Friday, January 29, 2021

100 Seconds To Midnight: The Dissonance & Madness Of Our Present Horror

Note: the image above is from the poster of John Pilger’s “The Coming War on China.”

Something feels bizarre about living in the current era, the era in which the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just concluded that we’re metaphorically 100 seconds away from the extinction of humanity. This strange feeling has been present for a while now, going back to when the Bulletin’s “Doomsday Clock” reached 2 minutes to midnight in January of 2018 for the first time since 1953.

The Bulletin’s statement from this year on why we’re just 100 seconds away from annihilation cites the fact that “An extremely dangerous global failure to address existential threats — what we called ‘the new abnormal’ in 2019 — tightened its grip in the nuclear realm in the past year, increasing the likelihood of catastrophe.” The new abnormal began creeping up in the middle of the last decade, when the U.S. empire reacted to its dwindling hegemony and the rise of its geopolitical rivals by effectively restarting the cold war. Following the beginning of Obama’s pivot to Asia at the beginning of the 2010s, where Washington began a campaign of military buildup against China in the Indo-Pacific, in 2014 Washington installed a fascist regime in Ukraine that started a proxy war with Russia.

Nuclear tensions between the great powers once again flared up, and in January of 2015 the Doomsday Clock was set at 3 minutes to midnight for the first time since 1984. As the threat of World War III continued to escalate during the next few years, with alarming skirmishes breaking out between the U.S. and Russia in Syria and Washington engaging in wild provocations against China and Iran, the clock was for the first time moved to 100 seconds to midnight in January of last year. Given the great risks of further geopolitical tensions the Eurasia Group anticipates for this next year, which will be spurred on by the projected2021 crash of the dollar, it will surprise me if the clock gets further away from midnight next year.

Of course, the clock is only an arbitrary marker of where the global conditions are perceived to be at, one which can give us a kind of comfort purely because of how it provides our psyches with such a simplistic numerical assessment. What more reliably creates psychological horror is examining the practical details behind why the risk of a third world war is now unprecedented. We can intellectually understand the great-power conflict risk estimates that I’ve mentioned and the surface-level causes behind them that I’ve described, but we can’t grasp what they mean without looking at exactly which forces are shaping this historical nightmare.

The root cause of the clock’s current placement is that capitalism and U.S./NATO imperialism are in a state of crisis. Washington’s illegal and catastrophic invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in reaction to 9/11 set off a chain reaction where amid the rise of China and the emerging geopolitical independence of Russia, the U.S. began to rapidly lose its superpower status. Then the 2008 economic crash, along with the even greater crash in 2020, hollowed out the U.S. empire’s internal productive power by throwing tens of millions into unemployment and poverty. By 2017, the Pentagon was willing to create a paradigm of great-power tensions even more dangerous than that of the Cold War, as expressed in a U.S. military document from that year which Nafeez Ahmed described as follows:

The document is particularly candid in setting out why the U.S. sees these countries as threats — not so much because of tangible military or security issues, but mainly because their pursuit of their own legitimate national interests is, in itself, seen as undermining American dominance. Russia and China are described as “revisionist forces” who benefit from the U.S.-dominated international order, but who dare to “seek a new distribution of power and authority commensurate with their emergence as legitimate rivals to U.S. dominance.” Russia and China, the analysts say, “are engaged in a deliberate program to demonstrate the limits of U.S. authority, will, reach, influence, and impact.”

Since the United States is the largest empire in the history of the world, and has weapons that are capable of destroying all life on the planet, its process of imperial collapse is naturally what’s bringing humanity closer than ever to extinction. Declining empires tend to engage in reckless war provocations with rivals to try to regain lost territory, or commit horrific atrocities as part of their internal political reaction; an ominous fact of history is that Nazi Germany emerged because of the decline of the German empire. It was only logical that in the case of the United States, the outcome of decline would be a situation like ours, where the globe hangs on the brink of nuclear holocaust and will remain so until the U.S. ceases to exist.

And whether or not this holocaust happens, the reality for those within reach of the empire’s deadly grip is one of ever greater bloodshed, poverty, and trauma. In its first week, the Biden administration has accelerated the rate of drone strikes in Somalia so much that at the current frequency, the number of U.S. drone strikes in Somalia for 2021 will surpass those from within the last several years. The new administration is refusing to lift Trump’s sanctions against Iran, which especially in the Covid-19 era amount to a policy of genocide. The IMF is imposing more austerity, privatization, and wage cuts across 81 countries as Biden’s team quietly aims to push for more austerity in the U.S., and as Big Tech moves to expand the surveillance state under the “Great Reset” brand. All the while, the climate crisis drifts towards its inevitable point of creating vast humanitarian catastrophe for even the Third World countries, with Wall Street taking advantage of this fact by turning the increasingly scarce water supply into a betting commodity.

In the backdrop of these late-stage capitalist conditions is war, war of a kind that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists estimates to be more dangerous than anything humanity has faced before. This is the war of perpetual nuclear tensions in an age where economic, environmental, and geopolitical stressors are making conflict ever more likely. In response to these conditions, the U.S. war machine has taken on a conscious mentality of unrestrained belligerence, as expressed in this part from the 2017 Pentagon document:

The post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action… Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.

This is the essence of why the time we’re living in is an insane one, of why we’ve reached 100 seconds to midnight: the system can only think to react to the emergence of destabilizing factors by creating even more potential for destabilization. Whether it’s engaging in provocations against rival powers in reaction to the loss of a unipolar world, or driving down the population’s living standards even further in reaction to an economic crash, or reacting to the climate crisis by further engaging in military buildup even though the U.S. military is the world’s largest polluter, the system’s only solution is to move us even further towards our doom while telling us that these decisions are nothing but rational. It’s madness that’s presented to us as the only sensible path forward.

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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The U.S. Ruling Class Grows Anxious To Maintain Imperialist Cultural Hegemony

Note: the above image from the Google image profile for this article.

Antonio Gramsci wrote that “Cultural hegemony is the idea that the dominant ideology of society-the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and morals-reflects that of the ruling class. The dominant ideology justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural, inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.” To maintain its own internal cultural hegemony, the U.S. empire has to keep its people convinced of a big lie: that Washington’s global dominance is still present and set to expand.

It’s so critical for the empire to keep the masses believing this because when we find out about how Russia and China’s rise is irreversible, when we find that a multi-polar world order has already been established, and when we become aware that the Pentagon itself admits that American global power is rapidly declining, the U.S./NATO empire’s ever-growing military buildup efforts and ever-escalating economic warfare look absurd. The core of the propaganda behind this new cold war is that the U.S. and its allies will be able to regain their prosperity by successfully competing with the challengers to Washington’s hegemony. The pro-imperialist pundits assure us that a grand turning point is just around the corner. But what are we to believe when we find out that our oligarchic rulers intend to doom us to endless war?

This is the logical conclusion of the idea that Washington and its client states must never stop pushing towards the restoration of the 20th century American-dominated world order. Such a restoration will never come. So a lifetime of war, along with a lifetime of the austerity and internal police state expansions that war brings, are what we’re being demanded to accept.

According to Bret Stephens, the New York Times columnist who’s praised torture, such atrocities and engineered miseries are all part of the cost of reaching a grand future:

In one version of the future, the assault on the Capitol marks the point at which the forces of illiberalism, mob violence and disinformation, much of it stoked and financed by the Russian government, reached critical mass in the West. In another version, the assault will be remembered as a historical anomaly when compared with the recovery of freedom in places where it once seemed lost — not just Russia but also China, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela. How can Joe Biden move history toward the second version? By pursuing a foreign policy that puts dissidents first.

If the countries Stephens mentions have so far survived all of Washington’s regime change attempts, there’s no serious reason to expect the empire to succeed in these next few years simply because of a pro-coup branding exercise. U.S. foreign policy has been about financing, creating propaganda for, and militarily training pro-Washington political factions within these and numerous other countries ever since they fell out of the empire’s range of control. Trump did this just as aggressively as Obama did. Biden’s model of imperialism, while more competent and more alliance-ready than Trump’s was, isn’t going to suddenly reverse the trend of lost imperialist territory.

No, Washington isn’t about to go on a new spree of conquests. In the 2020s and beyond, the story of U.S. imperialism will be one of turning inwards. Of the empire exploiting its internal neo-colonies and workers ever more, while trying to hold onto its external neo-colonies (one of which was lost to the anti-imperialist movement just a few months ago when Bolivia’s coup regime got ousted by the country’s socialist party). If enough Third World revolutions happen, the U.S. will become a Brazil with nukes, where the vast majority of people are living in poverty and the ruling class is threatening to impose military dictatorship to maintain order. Take out imperialism’s ability to carry out increasing global exploitation and expansion, and its internal economic machine stops working.

Regardless of which party has the presidency, the country is perpetually moving in this direction; Biden’s White House aims to push more austerity while passing a Patriot Act 2.0, and already Biden has fortified the country’s mass incarceration paradigm by passing a symbolic prison reform which takes scrutiny away from the ongoing tyranny of our police state. Biden so far hasn’t even taken executive action to reunite the children Trump separated at the border with their parents. For as long as the United States continues to exist, its domestic policies will continue to trend towards the necro-political, towards what inflicts more violence and misery upon those capitalism deems to be expendable. There’s no convincing the masses that this system is ideal; the atrocious material conditions are hard to ignore. So the state can only lean ever more heavily onto war propaganda to keep society complacent with what’s happening.

When the masses are focused on the manufactured threats from Russia, Iran, or other U.S. rivals, they’re less likely to seek out class consciousness. And if some of the masses do find a semblance of class consciousness in spite of living under imperialist cultural hegemony, they’re less likely to seriously study Marxism and adopt its proletarian revolutionary goals when they’re convinced that all the existing socialist states are “authoritarian” and “oppressive.”

This is the insidious function that propaganda against China, Cuba, and the DPRK serve, with the other two Marxist-Leninist countries Vietnam and Laos occasionally getting targeted with similar vilifying rhetoric. By painting the world’s socialist projects as even more necro-political than the United States is, or at the very least as a moral equivalent to the United States, the liberal propagandists keep the country’s left-leaning individuals from gaining a true understanding of which system they need to seek out. And therefore of which actions they’ll need to take to bring down capitalism and imperialism.

The increasing tenseness of the country’s political climate is making it riskier for those who’ve seen past the imperialist cultural hegemony to speak their truths too brazenly. The tightening of online censorship and the looming expansions of the police and surveillance state also limit our options for voicing dissent. But what I can do is urge my readers to study the revolutionary literature which past successful liberation fighters have left for us. Read Marx and Engels. Read Lenin’s The State and Revolution. Read Mao’s works, especially Combat Liberalism. Read Che Guevera’s Guerrilla Warfare. Gain the knowledge that you’ll need to form or become part of a revolutionary cadre in your local area, and to commit to the sacrifices we must make in order to bring down the empire.

What’s preventing others with our class interests from joining us is the imperialist cultural hegemony, with our society’s widespread disdain for China being the biggest roadblock to people gaining revolutionary consciousness. But if we feel held back by this roadblock, we’re approaching our task the wrong way; propaganda alone can’t transform people’s mindsets, it’s the conditions that can reliably spur them into taking drastic action. If we keep putting forth our line of a materially based strategy for bringing proletarian democracy, much of society will be drawn towards it, and the empire’s propagandists will fail in their goal of fooling the vast majority.

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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Monday, January 25, 2021

The U.S. Will Lose The Cold War With China. Then Collapse Will Come For It.

I’m fascinated by the ideological battle that’s emerged in American political discourse over whether or not China should be viewed favorably, because this battle is the 21st century’s equivalent of the Cold War-era debates within the U.S. over the USSR. Once again, Marxist-Leninists and other principled anti-imperialists are going up against the rightists, liberals, and anti-communist “leftists” who prefer to believe the lies the U.S. State Department is promoting about Washington’s greatest adversary. But things have changed compared to the last cold war.

Despite what the partisans of neoliberal capitalism and U.S./NATO imperialism want us to believe, amid this cold war Washington finds itself sinking into geopolitical isolation and terminal economic decline. Since Washington won the Cold War, the U.S. empire has been experiencing an unprecedented amount of decline, and there’s abundant evidence that this will be the generation when the U.S. experiences the same kind of imperial implosion that’s happened to all of history’s past fallen empires.

Already, Washington has lost its military primacy in the Indo-Pacific to China, the era of a U.S.-dominated southwest Asia has ended, the U.S. and the E.U. have descended into inter-imperialist economic warfare, the shift towards a multi-polar world has become cemented amid the strengthening of a Russian/Chinese military alliance and China’s economic rise, and Washington has so far failed to achieve regime change in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Bolivia, Lebanon, Belarus, or Thailand.

At the center of the motives behind Washington’s current micro-militarism (the term for when declining empires engage in reckless warfare to try to regain lost territory) is China. China is proving to be a more formidable challenger to the U.S. than the Soviet Union was, with China’s Belt and Road Initiative working to undo the global inequities of Western neo-colonialism by providing Third World countries the tools for economic and infrastructural development. This alone is deeply alarming the members of the U.S. imperialist intelligentsia, and the craftiest among them are ruthlessly working to manipulate the narrative around China.

Take, for example, John Bolton, the Iraq invasion war criminal who’s on record for saying that “If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it.” Keep this statement of Bolton’s in mind while reading the following paragraph from the Washington Post op-ed that he wrote a few days into the Biden presidency:

Understanding the nature of Beijing’s threat is also critical. This is not an ideological, Cold War struggle. China is not pursuing Marxist theory, although its domestic policies certainly have nothing to recommend them. Xi is not only crushing Uighurs and other non-Han minorities, but also extinguishing religious freedom and crushing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. American minds do not take kindly to “civil-military fusion,” or “social credit scores,” whereby Beijing measures the worthiness of its own citizens. This is not Communism at work, but authoritarianism, pure and simple. Misreading it as Marxism 2.0 will impede strategic clarity, not enhance it.

In this essay, Bolton may be considering the long game of the ideological battle that’s going on within the core of the empire. If his pledge to knowingly promote falsehoods in order to preserve the empire’s internal stability has any role behind his choice of words in this propaganda piece, he’s trying to crush hope for the communist movement within the U.S. by portraying China as “not truly Marxist.” This is something that the more manipulative anti-Chinese cold war propagandists have often done. If people in the U.S. who are drifting towards class consciousness become convinced that China is just another capitalist empire (despite the country being a workers’ democracy whose foreign policy model drastically differs from that of actual imperialist powers), they’ll not believe that socialism and anti-imperialism are on the rise throughout the globe. They’ll also be more inclined to believe the lies Bolton repeats about Chinese “minority persecution” and “Hong Kong oppression.”

These kinds of ideological manipulations are all about preparing for the most important war that the U.S. empire is going to have to fight during the 21st century: the war against a class uprising within U.S. borders. If the groups that will lead the inevitable class revolts of these coming decades view China and other Marxist-Leninist countries as “authoritarian” and “not truly socialist,” they’ll be open to imperialist co-optation. They’ll also be easily steered away from the Marxist-Leninist goals of organizing under a democratic centralist party, overthrowing the capitalist state, and forming a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Such is the outcome that the capitalist state and its lackeys are working feverishly to prevent. In this last decade, as American society has drifted closer towards destabilization amid the perpetual depression it’s been in since 2008, U.S. military analysts have begun putting out reports which anticipate a near future of internal warfare for the empire.

One of these reports has envisioned special operations forces having to be sent into the peripheries of U.S. megacities to contain guerrilla uprisings. Another has declared that the rapidly accelerating militarization which climate crisis-related natural disasters have been bringing to American society is only the beginning, with the country’s future under climate collapse essentially being one of endless internal war. Another has described near-future scenarios where the army will be sent in to invade and occupy U.S. localities, and where the government will need to shut off internet and cell phone access within the occupied areas while ensuring that local media only puts out official U.S. military propaganda.

When these kinds of domestic warfare scenarios manifest-and let’s not pretend they won’t happen, the Pentagon has described them as “unavoidable”-the ideological battle that’s happening right now will be taken to its logical conclusion. As the state cracks down with the most extreme force possible, the reactionary militias and vigilantes carry out terror campaigns amid the chaos, and marginalized peoples find themselves in tremendous danger, the groups that will be most reliable at fighting against this encroaching violence are the ones which haven’t been co-opted by the empire.

The revolutionary cadre members who weren’t swayed by the lies of the war propagandists will likely be among those willing to carve out resistance pockets, not give into the state’s demands, and work towards a revolution in the same vein as the ones which have liberated other places from the forces of empire. At that point, the question will no longer be whether or not the U.S. empire can win the great-power competition. It will be whether or not the U.S. state can survive. And if the state can’t, the question will then become whether the reactionaries or the revolutionaries prevail and come to fill the power vacuum.

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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Great Reset Is About Compensating For Capitalism’s Crises By Leaning Onto Big Tech

There are two different versions of the great-power competition that Washington is waging against Russia and China. One is the version portrayed by the U.S. political and media establishment, which acts like Washington’s modern rival superpowers are eventually going to be subdued like the Soviet Union was. The other is the reality of the conflict, where Russia and China are strengthening their military alliance unlike was the case after the Sino-Soviet split, Russia is assured to win the proxy war with Washington’s puppet state Ukraine, and China has already arguably ended U.S. military primacy in the Indo-Pacific while making the Belt and Road Initiative’s success assured.

Then there’s the facet that the U.S. ruling class really doesn’t want to talk about: the longtime and accelerating decline of profits for American capitalism. As the Marxist economist Michael Roberts wrotein 2016, “the overall US rate of profit has four phases: the post-war golden age of high profitability peaking in 1965; then the profitability crisis of the 1970s, troughing in the slump of 1980–2; then the neoliberal period of recovery or at least stabilisation in profitability, peaking more or less in 1997; then the current period of volatility and slight decline.” Since then, the destabilization of U.S. capitalism has predictably sped up; in this last year, the country’s largest companies reached their lowest quarterly revenue point in more than a decade.

The trends are clear for anyone who looks past the veil of neoliberal and pro-imperialist narratives: the empire has long been losing its strength, both geopolitically and in terms of its internal capitalist machine. This is an intertwined cycle of losses, where the sanctions that Washington perpetually imposes on its rivals alienate more of its imperial allies, the U.S. experiences greater economic isolation and risks of dollar decline as a result of its belligerence, and U.S. capital further gets weakened due to these frantic attempts to make it regain its former strength.

The solution that the liberal technocrats in the Biden administration have for this dilemma is to make U.S. capital lean more heavily onto the high tech sector. Why do you think Silicon Valley, D.C. think tanks, and Biden White House officials have been telling us things about a “Great Reset” and a “Fourth Industrial Revolution?” Their goal is to revitalize capitalism amid an unprecedented moment of crisis for the U.S. bourgeoisie. They want to convince the public-as well as themselves-that by proliferating a series of new technologies, they’ll make the system good as new.

For the super rich, so far everything in this plan is working out perfectly. U.S. billionaires have gained around a trillion dollars in this last year in spite of how tens of millions of others in the country have experienced job losses or closed down businesses. Due to how the pandemic has created opportunities for Amazon, Apple, Google, and other tech giants to further incorporate themselves into people’s lives, they’ve been the predominant benefactors of this internal boom for U.S. imperialism. But the masses will have to see material benefits in order to buy into the narrative the system is selling. And this is where capitalism and imperialism’s contradictions undermine the Great Reset’s social engineering goals.

In this stage of capitalism’s crisis, the bourgeoisie can’t afford to substantially lift up the living conditions of the masses. Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism’s tool for foisting the costs of the system’s crisis onto the lower classes, mandates that more austerity be carried out. Biden’s team has expressed this; Ted Kaufman, one of the members of Biden’s transition team, has said that “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare. When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit…forget about Covid-19, all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.” This was a dishonest way to argue against the idea of Biden increasing federal spending on social benefits, confirming that these next few years will see a continuation of the austerity which brought U.S. proletarian conditions to its dire current state.

While resources for the unemployed get cut off ever more, and workers become ever more exploited, machines will take on an ever greater role behind producing profits. As anthropologist David Harvey has written, Marx “talks about the way that new technologies and knowledge become embedded in the machine: they’re no longer in the laborer’s brain, and the laborer is pushed to one side to become an appendage of the machine, a mere machine-minder. All of the intelligence and all of the knowledge, which used to belong to the laborers, and which conferred upon them a certain monopoly power vis-à-vis capital, disappear.” The hope of the U.S. capitalist ruling class is that through taking this dynamic to its logical conclusion via the grand technological schemes of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the empire’s flow of capital will be sustained.

And even more importantly, they hope that the dynamic Harvey describes where automation takes bargaining power out of the hands of workers renders the U.S. proletariat unable to challenge the system. In 2019, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence-a governmental body created in 2018 to help tech companies partner with the intelligence community and the military-created a document which explained the plans that this circle of technocrats have for the country’s future. They aim to make streets typically blanketed with cameras, to totally replace retail with a home delivery system, to completely move towards self-driving cars, and to normalize an “internet of things” where all of people’s household appliances are connected to the internet.

For the means of production, this will entail a vast transfer of labor roles over to machines, given the phasing out of retail and home delivery jobs. And for the class struggle, this will mean a drastic expansion of the surveillance powers of the capitalist state, along with an upgrade of the militarized police state’s technology and more opportunities to carry out censorship against anti-imperialist journalists.

Through these measures, the U.S. bourgeoisie aims to make the proletariat more lacking in resources, more heavily exploited, more demoralized, more heavily policed and surveilled, and more cut off from information that can challenge the constant stream of war propaganda. As automation and the concentration of the job market into Big Tech continue, the tens of millions who’ve lost their jobs this past year will remain unemployed, and much of the population will find themselves excluded even from the relative advantage of being proletarians.

Will the ruling class be able to keep up profits in this near future? Maybe, but they’ll also have to face the vast potential for uprisings that will come from alienating so many of the people. And we can be certain that they won’t win the war for economic primacy against Russia and China, causing them to pour even more resources into military buildup against these countries and therefore further exacerbate the empire’s internal contradictions.

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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Faced With Imperial Decline, All The U.S.Can Do Is Use Massive Bloodshed To Carve Out Little Colonies

In the last couple of weeks before Trump left office, Mike Pompeo told three highly strategic lies: that Yemen’s Houthi rebels, are “terrorists,” that Iran is the “home base” for Al-Qaeda, and that China is committing “genocide” against Xinjiang’s Uyghurs. His aim was to ensure that the wars against Iran, Yemen, and China would continue going into the next administration. And given how committed Biden’s foreign policy team is to wars with these and all other current U.S. adversaries, it was as if Pompeo had simply done his equally war-hungry successor Antony Blinken a friendly favor.

We can be virtually certain that Biden and his administration aren’t going to end the war against the Yemeni people, despite Biden’s promise to the contrary. He’s going to continue this genocidal war for the same reason that he’s going to continue the hybrid war against Iran; as journalist Ahmed Abdulkareem has written, Biden’s team is going into Yemen with all the same assumptions that Trump’s team applied to it:

Yemeni politicians have called on Biden to change how the White House views the conflict and to stop treating it as a proxy war with Iran over influence. Unfortunately, it has been reduced down to that binary argument, with U.S. officials on both sides of the aisle blaming the entire affair on Iran, reductively claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, and framing the entire conflict in an Iran-centric geopolitical context — and not the true context of foreign aggression and a battle to control the strategic areas and some of the region’s most lucrative untapped oil and gas reserves…Continued pressure on Yemen will inevitably force the Houthis to lean more heavily into their relationships with Iran, Russia, and China, all perceived enemies of the United States, as they indeed have done under the Trump presidency.

And since Iran, Russia, and China are all unquestioningly treated as enemies by both sides of the U.S. partisan aisle, this dynamic will solidify the narrative that the Houthis are nothing more than villains. Washington has created a self-reinforcing feedback loop of geopolitical escalations, both for mideastern proxy conflicts and for an arms race with nuclear superpowers. Using lies like the ones Pompeo just told as a rationale, the Biden White House is going to carry out a vast series of atrocities, ones befitting of an imperialist beast in the waning days of its global hegemony.

Since expansion isn’t very realistic, the main goal of the U.S. empire right now is consolidation. While it will further its military buildup and economic warfare against Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, and the DPRK during the Biden years, it’s not in a position to achieve regime change in any of these countries, nor to prevent China’s economic rise. So it’s going to lean into the territories that it can still reliably exploit, or that it can inflict serious damage upon. For the populations caught within the proxy wars that Washington and its attack dogs are waging, this is going to mean even more mass starvation, violence, and displacement while the imperialists build makeshift colonies on top of the bloody chaos.

This is what the Yemenis have already been experiencing. As Trump has starved them with sanctions, and as Saudi Arabia has manufacturedan oil crisis to further destroy their economy, Washington’s colonial extension Israel has been swooping in to further its own settler-colonial expansionist goals.

While the Houthi authorities grow ever more concerned about Israel’s ambitions to gain control over the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Israel has been seeking a permanent footprint inside Yemen. It hopes to replace the original inhabitants of Yemen’s islands with Israeli settlers in a manner similar to how Israel has colonized so much of Palestine, one of the transgressions from Israel which prompted the spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces to warn in October that “Yemen has long been at the main target of US-Israeli plots and the ongoing onslaught clearly proves this. The Armed Forces call upon Yemenis from all walks of life to raise their awareness about the real intentions of foreigners. Our struggle is nothing but a fateful battle for liberation and independence.”

These operations to destroy the infrastructure, food distribution networks, and homes of Yemenis reflect how colonial powers have traditionally expanded themselves: wage genocidal war against the indigenous population so that the settlers can take the land from demoralized and weakened nations. Israel-and the U.S. by extension-is using this opportunity to build additional colonies because this is a way to help advance Zionism’s end goal for the region. This end goal is the “Greater Israel” plan, wherein Israel becomes an imperialist power throughout southeast Asia and therefore effectively conquers many of the countries surrounding it. Part of this naturally entails setting up Israeli settler-colonies far outside of even the furthest places where Israel has established colonies within Palestine.

Such a vision would require the destabilization of huge chunks of the region. This is why Israel has lately been working to build upon every part of Washington’s warfare efforts; it’s been taking aggressive actions which range from bombing Syria in an unusually deadly capacity, to supporting a color revolution effort in Lebanon with the goal of politically defeating Hezbollah within the country, to assistingWashington in aiding the terrorist groups which help with the imperialist subversion efforts in Syria and Yemen, to assassinatingIranian scientists.

Israel is a wannabe imperialist power that wants to control far more than its little strip of land, but that won’t realize its “Greater Israel” plan because of how increasingly ineffectual Washington is at carrying out regime change in the region. If the Zionists can’t overthrow the governments of Iran and Syria, or replace Lebanon’s Hezbollah government with a pro-Israel technocracy, intensifying the genocide against the Yemenis and carving out a sphere of influence in Yemen is what they’ll lean onto more in the coming years.

Such are the growing limitations of Zionism in the 21st century, and of the other global facets of the declining U.S. empire. The Biden administration will no doubt try to use Pompeo’s fortifications of the “Uyghur genocide” narrative to further Washington’s project to create an Islamic jihadist breakaway state in Xinjiang (the plan for which is appropriately modeled after Zionism). But if China’s deradicalization program has been able to stop any further Uyghur extremist terror attacks within Xinjiang for these last couple years, the empire’s endgame for Xinjiang won’t come into being anymore than the “Greater Israel” idea will. Biden will also no doubt work to intensify the proxy war that Washington’s fascist puppet regime in Ukraine is waging against Russia, but by all indications Russia will win this war.

Similar limitations face the empire in its regime change plans for Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, the DPRK, and other places. Washington so far hasn’t even succeeded at achieving regime change in Thailand, which is one of the many countries that’s making China’s Belt and Road Initiative into a force to rival Western neo-colonialism. The empire’s capacity for redrawing the geopolitical landscape is now so limited that the main thing it can accomplish is create little crevices in Yemen for Zionism to expand into, which are being won at the cost of inflaming further militant Houthi resistance against U.S./Israeli designs for the region.

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