Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Empire and Resistance, an Interview with Tariq Ali: "The Washington consensus includes wars necessary to preserve the consensus. The founder of neo-liberalism, Friedrich von Hayek was a staunch imperialist. He suggested that Teheran be bombed in 1979-80 and advised Margaret Thatcher to bomb Buenos Aires during the Malvinas conflict."

"Economically, the US is not as dominant as it is militarily. So it will use its military strength to shore up its economy. Here the shift has been dramatic. The US Empire maintains its global hegemony despite the unprecedented levels of debt and deficits. Here East Asia has replaced Europe and accounts for 70 percent of the world's foreign exchange reserves, the bulk of which are kept in dollars and thus help maintain the exchange rate of the imperial currency. China could easily create a crisis for the dollar and the US economy by shifting to the euro or gold, but it has a gigantic trade surplus with the US ($105billion) and has no desire to provoke a depression. US interdependence with the two East Asian powers_China and Japan---is the Achilles heel of the US economy. Hence the importance of keeping the military option open. If China were to mount a resistance, the Empire has two possible routes of attack and Balkanisation: Taiwan and Tibet. Of course its a very risky business but capital has always taken risks."

"If this resistance carries on, I think the US will switch its tactics, probably by bringing in blue-helmeted United Nations mercenaries to run Iraq for them. For the US, the main thing in Iraq is to push through the privatisation of Iraq's oil, to achieve the liberalisation of the Iraqi economy and to get the big US corporations in there. They are not too concerned as to how the country will be run, as long as that sort of economic structure is maintained."

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