U.S. imperial behavior – Letter to the Editor

“It’s easier to fool someone than to persuade them that they’ve been fooled.”
Most Americans, asked whether they support empire and imperial behavior, would say no. They don’t think we live in it—notwithstanding over 800 U.S. military bases around the globe and a trillion-dollar military budget, a constant state of war and threats of war, military intervention 251 times since 1991 by a recent survey. U.S. financial dominance subordinates other economies, induces debt dependency, and imposes unlawful sanctions, abusing what a French finance minister called the dollar’s “exorbitant privilege.”
Those who don’t speak out against this imperial behavior are supporting it. Everyone needs help cutting through the media fog.
“What is the greatest threat to world peace?” International polls by Gallup and Reuters and Zogby all found the same leading answer: United States. Yet our captive mainstream media and guided social media and nearly all local outlets tell us the opposite. It’s much easier and more comforting to believe that the U.S. is a force for democracy and the rule of law.
Domestic anti-imperialist critiques have been quieted, and foreign leaders who oppose our agenda are smeared, caricatured, denounced as the latest “Hitler.” So-called progressives have been led into supporting many wars and “color revolutions” against countries that oppose us. Remember Gen. Wesley Clark’s revelation that in September 2001 Rumsfeld shared a plan to overthrow five Mideast governments?
There was much domestic opposition to the Iraq war and its lies (Madeleine Albright called the half-million dead women and children “worth it”). Nevertheless, many now accept that U.S. international behavior is high-minded. The U.S. “crusader” mentality is deeply rooted – across the political field.
A most sophisticated propaganda system, ours, has many people following all that finger-pointing, fearing those who oppose us, and believing that NATO is a defensive alliance despite its destructive wars in non-NATO countries. Many haven’t noticed that the U.S. rejects multi-lateral agreements at will and has repeatedly sabotaged opportunities for accommodation and arms reduction, globally and in Ukraine.
The U.S., beginning no later than 1997, actively planned and provoked war in Ukraine, despite warnings from many diplomats and scholars. This recent history is ignored in favor of the mantra that Russian intervention was “unprovoked.” In addition, we’re told repeatedly but without evidence that Russia has imperial ambitions and also behaves irrationally.
Delusions are now crashing against the rocks of catastrophe in a devastated Ukraine. In “Foreign Affairs,” establishment and pro-war writers now say U.S. strategy has been “a course that has led to a dead end.” Russian military and logistical superiority are hinted. A fallback stance calls it a “stalemate” without a cease-fire agreement – but given past Western duplicity in Ukraine, attested by several European heads of state, why would Russia agree to that?
Will we retain essential memory – or encourage further amnesia? Remember which country has other ones surrounded by Western missiles, military bases, and threatening exercises. The Ukraine war was provoked. Anti-imperialist education starts here at home.

Dave Gutknecht

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