Imperialism

Leader of the Pack

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The war in Iraq has exposed splits between the imperial powers.

The spectacle of French president jacques Chirac trying to block George Bush's path to war was one few people would have predicted in May last year when he was reelected president. The French ruling class had happily taken part in the last three US-UK wars, against Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan. And France has its own very dirty record of imperialist violence in Africa. To see what motivated Chirac it is necessary first to be clear about the reasons for Bush's push to war.

Nato's Sea of Troubles

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The expansion of Nato eastward comes on the eve of war. Dragan Plavsic argues this is no coincidence.

'Nato has became a European peace movement. An effective movement, that is, to spread peace across the continent,' gushed Timothy Garton Ash in the 'Guardian' in November, one week after the three Baltic states-Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania-together with Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, were invited at Nato's Prague summit to join the alliance in 2004. In his enthusiasm for this miraculous conversion, Garton Ash turned a blind eye to the heart of the matter - Nato as the vehicle of US imperial expansion eastwards, and war as an integral part of the strategy.

On the Eagle's Wing

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The British ruling class is hitched to the US war machine--a sign of Britain's long-term decline.

Coming on the heels of Kosovo and Afghanistan, the war with Iraq, if it takes place, will be the third Anglo-American military adventure that Tony Blair has backed since his election in 1997. The 'Daily Mirror''s headlines denouncing 'poodle' Blair have captured the extent of popular revulsion at Blair's enthusiasm for US warmongering. Yet Blair's actions are far from a novelty for a British prime minister. What is striking about foreign policy under Blair is not the break with the past but its fundamental continuity with the whole postwar period.

A Fistful of Dollars

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The deadly arms trade between Britain, the US and Israel

Colin Powell effectively went on his 'peace mission' to Israel with a suitcase of guns. Every US call for Israeli restraint is matched by millions of dollars in military aid and huge consignments of US arms. It's not the Jewish-US lobby driving this support for Israel, but those old Texas issues of guns and oil. A well armed Israel can better keep the 'balance of power' in the Middle East, ensuring cheap flowing oil. The arms sales keep up the share prices of Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing and Textron. Britain hangs on to the coat tails of US policy and also arms to Israel.

Hegemony and Harmony?

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Despite its military dominance the US still has reason to fear its rivals.

Is there only one imperialism left? That is the question many people are asking as the US prepares to launch another war against Iraq.

It's fashionable to speak of a 'unipolar' world, in which the US is the 'great hegemon', its 'empire' unchallenged like that of Rome 2,000 years ago. In reality things are not that simple. The multiple war criminal Henry Kissinger certainly has his doubts. He wrote after the Gulf War and the collapse of the USSR:

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