A Neo-Cold War is brewing. We’ve witnessed it in Russia’s tense relationship with the US over Ukraine and Crimea and in China’s determination to gain economic leverage in countries where Washington and Wall Street have ruled supreme for decades. To add to this situation, conflicts in the Middle East have escalated. Islamic militarism has become a force to be reckoned with by many nations, including Russia, China, and the US.
I want to emphasize that this militancy is not an Islamic movement any more than the US invasion of Iraq was a Christian movement. Religion is simply an excuse for fanatics to justify their radical use of violence – whether they invoke the name of Christ or Mohammed. It is important that We the People not buy into the propaganda of such fanatics.
Russia and China are flexing their muscles and challenging the superpower status of the US by forming agreements and organizations such as the BRICS Development Bank (A New Era: BRICS Development Bank). In the midst of these shifts of power, there is a significant additional factor in the geopolitical equation. Islamic militants in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria right now, are proving to be formidable adversaries. Muslim fighters have beaten back history’s most well-financed and best-equipped military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite both overt and covert activities by Washington, Moscow, and Peking to influence Middle Eastern politics, these militants have gained or are gaining control in Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and many other countries. For the moment, the animosity between Sunnis and Shi’ites is preventing a unified Islamic movement; nevertheless, the Islamists have established themselves as major players.
The situation in Iraq is forming unlikely alliances between nations usually at odds. As China, Russia, and the US seek to retain their powerful status and increase their economic influence, they find that they have much in common. Even very recent adversaries such as the US and Iran are now seeking collaboration, and US Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that the US is willing to talk with Iran about an alliance against the Islamic radicals who are leaving a bloody trail behind them as they blaze across Iraq. However, this global game of chess grows more complicated as Iran is also in talks with China and Russia that do not involve the US. Nations that are pursuing their own goals and serving their own interests instead of seeking to promote peace across borders will find that they are more vulnerable to bloodshed. Behind all of this lurk the corporatocracy and the fortunes it makes off war and the threat of war.
By conservative estimates the U.S. has military bases in more than 130 countries. Despite what the American public is told, the majority of the people in these countries deeply resent the presence of foreign soldiers and installations on their soil. The Middle East has a long history of resentment toward Western intrusion and influence, and the fractured relationship that the US has with so much of the world threatens Washington’s credibility as an ally to nations that fear the violence of Islamic radicalism.
The conflict in Iraq is part of a complex and bloody history. Though the US pulled troops out of Iraq in 2011, more than a decade of occupation has left a ground fertile for sectarian violence. President Obama is laying the responsibility for the recent uprising by militant Sunnis on the shoulders of the Iraqi government, calling for them to set aside factional differences before the US will consider intervening. This tone is naïve and ignores the role that US interference played in setting the stage for violence. While the US is refusing to send “boots on the ground” into the area, President Obama has agreed to dispatch 300 “military advisors” and has not ruled out air strikes and drones under the condition that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will create a “more inclusive government.” Such blatant self-service will only fan the flames of unrest and is not likely to be helpful in stopping the slaughter.
As I’ve previously written in these pages, today we have what can only be described as a global Death Economy – one based on militarization and ravaging the earth’s resources. It is a feudal system that harks back to medieval times – the Dark Ages – but on a far grander scale. A very small portion of the human species, the corporatocracy, represents the lords of the castles; the rest of us are their serfs. An ominous shadow of oligarchic totalitarianism has spread across our planet. That shadow embraces Russia and China, as well as the US/EU. While it also reaches into the Muslim world, the militant Islamic movements’ determination to resist what they see as capitalist corruption has the unintended consequence of uniting Washington and its European allies with Moscow and Peking in a strange, uneasy, and unspoken alliance. Although these powers may vie for control of resource-rich countries, they view the Islamist extremists as a common enemy.
The current conflict is forcing powerful nations to acquire strange bedfellows. This present global reality is forcing governments and corporations to look beyond themselves, to redraw boundaries, and to reconsider preconceived notions of leadership.
Originally published by CSRwire.com.