American imperialism is set to cause chaos again in 2002. The Pentagon and the CIA have begun preparations for a deadly assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops that is likely to be launched later this year with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power.
George Bush is presently in Asia, touring a potential future battlefield in Korea, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs is in India touring another, whilst the US Vice-President is preparing for an unprecedented trip that will take him, along with senior military and CIA operatives, to nearly a dozen countries that surround Iraq.
Meanwhile the Israelis have clamped down on the Palestinians as never before; and they seem to be just waiting for a moment of glory when the attention of the world is focused elsewhere, to further their conquests.
American arms manufacturers, the largest and richest in the world, are working overtime with windfall profits. The U.S. has nearly run out of its high-tech computer/satellite guided “cruise missiles”, possibly contributing to the delay in moving the “war against terrorism” to Iraq. But a massive unprecedented purchase order for thousands of even more lethal cruises has been placed; and they are to start being delivered in larger numbers than ever in the immediate months ahead.
The American Empire is on the way to becoming an early precursor of its “Star Wars” inspiration. Countries like Iraq will soon face a weapon once confined to the Star Wars films, which can bring death at the speed of light. The special operations AC-130 Spectre gunship, whose conventional weaponry has been used to devastating effect since the Vietnam War, is to be fitted with a laser that can shoot down missiles, punch holes in aircraft and knock out ground radar stations.
US allies in the Middle East have been informed that a decision to attack Iraq has already been taken, and diplomats from the region are now resigned to the inevitability of a war that will threaten the stability of many Arab regimes. It is a nightmare situation – the Americans would bomb and blunder again, killing thousands more, whilst the opinion of millions worldwide, especially Muslims, will not see this as any attempt to ‘ eradicate evil’, but a devilish act of terror.
As America pursues its hungry conquest for more blood and resources, one wonders where this ‘war on terror’ is taking the world? The Bush administration now represents the emergence of a criminalized, gangster element. Its attitude to democracy was shown in Florida, its attitude to working people is shown in Enron, its attitude to the world is being displayed in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the more Bush & Co. threatens war, the more they become compelled to translate words into action, regardless of the consequences. The deepening crisis of American imperialism is dragging the world towards a catastrophe.
Musa Sithole is Director of the Global Justice Foundation, based in Johannesburg.