The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East

The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East

The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East

The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East

Synopsis

This book provides a unique conception of US empire building, linking overseas expansion with:

1) the growth of a police state and declining living standards;
2) advanced technologically driven global spying on adversaries and allies with declining economic competitiveness and military defeats;
3) large scale, long term commitments of economic and military resources to wars in the Middle East to the detriment of major corporate interests, but for the benefit of a pariah state, Israel; and
4) the power of a foreign state (Israel) over US policy via its domestic pro-Zionist power configuration.

The interplay of these four specific features of US empire building has no past or present precedent among imperial states. Because of Israeli-Zionist influence on US imperial policy, the main targets and objectives of imperial wars are located in the Middle East. The objectives of Israeli and Zionist- influenced US policy in the Middle East is to enhance Israeli regional power and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. The trillion dollar cost of US wars for Israel, however, has alienated the vast majority of US society and driven a wedge between the political elite backing new wars for Israel, and the public prioritizing of domestic economic welfare. This study highlights how the domestic foundations of empire building have deteriorated and forced the imperial presidency to modify its approach, seeking diplomatic negotiations over new military interventions, specifically in the cases of Syria and Iran.

Imperial politics is viewed as a multi-sided power struggle between military and economic elites, Israel and the Zionist power configuration, overseas resistance movements and nationalist regimes, and the US public. The resolution of this power struggle is more than an academic question; it will determine whether the US will become a full blown police state, ruled by the pawns of a racist-colonial state engaged in endless wars or return to its roots as an independent democratic republic “free of foreign entanglements”.

Excerpt

Following the Vietnam War, US imperial intervention passed through several phases: In the immediate aftermath, the US government faced a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese liberation forces and was under pressure from an American public sick and tired of war. Imperial military interventions, domestic espionage against opponents and the usual practice of fomenting coups d’état (regime change) declined.

Slowly, under President Gerald Ford and, especially President ‘Jimmy’ Carter, an imperial revival emerged in the form of clandestine support for armed surrogates in Southern Africa—Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau—and neoliberal military dictatorships in Latin America. The first large-scale imperial intervention was launched during the second half of the Carter Presidency. It involved massive support for the Islamist uprising against the secular government of Afghanistan and a mercenary jihadist invasion sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US (1979). This was followed by direct US invasions in Grenada (1983) under President Reagan; Panama (1989) and Iraq (1991) under President Bush Sr. and Yugoslavia (1995 and 1999) under President Clinton.

In the beginning, the imperial revival involved low cost wars of brief duration with few casualties. As a result there were very few voices of dissent, far diminished from the massive anti-war, anti-imperial movements of the early 1970s. The restoration of direct US imperial interventions, unhindered by Congressional and popular opposition, was gradual in the period 1973–1990. It started to accelerate in the 1990s and then really took off after September 11, 2001.

The imperial military and ideological apparatus for direct intervention was firmly in place by 2000. It led to a prolonged series of wars in multiple geographical locations, involving long-term, large-scale commitments of economic resources, and military personnel and was completely unhampered by congressional or largescale public opposition—at least in the beginning. The ‘objectives’ of these serial . . .

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