Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Cost of Hegemony is Beyond Reach

The Cost of Hegemony is Beyond Reach

By Paul Craig Roberts

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Undeterred by massive budget deficits from wars, a falling economy, and financial bailouts, the US government has managed to start a new cold war with Russia. Last Friday, the Russian military announced that it was developing a new generation of ballistic missiles in response to the US government’s decision to deploy ballistic missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The “peace dividend” that the Reagan-Gorbachev accord provided has been squandered by an arrogant American government seeking world hegemony.

In 2002 the Bush regime unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that the US government signed with the Soviet Union in
1972. This treaty stabilized the “assured mutual destruction” that prevented the two military superpowers from initiating war, thus averting a nuclear holocaust for 30 years.

When the Soviet government released its Eastern European “captive nations,” the US government promised not to recruit the Baltic and Eastern European countries for NATO membership. The US government pledged that NATO would not be brought to Russia’s borders. There would be a neutral zone between the Western military alliance and Russia. The American government broke this promise as quickly as it could, bringing former constituent parts of the Russian empire into the American empire.

Last October Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, went to Lithuania to give a guarantee to the Baltics of US military intervention in the event of a Russian attack. Like the British guarantee that Chamberlain gave Poland in 1939, a guarantee that precipitated World War II, Mullen’s guarantee is worthless unless the US government initiates nuclear war with Russia in defense of the tiny Baltic republics, which would be wiped out by the radiation fallout.

The US has tried to incorporate the Ukraine and Georgia, constituent parts of Russia for centuries, into NATO. To clear the way for NATO membership, the Bush regime encouraged the American puppet ruler of Georgia to cleanse provinces, attached to Georgia by Stalin, of Russians in order to end secessionist movements. When Russian troops drove the American and Israeli trained and equipped Georgian army out of the Russian parts of Georgia, the US government lied that Russia had invaded Georgia.

This malevolent lie was too much for the Russians and too much of the rest of the world. It was plain to all that the US, an aggressor state striving to encircle Russia with bases even to the edge of central Asia, had initiated a war that it then blamed on Russia. After Afghanistan, Iraq, Bush’s defense of Israel’s 2006 war criminal attack on Lebanon, and Bush’s false claims of an Iranian nuclear weapon, few, if any, countries any longer believe pronouncements of the US government. The US is regarded worldwide as an aggressor state that lies through its teeth.

This means that unless China decides to play the US and Russia off in order to emerge as the sole world power, there is no one to finance America’s side of the new cold war that the US government has created.

The only other way Washington can finance a new arms race with Russia is to cancel Social Security and Medicare, and to repudiate its massive foreign debts. If Washington does this, the likely result would be revolution at home and isolation internationally.

For decades Washington has prevailed because the US dollar is the reserve currency. It is the world’s money. This advantage allows Washington to purchase almost every other government. There are governments all over the world, from Europe to Egypt, from Ukraine to South Korea to Japan, that are owned by Washington. When Washington speaks of spreading freedom and democracy, Washington means it has purchased more governments to do its will.

These purchased governments do not represent their people. They represent American hegemony.

Now that the Great Hegemon is bankrupt and its economy is collapsing, thanks to unbridled greed, American influence is waning. The US dollar cannot survive the massive red ink that the US generates.

When the dollar collapses, the image of a strutting Washington as “the world’s only superpower” will evaporate. The evil that is the American government will find itself at war with its own people and those of the rest of the world.

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