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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bush's Cowboy Imperialism

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Zimbabwe: Bush's Cowboy Zeal Suicidal

Reason Wafawarova

THE "international" community's image of US President George W. Bush can only be described as ugly if most of the suitable charitable terms were to be used.

International here refers to the sum total of the global citizenship on this planet and not Condoleezza Rice's idea of the international community.

Terms like bully, lunatic, cowboy, blind moron, terrorist and many such epithets have often been used to describe Bush but the question is whether Bush owes his political character to his personality or to a system whose power he can neither resist nor control.

We have talked before and will continue to talk about US imperialism as an inevitable outgrowth of capitalist competition.

The simple analysis to the monstrous system of imperialism is the basic fact that capitalists strive to maximise profits, to do so they need natural resources, cheap labour, maximum production and the transportation and selling of that produce all over the world.

This process is riddled with vicious competition from rival capitalists and to protect their interests, capitalists rely on their respective nation states or coalitions of states as exemplified by the US coalition with the West and Japan.

The capitalists, or owners of the so-called global capital, are the major driving forces behind the behaviour of the ruling political elite in the industrialised countries and they implore upon these politicians to vie for advantage in trade deals, international financial institutions, control of strategic natural resources and setting up international law.

These strategies are often either too slow or very difficult to implement worldwide and this is why, ultimately, the ability for capitalists to assert their interests rests on their state's military capabilities.

As it is right now, the US accounts for 48 percent of the world's military spending and every dollar of that is devoted to make the world safe for US capital and to sustain America as the world's largest economy.

Never mind that the politicians are tasked with the odious task of creating veils meant to give the wars a human face.

Imperial wars are, however, more complex than vehicles of simple or direct economic gain; otherwise the billions spent in Iraq would be difficult to explain.

The capitalists and their political ruling elite in the US have two major fears for which they seem ready to pay any price.

Firstly, they are afraid of their rivals.

Yes, the US is still the world's largest economy but it has obviously declined in the last 35 years when compared to Japan, the European Union and of late China, which scares the US as the looming successor to the global pedestal.

China is the reason behind most of US efforts in the much acclaimed "war on terror" which must rightly be called "war of terror".

US imperial interests demand that they surround China with strategic military bases and Afghanistan and Iraq are suitable for such purposes if the US scores the unthinkable and post elusive victories in the current conflagrations in the two countries.

The grand plan has always been to capture the two countries and then create Rice's "new Middle East" which for now looks nothing more than the rubble of the old one.

Victories in Iraq and Afghanistan would come with increased US domination in the Middle East and more control and access to the region's oil, so much relied upon by the US's competitors in Europe and China.

Such access to oil would enable the US to wield oil as another weapon in its imperialist offensive.

No need for reminders, the game plan has been torn to shreds by valiant Iraqis who resolutely deny the US any semblance of victory.

Secondly, the US ruling elite is afraid of the emergence of mass imperialist struggles which, if unchecked, can easily destroy US domination in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and possibly spread to the population of the US itself.

This fear is the reason why Rice has repeatedly said she is concerned about Hugo Chavez's rule and exactly the same reason she said Zimbabwe poses "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States".

Zimbabwe and Venezuela's people-oriented policies are often described as "unsound" by the likes of Australia's Alexander Downer.

They are "unsound" because they are extremely unsafe for imperial authority, especially as they carry the scary potential of global mass uprisings.

Naturally Rice shudders to imagine 10 more Mugabes in Africa and 10 more Chavezs in Latin America and she has cause to be concerned, at least from an imperialist point of view.

This fear of resistance and uprisings against imperial authority is what drives Bush to "stay the course" in Iraq because in his own words a defeat in Iraq is "a collapse of the Iraqi government" and that kind of failure "would be a disaster for the United States".

Bush has also argued that Iraq "must be viewed in a context larger than just that single battlefield. It must be viewed in the context of how Iran reacts. It must be viewed in the context of democracies like Lebanon and the Palestinian territories -- all being . . . attacked by the same type of extremists that are attacking the democracy in Iraq".

Only the Devil knows what Bush means by a democracy in Iraq and, of course, he cares so much for Lebanese democracy that he ordered and backed its bombing by Israel in mid last year.

He cares so much for Palestinian democracy that he has enforced a boycott of the elected Hamas government.

His weird care for the region's democracy aside, Bush is actually worried that if the US were driven out of Iraq, then their departure will be followed by an immediate toppling of all US-installed lapdog regimes in the Middle East.

This is the quagmire that has made Bush look the fool he is.

This should partly answer why, despite all that has happened since 2003, despite having all their lies exposed, despite all the opposition to the war, despite losing more than 3 000 troops and even despite the admission from Bush that "we are not winning the war", Bush's new Iraq policy is to escalate a bloody lost war by throwing in an additional 21 500 troops into the dying field.

Iraq was not invaded for anything close to all that has been given as the pretext for the occupation.

It was invaded according to the demands of the "Project for a New American Century" that was crafted by the US rightwing think-tank in 2000 with the recommendation that "America's grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible".

The grand strategy is implemented through a sabre-rattling foreign policy backed up by complete military supremacy and this is the strategy that controls George W. Bush.

The man is merely a "thing" sitting in the president's chair and running the show according to the demands and dictates of the powerful imperialist system that owns the empire whose highest office he happens to occupy.

It would appear like George W. Bush's cowboy zeal to obey the system has led him to push the imperialist crusade to the rocks and the man has forgotten to carry with him life jackets and we might as well be coming to a turning point where yet another empire is going to collapse the way other empires collapsed before, because of errors and internal weaknesses.

Reason Wafawarova is a Zimbabwean living in Australia.


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