US ‘War on Terror,’ Intervention in Philippines to Intensify amid Global Economic Crisis – Analysts


Analysts of global economic developments deemed that the US-led ‘war on terror’ will intensify and escalate as a result of the US financial and economic crisis.

BY RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat

Analysts of global economic developments deemed that the US-led ‘war on terror’ will intensify and escalate as a result of the US financial and economic crisis.

Rey Casambre, chairperson of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS)-Philippine chapter, said that the US financial and economic crisis has clearly turned into a global financial and economic crisis.

Jose Enrique Africa, research head of think-tank IBON Foundation, said, “The US financial crisis sharply reflects the financial crisis of the world capitalist system as a whole.”

Africa said, “The global recession is here, and the economic downturn will be severe. It has emerged in the US but is already spreading to Europe.”

He said it is intrinsic to capitalism for the rate of profit from production to fall. Capitalist drive for profits through speculation, however, is also grossly unsustainable, said Africa.

Interestingly,in his paper for the Forum on Global Financial Crisis of the ILPS Third International Assembly in Hong Kong this June, Jose Maria Sison has already said, “The economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalist system has worsened to a new and unprecedented level since the Great Depression.”

History

Casambre said, “Historically, wars have resulted from the intensification of global financial and economic crises.”

He said that the World War II was a direct result of the crisis that culminated in the Great Depression of the 30s. “This is because the rivalry of imperialist powers for spheres of influence: sources of raw materials and cheap labor, dumping ground of products and surplus capital, etc. also intensifies with the intensification of crisis. The economic rivalry leads to and is eventually resolved by political, and ultimately military, means,” he said.

Edilberto Villegas, political economist and professor at the University of the Philippines Manila, said that instigating war is the tested way for monopoly capitalism to recover. He said that the recession in the 1990s and the high-tech bubble burst in 2000 resulted to US wars.

Villegas said, “To be able to recover, the US will intensify its military aggressiveness.” He maintained that the speculation on oil and food will become secondary as the demand for oil has declined. “They will again resort to a military solution.”

He said it is the inherent nature of war to destroy and this will rev up military production.

‘War on terror’

Casambre said that the US “war on terror” came in the wake of the economic downturn in the US characterized by manufacturing slowdown, burgeoning national debt and budget deficit, ballooning household debt, among others.

Casambre said further that although the 9/11 bombings were used as a pretext for launching the “war on terror”, it eventually became clear that the war strategy and campaign plans that were executed had been prepared long before 9/11, as early as 1992 when Dick Cheney was the US Defense Secretary under the older George Bush.

“The war on terror, like other wars of aggression and military intervention, somewhat mitigated the US economic crisis then by spurring war production. However, it was the corporations in the military industrial complex that benefited most, enjoying tax cuts on top of fat military contracts, and the economic relief was unsustainable because it did not generate jobs and income for the reserve army of unemployed.”

He said that the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq had little to do with the Al- Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. “The real reasons were control of oil resources and the Middle East and Central Asia regions, which are strategic because of their geographic location south of Russia and west of China.”

Afghanistan, other targets

Casambre added, “This is underscored by recent statements by Democratic Presidential candidate [Barack] Obama that the US should pay more attention to Afghanistan because the real enemy is not the Al-Qaeda but Russia and China.

Villegas said both US presidential candidates have not opposed the US war on terror. He said that Obama merely said that the war in Iraq did not work out. “He [Obama] is not against the war on terror, he just wants to transfer to Afghanistan.”

Villegas said Iran is also a possible target. He said both Obama and Republican candidate John McCain are open to a military approach toward Iran if the latter will not stop developing its nuclear program. The only difference, said Villegas, is that McCain is not open to negotiate while Obama said he will employ diplomacy.

Villegas said the US is implementing a one-sided policy on nuclear development. “It should apply to themselves. The US is the number one manufacturer of nuclear weapons,” he said. He also said the US-backed Israel government is more advanced than Iran when it comes to nuclear weapons.

Villegas said the US only wants to justify possible attacks on Iran and North Korea.

Villegas also said the US is also interested in Central Asia. “They need the oil pipes there, such as in Georgia. They are now setting up military bases.”

Casambre of ILPS maintained, “Ethnic conflicts and ‘liberation’ struggles are also used to instigate proxy wars, such as in Africa, the Balkans and in the former Soviet republics. All these can be expected to escalate and intensify with the intensification of the global economic crisis.

Villegas said that China is seen by the US as an emerging military power. “The US will continue to guard East Asia, with the aim of encircling China. The US does not want to be displaced from the region.”

The US will maintain their forces in Asia, especially in Japan and in the Philippines.

Philippines

Villegas said the Philippines is a strategic point for the US’ implementation of its policy on China.

Casambre said the US crisis will intensify US military intervention in the Philippines. “The Philippines has strategic value to the US in its global geopolitical designs. It is a valuable military outpost guarding the South China Sea where more than half of world trade, including oil, passes. It is at the middle of what US strategists call the “arc of instability” which extends from Northeast Asia, down to Southeast Asia and westward to Central Asia, the Middle East and West Africa. It is also at the middle of the two potential major “theaters of war”: Northeast Asia and the Middle East. It is surrounded by states with large Muslim populations.”

Casambre said that the US will remain interested in the Philippines as it is also rich in still untapped natural resources, including oil and natural gas.

Contradictions, challenges

Sison said, “As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, the contradictions among the imperialist powers will sharpen and generate conditions favorable for the rise of revolutionary movements.”

He said that imperialist powers collude with each other against the oppressed peoples and nations in general but they compete with each other for sources of cheap raw materials, markets, fields of investment and spheres of influence. “As a result of the full restoration of capitalism in former revisionist-ruled countries, imperialist countries competing with each other and seeking to redivide the world have increased in number. The world has become more cramped than ever for the competitions and rivalries of the imperialist powers,” he said.

Sison said further, “The US is increasingly resented by other imperialist powers for presuming to have sole hegemony over the whole world and for trying to grab the lion’s share of spoils in every continent. At the same time, it is already overextended and weakening in certain parts of the world. Contradictions are developing between the US and Russia and China jointly or separately. So are those between the US and the European Union. These contradictions involve economic, financial, political, security and other issues.”

Villegas said that anti-imperialist groups must see the weakening position of the US in the economic sphere. “The workers, especially in the US and Europe should organize themselves against monopoly capitalism.”

He said the US cannot control the crisis. “Despite the bailout, the US economy is going down.” He added, While the US may prop up military production, the question is how long can they keep up such wars.

Casambre said that anti-imperialist forces must seriously and scientifically study the global crisis – the developments and implications – in order to explain to the general public what is really happening, expose the contradictions, the unjust, undemocratic and criminal nature of imperialism, in concrete and scientific terms. He said that the Filipino people and peoples of the world must launch protests and other mass actions against imperialist war and plunder and build the broadest anti-imperialist front of all democratic, patriotic, progressive forces everywhere. (Bulatlat.com)

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