“There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.” – retired US Army Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters
Here’s a quick question: How many countries are the United States and its allies currently waging wars against?
Is it three, four, five, six, or more?
There’s the war against Afghanistan, which has become the longest conflict in US history, surpassing the Vietnam War.
There’s the continuing American occupation of Iraq and counter-insurgency war there.
And now there is what Barack Obama euphemistically called NATO’s “kinetic military action” (i.e. war) against Libya.
There’s also the routine American bombing of nations like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
And this list doesn’t even address the unofficial covert wars that the USA is fomenting against countries from South America to Africa.
Ultimately, America is waging so many wars around the planet that they’re increasingly difficult to keep track of.
All told, the USA and its “coalition of the willing” have murdered hundreds of thousands of people from Southwest Asia to North Africa, maimed countless more civilians, displaced greater numbers as refugees, and savaged entire nations in everything but name.
What’s more, these wars have been normalized, becoming an enduring facet of US political life. What “antiwar” opposition that exists is largely based upon self-serving concerns that these wars are too costly in blood and treasure for the USA — and not motivated by opposition to American aggression or the effects on its victims.
Even more outrageous is that the USA claims to be threatened by other nations–even as it is actually bombing, invading, regime changing, sanctioning, and threatening countries the world over.
From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, from the Red Scare to the Yellow Peril, from Latin American narco-traffickers to Islamic militants, the USA always needs an external bogeyman to hate.
You might call this Uncle Sam’s Evil-Doers-Hate-Our-Freedoms doctrine of US foreign policy.
The USA demonizes the “Other” as evil in order to uphold itself as the epitome of the good.
America psychologically projects its own militarism and aggression onto its opponents.
What underlies this mentality is American Exceptionalism, a kind of national mythology that powerfully shapes US culture and identity. Based upon the original Puritans’ vision of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, this idea asserts that the USA is a “shining city on a hill” uniquely blessed by God to act as a beacon of liberty for all humanity.
For adherents of this secular religion, America possesses divine dispensation as a chosen nation that uniquely embodies human freedom itself. Opponents of the USA are thus by definition anti-freedom.
Beyond this, America’s wars are marketed through a blizzard of propaganda peddled by a supposedly free press. War rationales can include counter-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, humanitarianism, or promoting democracy, but they are all pretexts through and through.
These various alibis conceal what are in fact American wars of aggression to advance multiple ambitions involving everything from the control of energy resources to military dominance of strategic regions of the globe to containment of “enemy” nations to enforcing the dominance of US free market capitalism and the US dollar.
In short, the agenda is to make the world safe — not for democracy and freedom — but for the American Empire and its capitalist system.
As the noted New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman once admitted: “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15, and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”
Indeed, America’s wealth, economy, and way of life are ultimately dependent on what the Pentagon calls its doctrine of “US full spectrum dominance,” or total US military supremacy.
The killing and exploitation of millions of people in the Third World are the necessary collateral damage of defending this American Dream.
Even some members of the US national security establishment, however, recognize the contours of this modern day Rome.
Former US National Security Agency operative John Perkins asserts that the USA has “created the world’s first truly global empire.”
And US military analyst/journalist Wayne Madsen suggests that “NATO is accomplishing what Adolf Hitler could only dream of: a Euro-Atlantic military alliance that dominates the entire world.”
Indeed, the USA and its NATO allies are engaged in a planetary blitzkrieg, with an expanding array of targets and regions for potential military pre-emption or so-called humanitarian intervention.
One must thus wonder: unlike the “good Germans” who had the excuse of state repression to justify their acquiescence to Nazi atrocities during WWII, what alibi do good Americans living in the world’s leading democracy possess to rationalize their support for the United States’ own criminal wars?