“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
“The American Empire has become the world’s greatest threat, not only to peace but – thanks to its military-industrial-Wall Street-complex – to prosperity, and to the environment as well. The empire has become the world’s greatest weapon of mass destruction.”
July 15, 2017
The scale of human suffering wrought by Western imperialism is of such magnitude that it cannot possibly be quantified. In more recent times, since the end of the Second World War, words such as ‘progress,’ ‘civilization,’ and ‘democracy’ have been used to justify what has been a perennial state of conflict and instability. In every part of the world this imperialist juggernaut, led by Washington, has made its oppressive presence felt, undermining and destabilizing governments in the cause of an empire that wears the garb of democracy but which, just like every empire there has been, is rooted in power and greed.
When NATO was established in 1949, it was in the context of a Cold War that pitted the Soviet bloc against a Western alliance in a struggle defined by two antagonistic economic systems and their accompanying ideologies – capitalism and communism. It was a global struggle which lasted over four decades. One that brought the planet close to nuclear Armageddon in the early 1960s and spawned a series of proxy conflicts throughout the developing world, as countries such as Korea, Vietnam, Angola and Nicaragua emerged from decades of Western/US colonial and imperialist domination to assert their right to self-determination.
The Western, or capitalist, bloc was and remains dominated by the United States, which, despite unleashing an ocean of propaganda designed to associate itself with words and concepts such as ‘liberty’, ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights,’ is a nation that has extended itself in destroying liberty, undermining democracy and violating human rights in every corner of the globe.
As the author William Blum puts it in the preface of the 2014 edition of his bestselling and classic work, Rogue State: A Guide To The World’s Only Superpower, “The American Empire has become the world’s greatest threat, not only to peace but – thanks to its military-industrial-Wall Street-complex – to prosperity, and to the environment as well. The empire has become the world’s greatest weapon of mass destruction.”
The real motive behind Washington’s drive for global dominance was provided by George Kennan, the US State Department mandarin credited with devising the policy of containment vis-à-vis the Soviet Union after the Second World War, which he laid out in an internal memo in 1948: “We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth,” Kennan writes, “but only 6.3 percent of its population…Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity.”
Maintaining the enormous but contracting disparity of wealth that Washington still enjoys today underlays its foreign policy in our time. NATO’s role in this regard is a sword to advance US foreign policy and economic interests around the world rather than the shield designed to protect and uphold democracy its adherents assert. It is less an alliance of equals, and more a network of client states prepared to do Washington’s bidding in return for a few crumbs from its table. In the process, it allows nations such as the UK and France to present themselves as strategic heavyweights when in truth they are strategic lightweights, former colonial powers that have attached themselves to Washington’s coattails in what counts as a shameful exercise in vassalage.
The latest US vassal to allow its territory to be used as a base for US military assets is Romania, which has just been cleared to proceed with the purchase of a Patriot missile defense system from Washington in a deal worth $3.9 billion. Announcing the deal the euphemistically named Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, “The proposed sale of the Patriot system will support Romania’s needs for its own self-defense and support NATO defense goals.”
This latest deployment of a US missile defense system in Eastern Europe comes as part of an ongoing strategy to place a military cordon sanitaire around Russia, which, in conjunction with economic sanctions, is designed to punish it for refusing to accept its preordained place as a defeated power. How dare you, Moscow, assert the right to follow an independent foreign policy? How dare you resist and contest our hegemony in Europe and the Middle East? And how dare you deign to consider itself an equal of the Empire?
Only the most naïve and gullible could accept that Russia is being subjected to the kind of military pressure it has been in recent years for any reason other than its emergence as a strategic counterweight to NATO/Western hegemony. This is the same NATO responsible for the murder of Yugoslavia and Libya, countries and societies that have been on the receiving end of NATO’s ‘democracy bombs’ and suffered catastrophic consequences.
The very existence of NATO is an affront to justice. It is an instrument of US imperial power masquerading as a military alliance committed to upholding and defending democracy. Its entire purpose is to help maintain a status quo that is underpinned by a lack of democracy ‘between’ states, doing so in the cause of a US superpower whose decline is evident in the upsurge of military aggression and saber rattling which the world has witnessed of late, buttressed by a political process in Washington that is currently in meltdown.
“Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.