[Tarpley really nailed it this time. If only the people would catch-on, before the revolutions transpire and fizzle. Mature govts like China and Russia understand exactly what Tarpley has said here, yet none of them had the balls to veto the Libyan aggression resolution.]
Pre-Emptive Coups by the CIA to Halt an Exodus of US Satraps and Viceroys Leading to a Multipolar World
Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
March 15, 2011
Washington DC, March 15, 2011 – In the late winter of 2011, governments were for a few weeks falling like bowling pins all across the Middle East and far beyond. We are witnessing a massive orgy of deliberate destabilizations of previous client regimes on the part of the CIA, the State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the various NGOs and foundations which follow their lead. This has taken the form of a mad rampage of attempted color revolutions, people power coups, putsches by camarillas of generals, and incipient civil wars in such countries as Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and others, with the tremors being felt as far away as Belarus and China. This tsunami of coups was signaled by three waves of document dumps by the “Wikileaks” limited hangout operation of the Anglo-American intelligence community, and has been supported and encouraged by the Obama regime up to the limits of what the traffic would bear in each case. During the most recent days, the time of the Libyan civil war, the old Suez 1956 coalition of aggressive and unreconstructed British and French neo-colonialists has also reemerged as a strange historical atavism.
The Anglo-American Empire is now undergoing a collapse phase, although not caused by debt as claimed by the reactionary academic and imperialist planner Niall Ferguson at the “Aspen Ideas Festival” last July – a gathering where calls were raised for an immediate attack on Iran.1 The overthrow of existing governments and the breakup of existing national states, wherever possible, is intended to put the brakes on this collapse by preventing the national states from taking timely political action to save themselves from the imperialist shipwreck by defecting to other power centers, reversing existing alliances. The Anglo-American plan is for a super-national empire over the planet, with a neo-feudal war of all against all on the ground.
The Threatened Return of a Multi-Polar Middle East
The current goal of London and Washington is to stop a jailbreak by their former clients. Since the beginning of the end of the USSR in about 1980, the Middle East has been a unipolar Anglo-American show. The past 30 years of US-UK hegemony have been an historical oddity. Today, the Middle East is reverting to its more typical multi-polar complexion, with a revival of Chinese, Russian, Iranian, Turkish, and other interests – making a better deal for the Arabs more likely than under the recent Anglo-American-Israeli power monopoly. The current CIA destabilizations are supposed to abort this return of multipolarity to the Middle East.
In my books Obama the Postmodern Coup: the Making of a Manchurian Candidate (April 2008) andBarack H. Obama: the Unauthorized Biography (August 2008) I warned that the next phase of US imperialism under Obama would rely increasingly on subversion, destabilization, color revolutions, soft power, mass manipulation, CIA people power coups, and postmodern putsches. A color revolution was attempted by the CIA in Iran in the summer of 2009, and ended in failure. Similar color revolutions were attempted during 2010 in Italy (the purple revolution), Macedonia, Thailand, and Belarus, among others. Now, with much of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe under CIA attack, the thesis of my 2008 books is definitively confirmed. The CIA limited hangout operation known as Wikileaks has just launched an attack against the president of Indonesia for bribery and corruption, signaling that a CIA attack will soon be under way against Jakarta as well.
The current destabilization spree is a singular historical event. The French Revolution of 1789 was thoroughly fomented by Great Britain through economic warfare against France combined with the subversive activities of British intelligence chief Jeremy Bentham and Samuel Romilly of the Jacobin propaganda mill located on the palatial Bowood estate of Lord Shelburne in England. The 1848 wave of revolutions across Europe was organized and detonated by the British using the radical nationalists of Giuseppe Mazzini and the followers of Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin against the authoritarian Holy Alliance governments of Prussia, Russia, and Metternich’s Austria. In 1989, Anglo-American intelligence worked hard to overthrow the Warsaw Pact Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. But in each of these cases, it was an imperial power which was seeking to destabilize one or more of its rival or enemy states. Today, the large majority of the Middle East and other nations which have been destabilized would have to be classed as clients, allies, or partners of the United States and the British. We can call figures like Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Saleh of Yemen the satraps of viceroys of the current empire. Qaddafi qualifies too, although he has been a more recalcitrant vassal. The shocker this time around is that Washington and London are attacking their own assets. So what is happening?
Viceroys, Proconsuls, Satraps, Khedives, Namestniks Run for the Exits
The satraps of the Anglo-American Empire, meaning the various viceroys, proconsuls, khedives and namestniks who have been set up to administer the various satellite countries, are now being massively purged to prevent them from defecting to rival power center like Russia, China, and Iran. This amounts to a preventive toppling of the US-UK satraps to head off a looming mass exit from the US-UK geopolitical plantation. Dictators and authoritarian rulers are being ousted by cliques of generals and mobs incited by the CIA to stop them from playing the Iran card, the Russian card, the China card, or some combination of these. Some of the more manic voices from the neocon faction even imagine that the US can ride the current wave all the way to the toppling of existing regimes and the creation of puppet governments in Beijing, Moscow, Teheran, and elsewhere, giving the US and the British uncontested dominion over the world for decades to come.
Libya’s Col. Qaddafi, once the destabilization of Libya had begun, was the most explicit, announcing that he would play several cards, ousting the west, and turning instead to China, Russia, India, and Brazil.2Qaddafi had also been cooperating with Belarus, whose leader President Lukashenko is vilified by the US as the last dictator in Europe. Belarus provides a good example of how dangerous this game can quickly become. It will be recalled that in November 2004, the US-backed mob rule of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine led to a situation where the eastern provinces of that country were threatening to secede in protest against the NATO-IMF coup of Yushchenko and Timoshenko, while Kiev threatened to impose its dictates by force. If that scenario had gone any further, a civil war might have resulted within Ukraine, with increasing danger that Russian troops might intervene from the East and that Polish NATO troops might invade from the West, leading to a clash between NATO and Russia. This example illustrates why Eastern Europe is dozens of times more explosive than anything in the Middle East, since in Eastern Europe collisions that might involve hydrogen bombs are never more than two or three steps away. Fortunately, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine has now collapsed, and the IMF and NATO kleptocrats ousted; it is unlikely that any new color revolutions can be mounted in Kiev for at least a generation after this terrible experience.
NATO’s Belarus Gambit
In Belarus, the most recent aborted attempt at a color revolution was frustrated in mid-December 2010, but NATO and the CIA are not giving up. On December 12, 2010, just before the CIA’s Middle East rampage got going, Belarus President Lukashenko was re-elected, officially receiving 80% of the votes against 9 rival candidates, who enjoyed ample access to state broadcast media. Anne Applebaum, of theWashington Post, the wife of revanchist Polish Foreign Minister Sikorsky, described Lukashenko’s fourth-term election victory as “the decline of the west.”
Belarus shares its western border with Poland and its eastern border with Russia, meaning that a color revolution in Minsk it turned into a civil war on the Libyan model could easily lead to the presence of Russian and Polish troops, and then to their collusion. This shows why color revolutions in Eastern Europe are so dangerous.
The standard US-UK reply to all this is that the revolts are spontaneous, and that London and Washington are not involved, but mere spectators. This leaves us wondering about the $50 to $100 million spent every year in the federal budget for the National Endowment for Democracy, to say nothing of the estimated $35 billion spent by the CIA, plus special appropriations to subvert Iran and other states.
The US “Perspective 2020″ Strategy
Sergei Shahskov of the Moscow Strategic Culture Foundation, which benefits from the findings of Russian intelligence, notes that the US has been making a sustained effort to develop ways to topple governments, including the creation of the US Cybercommand to exploit Twitter and Facebook, and that Obama has been heavily involved: “In line with the ‘Perspective-2020′ program for the US strategic military development, information superiority is one of key factors. The new command faced the task to carry out a full range of operations in the World Wide Web. Private companies were invited to join the program. In June, 2009 the US Special Operations Command and Gallup Polls signed an agreement to process the results of opinion polls in different parts of the world in order to use them later during implementing campaigns aimed at shaping public opinion…. At the end of 2010 the White House reported that President Obama knew about protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen in advance and in August, 2010, ordered his administration to prepare a secret report on the situation in the Arab world.”3
US Imperial Rule is Oppressive and Unbearable
From the point of view of the ruler of any developing country, the conditions imposed by continued submission to Anglo-American domination are simply unbearable. The current Anglo-American ruling elites offer virtually nothing in terms of industrial and agricultural development. Rather, they seek to impose the oppressive free-trade rules of the World Trade Organization, including de-regulation, privatization, the abolition of food and fuel subsidies, the destruction of the state sector and state services, union busting, and a race to the bottom. This means that the Third World states are permanently exposed to destructive dumping, speculative attacks on their currencies, and the general looting process whose beneficiaries are Wall Street and the city of London. The deadly conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund are omnipresent, guaranteeing that no economic development or social progress can ever occur.
In addition to economic strangulation, the Anglo-American ruling class insists on their prerogative of constantly meddling in the internal affairs of the country in question, applying hypocritical double standards about democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. These are the same Anglo-American aggressors whose hands are dripping with blood from their ongoing aggressive atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.
China, by contrast, offers real economic development in industry, agriculture, and technology on terms which are closer to the classic 50-50 then to the exorbitant rates of return demanded by the derivatives mongers, hedge fund hyenas, and zombie bankers of New York and London. The Chinese have the added benefit of being largely indifferent to the internal political regime of the countries where they do business, leaving these questions to the locals.
Not surprisingly, one of the overriding goals of US foreign policy is now to sabotage and disrupt the kind of peaceful economic development and trade relations which the Chinese are seeking to establish in Africa and elsewhere. The Chinese obviously need oil and strategic minerals, and many of these can be found in Africa and the Middle East. Since the US and the British monetarist-Malthusian elites have given up on engaging the Chinese in a peace race of economic competition, the only alternative is to use terrorist surrogates and warfare to kick the Chinese out and disrupt their trade. This explains the Anglo-American obsession with the partitioning of Sudan, where the southern secessionists control Chinese oil investments which New York and London are interested in \denying to Beijing. The same goes for Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, whom the Anglo Americans are attacking not because of his human rights record, but rather because he supplies strategic raw materials to China.
For purposes of rough classification, we can list various countries striving to escape from the Anglo-American yoke according to their attempt to lean on Iran, China, and Russia — although there are numerous overlaps.
Some of the immediate targets of destabilization have been seeking to escape from total US domination and strangulation by seeking good or improved relations with Iran.
Egypt under the now-deposed Hosni Mubarak was one of the most important of the nations playing the Iran card. In October 2010, defying Hillary Clinton’s shrill calls for the total isolation of Iran, Mubarak announced the resumption of direct flights from Cairo to Tehran for the first time in 30 years. In 2009, Mubarak had rejected the US plan for a Sunni Arab bloc of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council Emirates, and Jordan closely allied with Israel under a US nuclear umbrella, which Washington was seeking to play against the Persian-Shiite dominated radical bloc centered on Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and sundry rejection front forces. Mubarak rejected a military alliance with Israel, and had never fully normalized relations with that country, in spite of the Camp David Peace Treaty. Mubarak emphatically rejected US bases in Egypt, and no such bases were ever created. He refused US demands for Egyptian troops for the Afghanistan war starting in 2001, and for the Iraq war starting in 2003. Here was a very recalcitrant satrap indeed.4 Mubarak’s Ottoman Empire predecessor, the Khedive Mohammed Ali Pasha (1805-1848), became independent from the Turkish Sultan in all but name, and the US was determined not to allow a repeat performance by Mubarak.
Bahrain under the al-Khalifa family is the base of the US Fifth Fleet, but the current Emir has formally forbidden the US to use this base for combat operations against Iran. At the end of 2009, Iran and Bahrain reached a technical agreement concerning the demarcation of their maritime boundaries. This undercut the stridently anti-Iranian US policy of Obama and Mrs. Clinton. The following is an excerpt from a statement by the Bahrain Foreign Ministry dated 21 August 2011: ‘Bahrain’s Minister of foreign affairs, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Shaikh has ruled out in an interview with the London-based Asharq Al Awsat allowing the US to use his country to launch attacks on any country, in an apparent reference to Iran. “The presence of a US naval base in Bahrain does not mean that Manama will allow its use to launch an attack on any country,” the minister said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had earlier said on Monday that «brothers and friends of Iran of the Arab GCC states will not allow their territories to be used for striking Iran.», « The leaders of those countries are aware of the Israeli and American scenarios in the region, while we exclude the war, we are ready for all eventualities, » he added. Asked about potential use of U.S military bases in Bahrain for a military strike on Iran, Foreign Minister said that “The agreements signed by Manama with Washington are exclusively defense-based and we cannot allow the use of our lands to attack other territories.”In fact, there are no attack weapons on the base, ” he added.’5
Lebanon is currently governed by a coalition formed in February 2011 in which the pro-Iranian Hezbollah party has a dominant role. Despite loud protests, the US has so far been impotent to overthrow this government.
Iraq for its part remains under the rule of the Shiite, pro-Iranian Prime Minister Maliki, who enjoys support from the anti-US firebrand populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr of the Mahdi Army, who has been demonized by Washington. The leading US puppet on the scene, the former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, has been unable to seize power, despite the continuing military occupation of the country by US forces. Recent reports indicate the existence of a US-backed coup plan by Allawi and his forces which includes the assassination of Maliki, but which is being held in check for the moment with the help of Sadr.6
Turkey, as part of the reassertion of its role as an important regional power, joined last year with Brazil to attempt a mediation of the dispute between the United States and Iran concerning the nature of the Iranian nuclear program. This constructive initiative by the Turks and Brazilians caused profound irritation among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including especially the United States and Great Britain. Turkey was further goaded into more independent contact when its attempted humanitarian aid delivery to the besieged Gaza Strip was violently attacked by the Israelis and diverted away from its destination.
Another group of countries has been seeking to use China as a counterweight to US domination. As noted, one of the central principles of US policy in all of Africa is to sabotage and disrupt Chinese commercial and development cooperation, and this policy of kicking the Chinese out to prevent them from obtaining needed oil and strategic minerals extends to North Africa and the Middle East as well.
Pakistan, more and more antagonized by the Obama policy of exporting the Afghan civil war into Islamabad’s hinterlands, has been steadily gravitating towards China, including as the obvious response to the US-India nuclear cooperation deal which gives New Delhi privileged status with the Americans.7Pakistan, by contrast, gets bombings by Predator drones designed to goad the Pushtuns and also the Baluchis into a rebellion against the Punjabis and Sinds, who are viewed as responsible for the unbearable US presence. Pakistan has declared 2011 the a year of friendship with China, and the two countries are building the JF-17 fighter aircraft, among many other joint projects.8 The Pakistan energy corridor is China’s best bet for getting a secure oil supply overland from Iran by the most direct route. Ray Davis, the CIA operative originally billed as a US diplomat, whose real affiliation the Obama regime tried and failed to censor in the US media, is widely accused by the Pakistani media of being a terrorist controller directing the activities or “Taliban” units against the central government, and even of complicity in a plot to deliver to these terrorists nuclear materials suitable for the construction of a radiological dirty bomb. The detonation of such a dirty bomb would allow the US to argue that the Pakistani nuclear forces are not secure, and need to be seized by the US. A shooting war between the US and Pakistan could now be very close, but as long as Pakistan has nuclear weapons, they are able to exercise nuclear deterrence against US aggression.
Libya under Qaddafi had an estimated 35,000 Chinese personnel in-country and working on various oil and other development projects. These workers have now been hastily removed with the help of Greek ships, and the Chinese projects have been shut down.
Afghanistan under President Karzai intensified its overtures to China in March of last year when President Karzai visited Beijing for the fourth time to sign a number of important technical training and economic development deals, including some triangular China-Pakistan-Afghanistan efforts. A Chinese company paid $3 billion to develop one of the world’s largest untapped copper mines at Aynak, and is also the leading candidate to mine the iron deposits at Hajigak. The post-industrial US is not a contender. Washington was so alarmed over Karzai’s trip to Beijing that Obama made an unannounced lightning visit to Karzai right after he returned to warn him not to go too far off the US imperialist reservation. Afghanistan’s striving for self-assertion comes despite an ongoing war and NATO occupation. On March 12, 2011, Karzai formally demanded that the US and NATO get out of his country; his life is now in grave danger.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then head of the National Security Council, made numerous trips to meet Vladimir Putin of Russia, including in August 2007, July 2008, and September 2008, plus Putin’s trip to Riyad in February 2007, the first by a top Russian leader. A wide range of economic, political, and military cooperation was reportedly discussed during these meetings, although not made public. In early August 2009 it was reported by PressTV of Iran that Bandar had attempted a coup d’etat by attempting to take control of the process of succession in the Saudi royal family.9 Bandar was then reported to have been jailed or placed under house arrest, and he has not been seen in public since, although his role as head of the National Security Council was confirmed for four years in September 2009. Bandar was watergated in public by the CIA and its minions for his alleged role in the al-Yamamah/BAE Systems arms deal scandal, but the real issue was reported to be a strategic rapprochement between Riyadh and Moscow for the purpose of diminishing US control over Saudi Arabia and heading off a threatened color revolution stoked by the CIA, while getting Russia to minimize further arms sales to Iran. Any attempt by Saudi Arabia to balance between Washington and Moscow would be enough to make the CIA go berserk, and some of the immediate impulse for the current putsch wave in the Arab world must be sought in these Saudi impulses for greater independence and self-preservation.
Libya, during Putin’s April 2008 visit, signed a deal with Russian Railways to build a 554 km rail line between Benghazi and Sirta worth more than 2 billion euros.
Italy under Prime Minister Berlusconi has been attacked by the CIA in a recent Wikileaks document dump as the Western European country with the closest relations with the Russian Federation and with Prime Minister Putin personally. One concrete manifestation of this close relation with Moscow is the Southstream gas pipeline, which also involves cooperation with Turkey. Southstream will permit Russia to export natural gas towards the Mediterranean region without the need to traverse the rabidly anti-Russian Eastern European NATO states, who have deplorable track record of sabotaging gas deliveries in the course of their endless quarrels with Moscow. The Italian-Russian relationship has also given the Italian state oil company ENI and its subsidiaries a role in the construction of the Nord Stream Baltic gas pipeline between Russia and Germany; these pipeline deals have added several percentage points to the Italian GDP and to some extent cushioned the country against the current world economic depression. The destabilization of Italy for the purpose of ousting Berlusconi is being conducted through a group of runaway state prosecutors in Milan, among them the vindictive Ilda Bocassini, a relic of the defunct Lotta Continua, a Maoist-anarchist organization of the 1970s. Unable to oust Berlusconi through elections or votes of no confidence, the backers of these prosecutors have launched some three dozen prosecutions against him over recent decades, including by tapping his phone — despite the fact that he has been the duly elected prime minister of the country and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Italy has been extremely skeptical about armed intervention against Libya in recent weeks, partly because it is the country with the most to lose if Libya is destroyed. The motivations of the Berlusconi government in these policies are not so different from the ones that were expressed by Enrico Mattei in the 1950s and by Aldo Moro in the 1970s. It is certain that an Italian government dominated by the post-communists and their neoliberal allies would subordinate Italy to the International Monetary Fund and NATO far more than is the case under Berlusconi and Tremonti. Italian leftists must therefore face the fact that they have been thoroughly duped by the same US-backed destabilization operations which are operative elsewhere in the Mediterranean region.
Germany has also defied the United States and played the Russian card through its decisive role in the building of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, the longest underwater pipeline in the world, which is scheduled to begin deliveries in late 2011. Once Nord Stream comes on line, It will no longer be possible for the demagogic anti-Russian politicians of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine to manufacture gas delivery crises in Western Europe at will, simply by cutting off gas transit and blaming it on the Russians. This is clearly an important step towards economic rationality and European-Russian cooperation. Behind the scenes, the tradition of German industrial banking seen in von Siemens, Ponto, Herrhausen, and Rohwedder is still alive, and much feared by London and New York.
Afghanistan’s President Karzai has also been playing the Russian card, most notably in his first official visit to Moscow in January 2011, just as the CIA putsch wave was getting under way. Karzai was interested in Russian helicopters, Russian training for his armed forces, and large-scale energy deals.
The Political-Military Mechanisms of Empire in Crisis
In recent years, the US empire has been held together by the threat of color revolutions backed up by the menace of direct military attack. The US fiascoes in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused the US ruling elite to turn away from military adventurism as their method of choice, at least for the time being; this is the outlook which Defense Secretary Gates, a Brzezinski clone, has been articulating. The Israeli attack on southern Lebanon in the summer of 2006 was also a military failure, largely defeated by new and more effective antitank missiles in the hands of Hezbollah which crippled one armored division out of the five the Israelis possess.
Color revolutions have also not been working as well as expected. The Cedars Revolution in Lebanon in 2005 succeeded in driving out the Syrian forces, but was not enough to seriously damage the superior Hezbollah organization. The attempted Twitter revolution in Iran in June of 2009 also turned out to be a dud because of the effective response of the regime. The Ukrainian Orange Revolution has been completely rolled back and its leading demagogues ousted. The Roses revolution of Georgia has been totally discredited by worldwide awareness that its central figure, President Saakashvili, is an unhinged warmonger and a very oppressive dictator in his own right. The latest attempted color putsches in Belarus and Macedonia have fizzled.
Attempts to Shore Up the Sagging US Greenback
The current wave of destabilization is also designed to shore up the sagging US dollar. After pumping trillions of dollars into the infamous Wall Street bailouts of 2008-2009, the US regime is currently embarked on a policy known as QE II, which means that almost another trillion dollars will be used to prop up speculative financial markets. This glut of dollars sloshing around the markets of the world would normally determine a rapid decline of the dollar, raising the danger that key countries would begin transferring their central bank reserves out of the battered US greenback. One way to prevent this has been the coordinated US attack on the euro, using credit default swaps and other derivatives, and focusing on weak flanks like Greek government bonds, followed by similar assaults on Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. The idea here is that although it may be impossible to make the dollar look good, it is possible to make the euro look very bad, leading central banks and others to stay in the dollar.10 The strategy of attacking the euro produced an unexpected boomerang event in the form of the May 10 flash crash of the New York stock market, when a computer program for driving down the euro turned out to have the concomitant effect of sinking the Dow Jones average, meaning that it had to be abandoned. China also moved in to buy up European assets at distressed prices, spoiling the effect of the Anglo-American attack. Despite these attacks, the euro has proved surprisingly buoyant, frustrating this entire strategy so far.
Another way to shore up the dollar is by causing a war or at least increased tensions with Iran. The principle here is that every increase in the price of oil generates new artificial demand for dollars, thus counteracting the tendency of the greenback to fall into crisis. If Iran came under attack, it is widely thought that the Iranian response would be to attempt to interfere with the tanker traffic through the Persian Gulf/Arabian Gulf, thus raising the price of oil to $500 a barrel and guaranteeing abundant demand for dollars for many years to come.11 The desired war or confrontation has not materialized so far, although the Anglo Americans have not stopped trying.
Destabilizations in the Middle East and North Africa have so far been reasonably effective in modestly raising the price of oil, which helps the dollar even though it is highly destructive of the US merchandise economy, such as it is. The waves of refugees, many of them in the form of boat people crossing the Mediterranean to flee from chaos in Tunisia, Libya, and possibly Egypt will cause severe social dislocations in countries like Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Malta, and elsewhere. The expense of dealing with these refugees is already increasing tensions inside the European Union, another development which the Anglo Americans are happy to promote.
US Prefers Chaos to Trade and Development
For the CIA, an ideal outcome is one in which the existing nation states are torn apart by regionalism, ethnic strife, warlords, and social breakdown. The State Department has played a leading role in the partition of Sudan. The same fate is obviously being prepared for Yemen. At this point, the US would be happy to divide Libya into Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Iraq has already been fractured into three parts. According to the Bernard Lewis Plan, Iran could be carved into half a dozen petty states. Turkey and Syria are also slated to be carved and Balkanized. The same goes for Lebanon. The result would be a crazy quilt of squabbling impotent neo-feudal entities, none of which could stand up to J.P. Morgan Chase or Exxon Mobil. Economic life would be governed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, while NATO would provide military coercion.
Parallels to the Failed Revolutions of 1848
In the annals of imperialist destabilization, the current wave of coups and insurrections bears a number of important resemblances to the so-called political upheaval which quickly spread across much of Europe, from Copenhagen to Palermo and from Paris to Budapest, in 1848, touching all countries except Great Britain. As R. R. Palmer wrote in 1950, ” never before or since has Europe seen so truly universal and upheaval as in 1848.” (A History of the Modern World, second edition, pp. 469 ff.) At this time much of Europe was under the control of the reactionary Holy Alliance of the Russian Empire, the Austrian Empire, and the Kingdom of Prussia. The British scorned these empires as the “arbitrary powers,” and the British goal was to break them up for purposes of easier political-military domination, and especially to leave them open to the pernicious British doctrine of free trade and related economic-financial exploitation. The Holy Alliance system was personified by the Austrian Prince Klemens Metternich, who had been the dominant political personality of Central and Eastern Europe since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, where the post-Napoleonic order of Europe had been established.
Naturally, the Holy Alliance of Austria, Russia, and Prussia was a thoroughly oppressive system, with the Austrians maintaining a version of medieval serfdom in places like Galicia, Bohemia, and Hungary, and Prussia relying on serf labor east of the Elbe River. In Russia, serfdom was maintained until 1861. Russia and Prussia were very bad places to live for millions of Poles whose country had been partitioned, and the Austrian Empire contained large disenfranchised minorities of Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Ukrainians, and Italians. Secret police methods were in vogue everywhere.
Gershman: Specter of Jasmine Revolution Haunts Dictators
Carl Gershman, the neo-Trotskyite boss of the US National Endowment for Democracy, and thus one of the leading destabilization operatives of the Obama regime, wrote in the Washington Post of March 12, 2011: “A specter is haunting the world’s remaining dictators – the specter of the Jasmine Revolution.” This is Gershman’s attempted parody of Marx’s Communist Manifesto of January 1848. Gershman argues that the current destabilization’s represent a fourth wave of “democratic expansion,” meaning in practice the subversion of independent states. This terminology is drawn from the sinister Samuel Huntington’s 1991 book, The Third Wave. The title refers to a series of US-backed regime changes in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa between the time of the 1974 “Carnation revolution” in Portugal and the overthrow of the Eastern European communist regimes and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991. For Huntington, the first wave of democracy occurred in the 19th century, including 1848, and ran out of steam with the coming of fascism during the 1920s. A second wave of so-called democratization was identified by Huntington between 1945 and about 1970. As always with Huntington, this analysis is fraudulent in the extreme, starting with the fact that the vast majority of regimes he classifies as democratic are not democratic at all, but rather represent oligarchical or plutocratic forums of the domination of masses by the wealthy few. This is especially the case for the United States, where the role of Wall Street money in procuring public offices and legislation leaves no doubt as to the oligarchical-plutocratic nature of the regime.
1848 Started in Sicily in January
The stage for the 1848 upheaval was set – just like today — by a severe economic depression, which had broken out in 1847. Events of 1848 got going on January 12 with a rebellion in Sicily seeking independence for the island. Sicily is within sight of Tunisia, and this was the Tunisia of 1848. Naturally, the British Admiralty had long paid close attention to the Mediterranean islands, of which Sicily was one of the most important. But then the insurrection spread rapidly. Barricades went up in Paris on February 22, 1848, and within two days King Louis Philippe, who had been in power since July 1830, abdicated and fled to London. The Second French Republic came into existence. On March 13, 1848 workers and students started an insurrection in Vienna, the capital of the Austrian Empire, and soon invaded the Imperial Palace. The Austrian regime became hysterically disoriented, and Prince Metternich absconded in disguise, also to London. On March 15, rioting began in Berlin, where King Frederick William IV immediately promised a written constitution. The governments of most of the other 37 German states also quickly collapsed. Also on March 15, the Hungarian assembly declared its total separation from Austria, although the Habsburg Emperor was still kept as head of state. Bohemia demanded the same status a few days later. In Milan, Italy, the richest city of Austrian Empire, the revolt began on March 18 and by March 22 the Austrian garrison had been ejected. Venice declared its return to the status of an independent republic. The grand Duke of Tuscany was toppled by revolt. King Charles Albert of Sardinia, the only independent Italian state, declared war on Austria on March 23 with the intent of adding Milan and Venice to his realms, although this attempt to begin Italian unification would be defeated by military means.
This series of events was much more dramatic, more rapid, and more breathtakingly stunning for contemporary observers then the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya we have seen since the beginning of 2011. The flight of Louis-Philippe and Metternich amounted to much more than the ouster of Ben Ali and Mubarak, since France and Austria were among the five great powers of Europe. The events of 1848 also exceeded in geographic scope the fall of the Communist regimes of Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Romania in the summer and autumn of 1989.
As Palmer summed it up: “In the brief span of these phenomenal March days, the whole structure based on Vienna went to pieces: the Austrian Empire had fallen into its main components, Prussia had yielded to revolutionaries, all Germany was preparing to unify itself, and war raged in Italy. Everywhere constitutions had been wildly promised by stupefied governments, constitutional assemblies were meeting, and independent or autonomous nations struggled into existence.” (Palmer, p. 480)
Egypt and Tunisia: Palace Coups Camouflaged by Street Demonstrations, Not Revolutions
The rapid march of rebellion across Europe shocked, stunned, and temporarily paralyzed existing governments, but did not definitively defeat them or break their power, since institutions and especially armies remained intact. This points to the superficiality of the alleged revolutions in 2011 in places like Tunisia and Egypt, which are really more like palace coups conducted behind the scenes by bureaucrats and generals, accompanied by some street demonstrations; in neither Tunis nor Cairo have the existing political institutions or governing system been altered. At most, some personalities at the top have been changed, but little more. Revolutions are different; they destroy old institutions (slavery, foreign protectorates, monarchies, feudalism, serfdom, the IMF, NATO) and create new ones.
1848: The Revolutions that Misfired
By June of 1848, the tide was beginning to turn. Social revolutionaries and republicans began to quarrel among themselves in Paris. The Second French Republic, with the help of the brutal General Cavaignac, crushed the National Workshops of the social republicans in the June Days of June 24-26, 1848. For a time it looked like France was headed for a military dictatorship under General Cavaignac, but Louis Napoleon, a descendent of the Emperor who had become a political adventurer and putschist in the service of Britain’s Lord Palmerston, soon emerged with the support of pro-British Freemasonic networks. Louis Napoleon was elected president of France by a wide margin in December 1848, and by December 2, 1851 he had abolished the parliament in a coup d’état. In London, Lord Palmerston rushed so quickly to grant full diplomatic recognition to Louis Napoleon’s new regime that he offended Queen Victoria, who was of course a monarchist. In a plebiscite on December 20, 1851, Louis Napoleon was made president for 10 years, but within a year he had proclaimed France again an empire and himself the Emperor Napoleon III.
Napoleon III functioned as a satrap of the British Empire in Continental Europe, providing troops for the British Crimean War against Russia, and later invading Mexico as part of the attempted British envelopment of the United States during the American Civil War. He also invaded Indo-China. His regime displayed a number of characteristics that would become associated with fascism in the 20th century. Such were the bitter fruits of the vague slogans and enthusiasm of 1848.
Mopping Up: Cavaignac, Windischgrätz, and Radetzky
What General Cavaignac did in Paris was accomplished in the Austrian Empire by two key military figures. Prague was bombarded and subdued by General Windischgrätz, who dispersed a Pan-Slav Congress that was meeting there. Windischgrätz soon went on to Vienna and put an end to the new regime there on October 31, 1848.
South of the Alps, a similar role was played by Marshal Radtezky, who defeated the Sardinians in the battles of Custozza and Novara, and violently subdued Milan, bringing Lombardy and Venetia back into the Austrian Empire.
In Hungary, where the Magyar landlords were resented by the Slovaks, Romanians, Germans, Serbs, and Croats, these minorities found an effective leader in the person of the Ban (or viceroy) of Croatia, Jellachich, and was supported by Austrian Chancellor Schwarzenberg in the name of the Habsburg Emperor. Eventually, the Vienna government invited 100,000 Russian troops to crush the rebellion in Hungary according to the provisions of the Congress of Vienna, which was accomplished by August 1849. This offers parallels to the entry of Saudi and UAE forces into Bahrain on March 14, 2011, allegedly to restore order. This suggests that the Gulf Cooperation Council, made up of the Arab Gulf states, has become a kind of new Holy Alliance, eerily similar to the old one in that its purpose is the rigid defense of absolute monarchy against reforms of any kind.
Egypt’s Field Marshal Tantawi may end up as the Cavaignac of Cairo this time around, pushed aside by some more capable adventurer. Some of Qaddafi’s sons, or some of the Libyan army commanders, are already on their way to being the Windischgrätz or the Radetzky of the Libyan insurrection.
The last flareup of the 1848 revolutions started with November 1848 assassination of Pellegrino Rossi, who had been appointed prime minister of the papal states by the reformer Pope Pius IX. The assassin was the son of a certain Ciceruacchio of Trastevere, an agent of Britain’s Lord Minto and thus of Palmerston. (There may be some modern Ciceruacchios working for NATO and gunning for Karzai, Maliki, and various Pakistani leaders, to name just a few.) On November 24, 1848 Pius IX fled in disguise to Naples, and a Roman Republic was proclaimed by Mazzini and Garibaldi. Mazzini was driven out on July 3, 1849 by a French army sent by Louis Napoleon, which was destined to stay in Rome for the next 20 years.
In Germany, the Frankfurt Assembly was unable to agree on a workable plan for national unification. It finally urged the King of Prussia to become the constitutional sovereign of a united Germany. Frederick William IV rejected the offer, saying he could not “pick up a crown from the gutter.” Soon Prussian troops dispersed the Frankfurt Assembly, and a new era of authoritarianism was consolidated.
Formal Democracy and Civil Liberties Only, or Economic and Social Rights as Well
The typical demands of the 1848 revolutions were very similar to the so-called democracy slogans being raised across the Arab world today. Agitators demanded constitutional government, the independence and unification of national groups, representative assemblies, the right to vote, restrictions on the police and secret police, trial by jury, civil liberties, freedom of the press and other media, and the right to assemble and demonstrate. As the French 1848 story shows, there was a potentially violent contradiction between an exclusive commitment to these formal democratic demands on the one hand, and the additional demands of working people for economic rights on the other. Today, there is a potentially violent contradiction between the affluent golden youth who are concerned with Internet freedom but fundamentally believe in neoliberal-monetarist financial globalization with free trade and private central banks as the basis of their personal prosperity on the one hand, and working people who are interested in more robust food and fuel subsidies, higher minimum wages, labor legislation, a crackdown on foreign monopolies and cartels, trade union rights, the maintenance of a state sector, and other limitations of the mythical “free market,” on the other.
The Role of the Mazzini Networks in Detonating 1848
As Palmer noted about 1848, “contemporaries sometimes attributed the universality of the phenomenon to the machinations of secret societies….” (Palmer, p. 470) The secret societies in question are first of all those of the Italian pseudo-revolutionary provocateur Giuseppe Mazzini, an agent of the British Admiralty. Mazzini had created a network of ultranationalist or cut-throat nationalist clandestine and semi-clandestine subversive groups in many countries with names like Young Italy, Young Germany (where Karl Marx’s future sidekick Frederick Engels was a member), Young France, Young Poland, and Young America. Young America was favorable to slavery and southern secessionism, and future US President Franklin Pierce had been close to this group. Young England became supporters of Tory Prime Minister Disraeli. Revolutionary leaders like Louis Kossuth of Hungary and Ledru-Roland of France were part of the Mazzini orbit. The Austrian view of Mazzini was that he was used by the British to make Italy turbulent and rebellious, which would be bad for Vienna, without making Italy strong and unified, which would be a threat to London. This is a good summary of the destabilization method used by the Mazzini networks in numerous countries, and by the NED today.
In addition to Mazzini’s radical republicans, the British also fostered a smaller but growing tendency of social republicans, typified by at the beginning of 1848 by Louis Blanc and his National Workshops, which attempted an insurrection against the regime of more moderate Republicans in Paris in June of 1848 – an event which has been celebrated by true believers in the mythology of revolution as the dawn of proletarian violence, and which evoked a violent right-wing reaction across the rest of France. In the course of 1848 we also have the emergence of the German Communist League of Karl Marx and Young Germany alumnus Friedrich Engels, whose Communist Manifesto appeared at the beginning of the year. Communism was not the leading force of 1848, but it spread rapidly in the climate of destabilization. Marx later operated in London for several decades under British auspices, working closely with former UK Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire David Urquhart.
A third prong of the British ideological influence on the 1848 events was the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, whose radicalized followers would become hard-core terrorists in the service of British intelligence against progressive reformers, including Czar Alexander II, in the coming years.
From Mazzini to Gershman and Gene Sharp
Mazzini, Marx, and Bakunin can be compared to Wikileaks, the nihilists Julian Assange and Ghonim of Google, Gershman, color revolution theorist Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institute, Joseph Nye of the US soft power group, and similar figures. Lord Palmerston of England corresponds to Samantha Power and Cass Sunstein of the Obama White House. The Mazzini networks represented the 19thcentury equivalent of the CIA, MI-6, the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and the many nongovernmental organizations and foundations financed by the privatized Anglo-American intelligence community.
The 1848 revolutions made little progress in bringing lasting parliamentary rule to continental Europe, with the main partial exceptions being the Sardinian statuto or constitution and the Prussian constitution of 1850, which had three classes of property qualifications but was still more broadly based than the British system at that time. They did succeed in ending serfdom everywhere but in Russia.
Post-1848: The End of Revolutionary Romantic Illusions and the Growth of Realism
The the post-2001 millennial youth bulge, including the naïve and well-meaning young people of in the Arab world and beyond, like the youth generation of 1848, are largely under the influence of a half-baked revolutionary romanticism which contains distant echoes of the snake oil purveyed by Lord Byron, Mazzini and their ilk. The rank and file youth activists of Tahrir Square typically offered generic slogans about freedom, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and freedom of expression. They insisted on Egyptian national pride, the unity of army and people (a typical Bonapartist theme) and claimed that they were making a revolution on their own, oblivious to the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the project by MI-6, CIA, NED, and the NGOs. For some, Assange was an ego ideal; for others, it might be the unlikely Ghonim. The pathos of these young people was that they were dupes, acting as the walk-ons, extras, and props required as television window-dressing for a CIA script starring Tantawi and a military junta, with IMF villains like el Baradei and Amr Moussa waiting offstage. Clearly, these young people are headed for a letdown of massive disillusionment, out of which a form of sadder but wiser enlightenment might emerge.
The Ideological Hangover after 1848: Cynicism, Tough Mindedness, Power Politics
The years after the failed 1848 revolutions are described in terms of a “new toughness of mind,” featuring cynicism, sober realism, and ruthless pragmatism. Since many of the defeated revolutionary romantics were incapable of discovering the higher historical morality of progressive human development, many opted for a reductionism in which morality was reduced to the rationalization of interests. The connotation of idealism changed from vaguely positive to decidedly negative. Sentimentalism also acquired negative overtones. The arid positivism of Auguste Comte took hold in France, with the brutal cynic Arthur Schopenhauer coming to the fore in Germany. People began to worship power. The so-called post-1848 Realpolitik or power politics was summed up by Prussian Chancellor Bismarck in 1862 with his famous speech asserting that “The great questions of the age will not be resolved by speeches and majority votes – therein lay the great mistake of 1848 and 1849 – but by blood and iron.”
Qaddafi’s Key Blocking Position vs. the Imperialists
In the current crisis, one rule of thumb is that any nation state should be regarded as an actual or potential positive force. The best policy is to work with existing governments rather than trying to smash them, no matter what their defects may be. A state is better than the chaos and anarchy of no state at all. Cliques of subversive generals and bureaucrats bribed by the CIA, backed up by crazed mobs of Facebook devotees thrown into a frenzy of Oedipal hatred against this or that leader, have little to recommend them.
Mubarak capitulated and fell from power, but the more ruthless Qaddafi shows every indication of successfully defending his regime. A defeat of the destabilization of Libya would represent a severe rebuff for the US-UK spooks. As Shashkov notes, “For years the US administrations dreamed of getting rid of Muammar Gaddafi, but each time this charismatic and independent leader somehow manages to outwit the Americans. And thus Gaddafi saved other Arab leaders, who were next in the line, so to speak.”12
Stalingrad of the CIA before Ras Lanouf
Lorenzo Cremonesi, reporting from Libya for the Milan Corriere della Sera, observed in a radio report that the defeat of the anti-Qaddafi rebels at Ras Lanouf on March 10, 2011 represented their Stalingrad. Diehl of the Washington Post sees Qaddafi’s successful defense as a turning point – a Thermidor like the Paris 1848 June Days, but already in mid-March. Diehl writes: ‘…Moammar Gaddafi — who has set Libya ablaze — has become so important…. Gaddafi’s scorched-earth campaign to save himself has not only stopped and partially reversed the advance of rebel forces on Tripoli during the past two weeks; it has done the same to the broader push for Arab democracy. If he survives, the virus of repressive bloodshed and unyielding autocracy could flow back through the region. Maybe it already has…. Pro-democracy forces outside of Egypt and Tunisia have stalled. Algeria and Morocco have gone quiet. In Saudi Arabia on Friday, a “day of anger” advertised for weeks on Facebook failed to produce a significant turnout. And there has been no sign of rebellion in the Arab country whose dictatorship rivals Gaddafi’s for ruthlessness: Syria.’13
Diehl even sees the potential for autocratic restorations, of which there were any number in 1848-49, from Paris to Rome to Berlin to Vienna: ‘The obvious follow-up question: In a Middle East where one dictator is slaughtering his way to at least temporary safety, what might the remains of Egypt’s autocracy be tempted to do if the country’s disorder grows? The country’s new reformist prime minister, Essam Sharaf, clearly has been thinking about this: Last week he warned that an “organized, methodical counter-revolution” was already underway.’14 Could Mubarak, Ben Ali, or their dynasties be restored? What a humiliation for Obama and Panetta if they were!
The arch-destabilizer Gershman complains that ‘Qaddafi’s survival would signal to autocrats that violent resistance is the wisest path. This would shift the momentum in the Middle East and greatly spur the new backlash.”15 If the wily Libyan desert fox survives, the entire CIA theory of mob rule will be discredited. For Qaddafi is a disciple not of Gene Sharp, but of the Porfirio Diaz doctrine of “Shoot ‘em red-handed.” A cynical post-1848-style conclusion drawn by some autocrats might be that it is better to disperse the mob when it gathers in the public square to start a color revolution, rather than being concerned about public opinion in Europe and the United States, since western public opinion will be hostile anyway, thanks to the Wall Street media.
Chaos in Egypt?
Egypt, where Moslem attacks on the Coptic Christian minority have already broken out, and where the police are growing more violent against the remaining demonstrators, appears headed either for military dictatorship, or for chaos. As Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post noted, ‘some Egyptians think the country is dangerously close to unraveling. “We may never get to the presidential election,” said one well-informed source…. The economy, he said, remains stopped; the government may soon run out of cash to pay salaries. Authority of all kinds is crumbling: Factory managers and union leaders are being challenged by their rank and file, and police have largely disappeared from the streets.’16 But in this case, Egypt might be too weak and chaotic to make deals with Iran.
One of the best outcomes for Egypt would be the emergence of a new generation of nationalist colonels who are disgusted by the treachery of US stooges like Field Marshal Tantawi and General Enan, and who would like to return to the traditions of President Nasser, who defied the imperialists by nationalizing the Suez Canal and by building the Aswan High Dam, without which modern Egypt could not exist.
Hopefully, the young rank and file veterans of these failed insurrections will also be able to learn some deeper truths out of their experience of having been duped. A friend of mine from the Philippines has explained at length his own process of growing political awareness after having supported the overthrow of the strong nationalist President Marcos through the 1986 US-backed oligarchical coup whose figurehead was the weak and vapid oligarch Cory Aquino. This was the so-called EDSA agitation in Manila, which set back the economic development of the Philippines, lowered the standard of living, increased political instability, and undermined national independence in favor of a gaggle of parasitic compradors. Such experiences are painful and deplorable, but can also contribute to the formation of capable political activists – real cadres and mass leaders.
If 2011 plays out according to the model of 1848, as now seems increasingly likely, an entire generation of well-meaning revolutionary romantics who had fallen momentarily under the spell of nihilists like Gershman, Assange and Ghonim may wake up to the fact that revolutionary class struggle is a serious business requiring above all two things — program and organization. Program is concerned in the modern age just as much with economics as with political or process reforms. Economic program must aim at freeing the developing countries from the deadly shackles of IMF financial globalization, opening the door instead to national independence, full employment, rising standards of living, improved longevity, and general upgrading of science, technology, industry, and agriculture. Organization is the indispensable vehicle for being able to intervene in mass political upsurges and prevent them from being hijacked by foreign agents and scoundrels like the Libyan rebel council, Field Marshal Tantawi, el Baradei, or Amr Moussa of Egypt.
In short, the aftermath of the 2011 putsch wave may include, if we are lucky, a younger generation which has understood that relying solely on vague slogans about freedom, democracy, and human rights – plus hatred of somebody like Ben Ali or Mubarak — leaves a popular movement adrift and defenseless against well-organized imperialist operatives who seek to use such a movement as a mere taxi to get where they want to go.
The British as the Winners of 1848
The British, who had been close to a revolution themselves in 1830, were the major beneficiaries of the 1848 events. France came under the control of a British asset. Austria lost its most prominent leader and was permanently weakened. Russia was set up to be attacked by Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire in 1853-56, and Russia’s repression of an incipient revolt in Poland in 1848 planted seeds of hatred and resentment which were to explode in the Polish insurrection of 1863. 1848 diminished the continental threat to Britain and allowed London to proceed to the bloody repression of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 in India, followed by the Third Opium War against China in 1860. Most important, the British were able to obtain collaboration and support from France, Spain, and Austria for their attempted encirclement of the United States, timed to coincide with the British encouragement of the secessionist Confederate States of America. This is the sort of outcome the Gershmans of today are hoping for — all fall down, and the US is left standing. But it looks like they might be disappointed.
The years after 1848 thus represented the absolute high water mark of the worldwide power of the British Empire, a period of grave danger of universal colonial empire over the entire planet which receded only with Lincoln’s victory over the Confederate States of America at Appomattox in 1865, followed by Bismarck’s successful unification of Germany in 1871, with British puppet Napoleon III being toppled in the process.
Empire is Bad for the American People
The rebirth of labor ferment, popular agitation, and class defense struggles by working people in the United States, as typified by the resistance against reactionary Republican union-busting governors and their scurrilous “Tea Party” allies in such states as Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and others, holds out the possibility that the divestiture of an imperial role in the world can be accompanied by heavy-duty, anti-Wall Street modernizing reforms along the lines of a second New Deal which would leave the United States far stronger and more prosperous than it is today. The modernizing 1920s reforms of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were able to create a strong and progressive Turkish state amid the general shipwreck of the old and untenable Ottoman Empire. General Charles de Gaulle was able to forge a more powerful, stable, and prosperous France in the aftermath of the French colonial empire in Indochina and Algeria. Americans need to learn that empire is bad for them, since it is empire that brings high unemployment, declining standards of living, reactionary domination, the merciless exploitation of working people, and the growing barbarism of social life – as well as endless wars and endless casualty lists.
The August Coup in Moscow in August 1991 marked the beginning of the end of the USSR as an empire. The current putsch wave may well mark the beginning of the end for the current Anglo-American imperial congeries.
A Distant Mirror: the Roman Military Anarchy of 235-284 AD
Today, the US and British ruling elites hope that the ongoing universal assault on the nation-state, including Russia, China, India, Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, and Iran, can allow indefinite prolongation of Anglo-American world supremacy as a world system based on the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, with NATO serving as the main military enforcement arm. Today’s crisis of the Anglo-American world empire is comparable in some ways to the Roman Empire’s Imperial Crisis or Military Anarchy of 235-284 AD. A reprieve for such an exhausted empire, similar to the late Roman revival from the Diocletian reforms after 284 AD to the final collapse in 476 AD, followed by the Dark Ages, would spell an end to meaningful scientific, technological, and economic development and social progress worldwide. It would mean a descent into the barbarism and neo-feudalism of warlords and petty states. This is why it is imperative that the existing nation-states, despite their many obvious flaws, be defended, and the waves of destabilization beaten back.
1 “Historian warns of sudden collapse of American ‘empire,’”
by Brent Gardner-Smith, Aspen Daily News,
Tuesday, July 6, 2010