People are used to measure the power of a country based on its economic and military power. On this basis, no one seems to question that the USA is the first world power. But perhaps we should analyze all dimensions of today’s American power and reject false approaches driven by propaganda and financial greed rather than the facts.
A little of history:
The USA has either installed by way of coup, engineered revolution or outright military action, or propped up, financed and supported a litany of murderous dictators, while strutting the world hypocritically espousing the virtues of freedom and democracy.
In 1996, the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a huge report entitled “IC21: The Intelligence Community in the 21st Century.” One devastating paragraph read:
“The Clandestine Service is the only part of the Intelligence Community, indeed of the government, where hundreds of employees on a daily basis are directed to break extremely serious laws in countries around the world in the face of frequently sophisticated efforts by foreign governments to catch them. A safe estimate is that several hundred times every day, easily 100,000 times a year, Directorate of Operations officers engage in highly illegal activities according to foreign law that not only risk political embarrassment to the US but also endanger the freedom if not lives of the participating foreign nationals and, more than occasionally, of the clandestine officer himself.”
On other hand, as of 31 December 2010, US Armed Forces were stationed at more than 840 installations in around 150 nations. This staggering statistic shows that the USA has a military presence in over 77% of the world’s nations. One would have to ask why on earth do the Americans need to plant their troops and weapons in three-quarters of the world, if not for the purpose of having an empire and controlling the planet.
It is a matter of fact that John Stockwell, ex-CIA Station Chief who also worked for the director of the CIA under George Bush (Senior), testified before the Congress that during the Cold War era, over 6 million people have died in the CIA covert wars. The world has decried the fact that 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis in World War Two, but the grim fact that the Americans were responsible for the same number of deaths because of the CIA has been completely whitewashed. This alone proves that the USA is the biggest rogue terrorist nation in the world.
Apart from US covert political interference, there is an impressive list of US military interventions that clearly shows that the USA is by far the greatest transgressor in the world when it comes to mostly illegal interference in the affairs of other nations.
If we agreed with the above facts, and contrary to popular belief in the West, the USA hasn’t been the benevolent superpower that is intent on preserving peace and goodwill. In fact the very opposite is true. Since World War Two, the USA has committed many illegal acts of naked aggression against other nations without just cause, has overtly and covertly interfered in the internal affairs of many countries to further its interests and has overthrown many legitimately elected leaders, installing brutal fascist despots in their place.
In fact statistics show that the USA has committed more illegal acts against other nations, including illegal wars since that time, than any other nation by far. Many experts in international affairs, including renowned legal minds, have stated that hard evidence shows the USA to be by far the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.
Is the USA innately aggressive?
Sigmund Freud tried to cure Viennese women of their neuroses, and Konrad Lorenz made his reputation studying birds, but the two men shared a belief that has become lodged in the popular consciousness. The belief is that we have within us, naturally and spontaneously, a reservoir of aggressive energy. This force, which builds up all by itself, must be periodically drained off –say, by participating in competitive sports– lest we explode into violence.
This is an appealing model because it is easy to visualize. It is also false. As animal behaviorist John Paul Scott, professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University, has written: “All of our present data indicate that fighting behavior among higher mammals, including man, originates in external stimulation and that there is no evidence of spontaneous internal stimulation.” Clearly, many people –and, in fact, whole cultures– manage quite well without behaving aggressively, and there is no evidence of the inexorable build-up of pressure that this “hydraulic” model would predict.
The late Erich Fromm put it this way: “The most primitive men are the least warlike and . . . warlikeness grows in proportion to civilization. If destructiveness were innate in man, the trend would have to be the opposite.”
What is going on?
As usual you have to follow the money. For generations, it has been drummed into our heads that “free trade” is always a good thing and that truly free trade will always benefit both sides in the long run. None of our universities teach that trade can actually also be used as a brutally effective weapon of warfare and that economic warfare can bring down entire societies and countries. None would teach you that it only benefits the greed of the financial system, a very small group of white-collar criminals. And none would teach you that it is a double-edged sword.
The great idol of our time is the free trade. The free trade is a necessary social institution, but it should not be deified. It is not a god; it is a device of mortal men. If we make it an idol, we must sacrifice to it the flower of our youth in coming wars.
And I said above it is a double-edged sword. When it comes to the United States, the goal is to induce big corporations (or even entire industries) to leave the U.S. and set up shop somewhere else. The idea is that the economic infrastructure of the United States will decline while the economic infrastructure of the other nations will be built up. The jobs and wealth creation that once were a benefit to America will now benefit someone else.
Another goal is to transfer wealth from the United States to other countries. Each month the United States buys tens of billions of dollars more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from USA. Each month USA sends those big chunks of their national wealth and they send USA oil and cheap plastic trinkets which USA greedily consumes. As this continues month after month after month, the rest of the world is getting richer while the United States is becoming poorer.
In a desperate attempt to maintain the standard of living, the federal government, the state governments and even the local governments are going into insane amounts of debt. Debt is another tool of economic warfare. As USA continues to borrow trillions of dollars from the rest of the world, the ability of the United States to exert power and control over those nations diminishes.
Another one of the more enduring myths in USA society is that wars are somehow good for the economy. Many people see a great deal of evidence to support this myth, after all World War II came directly after the Great Depression. This faulty belief stems from a misunderstanding of the economic way of thinking.
The American [and European at same extent] financial system have been using during the last 70 years the political and military powers of the nation for their own benefit, as the individual citizen cannot derive any profit from the conquest of a province, engineered revolutions or outright military actions.
Where power resides?
USA military expenditures in 2013 amounted staggering $ 683 bn., while Russia’s was a “modest” $ 116 bn. China’s expenditures in the same period amounted a disclosed $ 249 bn.
But these figures, far from reflecting reality, should be read carefully. The lesson of the infamous “space pen” anecdote about NASA’s spending a small fortune to develop a ballpoint pen that astronauts could use in outer space, while completely overlooking the simple and elegant solution adopted by the Soviet space program (give cosmonauts pencils instead), is a valid one: Most part of USA’s military expenditures finish in the deep pockets of the greedy financial system, while Russian’s [and specially Chinese’s] taxpayer efforts go directly to the military.
Another aspect to consider is that investment in conventional weaponry only serves the war profiteering of US companies in limited conflicts or in the interfering in small countries, and it is absolutely useless in case of a conflict with a mayor power as China or Russia. As a clear proof we can see what is going on in Crimea as I’m writing this, or the major signal to Vladimir Putin that USA would not intervene in Syria in August 2013.
Let alone China growing assertiveness from regional claimants like Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Since 2009, China has stepped up its para-military patrols in the area, with growing reports of Chinese surveillance vessels “harassing”, among others, Filipino as well as Vietnamese ships and fishermen.
In mid-2012, the Philippines and China came dangerously close to an armed conflict over the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Equipped with superior military hardware, and backed by intensive diplomatic pressure, China eventually managed to outmaneuver the Philippines by effectively gaining control of the disputed shoal. By mid-2013, China pushed the envelope even further, with Chinese para-military vessels allegedly aiming to overrun Philippine military fortifications in the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, which is eerily close to the hydrocarbon-rich areas off the coast of the Philippine province of Palawan.
An for sure, today the Chinese leadership is also closely following the Ukrainian crisis in an attempt to anticipate possible responses to its own territorial maneuvering in the Western Pacific, which have come under “heavy criticism” by Washington.
In fact, if China today would invade Taiwan, the USA would overnight become a country with limited military power … and a calamitous economy. The West, run by a generation that believes the market is the solution to everything, suddenly would find you cannot outsource strategy; that there are situations in which the Rothschilds and Soros of the world cannot help you; and that the pursuit of legally dubious wars of conquest, by legally indefensible means, flattens the public appetite for force for a generation.
Of course the nuclear option should be considered, but apart from a possible mutual destruction, the balance here is not favorable to the U.S. The exact number of nuclear weapons in global arsenals is not known. With little exception, each of the nine countries with nuclear weapons guards these numbers as closely held national secrets. What is known, however, as for December 2012 is that the total number of Russian nuclear weapons amounts to 8,500 units, while the USA’s may have around 7,700 and China’s 250.
In the view of above facts it shouldn’t come as a surprise that much of the rest of the world absolutely hates USA. They resent its dominance and they are tired of them imposing their will on the rest of the globe. For generations, Americans have been taught to view themselves as “the good guys”, but the sad fact of the matter is that most of the rest of the world does not view them as “the good guys” anymore. In fact, there are quite a few nations out there that would actively like to do them harm.
So… where West’s power resides?
Curiously, the real power of USA [and to a greater extent of Europe] lies in its citizens. In view of all read this far, it may seem a contradiction, but it is not. The paradox is the real power of USA and the West resides, sadly, in the excessive appetite of its citizens to consume.
While the U.S. and Europe remain economically profitable for China and Russia, the illusion of being a superpower can be kept. But if an economic proxy war breaks out between the EU, USA and Russia, and China backs the latter, then we can kiss globalization goodbye … and welcome to a third world economy.
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).