Pentagon wars and capitalist exploitation at the root of instability and dislocation. Members of the United States government spoke in Germany at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) held from February 17-19 in an effort to assuage growing fears in Europe over the apparent escalating official and public disaffection from the administration of President Donald Trump.
Vice President Mike Pence told the MSC that the US commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was “unwavering”. Pence later said that the Russian Federation would be held accountable for actions internationally dispelling the myth that a Trump White House will lessen tensions with Moscow.
Republican Senator John McCain, however, raised questions about the stability of the current regime in Washington assessing that the Trump presidency was in “disarray and had a lot of work to do”. He cited the recent scandal and departure of National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn as firm evidence for his viewpoint on the White House.
Everyday across the US there are demonstrations being held against Trump’s policies which are being enacted through executive orders and presidential memorandums.
From the concerns over escalating military tensions with Iran and China to the domestic protests against the targeting of Muslims, immigrants, women, African Americans, etc., people have come out in the millions to register their opposition. At the same time, high-ranking Democratic Party spokespersons have sought to blame unverified claims of interference from the Russian Federation into the 2016 national presidential elections for the contradictions in the present administration.
Excessive propaganda against Moscow has reached levels not seen since the years prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Socialist states of Eastern Europe. Trump is falsely portrayed by the corporate media as being too close to Russia while at the same time his appointees within the administration are continually voicing hostilities towards the Kremlin.
Sanctions enacted against Russia by former President Barack Obama remain in effect. The Pentagon military buildup within the NATO states in the closing days of the previous administration has not been withdrawn.
These are some of the factors that are fuelling speculation over the stability and internal consistency of the Trump White House. During the period leading up to his inauguration, Trump held a conversation with the Taiwanese leader indicating a possible shift in the “one China” policy which has been in operation since 1979. Nevertheless, in recent days it has now been reported that Trump engaged in a conversation with the People’s Republic of China government saying that the “One China” policy is still enforce.
Background to the Munich Security Conference
The annual gathering of the MSC brings together officials and analysts to discuss the major questions surrounding the continuing hegemony of imperialism. Amid economic difficulties and massive population shifts throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe, the capitalist ruling class of Europe and North America are concerned over the impact of these developments.
This meeting was not only addressed by officials of the leading western imperialist states in Europe and North America. Contrastingly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke as well calling for the creation of a “Post-West World Order”. He described NATO as a relic of the cold war which is not serving the interests of peace and stability.
People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi utilised the summit to express the Asian nation’s opposition to the US defence missile system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). The Republic of Korea government is scheduled to deploy the system by the end of 2017 ostensibly in response to missile developments taking place in the neighbouring Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
In a post on its website, the MSC says: “Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Each February, it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organisations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.”
This same entry goes on noting that: “In addition to its annual flagship conference, the MSC regularly convenes high-profile events on particular topics and regions and publishes the Munich Security Report. All its activities aim at offering the best possible platforms for a frank and open exchange of ideas and opinions.”
Nonetheless, there is a seemingly unease between the White House and the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany combined with the Brussels-based and US-directed NATO military alliance.
Moreover, Merkel has clashed with other European states of the former socialist bloc such as Hungary in a dispute over the influx of migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asian-Pacific countries. Pressure is emerging strongly from right-wing political parties not only in Germany but many other states including the Netherlands, Britain and France who are saying that the existing governments are not going far enough in curtailing immigration from these above-mentioned nations along with Eastern Europe.
In this MSC context what is often not discussed in detail are the reasons behind the current instability and dislocation around the world. The wars of occupation and genocide waged against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Libya, Syria and Yemen are to blame in part for the current crisis.
At the same time the role of international finance capital is also responsible for the mass poverty and economic underdevelopment. Over the last two years the impact of the over production of oil and natural gas has triggered problems of declining growth rates, growing unemployment and poverty. People are fleeing their home countries due to the horrendous social conditions that are in existence.
Several years prior, reports abounded of the phenomenal economic growth that was taking place in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. However, the dependence upon oil revenues in countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Russia, Nigeria, Angola, etc., has plunged millions back into poverty and uncertainty.
Domestic War Against People in the US
Simultaneously huge sections of the US population are being targeted for political and economic reasons by the administration.
A travel ban on people from seven African and Middle Eastern states was temporarily halted as a result of mass demonstrations and court actions. The Federal Court of Appeals in the Ninth Circuity unanimously upheld a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the ban placed by a lower Federal Court in Washington State.
These efforts by the Trump administration represent the continuation of US military policy against Africa and the Middle East. The populations of these states have been displaced by the war and economic policies of the imperialist governments led by the US The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) has declared that the degree of displacement internationally is the worst on record so far in history. Approximately 75 million people have been driven from their homes both internally and outside of their geographic borders.
Compounding the domestic attacks against people from Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iran and Iraq, the administration has intensified its targeting, detention and deportations of people from Mexico and other Central and South American countries. Many of these migrants have been displaced as well due to the economic policies of Washington which has made agricultural production and energy extraction largely non-viable industries within their national economies.
Trump administration Secretary of Homeland Security Gen. John Kelly stated in a draft memorandum that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) along with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will hire 10,000 new agents to pursue, detain and deport so-called “criminal aliens” from the US Other reports which have been denied by the White House advance proposals which will federalise 100,000 National Guard troops to assist in the search and remove policy towards people considered as undesirables.
These policy initiatives are related to the promise made by Trump during the national presidential elections of 2016 to construct a wall along with border between the US and the Republic of Mexico. Trump insists that the funding taken from the tax dollars of working families to build the wall will be authorised by Congress. Nonetheless, he says that a tariff on imported goods to Mexico will serve as a reimbursement for the expenses related to the building of the wall.
Any reasonable observers within the European Union (EU) member-states as well as the Russian Federation realise that the situation inside the US is quite politically fluid. The burgeoning hostility towards the administration from various sectors of the population is bound to influence the attitudes of governments and civilian organisations in Europe.
This article was first published on Global Research on 21 February 2017 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/pentagon-wars-and-us-hegemony-at-the-root-of-instability-and-dislocation/5575981).
About the Author
Abayomi Azikiwe is the Editor of the Pan-African News Wire, an electronic press agency that was founded in 1998. He has worked for decades in solidarity with the liberation movements and progressive governments on the African continent and the Caribbean. Azikiwe is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science/Public Administration and Educational and Administrative Studies.