Trend Forecast: War

| by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

( July 29, 2012, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) War is an easy forecast. Like the Value Line ranking system that predicts stock values on the basis of earnings momentum, the war prediction is based on momentum and past performance in Washington.

Washington has been at war since October 2001, when President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan one month after 9/11. Somehow the US invasion force was ready and waiting and did not require the usual lengthy mobilization period.

In 2003, the Afghan war moved to the back burner when President Bush invaded Iraq, a war that dragged on unsuccessfully for 9 years. On his election, President Obama said he did not know what the mission was in Afghanistan, but he poured in 30,000 more troops anyhow, reigniting the conflict. With the war now in its 11th year, Washington is facing another humiliating defeat.

Undeterred by 11 years of failure, the same Washington con artists who have produced a decade of bloodshed and destruction to no worthwhile effect are now preparing more wars doomed to failure. More ambitious than ever, Washington, now arrayed against Iran, is lining up against Russia and China as well.

On July 6, Secretary of State Hitlery Clinton declared that “Russia and
China will pay a price” for vetoing Washington’s effort to use the cover of a
UN resolution to overthrow the Syrian government. Having failed to stop the Taliban, Washington will now undertake to teach Russia and China to rubber stamp US foreign policy.

Washington is surrounding Russia with missile bases and attempting to corral China by creating new naval, air, and troop bases in the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. These are enormous new commitments for a government deep in debt and with a broken economy and a broken financial system.

As if these far-flung commitments were not enough, President Obama has utilized the US Africa Command, created by President Bush in 2007, to deploy US troops to Central Africa to participate in a civil war there. Wherever there is conflict, the US Military/Security Complex intends to be a part of it.

The American people have gained nothing from 11 years of war except dead and maimed relatives and friends and trillions of dollars more in public debt on which to pay interest, and that is all Americans will gain from the wars in our future. But the Military/Security Complex has gained enormously. Billions of dollars in profits have flowed into the armaments industry, some of which is recycled in campaign contributions. The evisceration of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights has put massive unaccountable power into the hands of the security agencies. Wars mean officer promotions and retirements at higher ranks. As long as those calling the shots benefit, wars will continue.

War is going to happen, because Washington is striving for world hegemony. After a decade of war, it no longer knows any other business.

War is going to happen, because Israel wants the water resources of southern Lebanon and requires the demise of Syria and Iran – both arms suppliers to Hezbollah, whose fighters have twice defeated Israeli invasions of Lebanon.

War is going to happen because Washington is again progressing from currency wars to sanctions to hot wars.

War is going to happen because Russia and China are ceasing to view the US as the “world’s sole superpower,” seeing the US instead as an over-extended power with a weak economic base whose NATO allies are broke and unhappy with being forced to assume the financial and military burdens of American empire.

War is going to happen because China’s economy will soon overtake the US economy, and Washington cannot accept second fiddle.

War will happen because the US military is concerned about China’s speed in closing the military gap. China has demonstrated its ability to knock out satellites in space, thus showing its ability to terminate US targeting systems and spy capability. China has deployed missiles capable of destroying at long range US aircraft carriers, thus neutralizing the US Navy’s air power.

War will happen because Washington has aligned with Vietnam in its dispute with China over the resource-rich Paracel and Spratly Islands. It has also aligned with the Philippines in its dispute with China over the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal.

War will result because Washington has declared the South China Sea an area of US national interest and is financing “color revolutions” in former constituent parts of the Soviet empire.

Washington’s NATO allies are beginning to comprehend America’s weakness. Weakness flows from the offshoring of the economy, the ongoing and unresolved financial crisis, the absence of economic recovery, six trillion dollars squandered on Afghan and Iraq wars and the doubling of the national debt, and the threats of inflation and exchange rate collapse inherent in the Federal Reserve’s monetization of US Treasury debt. How long before Washington’s allies find it prefer- able to abandon the alliance and to focus on their own large problems? Europe is not being threatened by Russia and has nothing to gain from being drawn into a conflict with Russia or from sending soldiers to fight for American empire in Afghanistan.

And now China has put Japan into play. On July 4 the China Daily reported: “Japanese politicians and prominent academics from China and Japan urged Tokyo on Tuesday to abandon its outdated foreign policy of leaning on the West and accept China as a key partner.”

Faced with the prospect of isolation brought on by its hubris, arrogance, overreach, violation of international law and hostility to human rights, Washington will choose war as the way to prevent the collapse of its empire and to keep Americans distracted from the failure of the economy to deliver jobs and income growth.

Drowning in hubris, Washington is unconcerned that its hegemonic impulse is driving the world toward war. Washington’s Trans-Pacific Partnership is being created as a way to prevent the economic integration of Asian economies under Chinese leadership. At the Southeast Asian conference last week, Hitlery declared that China must resolve its disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without use of force.” This from Washington, which made no effort to resolve its disputes with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and Iran “without coercion, without intimidation, without threats and without use of force.”

Washington’s effort to substitute itself for China as the dominant influence in China’s natural sphere of influence is angering the Chinese government.

China is willing to cooperate with the US, but will not be pushed around by Washington. If Washington keeps shoving, war will result.

Similarly with Russia. Washington wants to install a puppet regime in Syria partly in order to evict Russia from its Syrian naval base. On July 10, The New York Times reported that Russia had dispatched 11 warships with marines to the eastern Mediterranean to make it clear that Russia intended to have a say in the resolution of the Washington-backed uprising against the Assad government.

There are few instances when hubris fails to lead to war and defeat. By fomenting strife simultaneously with China and Russia, Washington demonstrates a hubris that exceeds the hubris of Napoleon and Hitler when those rulers, believing in their omnipotence, marched their vast armies into Russia and suffered overwhelming defeat. n

About the author: Former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts served on personal and committee staffs in the House and Senate, and served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Reagan Administration.- The Trends Journal