America’s never-ending war on the world

Nov 6, 2021
us nuclear submarine
(Image: Unsplash)

Driven by its military-industrial complex the United States depends on continual war. As the War on Terrorism peters out a new enemy is invented — China. 

The US empire is addicted to a belief in its “exceptionalism”, “manifest destiny” and being the “indispensable nation”. It is grounded in aggression both at home and abroad. “Chosen people” find it hard to admit mistakes or change.

Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The greatest military risk we run is acting as a proxy for the US in its dispute with China.

The record is clear. Time and time again we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into the imperial wars of the UK and then the US. We have forfeited our strategic autonomy.

Over two centuries, the US has subverted and overthrown numerous governments. It has a military and business complex that depends on war for influence and enrichment. It helps fund our War Memorial and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and many other fronts for the US military-industrial complex.

The US assumes a moral superiority it denies to others.

Many of our political, bureaucratic, business and media elites have been on an American drip feed for so long they find it hard to think of the world without American global hegemony. We had a similar and dependant view of the UK in the past. That ended in tears in Singapore.

In this blog “Is war in the American DNA?” I have drawn attention repeatedly to the risks we run in being “joined at the hip” to a country that is almost always at war. The facts are clear. The US has never had a decade without war. Since its founding in 1776, the US has been at war 93 per cent of the time. These wars have extended from its own hemisphere to the Pacific, to Europe and most recently to the Middle East. The US has launched 201 out of 248 armed conflicts since the end of World War II. In recent decades most of these wars have been unsuccessful. The US maintains 800 military bases or sites around the world, including in Australia. The US has in our region a massive deployment of hardware and troops in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Guam. China has one off shore naval base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa

Just think of the US frenzy if China had a string of similar bases in the Caribbean or their ships patrolled the Florida Keys.

But our US-centric media has no understanding of US, UK, Australian and Japanese warships patrolling off the Chinese coast. It reminds China of earlier Western gunboat diplomacy and a century of humiliation. Why wouldn’t China resist?

Our White Man’s Media is locked into a US mindset that sees China as a major military threat.

What most annoys the US is not a Chinese military threat but that China is successful and that in the process the Chinese Government has won the trust of its own people something that is seldom achieved by US Administrations.

The US has been meddling extensively in other countries’ affairs and elections for a century. It tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War. Many foreign leaders were assassinated. In the piece reproduced in this blog (The fatal expense of US Imperialism), Professor Jeffrey Sachs said:

“The scale of US military operations is remarkable … The US has a long history of using covert and overt means to overthrow governments deemed to be unfriendly to the US … Historian John Coatsworth counts 41 cases of successful US-led regime change for an average of one government overthrow by the US every 28 months for centuries.”

The overthrow or interference in foreign governments is diverse, including Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, Haiti, Congo, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, Syria.

And this interference continued with the undermining of the pro-Russian government in Ukraine by the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014. Gorbachev and Reagan agreed that in allowing the reunification of Germany, NATO would not extend eastwards. But with US encouragement, NATO has now provocatively extended right up to the borders of Russia. Not surprisingly, Russia is resisting.

Joe Biden says that ‘America is back’. That is very bad news for the world. History tells us that that means perpetual war, the overthrow of supposedly unfriendly governments and the promotion of insurrection that we recently saw in Hong Kong . That US encouraged and supported insurrection almost succeeded.

Despite all the evidence of wars and meddling, the American imperium continues without serious check or query in America or Australia.

Tom Engelhardt in TomDispatch highlights America’s numerous failed attempts to remake the world in its own image and the awful consequences. Funding the insatiable military-industrial complex means that the US always needs an enemy.

Read his article “Welcome to hell on Earth, Brought to you by ‘the American century’“.

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