I was thinking about something William Blum wrote recently. It is a lengthy quote but I feel it is important to provide it that way, so please bare with me:
Remember: The cold war ended in 1991 … the International Communist Conspiracy was no more … no more red threat … and nothing changed in American foreign policy. Since that time the US has been intervening, bombing, and overthrowing governments just as often as during the cold war. What does that tell you? It tells me that the so-called "communist threat" was just a ploy, an excuse for American imperialism.
Keep this in mind: Following its bombing of Iraq in 1991 — after the cold war was ended — the United States wound up with military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Following its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the United States wound up with military bases in Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Croatia.
Following its bombing of Afghanistan in 2001-2, the United States wound up with military bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Yemen and Djibouti.
Following its bombing and invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States wound up with Iraq.
This is not very subtle foreign policy. It’s certainly not covert. The men who run the American Empire are not easily embarrassed.
And that’s the way the empire grows — a base in every region, ready to be mobilized to put down any threat to imperial rule, real or imagined. 63 years after World War II ended, the United States still has major bases in Germany and Japan; 55 years after the end of the Korean War, tens of thousands of American armed forces continue to be stationed in South Korea.
This got me thinking along the same lines in a global context.
The main "belligerents" from World War 1 were more than those from World War 2, which were more than those during the Cold War (i.e. World War 3).
One isntructive way of viewing these global confrontations is to notice the systematic removal of competition.
This has left the fourth World War, which began immediately after WW3 with one main power targeting the entire globe. And, as Blum pointed out, our expansion has continued unabated.
In fact, our expansion is even being continued without the use of force or approval of those we are expanding upon.
Take for instance, AFRICOM. The United States African Command (sic) was created allegedly to protect and defend the continent but so far the U.S. has been unable to get a country to host us.
Rather than squash the apparently unwanted "defense" we have moved headquarters of AFRICOM to another country we have long occupied. The U.S. military has announced it will be based in Stuttgart, Germany for the "foreseeable future."
We should see this fourth World War for what it is. There is one belligerent: The U.S. Empire. And our empire is not competing with any states for military dominance. It is competing with entire populations to subvert them.
Which brings us to something the Russian anarchist, Mikhal Bakunin, wrote in The Immorality of the State:
The supreme law of the State is self-preservation at any cost. And since all States, ever since they came to exist upon the earth, have been condemned to perpetual struggle – a struggle against their own populations, whom they oppress and ruin, a struggle against all foreign States, every one of which can be strong only if the others are weak – and since the States cannot hold their own in this struggle unless they constantly keep on augmenting their power against their own subjects as well as against the neighborhood States – it follows that the supreme law of the State is the augmentation of its power to the detriment of internal liberty and external justice.
The Global Justice Movement has long recognized that the term "anti-globalization" is apropos for those who use it when speaking negatively of the movement. To present the movement as the opposite of what it is does help undermine the movement. Recognizing and building relations with others that go beyond our own man-made borders is essential if we are to effectively terminate this world war and come out victorious. And we must continually re-analyze ourselves, reflect on our mistakes and our successes, leave room for growth, and stay committed.