The latest diplomatic row between the US and China is simply another episode in America’s ongoing struggle with its own belligerence on a global scale. While the corporate news media dutifully reported to satellite-viewers the tit-for-tat diplomacy, no one bothered to analyze in any detail the fundamental question, “What is an American spy plane doing off the coast of China?” US officials claimed that it was a “routine mission,” but would such “routine missions” by Chinese planes ever be tolerated off the coast of California? Or planes of any other nation? American belligerence dictates that it alone has the right to spy wherever it likes, and when incidents like the recent collision occur it is not the fault of belligerent Americans, by definition, and so no apologies are needed.
But belligerence has its costs, and the balance sheet is tipping away from America’s favor. American public relations firms are working overtime trying to reconstruct a global image that can bolster America’s reputation abroad, which has taken several heavy blows in recent years. With blows from the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, the sabotage of environmental-protection regulations, supporting Zionist brutalities in Palestine and bullying any dissenting nations, American public relations hacks have a large task ahead of them. With the economy reeling under heavy debt and the political system being called into question, America has little else to rely on than its infamous belligerence.
American embassies are having a difficult time operating in an increasing climate of hostility. Always the seats of spying and public relations in any country that let them in, the American embassies are now attempting to reconstruct America’s image. Part of this strategy is to send CIA operatives disguised as academics into university classrooms, where they are pressed into service as “guest lecturers” in political science and journalism courses. American embassy officials impose these operatives on their host countries, and they have had to call in reinforcements to keep up America’s collapsing reputation. But students at many universities where such operatives have spoken are protesting the obvious pro-American slant of these presentations, and in some cases have even exposed such presentations as propaganda.
Part of the problem is that these operatives are not very smart, and they often assume that local populations are dumb and misinformed. The CIA slogan used to be “the best and the brightest,” but when American belligerence in Vietnam turned the best and brightest university students against the US, and with many academics since then espousing critical or dissident positions, the CIA has had to resort to recruiting the mediocre and the patriotic. The same could be said for journalists in most global media, who must now take pro-American positions.
The media being used for propaganda is not a new story, but there is a new twist: now local media are being pressed into the same service. The al-Jazeerah satellite channel in Qatar is a case in point. When it first opened in the mid-1990s, it gained credibility by producing a documentary programme critical of Zionist brutalities in Ghazzah, including on-location filming (although no one thought to ask how an Arab media service got access to the Zionist-occupied territories). Building on this reputation, al-Jazeerah steadily created an audience. However, recently it has been revealed as an arm of US policy, insisting on the American version of the news (as the ‘Arabic CNN’) and promoting American products on air. Most thinking Arab viewers have steadily shifted away from al-Jazeerah to al-Manar, the Hizbullah-operated satellite channel.
Another major concern for America is the way that its greatest, most convincing dicta that American-style electoral politics and American-style free-market economics are the best (and only) choice for humanity. The American elections that brought Bush to power are still disputed. Politically, Americans vacillate between apathy and divisiveness. During Clinton’s reign, apathy ruled, with less than 50 percent of eligible voters weighing in. The Bush/Gore elections saw an increase in voting numbers, which only revealed how deeply divided the country is.
The decisive Florida elections were so close that on the one hand there was room for Bush’s brother the governor to see to it that opposing voters were deprived of their voting rights, while on the other hand the inherent weaknesses of electoral politics were revealed when the truth-telling mechanisms of elections were rendered ineffective. In any case, when democracy ‘works’ in the ‘democratic’ nations, it brings to power a dolt for American president, a butcher as Zionist prime minister, and a Hindu bigot in India. Meanwhile, American belligerence dictates that if elections might bring to power any regime that would threaten “American interests” or bring to power any sort of alternative movement, then the elections must immediately be cancelled or declared illegitimate. The sacred ‘democracy’ that American belligerence demands for the entire world is being shown to be ethically flawed and morally bankrupt.
America’s economy for the past several years has operated like a high-stakes gambling casino. Market traders get filthy rich on speculation of bloated but valueless stocks, while debt increases and production wanes. America is now the biggest debtor-nation in the world, although for the time being American belligerence means that it does not have to pay its bills abroad. Meanwhile, at home, American unemployment is rising, Americans are saving less, and consumer confidence is at an all-time low. Even as America heads toward recession, belligerent American corporations and their political proxies work tirelessly against every single meaningful trade regulation, from environmental and labor laws to anti-dumping legislation, demanding that the whole world open its doors wide for the corrupted American casino economy to enter and wreak utter havoc.
The cooling down of the American economic and political systems came alongside the heating up of the intifada in Palestine. Israel would not have existed for 50 years had it not been for American belligerence. While Clinton was able to fool people into thinking that America could be an ‘impartial’ negotiating partner, recent events have shown this to be the lie it always was. America is Israel, from building itself on land stolen from the Plains Indians to seeing itself as ‘Zion on the Hill,’ divinely chosen to lead the world. Stone-throwing youths in the streets of Palestine have threatened this myth more than any political or military manoeuvre ever could, and America’s unflinching support for Zionism is causing it headaches worldwide. American embassies had to be closed for months, and embassies now routinely send out warnings of ‘terror’ to expatriates. Meanwhile, in the United Nations, America is once again isolated and has resorted to bullying weaker countries such as Colombia, which has dared to challenge America’s determination to protect its brutal proxy in the Middle East, Israel.
The descriptions of American belligerence could go on indefinately. Anyone who pays attention to world events and looks beyond the media haze will see it for themselves. America is in a corner. Its delusions of grandeur are driving it mad. Its finely woven image is unravelling worldwide. Its free market economy is barrelling into recession. Its political system is revealed as corrupt. Its cities are crumbling, and racial tensions are mounting. Its policies and proxies abroad are under fire. Its military capabilities are lumbering and obsolete. Its vast spying apparatus is becoming a liability. America is cornered by its own belligerence, and recent events are vivid portents to the impending fall of ‘the world’s only superpower.’