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The Dangerous Decline of the US

According to eminent American linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, the United States has always been a colonizing society. Even before becoming a State it was already eliminating the native population, which meant the destruction of many indigenous nations. Chomsky argues that in 1898 the US turned to the international arena, taking control of Cuba, then invading the Philippines and massacring nearly 200 thousand people.

In a lengthy interview on February 7, Chomsky chronicled the hidden history of the United States which invaded Hawaii for 50 years before incorporating it as another state. After World War II it became a world power with unprecedented influence, an impressive security system, control over the Western Hemisphere and two oceans, and plans designed to organize the world as it saw fit.

 Chomsky said that US dominance has declined relative to the power it had in 1950 when it controlled 50% of world GDP. Now it controls only 25%. But Chomsky believes that the US is still the world’s richest country and its military capability is huge. He is also of the view that the US is a country of a single political party – the party of corporations and big businesses – with two factions, Democrats and Republicans. But in his opinion, one can no longer continue to talk about these two political organizations because they changed completely during the neoliberal period.

According to Chomsky, modern Republicans call themselves Democrats, while the old Republican organization ceased to exist when both sides moved to the right during the neoliberal era, as happened in Europe. The result is that the new Hillary Clinton Democrats have adopted the program of the old Republicans, while the latter were displaced by the neocons. So in the current campaigns they are merely shouting at each other, while their political projects are frightening.

 An example given by Chomsky is that Republican candidates deny global warming and say governments should not do anything about it, although global warming – according to scientists – is the worst problem that mankind has faced and the world is heading for total disaster. But Republicans intend to increase the use of fossil fuels that would end the world in just one or two generations. The same thing is happening in Europe, with millions of people fleeing from Libya and Syria to Europe, which suggests that something wrong has happened in the world in the last 300 years.

Chomsky notes that such problems did not exist 15 years ago and that they are the result of the invasion of Iraq, which he regards as the worst crime of the twentieth century, and now Iraq is labelled as the most tragic country in the world with the invasion claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and creating millions of refugees who had to be taken in by poor neighboring countries.  In addition to this, the US instigated the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, which did not exist before the invasion.

The atrocities of the invasion led to the creation of the monster known as Islamic State which came into being with funding from Saudi Arabia, one of the main allies of the US in the world. Chomsky also points out that in the war in Sudan the interests of the great powers drove entire populations from agricultural areas, creating a livelihood crisis as frightening as the one that is now taking place in Syria.

Chomsky goes on to say that if the sea level continues to rise, hundreds of millions of people in Bangladesh will be swallowed up, while the Himalayan glaciers are melting, thereby endangering the South Asian water supply. Chomsky also raises the question of what will happen to the billions of people in that part of the world and he believes that this is the most important moment in the history of humanity.

 He also mentioned the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and its Doomsday Clock to point out that specialists maintain that at the Paris Conference on global warming it was not possible to get a binding treaty among the participating nations because the Republicans would not accept it. Such a treaty could have served to prevent a tragedy never before seen in the history of humankind.

Another point of great vulnerability present in the world today, Chomsky said, is the ever-increasing possibility of the start of a nuclear war because the United States has 800 military bases around the world and invests as much in its army as the rest of the world combined. No other power has soldiers fighting all over the world, and China, the other great power, has a defence policy and does not possess a large nuclear program.

Chomsky notes that the Russian case is different and is the most serious since that country has a huge military system. And both Russia and the United States are now acting as if a nuclear war is possible, which Chomsky thinks is collective madness. He believes that nuclear war is irrational and should only happen because of accident or human error. At the same time he admits, like William Perry, former United States Secretary of Defence, that the threat of nuclear war is greater now than during the Cold War and that the greatest risk is related to the proliferation of incidents involving the armed forces of the nuclear powers.

Right now, US provocations of Russia are constant; NATO is carrying out military maneuvers 200 meters from the Russian border with Estonia. Something similar is happening at the border with Turkey where a Russian bomber flew over Turkish territory for 17 seconds and was shot down. Something similar is happening every day in the South China Sea, Chomsky said finally / said in conclusion.

Addendum: Chomsky’s profound and documented observations indicate that those in control of US military and political power are unaware of the serious risk that the world could disappear, either because of lack of control in the balancing of global warming or errors in intelligence or military strategy designed in various regions of the world today. And this is also the case with senior Russian political and military leaders.