The U.S. – never about freedom and democracy

american flag

The world’s attention has turned to the slaughter in Gaza as the Israeli military-political system enacts its brand of ethnic cleansing and genocide on the Palestinian people. The U.S. pretends to be standing by in order to ensure the conflict does not spread into a regional conflagration, a pretext rationalizing and disguising their desire for such a conflagration in order to destroy Iran and Syria as they have destroyed Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan in recent wars.

By its own determination the U.S. proclaims itself to be indispensable and exceptional, a mythology applied over the life times of its citizens keeping them ignorant and uninterested in the full global context of military conflicts and the exercise of military power in order to protect the power of corporations and the US$ to reign supreme over the world. This has caused numerous violent military actions globally over the last century or more as well as creating larger geopolitical problems that should and could be resolved peacefully if not for the bellicose nature of U.S. foreign policy.

Background precis

Israel originated in the minds of British and U.S. Christian Zionism in the early 1800s but did not become a global factor until Theodor Herzl, Chaim Wiezmann, Ze’ev Jabotinsky began promulgating their theories of Zionism within the European political sphere. Britain became the leader in promoting this brand of Zionism for several reason: control of Middle East oil, mostly in Iran at the time; control of the Suez Canal and its trade route to colonial India; and although Britain had some prominent “assimilated” Jews, did not want any more emigres from Europe.

The Balfour letter in 1917 from Lord Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, promoted the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. While this was only a letter of intent, it became British policy and after the disastrous Versailles Peace agreement it became official League of Nations policy. After decades of fighting against the Jewish Haganah and Irgun militias (then declared terrorists), Britain walked away from its mandate in Palestine.

Even before they had walked away, the Jewish militias had already started their ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages and towns. When Britain exited, the new Israeli state announced itself, and using military power created itself as a state. The holocaust had already occurred but had not yet become the rallying cry as the ‘raison d’être’ for Israel’s existence.

U.S. evangelism

The U.S. was already embroiled in the region with its overthrow of the duly elected Mossadegh government in Iran. The pretext was freedom and democracy versus communism, pretexts that were to extend militarily around the world as the Twentieth Century progressed: Vietnam, Korea, Chile, Cuba, Congo/Zaire, among others. Not until the 1967 Six Day War did the U.S. become fully involved with supporting Israel, highlighted by the attacks on the USS Liberty that the U.S. government under Lyndon Johnson kept out of the public eye.

That brings this brief historical summary back to the U.S. Zionists, or more correctly understood, the Christian fundamentalist evangelical prophecies about Armageddon and the second coming. It is quite ironic that within this belief system, all the Jews are to be gathered in Israel so that when the messiah returns, the Jews will either die or convert. From that strange argument billions of dollars of U.S. money has flowed into Israel to support settlements and Jewish civic and military functions. The big money began after the Yom Kippur War and the resultant peace agreement with Egypt being bought with billions of dollars dolled out to each in subsequent years.

Peace lurked in the background, with meetings being held in Madrid, to be sabotaged by the Oslo accords, that in their true function simply provided Israel with the time to extend their hold on Palestinian lands through increased settlements and, after Arafat’s removal, the assistance of the quisling Abbas’ government in controlling the Palestinians. The U.S. has long since shown itself to be “agreement incapable.”

Along comes Hamas, an Islamic organization supported by Israel mainly in order to weaken the power of the PLO/Fatah governance. At first mainly a social/civic organization providing support for the Palestinian people through education, medical assistance, and other civic organizations, it morphed into today’s power center in Gaza as a result of its resistance to Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing and denial of Palestinian rights in all aspects of society.

U.S. government foreign policy for the Middle East has been captured by Israel. It has been argued that Israel controls the U.S. government through AIPAC, and that certainly seems true when considering actions in the Middle East and North Africa. Underlying it all still are the Christian fundamentalist believers in the existence of Israel, perhaps not so crudely stated as being part of their fundamentalist Armageddon beliefs, but who support members of Congress who are rabid about Israel.

Oil and the US$

As for the U.S. state itself, it borrows on this money and energy in order to support Israel both for the domestic vote and for the power and control it can exert over the Middle East. In the contemporary context, this includes attempting to exclude Russian influence (and increasingly Chinese investments), but above all wanting to control the ownership of the oil and gas resources of the region. The two are related as Russia is one of the world’s largest oil and gas suppliers, the Saudis are supporting OPEC+ with cuts in oil production as well as selling oil to China outside of using the US$ and thus avoiding the SWIFT payment system and its control by the U.S.

Without control of oil pricing, not the oil itself, the US$ will undergo a dramatic failure. This is the U.S.’ bottom line – to control the financial aspects of the world, to retain the petrodollar as the global reserve currency. From that, they control the governments of the world through financial manipulation (interest rates, IMF/World Bank usury, SWIFT, and many sanctions) with the backing of the U.S. military to keep other governments aligned with their system of dominance.

It has nothing to do with peace, freedom, and democracy. U.S. support of the current Israeli attacks on Gaza has nothing to do with peace and stability other than the stability ordained by the power of U.S. and Israeli missiles, bombs, and other weapons of mass destruction. Israel’s extreme hard right positioning and its attempts to ethnic cleanse or commit genocide on the Palestinian people is of little concern for the U.S. government, or its sycophantic minions in Canada and the EU.

The U.S. has never been about freedom and democracy, and its current actions/inactions in the Middle East fully demonstrate its desire for power and control in order to sustain its financial wealth for its own corporations and oligarchs. It is encouraging to see the global mass demonstrations supporting Gaza and defying Israel’s desire to ethnically cleanse Gaza. A significant divide has occurred in global geopolitics, and the U.S. arguments for indispensability, exceptionalism, freedom, and democracy are ringing hollow to most of the citizens of the world.

Jim Miles is a Canadian educator

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