imperialism

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Manufacturing Dystopia: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 13/09/2021 - 10:27am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/cbccb02d6d20efd5cdab51f534b48868/href

We live in a world of manufactured lack, manufactured enemies, manufactured crises and manufactured consent. We’ve had sufficient resources to care for everyone for generations. All our wars are based on lies. All our problems are cooked up by a few psychos with too much power.

Ever since he came to Australia my American husband still finds it strange to see a parrot out in the open instead of sitting in a cage. I feel much the same whenever I see George W Bush.

The capitalist class has never voluntarily returned anything it has stolen from the working class; every time it manages to give people less it never reverses it, no matter how much greater profits become. Capitalism is never going to get less abusive. It will only grow more so.

If there were good billionaires they wouldn’t still be billionaires.

It’s impossible to be a good billionaire, not just because it’s immoral to remain that wealthy in a world full of need and because all billionaires are parasitic middlemen siphoning the profits off other people’s labor, but also because in order to obtain that much wealth you generally have to manipulate the actual movement of human civilization to your benefit in some way.

“You’re anti-American!”

No I’m anti-war, anti-militarism, anti-empire, anti-ecocide, anti-oligarchy, anti-capitalism and anti nuclear brinkmanship. It just happens that the US is at the center of a globe-spanning power structure that is the worst offender on all these fronts by an extremely wide margin.

The most evil and destructive things Trump did as president weren’t the Trumpian things but the American things. The things his predecessors and his successor are also guilty of doing.

If the US empire ran out of excuses to use and test its extremely profitable military arsenal on impoverished foreigners, it would simply invent more excuses.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around, because it’s so much more profoundly evil than we’re ever taught to anticipate, but it really is an objective fact that people who make money manufacturing military weapons have a tremendous amount of influence over how and when those weapons are used. A war profiteer can pour money into campaign contributions which incentivize policymakers to push for acts of military interventionism, and pour money into think tanks and lobbying to give those policymakers an excuse to do so. This is all perfectly legal, and it happens constantly.

It’s exactly the same as murdering human beings at mass scale and selling their body parts for a tremendous profit. And it’s deemed perfectly reasonable and acceptable.

I grow continually more and more amazed at how western media get away with citing think tanks funded by governments and defense contractors to promote imperialist propaganda. If everyone understood that they do this constantly and what that means, it would end the mass media.

The real heroes of 9/11 were those precious few who immediately took a stand against the jingoistic hysteria that swept across public consciousness and opposed the horrors the western empire was about to unleash upon the world.

History seldom vindicates the peacemongers. Not because they aren’t right, but because history is written by warmongers.

Covid could just as easily have been used to transfer wealth from the wealthiest to the poorest and pay people to voluntarily stay home and to take the vaccine. Instead it’s seen a massive wealth transfer to the very wealthiest, and vaccine mandates that will hurt the poorest.

We’re a few months out from seeing American libertarians angrily sharing around a video of police beating an unvaccinated Black person for noncompliance with some new authoritarian law, and seeing liberals in the comments cheering for the police.

Don’t look to other leftists to figure out how to think about a given issue, look at the values and priorities which led you to the left in the first place. The group consensus and your most deeply held values will not always be in alignment.

Humanity is deeply insane, even the parts of humanity which align with your ideological preferences. For this reason it’s never a safe bet to go along with the consensus positions of your ideological faction instead of figuring things out on your own based on your own values.

There are a lot of people who correctly ask “who benefits?” whenever there’s a potential false flag event yet fail to ask who might benefit from a religion that glorifies poverty, meekness, humility, docility, and rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

True humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, and it isn’t thinking of yourself less. True humility is the deep, all-pervading insight that the very phenomenon we call “self” is pure illusion.

You just have to wonder how much of a mass-scale psychological pummelling human consciousness can take before it snaps. And you have to wonder what might lie on the other side of that snap. Maybe something bad. But maybe something very, very good.

It’s a tricky tightrope walk the oligarchs have to do, making sure they don’t steal too much of our wealth and freedom all at once so we don’t rise up and take it back. It’s easy to forget that we’re actually the ones with all the power here. Only problem is we don’t yet know it.

They’re more afraid of you than you are of them. It’s true of spiders, snakes, and oligarchic imperialists.

_______________________

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Only the World's Workers Can Save Us from a Capitalist Cataclysm

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 9:10pm in

Afghanistan: The USA and its Allies Retreat

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 9:01pm in

image/jpeg icontaliban2021.jpg

The US military were not due to completely exit the country until the end of this month, yet they have been overwhelmed by the speed of the Taliban takeover. Our aim here is to give an update amidst all the commentary and propaganda floating about since.

read more

9/11 horror triggered new wave of US terrorism and war

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 1:48pm in

Western leaders often declare that the world changed forever on 9/11. The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington caused incredible shock and killed around 3000 people. But what 9/11 represented more than anything was the violence the US had inflicted worldwide for decades coming home.

The US response was to launch further conflicts as part of a “war on terror”. Alongside this came a frenzy about the supposed threat from “Islamic terrorism” that created a new wave of racism against Muslims and Arabs.

Twenty years on, the lead-up to the anniversary was marked by a further humiliation for US imperialism. As it retreated from Afghanistan, the government it had installed disintegrated.

This symbolised the failure, as well as the bloody cost, of the wars the US launched after 9/11. The Australian government was an enthusiastic backer as the only country apart from the UK to send troops as part of the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

As the dominant global military power after 1945 the US took upon itself the right to rain destruction on any country that stood in its way. In Vietnam it killed three million people, including through indiscriminate “carpet bombing”. In 1991, when it invaded Iraq for the first time, it killed over 100,000 civilians and military conscripts. Then it bombed the country virtually every day for the next 12 years. US sanctions on basic medicines killed more than half a million children.

The US fuelled other wars through funding armed groups to destabilise governments it disliked, including the death squads unleashed on central America like the Nicaraguan Contras.

Academic Chalmers Johnson described the 9/11 attacks as “blowback” from the history of US intervention globally. Osama Bin Laden, who staged the attacks, had begun his career with the Afghan mujahideen fighting the Russians—another operation the US funded.

In 2001, Al Qaeda struck at symbols of American power, in New York’s financial centre and the Pentagon building. The US wanted revenge.

Its first target was Afghanistan, where it accused the Taliban of harbouring Bin Laden and his network. The Taliban were toppled after 72 days. Around 1000 civilians were killed by US bombs and up to 20,000 died from displacement and starvation.

US President George W Bush moved quickly to launch another war against Iraq. His officials had discussed invading Iraq in the days following 9/11, debating how to link Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein to the terrorist attacks. Millions saw through the lies that Iraq possessed “weapons of mass destruction”, with an enormous worldwide anti-war movement.

A new American century?

The Bush administration saw 9/11 as an opportunity to cement US global dominance for decades to come. Key figures including Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were part of a gang of Republican Party figures associated with the think-tank Project for a New American Century. They argued that the US needed to use its military power more aggressively to ensure it could never be rivalled by a potential competitor.

This was echoed in the Bush administration’s National Security Strategy document which endorsed unilateral US military action in order to “dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in the hopes of surpassing, or equalling, the power of the United States”.

It was a response to growing US weaknesses. After the Second World War the US economically dominated the world, with half of global manufacturing. Today it has declined in relative terms, commanding about a quarter of global production and rapidly losing ground to China.

But the US gamble on using its military strength to bolster its position has backfired disastrously.

The US strategy showed the continuation of imperialism in the 21st century.

The classical Marxist theory of imperialism, produced to explain the First World War by Nikolai Bukharin, showed how the major powers divided the world between themselves, to advance the interests of the large capitalist firms within each state. It was an outgrowth of capitalist competition for control of markets and raw materials.

Imperialism is not simply a system where the largest states dominate weaker states, but one of competition between the major powers. This remains true today, with the US focused on maintaining its dominant position against China and Russia, as well as attempting to push allied powers in Europe and Asia to work alongside it.

The US has written the rules of the global economic order since 1945 and wants to maintain this framework, allowing it to dominate the global economy.

US imperialism’s defeat

Invading Iraq was meant to give it control of the country’s vast oil reserves. It was to be the first of a series of military adventures. In early 2002 George Bush listed an “axis of evil” in the US’s sights, including Iran and North Korea.

Toppling Iraq’s Saddam Hussein proved easy. But disastrous mismanagement combined with a popular resistance movement eventually humbled the superpower.

Almost immediately, there was armed resistance to the US occupation. The city of Fallujah was one of the first to rise up, after US troops shot 13 people at a protest in April 2003. The US laid siege to the city, sealing at least 30,000 civilians inside as they bombed medical clinics and unleashed illegal white phosphorus explosives.

The US regained control of the country only through encouraging vicious sectarian divisions between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Up to a million Iraqis died in the violence that resulted.

But it failed to secure the pliant puppet regime it wanted. The result strengthened Iran, a long-term US adversary, which gained significant influence over the new Iraqi government.

The sectarian system the US left led to the rise of Islamic State, which briefly overran large areas of the country.

US imperialism has been left far weaker. Its failures in Iraq and Afghanistan have exposed the limits of its military power. The wars cost it $6.4 trillion with little to show for it.

Meanwhile the Chinese economy continued to grow through the global economic crisis after 2008 while the US hit the skids. China has also handled the COVID crisis far better than the US, where 650,000 have died.

Yet a weakened US, increasingly desperate to maintain its position, is only more dangerous. Its military power still outpaces that of any other country.

US President Joe Biden has continued Donald Trump’s confrontational approach towards China, declaring, “We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off.” He has moved to strengthen military alliances with its neighbours, including Japan, India and South Korea. Naval patrols around the disputed areas of the South China Sea are increasing.

The US military is repositioning its forces to face China. Biden explicitly defended the decision to quit Afghanistan as necessary “to focus on the challenges that are in front of us” with an “increasingly assertive China”.

As it did over the past 20 years, the Australian government is urging on the conflict, talking up the prospect of war and pursuing its own arms build-up. It wants an expanded alliance with the US to lock the superpower into aggressive military action in our region.

This is only increasing the prospect of a major conflict between two nuclear-armed states. Just as the left did over Afghanistan and Iraq, we need to oppose this new drive to war and the racism and xenophobia that comes with it.

Twenty years of Islamophobia and the “war on terror”

In the aftermath of 9/11, world leaders were quick to blame “Islamic terrorism”. Islam as a whole was depicted as a “backward” or “violent” religion and all Muslims treated as suspect.

This served to justify the wars in the Middle East. Instead of recognising terrorism as a result of US policies that had devastated the region, Western leaders claimed they were the result of an evil ideology opposed to “Western values”.

Then Prime Minister John Howard accused the Muslim community in Australia of failing to “integrate” and claimed that “extremism” among Muslims was “not a problem that we have ever faced with other immigrant communities”. The Liberals claimed refugees arriving by boat, mostly from the Middle East, could be terrorists, using this to justify racism and anti-refugee policies.

Howard admitted that most Muslims had nothing to do with terrorism. But he continued to tar them all by claiming terrorism was a product of Islam and demanding that Muslim leaders do more to prevent it.

In late 2005 this led to the shocking racist riot at Cronulla beach, where Lebanese Australians were physically attacked by a racist mob. John Howard’s responded by claiming there was no “underlying racism” in Australia.

The Islamophobia has never stopped. After the emergence of Islamic State in 2014, Tony Abbott launched another scare campaign about terrorism and youth “radicalisation”. Scott Morrison has done the same, declaring after a mentally ill man stabbed one person to death in 2018 that, “The greatest threat to our way of life is radical, violent, extremist Islam.” There have been continual anti-terror raids, sometimes involving hundreds of police.

All this has been accompanied by a tidal wave of media reporting designed to terrify people.

Individual racist attacks have become common. A study in 2004 showed two-thirds of Muslims had experienced abuse or violence on the street since 9/11. Surveys have consistently fond that around 40 per cent of people admit to negative feelings about Muslims.

Islamophobia will be a lasting legacy of our rulers’ response to 9/11. We need to keep fighting the racism and insist that working class people unite against the government and bosses who pose the real threat to our living standards and lives.

By James Supple

The post 9/11 horror triggered new wave of US terrorism and war appeared first on Solidarity Online.

The Biggest Lesson Learned From the US War in Afghanistan is How Little We’ve Learned

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 3:30am in

Twenty years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks, President George W....

Fresh audio product

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/08/2021 - 7:14am in

Just added to my radio archive (click on date for link):

August 26, 2021 Helen Yaffe, author of We Are Cuba!, on the country’s economic history since the 1959 revolution generally, and on the recent “pro-democracy” demonstrations specifically

Preparations for the “Next Afghanistan” Have Already Begun

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/08/2021 - 12:36am in

Now that the twenty year-long US military expedition to
Afghanistan has ended in catastrophe, the US Neocon establishment has already
begun preparations for the “Next Afghanistan”. That process begins
with blaming Joe Biden and rewriting history.

Thus, Richard Haas (President of the Council on Foreign
Relations) writes
in Project Syndicate
: “Biden
was recently asked if he harbored any regrets about his decision to withdraw
all US troops from Afghanistan. He replied he did not. He should.” As part
of his argument, Mr. Haas scare mongers prospect of a “Taliban domino
effect” whereby the Taliban takeover Pakistan.

The New York Times has also been busy
playing the blame game and rewriting history. Two days after Kabul fell, its
page one story blamed President Biden and suggested something very different
was possible: “But in his speech, Mr. Biden spent more time defending his
decision to depart Afghanistan than
the chaotic way it was carried out.”

In similar vein, another
Times story claimed
: “In several
cities, Afghan security forces put up a strong fight to stop the Taliban
advance, with videos showing exchanges of gunfire. But much more prevalent
during the Taliban’s offensive were scenes of apparent retreat by government
forces left ill-equipped to secure the country after the American withdrawal.”

The reality is
President Biden has nothing to apologize for and deserves our collective thanks
for a decision that benefits the United States but would never politically
benefit him.

The scale and speed of the collapse in Afghanistan after
twenty years of nation building and massive military engagement is not a
critique of Joe Biden. It is a damning indictment of the national security and
foreign policy establishment.

There was never going to be any other way of exit from this
misconceived imperial venture. It was something like this or be there forever.

The “Taliban domino theory” and the “Not this
way” argument are attempts by the Neocon establishment to deflect their
culpability and pave the road for the “Next Afghanistan”.

Expect more of that from those who got us into this mess and
kept us there so long. And the most dangerous among those voices are
Neocon Democrats and so-called liberal media like The New York Times, as
they give political cover and credibility to their more extreme Republican
Neocon counter-parts.

The Neocon narrative
opportunistically sprinkles the false notion of self-inflicted defeat and
humiliation, thereby rewriting history and making us feel better. That is its
toxic siren appeal. It triumphed after Vietnam. It is absolutely critical we
stop such Neocon narratives taking hold after Afghanistan or we will be
condemned to a future of more of the same.

ANZUS and the US alliance—A plan for war and regional domination

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 21/08/2021 - 8:55am in

Tags 

imperialism

The ANZUS treaty has been key to Australia’s efforts to secure US backing for its own imperialist interests in the local region, writes Miro Sandev

Australian and US warmongers will this month celebrate 70 years of the ANZUS treaty, which formalised the US-Australia alliance.

The Australian, New Zealand and US Security Treaty (ANZUS) was signed in 1951. The pact pledged that if other forces in the Pacific region attacked one of the pact countries, or their troops stationed there, they all would consider it a threat to their own security and take action.

There is a popular misconception that this treaty—and the aggressive imperialism and support for US wars that underpins it—was foisted on Australia by the US, and that Australia acts as a “lap-dog” caving in to US pressure. In fact, it was Australian officials who were more enthusiastic to secure the agreement.

The Second World War saw the US definitively surpass Britain as both the leading world power and the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific. Australia wanted a guarantee of US military support in order to advance its own interests.

The Australian government pushed continually for a security treaty with the US following the end of the war. 

While it was satisfied to secure ANZUS, Australia was also disappointed that the treaty and questions of South Pacific strategy did not seem as pressing to the US as Europe or the Middle East.

Australia had wanted an even more expansive pact, like NATO, that would see all the other pact countries automatically declare war in the event of an attack on a pact country.

The onset of the Cold War bolstered Australia’s push for the alliance, with the US and Australia in the middle of laying waste to parts of Korea by 1950, committing war crimes such as dropping napalm and destroying civilian crops. This was done in the name of countering “communism”, but the real goal was control of the region by Australia and its Western imperialist allies.

Australian imperialism

Australia developed as a settler-colonial state and an outpost of the British Empire among Asian and Pacific peoples. From the 1850s, a distinct Australian ruling class emerged with a sense of its own independent interests in the region.

The rulers of the colonies repeatedly pushed for Britain to take over more of the South Pacific, demanding the seizure of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa. In 1883 Queensland attempted to annex parts of East New Guinea on behalf of the British empire.

Britain repudiated this attempt, before agreeing to annexation the following year.

Australia operates as a sub-imperialist power, using the backing and support of a more powerful imperialist ally to dominate the immediate region—initially Britain, today the US.

But Australia’s rulers have always feared that their great power patron might lose interest and prioritise military intervention elsewhere in the world.

Because of this, they have always sought to embroil their imperialist backer deeper into the Asia-Pacific as a way of safeguarding their own interests.

The calls often heard for Australia to have a more independent foreign policy fail to see that Australia has long had its own policy—a militarism and support for war often more enthusiastic than its imperialist allies.

We are taught at school that “underdog” diggers in World War I were sacrificed by British officials, in the pursuit of British war aims. But Australia’s actions in the Pacific put paid to these national myths.

Australia’s first act in the war was to seize German-controlled New Guinea and occupy Nauru, Bougainville and other Pacific islands south of the equator. In this it was following the established principle among its rulers that these territories were part of its “defence region”, or zone of influence.

Following the war Australia received mandates on all these islands giving it control of them.

Australia also pushed to take over the Marshall, Caroline, Marianne and Pelew island groups north of the equator. The only thing that stopped this was that Britain had promised them to its ally Japan.

These are not the actions of a “lap-dog” simply following Britain into battle but show Australia’s rulers using their role in the war to further their own imperialist interests in the region.

As British military decline became obvious after the Second World War and especially after British humiliation in the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956, where the US vetoed a British invasion of Egypt.

Australia increasingly turned to the US.

Another example of Australian aggression is the dispute over West Papua. In the 1960s the Dutch colonial rulers began negotiating with the newly independent Indonesia over control of West Papua.

Australia strongly opposed Indonesian sovereignty and pressed the Dutch to maintain colonial control, even offering them military aid. Failing that, it argued that West Papua should be transferred to Australia, given that it already controlled Papua New Guinea. Australia’s rulers blatantly disregarded what the people of West Papua wanted and were determined to expand their own sphere of influence, even against the wishes of their allies.

By 1962 it became clear that the US and Britain would support Indonesian annexation.

The US was desperate to bring Indonesia into the anti-communist axis and use it as a bulwark against China. As racist US officials said in a National Security Council document: “preventing a communist Indonesia was much more important than who got control of a few thousand square miles of cannibal land”.

Despite Australia’s failure, the episode showed how the Australian ruling class is always concerned to push its own particular imperialist interests.

Vietnam

Their rejection over West Papua caused disappointment among Australia’s rulers and was a factor in Australian involvement in the Vietnam War.

The 1950s and 1960s saw large swathes of the region torn apart by imperialist rivalries and suppression of independence movements. The Malayan Emergency saw Australian troops join British forces to suppress Malaysian pro-independence forces led by communists. The US refused to commit troops.

Australia’s rulers became concerned to ensure the US would place its military between Australia and perceived threats to its North.

They were therefore keen to be seen as enthusiastic contributors to the US war in Vietnam, in the hope this would ensure a more favourable US response in future disputes in the region.

This desire to draw in the military might of the US to the region drove Australia’s gung-ho attitude over Vietnam.

Far from being a reluctant satellite following its master, Australia lobbied its great ally to step up its military intervention and enthusiastically offered Australian military support.

Australian policy was premised on the need to, “ensure that the United States did not waver in its commitment to South East Asia and to support the American presence politically, diplomatically and if necessary militarily”, as the Department of Foreign Affairs put it.

Australia pressured the US to step up its bombing campaign against North Vietnam. As early as January 1965 Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies said Australia would support the US militarily if “pre-emptive landings” became necessary. Australia offered Australian troops in advance of any request. Menzies even said Australia was “looking for a way in, and not a way out”.

Both here, in Afghanistan after 2001 and in the Iraq War of 2003, Australia was determined to make sure it had troops on the ground alongside the US.

Although Australia’s calls for war were strident, its troop deployments were modest in comparison to the number committed by the US.

Nevertheless, the way Australia lobbied the US to step up its military involvement and preemptively offered its own troops shows that it is not just a compliant “US lackey” being dragged reluctantly into war. These were the self-interested moves of a middle power with its own imperialist goals.

Drums of war

The same desires to secure Australia’s “defence region” drive the belligerence towards China and Australia’s actions in the region today.

The ANZUS treaty has only ever been invoked once, by John Howard after 9/11 and this was mostly a stunt. Despite this, the US remains Australia’s main security patron in the region and the US alliance is still crucial for the Australian ruling class agenda of dominating the South Pacific.

In the last four years Trump introduced instability and confusion into the US system of alliances, much to the dismay of the US ruling class.

Biden is trying to patch this up and rebuild US leadership in overseeing the “rules-based order”. This is code for the economic and legal framework based on the military power of the US and its allies, and helps further entrench that power.

Australia has a huge stake in this order as it provides the framework in which it can throw its own weight around in the region. China’s goal of diluting US influence in the region is a challenge to this.

While the huge volume of trade with China is important for Australian capitalism, even more important is maintaining US hegemony in the region and the benefits it brings.

This is reflected in Morrison’s increasing belligerence toward China, citing the growing competition between the US and China as the defining issue of the day and calling on the G7 group of Western powers to take a harder stance against the growth of China’s influence.

The G7 meeting in June issued the strongest condemnation yet of China’s “non-market policies and practices”, much to Morrison’s delight.

Defence minister Peter Dutton and other Australian officials are beating the drums of war and have called for more US bases and troops in Australia.

All of these moves increase the prospect of war.

Australia’s rulers have proven time and again they will trample over people’s desires for peace, freedom and equality in their bid to expand their sphere of domination.

We need to end the US alliance and unite with ordinary people across the Asia Pacific to fight the drive to war and challenge the capitalist system that produces it.

The post ANZUS and the US alliance—A plan for war and regional domination appeared first on Solidarity Online.

The Oligarchic Empire Is Actually Simple And Easy To Understand

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/08/2021 - 12:14am in

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/701fe4358b53410fe791ca1fab506a4d/href

If you’re like me and spend entirely too much time on Political Twitter you may have recently observed a bunch of people saying you shouldn’t post your opinion about the Afghanistan situation unless you’re an expert who has studied the nation’s dynamics in depth. Like an empire invading a nation and murdering a bunch of people for decades is some super complicated and esoteric matter that you need a PhD to have an opinion about.

You see fairly simple abuses framed as highly complicated issues all the time by people who defend those abuses. War. Israeli apartheid. My abusive ex used to go around telling people what happened between us was more complicated than I was making it sound.

Before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor in 2018 John Bolton faced a contentious interview on Fox News where he was criticized for his role in Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and he responded that “the point I think you need to understand is, life is complicated in the Middle East. When you say ‘the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a mistake,’ it’s simplistic.”

Bolton is now among the “experts” on Afghanistan doing mainstream media tours on CNN and NPR explaining to the public that the decision to end the 20-year military occupation was a mistake.

https://medium.com/media/0a54da67cd0031e54e322c6610c81bb5/href

Yeah, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about war. It will just confuse you, because it’s far too complicated to understand. These important matters should be left to men like John Bolton, who are consistently wrong about every foreign policy issue.

This carefully promoted idea serves only the powerful, and entirely too many people buy into it. You’ll even see dedicated leftists shying away from commentary on western imperialism in favor of domestic policy because they don’t feel confident talking about something they’ve been trained to believe is very difficult and complex.

Which is silly, because war is actually the easiest aspect of the oligarchic empire to understand. Murdering people with military explosives for power and profit is plainly wrong. You don’t need to be an Ivy League university graduate to understand this, and given the track record of Ivy League university graduates on this matter it’s probably better if you are not. A globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States orchestrates murder at mass scale to ensure perpetual domination of the planet. It really is that simple.

Now, you can spend the rest of your life studying the details of precisely how this is the case, but they’re just that: details about how this dynamic is taking place. You can learn all about the various ways the oligarchic empire advances its geostrategic agendas using wars, proxy conflicts, coups, sanctions, special ops, cold war brinkmanship and the so-called “war on terror”, but you will only be discovering further details about this simple overarching truth.

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And the same is true of the other aspects of the status quo power structure: they’re meant to look complicated, but what you actually need to know about them to orient yourself in our world is fairly simple.

The systems of capitalism are very complex by design, and a tremendous amount of thievery happens in those mysterious knowledge gaps on financial and economic matters where only the cleverest manipulators understand what’s going on. But the basics of our problem are quite simple: money rewards and uplifts sociopathy. The more willing you are to do whatever it takes to become wealthy, the wealthier you will be. Those who rise to the top are those who are sufficiently lacking in human empathy to step on whoever they need to step on to get ahead.

As a result we’ve had many generations of wealthy sociopaths using their fortunes and clout to influence governmental, media, financial and economic systems in a way that advantages them more and more with each passing year. This is why we are ruled by sociopaths who understand that money is power and power is relative, which means the less money everyone else has the more power they get to have over everyone else. They’ve been widening the wealth gap further and further over the years, a trend they seek to continue with the so-called “Great Reset” you’ve been hearing so much about lately.

You can spend the rest of your life learning to follow the money, studying the dynamics of currency, banking and economics, but what you’ll be learning is more and more details about the way the dynamic I just described is taking place.

Sociopaths rise to the top, the most powerful of whom understand that things like money, governments and the lines drawn between nations are all collective narrative constructs which can be altered in whatever way benefits them and ignored whenever it’s convenient. For this reason controlling the stories the public tell themselves about what’s going on in their world is of paramount importance, which is why so much wealth gets poured into buying up media and media influence in the form of advertising, funding think tanks and NGOs, and buying up politicians with campaign contributions and corporate lobbying.

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These powerful sociopaths tend to form loose alliances with each other and with the heads of government agencies as often as possible since it’s always easier to move with power than against it. So what you get is an alliance of depraved oligarchs with no loyalty to any nation using powerful governments as tools to bomb, bully and plunder the rest of the world for their own power and profit, and using mass-scale media psyops to keep the public from rising up and stopping them.

And that’s it, really. So simple it can be summed up in a few paragraphs. Don’t let elitists use the illusion of complexity to cow you out of talking about what’s going on in your world. You can see what’s going on well enough to begin speaking out, and the more you learn the more detailed the picture will become.

Speak. You are infinitely more qualified to comment on the way power is moving in the world than the people who’ve been consistently wrong about everything throughout their entire careers yet remain widely platformed by the oligarchic media. If John Bolton gets a voice, so do you.

____________________________

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US humiliated in Afghanistan as Taliban seizes Kabul

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/08/2021 - 2:29pm in

The 20-year occupation of Afghanistan has ended in a major defeat for the US and its allies.

The Taliban’s seizure of power has left the US and its allies humiliated, scrambling to organise evacuations by air.

When US President Joe Biden announced the final US withdrawal in July, he said confidently: “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

But the 300,000-strong Afghan National Defence and Security Forces simply disintegrated in the face of Taliban advance.

The Taliban are a brutal force. But it is the violence, war crimes and corruption of the occupation over 20 years that has led to their return to power.

The bombing and invasion of Afghanistan was the US’s first response to 9/11, followed soon after with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The invasion in 2001 was presented as a “good war” that would hunt down Osama bin Laden, end terrorism, liberate Afghans from the Taliban and bring women’s rights and democracy to the country. But the reality was horrific violence and corruption.

The US spent over $2 trillion on the conflict and left around 250,000 Afghans dead, hundreds of thousands maimed and the population impoverished.

The puppet government installed by the US was a corrupt kleptocracy propped up by warlords every bit as bad as the Taliban and riddled with opportunist expatriates feeding at the trough of the occupiers.

This is why the Afghan state disintegrated in the face of the Taliban offensive. In August warlords switched sides or surrendered, demoralised troops deserted and elites fled like rats from a sinking ship.

Despite the Australian government’s professed concern for the Afghan people, for 20 years successive governments have used the cover of the “war on terror” to demonise those fleeing wars and persecution.

They continue to hold Afghan refugees in detention and have blocked the families of those here on Temporary Protection Visas from coming to join them. Scott Morrison should act now to evacuate them as part of an emergency intake of Afghan refugees.

Imperialism and the Taliban

The US invasion was a continuation of a long running history of self-interested and destructive imperialist interference.

Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the US supported and armed mujahideen fighters to curb Soviet influence, with the help of Pakistan. Militant Islamists received the strongest support.

A brutal period of civil war among the mujahideen followed the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.
The Taliban formed among displaced Afghans in Pakistani refugee camps, with the backing of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and the quiet support of the US. The Americans wanted a stable regime in Afghanistan, hoping they could run an oil pipeline through the country from central Asia.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban’s harbouring of Osama Bin Laden became the pretext for invasion. But the war in Afghanistan and the “war on terror” was part of a US plan to assert control across the whole region, establish a string of new military bases and take control of the oil in Iraq and even Iran, to cement the US as an unassailable global power.

US defeat and withdrawal from both Afghanistan and Iraq has reduced this ambition to dust and is a sign of the decline of US power.

The US toppled the Taliban when they invaded but the occupation fed their resurgence.

Rhetoric about bringing “freedom” to Afghanistan stood in stark contrast to the reality—massacres, executions and torture carried out by US, Australian and NATO forces. According to the Brereton Report into war crimes, Australian soldiers alone were complicit in the murders of 39 non-combatants.

As the conflict dragged on the US increasingly relied on indiscriminate air-strikes, which reduced US casualties but increased civilian deaths. A 2019 survey of Taliban fighters pointed out, “Airstrikes and night raids only provided fodder for the Taliban’s recruitment of new fighters.”

That year the US dropped 7362 bombs and in the first half of 2019 Afghan and US forces killed more civilians than insurgents.

Corruption

The US threw a gargantuan sum of money at the occupation, spending over $900 billion on “nation building” alone.

While this delivered some limited gains in reducing infant mortality, school attendance and economic growth, the majority of the money was swallowed up by corruption, bribery and fraud.

Analysis from a forensic accountant who worked for the US military from 2010 to 2012 shows that of 3000 Defence Department contracts worth $106 billion, at least 40 per cent ended up in the pockets of warlords, drug traffickers and corrupt Afghan officials.

The US chose as allies notorious militia and security officials accused of sexual assault, torture, corruption and murder, leaving ordinary Afghans disillusioned with the US-backed administration.

Corruption also accelerated the collapse of the Afghan army. Many of the 300,000 Afghan government soldiers fled, unwilling to sacrifice their lives for a discredited government. But others were non-existent “paper soldiers”, invented so corrupt officials could pocket their wages.

The war in Afghanistan was never a “good war”. Liberation cannot come through foreign invasion. The invasion and occupation has inflicted decades of suffering and death on the Afghan people and paved the way for the Taliban to return to power.

By Adam Adelpour

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