Posted 9 months ago on July 22, 2014, 1:10 a.m. EST by LeoYo
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US Empire Reaches Breaking Point: Time to End It
Monday, 21 July 2014 10:47
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance | Op-Ed
This is Part I of a two part series on American Empire. Part II will focus on the Empire Economy and how it is failing to work for most Americans as well as most people of the world.
The historian who chronicles US Empire,William Blum, issued his 130th Anti-Empire Report this week. In it he notes that the US, by far, is seen by the people of the world as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” with 24% taking that view. Only 2% see Russia as such a threat, and 6% see China.
This should not come as a surprise since, as this map shows, much of the world has been bombed, had their democratically chosen government overthrown and has been occupied by the United States. Blum follows these interventions closely and has reported that since the end of World War II, the United States has: Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries, according to Chapter 18 of his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower.
It seems the people of the world are factually correct when they label the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world.
Yet, despite this mass public opinion about the United States, US leaders seem oblivious. As Blum points out, Secretary of State John Kerry said: “In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”
And, potential future leaders show support for the path of military intervention. The Republican Vice Presidential candidate in 2012, Paul Ryan (R-WI) said: “We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.” And the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has said “The United States can, must, and will lead in this new century.”
A more accurate appraisal comes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Vietnam era when he said: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I cannot be Silent.” The people of the United States must follow the lead of Dr. King and work to end the interventionist violence of the United States Empire.
Reviewing the Hottest Spots in US Empire
The US is involved in military disputes around the globe, conflicts which could lead to a much broader war. The US role seems to encourage violence, rather than minimize it; to intervene, rather than allow people in the country or region resolve disputes. The breadth of Empire is costly in financial and human terms as well as to the respect of the United States and its people. Is the US Empire spread so thin at a time of a struggling economy that this is a moment where people can come together and build a movement to end Empire?
There are multiple hot spots where US Empire is participating, supporting and approving of escalating violence. Here’s a quick review:
Israel-Palestine: Even before its founding Israel was entangled with violence – the violence of removing Palestinians from their homes to create the “Jewish State.” Former Secretary of State and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Alexander Haig perhaps most honestly described what Israel is to the United States when he aptly called Israel America’s “unsinkable battleship in the Middle East.”
The US battleship Israel is now involved in another slaughter of the Palestinian people of Gaza. We could write this entire article on the atrocities of this attack and the lies on which it is based, but we will be brief (for more see here). As we write this article, Israel is expanding the ground invasion of Gaza moving from the “iron dome to the iron fist.” The last time there was a ground attack on Gaza was January, 2009 during Operation Cast Lead when 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, were killed.
The government of the United States supports Israel at all costs. Even when Israel kills children playing on a beach, the United States incredibly blames the Palestinians. The US never talks about the people of Gaza defending themselves from daily brutalization by Israel – that has gone on for decades – but always talks about Israel having the right to defend themselves. Social media is helping to show the reality of this manipulated and lopsided conflict. The veil is lifting.
As is common in military intervention hot spots, the US and Israeli public are treated to false, inaccurate and biased reporting. One recent effective propaganda ploy reported widely in the US was the so-called cease fire brokered by the anti-Hamas government of Egypt with Israel. The Palestinians were not part of the negotiations and it would have reduced their rights, but Israel used the failure as an excuse to expand their war to a ground invasion. Imagine if the tables were turned and Syria negotiated a cease fire with Hamas that gave Hamas all it asked for – would Israel agree? Here’s the truth about the phony propaganda cease fire.
Major media outlets have been caught in lies and misrepresentations. ABC News may have been the most blatant when it showed video of Palestinians running for their lives and said they were Israelis. ABC was forced to admit the obvious lie, but that does not change their bias. The NY Times was caught changing the headline about the horrific killing of four young Palestinian boys playing on the beach. The pro-war bias of the Times is evident on many fronts of war. NBC has also become embroiled in controversy around its reporting as it removed a journalist who has been reporting on what is occurring in Gaza, and who witnessed the four children being killed by Israel at the beach just before the ground invasion began. The pressure grew so quickly that NBC was forced to reinstate the reporter. It is evident the US media cannot be trusted when it comes to their reporting on what is actually occurring in Palestine.
There have been protests throughout the United States (see e.g. Boston, Detroit, Washington, DC at the White House as well as the Israeli Embassy) and around the world. This week, when local politicians expressed their fealty to Israel in New York City, protesters showed up to express a different viewpoint. In addition, students are organizing protests across the country and the international boycott and divestment movement against Israel grows.
Ukraine: We have been reporting on developments in Ukraine for over a year. And, as with Israel there have been many instances of biased reporting in the US media. Robert Parry writes that “MSM outlets have been feeding Americans a highly biased narrative of the crisis non-stop from the beginning.” He points to the failure of the media to report on the right wing extremist role in the new Kiev government, describing the Russian “invasion” of Crimea – an invasion where no troops crossed the border, the harsh austerity plan agreed to by the new US supported leaders, the failure to report a secret visit to Ukraine by the head of the CIA among other false narratives and omissions.
Another important item not reported in the corporate media is that since the US supported and funded the coup of an elected president to ‘bring democracy to Ukraine,’ the two leaders chosen are consistent with US wishes. A Wikileaks document describes the president as “Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko,” and shows how he has been working as an agent of the US government since 2006. And, former intelligence official, Ray McGovern, points out how US officials were caught on a telephone call saying the current Prime Minister, Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk, a former banker, was the US choice. These two leaders have gotten Ukraine deeply into debt with Western bankers and have done as Western powers wanted including accepting major austerity requirements.
The horrible shooting down of a passenger plane seemingly by a missile is causing controversy now. We published two stories on the event, one from the NY Times and the other from Russia Today to show the stark contrast. RT reports that Kiev moved missiles that could shoot down a plane to the region and ten years ago shot down a Russian aircraft to demonstrate Kiev has the technology. This is not being reported in the US media which has ruled out the possibility that Kiev fired the missile and is debating whether Russia or the Eastern Ukrainian separatists fired the shot.
Both Kiev and the Eastern Ukranians have denied the shooting. Vladimir Putin has blamed the catastrophe on the ongoing attacks by Kiev against Eastern Ukraine and has urged a ceasefire. Obama joined in the call for a cease fire a day later. There have been aerial bombardments of Eastern Ukraine by Kiev. All the facts have not come in as we write this, so at this stage we just note the disparity in reporting. It would be wise not to make any assumptions but to wait for the evidence and certainly not use this as an excuse for direct involvement by the United States or escalation of hostilities. Putting in place a cease fire and finding a peaceful solution to the conflict is the approach we hope Ukraine takes.
Also notable is the lack of reporting on Ukraine. There are some incredible stories in the Russian media about atrocities being conducted by right wing extremists in Eastern Ukraine. We have not seen any western media deny the stories. One horrible story is of a child who was allegedly crucified by Ukrainian extremists while his mother was forced to watch and then she was dragged through the square by a tank until she died. Some describe what is occurring as genocide with the targeting of civilian buildings. International lawyer, Francis Boyle, said in an interview that the US was aiding and abetting genocide.