Tides of Darkness

January 6, 2012

More War in 2012

Last year was supposed to be the one of shattered illusions. From “victories” in Iraq and Afghanistan to the springtime for jihad – not democracy – in the Arab world, the Empire consistently failed to conjure its virtual reality into actual being. Yet there is no indication its leadership is prepared to abandon virtual thinking in 2012. It is an election year, after all.

Emperor Obama will no doubt argue that presiding over the killing of Osama bin Laden, ending the Iraq War and “liberating” Libya all qualify him for a second turn at the throne. The logical course for a challenger would be to question the benefit of all that worldwide warmongering, given the economic collapse at home. However, both the GOP establishment and the media seem desperate not to do that, as they continue the circus of electing “anyone but Paul” as their candidate.

Not happy with delivering North Africa to the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk last year, the Empire is eager for more “successes.” Syria has been marinating for months, and there are claims an invasion – disguised as “humanitarian assistance to democracy,” or some such – is now in the works. Another potential target is Iran. There are many compelling arguments against both wars, but one needs to keep in mind that none are likely to sway people convinced that they alone decide and create reality, while the rest of the world gets to look on.

The Bipartisan Consensus

It is as if imperialism has become the bipartisan consensus no one – save the Heretic Paul – dares even question, much less oppose. Questioning it results in the outpour of self-righteous indignation and Nazi comparisons. After all, roars Establishment columnist Richard Cohen:

America remains a mighty nation, capable of doing good in the world. That’s far different than expanding an empire or making the world safe for McDonald’s. The intervention in Libya, a NATO operation but an American enterprise, succeeded. So did the ones in Bosnia and Kosovo.” 

Except, you know, they didn’t.

Where to begin? Now that Gadhafi is gone, the interventionists are happy to claim the war was an American enterprise. At the time, however, they tried to weasel out of even calling it a war! As for the “liberated” Libya, it is presently in chaos, with tribal militias carving out their own fiefdoms. Bosnia is a malfunctioning protectorate, though it did finally get a government last week (after a year of squabbling) and without any outside meddling. “Kosovo” is a self-proclaimed state, reliant on German occupation troops to enforce the “government’s” writ.

Success, indeed!

The “making the world safe for McDonald’s” is a swipe at another establishment darling, interventionist Thomas Friedman, who wrote in 1999:

The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

Who knew that it was all about selling iPhones abroad? But it isn’t, of course. Friedman is a charlatan.

So, for that matter, is Cohen. Recall that in 2003, he argued that “bagging Karadzic” would demonstrate American friendship for Muslims of the world. Well, Karadzic was “bagged” in 2008, Ratko Mladic last year, the US has created not one but two Islamic states in the Balkans (per Tom Lantos)… where’s all the gratitude?

Well, there was Frankfurt, North Carolina, Sarajevo, Fort Dix, Salt Lake City

Logic, however, doesn’t enter into it. “Our brave heroes” in the military may need food stamps to feed their children, but who cares – the U.S. can still bomb some country Over There to ruins, and that’s all that matters, right? Conservative or “progressive,” everyone is an interventionist now.

The God that Failed

Parallel to the open warfare, the Empire continues its cloak-and-dagger efforts to subvert target states through “color revolutions.” The latest target is Russia, where questionable claims of electoral fraud have been used as a pretext for the “White” revolution – planned, organized and financed by Washington.

The troubles with these faux-revolutions are many. One of the most pernicious, of course, is that they undermine the very concept of democracy as a system of government by consent. In the virtual world of the Empire (and its EU extension), only those that serve and obey are “democrats,” regardless of what they actually believe and how many votes they get at the polls. As Philip Cunliffe observed several years ago in Serbia, “what counts as democracy is what the EU decides is democratic, and the democrats are those who are anointed by the international community, regardless of who actually receives the votes.”

It is bad enough that the Empire made democracy a religion, and a false one at that. Now it is going around the world subverting that very religion, leaving millions of cheated, angry people in its wake. Worse yet, the tendrils of this approach are showing up at home, from street protests to party primaries.

In the Bunker

Everything is connected. It is foolish in the extreme to believe that unrestricted warfare abroad or reducing democracy to absurdity through color revolutions will have no fallout at home. Then again, we are talking about a political caste that prefers living in a virtual world to even acknowledging actual reality.

Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and progressives, neocons and neolibs – whatever label they go by, they share the same underlying premise: that they can command the world, move little flags on the map, push buttons, send suitcases of cash, and the world will do their bidding. Anyone who tries to argue with this madness is derided as a heretic or lunatic. It’s a bunker mentality, and sooner or later the reality of it will hit. The only question is how many more people will die before that happens.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for Antiwar.com debuted in November 2000.