are now forced to do what they find hardest in life: consider
that the world does not revolve around them, that they are secondary
players on the global stage. The fate of the United States is
in the hands of other peoples, in other nations, whose strategies
of resistance to the Bush men's transparent grab for planetary
hegemony will determine the general character of the Pirate's
inevitable failure. Blacks, other threatened ethnicities, the
poor, and political progressives of all backgrounds will have
a difficult enough time keeping heads above water and bodies
out of prison as the Bush men thrash about in a world they cannot
master, and chickens come home to roost.
States is about to be redlined by the international community,
and there is nothing that Americans, pro- or anti-war, can do
news is, American life as we know it is about to come to an
end. The bad news is... American life as we know it is about
to come to an end.
propelling the decline of American power and the necessary reorganization
of U.S. society have been in motion for some time. The world
in general has gotten much richer since the U.S. assumed its
temporary position as guardian of capitalism and producer of
29 percent of world output, after World War II. (The glaring
exception is Africa.) Now accounting for 21 percent of world
output, and with no Soviet Union to keep the other capitalists
cowering under a U.S. umbrella that was carefully crafted to
further U.S. business interests, the American rulers face the
prospect of head-on competition from their former allies and
a developing world that demands full rights as planetary citizens.
the globalism that U.S. corporations envisioned as kind of net,
ensnaring the earth in high-tech systems of trade and communications
for the benefit of American capital, has had unintended consequences
in the form of unexpected beneficiaries. Technology is even
more portable than money, in the sense that people can lose
money, but do not unlearn new methods of production, communication,
organization, and thinking.
(and richer Europeans) also sought to encourage markets for
their goods among First World-type sectors of the populations
in developing countries - places like Brazil, where possibly
40 percent of the population live like Europeans, while the
rest reside in descending layers of Third World deprivation.
India, for example, has a U.S.-style consumer sector that will
soon rival that of the U.S., although most of India's billion
people live Third World existences.
economy, already distorted by a military-industrial sector fueled
by the demands of America's role as guardian of capitalism,
became further deformed as U.S. corporations used the mighty
U.S. machinery of state to create conditions in the developing
world that allowed American industrial production and jobs to
be exported. U.S. living standards began declining at roughly
the same pace as offshore American industrial migration. Americans
could no longer buy enough goods and services to keep the domestic
economy humming. That part of American history has already slipped
away. The great consumer credit bubble is its fragile legacy.
trade deficit is also grotesquely swollen. The U.S. buys $500
billion more from the world than it sells, each year.
else was happening, as well, that would rearrange the seating
at the banquets of the American rich. As the U.S. super-powered
its way into everyone else's economies, stripping the American
domestic manufacturing base of capital and downsizing the pockets
of its own citizens, Big Finance won the final battle with Big
Manufacturing. Politically, that meant the death of moderate
Republicanism, based in Big Domestic Business, and the rise
of the pure finance speculators, war profiteers (military industry)
and their cousins, the oil extractors: The Pirate class.
have few direct connections to the American domestic economy,
but owe everything to their control of the American state. They
has previously described them, not really capitalists, at all.
For the Pirates, the U.S. is simply a platform, cash cow and
military through which they can seize wealth by overwhelming
advantage or, as in the case of Iraq, outright. But we are getting
ahead of ourselves.
dollar's post-World War II dominance was natural - all of Europe
was either defeated or in debt to the U.S., which emerged from
the war economically stronger than ever. The dollar was the
international currency. Therefore, everyone (outside of the
Soviet bloc) had an interest in the dollar. The price of the
world's most valued resource, oil, was pegged to (denominated
in) dollars. And the U.S. could print as many dollars as it
liked, paying national debts with currency that was, in a critical
although not absolute sense, backed by all the oil deposits
of the world. With this advantage, the U.S. looms over all other
nations, hefting far more weight than is justified by its 21
percent share of world output, and indebted condition.
the Pirates found that they could not impose their will on the
world, despite American advantages. The communications revolution
that helped money movers achieve dominion over old-style capitalists
also empowered the First World-like sectors of developing countries,
which could now compete with New York and London over the same
electronic infrastructures. These sectors gained increasing
influence over their governments, previously clients of the
U.S. or Europe, creating conditions for further growth and political
expression. In Latin America, military dictatorships became
untenable in the face of an aggressive civil society that yearned
to break out of the constrictions of the generals and the Americans
who sponsored them.
the developing world the period of U.S. corporate penetration
saw the growth of mega-cities, as rural people were forced off
the land or gravitated to low wage jobs that used to be performed
at living wages in Ohio, New York and South Carolina. These
huge concentrations of the poor radically altered the relationships
of power in their countries. Their presence in the cities created
demands that became important considerations in trade negotiations
with the U.S. and other developed countries. The elite had to
take the poor into account in confronting American power. They
also wanted the freedom to act out their own ambitions.
Europe had taken a very different course than the U.S. in the
postwar years. With Germany and France at the center, the European
Union nurtured and protected its home economies while methodically
creating the connective structures that would allow the EU to
rival the continental-size United States. The euro currency
represents a combined gross domestic product and population
larger than the U.S. Europe dominates trade with the Middle
East and other parts of the world.
"money movers" of the American Pirate class understand
the ways of capital, if nothing else. It had become clear by
the late Nineties that America's artificial advantages were
in danger of collapsing, and with them, the sources of nonproductive
Pirate wealth. Eventually, the euro would emerge as an alternative
world currency, to which developing nations would flock when
bullied by the United States. The Pirate's worst nightmare is
that oil producing countries switch to the euro, unhitching
oil prices from the dollar and causing the U.S. currency to
fall to its natural, debt-burdened value.
Cheney-Paul Wolfowitz-Richard Perle Pirate cabal put forward
a plan to pre-empt the nightmare scenario. It is not a conspiracy,
but a very public and detailed plan for global American hegemony,
the creation of a world in which the U.S. will hold all of its
current advantages, and any others it chooses to create. The
opening act in their battle against a world order that no longer
serves Pirate purposes was the invasion of Iraq. No euro scare,
there - as long as the occupation holds.
the world (and all international commerce) is aware of the United
States' intentions, a subject alien only to mass American audiences.
An article from the Hindu
Times, of India, shows the depth of thought that is being
brought to bear on the subject:
immediate cost to itself, Iraq has, since November 2000, insisted
on being paid in euros. Iran has recently displayed interest
in following suit. Venezuela, a similar victim of American
intimidation, is a good candidate, and Russia is being wooed
by the European Union to make the switch. The dollar's fall
is prompting even those with good relations with the U.S.
to reconsider. A major oil economy in euros is in the offing.
As the demand for euros grows rapidly, demand for the dollar
would drop equally rapidly, threatening the American economy
with devastating consequences.
last five or six years, an important change has taken place
in the international oil scene. In the late 1990s, several
large oil producers such as Iraq, Iran and Venezuela opened
up development of their oil resources to foreign investment.
Even Saudi Arabia invited bids for development of its natural
gas. The contracts that Iraq signed with the French, Russian,
Chinese and Italian firms were stalled, thanks to the sanctions
regime. Iran, however, concluded deals with the French, Russian
and Malaysian firms even as American firms - barred by U.S.
sanctions against that country - gnashed their teeth. Venezuela's
increasing assertiveness and consequent alienation from the
U.S. did not bode well for the future of American firms there.
The sanctions kept the American firms out of Libya and Sudan
as well, and Chinese firms have been negotiating huge deals
for Indonesian oil.
States roars like a divinely inspired conqueror, but the Pirates
are essentially acting in defense of a U.S. primacy that cannot
be maintained under the current rules of the game. They are
brandishing American military power to destroy the game board
- but nobody wrote the playbook for that move.
credit where none is due
to explain the title of this piece: Conspiracy Theories. First,
we note that American Blacks and progressives have begun reading
subtexts and plots into every horror of the Bush men's Iraq
adventure. For example, that the Americans wanted Baghdad to
burn. This is preposterous. The U.S military allowed Baghdad
to descend into chaos because it doesn't give a damn about Iraqi
lives, period. The Bush men would rather have had different
pictures on the world's TV screens. They are inept in nearly
every respect except the arts of their particular style of war,
and in their mastery at manipulation of their fellow white Americans'
delusional minds. They have not a clue as to how to occupy Iraq,
for the simple reason that they are racists who cannot assess
the motivations of Iraqis. This cognitive black hole - the mental
disability associated with racism - swallows up and disappears
facts that do not conform with the prefabricated version of
reality on which the Pirate's plans are based.
are particularly ill-suited for foreign intervention - aside
from mass marketing to Americans, the social sciences escape
them, leaving pure prejudice to dominate their discourse. The
world they seek to tame exists in their heads. Crash courses
do not help - they reject the advice of the CIA when it conflicts
with their own prejudices and immediate objectives. They truly
believe that what Iraqis (and Yemenis, Syrians, Iranians, etc.)
really want in life is to move to Houston - a very convenient
delusion since the Pirates plan to create something like Houston
or Dallas in Iraq, at great profit.
arrogance is without bounds, and will foil them at every juncture.
It is clear, for example, that they handled the secular, Europe-oriented
Turkish military badly. Despite a $30 billion bribe offer, the
U.S. failed to convince Turkey's generals to lean hard enough
on the governing Islamic party to muster a bare parliamentary
majority in favor of granting U.S. access to northern Iraq.
The northern front was left to the Kurds, U.S. Special Forces,
and the late arrival of portions of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
This unexpected reliance on the Kurds as the third force in
the Anglo-American "coalition" will have profound
effects on the occupiers' ability to control events in Kurdistan,
where about half the oil is. Yet it is obvious from the English
language Turkish press that the Turkish military, which reserves
the right to intervene in civil government whenever it chooses
and badly wants to maintain a presence in northern Iraq, could
not abide the imperious Americans. U.S. ships and planes unloaded
thousands of vehicles on Turkish soil without bothering to ask
the permission of a NATO ally - just one of the most obvious
slights to the honor of people the Americans consider not quite
the modus operandi of the corporate pirates dishonors everyone
they touch. Shamelessly, the Bush men rely on monetary rewards
to corral foreign supporters, simultaneously attracting the
most persuasive con men and brazen criminals. The stench of
national betrayal fills the Pirate's vestibules. Their choice
for occupation front man, Ahmed Chalabi, is a banker who left
the country as a child in 1956 and found his way around the
shadows of Middle East finance - a Third World, aspiring Pirate.
Rumsfeld and Chalabi speak the same language, and have shaken
hands on the deal. Chalabi's 700-man exile force are nothing
more than mercenaries, unconnected with Iraqi civil society.
Yet they are to be the nucleus of a new, national army, upon
which the U.S. will rely to ease the burdens of occupation.
cowed Iraq would quickly become unmanageable under such stewardship
and circumstances, but the nation promises daily to be anything
but quiet. The Pirates are stuck in their oil field of dreams,
a most flammable environment.
predict with confidence a series of general developments that
must flow from Iraqi conditions - all of them disastrous to
the Pirate's delusional schemes. In fact, there is no set of
plausible circumstances that would lead to a compliant Iraq
secured by a politically acceptable level of American troops.
certain is that the Pirates will misjudge their surroundings
at virtually every turn (as with the chaos in Baghdad), then
compound the mistake in insane, unexpected, or woefully stupid
ways (the failure to post troops even after the museum was looted
and the world cried out.) To follow the logic of delusionals,
one must attempt to "see" what they "see"
- a maddening but necessary exercise.
is to read method into madness, a self-defeating syndrome that
afflicts African Americans and leftists with great frequency
and debilitating results. It is the back door to self-deception,
interpreting every horrific result of the enemy's actions as
purposeful, rather than as possible evidence of the antagonist's
weaknesses. The enemy is perceived as always in control of events,
larger than life, devilishly masterful. In the end, it is accepted
that he is unbeatable - and he wins for lack of opposition,
despite his many shortcomings and mistakes.
are the white folks gonna do?"
example from the civil rights movement: Rigid segregation made
white people's actions seem, through African American eyes,
to be coordinated, centrally controlled, as if determined by
overt agreements among the whites. "What are the white
folks gonna do?" was a simple question, seriously asked.
Optimists, especially the most hopeful integrationists, believed
that some agreement could be reached with powerful whites that
would have general effects on white conduct. Another camp among
Blacks believed (and still do) that "white folks"
conspire constantly and in detail on ways to frustrate and befuddle
African Americans. This solid white block acts as one, impermeable
organism. No wedge can alter its implacable structures of hostility.
these (exaggerated) outlooks are actually conspiracy theories,
or conspiracy paradigms. Both begin with assumptions that cloud
objectivity, rendering the activist incapable of assessing her
antagonist and fashioning effective strategies and contingencies.
Opportunities are lost, unexpected and unobserved. Victories
are misinterpreted, over- or under-valued.
civil rights movement actually discovered was that there was
no White Folks Central Command, that different sectors of white
society would yield to different pressures in different ways,
resulting in the creation of greater social space for Black
Americans, North and South.
movement foundered on the real rock of institutional racism,
the deeply embedded, shared worldview of whites toward Blacks
that causes whites to behave in amazingly similar, generally
predictable ways, to the detriment of African Americans. Institutional
racism requires no agreement or conscious conspiracy among whites
to work its social pathologies in housing, criminal justice,
etc. It may look like and coexist with actual, transient conspiracies,
but is much more intractable.
optimists despaired when the reality of institutional racism
wrecked their rational models of civilized negotiation and good
faith understandings. It is very difficult to forge agreements
between people who perceive different realities.
Blacks who believed from the beginning that "white folks"
constantly conspired against Blacks, institutional racism seemed
to confirm their conspiracy theory - an erroneous conclusion.
As it stands,
we have developed precious little collective experience in combating
or understanding institutional racism. (If it were not so,
would not have to constantly hammer away at the "delusions"
that govern American political behavior.)
theory masks a fundamental weakness in the Pirate's offensive
against world order: their inability to see the world as it
is. (Colin Powell is superior to his fellow Bush men in this
regard largely because he is a well-socialized Black man who
does not share their full measure of delusions. Rather, Powell
is a mercenary opportunist who strives to finesse the game as
best he can, yet is devoted to the hegemonic mission.) It is
wrong to assume that the Pirates' shifting objectives and improvisations
are clever maneuvers scripted in advance or, as they will always
claim, routine choices from a range of contingencies.
already mentioned Baghdad's descent into chaos - a U.S.-inflicted
outrage that revealed the American military's moral and material
weaknesses and evoked worldwide revulsion at the invader,
which cannot help but stiffen international resolve to resist
the Pirates. If, to argue the point, there are elements among
the Pirates and the military who believe that Baghdad's burning
will serve the purposes of the United States, paralyzing potential
adversaries in terror, then they are wrong, and will commit
further grave errors in the future, hastening the unraveling
of the offensive.
If the U.S.
strikes against Syria in the near future, it will be a sign
of weakness, not strength. There is no objective reason, military
or political, for the U.S. to do anything but attempt to consolidate
its position within Iraq. However, the Pirates are as likely
as not to commit the blunder, driven by the momentum of their
own rhetoric or, in the event of serious disruptions of their
Iraqi operations, in an effort to demonstrate that they retain
the initiative in shaping events in the region. The Bush men
see themselves as waging psychological warfare on a world scale.
In this, they are singularly incompetent, understanding only
minds from their own culture. An early Syrian gambit brings
them closer to the point at which they will exhaust their combined
force options, and must give up the offensive or strike punitively
with air power and special ops raids to little military purpose
- no way to construct new relationships that must ultimately
result in advantageous commercial arrangements.
will abound in the world, however - directed against the United
States. Far from exhibiting devilish cleverness, the Pirates
have launched an incredibly stupid war-against-all, telegraphing
every move and undermining the stability of the few allies that
might be useful to their project. They have totally misjudged
or discounted the effects of public opinion on the foreign elites
whom they hope to co-opt as subsidiaries to the New American
Century. We believe the Bush men cannot conceive of political
parties outside of the American model (an absence of
parties), do not harbor actual feelings of belonging to
a nation (their sense of nation is a set of ambitions and conceits)
and therefore cannot perceive such feelings in others, and are
contemptuous of all forms of power other than those in which
they are superior. They are quite limited men who have reached
have served redundant notices on the world that they are intent
on disrupting everyone's way of life, from the Swiss banker
to the Indonesian imam. They have given the international community
no option other than variations on the post-September 11 "
either for us or against us" theme. It is now too late
to rephrase the message, even if the Pirates wanted to.
has placed a gun to the world's head, insisting it is crazy
enough to pull the trigger. Sober people take the threat seriously
- conspiracies are appropriate responses. Noisy boycotts of
American products serve to vent public displeasure, but a methodical
determination to avoid entanglements with gangsters is best
effected in innocuous meetings to which the gangsters are not
invited. Boycotts need not be announced. Sales not initiated,
deals not cut, trips not made, investments quietly rejected,
agreements sidelined, initiatives reconsidered - this will be
the response of the global matrix that the Bush men foolishly
seek to coerce with high-tech weapons and racist bombast.
Only a fool
would not assume that last weekend's St. Petersburg summit of
Germany, France and Russia was not consumed with the nuts and
bolts of erecting defenses against American geopolitical aggression.
And only foolish heads of state would admit it. Every actor
in each emerging or mature economy is compelled to pursue alternatives
to doing business with America, the rogue state that recognizes
no rules but its own declarations. China has surpassed Japan as the country with which the U.S. has the largest trade deficit and remains a command system, able to move as a body to favor or disfavor the United States if her political will is tested.
of the U.S. has begun. Like the banker who smiles broadly as
he denies that such a thing as redlining exists, then offers
his card and his sincerest Good Luck, the world can simply pretend
that nothing hostile to U.S. interests is occurring. The effect
will be as devastating as redlining the ghetto, a place that
is depressed because nothing good happens there.
As we discussed
at the beginning of this piece, the U.S. position among nations
has long been buttressed by artificial advantages. When these
advantages were threatened, a Pirate class schemed to gut the
world system in order to secure absolute advantage. But even
the world's mightiest military cannot coerce trade and collaboration
from an unwilling planet. As the world recoils from its grasping
embrace, the U.S. will shrink.
will be punctuated with a great deal of drama. It is possible
that the world will not survive the convulsions of mayhem precipitated
by the would-be hegemon - but that has been a possibility for
the past half century or so. Certainly, many millions will perish
less dramatically. TransAfrica Forum executive director Bill
action against Iraq is not just about controlling oil and
not even just about empire. It's about economic competition
with other powers; about the Bush administration framing global
capitalism in an image that it wants with its 'new international
economic architecture' via the IMF and World Bank.... This
will exacerbate the increasing economic polarization of the
last 20 years, further impoverish much of the globe and send
a message to all: displays of resistance will be met with
of real economic recovery in the United States becomes nil.
It is difficult to imagine that a wounded, mostly delusional
America will not resort to massive scapegoating of minorities,
especially the Permanent Enemy, Black America. Someone will
have to pay for the political choices of the pro-war supermajority.
These will be interesting times.
will no longer be a material basis for rule of the Pirates,
at least in their present, virulent form.
arc of history bends toward justice." - Dr. Martin Luther
comments are welcome. Visit the Contact
Us page for E-mail or Feedback.
here to return to the home page