Pax America & the New World Order

How is US becoming richer day by day at the expense of the Third World counties? How the American Empire expanding its claw over the poor under developed countries and plundering their wealth and resources? US is imposing its interest on others ignoring their legitimate rights in the name of globalization. It is destroying, in the name of free trade, the economy of other nations and their potentials. The policy planners in the White House and Pentagon see the interest of America as the interest of the world. Today the world has become an extended American village.

The current US aggression and occupation of Iraq for possessing weapons of mass destruction has proved to be a deliberate lie. Toppling Saddam Hussain also was not the real agenda. Ostensibly US intervenes in the Third World countries in the name of defending democracy, human rights and freedom, but beneath the apparent reason, the real intention always is protecting markets and plunder wealth and resources of the country it is invading. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, in 2001 stated that “oil is too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs” (Feryal Ali Gauhar, US Expansionist Design in the Middle East. The New Nation, 3 January 2004).The fear of the analysts has now proved true that US in collusion with its allies invaded Iraq to steal Iraqi oil and she is successfully doing this by giving contracts only to US multinational corporations. Pentagon on 5 December 2003 barred French, German, Russian and Canadian companies from $ 18.6 billion contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq for not joining US war against Iraq which recently UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has declared illegal (AFP, Washington. 10 December 2003).

Counterpunch magazine, immediately after 9/11, published a report by American peace activist Zoltan Grossman based on Congressional Records and the Library of Congress Research Service. According to this report US military made 134 interventions, small or big, global or domestic, covering 111 years between 1890 and 2001 including intervention in Afghanistan, that means on an average 1.15 interventions per year up to the end of World War II; that increased to 1.29 during Cold War, and after the fall of Berlin Wall increased further to 2.0 per year. No doubt the hyper-imperialist US increased the number of interventions to protect its interest in the expanding world the pattern of which changed drastically since the end of Cold War. The first focus of US intervention was East Asia- Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Iran. This was extremely violent. The second intervention was Eastern Europe but due to the presence of now defunct USSR as counter balancing force the attacks were not that violent. The third phase was Latin America starting from Cuba and spreading rest of the countries of the region. The forth phase is focused on West Asia, the Middle East- starting from Palestine, Iran, Libya, Lebanon-Syria and moved on to Iraq during in 1990s and the beginning of 21st century to Afghanistan. US interventions started, civilization wise, from Confucian-Buddhist to Orthodox Christian, then to Catholic Christian, and finally to Islamic civilization.

This US did with or without the help of UN. US behaves as if UN is her sole property, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali commented in his book ‘Unvanquished: a US-UN Saga’. US through intimidation, threat and use of veto manipulated the world body for the benefit of its own interest (Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Unvanquished: a US-UN Saga, New York, Random House, 1999). When it suits US, it uses UN to seek the legitimacy for its actions, to build coalitions and impose sanction on what it calls the rogue states as happened during 1990s. When the world opinion goes against the US, it treats UN with utter contempt as during the current Iraqi invasion and occupation. Prior to the current Iraqi invasion, US forcibly took away the dossier Iraq submitted to UN denying that it posses WMD without the knowledge and approval of the UN Secretary General or Security Council or General Assembly. US always tries to use UN as its rubber stamp. Throughout UN history US has consistently vetoed all UN resolutions and declarations that did not reflect US priorities and business interest. US despise for the world opinion is reflected when Boutros Boutros-Ghali was elected to the top post of UN in 1992, US vetoed an extension of his term to 2001 despite approval of many other member states of the world organization.

US maintains total control over World Trade Organization. WTO is indeed a major instrument for maintaining American neo-imperialism. WTO is not the only instrument for maintaining US hyper-power and technological hyper-imperialism but also include International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. WTO, IMF and World Bank are the most ambiguous and undemocratic global institutions. The secrecy surrounding their decision making process makes them ideal bodies for keeping the rest of the world firmly at their grasp. WTO and IMF have effective mechanism for enforcement of obligation, particularly over the developing countries, WTO through the threat of retaliation against export of goods, IMF through loan conditions which are imposed mercilessly. US uses these mechanisms to keep the developing countries in line, and ensure the progress of multinational companies by removing the impediment. To strengthen its grip, US manipulates to make sure that the top jobs of WTO, IMF and World Bank are shared by the West, US and Europe.

The world economy largely functions for the benefit of US and US led G7, now G8 countries that operate to keep the developing nations poor. Developing countries are forced to import expensive and often outdated technology from US and other industrialized countries. The Third World countries seldom can maintain and manage expensive technology. Very often such technology undercut local technical know-how and age-old manufacturing potentials and end up marginalizing the poor even more. The misfortunes of the poor are thus a direct by-product of the self interest of the rich.

US accumulated the wealth of the world through various kinds of manipulations. It finances domestic growth through savings of the rest of the world. Being the currency leader, US benefits from free money, of issuing dollars for the use as cash around the world.

US refuses the countries of the Third World control over their own economics. Most of the countries have no role on matters decided at IMF headquarters and no say in its policy issues and little power to bring about affective change in WTO. The policies attached with IMF loans, which behind the scene US manipulates and dictates, lead the way to foreign ownership and domination of the economy of the loan receiving poor underdeveloped Third World countries, especially of the manufacturing and financial sectors. For example, after the South-East Asian economic crisis, IMF, at the insistence of the US, imposed on Thailand and South Korea the condition that they must allow higher foreign ownership of their economics. As part of the deal with IMF, Thailand was asked to allow foreign banks to own more equity in the local banking sector. Through such loan conditions, US business and technology corporations ended up wholly or partially owning banks, financial institutions and key technology sectors in the developing world.
During the 1997 economic crisis, the value of the Malaysian Ringgit was reduced by 40 per cent, the Thai Bath by 55 per cent and the Indonesian Rupee by 80 per cent as a result of which the purchasing power of the region decreased by 700-800 billion dollars. The per capita income reduced to half in terms of dollar. The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, then the biggest share market institution in East Asia, was worst affected. On 5 January 1997, the Price Index of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange stood at 1,332.04, within one year, on 12 January 1998, it slide down and the Price Index reduced to 419.60 as a result lost value by 63 per cent within only one year. Because of the crisis and the negative role of IMF, East Asian countries lost trillion dollars. But few could identify the real manipulator behind the scene.

In fact the West, particularly US – the lone superpower of the world, played pivotal role in the making of this economic crisis. The West became worried at the growth rate of the Asian countries because they thought that these countries appearing in the scene as major actor to control global economy and considered it as a threat to the interest of the West in the region. The policy planners of US thought that East Asia is not only becoming the center of global economic power but also poses a threat to US interest. This was rightly pointed out by the Chinese newspaper Peoples Daily. In an editorial in 1998 Peoples Daily commented that IMF used East Asian crisis to protect and advance its strategic interest, and US and IMF interests are intertwined. The West destroyed the economy of the emerging Asian countries by manipulating share market and IMF is the chief instrument and weapon in its armory.

US is manipulating trade liberalization, the removal or reduction of barriers to international trade in goods and services, for one way open access of American goods and thereby secure the interest of the multinationals. Under WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture, and World Bank–IMF imposed Structural Adjustment Program, at the behest of US, developing countries made significant changes in their food and agricultural policies and opened their economies to low-priced food imports while withdrawing and reducing subsidy to their farmers. Under this arrangement WTO members had to reduce tariff on food imports, state-run enterprises were privatized, eliminating subsidies and price controls and closure of state run marketing institutions. In fact, the whole arrangement is tied up by US and EU which enabled them to export their surplus goods economically to the developing countries, dump their goods sold below the cost of production, in which the farmers, unable to compete, closed production because farmers are sometimes forced to pay heavily for inputs often even for seeds. Thus local agriculture is destroyed, domestic food production is shattered, and food security of the country is seriously compromised and endangered.

The ‘economic freedom’, promoted by US, in reality destroys the economic freedom of the poor. In the name of free market economy it has, on the one hand, opened for US technology-driven business the opportunity to enter freely and capture the markets of the Third World countries. It has, on the other hand, hindered the efforts of the developing countries to boost their own products and exports, and bars them for US markets. Thus the so-called free trade promoted by WTO and IMF amounts to highway robbery, benefiting only the rich at the expanse of the poor, while making the poor more vulnerable to food insecurity. As a consequence of American policies, in a single day under globalization, poor countries lose nearly $ 2 billion due to rigged international trade and $ 60 million drains from poor to rich countries in debt.

US always undercut the efforts of the least developed countries to combat poverty. It imposes huge tariff on primary agricultural produces such as food stuff. These trade restrictions cost the poorer countries of the world a staggering $ 2.5 billion a year in lost foreign exchange earnings [according to the statistics of 2002]. The overall effects are disastrous. The dumping of American products in such labor intensive and job-creating areas as agriculture, often at price lower than cost of production, has shattered the economy of the importing Third World countries and reduced the vulnerable population of such countries to abject poverty.

US gains from contracts with poor under developed and developing counties are real and tangible, whereas the benefits derived by the Third World countries from such contracts are illusory. Unequal contracts are largely responsible for the increase of abject poverty in Africa, Latin America and Asian countries. For example, US offers duty and quota free access for African textiles and clothing to the American market provided these products only use US fabrics and yarns. US imposes severe restrictions on textiles made of African materials. The requirement of US raw materials to be used in African products not only undermines the African countries’ own domestic raw materials industries, but makes African textile products uncompetitive in US market because importing US raw materials for textile production in Africa is expensive given the transportation and other costs involved, on the one hand. US, on the other hand, demands elimination of barriers to all US trade and investment in Africa and equal treatment of US and African firms.

US always works to bring the commodity prices down in developing world. This it does to derive benefits as the principal consumer. Because of deflation, US citizens benefit from price stability and the shock of wave is felt in producer countries. The major contributor to low inflation has been the consistent decline in prices for commodities, exported by indebted countries, encouraged to get into exports as the way out of debt by WTO and IMF.

Besides US imposes economic sanction as and when required if these manipulations are not sufficient. US sanction against Iraq for more than a decade which has been withdrawn only recently after its occupation is still vivid in the peoples’ memory. During the last 80 years, such sanctions have been imposed on various countries on 120 occasions, 104 of them since World War II. In 1998 alone, US imposed sanctions against 75 countries, amounting 52 percent of the world’s population. Beneficiaries of all these manipulations and exploitations of the global economy are US consumers.

US is not satisfied by overt and covert manipulation of the poor underdeveloped and developing economy of the Third World counties. It wants to make sure that its citizens in no way become victim anywhere outside America because of wrong doing. We therefore see that WB, at the behest of US, is putting pressure on Bangladesh to pass such legislation in the parliament that will give immunity to World Bank officials so that the officials of WB cannot be challenged in the Bangladesh court for their wrong doing. This is because WB is mainly manned by nationals of US, Europe and other Western countries. During the presidency of Bill Clinton the name of the Thai national Supachai Panitchpakdi came up for the top job of WTO, but President Clinton threatened a permanent stalemate at WTO unless America’s chosen candidate is accepted. The other reason for which WB wants immunity for its officials is that sometimes officials of the international agencies such as WB work for CIA and other Western intelligence agencies and use their official position as cover and they want to make it sure that they cannot be touched even after such nefarious activities. Bangladesh on 17 August 2003 signed an agreement with Unites States under which no American soldiers and officers charged with criminal offence can be tried in Bangladesh or sent to International Criminal Court for prosecution. According to a UNB report Bangladesh Ambassador to Washington Syed Hassan Ahmed and US Assistant Secretary of State Christian Rocca initiated the agreement in US capital on behalf of the respective governments (The New Nation. 5 September 2003). Earlier after 9/11 US passed legislation to the effect that it troops cannot be tried for genocide and crime against humanity and it rescinded the protocol of International Criminal Court signed previously. Behind all US actions, the principal objective is to secure the national interest of America even if such interest goes against the interest of others. This is Pax America. This is the New World Order, if we at all call it an order, for how can a system based on injustice, self interest, devoid of ethics and morality be described as an order. This is the vision of the American Empire of the new conservatives- the new cons.