The Different Face of the Third World War
By Siv O'Neall, Axis of Logic
Make no mistake. The third World War is right here. Now. It has been here for longer than you would believe.
The world is at war. Unrelenting, genocidal war. Another war that is a racket, but with a different face and a different racket. A war that kills millions, as is usually the case. There are two sides to this war, but it is not the East against the West. It’s not even the South against the North. It is not a geographical war. It’s a class war. It is the Poor against the Rich on all five continents. And right now the Rich are winning.
A brief look back
The much touted Founding Fathers wanted nothing more praiseworthy than an oligarchy, a country ruled by an elite where Blacks and women were not citizens with equal rights, not even the right to vote. Women only gained the right to vote through the passage of the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution in 1920.
In spite of the half-heartedness and hesitations by President Roosevelt and some egregious mistakes that had serious consequences, the end of this era still came out as far more people-friendly than anything the country had seen before. Labor unions experienced tremendous gains during the thirties and Social Security was created in 1935.
Fast forward to Lyndon B. Johnson and his signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, obviously a big step in the direction of democracy. U.S. citizens were now convinced that their country was not just the most prosperous in the world, but also the most moral, the most free and the most civilized. And the most powerful.
The social contract that stemmed from the last Great Depression has been torn apart bit by bit in the decades that followed. The second-rate movie actor Ronald Reagan took the first big steps towards corporatism, intrinsically accompanied by total contempt for the people. This glamorous president who was playing Hollywood with the country seriously set about undermining the social safety net, a gradual thawing of programs focused on the welfare of the citizens.
The war has become globalized
Things are changing however. The sudden collapse of the Twin Towers and the screams of dying people made it possible. Civil rights have been dramatically stifled through the Patriot Act, furtively steered through a Congress in shock and almost total ignorance in October of 2001. The country has since then been in a state of permanent war.
We are living the war. It just has a different face. I am not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan. I am not talking about the renewal of the Cold War, as the U.S. Empire is staking its last pennies on establishing influence in republics of the former Soviet Union, desperately trying to outdo Russia in countries where the main or the second language is Russian. In these countries dependence on Russian oil and gas is of such primary importance that even Ukraine has had to listen to the loud voices of the people and move over to the Russian sphere, for economic and certainly also for cultural reasons. The U.S.-supported orange revolution is over. Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko is history.
This current war has no borders. War is globalized, like everything else steered by the obscene organization that rules the world of today. The hugely powerful multinationals in collusion with the governing bodies of the world have orchestrated a way of running the world which seems to them to be a given winner. It is not even Whites against the brown peoples who by far dominate the world population. The White upper-class people are of course scared out of their wits knowing well that one day soon they will be outnumbered even in their own home countries, which is most of the West. Racism, in each individual country and globally, is very clearly part of this ugly war.
However, globalization is the ruling principle of today’s war. If the Chinese want to take a part in this upper class war on the poor, they are welcome to the country club. If the Indian political leaders are willing to make a deal with the multinationals, they are also taken into the club as full members. But at the origin of the scheming by the Neocon cavemen, the Multinational Money Men alone are the Übermenschen; the secondary collaborators get a fair share only because, for financial reasons, their weight is impossible to ignore.
The U.S. leaders may finally have realized that there is no way they can win a geographical war in the Middle East, in Central Asia, in Africa or anywhere else. They are now having a hard time extracting themselves from the senseless wars that are going on full speed in Afghanistan and now also Pakistan, turning both these countries into a maelstrom of ubiquitous local wars. Iraq is a ruined country but the U.S. will probably manage one day fairly soon to withdraw most of its military, declaring victory.
The reasons for this unending war (and possibly the solution to it) is the major equation we have to solve in order to understand the world we live in. It is not the United States alone that is in this war. It is not a war of one country against another country. It is the multinational corporations that are sucking up the entire wealth of the world, leaving the crumbs to the people so that they can survive as the slaves of the powerful leaders.
The center of gravity has changed in this new world of robots and money makers. Washington is no more the unilateral leader. The U.S. government has turned into a group of yes-sayers to the Big Corporations that are spread all over the planet. The world economy is in free fall, but you are soon about to see the top Money Men come out of the squeeze with all their billions intact, if not multiplied.
The poor are being squeezed almost out of their existence and the educated and formerly prosperous middle classes are disappearing from the rosters of the comfortable class that included, for instance, middle-range businessmen, managers and intellectuals. Medium-sized businesses are being squeezed to death and the educated middle classes are seen as less and less essential in a world where money alone rules. Education and the arts are dying a slow death, not being considered as necessary, in fact seen rather as a menace to the new world order where dumbed down and docile slaves are the kind of pliable citizens the power people thrive on.
Small retail businesses are being squeezed out of existence by the Walmarts and the Carrefours all over the world. Subsistence farmers are being bankrupted by huge industrial farms every day. In Africa, the family farms that provided for the basic needs of the family and possibly left some produce over to sell at the local market are being killed by the requirements by IMF and the World Bank, the two major contributors to worldwide poverty.
The big money lenders demand, as a requirement for a loan, that the poor farmers produce flowers and fruit for export to the rich West and are thus forced to buy food products imported from the West, in particular from the U.S. They can’t afford buying all the products they need for a decent livelihood. They go bankrupt and they move to the enormously overpopulated shantytowns around the megacities of the world, Lagos, Cape Town, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangkok, Mexico City, São Paolo, Shanghai, etc., and even the outrageous slums in the richest country in the world are fighting against obscene poverty, hunger and malnutrition1. One billion people, almost one tenth of the population of the world now live in shantytowns all over the world.
The war on the poor people across the world
The war on poverty has taken on a new meaning. It is a war on the poor. The poor are the major victims of the Third World War. AIDS and other diseases, violent droughts, inundations and natural catastrophes are used to eradicate the billions of poor people who are seen as dead ballast that is making the steering of the ship difficult to handle. Dead mass that is better gotten rid of - by any means available.
If nature comes to their help, so much the better. Let the victims of hurricane Katrina keep getting swallowed up by poverty and early death. Let Haiti disappear as an island for poor people where those victims of hundreds of years of cruel colonialism were managing to squeeze out a living only by sheer willpower, in spite of the ruining of their environment by these colonial powers. New Orleans and Haiti will now be made into luxury tourist sites for the wealthy who don't know what to do with their money.
Let the poor victims of the scandalous gigantic BP oil leak in the Gulf die a slow death, deprived of their livelihood as hard-working fishermen or the owners of small businesses by the shoreline. The entire area is now polluted beyond repair or at least suffering the devastating impact of the disaster through the destruction of the offshore, shoreline and significant tidal wetland ecosystems, due to criminal neglect by the oil company and by the government2. It is the little people who will be suffering from this devastation for years to come. The big companies always keep their profits intact.
The progress towards civil rights and a government for the people has been in steady decline ever since the big steps forward that were made by FDR and LBJ. In fact, the U.S. leadership, in tight partnership with the Big Corporations, has taken increasingly big steps towards stifling every effort in favor of people’s rights or easing the plight of the poor that might have appeared (and been ignored) on the Washington radar, emanating from people-friendly organizations. The Supreme Court which is supposed to rein in the other two branches of the Government, has been stacked with regressive judges and even the last vestiges of democratic rights are in danger of being overruled by that Court.
The ‘War on Terror’ serves the purpose of idealizing the West and demonizing the Arab world, the Islam religion and all people of darker skin color. The war was not born out of 9/11. The ‘War on Terror’ had been invented well before that shocking event. Defeating the Taliban, taking over Iraq and the Middle East had been in the eye of the Washington telescope for a long time.
But the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, whoever was the real agent behind the deed, served to reinforce the making of the U.S. citizens into docile lemmings, flag waving non-thinking ‘patriots’, blind to the killing of their civil rights and the making of the Constitution into a quaint document.
The base of Neoconservative ideology
Globalization enters the stage. It too has been a long time coming. Washington is now going to wage a war without borders, a war of economic conquest that will make Washington into the capital of the Planet. They are probably capable of seeing that a unilateral world is no more realistic, but the U.S. power people are certainly counting on Washington carrying the heaviest stick in the fashioning of the world into a money making machine. Multi-nationalism will have to be accepted. U.S. leaders don’t even need to steep the world in ‘Americanism’ by spreading their gospel of consumerism and ignorant worship of ‘the only free and civilized country in the world’. The corporations are doing the work for them. Buying is the only remaining virtue.
Thinking and straight vision are doomed, killed in the cradle. History is taught the way it suits the U.S. leadership and the apathy of ignorance is taking over the populace. News is skewed to fit the powers that be. The media has been bought up by Big Money and has become infotainment, the opium of the people. Hand in hand with religion of course. Patriotism and fundamentalist religion become the ersatz for critical thinking. Only the sheep and lemmings are encouraged. People who don’t toe the line are tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.
This is the New World Order. The Neocons are sitting on the throne. Democracy is gone. Corporatism alone rules the world. Countries all over the planet are turning into police states where people are not expected to have any constitutional rights.
So what is the center-piece of this new war? It is getting rid of the poor to make room for the super rich. Reducing the world population by all possible means. By starving the masses, by spreading diseases, by killing and rendering homeless millions of innocent civilians. Sure, drones and missiles still have an important function to fill. Only the rich so-called elite is going to have any say at all in this paradise for the leaders of the world. The question they don’t seem to pose is: Who is going to buy the products and who is going to make them, other than the Chinese and people in sweatshops in the third world?
Recolonizing Africa still looks like a possibility for Washington, even though they are in for a hard fight with China on that continent. Ruling over the oil rich Middle East and Central Asia still seems like a half-won goal for the U.S generals and politicians. Globalization is going to serve as a magic wand for Washington to extend its rule to countries via the multinational corporations. They can not possibly invade China, nor India, nor Russia, nor Brazil. But they plan on being the bosses in the running of the world corporations and that way they will still come out as the winners. The stealing of the national resources of countries all over the world will be reinforced and turned into the hands of the corporations. But the signature on the document will be Washington’s. They make trade deals with the countries they can’t conquer and the future is theirs.
The Colossus is bleeding
However, what is the real future going to be like? What the present rulers don’t take into account is people’s never-ending fight for their own freedom. For self-rule. For their dignity.
People are rising up all over the world. They don’t want to be globalized, to become numbers in a world of increasing profit for the wealthy only. They don’t like to lose their savings because of the zero-producing speculation of a tiny clique of callous gamblers. They don’t like for the government to use their tax money to bail out banks who go bankrupt when their CEOs still get billions of $ in bonuses.
They don’t like money for education and social budgets to be cut short and their children to be faced with up to $100,000 in loans for their college education to pay off after graduation - even though they can’t get decent jobs. They don’t like jobs to be outsourced to low-paying countries and business plants to be closed down in their home town, leaving them jobless. They don’t like to have to pay higher taxes because the rich hide their profits in tax havens, such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and hundreds of other nations.
One day they are bound to see that Europe, which they call socialist – the horror! – can afford free university education, good health care and decent social services, partly because European countries spend a fraction of the outrageous amounts of the people's money the U.S. spends on its military budgets.
Major Southeast Asian countries have formed their own free trade zone, AFTA – 'ASEAN Free Trade Area'. They simply don’t need the West. And China alone is now the world’s second largest economy, having passed by Japan in 2009. Several Latin American countries are equally leading a life increasingly independent of the U.S. Empire, forming their own free trade zone, MERCOSUR, passing on the profits from their national resources to their own people3.
Is it finally becoming obvious that globalization the way Milton Friedman and the Chicago School boys saw it – shock and awe, conquer and buy – is just not going to work?4 The world economy is in a meltdown and the dominoes are falling in Europe after the upcoming bailout of Greece. The effects are spreading to the far corners of the world. More and more countries were already turning their backs on the U.S. - Turkey, Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and others have no use for the former Empire any more. And the Middle East is burning.
Was it maybe an illusion that the planet could be made into one huge corporation with the U.S. as its CEO?
Are the people in all parts of the world going to follow the example of the Greeks and put all business to a standstill unless they are given their rights? Is a people’s revolution finally about to take the stage away from the usurpers?
- See Mike Davis and Planet of Slums A Dickensian world of Victorian poverty is being recreated, but on a scale that would have staggered the Victorians.” Tomdispatch Interview: Mike Davis, Green Zones and Slum Cities.
- Louisana Workers denounce BP’s oil spill response
- For more information on NAFTA and Mercosur - see Siv O’Neall: ‘ Capitalism Is Dying a Natural Death
- ‘Blurred Clarity: Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economic Have Much to Answer For.’