Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Imperial Socialism?

President Obama never ceases to amaze me.  He has actually cried on stage and grabed people’s hearts by appealing to emotions, to our yearning to be just, humane and democratic and so on.  In recent mainstream media articles, he is seen playing the role of an agonized leader who weighs the delicate balance of humanity and an act of “humanitarian intervention”.  Even with his credential as one of the greatest presidents (according to some), his action against Libya caused tremendous suffering to the people of Libya.  He has confessed that while it was “the right thing to do”, he regrets the intervention.

That’s that.  Right?  He is sorry.  It was a mistake.  He is suffering.  He is forgiven and we must move forward.

Well, actually, his act of contrition must be counted as disingenuous by any measure.

The destruction of Libya was a premeditated crime against humanity.  It was orchestrated by the Western nations that were about to be squeezed out of colonial business on the African continent.  Libyan leader Gaddafi planned to unite Africa and to establish it as an economically independent region cooperating with the rest of the nations of the Global South (1).  The intervention was literary an armed robbery to steal the funding and destroy the plan.  Tens of thousands were killed as a result of the Western intervention.  Libya was literary destroyed.  If you are not familiar with the magnitude of the merciless inhumanity of the Western action against Libya, look up a story about the great man-made river of Libya for instance.  Or, look up stories about Libyan social programs under Gaddafi, which the US can’t even come close to.  It is truly heartbreaking, and the true crime of the Western nations is hidden from the people.  The administration and the colluding media have twisted the narrative in the most egregious way to hide the crime, and turned it into a courageous story of an American President with “honesty” and “integrity”.  For the good people of the West, the agony of the President appears most tragic.

However, in reality, by destroying Libya, the Obama administration has achieved profound success in preventing the emergence of the United States of Africa and its central banking system, which would utilize rich African resources for the people of Africa.

Now, there is someone else who plays a major supporting role in this theater of deception:  Mr. Bernie Sanders.  This seasoned politician has cultivated an unprecedented skill in mobilizing popular support.  The accuracy of his act is utterly superb.  In order to gain political support for himself, and in turn for the Democratic Party, while preserving the imperial nature of US foreign policy, he has expressed a few calculated thoughts:

Forget about Hilary’s emails

In one of the presidential debates, he strongly characterized the issue of Hilary Clinton’s emails as a political tool to distract people from focusing on “real issues”(2).   Her emails, however, include valuable facts regarding the Western war crimes, human rights abuses and other nefarious deeds, including valuable facts confirming Western motives in destroying Libya (3).  Ms. Clinton is deeply involved in all of these matters and more(4)

Gaddafi was a terrible dictator

Mr. Sanders recently called Gaddafi “a terrible dictator” in one of the presidential debates.  In an interview with Fox News, he remarked, “Look, everybody understands Gaddafi is a thug and murderer”(5).   But more decisively, Mr. Sanders was one of 10 co-sponsors of the Senate resolution calling for the resignation of Gaddafi.  The resolution also asked for UN resolutions demanding such drastic measures as establishing a no-fly zone and asset freeze against Libya (5).  The demonization of the Libyan leader had been a part of the systematic campaign to justify military action for a while, leading to the actual operation in 2011. Libya’s standard of living, human rights record, varieties of social programs for the people and so on had been recognized as the best among the African nations by the UN before the Western intervention. Many of the demeaning allegations against the Libyan government and its leader were found to be false as well (6).  Mr. Sanders’s disparaging remarks against Gaddafi as well as the co-sponsorship of the Senate resolution and subsequent UN resolutions comprise a decisive state propaganda campaign which led to the military intervention.

Regime change created a political vacuum for  ISIS

Mr. Sanders is extremely skilled in colonizing ideas that closely approach the edge of the imperial boundary.  He is so good at attracting people by pointing out the fence surrounding the empire only to prove, however, that the gate is tightly shut.

In one of the presidential debates, he accused Hilary Clinton of engaging in many “regime change” operations.  However, this remark is skillfully rendered harmless by containing the whole argument in official imperial narratives.  First, it does not involve a discussion of the deaths and destruction endured by the Libyan people.  Somehow the empire is immune from international humanitarian laws and the moral imperative of humanity.  Second, it does not deal with the fact that ISIS and other extremist groups are funded by the US and its allies, as proven by governments’ own documents(7). Therefore, it leaves a solid path to continue the war on terror as business as usual.  It is very much likely that Mr. Sanders will follow Mr. Obama’s footsteps in fighting the war on terror, according to his praise for the President’s handling of it(8), and his own remarks(9) if he is elected as the President.  Third, by refusing to talk about the real reasons for “regime change” he allows himself, as well as anyone else, including Ms. Clinton, to “regretfully” engage in “humanitarian interventions” as soon as there is a targeted nation picked by a team of foreign policy experts who have served various administrations.  It is of concern that he has been uttering tough remarks against Russia, China, North Korea and so on.  All these nations are surrounded by US military bases while being subjected to systematic state propaganda campaigns.

***

“War is a racket” (10).  Every US military intervention accompanies subsequent restructuring of the society and economy according to the interests of the ruling elites. Military intervention also serves the military strategic goals and financial motives of the military industrial complex.  Violence, whether it’s inflicted militarily or economically, has been a primary tool in building the hierarchical structure where a powerful few control the vast majority.  People’s communities are built by cooperation of the communities and their people, as well as the efforts of bringing “power to the people”, not by exploitation and subjugation of other communities led by the powerful few with their draconian measures.  I believe the essence of socialism lies in this very basic notion of democracy.  Unless one is willing to work according to the genuine spirit of socialism, use of such a slogan as “political revolution” while calling himself a socialist is highly misleading and dishonest.  Again, this reflects Mr. Sanders’ tendency to colonize ideas in mobilizing people only to bring them into the existing framework of the powerful few.

Here is the Catch 22:  In order to truly refute the fascist and racist position taken by, for example, Donald Trump, the Bernie supporters must confront Bernie’s imperialism.  How can a nation implement socialist policies in the framework of imperialism?  How can that be a “political revolution”?  Imperial Socialism?  There used to be a country that tried something called National Socialism (11).  It turned out to be a disaster.

The US already has an invisible racial and economic caste system to mask it’s own crimes domestically.  It’s based on the many inhumane, unjust and undemocratic schemes inherited from slavery. It’s grown tremendously to flourish into mass incarceration, gentrification, police killings and the rest of the symptoms of institutionalized racism.  The force of slaves who built the nation has been converted into the lives of today’s Blacks and poor, which are squeezed to create profits for the few by the devastating force of the social restructuring process for the profits of private corporations.  Imperialism has extended this mechanism globally. As a result, unfortunately, tens of millions of lives have already perished by the US violence across the globe(12).  It has turned out to be a disaster, already.

You see what I am saying here?  If we do not confront such a notion as imperial socialism now, the best scenario Bernie Sanders can bring to us will be a normalization of imperialism under an imperial socialism.  That is basically a feudal world order with an invisible caste system.  Over 1000 military bases across the globe are encircling Russia, China and other potential obstacles ensuring the economic power of the ruling elites.  Extremists and dictators are nurtured while potential enemies are demonized.  International treaties, TPP, TTIP, TISA and so on, to codify the colonial rule of transnational corporations are waiting to be implemented.

Or, let me put it this way, if I were a super rich imperialist in the US, I would be a diehard Bernie supporter.  Leaders like him would be my last hope in prolonging the life of the crumbling hierarchy of money and violence. I would be willing to pay for a slight compromise if I can hang onto the status quo. He would be the one to protect my business and assets with the dignity and righteousness that I deserve.  He sounds scary but check out what he’s done so far.  He talks about universal healthcare but he was one of the guys who worked on Obamacare.  He opposes TPP, but his objections are nationalistic and based on a good old protectionism.  He went along with the crime bill for the prison industry, drug war, “urban renewal” and so on and on.  And of course we have no worry about him dismantling the war industry.  Actually, he might manage to start a big one or two.  Did you hear that his hero is Winston Churchill?  You get the idea.

The term Mr. Sanders uses, democratic socialism, is Imperial Socialism. “Democratic” refers to “democracy” which has been brought to those untamed nations with bombs.

If you agree with what I am saying here, please do not despair.  You are not alone.  There are countless people across the globe who oppose imperialism and its crimes.  They are aiming to build a truly democratic world of sharing and mutual respect.  There will be more of them.  We live in the most exciting time of awakening for our species.

I would like to end this piece with a poem by Eric Draitser.

Libya: African Jewel

by ERIC DRAITSER

Snatched away –

blood and sand

alloyed to lifeless aridity:

add water. A man-made

river stolen, siphoned

 

assets in frozen accounts,

darkness unpenetrated

by the electric gaze

of a once buzzing grid,

spark snuffed.

 

The Greeks knew this:

tragedies have heroes

and death, covalent bond –

a binary truth

to build myths upon.

 

Here the wind dries tears,

breaks skin like stone

and stone like steel.

Still, man and martyr stand,

faces to an unforgiving sun.

 

And with hands that once

broke bread

tilled soil

mended wounds,

they hoist the Green Flag

 

And declare:

We are here.

600-Flag_of_Libya_(1977-2011).svg

Flag of Socialist Libya (1977–2011)

Notes.

(1)

http://web.archive.org/web/20141007040654/http://lookingglass.blog.co.uk/2013/02/26/africa-the-story-they-re-not-telling-you-15569066/

(2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOOfwN0iYxM

(3)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/14/exposing-the-libyan-agenda-a-closer-look-at-hillarys-emails/

(4)

http://store.counterpunch.org/product/queen-of-chaos-digital-book/

(5)

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/dec/22/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-says-bernie-sanders-voted-get-rid-/

(6)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/08/31/the-top-ten-myths-in-the-war-against-libya/

(7)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-23/secret-pentagon-report-reveals-us-created-isis-tool-overthrow-syrias-president-assad

(8)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/face-the-nation-transcripts-february-7-2016-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders/

(9)

http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-isis/

(10)

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

(11)

http://www.britannica.com/event/National-Socialism

(12)

http://www.countercurrents.org/lucas240407.htm

More articles by:

Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and is represented by Lori Bookstein Fine Art. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. In 1998 Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2009 he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He lives and works in New York.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail