by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 47, No. 1, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1439)
America is not a democracy even in the limited sense that is widely understood and practiced in the West. A tiny clique of warlords and death merchants control the system. Their singular motivation in life is greed. In pursuit of this, they are prepared to rain down death and destruction on other societies. They have killed millions of people since the US emerged as a global hegemon after the Second World War in order to maintain its domination of the world.
Domination requires perpetual demonization of others. The targets may vary — Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Saddam Husayn, Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, Osama bin Laden, etc. — but the policy remains constant. Cindy Sheehan, the distraught mother whose 24-year-old son Casey was killed in the first week of his deployment to Iraq in April 2004, described the US as a one party state: the “War Party.” She saw no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. She is right but the situation is even worse than that. America is ruled by an oligarchy; the rest is pure fiction to fool the people. Unfortunately the level of ignorance among Americans is so high that they are easily fooled.
The latest proof of this phenomenon was provided on February 23 when Gallup released the findings of its survey saying 51% of Americans consider North Korea as the number one enemy of the US. Russia, China, and Islamic Iran followed in that order. Given Donald Trump’s relentless attacks against North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, and eagerly amplified by the US corporate media, this is not surprising. But the environment for perpetual war can only be created by stoking fear of the “other.”
The North Korean leader is easy to demonize because he matches the language Trump uses. Kim has referred to Trump as a “dotard” (a senile old man); Trump calls him “rocket man.” If it was limited to rhetoric, this would be tolerable, even laughable but the issue is far more serious as is evident from the recent US National Defence Strategy paper whose summary was released on January 19, 2018.
After nearly two decades of hyping the threat of terrorism, the US warlords are pivoting back to great-power rivalry. North Korea tops the list but Russia and China are right there as well. With Osama bin Laden dead and his organization al-Qaeda as well as its offshoot Da‘ish all but wiped out, the need for talking up new enemies has become necessary. “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security,” says the new National Defense Strategy.
Lest Muslims heave a sigh of relief at this new strategy, they should think again. For the US warlords, once an enemy, always an enemy. Muslims may have gone down the pecking order of enemies but they remain there and can be easily elevated if needed.
For now, it is North Korea whose nuclear program is being projected as the greatest threat to world peace. That the US has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and Trump reaffirmed his predecessor’s program to modernize the nuclear arsenal by investing $1.2 trillion is considered quite natural. North Korea has just a few nuclear weapons and they are meant to ensure its survival against US threats and possible attack. Pyongyang has reason to be wary. Both Iraq and Libya were destroyed when it became clear they did not have chemical or nuclear weapons. Besides, North Korea suffered three years of relentless US bombardment from 1950–1953 destroying 80% of the country. The US still maintains thousands of troops on the Korean peninsula that threaten the North. When the South Korean president offered an olive branch to the North and the latter accepted it, Washington condemned it. Isn’t South Korea free to make peace?
The Washington warlords want instability and chaos, not peace and tranquility anywhere in the world. Societies that are stable and free are viewed as a “threat” to US interests. Washington has a number of tools at its disposal to destabilize such societies: through “color revolutions,” military coups, and the demonization of their leaders to create the environment for war. The US does not always succeed but it is not for lack of trying.
At a time when there are more than one billion people living in absolute poverty, when multiple wars are raging in different parts of the world, the last thing the world needs is more war. Yet that is what the Washington warlords want. Their list of enemies keeps growing but their policies are not always successful as is evident from US failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and a host of other locales.
Washington will face more grief vis-à-vis North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran. Even while aware of this, the Washington gunslingers do not give up because they are addicted to war.