US Imperialism

Neither Washington nor Moscow

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Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution' is not all it seems.

The crisis that erupted in the Ukraine at the end of last month has had liberals of all sorts slathering at the mouth. Here, they declared, was a new people's uprising, a display of popular power inaugurating a 'velvet revolution' like that in eastern Europe in 1989.

In fact, what occurred was a fight between rival groups inside a corrupt ruling class, each side of which has been happy at various points to preside over a government given to muzzling opposition and fixing ballots.

The Great Gamble

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In a recent speech delivered in Porto Alegre, Chris Harman explains why the US is staking its imperial future on Iraq.

Iraq is creating an enormous crisis for US imperialism. The US is in a situation very similar to when it faced the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, in February 1968 - a situation in which most of the sectors of the US ruling class have decided they are in danger of losing, but from which they do not see any easy way to withdraw. It took seven more years after Tet for the US to get out of Vietnam. They lost two presidents, the army fell apart, and US imperialism suffered an immense crisis in terms of its ability to impose its will elsewhere in the world.

End of Empire: Spectre of Defeat

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Will the Iraqis humble the mighty US empire? Alex Callinicos investigates.

Something extraordinary has happened in the past three years. On 11 September 2001, we are endlessly reminded, the greatest military power in history was fiercely attacked before the eyes of the world. Its rulers reacted to this grievous humiliation by declaring a global 'war on terrorism' and conquering two 'rogue states' - Iraq and Afghanistan.

War and Resistance: Bush's Terror Two Years On

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Two years after Washington launched the 'war on terrorism', Alex Callinicos examines the motivations of the neo-cons and the difficulties they face.

Two years ago the world watched in amazement and horror at those scenes of ghastly beauty in Manhattan, as the Twin Towers burned and crumbled and thousands perished against a deep blue sky. In response George W Bush proclaimed the United States to be at war, engaged in 'a monumental struggle of good against evil'. For Tony Blair 9/11 marked the start of a new era. 'There has never been a time when... a study of history provides so little instruction for our present day,' he told the US Congress in July.

Imperialism - Remaking the Middle East

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The history of British and French rule in the Middle East makes uncomfortable reading for Iraq's new conquerors.

'I'll never engage in creating kings again: it's too great a strain.' As they struggle to impose a compliant government on Iraq, Pentagon officials may well reflect on the words that Gertrude Bell wrote in 1921. Bell, an adviser to the British High Commissioner in Baghdad, played an important role in creating a new colonial order for the Middle East. Out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire, the imperialists of an earlier generation fashioned a network of client kingdoms under British and French tutelage.

Only the Beginning

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The US military may have succeeded in Iraq but now the problems are beginning to mount up.

Defeating Saddam Hussein's armed forces was the easy bit for US imperialism, even if victory was not quite as quick as the White House had hoped. Its real difficulties start now.

Already there are signs of massive resistance to the continuing US occupation of Iraq on the one side, and of splits over what to do next within the US administration on the other. To understand why, it is necessary to be clear what the war was about.

Camp X-Ray on the NHS

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Look which US company is at the front of the queue for Iraq contracts.

What connection could there be between Texas, Vietnam, Camp X-Ray, US vice-president Dick Cheney and computerisation of the National Health Service? The answer, of course, is Halliburton--the US corporation which has been handed one of the first contracts for 'reconstruction' in Iraq and which the folks back in England are only just beginning to find out about.

Promises, Promises

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Bush claims he wants to liberate Iraq. Dragan Plavsic examines the experience of Serbia and Afghanistan.

The assassination last month of the pro-western, neoliberal Serbian prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, a key leader of the revolution of 2000 that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, demonstrated in stark and bloody fashion the chaotic condition of Serbia today. This situation cannot be understood without examining the devastating role of western governments and institutions, above all the US and IMF, in recent Balkan affairs.

A criminal elite

Making Democracy Safe

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Was democracy the cornerstone of US policy during the Cold War?

We frequently hear US apologists claim that since the end of the Second World War US foreign policy has been based on the values of freedom, democracy and human rights--its main thrust being the curbing of the power of dictators and the fostering of social and economic conditions in which 'free' institutions can flourish. The principal examples cited are those of postwar Germany and Japan.

Shock and Awe

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Mike Davis analyses the Pentagon's plans for a revolution in military affairs.

Imperial Washington, like Berlin in the late 1930s, has become a psychedelic capital where one megalomaniacal hallucination succeeds another. Thus in addition to creating a new geopolitical order in the Middle East, we are now told by the Pentagon's deepest thinkers that the invasion of Iraq will also inaugurate 'the most important revolution in military affairs (RMA) in 200 years'.

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