A Flawed View of Imperialism:
Liberals, Conservatives and the anti communist Left.
By Dave Silver
The two prime imperialist powers
the U.S. and the U.K.
are intent to continue their monopoly of Weapons of Mass Destruction so
that they can reap the huge financial rewards that only a dominating imperialist
power can achieve. Liberals and the anti-communist Left (we’ll call them
the L and the ACL) join conservatives as Stephen
Gowans points out in his Gilding Imperialism’s Friendly
Mask, that “North Korea is a threat to U.S. plans to make over the northern
part of the Korean peninsula into a workshop for U.S. capital.” The L and
the ACL join the imperialist chorus demanding that North Korea must immediately and
verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
Liberal Joanne Landy,
editor of New Politics while attacking Bush’s march to war, at the same time
chose to demonize the reviled Iraqi leader as though Saddam’s failings had
something to do with Washington’s
need to go to war. As Gowans points out that in this instance Liberals and
Conservatives “share core assumptions, differing only in tactical considerations.”
Once you agree that we have to remove a monster, “military intervention,
or something equally, or more devastating, like sanctions and blockades, are
likely to strike most people as the only realistic option.” The need for
regime change in Baghdad was fueled by not only Iraq’s support of the Palestinian
cause but perhaps even more importantly Saddam’s decision to favor oil trade
with imperialist rivals in Europe that use the Euro instead of the dollar.
This made it difficult to keep Iraq
within the orbit of U.S.
Pre-emptive war of
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had its precedent in Clinton’s contrived story
about a genocide it had to prevent in Kosovo and all post war administrations
up to Reagan’s which sought to prevent the spread of communism. But Milosevic
never carried out a genocide in Kosovo and Saddam didn’t have banned weapons.
Gowans cogently asks why is it that the successor’s policies “almost always
turn out the same as those of the reviled predecessor?” The answer of course
is that no matter what their political differences may be they are constrained
by the same economic and social forces. The question of socialist Cuba
forcefully brings anti-communism in Left disguise to the fore. The ACL sees
civil and political liberties as more fundamental than economic and social
rights. The former are the New Left, Social Democratic and Anarchist while
the latter are regarded as the Old Left and Stalinist. Gowans; “no one has
ever tried to defend a revolution by refraining from imposing some limitations
on political and civil liberties and by eschewing all forms of central authority.”
The idea that economic and social rights are primary is largely alien to
many Western countries and particularly the U.S. including many who identify
with the Left.