RON RIDENOUR

We live in the Permanent War Age. The United States’ goal is simple - one that exposes a superpower’s arrogance and monetary greed, and one that appeals to the American Dream for the majority of its citizens - world domination!

Most US Americans believe they are the best people in the world, the strongest, the bravest, owners of the Land of Opportunity. And if war is necessary to maintain that predominance, so be it - although since the 2008 capital-created economic crisis, there are some cracks in the wall.

Granted, there have been wars for thousands of years ever since the idea took hold that one should possess private property. From that came acceptance of war to seize others’ private property. Wars for territorial expansion have existed since the first empires were formed some 4000 years ago. While emperors sought territorial expansion and control over socio-political entities, modern imperialism concentrates on economic domination without a permanent military presence, until a military intervention is deemed necessary to put down domestic unrest or other foreign influence.

For the last generation since the fall of state socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as in Vietnam, Cambodia, China and Cuba, the US has stood as the world’s sole superpower. Nevertheless, to assure world domination it must ally with Europe especially Nato, along with Canada, Australia and Japan.

The so-called Cold War ended with the fall of any pretense of functioning socialism but wars continue, and the militarisation of the world marches hand in hand with globalisation extending even into outer space. The US gets off with its aggressive wars by simply declaring them necessary to stop terrorism, especially in the Middle East, but not, of course, its terrorist friends in Israel. US self-righteous excuse is the terrorism committed against US power structures within the US, on Sept 11, 2001. No matter that almost all of those allegedly identified terrorists were Saudi Arabians - none were from Afghanistan or Iraq - the warriors in the Pentagon and Langley unleashed patriotic murder and legitimised torture in Afghanistan, then Iraq and other Middle Eastern and African countries where challengers lurk.

“The War-On-Terror” script was written just a year before its terror was enthusiastically unleashed to grab all oil and gas fuel and other raw materials anywhere it could. The world’s policeman warehoused ample ammo in 800 military bases, in 131 countries. Today, the US has military bases where it never had before the fall of European socialist states, including in several new sovereign states earlier under the Soviet Union, but also in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even in Australia. It has doubled its number of bases in Colombia for a total of eight where it also has troops. It operates military war games with previous enemies in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Sept 11, 2001 was the best of days for the weapons, oil and construction industries. And it fortified the relatively new service branch of professional paramilitary mercenaries into a large national killing industry. Now that the stage was set, the Permanent War Age had to be sold. We good humans must be fearful of the terrorists, and thus we will passively or actively support all the wars the various US govts render us, as we must accept their terror laws and the demise of civil and labor rights fought for and won by workers, solidarity and leftist activists, ethnic rights fighters and civil libertarians.

The Sept 13, 2001 edition of the “Philadelphia Inquirer” spoke to those fears aroused on 9/11 with the headline: “Give War a Chance”! George Bush Jr ordered the war-on-terror Oct 7, after having granted the military forces unlimited money, weapons and resources. The CIA got ten times the previous amount of money for bribes and payments to mercenaries and torturers. “Preventative” war was approved with new mass destruction weapons including nuclear and bacteriological weapons.?PNAC spokesmen took up many important posts in the Bush regime - Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Kristol, Elliott Abrahams, John Bolton, Richard Perle, John Ashcroft, Richard Cheney. They succeeded in ramming through the Patriotic Act. People can now be arrested and detained indefinitely without a judge’s approval or even a trial. A police state is well underway.

Former Nato Commander, US General Wesley Clark told “Democracy Now”(2007) that just ten days after 9/11, the Bush regime had plans to invade as soon as possible several of 40 countries it listed as “rogue states” - Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

What they had in common was oil and banks not under the multinational corporation control of the Banking International Settlement (BIS) rules that benefit private capital interests.

One of the empire’s fears, for example, was that Saddam Hussein had agreed with France President Jacques Chirac to switch from dollars to Euros in oil trading. Six months later oil dollar rich Bush invaded.?Despite initial hesitancy from several European governments, the Bush regime succeeded in drawing nearly all of Europe, including most Social Democrats and Socialists, into its wars. Nato’s constitution had been limited to defense but was remade, in order to allow for aggressive wars in any area of the world.

While the Bush govt was held down to two wars at a time, the Obama regime has stepped up the ante with seven at once: Iraq still is under partial control of military advisors and well paid mercenaries, plus Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Uganda, Somalia, Libya. The Syrian opposition is also politically and materially supported by the US and some of Europe.

The US governmental budget is $3.7 trillion; about half of that is for its military apparatus and its present and past wars. There are currently 25m war veterans and they get paid pensions and payment for injuries received under wartime. ??To be able to understand how the US got the way it is today - the world’s dominating war power - we must look at its two hundred history saturated in war.??

Imperial History

The first war began even before the US gained nationhood. While still a British colony, the white colonists warred against the indigenous “Indians”, in order to take over the lands they used. Formal warring began in 1775 with the declared Chickamauga War against the Cherokee nation, the Shawnees and others. The “Indian wars” lasted for a century in which up to two million natives were murdered. Those who survived were incarcerated into “reservations”.??This war, and those to come against Latin Americans, was part of “Manifest Destiny”, ordained to “expand its territory” and “to extend and enhance its political, social and economic influences”.??The congress legalised, in 1823, the “Monroe Doctrine” as part of Manifest Destiny. Its policy towards Europe: Hands off the US’s backyard, that is, Latin America.??Of the thousands of times that US military force has been used, many countries have been subjected several times. Cuba has been attacked 12 times since 1814; Nicaragua 12 times since 1853; Panama on 13 occasions since 1856.??Although Latin America has been the most targeted, China has been attacked 30 times from 1843 “gunboat diplomacy” to 1999 when the US bombed its embassy in Yugoslavia. ??War was waged in 1798-1800 against France over its colonies in the Caribbean. Then it was Britain’s turn in 1812. The US stole half of Mexico in 1846-8: Texas, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming.??In 1933, the pensioner Marine Corp Major-General Smedley Butler explained how war is a racket.

“I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service. ??I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.”

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