On February 26, 2021, imperial President Joe Biden ordered the bombing of “Iranian backed militias” in Syria. Biden’s action was rationalized as “retaliation” for rocket attacks on American troops in Iraq that killed a mercenary contractor and injured a U.S. soldier.
Missing from coverage in the corporate media was any mention of the illegal U.S. military occupation of Iraq and Syria. The occupation was simply airbrushed from discussion. By so doing, reality is inverted. Victim is portrayed as aggressor and aggressor as victim.
From the standpoint of international law, aggressive military action taken by occupation forces cannot be termed self-defense. Yet political elites and media propagandists finesse basic truths by detaching U.S. forces from the context of illegal invasion and occupation. They assume the military has a ‘right’ to be deployed anywhere in the world.
Paradoxically, the militias assaulted by the United States have been fighting ISIS, once again exposing the ‘war on terror’ as a massive lie. The same militia forces Biden attacked were once led by Iranian General Soleimani, who was assassinated by Trump, further demonstrating the genuine purpose of military deployment which is to destabilize regimes targeted as unfriendly, meaning not subservient to the Washington.
Almost simultaneously, the Biden administration signaled that there would be no punishment of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was identified by the CIA as having given the order to assassinate Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Also, unsurprisingly, the Biden administration announced that it would appeal a British magistrate’s decision not to extradite Julian Assange to the United States for prosecution under the espionage act. Assange languishes in a British prison pending the appeal. His transgression? Exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq.
The pattern is clear. Any action that supports U.S. global hegemony is justified, while any opposition is criminalized and repressed.
The core mission of the American terror state is to make the world safe for U.S. corporate profiteering. A corollary imperative is to prevent any challenge to U.S. global domination.
First, the United States is a permanent warfare state that fights perpetual wars for perpetual profits. The profits accrue to the “merchants of death” who sell their wares within the iron triangle of a military-industrial-complex that guarantees a massive return on capital investments. The process is known as “military Keynesianism.” Corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Boeing provide the arms for a global military empire to defend the global corporate empire. Profits also flow to members of congress who own stock in the defense industry.
The permanent warfare state also allows profits to accumulate for corporations that exploit the world’s land, labor, and resources by protecting their access to foreign markets. Corporations such as World Mineral Inc, Peabody Energy, Rio Tinto, General Motors, Lithium Americas, AES, and Blackberry Ltd in the mineral extraction industry, Exxon Mobile, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron in the energy industry, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft in the technology industry, General Motors, Ford, and Tesla in the automotive industry, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer in the pharmaceutical industry, and Walmart, Amazon, and Costco in the retail industry all operate in the global market.
Commercial banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America in the banking industry, Wall Street investment firms led by JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley in the financial industry, and private equity firms such as The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Co, and TPG Capital in the investment management industry finance global corporate transactions.
U.S. Fortune 500 companies made $14.2 trillion in revenues during 2020 and held an estimated $2.6 trillion offshore to avoid paying taxes. The largest American corporations made billions of dollars in profits while laying off thousands of workers during the coronavirus lockdown. Billionaires Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and their cohorts increased their net worth by half a trillion dollars during a pandemic that saw 8 million people join the ranks of 38.1 million poor Americans. Another 93.6 million live close to the poverty level in the richest nation on earth.
Second, any country that wants to control its own land, labor, and resources by implementing an agenda of economic nationalism becomes a barrier to free trade, globalization, and the neoliberal economic paradigm that emphasizes privatization and deregulation of economies for the benefit of private capital. Countries that do not throw themselves open to foreign investment are punished by crippling economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Third, the neoliberal economic agenda of free market privatization drives the neoconservative political agenda of American global hegemony as justified by Bush Jr.’s “Preemptive War on Terror,” Obama’s “Humanitarian Intervention,” Trump’s “America First,” and Biden’s “Advancement of Democracy” ideologies.
Neoconservatives dominate the foreign policy establishment. Besides protecting U.S. empire, they are rabidly pro-Israel. The neocons conflate the interests of the United States with the interests of Israel, ignoring George Washington’s admonition to avoid “foreign entanglements.” They want the United States to go to war with Iran, as they understand that the destruction of resistance to Zionist colonization in Palestine can only be accomplished by defeating Tehran.
Other Middle Eastern and North African countries that supported the Palestinian cause and had large reserves of oil coveted by empire, were decimated by implementation of a neoconservative plan to attack seven Muslim countries in five years, beginning with Iraq and ending with Iran.
George W. Bush, the Texas oil man, Dick Cheney, former Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton, and a rat’s nest of neoconservatives led by Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and I. Lewis Libby decimated Iraq.
Barack Obama, the University of Chicago law professor and Nobel Peace Prize winner and neoconservative Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, destroyed Syria and turned Libya into a failed state that resulted in the enslavement of Black Africans.
Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and celebrity show host and Mike Pompeo, neoconservative war hawk and Secretary of State, continued the occupations of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, supported Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, moved the U.S. embassy to the occupied city of Jerusalem and offered the Palestinians the “Deal of the Century” that was promptly rejected.
Despite his rhetoric, Trump failed to stand-up to the military-industrial-complex by ending ongoing U.S. wars.
Finally, Joe Biden, a self-professed Zionist, supported every U.S. war to come down the pike during his tenure as U.S. senator and vice-president, making him a warmonger.
The policies of empire are planned in the corridors of the Council on Foreign Relations, Heritage Foundation, Rand Corporation, Center for Strategic and International Studies, American Enterprise Institute and a myriad array of pro-war institutes that function within the policy formulation network financed by the corporate rich.
The matrix of power in the United States is strikingly transparent. The corporate rich own the country. The political class protects their property and their empire by pursuing the interests of oligarchic masters as defined by ‘experts’ in the policy formulation network. Academic and media elites rationalize the need for an empire that is never called by its proper name.
The costs of empire paid by the American people are staggering.
A study conducted by the Watson Institute of International & Public Affairs at Brown University concluded that the United States has spent $6.4 trillion on war since 9/11.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 allocated $740 Billion for the military and prohibited President Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Joseph Biden works within in the same institutional framework that enmeshed his predecessor. The Biden administration is considering troop re-deployment to confront Russia and China. But no return of troops to the United States is contemplated.
The United States currently has over 1.3 million active-duty troops, with 450,000 stationed on over 800 military bases in 70 countries around the world. Special military operations are being conducted in 141 countries. U.S. global military presence escalated under both the Obama and Trump administrations.
As U.S. military presence increases around the world, so do the crimes of empire. Obama prosecuted drone warfare that killed approximately 5,000 innocent civilians. Trump escalated drone strikes. Obama launched 1,878 attacks during his eight years in office. Trump ordered 2,243 strikes during his four-year tenure in the White House while concealing deaths that occurred as the result of attacks.
Since 9/11 the U.S. has killed an estimated 6 million people in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen. At least 37 million people have been displaced by U.S. wars. The U.S. has bombed 9 countries since 9/11 adding to the list of 24 other nations it bombed after World War II. Exactly 80 countries have been subjected to U.S. counter-terrorism operations during the “war on terror.” Behind the statistics lies an ocean of human suffering.
The monumental questions of peace and war in the United States will not be decided by an election. They will ultimately be decided by a revolt. The shell-game of American politics wherein populist rhetoric is used to conceal plutocratic governance is bankrupt.
The United States is a militarized terror state. The magnitude of violence perpetrated by the U.S. government has become so routine that perpetual war is normalized. The question remains, how long will the American people continue to be slaves of a terror state?