The paranoia of the superrich and superpowerful
From Pakistan to Mali, Washington's drones and special ops are blindly pushing the process of destabilisation forward.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2013 10:59
"At the end of the Second World War, the US was absolutely at the peak of its power; it had half the world's wealth and every one of its competitors was seriously damaged or destroyed," says Chomsky [Reuters]
|[This piece is adapted from "Uprisings", a chapter in Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to US Empire, Noam Chomsky's new interview book with David Barsamian (with thanks to the publisher, Metropolitan Books). The questions are Barsamian's, the answers Chomsky's.]|
Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?
The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the Western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab Spring is limited, but it's not insignificant. The Western-controlled dictatorial system is eroding. In fact, it's been eroding for some time. So, for example, if you go back 50 years, the energy resources - the main concern of US planners - have been mostly nationalised. There are constantly attempts to reverse that, but they have not succeeded.
Take the US invasion of Iraq, for example. To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory.
The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism - mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn't deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets. Step by step, Iraq was able to dismantle the controls put in place by the occupying forces. By November 2007, it was becoming pretty clear that it was going to be very hard to reach US goals. And at that point, interestingly, those goals were explicitly stated.
So in November 2007, the Bush II administration came out with an official declaration about what any future arrangement with Iraq would have to be. It had two major requirements: one, that the United States must be free to carry out combat operations from its military bases, which it will retain; and two, "encouraging the flow of foreign investments to Iraq, especially American investments". In January 2008, Bush made this clear in one of his signing statements. A couple of months later, in the face of Iraqi resistance, the United States had to give that up. Control of Iraq is now disappearing before their eyes.
Iraq was an attempt to reinstitute by force something like the old system of control, but it was beaten back. In general, I think, US policies remain constant, going back to the Second World War. But the capacity to implement them is declining.
Declining because of economic weakness?
Partly because the world is just becoming more diverse. It has more diverse power centres. At the end of the Second World War, the United States was absolutely at the peak of its power. It had half the world's wealth and every one of its competitors was seriously damaged or destroyed. It had a position of unimaginable security and developed plans to essentially run the world - not unrealistically at the time.
Yes. Right after the Second World War, George Kennan, head of the US State Department policy planning staff, and others sketched out the details, and then they were implemented. What's happening now in the Middle East and North Africa, to an extent, and in South America substantially goes all the way back to the late 1940s.
The first major successful resistance to US hegemony was in 1949. That's when an event took place, which, interestingly, is called "the loss of China". It's a very interesting phrase, never challenged. There was a lot of discussion about who is responsible for the loss of China. It became a huge domestic issue. But it's a very interesting phrase. You can only lose something if you own it. It was just taken for granted: we possess China - and if they move toward independence, we've lost China.
Later came concerns about "the loss of Latin America", "the loss of the Middle East", "the loss of" certain countries, all based on the premise that we own the world and anything that weakens our control is a loss to us and we wonder how to recover it.
Today, if you read, say, foreign policy journals or, in a farcical form, listen to the Republican debates, they're asking, "How do we prevent further losses?"
On the other hand, the capacity to preserve control has sharply declined. By 1970, the world was already what was called tri-polar economically, with a US-based North American industrial centre, a German-based European centre, roughly comparable in size, and a Japan-based East Asian centre, which was then the most dynamic growth region in the world. Since then, the global economic order has become much more diverse. So it's harder to carry out our policies, but the underlying principles have not changed much.
Take the Clinton doctrine. The Clinton doctrine was that the United States is entitled to resort to unilateral force to ensure "uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources". That goes beyond anything that George W Bush said. But it was quiet and it wasn't arrogant and abrasive, so it didn't cause much of an uproar. The belief in that entitlement continues right to the present. It's also part of the intellectual culture.
Right after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, amid all the cheers and applause, there were a few critical comments questioning the legality of the act. Centuries ago, there used to be something called presumption of innocence. If you apprehend a suspect, he's a suspect until proven guilty. He should be brought to trial. It's a core part of American law. You can trace it back to Magna Carta.
So there were a couple of voices saying maybe we shouldn't throw out the whole basis of Anglo-American law. That led to a lot of very angry and infuriated reactions, but the most interesting ones were, as usual, on the left liberal end of the spectrum. Matthew Yglesias, a well-known and highly respected left liberal commentator, wrote an article in which he ridiculed these views. He said they're "amazingly naive", silly. Then he expressed the reason. He said that "one of the main functions of the international institutional order is precisely to legitimate the use of deadly military force by western powers".
Of course, he didn't mean Norway. He meant the United States. So the principle on which the international system is based is that the United States is entitled to use force at will. To talk about the United States violating international law or something like that is amazingly naive, completely silly. Incidentally, I was the target of those remarks, and I'm happy to confess my guilt. I do think that Magna Carta and international law are worth paying some attention to.
I merely mention that to illustrate that in the intellectual culture, even at what's called the left liberal end of the political spectrum, the core principles haven't changed very much. But the capacity to implement them has been sharply reduced. That's why you get all this talk about American decline. Take a look at the year-end issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal. Its big front-page cover asks, in bold face, "Is America Over?" It's a standard complaint of those who believe they should have everything.
If you believe you should have everything and anything gets away from you, it's a tragedy, the world is collapsing. So is America over? A long time ago we "lost" China, we've lost Southeast Asia, we've lost South America. Maybe we'll lose the Middle East and North African countries. Is America over? It's a kind of paranoia, but it's the paranoia of the superrich and the superpowerful. If you don't have everything, it's a disaster.
The New York Times describes the "defining policy quandary of the Arab Spring: how to square contradictory American impulses that include support for democratic change, a desire for stability, and wariness of Islamists who have become a potent political force". The Times identifies three US goals. What do you make of them?
Two of them are accurate. The United States is in favour of stability. But you have to remember what stability means. Stability means conformity to US orders. So, for example, one of the charges against Iran, the big foreign policy threat, is that it is destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan. How? By trying to expand its influence into neighbouring countries. On the other hand, we "stabilise" countries when we invade them and destroy them.
We had to destroy the parliamentary system in order to gain stability, meaning that they do what we say. So yes, we are in favor of stability in this technical sense.
Concern about political Islam is just like concern about any independent development. Anything that's independent you have to have concern about because it might undermine you. In fact, it's a little ironic, because traditionally the United States and Britain have by and large strongly supported radical Islamic fundamentalism, not political Islam, as a force to block secular nationalism, the real concern.
So, for example, Saudi Arabia is the most extreme fundamentalist state in the world, a radical Islamic state. It has a missionary zeal, is spreading radical Islam to Pakistan, funding terror. But it's the bastion of US and British policy. They've consistently supported it against the threat of secular nationalism from Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt and Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq, among many others. But they don't like political Islam because it might become independent.
The first of the three points, our yearning for democracy, that's about on the level of Joseph Stalin talking about the Russian commitment to freedom, democracy and liberty for the world. It's the kind of statement you laugh about when you hear it from commissars or Iranian clerics, but you nod politely and maybe even with awe when you hear it from their Western counterparts.
If you look at the record, the yearning for democracy is a bad joke. That's even recognised by leading scholars, though they don't put it this way. One of the major scholars on so-called democracy promotion is Thomas Carothers, who is pretty conservative and highly regarded - a neo-Reaganite, not a flaming liberal. He worked in Reagan's State Department and has several books reviewing the course of democracy promotion, which he takes very seriously.
He says, yes, this is a deep-seated American ideal, but it has a funny history. The history is that every US administration is "schizophrenic". They support democracy only if it conforms to certain strategic and economic interests. He describes this as a strange pathology, as if the United States needed psychiatric treatment or something. Of course, there's another interpretation, but one that can't come to mind if you're a well-educated, properly behaved intellectual.
Within several months of the toppling of [President Hosni] Mubarak in Egypt, he was in the dock facing criminal charges and prosecution. It's inconceivable that US leaders will ever be held to account for their crimes in Iraq or beyond. Is that going to change anytime soon?
That's basically the Yglesias principle: the very foundation of the international order is that the United States has the right to use violence at will. So how can you charge anybody?
And no one else has that right.
Of course not. Well, maybe our clients do. If Israel invades Lebanon and kills a thousand people and destroys half the country, okay, that's all right. It's interesting. Barack Obama was a senator before he was president. He didn't do much as a senator, but he did a couple of things, including one he was particularly proud of.
In fact, if you looked at his website before the primaries, he highlighted the fact that, during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, he cosponsored a Senate resolution demanding that the United States do nothing to impede Israel's military actions until they had achieved their objectives and censuring Iran and Syria because they were supporting resistance to Israel's destruction of southern Lebanon, incidentally, for the fifth time in 25 years. So they inherit the right. Other clients do, too.
But the rights really reside in Washington. That's what it means to own the world. It's like the air you breathe. You can't question it. The main founder of contemporary IR [international relations] theory, Hans Morgenthau, was really quite a decent person, one of the very few political scientists and international affairs specialists to criticise the Vietnam War on moral, not tactical, grounds. Very rare.
He wrote a book called The Purpose of American Politics. You already know what's coming. Other countries don't have purposes. The purpose of America, on the other hand, is "transcendent": to bring freedom and justice to the rest of the world. But he's a good scholar, like Carothers. So he went through the record. He said, when you study the record, it looks as if the United States hasn't lived up to its transcendent purpose.
But then he says, to criticise our transcendent purpose "is to fall into the error of atheism, which denies the validity of religion on similar grounds" - which is a good comparison. It's a deeply entrenched religious belief. It's so deep that it's going to be hard to disentangle it. And if anyone questions that, it leads to near hysteria and often to charges of anti-Americanism or "hating America" - interesting concepts that don't exist in democratic societies, only in totalitarian societies and here, where they're just taken for granted.
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. ATomDispatch regular, he is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including recently Hopes and Prospects and Making the Future. This piece is adapted from the chapter "Uprisings" in his newest book (with interviewer David Barsamian), Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books).
A version of this article first appeared on TomDispatch.com.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
free university lectures online
Please note: Some internet providers including Internet Explorer and even Firefox seem to delete aspects of my blogs. I have found only one, CHROME to be satisfactory.Please down load CHROME in a couple of minutes (free). thank you (Ric)
see this acrobat girl video. she is the best!
Tie me kangaroo down on the barbie.When he stops jumping, the steaks's ready.
( You did a good job, gr gr gr gr grandma, and grandpa)
above: Braidwood, N.S.W. where my father Hector Williams was born
in Feb, 1909.
Welcome. Give your considered opinion, ideas , stories, photos etc about early pioneer Australia.. 'Ric Williams
Do you know?
The Sirius - the Sailing Ship Captain Arthur Phillip Travelled in to Australia.
Australia surf videos.
Australian Outback .
"Long before it's in the papers"
Move elephants into Australia, scientist proposes
Australia may need an infusion of elephants and other large mammals to solve its persistent ecological and wildfire problems, a scientist proposes.
- Australian Outback I: the Red Centre.
- Australian Outback II: the North West.
- Australia Outback III: the North West after the wet season.
- Coober Pedy: as dry as it gets.
- Australian Deserts
- Alice Springs Area
- Ayers Rock/Uluru
- Kakadu National Park
- Katherine Gorge
- The Kimberley Region
- Outback Australia Beaches: and you thought the Outback is all about deserts...
- More Australian Beaches
The view west from Geilston Bay.Tas.July, 2010..click to enlarge.
first fleet links
|first fleet rio de janeiro||first fleet convicts australia||first fleet 1787||lady penrhyn first fleet|
|hms sirius first fhttp://www.coraweb.com.au/local.htm|
Australian History resourcesl
|first fleet settlers||scarborough first fleet||first fleet aborigines|
William Nash came to Australia as a Marine with the First Fleet 1788
|6 Children||1. William Nash born on 25 May 1788, buried on Friday 19th June 1789, a marine's child.|
2. John Nash baptised 15 Jan 1792 (a family source names him William)
3. Mary Nash born 2 March 1793 and baptised 2 April
4. William Nash born 27 March 1795 and baptised 4 May
5. George Nash born 26 July 1797
6. Sarah Nash was born 16 Nov 1798
|6. Sarah Nash 16 Nov 1798 wed on the 15th January 1814 at St John's, Parramatta, to John Williams (a convict), 13 children|
Bill Mayer. Screw Democracy.
(below:) Convicts on way to 14 years penal servitude in Botany Bay. England's loss was Australia's gain. Most had committed crimes that would get them now only a fine.
|Wallace Street and Corner Store, Braidwood|
- Don't take your love to town, by Ruby Langford Ginibi.
John Kerswell: A Welsh plasterer transported in 1828 at the age of 20 years to 15 years for stealing. Absconding four times and charged with being drunk three times, granted ToL in 1856 and Conditional Pardon in 1857. However, he received 20 years imprisonment for attempting to stab a policeman. He was released from Port Arthur in 1875.
William Forster: At age 17 years was transported for ten years for stealing a box writing desk. Misdemeanour followed misdemeanour and sentence added to sentence until in 1864 he was sentnenced to life for robbery under arms. The last mention of him is in 1872 when he was sent to the Separate Prison for misconduct.
Alexander Woods: A soldier with the 17th Regiment, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Woods (aged 30) was transported from Canada to Port Arthur for 14 years for desertion.
Returned to Hobart with a ToL in 1853 but returned to PA again in 1865 for 15 years for burglary. He was a church attendant in 1869 and was discharged in 1875.
ow ya goin' mate? Orright, eh?
Welcome. If you disagree, tell me. Then I'll tell you why you're wrong.
Welcome. If you disagree, tell me. Then I'll tell you why you're wrong.
Gropecunt LaneGropecunt Lane was a name used in Oxford, London and other Englishtowns and cities in the Middle Ages for streets where prostitutes conducted their business. The name derives from cunt, the Middle English term forfemale genitalia, and the act of groping. There was also a Gropecunt Lane inDublin, Ireland near where the Savoy Cinema is now. Later sensibilities changed many names of streets bearing this name to more polite variations.
In London, the street that was Gropecunt Lane was near the present-day site of the Barbican Centre in the City of London. The street was called Grub Street in the 18th century, but renamed Milton Street in 1830 . Another street with a similar history in Southwark is Horselydown Lane ("whores lie down"), which is just to the south of Tower Bridge, and was also the site of the famousAnchor Brewhouse.
on the history of Australia
Sydney slums of the 40's.
Sydney Downtown You Tube.
Short history of Australia
ow ya goin' mate? Orright, eh?
Welcome. Give your considered opinion , ideas , stories, photos etc about early pioneer Australia.. Ric Williams
Welcome. Give your considered opinion , ideas , stories, photos etc about early pioneer Australia.. Ric Williams
Australian videos online free.
Early Probate Records, NSW State Records: Web link
Australian Jewish Genealogical Society
First Fleet online (UOW)
Old Sydney Burial Ground
Norfolk Island Cemetery
1804 Battle of Vinegar Hill
1804 Battle of Vinegar Hill Memorial
Irish Convicts to New South Wales 1791-1834
NSW Death records
Early Australian Colonial History
Facebook - Early Colony history of NSW and Norfolk Island 1788 - 1820
Read Dallas Darling and other prominent thinkers.
Welcome. Give your considered opinion, ideas , stories, photos etc about early pioneer Australia.. Ric Williams
Australian Financial Review
Australian PC Authority
Australian Personal Computer
Australian Reader’s Digest
Better Homes and Gardens Australia
Business Review Weekly
The Canberra Times
Green Left Weekly
Practical Punting Daily
Sydney Morning Herald
Standard Guitar Tuning
Lolita, my heartthrob of the 60's.
Below: Light of my life, fire of my loins... The image that will never age: "Lolita"
(Stanley Kubrick, 1962).
much used internet sites
We come in Third with Williams.
Williamsis a patronymic form of the name William that originated in medieval England and later came to be extremely popular in Wales. The meaning is derived from son or descendant of Guillemin, the French form of William. Derived from an Old French given name with Germanicelements; will = desire, will; and helm = helmet, protection. It is the second most common surname in Wales and the third most common surname in the whole of the United Kingdom, the third most common in the United States of America and Australia and the fifth most common inNew Zealand.
Old Harry Williams was asked how was it that the long list of Williams lead by far those of Nash over the last couple of hundred years.
"Well, let's see.Them Nashes they was more posh and they kept the family bible, so we lot had nothing to read at night.There was no T.V. in them days, and we didn't want to waste candles, so we used to all jump in bed together and make more Williams's."
NASH 4487personshave name Nash in Australia
|#||Name||Number of people|
Australia. The first fleet sailed from England in 1787 carrying marine William Nash and his common law wife Maria Haynes. They were the progenitors of an extensive Nash family in Australia. Another early settler was Andrew Nash. He had acquired the Woolpack Inn in Parramatta in 1821 and became well-known for the prowess of his racehorses. A later settler from Wiltshire was James Nash. He discovered gold along the Mary river in Queenland and helped precipitate the second Australian gold rush.
There were also Nash convicts in Australia. Some thrived; Robert Nash, transported on the Albemarle in 1791; John Nash on the Eleanor in 1831; and Michael Nash from Limerick, on the Rodney in 1851.
final scene gallipoli
You are not just you.
Neither here nor there.
world time and weather
Guardian World News.
Wild man of North Australia.
Aussie Little Nasties.
Lecture on Charles Darwin
- "They shipped us out for England's good." Thank goodness. (2)
- aboriginal stockgirl (cowgirl) Why are we sad? (2)
- . (1)
- Clarke gang robbing coach (1)
- Early Asian Contacts with Australia (1)
- Endeavour replica (1)
- Gaol Gang. (1)
- How lucky we were (1)
- Kyoto Buddhist Shrine .Nikko Narita Hotel. (1)
- O Glorious War. (1)
- Paintings by Albert N amatjira and others (1)
- Surry Hills Terraces .Enhanced by Ric.(venue Harp in the South) (1)
- The aborigines had no say. (1)
- They shipped us out for "England's good." . (1)
- Williams website (1)
- and Exeter Church (1)
- and Prison Hulk (1)
- convicts' jail (1)
- first aborigines hunted and ate them to extinction. (1)
- grandma Lucy Williams (nee) Pike...pure white (1)
- http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IB98SVrY53k/Rj446yqDAGI/AAAAAAAAA8M/Mmgf2CyP234/s1600-h/devonshiretunnel1501.jpg (1)
- http://members.ozemail.com.au/~yonkers/Meanwhile.html (1)
- prison hulk Southhampton (1)
- see "mapI Ireland 18th Century " google (1)
- see "old maps Wales" online (1)
- see Finder's voyage circum.A ust..Sulawesi natives (1)
- see more views"Our Williams Story"(Llanelly) (1)
- some were not in irons and many lived through the voyage. (1)
- the biggest one got away (1)
- to leave Britain. The hanging cart (1)
*The Australian Lyre Bird is the world's best imitator; able to mimic the calls of 15 different species of birds in their locality and string the calls into a melody. Also been known to mimic the sound mobile phones.
*The echidna is such a unique animal that it is classified in a special class of mammals known asmonotremes, which it shares only with the platypus. The echidna lays eggs like a duck but suckles its young in a pouch like a kangaroo. For no apparent reason, it may decide to conserve energy by dropping its body temperature to 4 degrees and remain at that temperature from 4 to 120 days. Lab experiments have shown that the echidna is more intelligent that a cat and it has been seen using its spikes, feet and beaks to climb up crevices like a mountaineer edging up a rock chimney.
*Purple wallaby - The Purple-neck Rock Wallaby [Petrogale Purpureicollis], inhabits the Mt Isa region in Northwest Queensland. The Wallaby secretes a dye that transforms its face and neck into colours ranging from light pink to bright purple.
*The Fierce Snake or Inland Taipan has the most toxic venom of any snake. Maximum yield recorded (for one bite) is 110mg. That would probably be enough to kill over 100 people or 250,000 mice.
*The Wombat deposits square poos on logs, rocks and even upright sticks that it uses tomark its territory.
*A 10kg Tasmanian Devil is able to exert the same biting pressure as a 40kg dog. It can also eat almost a third of its body weight in a single feeding.
*Australia is the smallest, flattest, and driest inhabited continent in the world. It is the only country which is also a whole continent.
*Over 90% of Australia is dry, flat and arid. Almost three-quarters of the land cannot support agriculture in any form.
*A baby kangaroo at the time of its birth measures 2 centimetres.
birth of joey http://zzz262.multiply.com/video/item/1831
*Kangaroos need very little water to survive and are capable of going for months without drinking at all. When they do need water, they dig 'wells' for themselves; frequently going as deep as three or four feet. These 'kangaroo pits' are a common source of water for other animals living in the kangaroo's environment.
Kangaroo attacks dog, man. ^
*A kangaroo being chased by a dog may jump into a dam. If the dog gives chase, the kangaroo may turn towards the dog, then use its paws to push the dogs head underwater in order to drown it.
*Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
*A monotreme is a animal that lays eggs and suckles its young. The world's only monotremes are the platypus and the echidna.
*The male platypus has a poisonous spine that can kill a dog and inflict immense pain on a human.
*When a specimen of the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed the Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.
*Box Jelly fish - The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature. The box jellyfish has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
*The Sydney Funnelweb spider is considered the world's most deadly spider. It is the only spider that has killed people in less than 2 hours. Its fangs are powerful enough to bite through gloves and fingernails. The only animals without immunity to the funnelweb's venom are humans and monkeys.
*Lung fish - Queensland is home to lung fish, a living fossil from the Triassic period 350 million years ago.
u tube Australia.
Ann Marsh managing her company, the Parramatta River Boat Service.