Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 5 March 2 - 8, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
The Imperialist Intention of U.S. Wars of Aggression
With or without the support of the United Nations, the U.S. and its so-called coalition of the willing are poised to attack Iraq within this month. North Korea is reported to be mobilizing its troops, anticipating a U.S.-led invasion in the near future. South Korea and the U.S., for their part, deny that their joint military exercise scheduled this month has something to do with North Korea. The Philippine government accommodates more joint military exercises with the U.S. and passionately supports the latter’s wars of aggression. These unfolding events demand contextualization of global reality and the identification of basic contradictions in the arguments of the powers-that-be. Only then can we appreciate the imperialist intention of past and present wars of aggression.
DANILO ARAÑA ARAO
Imperialism – (n.) the extension by one country of its authority over other lands by political, military or economic means (The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, Encyclopedic Edition, 1990)
The war of aggression in Afghanistan in 2002 is definitely not the first U.S.-led invasion of a sovereign country, and Iraq is definitely not the last on the U.S. list in 2003.
Other members of the so-called “axis of evil” aside from Iraq, namely Iran and North Korea, are the likely targets of U.S.-led wars of aggression in the immediate future. It must also be noted that the U.S. tagged seven countries as “state sponsors of terrorism.” These are Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
Based on past public statements, the powers-that-be tend to hide oppression and exploitation brought about by globalization through nebulous terms like flexible hiring, bureaucratic reengineering and development birth pangs.
At present, imperialism and fascism are euphemistically labeled “war against international terrorism.” The U.S. and its supporters argue the need to destroy the Al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, as well as free the Iraqi people from the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein. As regards the latter, they simply want “regime change,” a move that appears to be both harmless and altruistic.
The basic challenge is to look beyond the propaganda of the ruling elite and properly understand the reasons behind the current wars of aggression. Contradictions must be immediately exposed, and four basic points must be kept in mind.
First, the United Nations (UN) should be the one giving the ultimatum on the U.S. to abide by UN decisions. However, it is U.S. that has the gall to give the ultimatum on the UN to declare war on Iraq.
Second, the U.S. wants the UN to declare war on Iraq, even if the UN was established in 1945, according to its charter’s preamble, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”
Third, it is the U.S. that has the biggest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) which it used in the past. It has, for instance, 10,600 nuclear warheads. Iraq, on the other hand, reportedly destroyed 90-95% of its WMDs, according to Scott Ritter, a member of the UN Weapons Inspectors (1991-1998).
Fourth, the U.S. once supported the Taliban in Afghanistan and the leadership of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, not to mention Osama bin Laden. Iraq’s military infrastructure, particularly its WMD arsenal in the past, is actually due to U.S. support.
The Great Oil Game
Foremost in understanding the U.S.-led war of aggression in Afghanistan and the looming one in Iraq is the economics behind them.
to the Centre for Research on Globalization, transnational oil companies can now
build oil and gas pipelines through Afghanistan and Pakistan to Karachi on the
Arabian Sea, given that the Taliban has already been overthrown. This pipeline
is said to be the best and cheapest route for transporting those fuels to
is interesting to note that US support for the Taliban in the past was also due
to the so-called Great Oil Game.
Vice President John Maresca testified before the U.S. Senate in 1998 that “a
major reason for Washington's support of the Taliban between 1994 and 1997 was
the expectation that the Taliban would swiftly conquer the whole country and
make it possible for Unocal to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. Pakistan,
the U.S., and Saudi Arabia are responsible for the very existence and
maintenance of the Taliban.”
the other hand, Iraq is the second richest reserve owner in the world with a
10.6% share and 112 billion barrels.
Sobhani, a Washington-based oil consultant, argues, “The fundamental
issue is, the day after Saddam is removed, the Iraqi oil industry is open for
grabs, and it will depend upon the government of Iraq to decide how it will
dispense that resource. Certainly, American companies would be in a very,
very strong position to compete for the right.”
of the Willing as the “New Radicals”
Western mainstream media tend to ignore these information and instead opt to
decry the “reactionary” character of opposition to the U.S.-led war. Harping
on the argument that the global realpolitik has changed since 9/11, those who
mouth anti-imperialist slogans are said to be trapped in the activism of the
1960s. The likes of Susan Sontag and Noam Chomsky are subjected to scorn and
ridicule, and accused of being “un-American.”
present, those who oppose U.S. wars of aggression are branded by Western
mainstream media as “angry, reactionary and increasingly irrelevant” while
those who are allied with the White House are deemed the “new radicals” who
are allegedly neither left nor right (they’re just simply “right.”)
perceived emergence of “new radicals” would probably explain the messianic,
Machiavellian posturing of U.S. President George W. Bush when he said that
countries that do not take the side of the U.S. are on the side of the
must not be misled by such mainstream propaganda. After all, the analysis of the
wars of aggression takes into account both the historical context and the
prevailing social contradictions of imperialism and fascism.
At present, the Macapagal-Arroyo administration managed to create an atmosphere of war and in due time will create the conditions for the public acceptance of controversial policies as the latter are used, ironically, to further violate the provisions of the 1987 Constitution particularly on the establishment of U.S. bases and the entry of nuclear weapons.
More US-RP joint military exercises are expected to happen this year as both the Philippine and U.S. governments cite the “need” to continue the so-called US war against terrorism.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stressed that the signing of the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) in November 2002 “represents another important pillar in our strategic relationship with the United States” and that “(in) the desire to ensure regional stability and the need to fight global terrorism, countries are moving to consolidate their military and security interests with the United States.”
For those who have studied the history of U.S.-RP relations, these are recycled arguments for the retention of the U.S. bases in the past and do not take into account the need to pursue an independent foreign policy as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
Instead of promoting openness to various nations, the MLSA, together with other U.S.-RP military agreements Military Assistance Agreement (MAA) of 1947, Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951 and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) of 1999, limit the options in diplomatic relations with other countries since the Philippines becomes a de facto ally of the U.S. in whatever war the latter pursues.
The Arroyo administration, in effect, only harps on the bandwagon mentality when it articulates that “(o)ther regions have recognized the stabilizing role of the U.S. In Europe, more countries are knocking on the door of NATO or are improving their bilateral security relations with the U.S. These include countries that used to view the U.S. as the enemy.”
Filipinos want just and lasting peace in the country and in the world is the
reason for opposing the U.S. wars of aggression. At present, the latter must be
exposed for what it really is --- a physical manifestation of fascism in the
pursuit of an imperialist agenda. Bulatlat.com