Geopolitical Economy Report editor Ben Norton interviewed economist Michael Hudson to explore the reasons why Israel is such an important part of U.S. foreign policy and Washington’s attempt to dominate not only the region of the Middle East, but really the entire world. It is crucial to stress that Israel is an extension of U.S. geopolitical power in one of the most critically important regions of the world. In fact, it was current U.S. President Joe Biden, back in 1986, when he was a senator, who famously said that, if Israel didn’t exist, the United States would have to invent it: If we look at the Middle East, I think it’s about time we stop, those of us who support, as most of us do, Israel in this body, for apologizing for our support for Israel. There is no apology to be made. None. It is the best $3 billion investment we make.
The term “free world” was a mainstay of the cold war lexicon for decades. Although the United States and its NATO allies still portray themselves as paragons of free thought and action and declare anyone they don’t like as laggards in regard to human rights. They make quite a show of bragging about being democracies but their actions prove otherwise. The U.S. and Israel continue their killing spree in Gaza which now totals 11,000 fatalities of men, women, and children. While the President of the United States claimed to have seen confirmation that Hamas beheaded children, Palestinians in their sorrow display the broken bodies of their children, some of them headless or limbless as Israel bombs homes, hospitals, and ambulances.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has arrived in New York to attend an emergency session of the UN General Assembly on 26 October, as diplomatic activity surrounding Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza and the horrific death toll among Palestinians intensifies. Thursday’s session is devoted to the topic of “illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” and comes ahead of a planned General Assembly vote Friday on a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the now 19-day war between the Hamas-led Palestinian resistance and Israel.
When I travel abroad, which is infrequently these days, I find myself more than occasionally expressing gratitude to those I meet. “We Americans are fortunate,” I explain, “in that others are usually able to distinguish between the American people and the American government.” I made a remark such as this most recently to a couple of distinguished Serbians I met at a conference this past summer. Our topic was the American-led NATO bombing campaign in what was then Yugoslavia during the spring of 1999. People in Belgrade and elsewhere still suffer the consequences of the depleted uranium U.S. bombers dropped—premature deaths, very high cancer rates, the whole nine.
Years before emerging as Kiev’s top private weapons trafficker, ex-legislator Serhiy Pashinsky played a key role in the 2014 US-backed coup which toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president and set the stage for a devastating civil war. Though the notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian parliamentarian was condemned by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a “criminal” as recently as 2019, a lengthy exposé by the New York Times has now identified Pashinsky as the Ukrainian government’s “biggest private arms supplier.” Perhaps predictably, the report makes no mention of evidence implicating Pashinsky in the 2014 massacre of 70 anti-government protesters in Kiev’s Maidan Square, an incident which pro-Western forces used to consummate their coup d’etat against then-President Viktor Yanukovych.
At the zenith of the mass protests in Egypt on January 25, 2011, Twitter, Facebook and other Western-based social media platforms appeared to be the most essential tools for the Egyptian Revolution. Though some observers later contested the use of the terms ‘Twitter Revolution’ or ‘Social Media Revolution,’ one cannot deny the centrality of these platforms in the discussion around the events that attempted to redefine the power structures of Egypt. It was hardly a surprise that, on January 26, the Egyptian regime decided to block access to social media in a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of the protests.
It is no secret that United Nations mediation is in a state of decline. The U.N. is no longer in the lead role in conflict countries where the secretary-general and his representatives or special envoys are mandated to provide mediation and good offices. In most of these conflicts, powerful members of the Security Council, regional and subregional organizations are taking the lead, pushing the U.N. to the sidelines. The only two conflicts where the U.N. is still clearly in the lead are Cyprus and Western Sahara, and, in both countries, it has failed for decades to make any progress.
On the last day of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the five founding states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) welcomed six new members: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The BRICS partnership now encompasses 47.3 percent of the world’s population, with a combined global Gross Domestic Product (by purchasing power parity, or PPP,) of 36.4 percent. In comparison, though the G7 states (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) account for merely 10 percent of the world’s population, their share of the global GDP (by PPP) is 30.4 percent.
Nineteen years ago, the U.S. had the strongest military in the world, but the economy was showing signs of weakness. Back in March of 2000, the stock market bubble burst, resulting in the NASDAQ or “dot com bubble” crash. Still at that time, most of the country believed Reagan as he referred to the country as, “…the shining city upon a hill…” Due to its military might the U.S. was able to project its power and impose its will upon the world. Rove’s arrogant assertion that “…when we act, we create our own reality…” is a major part of the problem that the U.S. empire is facing today. What gets lost in this assessment is the historic reality that all empires run their course.
On Saturday, July 1, around 250,000 people gathered at Zócalo square in Mexico City to celebrate five years since the presidential victory of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The citizens called AMLO’s victory as “the triumph of the people,” hailed the good work done by the AMLO government, and expressed their support for the Fourth Transformation of the country, led by AMLO’s ruling Morena party. This rally comes as the Morena Party is picking a new candidate for the upcoming presidential elections. Since assuming office, AMLO has taken significant steps in strengthening Mexico’s sovereignty and challenging the hegemony of the United States.
Thousands gathered in the southwestern German town Ramstein to protest against US military hegemony and demanded the US military withdraw from Germany. About 1,500 people joined in the march holding banners that read "No weapon transportation to Ukraine" and "Americans go home." Many participants delivered speeches denouncing US military hegemony in front of the US air force base in the town. "You know we have 22 wars in the world and about 200 military or armed conflicts. In the main majority of these conflicts, the United States of America is a part of it. So, the US is a key player when we are discussing a world to war or a world to peace.
I was planning to write this week about the expanding war in Ukraine and the danger it poses for the Biden Administration. I had a lot to say. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has resigned, and her last day in office is June 30. Her departure has triggered near panic inside the State Department about the person many there fear will be chosen to replace her: Victoria Nuland. Nuland’s hawkishness on Russia and antipathy for Vladimir Putin fits perfectly with the views of President Biden. Nuland is now the undersecretary for political affairs and has been described as “running amok,” in the words of a person with direct knowledge of the situation, among the various bureaus of the State Department while Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on the road.
Change is coming to the World Bank. While not expected to be formalized until October, it looks like the two big shifts will involve climate change and a bigger emphasis on middle income countries. It’s difficult to predict exactly how the new mission will play out, but one thing is clear: the efforts are being driven by the desire to counter/thwart Beijing’s expanding global influence. Both Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan devoted chunks of their big China speeches in April to the subject. And it looks like the reforms will go hand in hand with pushing the debunked narrative that Chinese lending is a debt trap while also trying to relegate China to the backseat in the growing number of distressed countries.
The conflict now raging between the West and Russia and China is a struggle for global power. At the end of the Second World War the economic weight and influence of the United States allowed it to dominate world trade and manufacturing but also to control financial markets as well as build a system of global political and military alliances and bases which reinforced its control. Today its imperial dominance is under threat. The US is trying to prevent the emergence of rivals for world hegemony and block the development of a multipolar world. But it still maintains a residual power based on the role of the dollar as well as its military forces and political pacts.
During the first year of the Obama administration, I spent months in the summer and fall of 2009 reporting about the Pakistani nuclear arsenal from here in Washington; from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital; from New Delhi, the Indian capital; and from London, where Pervez Musharraf, the former president of Pakistan as well a former army chief was living in exile. The story I eventually published in the New Yorker was edited slightly in accordance with a White House request that I did not contest. The issues then and today are the same: Pakistan is a nuclear-armed nation. So is India, its rival, an on-and-off ally of both Russia and America that rarely, if ever, discusses its own nuclear capability.