Amerikkka is often presented as the global peacemaker in sympathetic circles. If we take a cursory look around the globe today, however, we can see that every single conflict has the fingerprint of the United $tates in some capacity. This imperial strategy has not brought about the solution to conflict, but rather intended to proceed with conflict until achieving absolute control.
Even minor states – North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and Iran are continuously punished for merely existing outside of the unipolar order. Amerikkka demands total subservience to its geopolitical institutions.
The strategic parity between different states could decrease the occurrence of U.S. imperial wars, if the U.S. understands that it faces the threat of potentially losing such a conflict (Amerikkkans have not yet forgotten Vietnam and Iraq).
Russia and China (along with the other BRICS states) present a counterbalance to U.S. hegemonic goals around the world.
In fact, considering the recent decision by Mr. Orange-White-Supremacist-Clown to pull out of the JCPOA with Iran, we may also begin to see the E.U. establishing a more independent geopolitical pole as well.
New contours of global power present us with new options. Instead of repeating the Cold War, we shall soon find ourselves in totally new circumstances. The new global powers – the E.U., Russia, China are catching up to the U.$.
This power is no longer substantially ideological, as all of these countries (in one form or another) subscribe to neoliberal capitalism.
As others have written, “And Russia and China are part of this imperialist camp as well; the problem is that, because they are still developing as imperialist powers, they are beginning to represent a pole that might determine the global contradiction between imperialisms in the next decade.”
Where I disagree with MLM Mayhem is on how we should delineate our support for these competing powers. By encouraging competition, we encourage ruptures in hegemony and open the space for counter-movements. We should not say Russian and Chinese imperialisms are “better” than U$ imperialism, but rather, in order to bring down Amerikkkan global domination, we must critically support its nascent challengers.
This isn’t some moralistic argument about imperialism. Rather, this is a strategic argument about how we can move to socialism: through revolutions in the Third World.
Revolutions can only occur when political and economic systems reach the limits of their contradictions. As long as capital is able to flow freely, then Amerikkka (or another country) is able to prop up puppet regimes indefinitely.
By pushing for global ruptures, we inevitably force these contradictions to reveal themselves bare. This, of course, is no guarantee of Third World revolutions, but the chances increase dramatically.
Additionally, it is inherently advantageous for smaller countries that there is competition among the superpowers. Smaller countries throughout the Cold War skillfully embraced one or another side in order to gain favor and receive beneficial (or not-so-beneficial) aid packages, military assistance, or increased sovereignty and independence.
The very establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement solidified the strength of the Third World against the First World.
Following the dismantling of the Soviet Union by three men in a forest, the global order fragmented, ruptured, and tore itself asunder. The U.$. crowned itself the sole Empire and ensured that the Third World bent to its will.
Financial institutions like the WTO and IMF grabbed the Third World by the throat and smashed their skulls against the ground. Mimicking the old colonial days, white people continue to strip the wealth from black and brown people around the globe.
Why should Amerikkkans have hegemony?
Why does everyone in the world need to think about the fascists in Washington?
Why should the racist naked mole rat in the white house have so much power?
The news is abuzz with Politico’s new article that claims that Obama derailed an investigation in alleged drug trafficking and money laundering done by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Politico article linked above charges Obama with dismantling “Project Cassandra” in order to make the “Iran Deal” possible.
I would, from the outset, question the veracity of these claims, considering a lot of the content of the article is regurgitated from allegations made back in 2011 (when Obama was president).
Of course, as usual, a little bit of reasoning ought to put the official Politico story into question. Whether or not Obama put up roadblocks against investigations is something that I do not and cannot know, beyond what the media reports (even at the end of the Politico article, they seem to call everything they’ve just said into question).
However, I do have three points that show something is very wrong with the propagandists’ rendering of Hezbollah and the fundamentals of the organization.
1.) Hezbollah is, at least partially, a religious-confessional organization. Hezb-Allah (the Party of God) is an organization that was established in the draw-down of Lebanon’s bloody civil war, fought mostly along sectarian lines.
Hezbollah emerged as the primary representative of Lebanon’s Shi’a (although slowly, due to the competition from the Amal Movement).
The Politico article seems to suggest that Hezbollah is receiving money from both drug trafficking and Iran, or, alternatively, both Hezbollah and Iran are receiving funds from drug trafficking. The article leaves the reader guessing.
On the face of it, that would seem a bit odd, considering mainstream Islam’s pretty tight restrictions on drug use. Indeed, both Hassan Nasrallah (the leader of Hezbollah) and Ali Khamenei (the Supreme Leader of Iran) have explicitly forbade the use of drugs.
Aren’t these people supposed to be so incredibly religious that they’re unreasonable and impossible to negotiate with? Isn’t that the main line of the propaganda against them: Amerikkka can’t “trust” Iran, because they’re insane religious extremists?
Like Iran could ever trust Amerikkka!
Someone has their propaganda mixed up. It’s a jumbled policy of “throw everything at them and see what sticks”.
If you want to say that the leaders are lying and that they’ll take money from drug trafficking, then clearly they’re pragmatists and can negotiate. If you want to say they’re religious fundamentalists, then there is no way that they’re getting money from the drug trade.
2.) The Politico article centers around the drug trade in Latin American and Africa, apparently through some key business traders who have been able to secretly fund some transnational anti-Amerikkkan network.
In the past, Hezbollah’s alleged drug trafficking enterprise has been linked to the so-called Tri-Border Area. The Tri-Border Area is along the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Supposedly accounting for a significant portion of weapon, drug, and human trafficking, the Tri-Border Area is notoriously mysterious, with very little reliable information regarding the market there.
It’s sort of a similar situation to North Korea, right? We don’t know anything, but everything we do know is bad and, therefore, we can extrapolate a lot of nonsense from that.
Apparently, every “terrorist” organization gets funding from the Tri-Border Area, if we’re to believe the reports. According the U.$. media and the U.$. government, both Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda receive funds from illicit trading through South America.
That seems a little strange, considering the war in Syria, where Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are killing each other.
The Politico article does not directly mention the Tri-Border Area. It does, however, bring up the supposed “cocaine corridor” from South America up through Mexico, where the funds are not only apparently used to support Hezbollah, but also governments in Latin America that stand up against imperialism – Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
What’s the connection? Well, according to Politico, we can find it in the relationship between Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Isn’t it interesting that according to “interviews and documents”, Hugo Chavez is also responsible for everything bad in the world. After all, Politico says that Hezbollah has “for decades” been engaging in “narcoterrorism”?
Why is it that all of the evidence that comes up in the article is from simple testimonies and anonymous sources if this is an unquestionable fact?
If Hezbollah gets all its funding from illicit sources, then why does it even need funding from Iran?
If Hezbollah is so ubiquitous on the black market, then why isn’t there hard evidence of such trading?
Why is everything just hearsay and word-of-mouth?
This brings us to my third point.
3.) All of the supposed linchpins in the Hezbollah-drug trafficking connection conveniently work with everyone the U.S. doesn’t like right now, according to Politico. They even have this other picture in the article to drive home their point:
The article is fascinating for who make up this apparent narco-terrorist network around the world. It seems to be a blend of Russians and Lebanese businessmen traveling around the globe in search of ways to fund Putin and Hezbollah.
Isn’t it all just so convenient!
At one point, the article basically celebrates when, in 2008, “the CIA and Israeli intelligence detonated a bomb in [Imad] Mughniyeh’s car as he was leaving a celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Iranian revolution in Damascus, Syria. He was killed instantly. ”
How is this treated unproblematically in this story about Hezbollah? This was pretty big news in 2015, after seven years of Israel and the U.$. denying responsibility for the murder.
The Politico article accuses Imad Mughniyeh, who was a Hezbollah commander, of the bombing of a U.$. military barracks (by a different organization) during the Lebanese Civil War. However, notably, there is very flimsy evidence on which to blame him of any of his alleged crimes.
Also, no one seems to question the presence of a U.$. barracks on the outskirts of Beirut during a civil war.
Luckily, we don’t have to regard anything in the text with much seriousness, because the idea of “objectivity” on any level is thrown out the window. The Politico article reveals its pro-Amerikkkan bias very clearly with the following paragraph:
“Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U.S. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias. And Safieddine, the Ghost and other associates continue to play central roles in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, current and former U.S. officials believe.”
That last line is the most crucial – current and former U.$. officials believe. What does that mean? No evidence. None. Zero. Zilch.
And what is Hezbollah’s real crime? The fact that it continues to “undermine” the U.$.
This isn’t about drugs or about the black market or about terrorism (or about some bizarre used-car money-laundering scheme in Benin).
This is about the fact that Hezbollah has stood up, time and time again, against U.$. imperialism.
Hezbollah has defended Lebanon from invasion by Israel. Hezbollah has defended Syria against terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And Hezbollah continues to defend the Middle East from the threat of Saudi and U.A.E. influence.
In my last post comparing the death tolls under Joseph Stalin and Bill Clinton, I decided to include the deaths of the Rwandan Genocide and the Congo Wars.
I took the position here that Clinton and the administration in Washington acted (or failed to act) out of either gross negligence or perhaps out of interest in allowing both the genocide and the wars to occur (at least in the way that they did).
With regards to the Rwandan genocide, there are generally two competing narratives. The dominant narrative has been very public: the administration (and Clinton himself) expressed time and again that they made an egregious mistake by not intervening. So, if we accept this narrative, then I think it’s fair to include the deaths that they admit that they didn’t stop.
However, if we accept an alternative narrative, presented in books like The Politics of Genocide by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, then the U.S. intervened fairly heavily. For example, according to Herman and Peterson, the United States was very involved in helping the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) assassinate Habyarimana in 1994 and then militarily conquer the country and subsequently massacre Hutus, Pygmies, and even Tutsis in reprisal killings, which, they argue, probably outnumber the 800,000 killed in the genocide. By accepting this narrative, although much more controversial, we would be able to attribute far more deaths to Paul Kagame and, by extension, Bill Clinton.
This is why I decided to include the death toll of the events in Rwanda under Clinton’s name.
Following this, Kagame and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda decided to invade Zaire in order to remove Mobutu from power. This is what is referred to as the First Congo War. As is discussed very in depth in Africa’s World War by Gérard Prunier, the U.S. very heavily backed Kagame and Museveni during the First Congo War. Prunier argues that Clinton saw an opportunity to get rid of Mobutu, of whom the U.S. was embarrassed for supporting throughout the Cold War. In fairness, pretty much everyone was in favor of ousting Mobutu in 1996/1997 and Kagame and Museveni got support from pretty much everyone except France.
Rwanda and Uganda installed Laurent-Désiré Kabila as president, who renamed the country as the Democratic Republic of Congo and who proved to be an uncooperative puppet in Kinshasa.
The Second Congo War began when Kagame and Museveni agreed to get rid of puppet #1 and try to set up puppet #2. This war, however, was much more complicated and the sides were much more convoluted – with Angola, Zimbabwe, and Sudan maintaining their support of Kabila. The big players officially took a much more hands-off approach during the Second Congo War. Nevertheless, both the RPA and the Ugandan government were able to rely on their backing of the U.S.
This is obvious, because Clinton could have roped in Kagame and Museveni (both during the genocide and the subsequent wars). Or he could have continued to give aid to the DRC. But instead he traveled himself to Rwanda in 1998 and sent officials to Kigali and Kampala after the most brutal parts of the wars. Bill Clinton could have made sure that the United Nations thoroughly investigated Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Army. But instead, he actively blocked UN investigations to continue with regards to RPA’s massacres in the Kivus and their reprisal killings.
Those are the reasons I decided to include his involvement as sharing responsibility for the deaths in Rwanda and the DRC.
Ultimately, comparing the death tolls was an exercise in showing the absurdity of “death counts” in the way they are commonly used. When I was teaching, I often heard students repeat the completely ludicrous claim that “Stalin was responsible for more deaths than Hitler”. This, of course, is nonsense. Nazi Germany, as shown by even anti-communist historians, killed many millions more than the Soviet Union.
It seems to me that a huge fallacy is being made when we decide to attribute deaths to state leaders. When we analyze deaths, both as the direct and indirect result of state policy, they need to be placed in their greater context – especially during the 20th century, where “death counts” often lead to counter-intuitive assessments.
The highest example of this is shown by Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze in their book Hunger and Public Action, where they argue that there have been more deaths from low-level hunger in India than from the largest famines under Mao and that fewer people would have died if India had pursued similar (communist) policies as the People’s Republic of China. They even conclude “that every eight years or so more people die in India because of its higher regular death rate than died in China in the gigantic famine of 1958-61. India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame.”