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US Empire

Why US Foreign Military Bases Should Be Reduced Significantly

Soon after the Second World War ended, the British government with its vast colonial empire made significant territorial concessions to the USA which could facilitate the rapid spread of USA military bases in many parts of the world. In addition of course the defeated Axis countries and their territories could provide another suitable place for the rapid proliferation of the US military bases that was to follow. In recent decades there have been several closures of these bases but there have been several new ones coming up as well. This together with definitional issues makes it difficult to give precise numbers, and it has been stated that even the Pentagon may struggle to give a precise number and list.

Newsletter: Color Revolution Comes Home?

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era, but it has been in the post-World War II-time period that it has perfected regime change operations.US military presence around the world Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.

Empire’s Fleeting Leadership In Its Yard

Mr. Biden, the US President, expressed his hopes as he said: “I think I find no reason why the Western Hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere over the next 10 years, does not develop into the most democratic hemisphere in the world, most democratic region in the entire world.” He identified important factors in the region: “We have everything. We have the people, we have the resources and we have more democracies in this hemisphere than any other hemisphere.” So, the US leader expressed hope: “This is a lot we can do, but a lot of it matters in the private enterprise side equation.” He mentioned “enormous ideas and opportunities” in the region.

Biden’s Summit Of No-Shows

I tip my cap, as we all should, to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico. And to Presidents Luis Arce of Bolivia, Xiaomara Castro of Honduras, Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and Nayib Bukele of El Savador. They all pointedly declined to join President Joe Biden at his Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last week, joining to protest Biden’s refusal to invite Miguel Díaz–Canel, Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua respectively. Add it up. Eight of the region’s 33 nations were absent when Biden convened the summit “to demonstrate the resurgence of U.S. leadership in the region,” as the government-supervised New York Times forlornly put it. Don’t they ever get tired of these long-exhausted phrases over on Eighth Avenue?

Guantanamo Bay And The US Global Empire

In the twenty-ninth installment of “The Watchdog” podcast, Lowkey speaks to Todd E. Pierce about the global reach of the U.S. empire and its totalitarian ambitions to control the entire planet. Todd is a retired U.S. Army officer and defense attorney whose experiences serving at the front line of empire moved him to become a defender of its victims. Towards the end of his military service, he volunteered to become a defense attorney for three prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Previously a neoconservative cold warrior, Pierce joined the military at an early age and served in the first Gulf War. Yet after being exposed to the realities of neoconservative doctrine, his faith in the project began to waver.

Abby Martin On The Question: What Are The Prospects For Peace?

Events are unfolding at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we are looking to our most respected and renowned thought leaders for an honest assessment of both U.S. foreign and military policy to offer their most current thoughts and insights. We know they have some ideas for improving the prospects for peace. Abby Martin is an American journalist, TV presenter and activist. She helped found the citizen journalism website Media Roots and serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. She hosted Breaking the Set on the network RT America from 2012 to 2015, and then launched The Empire Files in that same year as an investigative documentary and interview series on Telesur, later released as a web series.

Lessons From 50 Years Covering Foreign Policy

For over 50 years I have been writing about foreign policy — mostly America’s, but those of other nations as well. I think I have a pretty good grasp of places like Turkey, China, India, Russia, and the European Union. I regret that I am less than sure-footed in Africa and Latin America. During this time I have also learned a fair amount about military matters and various weapons systems, because they cost enormous amounts of money that could be put to much better use than killing and maiming people. But also because it’s hard to resist the absurd: the high performance US F-35 fighter jet — at $1.7 trillion, the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — that costs $36,000 an hour to fly, shoots itself, and can decapitate pilots who attempt to bail out.

The Empire’s Last Stand

In the early months of 1947, President Harry Truman and Dean Acheson, his secretary of state, made up their minds to prop up Greece’s openly fascist monarchy against a popular revolt they had cast as a Soviet threat. After much hand-wringing, Truman went to Congress on March 12 to ask for $400 million in aid, not quite $5 billion today when adjusted for inflation. Truman and Acheson knew the Greek intervention would be a hard sell: Congress was in no mood to spend that kind of money, and the war-weary public harbored hope for FDR’s vision of a postwar order built on the principle of peaceful coexistence. As the speech went through its multiple drafts, Arthur Vandenberg, Republican senator from Michigan and a presence in the planning of America’s postwar posture, offered advice that must be counted elegantly forthright, if diabolic in its cynicism.

The Winner In Afghanistan: China

The collapse of the American project in Afghanistan may fade fast from the news here, but don’t be fooled. It couldn’t be more significant in ways few in this country can even begin to grasp. “Remember, this is not Saigon,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a television audience on August 15th, the day the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital, pausing to pose for photos in the grandly gilded presidential palace. He was dutifully echoing his boss, President Joe Biden, who had earlier rejected any comparison with the fall of the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, in 1975, insisting that “there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”

A 9/11 Excerpt From ‘The Management Of Savagery’

Two hours’ drive from Kandahar, in the southern Afghan desert city where the Taliban were born and where Osama bin Laden maintained his operational base, a February 2001 wedding ceremony became the stage for bin Laden’s first public appearance in several years. Seated in the shade of palm trees was the Al Qaeda leader’s seventeen-year-old son, Mohammed, his father’s personal protector and likely successor. To his left was Mohammed Atef, an Egyptian comrade of Zawahiri who acted as the chief military strategist of Al Qaeda—the brains behind its operations. To Mohammed’s right sat his father, who smiled proudly as his son prepared to marry Atef’s fourteen-year-old daughter. Ahmad Zaidan, a correspondent for the Qatari outlet Al Jazeera, was ferried to the wedding with a camera crew in an effort to provide bin Laden with the publicity he had been denied by the Taliban.

Afghan Crisis Must End US’s Empire Of War, Corruption And Poverty

Americans have been shocked by videos of thousands of Afghans risking their lives to flee the Taliban’s return to power in their country - and then by an Islamic State suicide bombing and ensuing massacre by U.S. forces that together killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops.  Even as UN agencies warn of an impending humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the U.S. Treasury has frozen nearly all of the Afghan Central Bank’s $9.4 billion in foreign currency reserves, depriving the new government of funds that it will desperately need in the coming months to feed its people and provide basic services.  Under pressure from the Biden administration, the International Monetary Fund decided not to release $450 million in funds that were scheduled to be sent to Afghanistan to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic. 

As US Empire Declines, What Openings Exist For Progressive Movements?

The fall of Kabul with, once again, the hurried and chaotic departure of surprised Americans, has led to an abundance of hand-wringing from the U.S. political center, as well as the right. Its larger meaning is important for people who want progressive change in the United States. For well over a decade I’ve noted to activist audiences that the U.S. empire is in decline. At the same time, I’ve encouraged activists to see this as good news — even if it means there will be challenges like increasing polarization. For one thing, the decline won’t be causing centrists to re-evaluate their support for empire. They don’t even use the word “empire,” of course — but running an empire has been a fact of life for U.S. governments since the late 1800s when the left lost the vigorous national debate about imperialism.

The Return Of The Taliban 20 Years Later

In recent years, the United States has failed to accomplish any of the objectives of its wars. The US entered Afghanistan with horrendous bombing and a lawless campaign of extraordinary rendition in October 2001 with the objective of ejecting the Taliban from the country; now, 20 years later, the Taliban is back. In 2003, two years after the US unleashed a war in Afghanistan, it opened an illegal war against Iraq, which ultimately resulted in an unconditional withdrawal of the United States in 2011 after the refusal by the Iraqi parliament to allow US troops extralegal protections. As the US withdrew from Iraq, it opened a terrible war against Libya in 2011, which resulted in the creation of chaos in the region.

US Government Lied For Two Decades About Afghanistan

“The Taliban regime is coming to an end,” announced President George W. Bush at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on December 12, 2001 — almost twenty years ago today. Five months later, Bush vowed: “In the United States of America, the terrorists have chosen a foe unlike they have faced before. . . . We will stay until the mission is done.” Four years after that, in August of 2006, Bush announced: “Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds.  . . . The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan.” For two decades, the message Americans heard from their political and military leaders about the country’s longest war was the same. America is winning.

Afghanistan – Longest US War Continues To A New Stage

In recent weeks, the Taliban military rapidly advanced, taking provincial capitals in Afghanistan and then the capital city of Kabul on August 15. The US-backed former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in a helicopter packed with cash, the US embassy took down the stars-and-stripes, and Western governments evacuated personnel. In the leadup to the debacle, the US bombed a country, which has minimal air defenses, in a war that has cost at least 171,000 to 174,000 lives. Along with Qatar-based long-range B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers and AC-130 Spectre gunships, MQ-9 Reaper drones were deployed. While claiming it would end the war, the US had intended to continue to bomb Afghanistan at will and to keep private military contractors (i.e., mercenaries) there, along with some uniformed US and allied NATO troops such as those from Turkey.
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