Archive for the ‘The World-Empire V. The Terrorists’ Category

On Stay-Behind And The Treaty Of Westphalia

Cold War Europe was full of clandestine military units, or rather, the reserve personnel and stockpiled materiel for such, whose mission was to continue fighting after the loss of a conventional war against the Soviet Union. It is remarkable how few commentators pointed out how Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had just precisely the same idea. There, […]

“When You’re Wounded And Left On Afghanistan’s Plains”

A CDU position paper suggests that in the future there will be no difference between peacetime and a state of war. This sounds alarming, for some perhaps evoking Orwell’s eternal three-hander. And yet it is nothing new. The lack of distinction is entirely normal for colonial powers, for which there were always pesky natives to […]

Colouring The Map Red

After the “Scramble for Africa” had been completed, the entire continent (apart from Ethiopia and Liberia) was partitioned between the European colonial powers. It is largely forgotten now, but this was not always a matter of outright aggression and conquest. Just as in British India, some of these territories were actually protectorates. For example, the […]

The Oikumene And The Barbaroi

Even BBC World has headlines like “Options on Dealing with Iran”. Despite the claim to be serving all the peoples of the world, and despite all the pretty black and brown anchorwomen, therefore, the BBC still identifies itself as part of the “we” who must deal with “them”. When are we going to see BBC […]

Regime Change In 1203 And 2003

I was probably somewhat unusual in the way the Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq made me immediately flash on the Fourth Crusade. This crusade, like the others called subsequent to Saladin’s recapture of Jerusalem in 1187, was intended to recapture it back. The method was to be an attack on Egypt, the financial heart of Saladin’s […]

We Are The World?

So many British and American movies, and yet so few European, Asian or South American movies, are about “saving the world”, that we are obliged to wonder whether this is a peculiarly Anglo-American obsession. These movies beg for classification on the basis of what exactly the world is being saved from: total destruction, as with […]

Weltherrenschaft Oder Untergang!

Hannah Arendt used to argue that the United States was never in fact threatened by Communism. What was under threat from Moscow-directed revolution was not the national existence of the US but its global hegemony. Yes indeed, but such observations are irrelevant, as long as the population of the United States has been successfully educated […]

It’s The Oil, Stupid

If the neocon game-plan for the Middle East was truly, as has been alleged, to create a self-supporting dynamic whereby Iraqi oil would finance the conquest of the other unfriendly oil-rich countries, while satisfying a SUV-worshipping electoral base, then American behaviour becomes readily comprehensible as the continuation of a political tradition going back to the […]

Mission Accomplished

On the first day of the occupation of Baghdad, billions of dollars of Iraqi oil wealth went missing. Mission accomplished! Moreover, Iraq is not after all a political failure, for it has in fact been successfully remade in the image of the US, or at least the red-state vision thereof: a massively corrupt oil sector, […]

Weapons Of Piecemeal Destruction?

When did nuclear, chemical and bacteriological armaments get classified together as “weapons of mass destruction” – as distinguished perhaps from weapons of individual destruction? It is true that throughout the Cold War, the three things were lumped together under the convenient abbreviations of ABC or NBC, but that was because defence against them shared the […]