June 11, 2018
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers*
The people of many countries unite in opposition to U.S. imperialism, economic warfare and threats of militarism – we need to say ‘no’ to U.S. imperialism.
The United States has had a policy of imperialism beginning after the Civil War. The US way of war, developed against Indigenous peoples, spread worldwide as the U.S. sought to extend its power through military force, economic dominance and diplomatic hegemony.
Imperialism is driven by what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. identified at the end of his life, the triple evils of racism, capitalism, and militarism. Lenin described imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. Imperialism has justified mass slaughter, resulting in the U.S. killing 20 million people since WW II. The People of the United States must say ‘no’ to imperialism.
Advocacy against imperialism is needed to prevent confusion around U.S. militarism. The U.S. disguises imperialism by attacking so-called “dictatorial” leaders who “use violence against their own people.” This results in Orwellian-phrased “humanitarian” wars – violence by U.S. surrogates inside a country, massive funding to create opposition against a government or economic sanctions that cause widespread suffering.
The propaganda justifying these abuses hides the real intent — expansion of U.S. domination so U.S. corporations can profit from resources and cheap labor under a U.S.-friendly government. People confused by this rhetoric sometimes repeat the propagandistic claims of U.S. imperialists and help justify US intervention.
Why U.S. imperialism must be opposed today
US imperialism is aggressively working on almost every continent through militarism, regime change, corporate trade agreements, economic blockades and creating indebtedness. The destruction of Libya, in an illegal “humanitarian” war, and the destruction of Iraq, in a falsely justified war, where both leaders were brutally assassinated, highlight the necessity of being clearly anti-imperialist.
There are many countries suffering from U.S. imperialism today. Here are just a few:
Syria: Every president since the 1940s has sought to dominate Syria and has had specific plans for regime change. The Syrian conflict, often misdescribed as a civil war, is a war of aggression by the U.S., Saudi Araba, and Israel. During the George W. Bush administration, documents show plans to undermine the Assad government through terrorism, chaos and other attacks. In 2006, the United States started to finance an external opposition to Assad. In 2007, a plan for regime change in Syria was agreed upon between the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. began to use “color revolution” tools, organizing opposition in Syria, training citizen journalists and urging an “insurgency.”
During the Arab Spring-era in 2011, arrests of anti-Assad youth in Deraa resulted in protests. The police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, but on the third-day protests turned violent, even though Assad announced the release of the detained youths. The police fought armed protesters, resulting in the deathsof seven police. Protesters torched the courthouse and Baath Party Headquarters. Violent protests continued and escalated and the Syrian government responded with violence.
Robert Ford, the first U.S. ambassador to Syria in five years, marched with the regime change protesters. He traveled through Syria inciting rebellion against Assad, according to this interview with a former CIA agent. He Ford had to flee the country out of fear.
The situation escalated into a seven-year war, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, mass displacement, war crimes on all sides and unproven accusations against Syria of using chemical weapons. This week, seventy Syrian tribes declared war on the U.S. at a time when Israel and the U.S. are increasing their military campaigns in Syria.
The U.S. has multiple imperialist interests in Syria. The U.S. would like to close Russia’s Navy base in Tartus, Syria on the Mediterranean. A gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey is competing with one from Iran to Syria. With large finds of methane gas in the coastal waters of Israel and Lebanon, it is likely they also exist in Syrian waters.
Iran: U.S. imperialism in Syria is tied to in Iran. As with Syria, domination has been the goal of the US since the 1950s when the CIA engineered a coup that put in place the Shah, a dictator who ruled until the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The U.S. has long sought to control Iran‘s vast oil resources.
The U.S. used the same tools of regime change as in Syria and other countries, e.g. massive funding to build opposition to the government, supporting, building and manipulating protests, economic sanctions, and threats of militarism. These strategies have caused disruption but have failed to undermine the government.
Sanctions and the U.S. violation of the nuclear agreement may backfire against the U.S. as countries are fighting back against them and the U.S. is being isolated in the U.N. The U.S. also conducts a false propaganda campaign, with the media playing along, about a nuclear weapons program that never existed and makes false claims of Iran sponsoring terrorism. And, as it did in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Israel is urging war on Iran. This may lead to the U.S. creating a Syrian-like war in Iran, threatening world security.
Venezuela: Another country with vast oil resources, Venezuela has been threatened with regime change, coups and war due to U.S. imperialism that is supported by the elites in the U.S. The U.S. uses the same regime change tools, e.g. a propagandistic barrage of lies about a “dictatorship”, economic sanctions, high-levels of funding to build opposition, violent protests, terrorism and attempts to foment a civil war.
Venezuela has faced a continuous coup since the election of Hugo Chavez. In 2002, a coup against Chavez was reversed by people’s protests. There has been an economic war since then. Wikileaks’ documents show Hillary Clinton sought to undermine and replace the Chavez-Maduro government. A coup in 2016 was foiled. In 2017, there was an embarrassing failed coup supported by the U.S. Trump is continuing long-term U.S. policies seeking to dominate Venezuela.
The economic war creates challenges for the Venezuelan government. The U.S. economic war blocks food, medicine, and essentials, while traitors inside Venezuela, from the wealthy class, do the same. These internal traitors even call for sanctions and war. The U.S. falsely claims a humanitarian crisis exists in order to justify intervention to steal the nation’s oil and natural resources.
Sadly, this fools too many people who are not clear on opposing U.S. imperialism, while it also unites many in Venezuela against U.S. imperialism. The U.S.-allied internal traitors admitted to 17 years of crimes in a proposed amnesty law in 2016, when they controlled the National Assembly.
In Latin America, particularly in Venezuela, Colombia plays the role of Israel for the U.S. as the point of the U.S. spear threatening war. Colombia has long-worked with the CIA for regime change in Venezuela. Indeed, Colombia just brought the imperialism military tool, NATO, to Latin America. The U.S. and its allies are looking toward war, making war preparations, conducting military exercises and are calling for a military coup. The world is saying ‘no’ to war against Venezuela as is much of Latin America.
In Venezuela, democratic elections resulted in a landslide victory for President Maduro, which was really a defeat of U.S. imperialism. The election was important as the U.S., Canada, and the European Union were threatening Venezuela. It was a decisive election for the Bolivarian Revolution, which will continue for now.
And, There Are More: These are three examples of many. In Latin America through non-governmental organizations and U.S. agencies, the U.S. fundsoligarchy, opposition to democracy and support for neoliberal policies and has a long history of U.S. coups. In Nicaragua, the same tools of regime change are being used. There has been a U.S.-supported soft coup in Brazil and Honduras.
Coups and militarism are not limited to Latin America. During the Obama era, U.S. coups in Ukraine and attempts in the Middle East occurred. Ukraine deserves special mention as this country, which borders Russia, was a long-term imperial aim of the United States. State Department official Victoria Nuland said the U.S. spent $5 billion to build an opposition to the government and manage a coup. There are now proposals to arm Ukraine against Russia, so the danger is growing.
The dramatic protest against democratically-elected President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 was a U.S. coup spearheaded by violent neo-Nazis. This Obama-era coup was “the most blatant coup in history,” according to the corporate CIA-firm, Stratfor. The U.S. has taken over their gas industry, putting Joe Biden’s son and a longtime friend of John Kerry on their board, has taken over agriculture, has a former State Department official serving as finance minister, picked their Prime Minister and put in place the U.S.’s “Our Ukraine Insider” president. In the U.S., media propaganda is constant, focusing on Crimea returning to Russia and demonizing Putin.
While there are more current examples of U.S. imperialism, we will finish with a brief discussion of Africa, where the U.S. seeks to dominate the land, resources, and labor of a continent which holds natural resources critical to 21st Century technology and oil and where $100 billion in U.S. corporate theft occurs annually. Under Obama, AfriCom greatly expanded and the U.S. now has bi-lateral military agreements across the continent, military bases, drone bases, Special Operations Forces and a military presence in 53 of 54 countries creating an imperial-scale military presence.
The Congo, which has suffered 500 years of European and U.S. imperialism and where four million people have been recently displaced, deserves special focus. The Congo has natural resources more valuable than the entire EU’s GDP. Tech companies violate human rights, such as children as young as seven mining cobaltfor lithium batteries. Africa is shaping up to be the center of 21st Century imperial U.S. wars.
Anti-imperialism: The foundation for a just foreign policy
These conflicts are all rooted in resource sovereignty in Latin Ameria, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Do these countries control their natural wealth or will US imperialism steal it from them? Peace and justice movements must build on a foundation of anti-imperialism and not be fooled by the lies of elected officials, militarists, and the corporate media.
Some will attack those clearest on opposing imperialism. At the Left Forum, a small group criticized long-time U.S. human rights and peace advocate, Ajamu Baraka, for his stance opposing U.S. imperialism in Syria. The previously unknown group, the “League for the Revolutionary Party”, was made up of a small number of members of the International Socialist Organization and Democratic Socialists of America. They showed how those who do not make opposition to imperialism a foundation of their advocacy are easily confused.
They had to misquote Baraka and take his views out of context to justify their attack. By protesting Baraka, they attacked the leader of the Black Alliance for Peace, making their protest racist. They also protested someone who challenged the war party duopoly, as he was the vice presidential nominee of the Green Party. Their protest not only supported U.S. militarism in Syria but sought to weaken the rebuilding of the black peace movement and challenges to the war parties.
If we ground ourselves in anti-imperialism, we will not be as easily misled. We must respect the sovereignty of other nations and support popular struggles without promoting U.S. intervention.
The people of many countries unite in opposition to U.S. imperialism, economic warfare and threats of militarism. It is our job in the United States to act in solidarity with them and say ‘no’ to U.S. imperialism.
Top of Form
Kevin Zeese is an American political activist who has been a leader in the drug policy reform and peace movements and in efforts to ensure a voter verified paper audit trail. Margaret Flowers, M.D., is a Maryland pediatrician seeking the Green Party nomination for the US Senate. She is co-director of PopularResistance.org and a board adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program and is on the Leadership Council of the Maryland Health Care Is a Human Right campaign.