Two Empires Falling – But How?

EDITORIAL, 14 Jun 2010

#116 | Johan Galtung

Nobody would expect the world US Empire and the regional Israeli empire to be falling gracefully, opting for alternatives.  The alternatives, more modest, egalitarian, more 21st century are obvious: a North American region Mexico-USA-Canada, a MEXUSCAN for one, and a six-state solution, Israel with the five neighboring Arab states in a Middle East Community for the other. Seeking security the only way it can be found, through peace, particularly with neighbors, and maybe a strong defensive defense.  But such alternatives are not on their agendas.

What is on their agenda is beyond the three Obama wars (inherited, yes, but he did not have to accept them) on Terror, on Afghanistan, on Iraq, and the Netanyahu war on the flotilla.  There is more to come: extra-judicial killings around the world, with US “special forces” operating secretly in 75 countries–among them Spain, France, Belgium–and Israeli executions of the type we witnessed in that hotel in Dubai, no doubt intended as a warning to others and for that reason well publicized.  “General prevention”: will it work?

There is the enormous, $180 billion, US nuclear armament, as reported in Washington Post 14 and 26 May:  “modernization” of the nuclear weapons complex over the coming decade for $80 billion and $100 billion for “strategic nuclear delivery systems such as bombers, and land and submarine-based ICBMs.  But isn’t he disarming?  Old-fashioned ones, yes.

Then there are the three Israeli submarines off the coast of Iran, from Germany, with nuclear-tipped missiles.

Well coordinated, as we would expect from two countries that came into being the same way, by “divine mandate”.

George Bush Sr. discovered in 1990 that the best argument for rallying support for the war against Iraq at the time was the possible nuclear threat, not the oil “jugular vein”. Junior follow suit, no weapons were found, neither in 1991, nor in 2003, just like no evidence that 9/11 was executed from Afghanistan.  And of course there is no nuclear-weapon grade enrichment in Iran.  The sanctions are not about that, but about regime change, with “special forces” and green colors for the Iranian opposition (like orange for the failed one in Ukraine) and support to minorities, the usual schemes.  In all probability they will not work, but strengthen the government.

Brazil and Turkey made a nuclear deal with Iran along the lines proposed by IAEA and voted against the sanctions.  China and Russia voted for the sanctions, probably because they are even more against a war.  For USA-Israel the Brazil-Turkey approach was dangerous because that might prove the nuclear hypothesis to be untrue, so it had to be eliminated–like when the USA withdrew the inspection in Iraq fearing they would disprove their reason for going to war.

The USA is programmed by Manifest Destiny as administered by CIA+, and Israel by Zionism as administered by Mossad+. However, there are two CIA’s, one soft and one hard as there are two Zionisms, one soft, one hard.  Soft CIA comes up with the finding that there is no Iran nuclear weapons program, hard CIA does all the above.  Soft Zionism argues for peaceful co-existence, hard Zionism denies that.  Their project is to deprive Palestinians of their rights, demanding loyalty to the state of Israel, no Naqba story, hoping they will leave under that pressure, if not expelling them like into Jordan which Netanyahu considers a part of Palestine, meaning Israel.

The similarity to Nazi German repression of Jews will be rejected in anger arguing the high threshold under which Israel is operating: no gas chambers, similar to those who defend US massive belligerence arguing that no atomic bombs are used (“only” depleted uranium).  The tactics are similar: the more one deligitimizes a country through sanctions, and a nation by depriving them of their rights, the easier the next step: war-invasion-occupation, forceful “transfer”, expulsion.

This is also why Israel is so afraid of delegitimation, for instance by an objective investigation of the attack on the flotilla.  They want to be in command, like BP-Deep Water and Halliburton no doubt would prefer to be in command of any investigation of the oil story and Goldman Sachs of the derivative story.  And they are more afraid of nonviolence than of violence and their think tanks view it as attacks on the Israeli state just like a military attack, and to be treated the same way.  They live in a bubble of autism.

Even here Germany comes up.  Any nonviolent success would be a stab in the heart of the shoa story: there was nothing we could do; only massive foreign intervention would have helped.  The significance of the Rosenstrasse nonviolence in the heart of Berlin in the middle of the war is neglected, just like Obama neglected the role of nonviolence in ending both colonialism and the cold war in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, probably the most belligerent ever given (and his contempt for the prize was emphasized by giving the money away to organizations that had nothing to do with peace).

We are in for hard and difficult times.  Much wisdom will be needed to navigate the stormy waters ahead of us.  So far Turkey and Brazil have charted a course.  May others follow.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Jun 2010.

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5 Responses to “Two Empires Falling – But How?”

  1. Dear Johan,

    Dear Johan by argueing in favour of “defensive defense”, you are in agreement with all the warmongers of the world !!!!!!! This fallacy of “Defense” is what creates ALL wars in the world. Did you educate your own children by giving them a gun each, telling them “any problem with your sister – or brother – you solve it through dialogue, but keep this gun with you, for “defense”, in case your sibling attacks you”.

    You say “Obama neglected the role of nonviolence in ending both colonialism and the cold war in his Nobel Peace Prize speech” but… could it have been otherwise? he is paid to increase colonialism and he knows the cold war has never ended.

    “……probably the most belligerent ever given (and his contempt for the prize was emphasized by giving the money away to organizations that had nothing to do with peace)”.
    Again Johan, how could it have been otherwise. Did you expect Obama to give the money to his enemies, the Peace organisations?

    Best wishes,


    You say

  2. Sean Michael Hartnett says:

    To Alberto,

    In regards to “defense”, there can be little disagreement with your observation that therein lies the kernel of all that will follow. But, can there be any alternative to forward thinking, offensive projection of power that does not allow the stakeholders of that power a seat at the table in the dialogue that must ensue?
    Without the agreement of the industrial military concerns, there can and will be no way forward. Therefor, engaging them and allowing their input for the future “defense” of the empire in necessary if any country wishes to rein in the military excesses of militarized capitalism.
    As far as the other two points, the arguments seem semantic in nature. It seemed readily apparent that the implied meaning of the statements that you take objection to was inherent in the original.

    Johan, thanks for the read. The ideas are rational and lucid, and therefor not much use to either of the administrations in Washington or Jerusalem.
    This is most unfortunate.
    All of the above seems painfully obvious to many people outside of the bubble of policy makers, and perhaps that is what makes it increasingly frustrating for more and more people.
    The path is well illuminated to a better and brighter way, but those who have been chosen to design our international route are willfully blind or self-interestedly ignorant of what the majority of the world is calling for.
    Good luck in your struggles. I hope you meet with more success than failure. The world could use your successes now more than ever.

  3. Akifumi Fujita says:

    Thank you very much for your precise analysis of the present situation of the world we are dragged in. I agree with you that two empires are falling very rapidly.And it is preferable in the long run. We will not be able to endure being suppresed for a long time.But the problem is how they are to fall. It is very probable that we will also be drowned in the stormy waters ahead of us. Yes, we are in for hard and difficult times. What can I do,as a Japanese citizen,to prevent it to happen? This is so serious for me that I feel I will have to think to the best of my ability about how I can grasp an idea by which to avoid massive destruction of the world. But in a way I feel I can be optimistic about the future. Becuase with the help of peace studies, I’m sure I will be able to find something meaningful needed to go beyond. In this sence peace studies is a hope for me. I hope it is so for many people of the world,too.

  4. Laura says:

    Avanziamo propostre di pace, smascheriamo il vero volto e le reali motivazioni dei conflitti senza farci coinvolgere emotivamente.

  5. Izumi says:

    Thank you very much, Prof.Galtung ! !