This video is called TomDispatch interview with author, Mike Klare.
From British daily The Morning Star:
The decline of empire
(Monday 21 July 2008)
US editor and publisher Tom Engelhardt was so angry when his country began bombing Afghanistan that he set up the Tomdispatch website. The purpose of this site would be to expose state deception and corruption and the futility of the war and start to map out the trajectory of resistance to it.
The essays in this collection comprise the best of that website.
Early on in the book, Jonathan Schell makes a profound observation about Iraq. “The local resistors are weak militarily but strong politically. The imperial masters are powerful militarily but nearly helpless politically. History teaches us that, in these contests, it is political power that prevails.”
It is this crucial point that is driven home again and again throughout the rest of the book. While the US can, and will, throw its weight around in an increasingly brutal way, its political influence is irreversibly in decline.
Chalmers Johnson describes recent US attempts to remilitarise Japan and raises the spectre of a resulting Sino-Japanese war. “Has the US considered this?” Johnson innocently enquires. I would have thought that that was the whole point. Nevertheless, his essay serves to illustrate the growing marginalisation of US influence in east Asia, especially following the US role in creating the 1997 currency crisis, as well as its blatant promotion of Japanese militarism and Taiwanese separatism. Thankfully, recent events seem to confirm that the Taiwanese desire to act as US-anointed agent provocateur in the region is dwindling fast.
Dilip Hiro picks up the theme of US isolation, outlining the growing ties between developing countries which are making the US increasingly impotent in imposing its economic will across the world. The military reflection of these evolving realities became unmistakably clear when the new Shanghai Co-operation Conference refused the US request to be granted even observer status, despite having already granted such status to both India and Iran.
In Latin America, Greg Grandin shows hows the US military is busily fabricating an al-Qaida presence in the “lawless” triborder region between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, using the time-honoured technique of planting stories in the local press for international media agencies to “discover.” The purpose? To justify a stepped-up counter-insurgency programme across the region and a refoundation of General Pinochet‘s Operation Condor, which was responsible for the murder of thousands of “suspected leftists” across the continent during the 1980s.
To achieve this, all the Congressional “checks and balances” on military aid, established in the light of the Iran-Contra scandal, are being quietly dismantled.
For all that, the US strategy appears to going nowhere fast, as government after government has refused to participate in Rumsfeld‘s “cross-border security force.” Evidently, US military and economic blackmail does not carry the same weight as it did in the 1980s before it had been stymied by Chinese trade in the latter case and Afghan and Iraqi resistance in the former.
Engelhardt himself contributes an excellent piece on “the barbarism of war from the air,” which chronicles the history of both aerial warfare itself and of the chimerical faith in such warfare to “break the will” of the enemy – a faith which has persisted in some quarters, despite the countless refutations furnished by real life.
The USA vs. Iran: here.