Munich American Peace Committee (MAPC)
Radio Lora, 10. September 2007
Der Niedergang des amerikanischen Imperiums
Santa Barbara, Kalifornien, 22. November 2004
Der norwegische Friedensforscher Johann Galtung ist einer der führenden Verfechter gewaltfreier Konfliktlösungen .Der Träger des Alternativen Nobelpreises ist Gründungsdirektor von „Transcend“ einem weltweiten Netz zur Konfliktlösung. Sein bekanntestes Buch heißt „Friede mit friedlichen Mitteln“. Seine Rede vom November 2004 in Santa Barbara hat im Sommer 2007 nichts von ihrer Aktualität verloren.
Imperialismus ist das von militärischem Muskelspiel begleitete Streben nach grenzüberschreitender wirtschaftlicher, politischer und kultureller Vorherrschaft. So erklärte zum Beispiel das Pentagon, dass es die Aufgabe der US Army sei, ohne Rücksicht auf mögliches Blutvergießen, die Welt für amerikanisches Business und eine kulturelle Wende sicher zu machen .Genau das erleben wir gerade, denn man kann das Blutbad von Falludscha nicht losgelöst sehen von Paul Bremers Anordnung Nr. 39, wonach die gesamte irakische Staatswirtschaft zu privatisieren sei und danach zu 100 % in ausländische Hände übergehen könne, ohne den Irak an möglichen Gewinnen zu beteiligen. Was damit gemeint ist, illustrieren 14 amerikanische Stützpunkte.
Seit 1945 sollen in 70 Militärintervention zwischen 12 bis 16 Millionen Menschen umgekommen sein. Woher kommt diese Differenz? Unterscheidet man zwischen offenen und verdeckten Aktionen? Oder gehört das zum Imperialismus?.
Sollten die USA jedoch ihren Weltherrschaftsanpruch aufgeben wollen, dann heißt es für sie: Stoppt das Töten und schließt die Militärbasen.
Stoppt die Ausbeutung durch unfaire Handelsabkommen, denn täglich verhungern 125 000 Menschen oder sterben an eigentlich harmlosen Krankheiten. Diese Zahl multipliziert mit 365 Tagen, ergibt fast 50 Millionen Tote jährlich. Nicht für alle sind allein die USA verantwortlich, aber sie sind es, die die Militärmaschinerie am Laufen halten und mit Militärgewalt jedes Ausscheren zu verhindern wüßten. Warum versucht man Hugo Chavez zu stürzen, während man seinen Vorgänger Jimenez gewähren ließ, warum die Mordanschläge auf Fidel Castro aber keine auf Batista?. Warum ist man gegen die Sandinistas aber nicht gegen Somoza?. Die Antwort auf diese Fragen gibt die oben erwähnte Pentagon Aussage. Darum, Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika, kommt heraus aus eurer Isolation und helft mit, diese Welt zu einem besseren Ort für 6,2 Milliarden Menschen zu machen. Trotz ihrer Mängel, respektiert die UN! Torpediert nicht das Kyoto-Protokoll, verbessert es!
Haltet euch an das ABM Abkommen und baut kein neues nationales Raketenabwehrsystem auf. Werdet Teil der Welt und öffnet euch für ihre faszinierende kulturelle Vielfalt, und ihr werdet der größte Gewinner des Niedergangs des US Imperiums sein. Ihr wäret enorme Kosten los und frei von großen Ängsten und nach einem Prozess der Versöhnung müsstet ihr nicht fürchten, für eure Untaten zur Rechenschaft gezogen zu werden
Nehmen wir Deutschland als Beispiel, das während des Naziregimes 25 Länder besetzte und: Juden, "Zigeuner" und Slawen ausrotten wollte. Sie töteten 26 Millionen Russen, 6 Millionen Juden und eine nicht bekannte Anzahl von Sinti und Roma, und doch unterhält Deutschland heute mit den Nachkommen dieser Mordopfer wieder gute Beziehungen.
Ich liebe die US amerikanische Republik - trotz Bush - aber ich hasse das US Imperium. Nach einer Umfrage lehnen 80% der Muslime die amerikanische Außenpolitik ab, aber auch 80% von ihnen bewundern die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika.
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1980 habe ich vorausgesagt, dass in 10 Jahren die Berliner Mauer fallen und die Sowjetunion untergehen würde. Die Sowjetunion ging unter, weil ihre Satelliten und Mitgliedsstaaten nach Unabhängigkeit oder Autonomie strebten, weil die Unterschiede zwischen Stadt und Land, und zwischen der sozialistischen Bourgeoisie und der sozialistischen Arbeiterklasse immer weiter auseinander klafften und, weil es zwar genügend Geld, aber kein ausreichendes Warenangebot gab. Doch vor allem ging es um Freiheit und Menschenrechte.
Das US-Imperium wird nicht nur wegen der wirtschaftlichen, militärischen, politischen und kulturellen Konflikten untergehen, sondern auch wegen der wachsenden sozialen Kluft zwischen Staat und Geldaristokratie, Arbeitsplatzbesitzern und Arbeitslosen und nicht zuletzt auch zwischen Alt und Jung.
Die wirtschaftlichen Konflikte betreffen Wachstum, ungleiche Vermögensverteilung, Geldwirtschaft, Produktion, Konsum und Naturschutz. Eine von schwindenden Ölressourcen abhängige Wirtschaft wird weitere Ölvorkommen mit Militärgewalt erschließen. Die zentralasiatischen Ölländer grenzen an Russland, China und Indien. Dort leben 40% der Weltbevölkerung und ihre Gier nach Öl ist unermesslich. Mit der Energiefrage gehen der Klimawandel und die Welterwärmung einher. Weil die USA das Kyoto Protokoll nicht unterschrieben haben, macht man Washington nun pauschal für alle Umweltschäden verantwortlich.
John F. Kerry, den man „Jeden, nur nicht Bush“ nannte, hatte ein gutes Programm. Ihm ging es nicht um verstaubte Familienwerte und fundamentalistische Moral, sondern um Windmühlen und Sonnenkollektoren, aber dafür konnte sich das von Gott erwählte Volk nicht. so recht erwärmen.
Obwohl oder gerade weil ich kein Wirtschaftsfachmann bin, sage ich voraus, dass die USA - wie schon 2001, als die New Economy Blase platze - wieder kurz vor einem größeren Kollaps stehen. Die Kapitalwirtschaft wächst und wächst, während die Produktion hinterher hinkt. Je höher der Dow Jones steigt, um so mehr näheren wir uns der Krise. Der Kursverlust des US Dollars zeigt, wie sehr das Vertrauen in die US Wirtschaft gesunken ist. Weil 60% der amerikanischen Wertpapier sich in den Händen einiger asiatischer Unternehmen befinden, wird der Irakkrieg praktisch von China und Japan finanziert. Das Defizit wächst täglich um 2 Milliarden Dollar.. Eventuell könnte man mit dem billigen Dollar die Exporte erhöhen und so den freien Fall vermeiden. Doch dieses Instrument versagt, weil weltweit der Boykott amerikanischer Waren zunimmt. In Deutschland ging der Verkauf von Coca Cola um 16% zurück und es kriselt bei McDonald’s, General Motors und Ford.. Disneyland Paris ist pleite, Die Zahl ausländischer Studenten ging um 4,2 % zurück. Dabei dürften die ärgerlichen neuen Grenzkontrollen keine geringe Rolle spielen. Und das ist nur der Anfang. Es handelt es sich keineswegs um einen organisierten Boykott, sondern um den Ausdruck einer inneren Ablehnung und um einen moralischen Appell.. Man braucht sich nur anzusehen, wie Nichtamerikaner gewählt hätten. Nur drei Länder hätten für Bush gestimmt – alle anderen für Kerry. Die Bush-Wähler waren Polen, die Philippinen und Nigeria. In Indien ginge die Wahl fiftyfifty aus. Das Abstimmungsergebnis von Polen und den Philippinen ist religiös begründet. Für Indien zählt der gemeinsame Feind Islam. Aber dennoch wird es den USA kaum gelingen, die drohende Allianz zwischen Indien ,Russland und China zu verhindern. Aus Angst vor US-Bomben, würde kein Land öffentlich zum Boykott aufrufen, so, beschränken sich die US Exporte auf das, was die Regierungen kaufen, Und damit sie möglichst viel – besonders möglichst viele Waffen - kaufen, schafft man möglichst viele Brandherde. Drosselt man die Importe, fehlen der verarmten Arbeiterschaft die billigen Waren aus China und Ostasien. Steigen die Preise schneller als die Löhne, werden die Reichen reicher, aber die Armen bleiben auf der Strecke. Umverteilung, nicht fromme Sprüche, wären ein möglicher Ausweg aus der Krise, doch das kommt unter Bush nicht in Frage.
Kommen wir zu den militärischen Konflikten.. 1999 habe ich das Ende des US Imperiums für das Jahr 2025 vorausgesagt, dank der gegenwärtigen Bush-Regierung dürfte es bereits 2015 soweit sein. Wenn Terror mit Staatsterror beantwortet wird, wenn unzählige Menschen sterben müssen, dann läßt die Reaktion nicht lange auf sich warten. Multiplizieren Sie jeden von US Truppen getöteten Menschen mit dem Faktor 10 seiner trauernden Angehörigen und Freunde dann sind Sie nicht bei 12 oder 15 Millionen, sondern 150 Millionen Opfern. Kein Wunder dass sich unter ihnen mühelos 19 Araber finden lassen, die etwas dagegen unternehmen möchten.
Ich glaube jedoch, dass der 11. September mehr als ein reiner Racheakt war, Nicht Menschen, zwei Gebäude sollten öffentlich hingerichtet werden, als symbolische Strafe für die militärische Intervention, die .Stationierung von Juden und Christen auf heiligem Boden und die Verführung Saudi Arabiens durch westlichen Konsum.
Da sich immer mehr Länder aus der Koalition der Willigen zurückziehen und immer weniger NATO Staaten irakische Offiziere ausbilden wollen, werden die USA bald allein sein. Für jene, die die US Republik lieben, geht es nicht mehr um einen ehrenhaften Abzug, sondern allein um einen Abzug, der den Irakern hilft, auf eigenen Füßen zu stehen. Dazu sollten Japan und die Europäische Union mit dem irakischen Widerstand Kontakt aufnehmen und eine Art Helsinki-Sicherheitskonferenz ins Leben rufen, mit den USA als Beobachter und mit dem Ziel einer unabhängigen, demokratischen irakischen Föderation aus Kurden, Sunniten und Schiiten und Kuweit als assoziiertem Mitglied. Um das zu erreichen, müssen alle Ausländer das Land verlassen und jegliche Einmischung beenden. Der Irak ruft Erinnerung an Vietnam wach. Damals behaupteten alle, dass Vietnam nach dem Abzug der USA in Bürgerkrieg und Chaos versinken würde. Nichts davon ist eingetreten.
Die ehemaligen Alliierten Deutschland, Frankreich und Spanien haben sich bereits von den USA abgewendet. Russland, Indien und China könnten der Schauplatz eines 4. Weltkrieges werden. Eine gemeinsame europäische Armee wäre für viele eine durchaus attraktive Alternative zur NATO, und dies obwohl 18 der 25 EU Staaten im 2. Weltkrieg Opfer der brutalen deutschen Besetzung waren. Auch das gespannte Verhältnis zwischen den USA und den Vereinten Nationen hat weltweit Konsequenzen.
Und dann gibt es noch die kulturellen Konflikte. Juden und Christen stehen 1,3 Milliarden Muslime gegenüber, die nicht länger die von uns in den Wüstensand gezogenen Grenzen respektieren wollen. Die Tragik dieser wunderbaren, einander so ähnlichen drei Religionen besteht darin, dass sie auf beiden Seiten brillante Fundamentalisten mobilisierten, denen in den Elfenbeintürmen von Harvard; Yale und Berkeley keine Beachtung geschenkt wird. Jüdische und christliche Fundamentalisten ziehen bereits an einem Strang. Vielleicht wird es Europa sogar eines Tage gelingen, auch den Islam zu umarmen. Zum Schrecken der USA befürwortet die Europäische Gemeinschaft eine ostasiatische Union der buddhistische und konfuzianische Länder wie Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan und vielleicht auch Vietnam angehören könnten.
Darum, liebes Washington, lies die Zeichen an der Wand. Führe keine Kriege gegen das, was unaufhaltsam kommen wird, sondern mach mit. Bald könnte es auch eine asiatische Einheitswährung geben, vielleicht sogar eine Weltwährung, aber das wird ganz bestimmt nicht der Dollar sein. Seine Zeit ist vorbei..
Als im Februar 2003 12 Millionen Menschen dem Aufruf des Weltsozialforums von Porto Alegre und Bombay folgten und an 600 Orten friedlich protestierten, bezeichnete sie Bush nur als unbedeutende Randgruppe. Spätestens damals wurde es leider vielen klar, dass man in den USA nur die Sprache der Gewalt versteht.
Wie aus Liebe Hass werden kann, habe ich 1945 selbst erlebt. Für meine Familie haben nicht die Amerikaner und Engländer den Krieg gegen die verhaßten Nazis gewonnen, sondern die glühend verehrte Sowjetunion. Aber nach und nach wurde uns bewußt, welche furchtbaren Verbrechen auch Stalin begangen hatte. So ergeht es heute dem amerikafreundlichen Europa. Man wehrt sich vehement gegen Kritiker wie mich und klammert sich an die Hoffnung, dass man ja nur Bush los werden müsse und alles wäre wieder in schönster Ordnung. Hoffen wir, dass nicht aus enttäuschter Liebe eines Tages blindwütiger Antiamerikanismus erwächst....
The Decline and Fall of the American EmpireJohann Galtung of Norway is a leading advocate of non-violent solutions to resolving conflicts. He is founder and director of Transcend, a global network for conflict resolution. Among his many books are Choose Peace and Peace by Peaceful Means. He is the winner of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize.
Santa Barbara, California 22 November 2004
Let me start by defining an empire. It's a trans-border concerted effort to exercise economic, political, culture dominance, pinned up, puffed up by military efforts. So it is, if you will, fourdimensional: economic, political, cultural, military. In the particular U.S. case, there is a planner in the Pentagon who formulated it much more clearly than I can in a very famous, very quoted statement, The purpose of the U.S. Army is to make the world safe for American business and for cultural assault. Toward that end, there will be a fair amount of killing. We see that going on right now. I don't think it makes sense to see Falluja without quoting directive number 39 by L. P. Bremer III (former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority) that very clearly calls for the privatization of all businesses owned by the Iraqi state, with the possibility of 100% acquisition by foreigners and 100% repatriation of any profit. The 14 bases being built in Iraq may then serve as an illustration. I think even the Pentagon planner missed out on one point. The purpose of the U.S. Army is to make the world safe for American business and for political dominance, and in addition to that, for the cultural assault. Now, is it a fair amount of killing? The 70 military interventions after 1945 have led to the killing of between 12 and 16 million. That is probably a relatively low estimate. Why is it so imprecise, between 12 and 16? It's the difference between overt action and covert action. Let us now say that we have that as a model of what imperialism is about.
How would we know that that empire is dead? If we have four dimensions, we have four criteria. Let us say that these are the things that the rest of the world would like to see. Point one, stop killing and withdraw military bases. Point two, stop exploiting. And that means stop extremely unjust, inequitable economic deals. I quoted one example, directive number 39 in Iraq, just as one example. But, unfortunately, the implications are worse than that, because 125,000 people are dying every day of hunger and of easily preventable and curable diseases. If you take that and you multiply it by 360 days, you start coming close to 50 million per year. Not all of that is laid at the doorstep of the United States of America. But the interesting thing about the United States of America is that they are the ones who keep the military machinery going that makes it difficult to change it. So when there is an effort to change it, there will very likely be a coup instigated by the U.S. and with a military follow-up.
We can now go through the whole post World-War history and document this, and we can ask questions like, Why is there an effort to overturn Chavez but not his predecessor a couple of generations ago, Jimenez? Why the effort to kill Castro but not Batista? Why is it against the Sandinistas but not against Somoza? And the answer is very clear, and it lies in the brilliant formulation by the Pentagon planner.
So we go on to number three, join the world. You're not located on a platform named exceptionalism. Join the world.
Participate in the difficult enterprise of making the world a better place to live for 6.2 billion human beings. The best organization for that today is the U.N., with all its shortcomings.You don't step out of the Kyoto Protocol; you invite the conference to revise it. If you have grievances, and there are shortcomings in that protocol, you don't step out of the ABM treaty, the antiballistic missile treaty; you come up with a system that provides the same level of security as that one did. You don't step out of it and introduce the NMD(National Missile Defense) instead. Join the world means that you see yourself as a normal country.
And that leads to the cultural aspect of the empire. Give up the idea of being a chosen people by God with a direct mandate and that you somehow have the solution to all problems. To antidote, the opposite of this, is called dialogue. In other words, dialogue, for the political aspect, participation. For the economic aspect, equity. And then how about the military aspect? Instead of seeing security problems all over, and there are some security problems, shift your attention. See conflicts all over the place. Instead of building strength, try to solve them. It's possible. It can be done. But in order to do it, you have to give up one idea, namely, that the other party is born evil, will continue to remain evil, and that the only remedy is to crush and exterminate.
Unfortunately, these four aspects hang together, so I think what the world is demanding is in one sense a tall bill. In another sense, it is not that terribly difficult. Stop killing, withdraw your bases, have equitable economic deals, join the world, for all its multilateralism and slowness, and enter into dialogue with a fascinating variety of civilizations. It can be done. Most countries try to do it, more or less perfectly. If this should happen, the greatest beneficiary from the decline and fall of the U.S. Empire would be the United States of America. It would blossom. Why?
First of all, it would get rid of an enormous economic burden. All of us know a little bit about the costs of empire in economic terms. But secondly, it would get rid of an enormous amount of fear. And that fear is based on a mechanism, which is ridiculously simple. One day all these people that we have bossed and bullied and killed will come back and do the same to us. Since there have been 240 military interventions since Thomas Jefferson started in Libya, there are lots of people who might dream of vengeance. In order to get out of that, you withdraw your tentacles and you start processes of reconciliation.
Let me give an example. Germany occupied 25 countries during Nazism and tried to exterminate three nations: the Jews, the Sinta Roma, and the Slavs. They had a program for eliminating 100 million Slavs, 50 million by killing and 50 million by starvation, mainly Russian Slavs, to empty the 2 territory for a German colony. They took the lives of 26 million Russians, 6 million Jews, and an unspecified number of Sinta Roma. If you take 25 occupied countries plus three nations, you get 28. Today, Germany has good relations with, practically speaking, all 28.
What I've said so far is that an empire is a very clear construct. There is no mystery what it is about. And it is the synergy between the four dimensions that makes it. The abolition of the empire is not a question of hoisting and unhoisting a flag at midnight. That was the old way of doing it.
They are four very clear demands, and they are very reasonable. The greatest beneficiary would be the United States of America. And I stand on exactly the same line as Gore Vidal: I love the U.S. republic and I hate the U.S. empire.
Please never fall into the temptation of calling someone who criticizes the U.S. Empire anti-American. It's exactly because we foreigners make that distinction that we are in a position to be honest and say what I exactly said. The public opinion polls among Muslims showing that more than 80% reject U.S. foreign policy and more than 80% admire the United States of America, it's entirely consistent. You can say, don't you get into difficulties when you see the number of people who support Bush? We get into some small difficulties. But you can have difficulties with all countries, you see, including my own, little Norway. But I'm perfectly capable of loving my country without admiring Quisling, and I can love Russia without admiring Stalin. In order to make those distinctions, you actually need only two cells in your brain. But if you have only one cell in your brain, it starts getting problematic.
Let us now take this construct, the U.S. Empire, and then we introduce an approach to social science called dialectic. Don't confuse it with Marxism. Marxism was a very poor type of dialectic. It's a Chinese concept. Don't confuse it with Greece, with Heraclitus. It is Taoism, it's in Jung. To every force there is a counterforce. Don't confuse it with Newton. There is no guarantee it will be exactly opposite and that it will be of the same magnitude. But there will be a counterforce.
Which, incidentally, is the reason that the worst game a political elite can play is golf, because it's a linear agenda. You see those 18 holes, fill them. In the real world, the holes move, they make alliances, they cover up, they shoot the ball back, and worse. Suddenly the 18 holes surround the player, start digging a hole, a quagmire for the player to fall into. That's what the world is like. Now put the politician into a golf course, and you get an incompetent one as a result. That doesn't mean that he cannot do it in brilliant, short time, but he's in for some surprises called dialectic. I have a list here of 14 counter forces to the U.S. empire.
But I'll first make propaganda for my predictive ability. In 1980, I made a prediction, with a list of five counter forces against the Soviet empire, that the Berlin Wall will fall within ten years and the Soviet empire will fall. One of the places I made that prediction was in Moscow. It was not excessively popular. But one guy came up to me afterwards and said, “What makes you think that we will last as much as ten years? What makes you think that?” So I said, “Well, you know these five contradictions need their time to synergize and synchronize and work themselves through the system.” And he said, “Five? There are many more, but I don't care to tell you.” It fell. It happened.
I can mention to you which the five were. Number one is very simple, between the Soviet Union and the satellites who wanted independence. Number two, between Russia and the other parts of the Soviet Union who wanted autonomy. Number three, between town and countryside in the Soviet construction. Number four, between the socialist bourgeoisie and the socialist working class. And number five, between liquidity and lack of goods. And you can then see all these five working. How about freedom? Freedom is in the first two. How about human rights? In the first two, maybe the third two. For me to talk about contradictions they have to be concrete social forces, not words but forces.
I could now read for you the 14, but I would rather take them first in groups. Economic, military, political, and cultural contradictions. You guessed that one because those are the four that I mentioned for imperialism. And then there is something I call social contradictions, which are concrete social forces building up. And among them I have between state and capital elites and working classes, unemployed, and contract workers, on the one hand; and on the second hand, between the older and middle generation and youth. I have this in two ways: the global scene and domestically in the U.S.
Let us now simply get started with economic contradictions. I have three: between growth and distribution; between productive and finance economy; and between production/distribution/ consumption and nature. Start with the third one. Peak oil. In an economy desperately in need of oil, with very few serious attempts to move in other directions, with the peak oil phenomenon of increasing costs and increasing difficulties finding exploitable places, there will be increasing military warfare to conquer other places. Many of them are in Central Asia. Hence contradiction number six, which is with the biggest countries in Asia: Russia, China, and India. The oil fields border on them. They are also hungry for oil. It's 40% of humanity. So number three spills into number six. I just give it as an example of the type of synergies you get when you list the contradictions. Climatic changes, global warming. The way in which the U.S. is held accountable exactly by stepping out of the Kyoto Protocol. And you will, of course, remember that people are not necessarily very subtle. When you get into the habit of blaming the U.S., the U.S. will be blamed for everything. Sometimes even I will come up and say, “Look, look, look. That's going a little bit too far. Not that one. There are some other crooks in the world. Not all the crooks live in Washington. You have to have more diverse perspective on the world.”
At this point there was a guy called ABB, Anybody But Bush, who was also known as John F. Kerry, who had, I think, a very good and admirable program. I would guess that many Americans agreed with him on that one, but it didn't take top priority. Other things had top priority. What? I'll give you my best hunch. This is a footnote, an aside. If you believed that you are the chosen people by God, then you would also believe that God protects you. If God protects you, 9/11 would never have happened. That means God did not protect you, because he would have stopped the planes in the air like the Kamikaze, wind, that came and stopped the Mongol invasion of Japan at the end of the 13th century. Anyhow, 9/11 happened. Why?
Because Americans hadn't kept their side of the covenant. What was the covenant? The Ten Commandments. What do Americans do? Same-sex marriage and abortion, 3 Californication. So, given that, what is the way to regain God's protection? What could be more important than God's protection? And then some guy comes and starts talking about windmills, solar collectors. Sounds like petty stuff relative to moral and family values. But I'm then saying that I don't think there are moral and family values with just norms to regulate social intercourse. I'm saying that it had a deeper existential, fundamentalist root, and that that is the country in which we are in this moment right now.
Number two was between productive and finance economy. It works the following way. That if you have a very rapid growth in the finance economy, meaning the stocks are doing fine, the dollar is surging, but at the same time you have nothing corresponding in the productive economy, but a sluggish economy with a low growth rate, then the asynchrony between the finance economy and the productive economy will hit back and take the form of a crash. The last time that happened was 2001, between the so-called new economy and the reality. It's the gap between the finance economy and the productive economy. I predicted it two years ahead of time. And I have one advantage in my life. I'm not trained as an economist, so it is so much easier to see reality. When you have to see it through the type of crazy training these guys get, it becomes very difficult. I admire any economist who nevertheless could talk sense. There are not many of them, but it happens.
So, having said that sweet, charming little how-to-makefriends remark, then let me just say the following. I think the U.S. is in for a rather major crash, and I'll give you one hint. Whenever you read that the Dow Jones is going up, you are closer to the crisis, unless there is a corresponding surge in the productive economy, which there will not be. One particular financial instrument has taken the dive already, the dollar. What does this mean? That there is no confidence in the dollar given that 60% of U.S. bonds are owned by a couple of Asian economies, that China and Japan are financing the war in Iraq, that the deficits, I say now both a fiscal and the total deficit, are enormous and increasing all the time, $2 billion per day. Given that, you have lack of confidence. This lack of confidence will then increase exponentially to a possible free fall.
How is the country going to overcome that? There are two possibilities. One is the official one that any economist, any bookkeeper can point out. You use the cheap dollar in order to increase your exports. What's wrong about that one? What's wrong about that one is what I call the social contradictions.
And it may not be very well known in the U.S., but the point is simply the following: that there is today an economic boycott of U.S. goods spreading very quickly around the world. Lester Brown recently reported that eight of the ten leading U.S.
product brands are American. More than half of the sales each of these products are outside the United States. The Financial Times reports that some of the world's strongest consumer brands, like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and GAP, are being hit hard. Coca-Cola sales in Germany dropped 16% from the similar period last year.
McDonald's is in crisis, Disneyworld in Paris is bankrupt, GM and Ford in Germany are about to close, and so on and so forth. This is not good news if you want to strengthen your economy by more exports. There is much more to come, and I'm not going to report all of that. I'm just going to say that this is not an organized boycott. It's much worse. It is a feeling of disgust. And this feeling of disgust makes Coca-Cola taste bad.
There are medical reasons for that, an idiotizing, fattening, tepid, seeping liquid. But leaving those aside, this feeling is spreading.
In order to understand that feeling better, we have to look at those data that you all know more or less about how did people vote when they were asked, How would you vote if you were an American and were participating in the elections today? Well, you have probably seen it. It is reported. Here is a world map with the votes, and it's correctly made red and blue. It's a strange distribution of colors. We're not used to that one in Europe that way. But anyhow, we can take many things. Of all the countries outside Europe on this map, there are three countries favorable to Bush. The other ones were all favorable to ABB. And the countries favorable to Bush were Poland, the Philippines, and Nigeria. India was about equal.
Poland and the Philippines have one thing in common with Bush: together with America, those are the countries that get the highest score if you add up the number of people who believe in God and the number of people who believe in Satan. If you do that for the U.S., you have to add 94 and 71, and you get, of course, 165. If you take similar processes for Poland and Philippines, you get about the same. But the U.S. is number one in believing in Satan. There is no other country in the world that believes that much in Satan. And in the Chicago Tribune's report, which was reported in the Yomurii Shimbun in Japan, the 3rd of January this year, it is pointed out very clearly that by Satan the pollsters made it very clear it's somebody who is on full-time duty and interferes in your daily life. Now, Michael Moore point that Americans are a frightened race I think misses the point, misses the theological underpinning. So I am saying that I can explain the Philippines and Poland theologically, and you should not see it as political allegiance. So I take it as a theological statement. Nigeria I simply don't understand. India I can understand was a tie, a common an enemy of Muslims. That I think makes some kind of political sense and has, of course, been the Bush administration's effort to circumvent the alliance formation between Russia, India, and China, an alliance formation which eventually will cost the U.S. very dearly.
Having said this, I am saying that the sentiment is of such a kind that people are not going to buy American goods. That means the export market is limited to what governments buy, because they don't dare boycott because they might be bombed whereas a private guy who passes Esso, Texaco, Mobil and, not to forget, Shell and just goes on to the local pump, it's very difficult to bomb him. So the way they do it to governments is to more or less coerce them to buy arms. In order to be able to sell arms, you have to produce insecurity first. At that the U.S.
can be relied upon, for producing the insecurity that at least stimulates the arms trade. But having said that, even the most lapdog-inclined government starts understanding the trick now. Resistance builds up.
Having said that, I mentioned having difficulty with method number one in handling the weak dollar, what's method number two? You could do it with a very simple decree. You change the dollar bill overnight, and anybody who has old dollars, goodbye. If you want to redeem your bonds, try and come and get it. In other words, it may be that those bonds can be written off as a loss. Ninety-two percent of the U.S. deficit is covered by foreigners. Sixty percent of it is covered by Asian countries, essentially Japan and China. Japan and China are covering the wars of the United States of America in order to 4 guarantee their export markets to make the U.S. solvent enough to pay for the products they buy.
There is, of course, yet another method, which is to say not only we export more or we change the currency and you're not going to get it anyhow. The third one would be to import less. Try that with an impoverished American working class, to deprive them of Chinese goods, cheap East Asian goods. I don't think that is very workable. So imagine, you screw the working class, you shift the wealth upwards to the top 20%, or 1% for that matter, you have the Consumer Price Index rise more than the wage index rises. You make the situation deteriorate, like the data show. So what do you pay people when you don't pay them dollars? You can pay them Jesus currency. You can say, “Believe in Jesus and God will protect us again.” You can also pay them in cheap Chinese goods. So imagine you cut off that possibility. Then you're left with Jesus currency. There is another method called redistribution. It's not going to be done by the Bush administration. The country is in a squeeze.
The basic point about economic boycott is not a decline in profit. The basic point is the moral challenge, that we get to the U.S.A. the way they did to South Africa. U.S. companies abroad make an average profit of 6%. That means a 6% boycott is sufficient to make them reconsider their overseas investment. And that's the magnitude we have for the brands I mentioned. Some will ask for U.S. military intervention. Since this is done by private people and not by governments, it's not easy. South Africa was in that situation, and both Mandela and the last white president told me that what hit us and what worked was not the boycott of apples—that was not important for our economy at all—but it was the moral message, the message of disgust.
Foreign students coming to the U.S. went down 4.2% last year. There are many interpretations. One of them is U.S.
foreign policy. My wife and I passed into Los Angeles airport, fingerprinting on both index fingers and highly scrutinized by some interesting device. I did not like it. And I say it with no smile. I didn't like it at all.
So let's go down the list. I mentioned the distribution and a few of the economic factors. Let me take the next list, which is four, and those are the military contradictions. By contradiction we mean that the U.S. is pushing in one direction and, lo and behold, there is a counterpush.
This is a list that I made in 1999 and made public with in 2000 with the prediction that the U.S. empire is gone by the year 2025. You remember my boasting of my Soviet prediction. Bush was elected in the year 2000, and I reduced it by five years after having watched him for a couple of months and defined him as a so-called accelerator of the synergies and the synchronies. He is now re-elected. I have reduced it by five more years. So you're now down to year 2015.
Number four is between U.S. state terrorism and terrorism. It is almost unbelievable that an elite can believe that you can behave that way, kill that many people, and there will be no reaction. It doesn't work that way. So let us say that you multiply every person killed by U.S. forces by a factor of 10: the number of friends, family, those who are bereaved and feel something in their heart, a sting. So suddenly you're up to not 12 to 16 million but 150 million. It's rather unbelievable that some of those 150 million, for instance, 19 Arabs, shouldn't get the idea of doing something about it.
And yet my interpretation of 9/11 is somewhat deeper than pure revenge. My interpretation on 9/11 is the public execution of two buildings, not the people in them. I don't think that was important to them. I think it was the buildings. For having sinned against Allah, for having intervened militarily, established bases with Jews and Christians in them, and on top of that, for having foisted upon a Wahhabite Saudi Arabia a consumerist lifestyle that they did not see as theirs.
So if you look at it this way, it looks like we are caught in a vicious cycle between terrorism and state terrorism. How does that work right now? I mentioned that five countries were pulling out of the coalition of the willing. They have become unwilling. Six countries in NATO have refused to train Iraqi officers. The numbers five and six will grow quickly. I don't have time to go into that. I'm just saying that the prediction is that the U.S. will be very alone. It's going badly, and that means that those who love the U.S. republic are interested in how do we help the U.S. get out. We're not concerned with getting out with honor, but getting out in a way that in one sense teaches the U.S. a lesson but in the other sense does something much more important—an Iraq that could function. I’ll tick off points. By countries like Japan and the European Union establishing contact with the Iraqi resistance with the aim of having a conference for security and cooperation in the Middle East after the model of the Helsinki conference, the U.S. as an observer.
And as a possible point on the agenda an Iraqi federation, with Kuwait as an associated member, independent country; as a federation, with democracy and human rights, with the Kurds, who right now have benefited from what has happened, having their part, the Sunnis having their part but giving up the idea of being the instrument through which foreigners can run Iraq, and the Shiva having an Islamic republic in their part but giving up the idea of running all of Iraq according to that pattern. The key to this is a federation. The obvious precondition is very simple: all foreigners out. All the decrees made by the U.S. administration, a puppet administration, declared null and void. We start from the beginning with a free Iraq. It’s a tall bill.
When Iraq is mentioned, the word Vietnam often comes up. I remember so clearly in the 1970s when everybody said that if the U.S. withdraws, there would be civil war and chaos in Vietnam. They managed it extremely well.
I go on to the next one, which is U.S. relative to the allies. The allies are falling off. And they are rather important countries. We are right now, of course, mainly talking about Germany, France, Spain. And I could go through the rest of the list and make some predictions.
Number six is Russia, India, China. This could be the seat of the fourth world war that Norman Podhoretz is writing about in Commentary in the September issue. They are coming closer than average. The U.S. had a chance as long as the BJP was in power in India, because the BJP had given up two onerous dictums: secularism and nonalignment. They went in for Hindutva and were contemplating a NATO for Asia with the United States. They lost the elections, to a large extent for that reason. That was not reported by the mainstream press. As I said, 40% of humanity. The United States is 6%.
We now go on to number seven, NATO versus the European Union army. This is not necessarily to say that it is an independence declaration of the United States, which of course it is. But it is also to say that the European Union should be watched as a possible imperial successor. I'm afraid of that. But for the United States it means that there is an alternative source and that countries, one after the other, will leave NATO, not 5 formally but informally, and go to the European Union. Let me just add that of the 25 countries that Germany had occupied and brutalized during the Second World War, 18 are members of the European Union together with Germany. That's quite something. The U.S. will have to devise quite a lot of textbooks, which was the German approach, in order to create friends among the countries they have brutalized.
Number eight, the United States-United Nations. That it is tense we know. The rift between the U.N. and the U.S. will not only be France; it will be much more universal.
Then there are what I call cultural contradictions. Judaism, Christianity on the one side against Islam. There are 1.3 billion Muslims, and they have this unfortunate habit of not accepting the borders that we have been drawing in the sand of the desert and things of that type. It's high time we learned that. But leaving that point aside, the tragedy of this religious divide of religions so similar, with so much beauty in all three of them, mobilizing the fundamentalists on both sides. The U.S. union of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism is intellectually brilliant, as far as I've understood it, reading rapture books and other books, and once being visiting professor at the University of Virginia and Duke University, and each week, traveling between Duke and the University of Virginia, passing through Lynchburg. The name is not very promising, but the cafeteria conversations are fantastic. And they brought me up to date with Armageddon each time I bought a hamburger. And I was willing to buy more than one hamburger in order to be in on Biblical time. What I found, incidentally, in a footnote, was that my distinguished American colleagues didn't know their own country. They were living in some ghettos called Harvard and Yale and California, Berkeley, and places like that. Not the slightest contact with their own country. Lynchburg prevailed.
But leaving that aside, how did the Jews and the Christians come together as fundamentalists? As far as I understand, by abolishing the old contradiction between not accepting Jesus as messiah, on the Jewish side, and seeing Jesus as God's son, on the Christian side. And the formula was simple. The second coming of Jesus Christ is the first coming of messiah.
Absolutely brilliant from the point of view of engineering a coalition, but it leaves out dissent. Anybody who can build bridges between Judaism and Christianity and Islam deserves more than one Nobel Peace Prize. These bridges are being built in this European Union-OIC flirtatious exercise, and it will, of course, take place. But the European Union at the same time has very close cooperation with ASEAN, and they are silently, softly fomenting an East Asian community of Maharana, Buddhist, Confucian countries, Japan, the Korean peninsula, China, Taiwan, of course, maybe Vietnam. In 1999 they had their first conference: Why is there a Western European community and not an East Asian community? I'm not going to debate. I'm just going to say these things are coming. And this is one of the things that the U.S. resents most, an East Asian community.
Dear Washington, there is the handwriting on the wall. Read it. Don't try to fight it. It will come whatever you do. If you try to resist it, it will come a little bit sooner. Join it.
Welcome it. And maybe one day there will be not only one Europe but one Asia as a currency. Maybe one day it will be a global currency. But it will not be dollars. That will not be the global currency. Its days are past. They have peaked.
Having said that, there are two others that are not so significant, but important. There are other civilizations that feel trampled upon by the U.S., not only Islam. It is Hinduism; it is Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism in China; it is the Andean civilizations, the Incan, Mexican, Aztec, the Mayan. There are grumblings and rumblings in all those places, and the signals are nothing good for Washington.
This is, of course, also true for number twelve, the European elite culture. The tremendous strength of U.S. culture has been its vulgarity, its guaranteed plebeian nature, its reaching everybody. But that not in an evil sense of the vulgarity of the Coca-Cola and the hamburger, but also its universalism and generosity and its way of embracing everybody if they're willing to play the game the way it has been defined by the U.S. This is a weak one.
The contradictions that are the most important are growth versus distribution, productive versus finance economy, economy versus nature, terrorism versus state terrorism, U.S. versus Russia, India, China, U.S. versus U.N., U.S. versus European Union, Judaism/Christianity versus Islam, and the world opposition. The biggest demonstration in human history was, of course, the 12 million people on the 15th of February last year in 600 places in the world organized by the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Bombay. To have 12 million people come out in 600 places and then be wiped off the historical screen by Bush saying these are focus groups, the conclusion drawn by people all over the world is that the U.S. is not going to listen to words, that other languages have to be used. The solution I'm speaking of, violence, is not one generally accepted. Economic boycott then becomes the natural way of doing it. Okay, if you don't listen, we are not going to take you on and in. In that there is a message and you will read it. Sooner or later it will come to you.
How does this work now in practice? I'll tell you a little story from my own family. When I was 15, 1945, my sister and her coming husband had been fighting very much against the German occupation, like we all did. I was almost peeing in my pants carrying illegal papers to school, distributing to another guy, and things of that kind. I barely managed to escape to Sweden. I came back in October of 1945, to the great delight of my parents and myself, and they announced we had become Communists. I did not quite understand what this Communist stuff was, but I asked my sister, “Why are you - what was it again? Communist?” And she said, “For two reasons. The war against Nazi Germany was not won by England and America; it was won by the Soviet army. They were the ones who sacrificed. What the Anglo-Americans did was to kill, kill, kill in bombing. Point two, the Soviet Union is the only country that has taken the bottom of society seriously and attended to their health and education,” and so on. And I had learned something about dictatorship, so I said that, having been through the war. And she said, “Yes, that's true, but that's only a phase.”
So now the following happens. The first book denouncing the Soviet Union and revealing the truth of Stalinism was by a Ukrainian named Igor Gouzenko, who became a refugee in Canada, and his book was called This Was My Choice.
Remember now that this was long before Solzhenitsyn. And you must see me as a 15-year-old boy, and I'm observing my beloved sister. She took that book and threw it on the wall. Bang. Whereupon, she picked it up and started reading it. Phase one, total denial. “It's all lies.” Phase two, “This Gouzenko is a 6 traitor. He's probably paid by somebody.” Phase three, “Okay, okay, there is something to it, but it's only because of Stalin. We get rid of Stalin and everything will be okay.” Phase four, “Okay, okay, okay, it was not only Stalin. Something in the structure was wrong—one party, dictatorship for the proletariat.” “Okay,” phase five, “the whole idea was wrong around the beginning.” And then comes quite often phase six: blind anti-Sovietism, totally incapable of appreciating some of the good things they did, like supporting anticolonial wars. About all of these you can ask question marks and there is the yin and yang, yin and yang, yin and yang, yin and yang. And all of that is complicated once you start analyzing it. But I lived through these phases in two persons I loved.
I see exactly the same all over Europe now in relation to the United States. They are really U.S.-philiacs, who will deny every sentence in what I have just said. Next phase, I am a traitor. “It's probably because he didn't get the position. He wanted to get foreign minister and unfortunately he's not. So that's the reason why he talks the way he did.” Look, I'm totally happy with the power I have in the world, and I wouldn't like it decreased by being foreign minister in a small country. Point three, this is not about the U.S., it's about Bush. If we could only get rid of Bush, everything would be okay. And if you have been protected by lack of knowledge about a country you have adored and which has so many adorable characteristics, as I mentioned, the U.S. republic, then you don't know that Kerry might even in some regards have been worse. Point four, there is something wrong in the whole structure. And up comes the anticapitalist critique, up comes the anti-Pentagon, antimilitary critique. Point five, there is something wrong in the whole culture. And that's when you start looking at this chosen people kind of business. My friends, what's happening now around the world is that people are going through these stages. And they go through them quickly. I think it's important that it doesn't end in blind anti-Americanism. So I stop and that point and the debate begins. Thank you.
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