Tuesday, June 2, 2009

US military goal: 'to run the planet by 2015'

A Black and Disgraceful Site
Jonathan Freedland, reviewing Island of Shame: The Secret History of the US Military Base on Diego Garcia by David Vine: There are one thousand US military bases and installations 'on the sovereign land of other nations.' This 'base world,' as Johnson calls it, is presented benignly, as the product of voluntary, bilateral pacts between the US and those states that agree for their land to be occupied. But often this presentation is, in the idiom of [a] British official, a 'fiction.' Behind the veneer can lie the crude expropriation of land and the callous dispossession of some of the world's weakest people...

There is a further, more intriguing difference between contemporary US officials and their imperialist forebears. The ancients would be surprised to see that their current counterparts have reversed the previous driving logic of empire. Following the lead of the Romans, London once dreamed of coloring the map pink, ruling the world by conquering as much territory as it could. But its US successor seeks to do the opposite, to rule by holding, directly at least, as little terrain as it can. Vine quotes military expert John Pike: 'Even if the entire Eastern Hemisphere has drop-kicked us' from every other base on their territory, he explained, the military's goal is to be able 'to run the planet from Guam and Diego Garcia by 2015.'
Image source here.