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

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The tragic end of Jamal Khashoggi should serve as a reminder that it’s time for the United States to move on and leave the motley crew of undesirable Middle Eastern partners, from Israel to Saudi Arabia, to their collective fate. They deserve each other.


Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


RightWeb
share