expensive after the 2nd World War. For 17 years, the US has been putting these wars on a credit card. As opposed to previous US regimes who raised taxes and cut down non-military spending to meet the war expenditure, George W. Bush administration cut taxes in 2003, engaged in deficit spending after using up a budget surplus that it inherited from the Clinton administration, and sold only a small number of war bonds. Obama administration took a similar approach and so has Donald Trump. The Trump administration in its first year in office boosted the annual military budget to $700 billion, up from an already gigantic average figure of $600 billion a year. Trump said the colossal military spend was a vital necessity to maintain America's national security and global leadership. This approach of financing a war entirely with debt while cutting taxes is unprecedented in US history,

Never before has the USA been so aggressive, and that in spite of the fact that there is no single enemy or combination of enemies that actually threaten either its territorial integrity or its vital interest.

Iran in firing line

After cutting to size the military threats to Israel in the Middle East, Iran is the only threat which could obstruct Israel’s ambition to accomplish its dream of ‘Greater Israel’. Iran has however, become too powerful after it became battle hardened in 9-year war with Iraq and acquired missile power which can decimate Israel, and formed a nexus with Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Trump’s threats against Iran began twelve days after he took office, in 2017 by putting Iran on notice. Egged on by Israel, he cancelled the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran in 2018 on the plea that Iran’s missile program is a danger to peace and must also be rolled back. He then designated IRGC a terrorist organization in April 2019 and imposed a steady stream of sanctions on Iran’s economy. After lifting the waiver given to eight countries to enforce a global ban on any purchases of Iranian oil, the latest sanction was imposed recently which covers industrial metals produced in Iran. On May 5th, hawkish John Bolton announced that a battleship-carrier strike group, led by the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, and a bomber task force, including B-52s, were deploying off Iran’s coast. On May 10th, the Pentagon announced a second display of force: the U.S.S. Arlington and a battery of Patriot missile systems would join the aircraft carrier.

These offensive moves have been undertaken on the self-assumed threat that Iran, or its proxies, could strike U.S. assets in the Middle East, including in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Syria. Gen Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command also expressed similar concerns. President Trump is making moves that will provoke, instigate, or inadvertently drag the US into a war with Iran.

Maximization of pressure has not budged Iran and it has not only threatened to close the Gulf of Hormuz but also hinted at restarting its nuclear program if the five guarantors of nuclear deal didn’t help Iran in exporting its oil. With the military deployments, Iran-US antagonism of 2016-17 has returned during which fifty provocative acts had taken place. The way things are heating up, war seems imminent. Closure of Hormuz would mean disruption of flow of 15 million barrels oil a day.

The US before venturing upon an aggressive posture must have carried out a deep appraisal and must have weighed all the pros and cons of going to war with Iran. After the recent debacles in Afghanistan and Syria, from where Trump is contemplating troop pullout, the US cannot afford to suffer another setback and that too when crucial elections are due in coming winters.

The US under Barack Obama had imposed four-fold sanctions as well as threats to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites by air in order to force Ahmadinejad to roll back Iran’s nuclear program. When its coercive tactics failed to yield results, the US had to resort to covert means to affect a regime change. The new reformist President Rouhani agreed to rollback and freeze the nuclear program in return for lifting of sanctions. Now Trump has tried to follow the same course by first cancelling the nuclear deal, then re-imposing sanctions and making accusations that Iran is abetting terrorism. Recent anti-government protests and acts of terrorism in Iran were meant to destabilize Rouhani regime change. Military buildup is aimed at further ramping up pressure. These tactics are intended to browbeat Iran or play a game in collusion with Israel to scuttle any peace deal between the Arabs and Iran.

The sanctions on Iranian exports of oil are counterproductive. These will lead to a surplus in an already saturated market as other suppliers increase production. It may hurt Iran in the short term but more importantly, it will do the same to the western oil conglomerates ---- not something any US administration can afford to risk.

Having failed on all external and internal fronts, Trump devoid of strategic vision is desperate to add a feather in his cap through his skewed muscular policy. The people guiding him are of the same ilk as those around George W. Bush. Bolton and Pompeo are war mongers. It leaves open the possibility that the US may be pushed into a war that could create a similar mess in the world and Middle East in particular as Bush had done. We just have to wait and see who wins ---- good common sense or the Israeli lobby.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has played down Washington’s highly belligerent rhetoric against Iran, saying its real capability did not match its loud bluster. He has ruled out the possibility of war, saying, any confrontation between the US and Iran would not be “a military one,” and that “there was not going to be any war.” He added that the Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, which will be a clash of wills, the US would be forced into a retreat and Iran would be the ultimate victor of this battle. He ruled out any negotiation with the US as long as Washington sticks with its hostile approach.

US belligerence against Russia

The US legislators have adopted a highly belligerent posture against Russia and hold Putin accountable for its bellicose behavior against the US. They accuse Russia of destabilizing the US led liberal global world order and are demanding that Putin should cease and desist meddling in the US electoral process, halt cyberattacks on American infrastructure, remove Russian interference in Ukraine including in the Kerch Strait and stop creating chaos in Syria.” They are pushing to get Russia declared a terror abetting state. US-Russo nuclear agreements have been cancelled.

A bill has been introduced in the Senate on April 11, 2019 by Republican Senator Cory Gardner and co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez to designate Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism and Russian-sponsored armed groups in Ukraine should also be designated as foreign terrorist outfits. They want to impose meaningful sanctions against Russia. If these measures are implemented, it will close the doors for any rapprochement in the foreseeable future. Russia will be repeatedly accused of poison gas attacks and war crimes in Ukraine and Syria with a view to find excuses to apply economic sanctions, and economic blockades.

Trade wars against China

China is threatened with trade wars and an air and maritime encirclement by the US military with the view to reverse China’s growth by striking fear in the Chinese leadership and forcing them to surrender economic sovereignty, financial markets and industrial competitiveness. China’s One-Belt-One-Road project is giving nightmares to USA. Opening up a US military base at Dokum in Gulf of Oman and heating up the Persian Gulf could be linked with Indo-Afghan-US plan to scuttle CPEC.

Venezuela another target

The US is currently providing political support to opposition leader Juan Guaido in Venezuela. Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and Donald Trump have all repeatedly uttered the phrase “all options are on the table” when it comes to dethroning Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. With soft support for Guaido thus far failing to dislodge Maduro from power, and with Washington increasingly agitated at Moscow for its support for Maduro’s regime, there are plenty of opportunities for things to escalate in Venezuela. The US is threatening to invade Venezuela primarily because it cannot digest a defiant state in the western hemisphere to maintain ties with Russia and China.

USA’s challenges

The 1% ruling class of USA dream of dominating the world but their empire is built on fragile economic foundations. It now stumbles over a series of military defeats abroad and increasingly relies on instilling fear, intimidation and propaganda on its domestic citizenry to regain its dominance. They seek to maintain their world domination, based on increasing exploitation and widening inequalities.

Bush had used ‘shock and awe’ as a strategy to instill fear into the hearts of the adversaries. Iraq and Libya were humbled by using excessive military force. This tactic is still in use as the last desperate weapon for retaining an unchallenged world empire.

The US ambitions have run into snags after the war crazy sole super power got stuck in the quagmire of Afghanistan, Ukraine becoming a flash point and North Korea threatening to retaliate with nuclear ballistic missiles.

The US has locked horns with China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Taliban in Afghanistan, Mexico, Venezuela and several other South American States.

Military threats directed against Iran are naked attempts to force them to dismantle their defensive missiles and submit to the US dictates, but so far there is no headway and in all probability the US will face another embarrassment.

The US and its allies have failed to affect a regime change in Syria. Trump is contemplating withdrawal of US troops but is in a fix due to pressure of Pentagon and Israel and the fate of Kurdish fighters in Syria at the hands of Turkey.

After the failure of CIA-Gullen inspired military coup in Turkey, Erdogan has emerged more powerful and he is fast shifting towards the emerging bloc in the east.

The CIA-Mossad backed Islamic Caliphate led by Abu Bakr Baghdadi stand demolished.

The US coercive and punitive acts against Pakistan are aimed at disabling its nuclear program and to make it a compliant state of India. India at the behest of USA is striving to create Greater Pashtunistan, Greater Baluchistan, Sindhu Desh and Jinnahpur with a view to divide Pakistan into four parts. Indo-Afghanistan belligerence and Indo-Israeli air intrusion followed by a plan to launch Brahmo missile attacks on Pakistan last February

were backed by USA. Pakistan’s staunch resilience has befuddled USA and its strategic partners. Currently, it is engaged in melting its economy through IMF and sword of FATF.

USA has failed to gain freedom of navigation in South China Sea China or to contain China.

Russia are strategic partners and have become a power to reckon with. No amount of coercive tactics of USA has checkmated their economic and military resurgence.

Ukraine has become a dangerous conflict zone where the unrest in Eastern Ukraine is backed by Russia.

The US is supporting joint Arab air war led by Saudi Arabia against the Houthis in Yemen but this support may be withdrawn due to increased pressure of the US Congress.

Afghanistan has become an Achilles heel of USA where it is fighting a losing battle, but is naively hoping for a peace deal with the Taliban of its choice. It seems to have got irretrievably stuck in the quagmire where several world powers had already sunk.

In South America, despite the US interventions, there have been successful popular resistance in Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba and successful social movements in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Trump’s ambition to make USA great again, Netanyahu’s craving for Greater Israel and Modi’s dream of making India the policeman of Indo-Pacific region and a global power seem farfetched.

The three reckless leaders - Trump, Netanyahu and Modi - working hands in gloves to achieve their respective imperialist ambitions have made the world chaotic and unsafe.

Success is never guaranteed, and short-term victory comes with long-term consequences.

The writer is a retd Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC of Pakistan Ex Servicemen Society.

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