The Gallup Poll organisation takes international polls and in 2013, they asked which country represents the greatest threat to world peace and stability? The answer was the United States by a staggering margin, with Iran and Russia barely mentioned. Pakistan came in at a distant second, no doubt influenced by the Indian participants of the poll. Interestingly enough, a similar poll was never again conducted and the results of the 2013 weren’t publicly released, thus quickly forgotten.
The genius of George W. Bush’s strategy of America’s putative “war on terrorism” is that they’ve successfully by-passed the criminal-justice system by reframing acts of terror as “acts of war.” This has allowed the steep continuation of the stranglehold the military industrial, congressional complex exercises on American politics, its politicians, its policies, and its foreign affairs and virtually guarantees it an even bigger slice of the economic pie.
Since its independence on the 4th July 1776 more that 200-years ago, the United States of America has been at war, in an armed conflict/s, actively fermented insurrections or been responsible for overthrowing democratically elected governments for 93% of its existence, a staggering statistic for a country that claims to be the “torchbearer” of democracy, democratic values and a free society. This does not include the malicious bombing of Dresden during WWII, or the egregious dropping of not one, but two nuclear bombs on an already defeated Japan at the close of the war.
The United States of America has a military presence in at least 800 places across the globe, some like Germany and Japan are fully-fledged and functioning garrisons fortified with multiple battalions and equipped with cutting-edge American weapons technologies, others are advisory sanctuaries with modest troop levels and others are observation, communication data collection and spying posts and still others, small military outposts for American special forces troops. But here’s what makes this all the more remarkable, other than the sheer number of bases which by the normal standards reeks of Empire-building, this considering there’s only 193 countries in the world. The United States has been able to convert these military bases into de facto military-diplomatic embassies to support the goals of American military adventurism, with all the protections becoming of normal embassies.
It’s interesting to note that whilst every American President has been an active “snake oil salesman” for globalisation, since its advent and inception in 1980, the consequential de-industrialisation of its (the American) heartland through the exportation of manufacturing and formalised through deals they have with the Chinese, the Europeans (via NATO), and of course, NAFTA, has never ever hinted at say, Raytheon, McDonnell Douglass or Northrup Grumman moving their factories overseas? Does this make you think? Well known international social activist, linguist, philosopher and social commentator, Noam Chomsky believes that most American presidents would be found guilty of war crimes, if they were tried by the standards of Nuremburg.
Did you know that the American PIC, Prison Industrial Complex, which can trace its genesis to Nixon’s “War on drugs” back in 1971, is the third largest employer in the world, with America holding the leading incarcerator position detaining up to 25% of the global prisoner population? Did you also know that the prison population stands at an incomprehensible 4-million inmates, which put in perspective is almost the population of the nation state of Israel. But more on that later…