Mon | Dec 5, 2022

Norris McDonald | Militarism, hubris, plunder, and the coming economic storm!

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Norris McDonald
Norris McDonald
Ambassador Dr Richard L. Bernal
Ambassador Dr Richard L. Bernal
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The blowing up of Russian-invested Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines to Germany shows us that the global confrontation between the American led-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-bloc and Russian has reached an extremely dangerous point.

The Russian-Ukraine war, far from being a stalemate, has reached, in my opinion, a point of no return.

War is not without costs.

Russia now has added four more Ukrainian provinces – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia – to join Crimea as part of their already huge land mass.

IMPERIALISM, WARS, PLUNDER

This certainly was not what Ukraine had in mind when they became a proxy in NATO’s eastward expansion towards Russia’s border, against the advice of people likes Dr Henry Kissinger, among others.

The risk of a nuclear war is very close, threatening the existence of the whole humanity, but it does not appear to matter to the world’s imperialist overlords, who just keep pushing and pushing.

If we go back into time, we see a pattern and practice that fully explains the nature and true essence of what imperialism is and how it operates.

Let’s start with Haiti.

When American troops invaded Haiti in 1929, they went straight for the central bank and plundered it.

The intervening years saw Latin America, Asia and Africa falling prey to a global imperialist expansionism and the plundering of weaker nations’ wealth, either by coup d’état or outright military invasion.

The 1983 invasion of Grenada; the 1989 Panama invasion; attempts to overthrow the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Nicaragua, among others, are just bloody milestones in the untrammelled march of the world imperialist masters.

Syria, like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or the oil-rich Haitian island, Navassa, has been permanent stops in America’s expansionist quest.

America annexed oil-rich Navassa from Haiti in 1857. Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been virtually annexed.

In the case of Syria, America appropriated the oil lands as they did too in Iraq, by using the Iraqi Kurds as a proxy army.

“We are keeping the oil in Syria,” Donald Trump said, “that’s why our troops are there. And we should have done the same in Iraq.”

One would have thought that President Joe Biden, as a lawyer, ought to know that it is illegal under the Second Geneva Convention of 1949 to grab by military might, and exploit, another nation’s resources.

And yet, American troops are still there, under the Biden administration, plundering over US$90 billion from illegal oil sales.

All these are sheer acts of hubris; arrogance backed up by imperialist military might.

Did I miss anything?

Well, not even the dirt-poor Afghanistan was spared.

On leaving after 20 years, America spitefully seized over US$7.5 billion of Afghani money that they refuse to give back.

Iraq’s and Libya’s wealth was seized and plundered, too. All this as a part of the militarism, hubris, and hegemonic wars of conquest.

Dwight Eisenhower saw the dangers of America’s abuse of military power under the ‘get rich’ mentality of the corporations that profit from wars.

It was these war-profiteering corporations, and their allies in government, Eisenhower called ‘the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC)’.

In his 1961 farewell address, he left a dire warning – now ignored – to the American nation of the potential abuse of power by these powerful militaristic forces.

How prophetic?

THE COMING ECONOMIC STORM

Now, we have the world at the brink of a major economic collapse.

Russia has weathered the storm of the sanctions imposed by the West, but the boomerang effect is now destroying the Western European economies.

The German economy is tethering at a point of collapse. Many top companies are fleeing to America and China. German inflation is now a double digit, 70-year high, driven primarily by the loss of cheap Russian gas that fuelled Germany’s long-run industrial expansion. This had made them the economic engine of European growth.

As for His Majesty King Charles’ sinking ship, HMS Great Britain. Captain Boris Johnson was thrown off the Brits gangway. There he pitifully and miserably clung on for a long time before sliding, we hope, into political oblivion.

Then we have Bojo’s successor, Liz Truss, whose odds of keeping her job perhaps worse than that given to a three-foot horse running blindfolded!

Blimey!

Then we have ‘HMS Sinking Ship UK’, whose ‘Chief Mate’, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, is doing more ‘tax-cut-for-the-rich-gymnastic’ than perhaps the Black American whiz-kid, Simon Byles, defying the aerodynamics laws of gravity!

The latest public opinion poll of voting intentions in the next general election gives the British Labour Party a 33 per cent lead over the ruling Tories.

Inflation in America is at a 40-year high. Financial markets are crashing, as rising interest rates batter now scared, super-rich investors who have lost US$138 billion.

In the meantime, high interest rates rise in America will impact developing countries by cutting US$360 billion from their future income, according to UNCTAD.

A CARICOM SAFE HARBOUR

My dear friends, gone are the days when our political leaders and governments can depend on foreign loans, remittances from abroad, and tourism earnings to offer an economic lifeline.

When, and not if, the financial tsunami comes, will there be a blow back on CARICOM?

I think so. If so, what plans exist to find a safe harbour – a strengthened industrial base – to shield the region and her people from its potential crash?

Ambassador Dr Richard L. Bernal has some answers on how CARICOM can gradually shift course, without developed regional economic systems losing momentum.

‘Red Dragon in the Caribbean’ (2016, revised) by Ambassador Dr Richard L. Bernal offers the CARICOM a vision for “strategic engagement with China as one means of developing products that can penetrate the Chinese competitive market”.

This certainly will be a widening of the region’s export market and earning potentials as CARICOM strategically seeks to expand exports, to China’s US$12 trillion market and economy.

But in order to do this, we need new vision, new thinking, new bold actions and a strong focus on expanding CARICOM’s agriculture and industrial base.

We need to build a sound regional productive base – as our futuristic safe harbour – even as we create high, good-paying jobs that can help to improve people’s lives.

That is just the ‘bitta’ truth!

Norris McDonald is an economic journalist, political analyst, and respiratory therapist. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and miaminorris@yahoo.com.