December 16, 2002
Each year always brings a few surprises and at the end of a year, I
sometimes wonder why I was surprised by developments that occurred
throughout the year. As 2002 ends, the Bush regime appears to have gained
all the power needed for world dominance. Appearances can be quite
deceptive, though, especially when we are preoccupied with them.
On December 10, 2001, Swans published a column entitled "Decentralized Intelligence" that contained a brief assessment of "THE GRAND CHESSBOARD -- American Primacy And It's Geostrategic Imperatives," by Zbigniew Brzezinski. The book was a blueprint for American Empire that held Russia as the primary threat to the West's global hegemony. How could Brzezinski have known that in the Bush Administration's rush for global dominion it would turn world opinion against America? That impressions of America's relationship to the world would shift from protector to aggressor?
Imagine Brzezinski's surprise when Vladimir Putin went to Berlin and stated that Europe would only become an independent world power through association with Russia, not the United States. Just when we thought Russia was dead and buried we find her full of human and natural resources, and brimming with economic, cultural and defense potential.
In 1997, Brzezinski understood that control of Eurasia would depend upon the cooperation of Europe and Japan, as long as Europe and Japan were satisfied with America's leadership, the American Empire was invincible. Of course, China would have to be mollified, Iran reconciled, Iraq assimilated, and the riches of the Caspian Basin confiscated.
Apparently, George W. Bush did not read Brzezinski's book more than once.
NATO has expanded into eastern Europe and is becoming more independent of the US, the European Union has been denigrated, snubbed and otherwise dissed, Japan's economic plight has been ignored, China has been provoked time and again, Iran has been placed in the Axis of Evil, Iraq is resisting and causing Bush further consternation, Israel commits war crimes and Bush clucks like a chicken, Africa's left begging for its survival, the Arab world is under constant threat, former Yugoslavs are left in a seething soup of hatred, the Afghan warlords are back in the narcotics business, Latin America is going its own way; on and on and on it goes.
I wonder how much longer the cowed masses in America will sleep. When will they realize that no country is an island unto itself? That in order to survive we must all work together to save this planet from mass extinction? When will America awaken to the lessons of history and know that nations cannot become more popular and influential by waging war?
Perhaps in 2003.
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Decentralized Intelligence - Michael W. Stowell
Michael W. Stowell is chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Arcata Library in Arcata, CA. He is the producer/editor/videographer of numerous public access television programs; he is a naturalist, a gardener, a bicyclist and a Swans' columnist.
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This Week's Internal Links
More Of The Same - by Gregory Elich
A Fading Vision Of The USA - by Philip Greenspan
2002 Has Been A Grim Year - by Edward S. Herman
And So Goes 2002. . . . - by Milo Clark
Sinking In, Sinking, Then Ascension - by Eli Beckerman
A Case For The Defense - by Aleksandra Priestfield
2002: Still Hope For The Future - by Jan Baughman
Reclaim The Dream - by Alma Hromic
If You're Happy And You Know It, Bomb Iraq - by Deck Deckert
A Pivotal Year? - by Gilles d'Aymery
Café Espresso - Poem by Sandy Lulay
Empty-Handed Women - Poem by Sabina C. Becker
Letters to the Editor
Michael Stowell on Swans
Essays published in 2002 | 2001
Barbarians of Our Own Dark Ages? Debunking the Myth Behind the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (December 2000)