Ultimately, the corporations and financial leaders are the new governance of the world. Democracy and sovereignty cannot exist within that structure and it is all too evident that it does not. Nominally in some countries there is the pretense of sovereignty and the pretense of democracy but the power that has been given over to the corporations puts limits on and curtails the democratic sovereign rights of the citizens of most countries. These corporations carry no responsibility to the people of the world, and are designed singularly for the purpose of increasing their own wealth.
Until that power is curbed, true democracy, a true independent sovereignty cannot exist. And again, that also ties into the military-industrial complex as the hyphenated appellation indicates it should.
The world is entangled in a web of military and political events driven by the arrogance, hubris, false ‘exceptionalism’, feigned democracy, and globalization dogma from mainly U.S. political-corporate leaders. NATO and the EU are generally willing and complicit adventurers within the empire. This empire uses soft power—the power of Madison Avenue and Wall Street—to persuade the world of the empire’s righteousness and to keep its citizens distracted and entertained with its many diversions. Hard power— Thomas Freedman’s infamous ‘invisible’ fist of the military—is now obviously visible since the events of 9/11, although it was obviously visible before that for those who cared to look and could see through the haze of lies and propaganda that has become our cultural and political lives.
U.S. history is consistent with military adventures and solutions. It started with the Indian wars, shifted over to the Mexican, then Spanish wars, leading overseas to the Philippines. From there it encompassed all of Latin America, directly and indirectly, through invasions, military and political support of various regimes, and the ugly training of a generation of military leaders at the School of the Americas.
The military gained predominance with the creation of the nuclear industry and all the damage it has wrought. Accompanying this was the ‘communist threat’, a created paradigm that provided strength to the military-industrial complex, and allowed the U.S. government to create and retain the ‘fear factor’ of the threats of communism. From that, global warring proceeded with the complacency of the public assisted by the declining power of the media. When the Soviet dictatorship self-imploded, the world stood at the abyss of peace…but the U.S. quickly hauled us back from the brink, waiting for and receiving its ‘new Pearl Harbor.’
The new Pearl Harbor arrived and various events were set into motion.
The U.S. and much of the rest of the world, now lives in an environment of constant, ever-present, and omnipotently enabled surveillance. The U.S. has hundreds (some estimates reach over a thousand) of army bases of many different kinds spread over more than one hundred and fifty countries. It has constant surveillance from home and abroad, ready, able and willing to kill remotely through drones controlled by a stick-jockey somewhere in the ‘homeland.’ The global rights of citizens have been effectively reduced such that all people are under threat of imminent indefinite removal as the state security apparatus decides.
The new enemy—variously terrorists, Islamicists, rogue states, extremists, radicals, but mostly terrorists, foreign or domestic—is another created enemy, the new fear factor used to control the operations of the world. The mainstream media is almost entirely controlled by several large corporations that are fundamental to the political-military-corporate complex. Little if any critical news, little if any news in context, and all too often, little if any truth is evident from the mainstream media. There is a revolving door between the various institutions of government, the corporations, and the military leadership, making it relatively important to maintain the façade of the global war on terror, the long war, instilling fear, obedience and complacency into the populace.
The Middle East
With the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, two significant events shaped the future of the region. Both events involved the reigning colonial powers in making arrangements for the future of the Middle East that were decidedly non-democratic. The first was the Sykes-Picot agreement between the British and the French which outlined the future division of colonial powers for the area. Those artificial boundaries remain mostly in place the modern world, fractured by the ongoing wars that are derivative of the agreement. The second event was the Balfour Declaration, more basically a letter between members of the British government promising the creation of a Jewish homeland to the Jewish people. The inter-relationship of these two agreements set the base for our current problems.
Oil was another base. The British had already made discoveries of the great potential of the oil rich region for its military, in particular the navy. The many interactions between the British with Egypt, the Palestine Mandate, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and the gulf coast states mainly concerned retaining the oil riches of the region as well as the militarily strategic advantages of the Suez Canal and the naval routes to India and the western Pacific.
After World War II, the U.S. became predominant. It too recognized the importance of the oil resource, and the strategic importance of the Middle East vis a vis its communist scare campaign, routes of transport for commerce and the military, and its containment of Russia and China.
Without repeating a history that is well presented in many books, the world has arrived at its current state of affairs.
Today the Middle East is in constant turmoil. This has been one of the successes of U.S. policy as constant turmoil, constant domestic strife, constant religious factional strife keeps these governments weak and unable to respond in any serious manner to Israel, or to stand in the way of the containment of Russia and China. One of the main truths of historical research combined with current events is that the U.S. has absolutely no interest in democracy or freedoms in the region as long as the dictators, oligarchs, and monarchies that exist are on their side. Genocide and murder mean little to their overall goals, and associating with tyrants is simply another means to fuller control.
From Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain, all the ‘democratic’ protests have faltered and remained unrealized. The phenomenon of mass protest orchestrated through internet access and websites gave the illusion of power to the people, but when the protests became too serious, the governments with their militaries push back violently. The ideas are strong, but the sword is more potent.
The big newsmaker, as of this writing, is Syria. After my decade of reading and synthesizing materials from many sources, I have arrived at the point where I do not believe anything the U.S government, the U.S. mainstream media, tries to tell me about what is actually occurring in the region. Fortunately there are many alternate internet sites available to corroborate information and further analyze and synthesize current affairs information before reaching any conclusions (RT News, al-Jazeera, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Truthout, Palestine Chronicle, Axis of Logic, Znet, Asia Times, online among my most referenced).
Of course, Syrian news is dulled by the fog and haze of war and the rhetoric of both sides, but it is clear enough that the U.S. is acting well outside international law, and is acting well outside democratic discourse. Syria is one of the countries highlighted by the neocons of the New American Century that was to be changed en route to Iran and the ultimate freeing of Israel from any possible outside threat. It also has the privilege of harboring the only Russian naval port in the Mediterranean, and is part of a proposed pipe-line route that avoids U.S. entanglements.
So what is the truth in Syria? Certainly not how the U.S. presents it. As with its other wars of aggressions, a created mythology of an evil enemy, the now discredited ‘right to protect’ dogma, and the ongoing fear of terror acts, in particular with chemical weapons in this case, all are used in attempts to rationalize, legalize, internationalize any U.S. actions against the state. The empty jargon of freedom and democracy also comes to the fore. All this is thrown away by the U.S.’s own actions in supporting some of the ‘rebels’ who turn out to be al-Qaeda linked groups operating with the support of those paragons of democracy Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Obama backed off on his personal unilateral declaration of war and is now in the process of aligning congress to accept his “limited…proportional” attack. Anyone who has followed current events knows that this is a sham and a lie intended to destroy Assad and Syria, just as Iraq and Afghanistan have been wasted through military might.