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Balkanization, primitive accumulation, & imperialism's collapse

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With the collapse of the U.S. empire's neo-colonial regime in Afghanistan, the full extent of imperialism's ruptures have been exposed for all the world to see. Washington has further lost credibility as a power that can project reliable military force. Afghanistan's heroin ratline, which this regime facilitated, has fallen away--to the effect that U.S. imperialism has tangibly lost profits. The empire is more desperate than ever for ways to keep its capital from collapsing, to keep profits up. So it's not just intensifying neoliberal policies within all the countries it controls, but destroying an increasing amount of these countries via destabilization, Balkanization, and partitioning, which creates humanitarian crises.

I've come to call this process "the empire cutting its losses." Because as more countries embrace China's vision for a multi-polar world--with Afghanistan having recently joined the pro-Sino camp due to the Taliban's growing ties to the PRC--Washington increasingly decides that it's better to obliterate these countries than let them further weaken U.S. capital. Destruction, rather than "nation-building," is ever more the goal of the imperialists.

The fact that Washington's attempts to "nation-build" within Africa since the start of the AFRICOM era in 2007 have constantly produced chaos in the region, just like how the "nation-building" in Afghanistan and Iraq fell apart due to local guerrilla resistance, has shown Washington that it has no alternative other than to burn the world down. It's like when Margaret Thatcher concluded--given the terminal decline in global profits following the 1970s economic crises--that there was now "no alternative" to neoliberalism. In order to keep profits up at this stage of capitalism's implosion, wealth has had to be increasingly siphoned up to the rich via privatization, regressive taxation, wage cuts, deregulation, and austerity.

Neoliberalism has itself been an engineered collapse of society, sold under the banner of "freedom." And this logical extension of neoliberalism that U.S. militarism has been proliferating, wherein the first countries on the destabilization chopping block become deprived not just of workers' benefits but of their most basic social functions, is similarly being pitched as a way to bring "democracy" to these places.

Even the U.S.-installed fascist regime in Ukraine, the most relatively successful nation-building project that Washington has embarked on in the last two decades, has trended towards an Afghanistan-style collapse; the regime has pummeled Ukraine with severe corruption and neoliberal shock policies, along with a costly proxy war against Russia and an internal scorched-earth Nazi paramilitary death-squad campaign. Consequently, Ukraine has already become a failed state where the militias have filled the power vacuum. Like how the U.S.-created jihadist organizations, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban, have filled the power vacuum from Washington's destabilization of their region.

And as Washington scrambles to destabilize Afghanistan further, it's mobilizing additional jihadist proxies--with the goal of freeing up Afghanistan's $1 trillion in minerals for exploitation by Gulf monarchs and Western capitalists. It's an expansion of the post-invasion neo-colonial shock doctrine in Iraq, which imposed extreme neoliberal policies on Iraq while dividing Baghdad between wealthy "green zones" and disposable underclass "red zones." An unsustainably provocative and inequality-producing project that inevitably descended into civil war and humanitarian catastrophe, as will be the fate for all the other places where this destabilization campaign succeeds. The imperialists pretend less and less that their goal is to bring peace.

We see this unmasking of the empire as it engages in ever more kleptocracy, otherwise known as "primitive accumulation." In this, the imperialists keep trying to cover their guilty tracks, then getting exposed. This year, the Biden administration axed an oil company's existing waiver for illegally extracting oil from the Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria, then secretly withdrew some of the U.S. troops within the oil fields.

Most sources say that the U.S. is preparing for a full exit from the region. But as Arabi Souri of Syria News has assessed upon observing that fact, this retreat comes only after the empire has suffered the repercussions from the chaos it's sown, chaos that won't let up for as long as the imperialists still have the capacity to perpetuate it:

Biden under Obama, later Trump, and now Biden again have deployed thousands of troops in Syria to fight for ISIS, not against it, to steal Syrian resources, and to divide the country into smaller isolated cantons based on ethnic lines which it can control through divide and conquer strategy, the goal was also to strangle both Iran and Russia economically allowing a Qatari gas pipeline to go through Syria to the Mediterranean and then Europe bypassing both countries, and the final goal was to secure Israel's expansionist into more land to achieve the 'Greater Israel Project' dubbed the 'Greater Middle East Project' in which the Turkish madman Erdogan plays a leading role in as he stated he was tasked to play by George W. Bush in an interview on a Turkish TV. Despite [a] series of failures in achieving any of its goals and instead, losing more strategically while killing, maiming, and displacing millions of innocent people both in Syria and in Iraq, the Biden Obama, Trump, Biden again regimes needed a lesson like the defeat in Afghanistan to wake up. Will the Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists wake up before it's too late when they find themselves alone facing the Syrian people after their employers abandon them?

The SDF have the same role as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in Afghanistan, and of the new mujahideen: to serve as proxy forces in Washington's expanding efforts to keep regions unstable. In Ethiopia, the terrorist organization that the U.S. has tasked with this is the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

All Americans have been hearing about Ethiopia is that the Ethiopian government has been blocking humanitarian aid--a lie that is designed to divert attention from the crimes of the civil war's real source, the TPLF. These allegations are utterly specious, and ignore the record of internationally outstanding humanitarianism that the TPLF's opponents have extended. It's TPLF that's initiated a campaign of violence throughout the region, and that's been enriching its own elites at the cost of a new famine.

By backing the TPLF's resurgence, the imperialists have created a partition within Ethiopia that allows the terrorist group to deprive the hungry population of food aid. Food aid that's come from imperialist agencies like USAID, which has hypocritically sought to blame the government for the famine while allowing its own resources to be misused. It's no wonder Washington refuses to classify the TPLF as a terrorist organization; otherwise the U.S. would have no plausible deniability in its enabling of warlords to starve the people.

Washington's sanctions against Ethiopia, which are done both to punish the government for working with China and to make the country too chaotic for the BRI, have aided the TPLF's mission to deepen instability. As Bana Negusse has assessed about this reality that the charges against the government are essentially projection from the pro-TPLF side, "Anyone with a minimal understanding or knowledge about Eritrea and the region's general history, not to mention a basic grasp of logic, would know that these allegations are absolutely preposterous and devoid of truth." And their end goal is a miniature version of the U.S. empire's drive to burn the world amid its own collapse:

TPLF remnants have [been] carrying out sporadic attacks and looting materials and resources in order to try to survive and somehow sustain their campaign of violence. In the midst its defeat, the TPLF also released thousands of criminals - some estimates put the number at well over 10,000 - from prison, and carried out an array of destructive acts, such as destroying roads, airports, and telecommunications facilities. During the past several months, the group's remnants have additionally remained busy through organizing terrorist cells and death squads to conduct sabotage and reprisals, block humanitarian assistance, and carry out assassinations. The goal, as explained by many of its officials, members, and affiliates, has been to sow chaos, insecurity, and instability in the region so as create overwhelming problems for Ethiopia's federal and local authorities and prevent a return to anything resembling peace or normalcy.

The goal of these efforts to manufacture mass suffering, and to scapegoat Ethiopia's government for the crisis, is to get the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution permitting Washington to militarily intervene. But the appeals of the imperialists to the Council have so far failed, because Russia and China have blocked them. So in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere, the imperialists are reacting by intensifying their campaign of chaos, which at this point feels more punitive than anything else.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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