Paul Craig Roberts
Washington has pressured the Philippines, whose government it owns, into conducting joint military exercises in the South China Sea. Washington’s excuse is that China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries concerning island and sea rights in the South China Sea. Washington asserts that China’s territorial disputes with the like of Indonesia and the Philippines are a matter of United States’ national interests.
Washington has not made it clear what Washington’s stake is in the disputes. The reason Washington cannot identify why China’s disputes with the Philippines and Indonesia are threats to the United States is that there is no reason. Nevertheless, the undefined “threat” has become the reason Washington needs more naval bases in the Philippines and South Korea.
What this is all about is provoking a long-term cold war conflict with China that will keep
profits and power flowing into Washington’s military-security complex. Large profits flow to armaments companies. A portion of the profits reflow into campaign contributions to “the people’s representatives” in DC and to presidential candidates who openly sell out their country to private interests.
Washington is going to construct new naval bases in the Philippines and on the environmentally protected Jeju Island belonging to South Korea. Washington will waste tax revenues, or print more money, in order to build the unnecessary fleets to occupy these bases. Washington is acquiring bases in Australia for US Marines to protect Australia from China, despite the lack of Chinese threats against Australia. Bush and Obama are the leading models of the “people’s president” who sell out the people, at home and abroad, to private interests.
Why is Washington ramping up a new cold war?
The answer begins with President Eisenhower’s warning to the American people in his last public address about the military/industrial complex in 1961. I won’t quote the warning as it is available online. Eisenhower pointed out to Americans that unlike previous wars after which the US demilitarized, after World War II the cold war with the Soviet Union kept the power and profits flowing into the military/industrial complex, now known as the military/security complex. President Eisenhower said that the flow of power and profit into the military/industrial complex was a threat to the economic wellbeing and liberty of the American people.
No one paid any attention, and the military/security complex was glad to be rid of the five-star general war hero president when his second term expired. Thanks to the hype about the “Soviet threat,” the military/security complex faced an unlimited horizon of mounting profits and power as Americans sacrificed their future to the interests of those
who protected Americans from the Soviet threat.
The good times rolled for the armaments companies and security agencies for almost three decades until Reagan and Gorbachev reached agreement and ended the cold war. When the Soviet Union subsequently collapsed, the future outlook for the power and profit of the US military/security complex was bleak. The one percent was about to lose its fortunes and the secret government was about to lose its power.
The military/security complex went to work to revive the need for a massive “defense” and “security” budget. Among their willing tools were the neoconservatives, with their French Jacobin ideology and Israeli loyalties. The neocons defined America as the “indispensable people.” Such extraordinary people as Americans must establish hegemony over the world as the sole remaining superpower. As most neoconservatives are allied with Israel, the Muslim Middle East became the target of opportunity.
Muslims are sufficiently different from Westerners that Muslims are easy to demonize. The demonization began in the neoconservative publications. Once Dick Cheney had the George W. Bush regime staffed with neoconservatives, the next step was to create “threats” to Americans out of verbiage about the Taliban’s responsibility for 9/11 and about “Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” including verbal images from Bush’s National Security Advisor of “mushroom clouds” over US cities.
No one in the US government or the “free” US media or the media of the US puppet states in England, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia and South Korea was struck by Washington’s proposition that “the world’s sole superpower” was threatened by the likes of Iraq and Iran, neither of which had any offensive military capability or any modern weapons, according to the unequivocal reports of the weapons inspectors.
What kind of “superpower” is threatened by Iraq and Iran? Certainly, not a real one.
No one seemed to notice that the alleged 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians, not Afghans or Iraqis, yet it was Afghanistan and Iraq that were labeled “terrorist threats.” Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which do terrorize their subjects, are safe from having America bring them democracy, because they are Washington’s puppets, not independent countries.
As fear of nonentities swept over the population of “the world’s sole superpower,” the demands for war against “America’s enemies”–”you are with us or against us”–swept through the country. “Support the troops” plastic ribbons appeared on American cars. Americans went into a frenzy. The “towel heads” were after us, and we had to fight for our lives or be murdered in our beds, shopping centers, and airliner seats.
It was all a hoax to replace the Soviet threat with the Muslim threat.
The problem that developed with the “Muslim threat” is that in order to keep the profits and power flowing into the military/security complex, the promised six-week war in Iraq had to be extended into 8 years. The war in Afghanistan against a few thousand lightly armed Taliban has persisted for more than a decade, longer than the attempted Red Army occupation of Afghanistan.
In other words, the problem with hot wars is that the need not to win them in order to keep them going (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan are all long-term wars never won) in order that the profits and power continue to flow to the military/security complex demoralizes the US military and creates the world-wide impression that the “world’s sole superpower” cannot even defeat a few thousand insurgents armed with AK-47s, much less a real army.
In Iraq and Afghanistan more US soldiers have died from demoralization and suicides than from combat. In Iraq, the US was humiliated by having to end the war by putting the Sunni insurgents on the US military payroll and paying them to stop killing US troops. In Korea the US was stopped by an army of a backward third world country that lived on rice. What would happen today if the US “superpower’s” militarily confronted China, a country with an economy on which the US is dependent, about equal in size to the US economy, operating on its home territory? The only chance the evil in Washington would have would be nuclear war, which would mean the destruction of the entire world by Washington’s hubris.
Fortunately, profits are more important to Washington than ending life on earth. Therefore, war with China will be avoided, just as it was avoided with the Soviet Union. However, China will be presented by Washington and its prostitute media, especially the New York Times, Washington Post, and Murdoch’s collection of whores, as the rising threat to America. The media story will shift the importance of America’s allies from Europe to countries bordering the South China Sea. American taxpayers’ money, or newly printed money, will flow into the “new alliance against China.”
China’s rise is a great boon to the US military/security complex, which governs america in which there is a pretense of “freedom and democracy.” China is the profitable replacement for the “Soviet threat.” As the days go by, the presstitute media will create in the feeble minds of Americans “The CHINA Threat.”
Soon whatever little remains of the US living standard will be sacrificed to Washington’s confrontation with China, along with the seizure of our pensions and personal savings in order to deter “the China threat.”
If only Americans were an intelligent people. Then they might have some prospect of holding on to their incomes, remaining wealth, and liberty. Unfortunately, Americans are so thoroughly plugged into the Matrix that they present as a doomed people, incapable of thought, reason, or ability to comprehend the facts that the rest of the world sees clearly.
Can reality be brought to the American people? Perhaps a miracle will occur. Stay tuned.
This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts’ new website Institute For Political Economy. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Donations are much appreciated.
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