Friday, 9 December 2011

U.S. renews imperialist offensive in Asia

U.S. renews imperialist offensive in Asia

U.S. renews imperialist offensive in Asia

By Gene Clancy
Published Nov 27, 2011 6:47 PM
In a coordinated military and diplomatic offensive, the U.S. government moved this week to challenge China and bolster its hegemony over Asia and the western Pacific. Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were traveling through the region and making deliberately provocative moves toward China.

Obama made the militarist intentions of the U.S. perfectly clear. “The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay,” he declared in a speech to the Australian Parliament. He vowed to expand U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region and “project power and deter threats to peace.” (CBS News, Nov. 16)

Then Obama announced the deployment of U.S. troops near the northern Australian city of Darwin. Even before he arrived, Australian demonstrators protested the increased U.S. presence with signs reading “No bases!” and “Pine Gap is too much,” referring to an already existing joint U.S./Australian spy base nearby.

Lawyer Diana Rickard said an influx in the number of U.S. troops in Darwin would make the community less safe. ”We do not want American Marines in Australia doing the same things they have done in the Philippines, in Japan, in Germany and probably in most parts of the world where they have a military base,” she said. “We do not want the violence to spread.” (news.msn.com.au, Nov. 17)

Both in Australia and later in Indonesia, Obama clearly signaled that China stood as a barrier to U.S. intentions.

In the Philippines, Clinton stood on the deck of a U.S. warship in Manila Bay and reaffirmed the 60-year-old unequal Mutual Defense Treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines.

Clinton’s visit was met by militant demonstrations. Her cavalcade was pelted with balloons filled with red paint.

Referring to the treaty, Secretary General of Bayan Philippines Renato Reyes Jr. said: “There is no reason to celebrate 60 years of the Cold War relic that is the MDT. This agreement is a lasting testament to the unequal and one-sided ties that bind our two countries.”

Goals of U.S. imperialism

A turn toward a new U.S. strategy in the Asia/Pacific region was clearly outlined in a recent article by Clinton in Foreign Policy magazine. In an essay entitled “America’s Pacific Century,” she asserts, ”The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the center of the action.” (November)

Clinton clearly states the reasons for this new turn: ”With Iraq and Afghanistan still in transition and serious economic challenges in our own country, there are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition, but to come home … [but] we cannot afford not to.

“Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology. Our economic recovery at home will depend on exports and the ability of American firms to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia.”

In the same article, Clinton also makes clear that the U.S means to secure these economic advantages with military force:

“We are modernizing our basing arrangements with traditional allies in Northeast Asia … while enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. For example, the United States will be deploying littoral combat ships to Singapore. … And the United States and Australia agreed this year to explore a greater American military presence in Australia. … We are also looking at how we can increase our operational access in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.”

Some 110 years ago, the U.S. was equally forthright in declaring why an imperialist policy was not only desirable but necessary:

“[T]oday, we are raising more than we can consume, making more than we can use. Therefore we must find new markets for our produce,” wrote Albert Beveridge in ”The March of the Flag.” (historytools.org)

However, there are some important differences. In 1898, the U.S. was a rising imperialist power while China was broken and oppressed, dominated by a bevy of imperialist countries.

Today, U.S. capitalism is racked by a worldwide economic crisis, while China is strong and independent.

The Chinese response to Clinton’s essay was defiant. Referring to Clinton’s claim that “the United States is back,” the People’s Daily of Oct. 18 remarked:

“‘The United States is back’ is a famous phrase of Douglas MacArthur. The U.S. general, who once lost to the Japanese army during the Pacific War, said these words to announce the success of the U.S. counterattack when landing on the territory of the Philippines again. Today’s Asia is totally different from what it was six decades ago.”

Nevertheless, the U.S. represents a real danger, not only to China but to the entire world. It is a nuclear-armed military giant that is willing to subject its own people to increasing misery and threaten the entire world in order to defend its dying system.

It is important that people everywhere be vigilant and prepared to resist imperialism whenever and wherever it appears.

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