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      Dancing On The Edge Of Oblivion

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            Abstract

            This article discusses the current precarious state of the US economy vis-à-vis the rise of China and the US proxy war in Ukraine. It discusses the problematic of a capitalist economy and the fundamental requirement of capital accumulation to avert and circumvent capitalist cyclical crises. It also discusses the methodology of accumulation, the law of value and the necessity of geographic hegemonic control in order to sustain homeostasis within a capitalist economy. Brought into the discussion is the effect such a dynamic imposes upon not only the hegemons (US, EU, Russia, and China) within the global economy but also the population and environment that such an unrelenting mission imposes upon the ecology and geopolitical state of affairs. In response to the endogenous exigencies of capital accumulation and the exogenous threats that such projects as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia’s interests as an Eastern European hegemon present, US foreign policy is designed as strategies (“strategy of containment” in reference to Russia after World War II and now the “strategy of denial” to contain the influence China presents as a world hegemon). Also, policy changes that are codified, such as the Bush Doctrine and the National Security Strategy of the United States of America provided legal rationalization and protection for the US to pursue practices that contravened international law i.e. the Geneva Conventions. China has emerged as a world hegemon and is ubiquitously engaging on the world stage especially in Eastern, Western and South Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America, and Mexico. The country is becoming a threat to US capitalist interest with their “natural partnerships,” with their China–Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), with their 1+2+3 Cooperation Frameworks, and with their 4 Action Plans within these countries. These Chinese initiatives as actions are seen to be destabilizing what the US calls “the balance of power” and “the rules-based order” within the global economy. The US is counteracting the threat to US capital accumulation with its neoliberal and neocon agenda, mostly formulated by the main actors within the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) who play an important role in formulating US foreign policy in the interest of US capital and the US military industrial complex. The US is implementing this with the postulates outlined in the 2021 book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict by Eldridge A. Colby and his fellow cohorts within the CFR who formulated the theory and particulars of the strategy that the US is currently pursuing.

            Main article text

            Introduction

            On October 3, 2007, at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Retired Four Star General, Wesley Clark, 1 gave a speech about the US invasion of Iraq and US foreign policy in the region. 2 He said that ten days after 9/11 he went to the Pentagon. While there he made a brief stop at the office of Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under W. Bush (2000–08), who, while discussing 9/11 told him, “Nobody is going to tell us when and where to bomb.” He said he was thinking about calling this a “floating coalition” and asked Clark what he thought about that. As Clark was leaving the Pentagon, an officer from the Joint Chief of Staff called him into his office and told him that he wanted him to know that we (the US) were going to attack Iraq. Clark said “But why?” The officer said, “I don’t know. I guess we don’t know what else to do.”

            Clark came back to the Pentagon six weeks later and saw the same officer and asked him if the US were still going to attack Iraq. The Officer said, “Oh sir, its worse than that. I just got this memo from the Secretary of Defense’s Office and it says we are going to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years. We are going to start with Iraq, move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.” Wesley Clark said he was “stunned” by this information.

            Since Clark had some time while there, he went to visit Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy of Defense 1989–93 who told Clark that after the 1991 Shia uprising in March following Desert Storm under H. W. Bush (which the US provoked but kept troops on the sidelines while it was carried out), that they learned that they could use our military in the region, “and the Soviets won’t stop us.” He told Clark that they have 5–10 years “to clean up these old soviet client regimes—Syria, Iran, Iraq … before the next great super power comes on to challenge us.”

            When discussing these events Clark said that what he was witnessing was an American foreign policy “coup.” He said, “we didn’t have a strategy, we didn’t have bipartisan agreement, … some hard nosed people took over the direction of American policy and they never bothered to inform the rest of us” (Ibid.).

            On a Democracy Now! show (7/1/21) “He Was a Disaster: Retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich on Donald Rumsfeld’s Legacy as architect of the Iraq War,” 3 Colonel Bacevich 4 discusses the “forever wars” in the Middle East with Amy Goodman saying that Rumsfeld was “catastrophically bad and a failed Defense Secretary who radically misinterpreted the necessary response to 9/11, and therefore caused almost immeasurable damage to our country, to Iraq, and to the Persian Gulf more broadly.” He goes on to say that Biden is the sixth consecutive president that has inflicted violence on Iraq. He says that Biden’s military inclinations are “not terribly different” from the previous five administrations … “this administration shows no inclination to back away from the notion that the US must remain militarily preeminent in the world … shows no signs of backing away from the inclination to use force which really is one of the central themes of US policy.” Interestingly, when Amy Goodman asks Colonel Bacevich if he blames Rumsfeld for the death of his son in the Iraq War Bacevich says, we have to avoid “simple judgements” and that we cannot say that “guilt lies there.” Instead, he puts the blame on Rumsfeld’s “radically ill-advised decisions” and broadens the responsibility for this war on “collective concurrence.” Bacevich says, we are a democracy and the people making decisions on our behalf are doing this with our “collective concurrence” since we elected Bush to two terms in office. So we, the people have a “collective responsibility” for the “radically ill-advised decisions” and “huge mistakes” that Donald Rumsfeld and our government make in regard to the “forever wars” that our government is conducting in the Middle East. In my opinion, that is not only erroneous but also an interesting and astonishing rationalization and deflection.

            On January 5, 2022, retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a PHD, former senior advisor during the Trump administration and author of several books, the latest being Margin of Victory, had an interesting discussion with Aaron Maté from The Grayzone. 5 What he basically said is that we have a lot of “irrational actors in government.” He continues by saying that everything was emotional, “emotion drives a lot of the thinking which of course is a disaster for the US and the conduct of our foreign and defense policy.” He said that we tend to “bully” anyone that doesn’t agree with us, or doesn’t align with us, or share our values of “liberal democracy.” He also said that the lobby in Washington drives US policy and that the arms industry and the defense industrial complex sees these wars (Ukraine, etc.) as an opportunity to spend a lot of money on arms they might not be able to sell which he says is “bad thinking” and “bad news.” He pointed out that the military industrial complex “seems to be more powerful than anyone who occupies the office of the presidency.” In his view, Congress is “occupied territory,” occupied by lobbyists and corporations who “largely own the boats of the people on the hill.” Earlier in 2021, on a Tucker Carlson Tonight show, 6 Colonel Macgregor said that we have a “globalist ruling elite in Washington DC” of senior leadership in the State Department, the Pentagon, people on the hill, and the intelligence community who decided that we should intervene wherever we can. As he says it, “we have institutionalized intervention.”

            At the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, Director Oliver Stone gave a noble speech 7 that sheds some light that takes us closer to the motivations behind these inexplicable irrational motivations behind what some refer to as “forever wars” or “perpetual wars for empire” or “intelligence failures” or “mistaken analysis” or “domino theories” or because we must remain “militarily preeminent in the world,” or as Colonel Bacevich states above, we have “collective concurrence” amongst government and the people to carry out these wars. As Oliver Stone explains it, under the ruse that these forever wars and wars for empire are “just wars,” you cannot blame one particular leader for starting these wars. He conveniently points his finger at an abstraction—“the system” …

            “In the 13 wars we’ve started over the last 30 years and the 14 trillion we’ve spent, and the hundreds and thousands of lives 8 that have perished from this earth, remember that it wasn’t one leader but a system, both Republican and Democrat … call it what you will, military industrial, security, money, media complex. It’s a system that has been perpetuated under the guise that these are just wars, justifiable in the name of our flag that flies so proudly over our lives … we have intervened in more than 100 countries with invasion, regime change, economic chaos, hired war, soft power, whatever you want to call it, it is war of some kind … a system leading to the death of the planet and the extinction of all of us.”

            Oliver Stone has given us a peek at this bogeyman that is responsible for the destruction and genocide that our earth and humanity is plagued with. He called it— “the system.” But really now, what is this abstraction called “the system”? Are people so afraid and reluctant to call it out for what it is—the “capitalist” system? Within this capitalist system there are actual people running the show who are directing and are responsible for the actions this system takes in the interest of perpetuating their profits, their control over the world’s resources, their hegemony, and their elite status and power to reign over the commons of our planet and the “gift” of historical materialism. The earth and all of its resources are NOT the private property of capitalists. It is the bounty and sustenance of earth for ALL the creatures of this earth, for ALL of nature, for ALL of humanity, and for ALL of posterity. The “gift” of historical materialism is the culmination of all the technology and advances of the collective work over millenniums that we now benefit from and enjoy done by everyday people, by workers, scientists, engineers, oceanographers, geologists, doctors, inventors, writers, artists, poets, caretakers, veterinarians and ALL of humanity who have given their work to sustain, to glorify, to elevate and to protect the planet, all human beings and all of the species as well as the environment that makes this earth our home.

            These “forever wars” are not only an immorality and injustice to all (Planet Earth and its flora and fauna, human beings, and the future of earth and all its inhabitants). It is an abomination that must be exposed, condemned and STOPPED if we truly care about the future of humanity, all the creatures of this earth and our only home – Planet Earth.

            The Problematic of a “Capitalist” System

            Capitalism is described as a “system based on a peculiar illogic, one that makes accumulation an end in itself” ( Wallerstein et al., 1982: 12). Accumulation (profit) is the defining characteristic or “motor force” of capitalism (Ibid.: 9). Accumulation is predicated upon the private appropriation by the capitalist of surplus value (the unpaid labor) produced within a commodity by a laborer. This profit (accumulation) allows capitalists to expand beyond simple reproduction. By converting surplus value into accumulation capitalists can expand beyond simple reproduction to keep up with and beat out their competition. Accumulation is not only dependent upon the extraction of surplus value however. It is also dependent upon consumption (markets) for the realization of their profits. Hence the necessity of maintaining hegemony over the geography that holds the potential for profit realization.

            The capitalist process of production has a dual character. It is a labor process to produce commodities and it is a valorization process to obtain profits ( Grossmann, 1992: 61). The problematic of a capitalist system is precisely because it is a valorization process. Capitalists must sell their commodities (products) in order to realize a profit. The difficulty of obtaining and maintaining a profit within the contradictory dynamics of a capitalist economy is apparent in the individual and universal (global) corporate strategies all capitalists are compelled to engage in to ensure the reproduction of capital reproduction (profits). The “free enterprise” system compels the capitalists to lower their cost of production to compete on the market with other capitalists with the same imperatives of capital accumulation foisted upon them. There are three ways capitalists can lower the cost of production (1) lowering the cost of labor as we are seeing in the sorry state of affairs of the working class’s economic situation in the United States and throughout the world, (2) developing their technology to produce faster and cheaply as we have witnessed with the development of the electronic and digital revolution, and (3) by appropriating, stealing, and pirating resources (oil, gas, minerals, etc.) from the commons (our own environment meant for the universal utilization and enjoyment of the people) and from other countries by military force as the US did in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and throughout the world.

            There are built-in limitations within this process and environment of competition. The fundamental recuperative mechanisms available to capitalists in this process of renewal (commodification and geographical expansion) also have built-in limitations ( Wallerstein et al., 1982: 23). Capitalists operate in a field of commodification where the “free flow of factors of production” take place (Ibid.). This means that in such an environment of production and exchange the “law of value” ( Marx, 1967: 1, 38–39) rules.

            The law of value is an illustration of how commodities exchange according to their value—their value being the amount of socially necessary abstract labor it takes to produce that commodity at that point in time, given the development of the forces and relations of production (Petranek, 2001: 7). The law of value is a law of motion for capitalist commodity production ( Leontiev, n.d.: 76–77). It illustrates the dynamic equilibrium within a “closed” (supply and demand as an internal condition) system of capitalist production ( Amin, 1978: 29). These internal (law of value) and external (limitations that are geographical and hegemonic) structural constraints determine the survivability of all capitalists within the market. They also push the economy in the direction of cyclical crises (inflation, stagflation, recessions and depressions within the economy).

            Accumulation is determined by the expansion of the forces of production relative to labor power that occurs on the basis of the law of value ( Grossmann, 1992: 32, 60–61). For accumulation within a capitalist system to occur, capital must continue to secure a profit, even as the rate of surplus value diminishes, as constant and variable capital are valorized. 9 This happens not only on the basis of the law of value but also in accordance with the law of the progressive increase of constant capital in relation to variable capital. This is the “driving force” within a capitalist economy and which makes it ever so vulnerable to the potential for “cyclical crises” as described in the paragraph above. Cyclical crises occur when expansion within the capitalist system “cannot continue on the same basis” ( Frank, 1984: 209). These periodic episodes of crises are structural contradictions on the path of accumulation and demonstrate the “unavoidable need for periodic restructuring” within the capitalist system. They are the continuing resolutions of the real crisis within the nature of the capitalist system ( Laibman, 1999–2000: 479–480). They can also be described as “a healing process of the system,” where equilibrium is reestablished, sometimes with huge losses, but which enables capital accumulation to resume and expand within certain limits ( Grossmann, 1992: 84–85). Marx referred to such dislocations within capital as crises of “purification” (in Grossmann, op. cit.).

            Accumulation is the critical dynamic in the tendency towards crisis within a capitalist economy. Cyclical crises (the contradiction between production and consumption) are especially exasperated when the economic imperative is supposedly, a “free enterprise” 10 system with no external regulators except for demand. According to Grossmann (1992: 60–61, 128), capital accumulation “forms the decisive element in Marx’s theory of crises,” since the valorization of this expanded capital becomes progressively more difficult under the conditions of capital reproduction. Consequently, “the mechanism as a whole tends relentlessly towards its final end with the general process of accumulation. As the accumulation of capital grows absolutely, the valorization of the expanded capital becomes progressively more difficult” ( Grossmann, 1992: 85) and manifests as capitalist crisis. We have seen the repercussions of these crises within the capitalist world economy dominated by US capitalist interests that has pushed the US corporate elite and the US military industrial complex to ruthless and desperate measures in securing and maintaining global hegemony to protect the valorization of its capital accumulation.

            When Blinken and Biden decry Russia and China’s refusal to comply with “the rules-based order” and look at why the US is carrying out a proxy war using Ukraine to contain Russia, we are witnessing the desperate attempts of US capital to maintain their hegemony. This “strategy of containment” is an absolute necessity for securing the valorization process of US capital accumulation. It is a strategy to maintain the stability of the US capitalist system, the elite within the capitalist system, its entrepreneurs, its millionaires and its billionaires. It is this corporatocracy 11 (the coalition of government, banks, and corporations), and its auxiliary components within the ruling class, that profiteer off the extant capitalist system and who are hell bent on maintaining the status quo to protect and expand their wealth and interests at the expense of the planet and the rest of humanity.

            The death, chaos, and destruction that the US has carried out with outlandish impunity with its military instruments—guns, bombs, drones etc. are not because, as Colonel Bacevich says, the US military must remain “preeminent in the world,” or because as Colonel Wesley Clark says, we had an American Foreign Policy “coup” with “some hard nosed people taking over the direction of American Policy with no strategy or bipartisan support and never bothering to tell the rest of us what’s going on.” These wars are not the result of “mistaken analysis” (Bernie Sanders) or “faulty intelligence” on weapons of mass destruction (Colin Powell), or a response to a so-called “domino theory.” These wars are not the doings of an abstract ghostly “system” both Republican and Democrat “call it what you will, military industrial, security, money, media complex” … being perpetrated under the guise of carrying out a just war, … “justifiable in the name of our flag that flies so proudly over our lives” (Oliver Stone, April 18, 2022).

            No no no no no. There is a mechanism that plays a pivotal role behind these patriotic and “altruistic” charades in the name of “freedom” and “democracy” and the “rules-based order” of liberalization. It is called the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). It is from behind this curtain that the machinations of US hegemonic deliberations are formulated into policy and implemented by its leading and influential actors, utilizing reluctant patriots, unsuspecting and duped patriots as well as whole countries as proxies … all to ensure the unhindered and unencumbered process of US capital accumulation.

            The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

            Fifty years after World War I, some wealthy and influential US capitalists comprising a network of people and institutions, formed an organization to promote and protect their interests. This organization later became known as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). It is also referred to as “the establishment.” The CFR was “designed to equip the United State of America for an imperial role on the world scene” (Shoup and Minter, 2004: 3). It was linked not only to the US government but also to mass media, elite universities, large foundations, private policy organizations, and to “the largest and most internationally oriented sector of the US capitalist class” (Ibid.: 9).

            There are over 5,100 members in the CFR. 12 More notable members include Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, Joshua Bolten, 22nd White House Chief of Staff, James A. Baker III former US Secretary of State, former US Secretary of the Treasury and former White House Chief of Staff, the late Madeleine Albright former US Secretary of State and former UN Ambassador who had also served as CFR’s honorary director emerita and head of their international advisory council, Elliott Abrams, lawyer and former State Department official, Morton I. Abramowitz, diplomat and former president of the Carnegie Endowment, John Abizaid, US Army general and former head of Centcom, Gina Kay Abercrombie-Winstanley, chief diversity and inclusion officer for the US State Department, John Kerry, former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under President Nixon, Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, Thomas Firestone, a director for the Center for European Policy Analysis, Jeffrey Bewkes, president of Time Warner, Peter Bergen, journalist and national security analyst for CNN as well as numerous appointees in the Biden and previous administrations that participated in and directed US foreign policy, its wars, coups, assassinations, asymmetrical warfare (drone attacks), and regime change.

            The necessity of such an organization was discussed at the Versailles Conference after World War I …

            “Under the pressure of a public opinion which was impatient to be done with war-making and peace-making, decisions had to be taken in haste; and the minds of diplomats, generals, admirals, financiers, lawyers and technical experts were not sufficiently well furnished to enable them to function satisfactorily on critical issues at top speed. Realizing their own shortcomings some of these men found themselves talking with others about a way of providing against such a state of things in the future” (CFR, 1937: 5).

            In its 1919 handbook, the CFR states that the object of their organization is to have continuous conferences on foreign affairs bringing together international thinkers and hundreds of experts on finance, industry, statecraft, education, and science cooperating with government and existing international agencies “to bring them into constructive accord” (CFR, 1919: 3, 5). The CFR was comprised of high-ranking officers in banking, manufacturing, lawyers, and trading and finance companies concerned with wars and peace treaties and the effect they would have on their business. In 1918 during the Woodrow Wilson administration, the chairman of the CFR was New York lawyer, Lindsay Russell, the chairman of the Finance Committee was Alexander Hemphill who was the chairman of the Guaranty Trust Bank and the honorary chairman of the CFR was Elihu Root, a Wall Street lawyer and former Secretary of State and Secretary of War. Root was responsible for organizing and administering the overseas territories that the US won in the Spanish–American War and was considered to be a leader in the US’s imperial expansion. He was also the counsel for several leading US banks and corporations, advised Andrew Carnegie on his philanthropies and was the first president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

            Even during its early inception, the CFR realized the importance of manufacturing consent in concert with its policy decisions on worldly affairs. In September of 1922, the first issue of Foreign Affairs was published with the intent of “guiding public opinion” and educating American opinion “to the proper role” that the US should play in the world (Shoup and Minter, 2004: 18–19). By 1924 Foreign Affairs had established itself as the most authoritative journal on international relations and by 1937 it was regarded as “the most authoritative publication of its character in any country” with its many contributions by economists, publicists, leading statesmen, and scholars of all nationalities providing a variety of viewpoints to its readership (Ibid.). In 1943 the US Department of State had incorporated the top leadership of the CFR’s War and Peace Studies project into its Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy. The War and Peace Studies were a “turning point” in American history with the CFR defining US “national interest” for the following generations (Ibid.: 29).

            After World War II ended in 1945, there was a decisive shift in US foreign policy toward “full-blown imperialism” which would organize “a single, world-spanning political economy with the US at the center” (Ibid.: 29). The CFR was the leading thrust and provided the intellectual rationale in this endeavor. During the Cold War period (1945–91) while planning for a new world order, in relation to the Soviet Union, the CFR was mainly concerned about a “strategy of containment” on how to keep the Soviet Union from controlling Eastern and Central Europe (Ibid.: 31). In 1951 the Department of State declared that it agreed with the CFR’s report by Joseph Barber—“The Containment of Soviet Expansion” as an amalgamation of “the considered views of men in position of influence” 13 which later became part of the blueprint of US foreign policy in the years to come. In 1953 the CFR’s Corporate Program was founded with 25 corporate members. It has since expanded to over 120 global corporate members ranging from healthcare, to manufacturing and financial services. Through its “unmatched convening power,” the CFR’s Corporate Program is able to link the private sector with decision-makers from government and nongovernmental organizations, the media, and academia “to discuss issues at the intersection of business and foreign policy” ( https://cfr.org accessed on August 5, 2022).

            The Neoconservative (Neocon) Agenda

            The neocons emerged in the 1970s as a group of public intellectuals influenced by University of Chicago political scientist, Leo Strauss and Yale University classicist, Donald Kagan. Some of the contemporary leaders in the neocon movement include Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliot Cohen, Elliott Abrams, Donald Kagan’s son, Robert Kagan, Kimberly Kagan (wife of Frederick Kagan), and Victoria Nuland (wife of Robert Kagan). Victoria Nuland served as US Ambassador to NATO under George W. Bush’s administration and served as Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2013 to 2017 (Jeffrey D. Sachs, July 1, 2022). 14 She now serves as Biden’s Undersecretary of State guiding US policy in the US proxy war in Ukraine, and as will be discussed later in the next segment on Ukraine, had a pivotal role in orchestrating the coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych from power.

            The neocons are the task masters of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). They maintain that the US must predominate in military power throughout the world and that the US must confront rising regional powers that may pose a threat to US global and regional dominance—especially Russia and China. To carry out this mission in defense of US global hegemony, there are approximately 835 US military bases throughout the world to respond to any threats to US global dominance. The US also uses global international institutional instruments like NATO, the EU, and the United Nations (UN) which is dominated by the US neocon agenda, to safeguard US hegemony.

            The neocons operate on a premise that US military, financial, technological, and economic superiority enables it to dictate terms and carry out its agenda with impunity in all regions of the world. During his tenure in the Bush administration in 2002, Paul Wolfowitz spelled out this agenda in his “Defense Policy Guidance” (DPG) Draft which called for the extension of the US-led security network to Central and Eastern Europe despite the explicit promise by German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher in 1990 that German unification would not be followed by NATO’s Eastward enlargement (Sachs, July 1, 2022). Wolfowitz also made the case for US wars of choice and the US’s right to act independently and even alone, in response to crises of concern to the US (Ibid.). As mentioned earlier, in May of 1991, while he was Undersecretary of Defense for Policy during Operation Desert Storm (1990–91), Wolfowitz told General Wesley Clark, at that time the Deputy Chief of Staff for Concepts, Doctrine and Developments and who later became the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe in 1997, that the US would lead regime-change operations in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan … and other former Soviet allies (Ibid.). Emboldened by the Russians’ lack of response to their aggressions in the Middle East, he also told General Clark at that time that, “we learned we can use our military in the region and the Soviets won’t stop us … we got 5–10 years to clean up those old soviet client regimes—Syria, Iraq, Iran before the next great super power comes on to challenge us.” 15

            In his State of the Union address in 2002, W. Bush announced what became known as the “Bush Doctrine.” The “hard liners” 16 within the W. Bush administration encouraged him to “cut loose from the international system” and move the US towards a path of unilateralism ( Feffer, 2003: 15). The Bush Doctrine flatly stated that the US would be implementing a strategy of “preemptive military strikes” against any nation that is “known to be harboring or aiding” a terrorist organization hostile to the US. This policy is antithetical to the sovereignty of nations and a presumption that can easily be fabricated or erroneous and then carried out with impunity against any country that is incapable of defending itself against the US’s superior military might. The “doctrine of preemption” not only violated other nations’ sovereignty but it also disregarded negotiated treaties and alliances in carrying out these attacks under the guise of “preemption.” 17 Less than two years after 9/11, the W. Bush policy doctrine was summarized in a 31-page position paper called, “The National Security Strategy of the United States of America” (Ibid.: 18). 18 It called for huge budget increases for military spending. It also authorized a crackdown on civil liberties and the reorganization of intelligence gathering under a new homeland security bureau. Under the aegis of the Bush Doctrine there was not only the authorization to use preemptive strikes but it also altered military doctrine to use nuclear weapons and conduct regime change in other countries. It expanded presidential authority to negotiate free trade and it threatened to withdraw US “peacekeepers” if countries did not grant the US immunity from the International Criminal Court so that its illegal treatment, torture and renditions of apprehended “suspects” could not be adjudicated (Ibid.: 16–17). 19 By codifying its illegal and inhumane treatment of its prisoners of war with language in its “National Security Strategy of the United States of America” that referred to these apprehended “suspects” during the “War on Terror” as “detainees” as opposed to “prisoners of war,” the US could circumvent the Geneva Conventions and detain “suspects” like Abu Zubaydah, who has never been charged with a crime but has been incarcerated in isolation and without meaningful communication from the outside world at Camp Delta in Guantánamo for “20 of his 50 years on earth” ( Bayoumi, 2022: 18). This is an abominable and actually evil manipulation of language that has allowed the US to carry out these crimes against humanity with impunity. 20

            The US Proxy War in Ukraine

            The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the puppeteer behind the curtain pulling the strings and directing the story of and for US Empire. As explained above in the operant mechanics of capital reproduction and accumulation of a capitalist system, capitalists are dependent on not only labor to produce surplus value (profits) but also resources such as oil and gas. Another critical element in the capitalist reproduction nexus is hegemony to control the production and distribution of their products. These exigencies ensure a profit and the survival of the capitalist global elite and US capitalist interests. As Laurence H. Shoup (2022) points out, “[T]he council is the ultimate agenda-setting, strategic planning, and consensus-forming organization of the US capitalist ruling class. Its activities help unite this class not just as a class in itself but also as a class for itself.” 21 This neocon 22 influence, has strategically placed individuals like Paul Wolfowitz who can whisper in George W. Bush’s ear during their meeting four days after 9/11 that we should invade Iraq, take over the lucrative oil fields in the North and South of Iraq 23 and relegate Saddam Hussein to “Mayor” of Baghdad, or better yet, relegate him to the dustbin of history, as they summarily did on December 30, 2006 (Harris, July 30, 2021). 24 Policies emanating out of the CFR are responsible for destroying the infrastructure and environment of one of the most advanced countries in the Middle East (Iraq), killing millions of people (Camp, June 21, 2022), 25 and creating millions of refugees in the process (Hedges, July 11, 2022). 26 People like Victoria Nuland who had hands-on involvement in the coup in Ukraine that toppled the democratically elected president, Yanukovych (Aguilera, July 3, 2022), 27 all work hand in hand with the CFR in the interest of US capital.

            In 2013, democratically elected president of Ukraine, Yanukovych rejected an IMF loan and an EU Association Agreement because it would have increased the Ukrainian people’s cost of living and handed over control of Ukraine’s natural resources to the IMF and the EU. The Obama and Biden administrations responded to this rejection with a highly organized Western-backed coup to oust Yanukovych from power. Senator John McCain who was the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee went to Kiev to show solidarity with opposition Svoboda leader, Oleh Tyahnybok and the protestors at Maiden (Kiev’s Independent Square) where a peaceful protest escalated into a vicious attack on police and Ukrainian government officials … “US organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (an infamous CIA front), trained activist journalists to utilize social media, funded television stations supporting the protest, and bussed in large numbers of protesters from out of town who attacked with rocks, bats, metal bars, bulldozers and molotov cocktails. The neo-Nazi elements within the protest seized weapons, took over government buildings” (Ibid.) 28 and ousted Yanukovych from power in the 2014 coup. The neo-Nazi factions are a small percentage within Ukraine but they played a major role in the 2014 coup, the war and oppression of the people in the Donbas region and now with the ongoing US proxy war in Ukraine.

            These orchestrated and provoked events were documented in Oliver Stone’s movie, Ukraine on Fire. It illustrates the audacity and length the US government will go to in order to remove any leader who stands in the way of unimpeded access to neocon capitalist interests. The newly formed Ukrainian government accepted a $15 billion IMF loan that increased the price of natural gas for Ukrainians by as much as 50 percent (Ibid.). As amply illustrated by these events in Ukraine, and as illustrated by what happened to Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2011 when he was disposed of by a NATO-led military intervention, any government leader who attempts to thwart free and easy access to their country’s economy and resources or who is a threat to the US’s top dog status, will be dealt with accordingly in the interest of US hegemony and US capital accumulation. US presidents, their administrations, and the people who work within their administrations like Wolfowitz, Nuland and other regime change advocates such as Hillary Clinton 29 during the Obama administration, work in concert with the interests of the Council on Foreign Relations. This is actually the front organization of US capitalist interests through which the neoliberal neocon agenda and its strategy of containment is carried out vis-à-vis Russia.

            Biden’s administration is ruled by the same neocons who provoked the wars in Serbia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003, and Syria and Libya in 2011 (Sachs, July 1, 2022). According to Sachs, Ukraine is “the culmination of a 30 year Neoconservative project” (Ibid.). The US provoked the Russian invasion of Ukraine by disregarding and violating Russia’s emphatically declared “red line” in regards to NATO and by refusing to abide by and implement the provisions of the 2014 Minsk II Agreement which France, Germany, and Russia had all signed and which required constitutional reform in Ukraine and the granting of self-governance for certain areas of Donbas. Even before it became official US policy under W. Bush in 2008, neocons had been pushing for NATO enlargement into the Ukraine. They believed that Ukraine’s NATO membership was the “key” (Ibid.) to US regional and global dominance. Robert Kagan spelled out the neocon case for NATO enlargement in April 2006 … “might not the successful liberation of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western Democracies be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union—in short, the expansion of Western Liberal Hegemony?” (Ibid.). Kagan even acknowledges the dire consequences such a policy of NATO expansion would precipitate in 2006, quoting one expert saying, “the Kremlin is getting ready for the ‘Battle for Ukraine’ in all seriousness” (Ibid.). It becomes increasingly obvious with these back stories revealed, that the war in Ukraine was a provocation spurred on by the US and NATO to contain Russia and expand US economic hegemony in the region just as the war in Yemen is a proxy war using Saudi Arabia to maintain hegemony over the Strait of Hormuz and contain Iran (Abdullah, November 28, 2018) 30 and the “war on terror” in Afghanistan (according to its ousted former president, Ashraf Ghani), was the ground “for a proxy war between the US and almost every other major power from Russia, to Iran and others.” ( Ghani, August 25, 2022).

            The “Strategy of Denial”

            Soon after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, some members within the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) collaborated to put together a book to justify the neocon agenda being pushed forward in regards to the Middle East. That agenda was initially spelled out in the Bush Doctrine that Paul Wolfowitz and the other “hard liners” in the W. Bush administration had provided for W. Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address. As mentioned above, this doctrine was codified less than two years later in the 31-page National Security Strategy of the United States document. In a deliberate attempt to manufacture consent and justify its policy vis-à-vis Iraq on the part of the American public, in 2002 the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) put together a collective effort of a dozen CFR members and leaders to fine-tune and improve a full-length book written by Kenneth M. Pollock, a staff member within the CFR. Before his tenure in the Clinton administration, Pollock had spent seven years in the CIA as a Persian Gulf military analyst. He served as director for Gulf affairs at the National Security Council in 1995–96 and 1999–2001 where he was the principal working-level official responsible for the implementation of US policy toward Iraq (Pollock, 2002).

            The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq was published in September 2002 by Random House. As Shoup (May 2022: 18) describes it, Pollock put forth “a number of lies” to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq including the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction (which was later proved to be a false accusation). Pollock also asserted that the takeover of Iraq would be an “enormous boon” for the US with global oil supplies assured and that the US could then transform the Middle East by building “a new Iraq” (Ibid.). Less than a year after the book was published, the invasion and occupation of Iraq took place.

            The W. Bush administration had conjured up an impressive treatise of rationalizations to legitimize their inhumane and illegal activities of preemptive military bombings, assassinations, and drone attacks as well as their torture, renditions, and Abu Ghraib and Gitmo dirty business in the Bush Doctrine (later codified in the National Security Strategy of the United States”). The justifications and the manufacture of consensus for these flagrant violations of the sovereignty of other countries and the utter disregard and rejection of the human rights of the people of these countries were mainstreamed and defended by the neocon agenda within the CFR postulated in Kenneth M. Pollock’s book, The Threatening Storm: the Case for Invading Iraq.

            In 2021, Elbridge A. Colby wrote a similar tome of rationalizations published by Yale University Press “whose director, John Donatich, is a longtime CFR member” (Shoup, 2022: 18). The book is basically the work of a shill spotlighting the now paramount perceived danger to US regional and world hegemony—and that of course, is China. The book is called, The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict. The title is Orwellian doublespeak or as the early American Indians referred to US policy language as, “forked tongue.” It is 356 pages of an elaborate rationalization of an aggressive and bellicose “defensive” policy vis-à-vis China.

            Elbridge A. Colby is described on the cover page as the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy which was “the most significant revision of US defense strategy in a generation” ( Colby, 2021). He was a top Defense Department official in the Donald Trump administration and was admitted to the CFR in 2016. As Shoup describes it, Elbridge A. Colby, “is well connected to the US capitalist ruling class and recognized as an up-and-coming strategic and military intellectual” (Shoup, 2022: 18). Shoup goes on to say that this book, “offers us a window into the strategic policy ideas, discussions, and debates now happening among politically and economically powerful circles in the United States, both inside and outside the CFR” (Ibid.).

            In no uncertain terms, Colby discusses how US policy must change to address “China’s growing power and ambition.” The book provides a “clear framework for what America’s goals in confronting China must be, how America’s military strategy must change, and how the US must prioritize these goals over its lesser interests” ( Colby, 2021). Even more alarming on the cover page is the statement, “this book outlines a rigorous but practical approach, showing how the US can prepare to win a war with China that we cannot afford to lose—precisely in order to deter that war from happening” (Ibid.).

            The Strategy of Denial is actually an elaboration of an aggressive policy to contain China much like the “Battle for Ukraine” is actually a US proxy war to contain Russian economic interests and secure and protect US hegemony in that region. In discussing a favorable regional balance of power, The Strategy of Denial points out the importance of a strong anti-hegemonic coalition suggesting the US as a strong “external cornerstone balancer” for states like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Vietnam so they “will not be left standing alone should mighty China target them” ( Colby, 2021: 26). 31 This is all preposterous, misplaced, and dated fear mongering since China is already seriously engaged in “natural partnerships” with many of these countries in industry, energy, technology, in climate mitigation projects, in the construction of ports, bridges, rail, and trains et al. (see Petranek, 2019 for more info on the scope and geography of China’s involvement in the “uplifting of humanity” with such projects throughout Asia, Central and South Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and now in Mexico and in both South and Central America).

            In his first chapter, “The purpose of American Strategy,” Colby forthrightly claims, “there is much evidence that China is pursuing regional hegemony” ( Colby, 2021: 9). Making sure that Asia is not “subjected” to the hegemony of China is “of primary importance” to the US because Asia is an area in our world with “the greatest total wealth and the greatest capacity to translate that wealth into military power” (Ibid., 8). The possibility that another hegemon (China) could establish hegemony over significant parts of Asia “is therefore the most concerning possible regional scenario for the US” (Ibid.). In his third chapter, “Alliances and Their Effective, Credible Defense,” his fourth chapter, “Defining the Defense Perimeter,” and his eighth chapter, “A Denial Defense,” Colby conjures up a number of hypothetical scenarios and what the US response to the possibility of China emerging as the dominant hegemon should be. These are all “Johnny-come-lately” responses and strategies because China has already established itself as the dominant, legitimate, and “welcomed” hegemon in the region because of its strategy of “natural” partnerships and its willingness to uplift the interests of the partners they engage with. China is already using its wealth, knowledge, and technology in an effort to uplift humanity and this is not lost upon the leadership of these nations and the people that China does business with. China has also already established its technological superiority, its integrity and a proven track record in regard to its business practices throughout the world.

            Shoup lays it out succinctly when he says The Strategy of Denial, “provides an opportunity to concretely observe how the monopoly capitalist ruling class is preparing the people of the United States for what could be a catastrophic world war” (Shoup, 2022: 18). He likens Colby’s book to Pollock’s in its purpose—“magnifying threats and increasing fears in order to build support among attentive publics and capitalist ruling class leaders for a possible war” focusing on the “perceived danger to US world and regional hegemony” that China poses in Asia as well as, to a lesser extent in Russia and Europe (Ibid.: 19).

            The “threat” that China poses to US capital accumulation is lethal and alarming and the neocons are well aware of the impending doom that China poses if China is allowed to continue on its road to prosperity with its second and third world partnerships and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). All of this threatens to destabilize the unchecked profiteering and pirating that has been going on for centuries amongst the main capitalist global actors in the North (the US and the EU). The destructive and inhumane approach to capital accumulation carried out by the West with wars, proxy wars, asymmetrical wars, outright theft, piracy, duplicity, and exploitation of material and human resources, et al. throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, and the rest of the world to maintain hegemony on markets and resources that fuel and perpetuate the global economic engine, is now in direct competition with China’s peaceful strategy for a “shared” future for humankind, and a “community” with universal and common security for the prosperity of the world (Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at the BOAO, March 2018). The tension between two competing ideologies: laissez-faire 32 with liberalization 33 and socialism “with Chinese characteristics” is in a direct and now ever-increasing conflict with the contradictions of capital accumulation magnified with the threatening albeit “peaceful” component of the successful China factor on the world stage. The US and the capitalist West insist on “liberalization” (see endnote 25 on Nuland and the motivations behind removing Yanukovych from power in Ukraine) under the guise of “freedom” and “democracy” since it is an avenue for capitalist ventures to penetrate and/or exploit a country’s resources and markets without the pesky constraints of rules and regulations that sovereign nations put into place to protect their resources and economic development. Liberalization is dependent upon financial openness and the free flow of capital (Petranek, 2001: 21). With Xi Jinping’s reference to “socialism with Chinese characteristics” he distinguishes China’s strategy from the outlaw and predatory methods characteristic of US and Western capital accumulation. China pursues a more conscious and humanitarian approach of “partnerships” when engaging in economic and industrial ventures with other countries. Such a relationship would uplift both vested interests in the process. This strategy on the part of China is delineated in the China–Arab Policy Paper published in 2016, where China and the Arab States agreed to increase diplomatic and economic exchanges and to work in concert to cement what they refer to as the “1+2+3 cooperation framework,” 34 the 4 Action Plan, 35 and the China–Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) held in Beijing beginning in 2004 and held every two years since to review and solidify these partnership relations (Petranek, 2019: 7–12). China initiated the CASCF in 2004 to strengthen economic, political and cultural ties with the Middle East. China was importing over 45 percent of its oil from the Middle East at that time and then Chinese President, Hu Jintao thought it was in the best interest of both China and the 22 Arab League members to develop a partnership to increase oil shipments and bilateral trade ( Zweig and Jianhai, 2005: 28). The CASCF facilitates and provides the opportunities for China and the Arab States to map out a blueprint for China–Arab relations and also provides a forum for practical discussions on cooperation on how to advance the BRI in the Middle East ( Yi, 2018). 36

            These actual economic and political policies that are implemented and practiced by China in its relations with other countries belie the bellicose, belligerent, inflammatory as well as alarmist language espoused by Elbridge A. Colby (2021) in The Strategy of Denial. Colby’s text, I might add, is an actual and dangerous “strategy of denial” of the truth in reference to China.

            At the very outset, in the first sentence of his first chapter, Colby says, “[A] defense strategy is a way of employing, posturing and developing military assets, forces, and relationships to attain a set of goals that are derived from and designed to serve broader political aims” ( Colby 2021: 1). Then he says the purpose of his book is to “consider” what this defense strategy should be (Ibid.).

            He goes on to say that you start out by identifying your national objectives, and certain fundamental political goals …“to maintain the nation’s territorial integrity and, within that territory, security from foreign attack; sustain a free, autonomous, and vigorous democratic-republican political order; and enable economic flourishing and growth” (Ibid.). So basically our national defense strategy should provide our citizens with “physical security, freedom and prosperity.” He underscores “physical security” as the cornerstone of all the other values and interests since in its absence you will not be “free” enough to determine your own fate and ensure the prosperity of the people and the nation … “Americans must be sufficiently prosperous, not only for its own sake but to undergird confidence in their society’s fairness” (Ibid.: 2).

            Since there is no global sovereign to make and enforce judgement in a dispute, power (military and economic strength) becomes the practical determinant to ensure the security, freedom, and prosperity of the nation. Therefore, Colby feels that we must focus on “the foundational role of power” and “seek sustainably favorable military-economic balances of power with respect to the key regions of the world.” The US has “a most powerful interest in ensuring a favorable balance of power with respect to its key interests” and the purpose of “balancing” power is to deny another state hegemony over the key regions of the world (Ibid.). Furthermore, in order to maintain a favorable balance of power, force, “especially the ability to kill, is the ultimate form of coercive leverage” (Ibid. 3). Other forms of influence (wealth, persuasiveness, charisma) “are all dominated by the power to kill. One with the ability to kill another can, if willing, escalate any dispute to that level and thus prevail … hard power always has the capacity to dominate soft power … to protect its interests, the US must be especially concerned about the use of physical force … because violence is the most important element of power, military power is ultimately necessary to constrain it” (Ibid.). The Strategy of Denial suggests policy recommendations to stop both Russia and China from becoming regionally dominant by “US preparation for and willingness to engage in wars, both limited and, if necessary, nuclear” (Shoup, 2022: 19).

            There you have it. American foreign policy in a nutshell summarized in the first three pages of The Strategy of Denial ( Colby, 2021). To justify the US’s “defense” policy, Colby uses universal platitudes that appeal to the American people’s psyche, i.e. “Americans must be sufficiently prosperous, not only for their own sake but to undergird confidence in their society’s fairness” (Ibid.: 2). However, only if Americans are sufficiently “secure” and “free” will they be able to realize the prosperity they are entitled to. These benevolent aspirational abstractions are the raison d’être for a belligerent and aggressive foreign policy that threatens and endangers the rest of the world in order to maintain predominance in the “balance of power.” It demands that the rest of the world comply with a “rules-based-order” and employs the conjured tactics and scenarios delineated in The Strategy of Denial which is in actuality a strategy to contain your primary adversary (China) and to remain top dog.

            Conclusion

            The neocons within the CFR and Biden administration were emboldened and intent on provoking a military confrontation with Russia by expanding NATO into Ukraine (over Russia’s steadfast objections) because they believed they could defeat and contain Russia with US financial sanctions and NATO weaponry (mostly supplied and funded by the US). The neocon think tank—the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) led by Kimberly Kagan and backed by defense contractors like General Dynamics and Raytheon continue to advocate for more military funding for the war which is now costing the US over $50 billion (PBS Newshour, https://pbs.org/newshour, July 4, 2022). 37

            The revised (from the original $3 trillion) Biden Build Back Better Agenda proposed to Congress on October 28, 2021 and summarily defeated on December 19 of 2021 by the Republicans in Congress, was estimated at $1.750 trillion. 38 It would have provided ample funding ($555 billion) to address the problem of climate change. It would have expanded the safety net for the American people with free preschool for three and four year olds, a $300 a month tax credit for each child under six and a $250 tax credit a month for each child aged 6–17, Pell grants for college tuition, Medicaid home care support of $150 billion, expanded family leave, senior Medicare hearing benefits, $150 billion for the largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in US history and a host of other progressive expenditures (whitehouse.gov and democrats,senate.gov accessed on August 10, 2022) to uplift all 332,278,200 citizens of the United States of America. Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda has now morphed into the paltry Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that accomplishes a fraction of what the original agenda had attempted to accomplish with $369 billion for energy security and climate change and $64 billion for the Affordable Care Act extension. There is nothing in this Inflation Reduction Act to significantly or substantially uplift the sorry state of the American people, the crisis of homelessness in America or to address the dilapidated and crumbling US infrastructure, its roads, bridges, public facilities etc.

            Meanwhile China is zooming full speed ahead with its 373 mph Maglev bullet trains (half the speed of sound) that can take its passengers from Beijing to Shanghai (a 754-mile trip) in two-and-a-half hours (which is actually less than a three-hour plane ride). 39 China is leaving the US floundering in the dust with no Build Back Better Plan for the US in place that is even remotely comparable to China’s BRI. We are falling behind second and even third world countries in some sectors of infrastructure and technology. It is actually pathetic and a serious consternation that the Republican neocon-controlled US Congress blocked the necessary financing to Build Back Better for the American people while it pours over $50 billion into a proxy war in the Ukraine to contain Russia and safeguard US hegemony in Eastern and Western Europe. It was announced on PBS on August 8, 2022 ( https://pbs.com/newshour) that we have now added over $9 billion to the $50 billion already given by the US in aid to Ukraine. It is estimated that it will cost over $750 billion (Ibid.) to rebuild Ukraine if and when the US proxy war to contain Russia ends, which we are largely responsible for since the Biden administration refused to pull back on their unconscious and deliberate NATO expansion neocon agenda in Eastern Europe. This disastrous US policy is not in the interest of the American or Ukrainian people. Ukrainians are now experiencing the destruction of their country, of their environment and their economy, all at the hands of the US military industrial complex and the US hegemonic agenda to contain Russia and protect US capitalist accumulation. This sad and foolish agenda is being hotly pursued by the Biden administration and the neocons in the CFR, in the interest of US capitalist hegemony. It is having a catastrophic impact on the refugee problem in Europe and is also impacting Ukraine, Europe, the US, and the rest of the world with food supply shortages, fertilizer shortages, high gas prices, inflation, stagflation, and recession. This proxy war in Ukraine to contain Russia and protect US capitalists’ interests and the neocon hegemonic agenda is destabilizing the global economy and the global food supply with shortages that could take 5–10 years to recover from (Aguilera, July 3, 2022).

            Biden’s proxy war in the Ukraine against Russia is a crime against humanity just as George H. W. Bush’s Desert Storm war in Iraq in 1991, the wars provoked by NATO and the EU during the Clinton administration in the mid 1990s, and George W. Bush’s “war on terror” which started in September 2001 and which continued under the Obama, Trump, and now Biden administrations. These acts of war and the destruction and the genocide it engendered (estimated at over 6 million people just in the Middle East), has now escalated with the Biden administration’s proxy war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, too many of the American people still can’t afford housing, childcare, or healthcare. And now many of our highly regarded “free” and “democratic” American people cannot even afford the “prosperity” of buying a car, with or without a chip, or sometimes even driving their cars to work since gas prices go up and down, and even when down are still too high for these poorly paid American workers. This, to say the least, is all very concerning. Suffice it to say that it is the American people who are in actuality experiencing a veritable strategy of denial—perpetrated upon them by a neocon neoliberal hegemonic agenda. Blame it on capitalism and the actors who run the show in their own selfish interests.

            American people and the rest of the citizens of Planet Earth … it’s time to stop dancing on the edge of oblivion. It’s time to contemplate change, a strategy, not of denial, but a strategy of systemic change. We need now, more than ever, to change the system … to save humanity and our precious and only home—the beautiful blue planet in the milky way galaxy—Earth—our one and only place to be … a human being! It’s time for the citizens of Planet Earth, to start acting in the interest of earthlings and our planet and not at the behest of an exploitative and manipulative capitalist system. It’s time to start thinking and acting for universal changes to uplift humanity and to repair and protect our precious earth.

            I have an idea. We should have a worldwide competition! I really like Xi Jinping’s economic and political alternative of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” It has done some indisputably phenomenal things for the Chinese people and their country. Nations can compete on the world stage with their own brand of socialism—Socialism with American characteristics, Socialism with French characteristics, Socialism with British characteristics, Socialism with Russian characteristics, Socialism with Venezuelan characteristics, Socialism with Cuban characteristics, Socialism with Norwegian characteristics, Socialism with African characteristics, and on and on. We can then see and share and “partner” with each other, in implementing the successes of those who can come up with the best, unique, and most uplifting ideas of advancing humanity. We can also then put into practice the most clever and advanced methodologies and technologies of saving, preserving, and elevating our energy and resources as well as fostering and preserving and protecting the flora and fauna of Mother Earth as a partnership of nations with shared interests.

            The socialist methodology of doing and implementing things are already universally applied in most nations. There are many socialist institutions already in place that are paid for by the citizens of their countries and implemented by their federal, state, and local governments. Just in our United States of America alone we have all of these socialist institutions doing their job and functioning well—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Army, the Navy, the Airforce, the National Guard, the Coast Guard, the Board of Education, our Fire and Police Departments, the Environmental Protection Agency, the City and County government that picks up your rubbish and cleans and cares for our parks, repairs our roads, etc., the state government that does basically the same on a different level and the federal government that also protects and supports its citizens on a higher level with agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, etc. All these socialist government functions are paid for with tax dollars that our US citizens pay to our local (property taxes), state (state income taxes), and federal (federal income taxes) government.

            We need to universalize socialism so the citizens of our planet can be healthier, happier, stronger, and more educated and enlightened. This can be done. It is already happening. We just need to broaden the scope of socialism so we can uplift ALL of humanity and protect and treasure our glorious planet—EARTH. Let’s DO IT! I am more than willing to help in this endeavor and I have a feeling that most of humanity is with me on this mission.

            Notes

            1.

            General Wesley Clark is a West Point Rhodes Scholar, former NATO SACEUR, Senior Fellow UCLA 2BurkleCenter, Founder @RenewTogether and author of A Time to Lead.

            2.

            Wesley Clark, American Foreign Policy “Coup” http://FORA.TV/2007/10/03Wesley_clar

            4.

            Colonel Andrew Bacevich is president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Vietnam veteran and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. He is also the author of several books, the most recent being After the Apocalypse.

            5.

            Aaron Maté interview with Colonel Douglas Macgregor, ex-Pentagon advisor. https://www.patreon.com/aaronmate January 5, 2022 “US war lobby fuels conflict in Russia, Ukraine and Syria.”

            6.

            #FoxNews#Tucker March 6, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight.

            7.

            Paul Knaggs, Labor Heartlands Article, https://laborheartlands.com April 18, 2022.

            8.

            The actual numbers of lives that have perished since the war on terror is over 6 million in direct and indirect casualties (see Lee Camp’s podcast June 21, 2022 “Proof the US has no moral authority anymore”) and Dr. Nafeez Ahmed FRSA@123456NafeezAhmed, https://@bylinetimes.com September 15, 2021 Exclusive Up to Six Million People—The Unrecorded Fatalities of the ‘War on Terror’ accessed on July 15, 2022. Dr. Ahmed says, “Twenty years after 9/11, compelling statistical data suggests that the true death toll of the ‘War on Terror’ is a staggering 6 million people which is likely a conservative estimate”… after examining the direct and indirect deaths of the post 9/11 era as a new kind of state-sanctioned mass violence became globalized and normalized (Ibid.).

            9.

            Constant capital is the value of material inputs transferred to the product, including depreciation of equipment, while variable capital is the value of labor power which is paid to the worker in the form of wages (Sweezy, 1981a: 50).

            10.

            This notion of a “free” enterprise system is actually a misnomer. Wallerstein (1982: 24) points out that it is absolutely central to the functioning of the capitalist world economy that only a “partial” realization of the law of value (the free flow of capital and the factors of production) is implemented to protect the economic hegemony of commodity production among individual capitalists and states (Petranek, 2001: 27). This control of the “free” flow of capital and commodities is regulated through tariffs and trade agreements like GATT and NAFTA as well as domestic trust and anti-monopoly regulation. Because the capitalist system is predicated on the valorization of commodity production, it is compelled to push toward the fuller realization of this end through mergers, leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, deregulation, consolidation, and centralization of capital, globalization and the “liberalization” of the world economy. Wallerstein ( Wallerstein et al., 1982: 24), describes this success in overcoming the valorization component of capital reproduction and the ability of capitalists to overcome this compunction toward cyclical crises through the above-mentioned maneuvers as the “success” that is actually “the undoing of the capitalist system (Ibid.).

            11.

            As described by John Perkins in his Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004).

            12.

            The CFR describes itself as an “independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders … to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United State and other countries (see https://cfr.org accessed on August 5, 2022). The David Rockefeller Studies Program is the CFR’s think tank with over 70 scholars and practitioners who focus on the major regions and significant issues that affect the US. Their operating budget is made up of individual and corporate dues, gifts, grants, endowments, and revenue from their Foreign Affairs magazine (FY17) for an annual revenue of approximately $69 million (Ibid.).

            13.

            Department of State, “Special Report on American Opinion by Department of State,” May 21, 1951, Philip C. Jessup Papers, Box 114, MDLC.

            14.

            Jeffrey D. Sachs, “UKRAINE IS THE LATEST NEOCON DISASTER,” https://ConsortiumNews.com. (27)186. July 1, 2022, accessed on July 8, 2022.

            15.

            General Wesley Clark speech, “We had a Policy Coup” at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, CA. http://foratv/2007/10/03 Wesley_Clar… accessed on June 7, 2022.

            16.

            The “hard liners” within W. Bush’s cabinet (Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and his Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz) pushed and guided W. Bush, in carrying out the neocon agenda in relation to Iraq and the Middle East.

            17.

            The rationalization in the “doctrine of preemption” was continued by the Obama administration during his tenure in office, especially with his indiscriminate drone strikes killing many innocents in the so-called “war on terror.” The Trump administration also used this policy shield when he gave the order to assassinate Iran’s Supreme Commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qasem Soleimani on January 3, 2020.

            18.

            George W. Bush was reportedly considered by Washington insiders and the ruling elite to be a foreign policy cipher ( Feffer, 2003: 14) and neophyte in the world of politics who rode into the White House on the coattails of his father, George H. W. Bush. Dick Cheney, who accepted the job as Vice President, agreed to the position with provisos that provided him with unilateral and proxy presidential decision-making powers that actually sidelined W. Bush’s authority as the so called “decider” (as W. Bush emphatically proclaimed himself to be). I highly recommend to anyone who would be interested in a revelatory story about the behind-the-scenes makings of what went down during 9/11 and the “war on terror” to watch the movie Vice (2018) directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale as Vice President Cheney. It is a very disturbing and dark account of the W. Bush administration’s absolutism and detachment in relation to the death, torture, and destruction it exacted upon the Middle East and its people.

            19.

            The International Criminal Court (ICC) is comprised of 120 nations. It was established on July 17, 1998 to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. It complements existing national judicial systems and steps in only if national courts are unwilling or are unable to investigate and prosecute those crimes ( Feffer, 2003: 213). The W. Bush administration rejected the ICC during the inception of the US’s “global war on terror” (which started on September 15, 2001 and continues today). The US tried to find ways to withdraw the US signature from the document that created the ICC. When the US lost its appeal to withdraw from the ICC and was unsuccessful in receiving “permanent immunity” from prosecution, it pursued securing immunity on a “bilateral basis” with certain signatories (Ibid.).

            20.

            See Moustafa Bayoumi, “Journey to Guantánamo” The Nation July 25/August 1, 2022. pp. 14–21, 31 for a very disturbing revelation of the US’s inhumane and notorious penal colony in Cuba.

            21.

            Laurence H. Shoup, “Giving War a Chance.” Monthly Review, (74)1, May 2022.

            22.

            Neocons are a reference to a network of US officials and intellectuals (such as Paul Wolfowitz, previous US Secretary of Defense) who are leading strategists in the service of US capitalist interests (Michael Lind, The Globalist: Rethinking Globalization, “The Strange Turn of U.S. Neoconservatism.” September 18, 2003).

            23.

            After the invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi Parliament requested the UN help in demanding that the US return $17 billion of “oil money” that it said was stolen from the Iraqi people. Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi Parliament Speaker, disputed that figure in 2011 saying that the Development Fund of Iraq (DFI) had lost $18.7 billion. Also, in July 2010 the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) discovered that the US Department of Defense could not account properly for US $6.6 billion of DFI funds due to missing documents (Dr. Adrian Wong. The Rojak Pot, https://rojakpot.com).

            24.

            In a 19-minute podcast on YouTube with Johnny Harris, “How the US Stole Iraq,” July 30, 2021, accessed on July 4, 2022, four days after 9/11 in a meeting at Camp David with Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and others within Bush’s Cabinet, Wolfowitz told Bush that Saddam Hussein is the “head of the snake” when it comes to global terrorism. Joseph Cofer Black, the head of Counter Terrorism in the George W. Bush Administration at that time interjected, “Mr. President, we were attacked on 9/11 by Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein and Iraq have nothing whatsoever to do with this” (Ibid.). After the meeting, when Wolfowitz had Bush’s ear, he tells him that Hussein’s major oil fields are in the North (where the Kurds are in sovereignty contentions with Hussein) and in the South on the border of “our good friends in Kuwait.” In laying out the strategy of his plan, Wolfowitz tells Bush, “We could easily come into Iraq and take these big population centers and naturally take the major oil fields in Iraq thus cutting off Saddam from his major revenue source” (Ibid.). By cutting him off from the North and South of his country he would end up being only “the mayor of Baghdad.” Wolfowitz’s plan intrigued Bush and he asked him, “Why did you not bring this up at the meeting?” (Ibid.). It is worth mentioning here that on the night of 9/11 a memo came into the Pentagon Defense Intelligence Agency from then Deputy Secretary of State, Paul Wolfowitz marked “urgent” telling the Defense Intelligence Agency “not to look into Al Qaeda (the people they knew did it) but to instead look into ways Iraq has been involved in terrorism since the Gulf War” (Ibid.).

            25.

            In a June 21, 2022 podcast, “Moment of Clarity” with Lee Camp, accessed on July 4, 2022, Lee Camp points out that the US has lost its “moral authority” since it is responsible for over 6 million deaths over the past 20 years with its “war on terror” (1 million direct killings and 5 million indirect killings due to US sanctions and its destruction of infrastructure (water, electricity, homes, roads, etc.) of the countries it attacked in the Middle East.

            26.

            Chris Hedges, in his article “NATO—The Most Dangerous Military Alliance of the Planet” in https://scheerpost.com July 11, 2022 (accessed on July 17, 2022) points out that NATO (which in actuality is a military and political arm in the interests of the US, the EU, and the Council on Foreign Relations and its neocon agenda) is responsible for millions of deaths and “38 million refugees” in its wars, bombings, and regime change operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Bosnia, Serbia, Yugoslavia” and now with its US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

            27.

            During the Obama administration, Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland was heard on a leaked phone call planning the removal of President Yanukovych of Ukraine … “I think Yats (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) is the guy.” She also named Svoboda’s Oleh Tyahnybok as one of the leaders they were working with “to glue the thing.” Less than a month later after the audio of the phone call leaked, Yatsenyuk became the next Prime Minister of Ukraine. As Luis Gabriel Aguilera revealed in July 3, 2022 article “How Obama and Biden Installed Neo-Nazis in Ukraine” ( https://kanekoa.substack.com, accessed on July 10, 2022) … “This phone call revealed the highest ranking US official representing the Obama administration in Ukraine as the US Ambassador to Ukraine, plotting a coup d’état from within the US Embassy against a foreign country’s duly elected President” (Ibid.).

            28.

            Luis Gabriel Aguilera, “How Obama and Biden Installed Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.” Ukraine Watch posted on Facebook July 3, 2022, accessed on July 10, 2022 https://kanekoa.substack.com.

            29.

            The release of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s emails by WikiLeaks confirm that the US knew that Muammar Gaddafi had over 140 tons of gold and was working toward a “United States of Africa” with gold as its currency which would have shut out the Zionist/Jewish owned Rothschild banking cartel of Africa. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that Libya’s Central Bank, which is 100 percent state owned, had nearly 144 tons of gold in its vault and a similar amount in silver. What soon followed after these revelations was the US/NATO invasion and murder of Gaddafi as well as the looting and plundering of Libya’s treasury by the “pirates of imperialism.” ( Fitrakis, April 16, 2016).

            30.

            Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hisham Sharaf Abdullah made this statement on PBS during an interview on Amanpour and Company on November 28, 2018. With over US$450 billion in orders of goods from the US including over US$110 million in military aid ( HuffPost, 2018, October l8), Saudi Arabia, like Israel, is the US’s attack dog for US interests in that region.

            31.

            It seems like the US and the Biden administration are also aware of their weak position in Africa vis-à-vis China. With the visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa by Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken on August 9, 2022 ( https://pbs.com/newshour), it looks like they are following to the letter and attempting to carry out the prescriptions elaborated in Colby’s third chapter ( Colby, 2021), “The Favorable Regional Balance of Power.” In this chapter Colby discusses the importance of a coalition cornerstone and the importance of the US being a strong “external cornerstone balancer.” When meeting with the leaders of these countries, Blinken was courting and promoting the US as a “genuine” partner (as opposed to a “natural” partner that China has already established itself as) for these African nations.

            32.

            The notion of laissez-faire is actually a misnomer since the implementation of “nongovernment” intervention requires the construction of forms of regulation (mechanisms and modes of state intervention), which act to facilitate natural regulation ( Gordon, 1991: 19). It also requires the devising of security mechanisms that assure intrinsic and economic processes that become the basic objective of government rationality (Michel Foucault in Gordon, op. cit.).

            33.

            “Liberalization” and “democracy” are trite Orwellian doublespeak euphemisms employed by the West and transnational capitalists in carrying out the US and EU capitalist agenda of unhindered and unencumbered access to capital accumulation and resources throughout the world. “Liberalization” is also a misnomer since it is a political practice and a problematic that exists within the unifying framework of legal regulations of a state. Liberalization “pretends” to be inaccessible to a centralized power however, in the real world, economic subjects operate in a “totalizing unity of legal-political sovereignty” within the state ( Burchell, 1991: 137, 141).

            34.

            The 1+2+3 cooperation framework, or what is also referred to as the “three breakthroughs,” is a combination of 1) energy cooperation, 2) infrastructure and trade investment facilitation, and 3) high-tech, nuclear, aviation/satellite/space and new energy facilitation (Petranek, 2019: 8).

            35.

            China’s Four Action Plan with the Arab states is a commitment to cooperation in 1) promoting stability, 2) identifying new forms of cooperation, 3) production capacity cooperation, and 4) deepening friendship (Petranek, 2019: 8).

            36.

            For an in-depth discussion on the CASCF, the BRI, globalization with Chinese characteristics and reconciling capital accumulation with Chinese socialism and the challenges implicit in the contest between the Chinese strategy of “partnerships” in opposition to US hegemony, see my article (Petranek, 2019) which appeared in Arab Studies Quarterly, (41)1, Winter 2019: Paving a Concrete Path to Globalization with China’s Belt and Road Initiative through the Middle East.

            37.

            The original Economic and Security Aid for Ukraine approved by Congress in May 2022 was $40 billion (Merchant and Madhani, Associated Press, July 22, 2022).

            38.

            In July 2021 the Democrats of the Senate Budget Committee had reached a reconciliation budget limit agreement of $3.5 trillion in spending over the next decade for the original Biden Build Back Better Plan. With opposition coming from primarily Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-A), the original proposal was cut back to a paltry $1.5 trillion ending up being the laudatory (sic.) Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

            39.

            The China Maglev trains built by China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation runs by magnetic levitation 2 inches above the railroad tracks to prevent friction and allows for superfast speeds. China’s current high speed bullet trains take five-and-a-half hours for the same route (Beijing to Shanghai) and it would take 12 hours by car (Hood, Robb Report, https://robbreport.com, July 22, 2021, accessed on August 10, 2022).

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            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Journal
            10.13169/arabstudquar
            Arab Studies Quarterly
            ASQ
            Pluto Journals
            2043-6920
            4 November 2022
            4 November 2022
            : 44
            : 3-4
            : 126-153
            Affiliations
            [1-arabstudquar.44.3-4.0126]Associate editor of Arab Studies Quarterly and Affiliate Faculty of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA
            Author notes
            Article
            10.13169/arabstudquar.44.3-4.0126
            18920a6f-615f-4f06-adab-2e90870fe14e
            © 2022 Liana M. Petranek

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            Page count
            Pages: 28
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            Social & Behavioral Sciences
            Council of Foreign Relations (CFR),Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),proxy wars,hegemony,capital accumulation,law of value,capitalist cyclical crises,China–Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF),natural partners,strategy of denial

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