Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

The NSA and the End of the U.S. Empire

The scandal surrounding the NSA’s surveillance of U.S. allies is the latest evidence that the United States has grown increasingly alienated from its clients.

Inter Press Service

The linchpin of an empire is the link between two elites, one in the imperial centre, the others in the peripheries. Symmetric alliances exist, but not when there is a superpower at the centre.

The periphery elites do jobs for the centre: killing, say, in Libya or Syria, when they are asked to do so; securing the centre’s economic interests in return for a substantial cut; serving as a bridgehead culturally – called Americanisation; or delivering obedience in exchange for protection.

For this to work, the elites have to believe in the empire. They put words up front – like democracy, human rights, rule of law – serving as human shields. But the costs may be heavy, the benefits may be decreasing, they may have difficulties with restless students, working classes, other countries. Or worse: they may sense that the empire is not working, is heading for decline and fall, and want to get out.

And even if this is not the case the U.S. elites, the policy officials, may suspect it to be so, and spy on empire-alliance leaders. The director of the National Security Agency (NSA), General Keith Alexander, said the agency was asked by policy officials to discover the “leadership intentions” of foreign countries. “If you want to know leadership intentions, these are the issues,” he said.

Clear from the beginning – beyond “threats to privacy”, “they all do it”, “it was technically feasible”, and similar smoke screens. Spying on the intentions of enemy leaders – the “humint” to complement capabilities – is an obvious part of the state system. But on allies?

Look at this through Angela Merkel’s eyes. She hated East Germany’s Stasi surveillance. But they were amateurs; these people are professionals. This went unnoticed for a decade, till Edward Snowden. Imagine her rage, comparing.

And imagine the non-rage over the same in Spain: beyond Francisco Franco, yes, but Rajoy’s party is the – highly corrupt – heir to the 1939-1975 Franco dictatorship.

But just as there is an inner circle of self-appointed elites, there is an inner circle of allies that can presumably be trusted, the “Five Eyes”: UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand – Anglo-America writ large.

Who are they? A club of countries selected on a racist-culturalist basis, white and Anglo; killers of indigenous peoples all over: of native Indians in the U.S. and in Canada to a slightly lesser extent; of Aborigines in Australia and in New Zealand a little less; on the part of the UK – all over, getting the others launched on that slippery slope of genocide and sociocide.

They know this: that the world majority is the kind of people they killed, and they feel strongly that they have to keep together, distrusting non-members. But the U.S. spies on UK Labour and Parliament, and the U.S.-UK together on the other three.

Germany wants to join the club for another 5+l, like in the case of the United Nations Security Council veto powers. Race isn’t a problem, but culture is: they are not Anglo.

We would expect more spying to identify the enemy within, the more the empire declines. In what state is the empire? Not good.

In Afghanistan, the U.S. won bases and a pipeline and nothing else, and may lose both after the 2014 withdrawal.

Iran is gaining more influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, being seen as more legitimate than Saudi-Qatar and the G7 in general, with its Islamism.

In Iraq, the U.S. won bases and access to oil and seems to be losing both. And it managed to do what Iran did not, turning Iraq into a Shia country.

In Syria, dividing the country into three, four or smaller parts does not seem to be working; at any rate the leading anti-Assad faction is Islamist Sunni.

In Egypt, the U.S. misread the situation totally, stranded in a choice between two evils they do not master.

In Libya, another misreading, not understanding how Western secular imperialism (Italy-UK-France-U.S.-Israel) had ignited an Islamist (rather than Arab) and a Berber-Tuareg (rather than Arab) awakening;

In Israel, spying on U.S. elites, tail-wags-dog politics, more U.S. anti-Semitism than ever (watch Youtube), media increasingly critical of Israel; and Israel in the agony between a Jewish state and democracy, sooner or later forced to declare its Eastern border, facing a South Africa-like scenario, and being declared a liability for Washington.

Now, how about the other force in the world, BRICS? Not bad: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was the first to speak at the United Nations General Assembly with a devastating critique of the NSA spy programme, calling for alternative internet servers.

In Russia, Vladimir Putin may have put an end to the Syrian crisis as part of a general Middle East crisis – like Mikhail Gorbachev put an end to the Cold War; not the U.S. with perennial war and threats of war – calling for an end to weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, in the region.

In China, the Xinhua news agency called for general de-Americanisation and an end to the dollar as the “world reserve currency”, in particular favouring a basket of currencies rather than any single country’s currency.

But it is unlikely that the Washington politics-media conglomerate will come up with solutions to calamities that dramatic. Few regimes have.

Halvdan Koht, Norway’s foreign minister, spent the night that Germany invaded Norway with his mistress; Vidkun Quisling, who took over, spent the last cabinet meeting discussing police uniforms, then surrendered to the police. One wonders what Washington DC will do with the double, triple, debacle.

Johan Galtung is a contributor to Inter Press Service.

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and has deep connections to the Republican Party and the neoconservative movement.


The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute is a rightist think tank with a broad mandate covering a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that is known for its strong connections to neoconservatism and overseas debacles like the Iraq War.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, is a far-right pundit known for his hawkish policies and opposition to an Israeli peace deal with the Palestinians.


Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and considered by some to be a future presidential candidate.


Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share