His decision to walk away from the Open Skies Treaty is part of a pattern aimed at converting the bipolar era arms control regime into one which could unrestrain the US and hold China down.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the vital if obscure Open Skies Treaty (OST) represents a tangible and symbolic step towards the deconstruction of the international arms control regime between the major nuclear powers, an escalation of a new arms race, and the continued attempt to bind and freeze Chinese military power.
It is also another material gift to the largest arms manufacturing firms which have benefitted enormously from Trump’s destabilising rhetoric and actions undermining peace and security in numerous world regions. Finally, it is an ideological-electoral move to further assuage his far right and paleo-conservative ideological cronies, and his loyal America First voter bank.
Thus far, the Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from several significant international institutions and agreements that were the hallmark of its post-1945 global strategy. While other postwar administrations withdrew wholly or partially from such organisations, or sometimes refused to join when US sovereignty was considered at stake, no previous administration has philosophically and methodically challenged the very idea of the international.
Under Trump, there has been a veritable bonfire of global alphabet agencies: One of his earliest acts upon taking office in January 2017 was to disown the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Since then, the US has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNESCO, the INF treaty, and the JCPOA. Most recently, of course, the US has accused the World Health Organisation (WHO) of China-centrism, promptly defunded it during the worst global pandemic since 1918 and has just announced the US withdrawal from the global body. The message could hardly be more starkly conveyed.
In addition, we might note US threats to other international bodies unless their members comply with demands for greater resourcing or funding. NATO is a prime example. The World Trade Organisation is also in the administration’s cross-hairs.
And the violation of international law – on asylum seekers, refugees, and the assassination of foreign leaders, for example – indicates the other front on which the US is acting unilaterally in a systematic fashion.
None of the above is new in and of itself, of course. What is new is the systematic, concentrated, and determined character of the zero-sum thinking at the heart of the Trump administration. This suggests a basic philosophical shift – not to withdrawal from world affairs, not towards ‘isolationism’. – but in mentality towards the ‘global’.
President Trump is a national Darwinist. In world politics, he represents a survival-of-the-fittest mentality, a reverence for power as the arbiter of disagreements. Hence, US power is being systematically weaponised – the dollar, the international payments system, the “whole-of-society threat” and ‘response’ to China, the US market, trade tariffs to incentivise greater investment inside the US, the threat of withdrawal from international treaties when others exercise independence. And US military predominance is adding a ‘space force’ to its plans, to add to its cyber and other forces.
Another international regime unravelling
In the mid-1950s, Moscow rejected President Eisenhower’s proposal to allow aerial reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory. Towards the end of the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush pushed for negotiations on the proposal between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. After painstaking negotiations, the Open Skies Treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002, with 34 states party to the treaty.
The OST aimed to establish a regime of unarmed observation flights over the territories of state parties to assure they are not preparing for hostile military action. It was a confidence-building measure that worked.
Yet, some say Trump apparently grew uneasy with the OST when a Russian aircraft flew directly over his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2017. With due notice of 72 hours, the plane was legally permitted to fly through the restricted airspace under the treaty.
As ever, Trump’s idiosyncratic behaviour is encased within a strategic logic – record levels of US military spending including on new nuclear missile systems and forces can now no longer be observed by Russia. And allegations of Russian violations of the OST – that Russia excludes over-flights in Ossettia, South Abkhazia, and the enclave of Kaliningrad, for strategic reasons – though correct, have been tolerated for over a decade. They could have formed the basis of discussions between the signatory powers.
Since 2002, the US has undertaken three times as many over-flights of Russia than vice versa. In 2019, for example, the US made 18 such flights compared to seven by Russia. Given the sophistication of US satellite technologies, however, it has clearly decided that such over-flights are either unnecessary or that the OST regime needs to be broken and replaced with a comprehensive global treaty that also includes China.
This is another move that undermines, if not dismantles, the existing nuclear arms-control regime, breaking the confidence-building mechanisms that reduced the threat of nuclear exchange. This may well lead to greater misunderstanding between Russia and the US. This happened at the height of the Cold War in 1960, for example, when the erstwhile Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 spy plane on a reconnaissance mission over its territory.
However, the OST move is also ‘red meat’ to Trump’s far right ideological allies, the GOP leadership, and to his political base. In an election year, “Trump-stands-up-to-Russia” and moves to pressure China takes the heat out of the impeachment decision and allegations that he’s been ‘soft’ on Russia, too cosy with Putin, and with Xi Jinping.
Nuclear agreements melting down, an eye on China?
In May 2018, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), despite Iran’s compliance with its protocols and conditions, including the most intrusive inspection regime administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Again, the other major signatories, including Germany, France, China, and Russia, objected to US withdrawal but to no avail.
In August last year, the Trump administration completed the process of withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, leaving the nuclear arms control regime in the lurch. One aim is to extend the agreement to include China’s cruise missiles.
It is now pretty clear that President Trump will seek an exit from the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the only remaining agreement to ensure that the United States and Russia limit their deployed nuclear missiles to 1,550 each. This pact is due to expire in February 2021. It could hardly be clearer that the aim is to seek a new trilateral pact that includes China. The basic idea is to bring Beijing’s nuclear arsenal under control and to curtail any desires to attain nuclear parity with Washington. But Beijing is not interested; its nuclear arsenal (numbering in the hundreds) is tiny in comparison with the US and Russia (numbering in the thousands).
But such a move would be in line with the longer-term strategic aim of simultaneously containing, engaging and now, rolling back, China’s great power capabilities and ambitions, real, imagined, or potential, to knock the US from its sole superpower position.
The idea of a winnable nuclear war remains
But there is one other factor that should be borne in mind. The idea of a winnable nuclear war – however horrific it may sound – has never been fully excised from US strategic thinking. Ever since the dropping of two atomic bombs over Japan in 1945, and the ever-present talk of using tactical or low yield nuclear bombs over North Korea in 1950-53, the very idea of containable, limited nuclear war remains embedded. A so-called low yield nuclear bomb is the equivalent of the size that annihilated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The US has around 1000 low yield bombs in its stockpile – about 150 of them deployed in Europe. President Trump has indicated a desire to attach low yield nuclear warheads to submarine-launched ballistic missiles, thus multiplying America’s nuclear arsenal.
While such weapons have been available for decades, they have never been used.
Having low or high yield nuclear weapons is either a reflection of ‘mad man theory’ – a rational irrationality – or it’s for real: and that’s the point. It keeps everyone guessing. As Charles Kupperman, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, argues: “a nuclear war is winnable in the classical sense if one side emerged the stronger, even if there were tens of millions of casualties.”
American paleo-conservatives want to integrate the nuclear with non-nuclear military options to legitimise the use of strategic nuclear weapons in a “limited” way. Donald Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released in early 2018, brought low-yield nuclear weapons back into the nuclear debate. It stated that the US was not averse to resorting to the use of nuclear arms in response to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” against it. The NPR approved the production of a low-yield nuclear warhead, increasing nuclear tensions. Trump favours an aggressive nuclear policy and is willing to rock the boat moored to mutually-assured destruction (MAD).
More recently, it is rumoured that the US is considering conducting nuclear tests again for the first time in decades. Administration sources suggest, without evidence, that Russia and China are already conducting low yield nuclear tests, to justify their possible shift of position. It is also suggested that the threat of new nuclear testing, which would violate the de facto compliance by all nuclear powers (except North Korea) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty of 1996, would give the US leverage to force Russia and China to trilateral talks to hash out a new agreement.
For Trump, the moves are driven by personal preference – he gets more headlines; a geopolitical great game; material gain to arms firm donors to his re-election campaign; a sop to the Republican leadership; encouragement to his far right nationalist unilateralists; and gives his voters something to shout about. And he can call Joe Biden “soft on China” – “Beijing Biden”.
It’s win-win politics, for him. The only problem is that the fate of the world then rests on unilateral American decision-making.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, a visiting professor at LSE IDEAS (the LSE’s foreign policy think tank), and visiting fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.
Dr Atul Bhardwaj is an honorary research fellow in the department of international politics at City, University of London. He is the author of India-America Relations (1942-62): Rooted in the Liberal International Order (Routledge, 2018)
The former White House chief strategist's return signals the intensification of the bare-knuckle methods and messaging that may make the 2016 campaign seem mild by comparison.
Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s erstwhile chief strategist, is reportedly returning to rescue the American president from defeat in the November 2020 elections, due largely to mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic and an economy that’s heading towards the deepest depression since the 1930s. In early March, Bannon declared the global pandemic Trump’s ‘Churchill and FDR moment‘. Instead, it has turned into a political and economic disaster of historic proportions as tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus. President Trump’s tardiness, incompetence, political divisiveness, and rejection of scientific and expert advice are widely seen as exacerbating the crisis.
Bannon, CEO of Trump’s 2016 shock election victory, is reportedly close to several senior White House staffers – especially Stephen Miller – and may be recalled to have assisted Trump in digging himself out of a hole largely of his own making. President Trump, contrary to Bannon’s prediction, appears to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Nevertheless, Bannon’s obsession with China’s growing stature and his support for alt-right (i.e., fascistic) positions on non-white immigration suggests he is tailor-made for the final months of Trump’s 2020 effort to remain in the White House.
But the ‘miracle’ of 2016 – when Trump won with a minority of the popular vote – occurred under quite specific conditions which, in the main, do not apply in 2020. Nevertheless, the return of Bannon – unofficial or official – signals the intensification of the bare-knuckle methods and messaging that may make the 2016 campaign seem mild by comparison.
The struggle is to shore up Trump’s loyal base, to win over a majority of independents, and slice away Democratic voters unhappy with Biden’s likely presidential nomination. And Trump, and his extreme, and alt-right supporters are not particularly concerned with the ‘collateral damage’ in the process to the American people and system. They are already citing the necessity of bloodshed to nourish the ‘tree of liberty’ – which we have seen the stirrings of in the heavily-armed ‘liberate Michigan’ etc movements orchestrated by the GOP, its billionaire backers, and the Trump administration.
The 2019 resurrection of the Committee on the Present Danger – China (CPD-C) is instructive. Bannon is among the leaders of the ultra-hawkish advocacy group. It indicates a renewed desire to contain and pressurise China, to foment regime change via the delegitimisation of the Communist Party. This is in line with official US policy that designates China a ‘strategic rival’ aiming to displace the United States from its hegemonic positions in east Asia and globally. CPD-C is reportedly funded by a billionaire Chinese businessman, Miles Kwok (aka Guo Wengui), a Bannon ally. CPD-C’s target is the Chinese Communist Party’s rule which, it claims, is oppressing the Chinese people, threatening the liberal norms of the international order, and the security and primacy of the West.
It is the CPD’s fourth incarnation: first formed during the Korean War in 1950, it was thoroughly networked with the most hawkish militarists within and beyond the Truman administration. It helped militarise George Kennan’s political ‘containment’ strategy against alleged Soviet expansionism. The CPD, which was linked with the authors and supporters of NSC-68 (including Dean Acheson and Paul Nitze), inflated the Soviet threat and demanded a massive increase in the US military budget. Written in April 1950, NSC-68 was dismissed as wildly unrealistic by President Harry S. Truman as Congress debated cutting the military budget. With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, however, and its definition by Acheson and Truman as the opening shots of a Soviet bid for world domination, the message of NSC-68 was driven home. Its result was the boosting of NATO, the rearmament of West Germany, and the rise of the ‘military-industrial complex’ that President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans about as he left office in 1961.
The mid-1970s saw the revival of the CPD, this time against US-Soviet détente, to counter the ‘Soviet threat’ across the world and reverse the ‘decline’ of American power in the wake of the defeat in Vietnam and Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Ronald Reagan rode the wave and swept into power, defeating Jimmy Carter in 1980, to ‘make America great again’. Again, over two dozen CPD members were appointed to senior positions in the Reagan administration – George Schultz as secretary of state and William Casey as CIA director. The Reagan administrations presided over a massive expansion of military power to ‘rollback’ alleged Soviet expansionism, fuelling a second cold war, and bringing the world alarmingly close to a much-feared nuclear war.
The post-9/11 war on terror inspired the third iteration of the CPD: to run a neo-conservative led campaign that defined ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Islamofascism’ as the equivalent of the communist threat that had to be destroyed. It was backed by Senator Joe Lieberman, James Woolsey (Bill Clinton’s CIA director), and Paul Nitze – who had been present at the creation in 1950.
Bannon’s danger – China
The focus on China in the fourth coming of the CPD unifies the Trump administration and key networks that see China as a threat to US and western power. As Trump’s former head of policy planning at the state department stated, US rivalry with China is particularly intense because “it’s the first time that we will have a great-power competitor that is not Caucasian.” It revealed, according to University of Connecticut political scientist Paul Musgrave, “the racist, and dangerous, lens of the new U.S. statecraft.”
Bannon is a warrior preparing for inevitable global violence. He genuinely believes that a global religio-racial war between the West and the rest is inevitable and that the West, especially the US, has been weakened by liberals’ tolerance of diversity – which, to his alt-right mind equates to “white genocide” – and that Muslims, Chinese and pretty much the entire non-white world are on the march against Judaeo-Christian civilisation. He thinks that American history specifically is heading towards a so-called ‘fourth turn’ – with each previous turn ending in massive violence – from the Revolution, through the Civil War, and WWII.
Bannon is a hardcore racist opponent of immigration, nostalgic for a golden age of white, male dominance, who has added a few Italian fascist intellectuals’ dark fantasies to his lexicon.
But before world war, there is business closer to home for the Bannon-Trump axis – to liquidate the “enemies of the American people” in preparation for a battle royale for Western global supremacy. After destroying liberals and Democrats, Bannonites aim to eliminate the Republican party’s leadership and shift the party even closer to the fascistic right. The new-look GOP will then become a thinly-veiled white supremacist organisation at the core of which is a corporate-military hyper-nationalism, an authoritarian state headed by an imperial presidency.
The CPD-C, then, is an important step in that strategy, making essential Trump’s re-election.
The CPD-C’s networks include the right-wing Washington Times – numerous of the CPD-C’s supporters and members contribute articles and columns to the nativist newspaper. Its current opinion editor is Charles Hurt who also contributes to Fox News and Bannon’s old perch, Breitbart News. Bannon referred to Breitbart as a platform for the ‘alt-right’ i.e, American racists and fascists.
It was the Washington Times that ‘broke’ the story (on January 26, 2020) that the coronavirus was either accidentally or deliberately leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China – based on an interview with a former Israeli intelligence officer. No evidence was provided to support the allegations but the message was picked up and amplified by Steve Bannon’s podcast programme – War Room – and, subsequently, moved all the way up to the Trump administration. Trump had previously heaped praise on President Xi Jinping for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Bannon is also close to Mark Meadows, who replaced Mick Mulvaney as White House chief of staff at the end of March 2020. And he is very close to Stephen Miller who is the quiet architect of President Trump’s immigration policies, Muslim travel bans, and coherent legitimiser of Trump’s broadly white nationalist or white supremacist ‘America First’ views.
The Southern Poverty Law Center recently revealed Miller’s extensive private email correspondence with a reporter at Breitbart News that exposed the former as promoting the most backward racist theories including ‘white genocide’. That is, the idea that the Euro-American white race is facing extinction and replacement by non-whites.
The revelations brought forth a congressional resolution calling for Miller’s removal from the White House: “…a known white nationalist and believer of white supremacist ideology in a position of power and influence over federal policy,” declared Texas congressman Joaquin Castro. “Americans…will never forget it was President Trump and Stephen Miller’s hateful rhetoric that helped inspire the deadly attack in El Paso where 22 individuals were killed for being Latino…” California Congresswoman Judy Chu stated that “..Miller…has been more than willing to disseminate and amplify white supremacist and neo-Nazi propaganda…”
Trump faces a different danger
But things are very different this time – the global pandemic may yet claim the life of the Trump administration. There is a massive death toll, and it is still rising; some suggest the final tally may number in the hundreds of thousands. And death is reaching all parts of America’s political map, including GOP-dominated states which had previously appeared remote and exempt. Ironically, the Trump-backed “liberate Michigan” protestors – some of whom travelled hundreds of miles to join the rallies and to storm the state capitol, spread the coronavirus on returning to their rural communities. And a desperate desire especially of the economy-obsessed President Trump to reopen businesses threatens a dreadful ‘second wave’ that, according to experts, maybe even more devastating than the initial phase.
Worryingly for President Trump, 70% of Republican voters, and a staggering 88% of Democrats, support the continuation of restrictions to protect lives.
And Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton – who was a divisive and polarising figure. Biden’s ahead of Clinton among white males of college and non-college educational levels, including in battleground states. If the election were today, Trump would most likely lose, according to detailed analysis by The Economist. Among voters over 65 years of age, private GOP polls show Trump’s lead slipping, especially in key swing states. Over 80% of all COVID-19 deaths in the US are among this age group.
Also Read: The Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory Doesn’t Add Up. It’s Also a Self-Defeating Diversion.
With healthcare a key election issue, even before the COVID-19 crisis, and Biden’s leftward shift under political pressure from Senator Bernie Sanders, young voters may yet turnout more strongly for Biden this time.
And four years of Trump in office means he is no longer an outsider; he has an impeachable record to defend – and deepening pandemic, economic, political crises to manage.
In ‘deconstructing the administrative state,’ as Steve Bannon declared at a C-PAC conference in 2017, Trump may well have won friends opposed to regulation, expertise, experience and science. That combination of pathologies has directly impacted Trump’s failures to unify and lead the US against the coronavirus.
But the act of bringing Bannon into the re-election campaign and, in so doing, re-legitimising him as a major political player, may also be seen as yet another in a long series of signs indicating the gradual deconstruction of the Trump presidency itself – and a further downward spiralling of what increasingly resembles a failed state.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, a visiting professor at LSE IDEAS (the LSE’s foreign policy think tank), and visiting fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.
Even limited reform on inequality matters to the country now, as does the development of new forces opposed to America’s imperial war machine.
The ‘big picture’ and prospects for US politics in 2020 remain similar to the previous three years, but represent the culmination of the totality of the post-2016 experience: political turbulence, tension, social fractures, polarisation and division…but also the strengthening of socialistic tendencies in public opinion and in the Congress.
Rising geopolitical tensions – in the Middle East and north Africa, Far East, in Central Europe, in Latin America, a new nuclear arms race focused on hypersonic missiles with Russia and China, tensions over China’s rising economic muscle and self-confidence – provide opportunities for Trump personal agendas as well as for ramping up military spending to record levels.
The targeted killing of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani by US drones ratchets up tensions and the threat of another regional war with global implications, just following the recent first-ever Iran, China and Russian naval exercises in the Gulf.
With Iran threatening reprisals, and President Trump claiming the assassination was not a move to all out war, and the approaching November presidential election, the chances are that the danger of an all out war will not be realised until after November 2020.
Also read: US Assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani Takes West Asia to the Abyss
Yet, there remains hope in the face of those threatening tensions in the form of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (QI), a mainly Charles Koch-George Soros-funded think tank that unifies left and conservative realists opposed to US militarism and unnecessary ‘endless wars’ fuelled by ‘liberal hegemony’.
Less well known, but potentially-significant nevertheless, is the Security Policy Reform Institute (SPRI) that aims to develop a fresh new foreign policy based on US working class interests.
We are now moving to another major decision point in US politics – not just a battle over America’s ‘soul’ as so many representatives of the broader status quo call it. The big decision at hand is over whether or not Americans want to continue post-9/11, Trump-intensified, inequality and authoritarianism at home coupled with militarism and war abroad.
Viewed through such lenses the fault-lines in US party politics realign the major candidates. Joseph Biden and Pete Buttigieg align with one another as well as closer to mainstream traditional Republicans: steeped in Big Money politics and attendant political agendas (plus affluent-voter-oriented identity politics), and liberal interventionism abroad. Their programme necessitates corporate power, hard borders, increased state power over civilian life, and a continued strategy of global militarism and war.
The Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren pole represents a position that approximates regulated market capitalism with higher corporate taxes, greater social spending and deep scepticism over record-level military budgets. The Sanders-Warren-Squad (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez et al) programme is conventionally referred to as ‘socialism’ by many of its adherents but particularly by its GOP and DNC opponents.
President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers call it a spectre haunting the US, two centuries after the death in 2018 of Karl Marx.
Those are the major political fault-lines that appeared even in the political rhetoric of candidate Trump’s 2016 campaign – the placing at the centre of his programme the American worker as opposed to Wall Street and liberal elites who had ‘sold out’ to foreign interests. And a pledge to reduce American military interventions abroad – now referred to as ‘forever wars’.
Underpinning the fault-lines referred to above is an America whose social and economic contours betray deep inequalities even as stocks and share prices break all records: that the wealth and income of America is skewed towards the 1%, or more accurately, within the 0.1%.
The 99% are the part of the American population iceberg beneath the surface, that underpins its elite-based party politics. The pacification and mobilisation of the 99% during electoral cycles is the principal problem of the party system, and the main cause of its current and recent legitimacy crisis or crisis of authority.
The resulting politics has polarised America to the extent that elements of the party and governmental system connect at all with popular opinion and problems: authoritarian-populism from the right against predominantly melting pot Americanism from the Democrats.
Each position seeks to suppress the politics of class and income and wealth redistribution. Identity politics appears to be the principal strategy to that end, eliding the corporate domination of both political parties’ agendas.
The real sense of hope in 2020 is due to the rise of socialist beliefs across US society to which the CEA report on socialism is a significant response. Other surveys show the broad leftward shift in the US, especially among millennials.
The year 2019 saw the highest number of working days lost to strike action in over 40 years: at least 500,000 workers striked in 2019 across a range of sectors including schools, autos, hospitals, and delivery services.
There is an upsurge in worker-employer conflict in part driven by a tighter labour market and partly by the sheer disparity in rewards of corporate CEOs and their workers, and falling real wages.
The very rise of the socialist ‘squad’ (AOC, Rasha Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, etc.) reflects the crises of US established elites at home and the crisis of US power in a changing world (with the Iraq war, Guantanamo, Libya, refugee crisis, the 2008 great crash and recession, and galloping social inequality).
The ‘Tea Party’ movement, nurtured and funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, and the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ initiatives prefigured the class politics of 2016 and of today, as did the Trump-Fox News-promoted racist ‘birther’ phenomenon.
At the same time, US electors crave a return to pre-Trump ‘normalcy’, a tendency favoured by the DNC, Joseph Biden et al. Remove Trump and return to business as usual, an understandable position given the hated and exhausting politics, policies and rhetoric against immigrants, minorities, political opponents and workers, and in favour of corporations, of the Trump machine.
Also read: Behind the Paeans to McCain, a Lament Over New Tactics of Hegemony
But that desire for normalcy bumps up against a desperate desire for change as reflected in 2016 and in a plethora of attitude surveys, usually the same ones that suggest Democrats favour a white, middle aged, moderate male candidate for November 2020.
There is a distinct schizophrenia in the anti-Trump camp which plays into the hands of the broad status quo groups comprising the DNC and the Trump-dominated GOP.
As the dynamics of the Trump impeachment and removal process play out in hyper-traditional political theatrics in Washington, DC, popular attitudes display little real interest.
The main aim of the proceedings, after all, was and remains the political containment of anti-Trump popular revulsion. The Democratic leadership has so narrowly focused impeachment articles as to exclude major constitutional violations regarding spending decisions on the border wall, open courting and espousal of white supremacist positions, redeploying Pentagon budgets for southern border duties including construction of effective concentration camps. The human rights violations on the border are in direct contravention of US and international law, yet none of those matters feature at all in impeachment articles.
Elite politics focuses on the containment of popular dissent and protest because it fears popular discontent might become the basis for uncontrollable pressure for radical political and economic reforms.
The left’s rise offers new hope of reform and change especially around matters of social and economic inequality, representing a direct challenge to the corporate-dominated DNC leadership; it has mobilised new energy behind opposition to the Trump administration especially through calls for the abolition of the reviled Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the racist and misogynistic tropes emanating on a daily basis from the White House.
It has also brought greater attention to the Palestinian cause, not to mention opposition to ‘forever wars’ that seems to overlap with elements of the GOP and the conservative right; hence the significance of Quincy and SPRI.
Also read: How ICE Enforcement Has Changed Under the Trump Administration
President Trump, GOP and the DNC are already targeting the left as either the most dire threat to US democracy (see rhetoric about Venezuela-isation of America), or as unelectable.
The DNC of course has form on such targeting – the numerous examples of sabotage during the Sanders 2016 campaign, for example. The main parties are adept at using ‘insurgencies’ to bolster voting for them, while doing all in their power to domesticate and incorporate radical messages.
Ultimately, Congressional electoral politics is institutionally-limited – requiring little to no mass mobilisation even to bolster congressional politics, especially from radical movements for change, although Trump, with his mass rallies and bull horn signals to white supremacists and appointments to high office of the likes of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, is better at that.
Nevertheless, the 1930s New Deal and the 1960s Great Society programmes showed how far to the left US politics can swing. Even limited reform on inequality matters, as does the development of new forces opposed to America’s imperial war machine.
The year 2020 promises to be another fascinating one in US politics, a political opportunity to defeat Trumpism and its effective supporters in the leadership of the Democratic party.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, a visiting professor at LSE IDEAS (the LSE’s foreign policy think tank), and visiting fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.
The Democratic leadership may well prefer the return of a right-wing extremist Trump, than lose ground to the Left in their own party.
President Donald Trump’s racist tweets targeting four progressive Democratic congresswomen – also known as “the Squad”– on the Left of the party have sparked a furious row that some are calling a political civil war over the essential identity of America as an open, diverse, multiracial society.
In other words, the principal analyses and reactions to Trump’s tweets urging the minority elected congresswomen – all of whom are American citizens – to “go back” to the countries they came from, and orchestrating “send her back” chants in regard to Representative Ilhan Omar at a subsequent political rally, have largely focused on the very turf that Trump has carved out and on which the Democratic party bases its political and electoral strategy: identity politics.
The “birther” president who up to the November 2016 general election maintained that Barack Obama was not American-born is continuing his campaign to redefine American identity as “whites only”.
Yet, the ramifications and understandings of Trump’s embrace of what is variously called “white identity politics”, “white nationalism” or the politics of “white supremacy”, while broadly sound, merely skim the surface of the racial politics, class economics, and state authoritarianism of the Trump phenomenon.
Also read: Trump Relished Racist Rally Chant, Claims Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
And the matter is rarely, if ever, linked with the fundamental attempt to close down opposition to the populist-authoritarian Mr Trump, and simultaneously deconstruct the administrative-regulatory state while bolstering its coercive agencies and powers.
This is more than a class war too – for its enemies include elements of the liberal media, any dissenting parts of the GOP, the Supreme Court when it differs with the president (as on the census citizenship question), the House of Representatives on funding US military deployments to the southern border, and the Senate when it votes against US arms sales and military assistance to the Saudis’ war on Yemen.
This is a presidency that features in addition a personalist dictatorial president who wishes to run the White House like a semi-criminal enterprise with himself as its autocratic and tyrannical godfather.
Trump’s is a presidency that is praised by openly neo-Nazi groups and seen as an ally and champion. His tweets are an open incitement to racist and political violence against elected representatives, particularly as Trump has falsely claimed that they support al Qaeda and terrorism, and noted how the latter are killing American soldiers.
In the context of the mail bomber last year targeting Democrats, the shootings at mosques and the Pittsburgh synagogue, neo-Nazi violence including the murder of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville, and the coast guard arrested with a cache of weapons and an assassination list of Trump opponents, president Trump is playing with fire.
This is principally for electoral gain as well as to engineer a radical shift to the Right within the US state and body politic, its coercive agencies, and a more actively mobilised mass of right wing extremists from among his political base.
The blatantly racist attacks, even as parts of the mainstream media continue to debate their degree or otherwise of racism, from the aptly-named “bully pulpit” the US president occupies are the tip of a spear: that spear has already pierced so much of an admittedly rather limited armour of a regulatory state that held corporations to account on environmental, worker and other protections, slashed their taxes and transferred billions into the pockets of America’s wealthiest.
Also read: Trump Renews Racist Criticism of Democratic Congresswomen
At the other end of the social spectrum, teachers, nurses, manufacturing workers, warehouse staff and drivers for UPS and Amazon, are being denied living wages, pensions, let alone long-term security.
Undocumented workers and immigrant communities live in fear of midnight and dawn raids as Trump threatens to deport a million people, split families and wreck communities. Concentration camps dot the border with Mexico as Trump praises ICE even as official reports document widespread violations of basic human rights and international and US law, and thousands of ICE and CBP staff are exposed and under official investigation for belonging to racist and fascistic extremist Facebook and other groups.
Trump’s foreign economic strategy is the political counterpart to his domestic strategy: what his former chief strategist Stephen Bannon calls “America-first economic nationalism” is the global counterpart to the domestic politics of exclusion, economics of class power, and state coercion.
The immigrant worker in America, “foreign” workers in their own country, are blamed for job losses to “real” Americans even as “real” Americans – white black, brown and other – are facing the full brunt of government austerity and wage cuts, as the richest reap the dividends of a Wall Street president.
On this front of a real civil war, the GOP and the Democratic leadership (including its Left elements such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders), backed by the trade unions and most of the mainstream media, are united behind the blame China policy, a policy that backs tariffs and blames foreign workers for American workers’ plight.
This is the real war – a class war – that is going on that hardly merits mention let alone analysis in the din of media discussions of Trump’s racist tweets. White worker against minority and immigrant worker at home; American workers against their counterparts overseas. There is a spectre haunting the United States and international ruling elites – that of a rising tide of resistance and support for a radical political change that is happy to see the end of capitalism.
And seen in that larger global context, we may also see why the condemnations of Trump’s tweets ring so hollow if they ring at all: so many other states across the world are run by governments that embrace the very same politics – class war wrapped in the flags of a xenophobic Brexit, coalitions and cozying up with the extreme Right in Germany, in massive resistance from ordinary French people to austerity (that is, class war) as Macron praises the World War II fascist collaborator Marshall Pétain as a war hero, and the US builds concentration camps under a manufactured emergency.
While Trump’s rather obvious and crude racist tweets in the Orwellian world of the current GOP leadership and supporters are declared the opposite, the condemnation and attacks on the so-called Squad of progressive congresswomen as alien because they are socialists is even less widely discussed.
The silence is instructive: it speaks to how safe Trump feels in condemning socialism as alien, foreign and un-American: after all, House leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership stands four-square against the leftward drift in the party since the November 2018 mid-terms, not to mention the shocks Senator Bernie Sanders delivered in 2016 when he won over 13 million primary election votes on an avowedly socialist platform. And recall how the DNC engineered his defeat and Clinton’s victory?
This is all to say that the Democratic leadership may well prefer the return of a right-wing extremist Trump, who has already ‘joked’ about not ceding power should he face defeat in 2020, than lose ground to the Left in their own party. After all, the Left threatens Wall Street and corporate power, even if only mildly, and the two main political parties are two branches of one party that supports and is backed by Wall Street.
And president Trump, by ‘tarring’ the Democratic party as the party of foreigners, immigrants and aliens – including the “alien/Venezuelan” ideology of socialism – helps divide that party, drive it further to the Right, galvanise his political base but also, critically, pick up more white votes. It is the politics of fear that he champions, a most potent weapon in American politics.
In his seminal 1969 essay Prejudice And Politics In The American Past And Present, sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset wrote: “The use of ethnic, racial and religious appeals against the supposed threat of minority groups is… as old as the American system itself.
“Status insecurity has been an enduring characteristic of American life. New regions, new industries, new migrant groups, new ethnic and religious groups, have continually encroached upon the old.”
In Lipset’s quote though lie both the tragedy and hope of US politics – its elite politics and political culture can sink, and drag decent people to levels resembling fascism as its checks and balances go absent without leave; but its mass political culture never fully loses and eventually recovers in abundance to produce a New Deal or a Great Society, a civil and workers’ rights movement and leaders like Martin Luther King Junior, producing massive resistance to war and racism.
The problem is that in the interregnum there is political strife, state violence and mass suffering.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor in international politics at City, University of London. He tweets @USEmpire.
The message to Assange and Wikileaks is clear: blow the whistle on anyone else, but not on the global powers that be.
The full fury of the American power elite – with regard to the exposure by classic investigative journalism seeking to hold accountable imperial power – is now being felt by Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who was handed over to British police by the Ecuador embassy in London.
This not only heightens the war on independent checks on imperial power – including America’s war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, its violation of international law while spying on allies and foes alike, supporting Saudi Arabia and other Gulf state sponsors of political Islamist terror groups. It also intensifies censorship, in general, against anti-imperial, anti-war, socialist and progressive voices. It signals a full drive towards authoritarianism that violates the basic tenets of democracy, freedom of expression, and the rule of law.
Ben Wizner, of the American Civil Liberties Union, warned that:
“Any prosecution by the US of Mr Assange for WikiLeaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organisations. Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating US secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for US journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public’s interest.”
The extra-territorial application of US laws to foreign citizens not residing in the US is the height of imperial arrogance.
President Trump hypocritically declared parts of the corporate media, with which he has a mutually-beneficial relationship, enemies of the people. Fox News, virtually a state-sponsored private media corporation, is so close is it to the Trump White House, its essentially Trump’s Ministry of Propaganda.
Trump has declared socialism to be the enemy of the US, along with immigrants and refugees. The targeting and stigmatising of sections of the people is a key strategy of the representatives of the corporate rich when their political system is at so low an ebb, with so deep a legitimacy crisis, that they have no positive solutions, only mass repression.
Also Read: The Importance of Being a Conscientious Objector Within Systems of Power
Try as he might to build a mass movement of the most backward elements of American society, Trump’s core support is derived from the corporate class, corporate media, and the coercive police and military forces that he has empowered and emboldened since his election in 2016.
Suppressing dissent is core to his programme and he is fully backed, in that respect, by the Democratic leadership which has led the charge, based on spurious claims of Russian interference, Chinese ‘sharp power’, via social media in US elections and politics. In that charge, hundreds of Facebook and Twitter accounts have been shut down, principally belonging to socialist, progressive, anti-war and anti-imperial organisations and individuals.
Given the above, it was only a matter of time that US pressure would lead Ecuador – a state in economic and political crisis and in need of American aid and debt relief – to buckle and hand over Assange to the British authorities who are eager to extradite him to the US to be prosecuted under various laws, including the 1917 Espionage Act. The Espionage Act was passed to crush dissent against American participation in World War I and against corporate exploitation.
President Barack Obama used the Espionage Act six times during his presidency, twice as many times as it had been used by all the previous presidents, to crush dissent and especially to deter and punish whistle-blowers who exposed US imperial crimes, like waterboarding inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Numerous public servants’ lives were destroyed and careers ruined by the ‘liberal’ Obama administration.
Also Read: The War against Julian Assange Must End
President Trump has intensified the process of mass repression and suppression of dissent, against the Left and progressives, that Obama enforced after the financial crisis of 2008 and in the wake of mass opposition to corporate bailouts and the rise of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests.
The fury of the US establishment has never abated since Wikileaks published, via several media outlets like the New York Times and the Guardian, hundreds of thousands of State Department cables and Afghanistan war logs, including a video – Collateral Murder – graphically showing the killing of 12 innocent civilians and journalists in Iraq by US helicopter gunships.
Chelsea Manning, who had leaked the State Department cables to Wikileaks, was imprisoned and tortured in a US Marines prison, according to the UN Rapporteur on Torture, and is now in prison again for refusing to lie in court that he conspired with Assange.
A sealed grand jury indictment has been active for several years, initially denied by the US authorities, but now openly declared as the US is pressing for Assange’s extradition. The Guardian, Britain’s self-appointed defender of the liberal conscience, which benefitted from its collaboration with Wikileaks, has hardly lifted a finger to campaign to end Assange’s persecution.
Indeed, for years The Guardian denied there was any wish on the part of the US to extradite Assange. Had they bothered to conduct some of their own investigative journalism, they would have seen so clearly that, this was the case and that the Swedish state’s case against Assange was riddled with flaws.
Given Sweden’s close relations with the US, despite its image as a pacifist, and the violations of Swedish legal and police procedures in pursuing cases of sexual assault against Julian Assange, there was always sufficient cause to worry that the Swedes would quite easily be persuaded to extradite him for prosecution in the US with the possibility of Assange being tried for a capital offence.
Sweden contributes military forces under US-NATO control in Afghanistan; it contributed military assistance during the Libyan intervention which has made it a failed state; Swedish ministers report regularly on military and intelligence matters to the US embassy; its Afghanistan-based aid agencies supply intelligence to the US on a regular basis.
It collaborated with the US on extraordinary rendition programmes by the CIA of people who had applied for asylum to Sweden. Assange’s Wikileaks website exposed a whole range of US-Swedish cooperation deals that did not reflect well on Sweden’s global image as “a good state”.
The violations of police and judicial procedures during the early part of the investigation of Assange’s alleged sexual assault and rape of two Swedish women – which he denies – had an essential political context that was missing in most mainstream analyses of the matter.
Also Read: Rusbridger on Hacking, Snowden, Wikileaks and Making The Guardian Financially Secure
Some issues that are pertinent – based on the legal opinion of Sven-Erik Alhem, former Stockholm District Prosecutor, who now lectures at Lund University, among other roles, as submitted to the Stockholm Court are indicated below.
Together, they cast doubt on the nature of the investigation of rape allegations against Assange and, according to Alhem, made a fair trial in Sweden unlikely:
1. The police interviewed both female complainants together rather than separately which, according to Alhelm, was “a mistake” that “contaminated the evidence” which was “not professional”.
2. The prosecution informed the media of Assange’s identity during the investigation phase against normal procedure; rape trials are normally held in secret and the identity of suspects is maintained until after successful prosecution.
“Such confirmation of the identity of a suspect to the media is, in my view, completely against proper procedure and in violation of the Swedish law and rules regarding preliminary investigations.”
Alhelm also noted in his expert witness statement that the prosecutor should not have done this although there is no remedy against this in Swedish law. Hence, the word spread to the world’s media that Assange was a rape suspect, despite the early stage of the preliminary investigation.
3. Despite Assange making himself available for interview by police while still in Sweden, the prosecutor chose not to do so, even though one of the alleged rape victims was re-interviewed while Assange was in the country. Failing to obtain the alleged suspect’s side of events, at an early stage of the preliminary investigation, prevented the full picture of events from emerging, from all sides.
4. Assange could still have been interviewed in London, including at the Ecuadorian embassy, and had indicated his willingness to be interrogated by Swedish police, but to no avail.
5. Alhelm argues that issuance of European Arrest Warrant is “against the principle of proportionality”.
6. The-then Stockholm Prosecutor, Marianne Ny, could have sought British permission to interview Assange in London but claimed it was against Swedish law – a claim Alhelm denies has any grounds under Swedish law.
It is difficult to understand why Assange was not interviewed by Ny in Sweden when he was there and offered to be interrogated, or in London thereafter. To ask for extradition of an individual who was not interrogated when available and had yet to be charged with an offence was wholly disproportionate.
Also Read: Newspaper Editorials Across US Rebuke Trump for Attacks on Media
At the very least, there are grounds for Assange to credibly claim that he is unlikley to be dealt with fairly in Sweden and, at worst, to be handed over to the US for prosecution for the most heinous of crimes – leaking official information on how American power really works.
In that context, the-then UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague’s, thinly veiled threat to send in police to arrest Assange from within the Ecuadorian embassy, were reminiscent of the sort of gunboat diplomacy British imperial rule was built upon, with scant regard for international law.
It demonstrates that Hague – in citing a 1987 UK law passed after the shooting from the Libyan embassy of a policewoman – considered Assange to be a terrorist, just as much as many leading American politicians did and do, for leaking to the world’s publics information vital to understanding the nature of US power.
Indeed, the secret US embassy cables showed, among other things, that Hillary Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state, ordered the CIA to violate the Vienna Convention to gain information on UN diplomats and representatives.
But the rule of law is hardly a principle when it comes to imperial interests and protecting the ‘special relationship’. As former British diplomat Craig Murray argued after Assange’s summary hearing a few hours after his arrest by London police:
“What we have seen today is extraordinary. It’s amazing that you can be dragged out of somewhere by armed police and within three hours brought up before a judge and found guilty of a crime involving a serious jail sentence. There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing.”
“The whole Sweden case has been a charade. It has always been about whether a journalist should be punished for publishing leaked documents showing a government offending against international law.
“I am hoping, maybe a long-shot, that the media pundits of a liberal disposition will realise that this is a fundamental threat to press freedom. If anyone who publishes a US leaked document wherever they are in the world can be dragged to the US and imprisoned, then the American government is going to have impunity for its crimes for ever more. All journalists must decide where they stand on this fundamental test of media freedom.”
Blow the whistle on anyone else, but not on the global powers that be – that’s the message of the case against Julian Assange and the Wikileaks organisation. In pursuing Assange the way they have, the Swedish and British authorities have demonstrated their slavish compliance with US power.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor in international politics at City, University of London. His Twitter handle is @USEmpire
The Donald Trump vs John McCain comparison is about two parts of the establishment at war over how aggressive and globally interventionist US strategy should be.
The recent death of US Senator John McCain has inspired an establishment ‘fightback’ against the ‘dangerously isolationistic’ Donald Trump presidency. There is near complete personalisation of US politics around mostly fictional political positions united by the desire to perpetuate American global preponderance, but at loggerheads over tactics.
McCain is painted as an all-American hero, almost a god and certainly a saint, while Trump is a pantomime villain at whom it is perfectly polite to hiss and boo. The former backed a broadly hegemonic ordering strategy for US global domination while Trump backs bilateral transactionalism resulting in part from his business experience and partly from the conservative-nationalist playbook.
In truth, neither McCain nor Trump occupy anything other than positions extolling the virtues of an aggressive and violent American empire at war virtually across the globe and responsible for mass suffering caused by illegal wars – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and unconditional support for the Israeli onslaught against Palestinians, among others. The debate is over tactics to be deployed against America’s main perceived ‘rivals’ – Russia and China – and the way of dealing with traditional US allies to those ends. It is largely that simple.
Born at the arrogantly self-proclaimed ‘American century’s’ birth, to a family steeped in the country’s armed services, a man of the establishment, John McCain appears to have passed away in the midst of what some are claiming is the American century’s twilight. And he and his establishment allies view President Donald Trump as the extinguisher of America’s ‘light’. Hence, against all the evidence, McCain – who is relatively unknown beyond America’s shores – has been elevated to national hero and the voice of the global oppressed.
He is the non-existent hero the American establishment needed, and has therefore had to invent.
His much-lauded career as an honourable naval officer and ‘public’ servant is starkly contrasted with Trump’s acknowledged low moral standing, military service evasion and political buffoonery.
Yet McCain is hardly beyond criticism: he may have represented another, past, Republican party but it was he who ushered in the era of right-wing populism with Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate in 2008. Palin enthused the GOP base against Barack Obama, championed overt lying over any comprehensible political position, and hastened the emergence of the Tea party, the birther movement and eventually the rise of President Trump, if not a virulent Trumpism that may well outlive the man himself.
The establishment likes to paint Trump as an aberration. His roots, however, lie deep in the establishment’s own drive to the Right – since at least the time of Richard Nixon in the 1970s and the backlash against civil and women’s rights, and the crushing failures of an unchecked globalising corporate sector at home and its war machine abroad.
Of course, McCain claimed later to regret choosing Palin. But who had been his first choice? US Senator Joe Lieberman – the neoconservative who had backed the Iraq war and the whole war on terror against the so-called ‘axis of evil’. Not for nothing did Lieberman declare at McCain’s funeral that “The name John McCain was a source of hope and inspiration for oppressed people around the world.”
It was a staggeringly Orwellian moment, even by the standards of US hegemony.
The oppressed of Iraq felt the full fury of McCain’s inspiration. Having backed US military aggressions including Vietnam, he argued that the US military should remain in Iraq for a hundred years. He was honoured that the latest massive military budget passed by Congress had his name on it.
At home, Senator McCain largely backed every measure that has increased corporate power and diminished workers’ rights and conditions, opposed legitimate trade unionism, and supported tax cuts for the richest in American society. In the 1980s, as a Congressman, he voted against a national holiday to honour Martin Luther King, Jr.
According to FiveThirtyEight, McCain voted with Trump initiatives 83% of the time, 21% higher than he would have been predicted to on the basis of his positions in 2016.
McCain’s death has reopened fractures within US foreign policy elites on its global role, as ‘traditional’ imperial establishments at home and globally weigh in on praising McCain’s support of NATO and transatlanticism, opposition to Russia, among other things.
Trump is aggressive, nationalistic, and imperialistic but ultimately backs a more selective global engagement strategy to manage US power in globally-challenging conditions. His principal crime is to refuse the ‘hegemonic ordering’ strategy favoured by the establishment since 1940s, in favour of aggressively-nationalistic bilateral transactionalism. Where the establishment largely favoured building orders – the UN system, Bretton Woods, NATO, the European Union, and more recently NAFTA, WTO, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – Trump favours a strategy of bilateral transactionalism to weaken blocs and agreements, and deal with each nation separately from America’s position of strength. He is leveraging American power in the most crude, brutal ways, showing its true face.
Trump recognises other states’ and blocs’ ‘bottom line’, and understands America’s most significant strengths – military superiority, dollar power in global finance and trade, and the leverage offered by a massive US domestic market.
And he is wielding it like a bludgeon. And bringing it into disrepute, diminishing its ‘moral’ authority, the cover of ‘soft’ power which the traditional establishment prefers.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, and the author of Foundations of the American Century. His twitter handle is @USEmpire
By Naná de Graaff and Bastiaan van Apeldoorn
This op-ed was originally published on International Affairs Blog
Amidst the clamour over the erratic leadership of the Trump presidency, and the predicted end of a liberal international order, what tends to get overlooked is that there is, at root, a crisis of leadership within America’s economic and political elite.
Trump is the symptom rather than the cause of this crisis, although he has arguably aggravated it. For decades the American power elite has been characterized by close entanglements between of the political and corporate elites, a power configuration that has become increasingly bound up with stagnant wages and widening inequality. Neo-liberal policies implemented at home have been mirrored by an ‘open door’ policy abroad, expanding free markets and maximizing the freedom of (above all) US capital — underpinned, crucially, by a globe-spanning military apparatus and US-centred multilateral institutions. Both these policies have reinforced the position of the power elite, with the top 1% becoming increasingly insulated from the rest of society. It is this which has generated the massive public discontent that has been mobilized by both the right and the left, and is one of the key reasons why Trump was elected.
The crisis of elite leadership which Trump epitomizes, however, greatly accelerates a power shift from a world centred around Western power and built on US hegemony, to a more multipolar world order that includes non-Western powers — in particular China — that has been in the making for decades. From climate governance to trade, America’s retreat from multilateral agreements rolls out the red carpet for China . This opportunity to provide global leadership is not lost on the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been driving forward a signature shift in China’s foreign policy, from ‘keeping a low profile’ (tao guang yang hui) to ‘striving for achievement’ (fen fa you wei). Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement turned the US into something of a pariah (the next G20 summit was immediately recoined G19+1) and his retreat from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the crown jewel in Obama’s ‘Asia Pivot’ — only had the effect of self-isolation: negotiations on free trade in the Pacific are now pursued without the US. China is stepping into this void created by the US, not with an explicit claim to global leadership, but with the convenient argument that it is just behaving as the ‘responsible stakeholder’ US foreign policy makers always pressured it to be. While former Chinese premier Deng Xiaoping advised to: ‘bide our time’, the timing of Xi Jinping’s assertiveness couldn’t have been better and he is making the most of the unexpected helping hand from the US. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wryly wrote, Trump is ‘helping make China great again’.
Xi’s Elite Power Concentration
The crisis and fragmentation of elite leadership in the US coincides with a strengthening and centralizing of elite leadership around the Communist Party and the leadership of its General Secretary Xi, on a scale not seen in China since Deng Xiaoping. Internal dissent, both within the Party and beyond, has effectively been ‘disciplined’ through an anti-graft campaign and a general strengthening of censorship and surveillance. Xi’s philosophy of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era’ has been incorporated as the guiding ideology of the Party, while Xi himself, ‘Chairman of Everything’, has centralized control over economic policy-making and the military, and has elevated himself to historical heights of political power, which rests on a solid and cohesive elite power base and wide legitimacy. This concentration of power was further enhanced by the recent announcement that the two-term limit for Xi’s presidency is to be scrapped.
A Hybrid Scenario
What does this mean for US–China relations and future of the liberal international order? As we argue in our International Affairs article, in contrast to many alarmist accounts, we do not see a major US–China conflict in the making, let alone an outright war. The interdependencies and mutual interests in terms of investments and trade on both sides are too large to make a major conflict scenario likely, bar any fatal accidents. But neither can we expect China to become entirely co-opted into the liberal order, contrary to what many US policy makers and liberal scholars have assumed until recently. The Chinese economy is increasingly integrated into the world economy, and as a result its leaders are embracing ‘inclusive’ globalization and advocating an open door to trade and investment. However, as we show in our article, China’s economy remains wedded to a ‘state-directed’ form of capitalism, which involves a partial adaptation to the liberal rules of the game, but also selective and decisive resistance against it. We therefore envisage a third, more hybrid scenario of co-existence, which will entail both competition and cooperation.
This hybrid scenario, however, does not imply the absence of contestation and, crucially, hinges on the resolution of domestic political and social contestation within both the US and China. The key question here is whether and how the American and Chinese elites are able to manage their societal contradictions, domestically and internationally. This will require, among other things, major structural solutions and a (re)distribution of social, societal and natural resources in order to lower inequality, improve employment opportunities, solve the immigration conundrum and to ecologically save the planet. China is facing many domestic challenges, from spiralling national debt to the middle income trap, nevertheless it seems to be in a better position to address these crises than the US under Trump.
Nana de Graaff is Assistant Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science at the VU University Amsterdam.Bastiaan van Apeldoorn is Reader in International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the VU University Amsterdam.
Their co-authored article, ‘US–China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions’, appeared in the January 2018 special issue of International Affairs, ‘Ordering the world: liberal internationalism in theory and practice’.
Read the article here.
Explore the rest of the special issue here.
See: The end of liberal international order? | G. John Ikenberry | International Affairs
These are not happy times for liberal internationalists. No one can be sure how deep the crisis of liberal…cht.hm
See: US-Chinese power shift and the end of the Pax Americana | Christopher Layne | International Affairs
In this article, I show that far from consenting to be bound by institutions and rules of the Pax Americana, China is…cht.hm
See: US-China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions? | Nana De Graaff & Bastiaan van Apeldoorn
The future of liberal internationalism will be influenced increasingly by the re-emergence of China as a major power on…cht.hm
Will Trump make China great again? The belt and road initiative and international order | Astrid H. M. Nordin & Mikael Weissmann
Under President Xi Jinping's leadership, Chinese foreign relations have moved from keeping a low profile, to a more…academic.oup.com
The appointments of Pompeo and Bolton and the removal of McMaster and Tillerson suggest greater military belligerency and war risks but little substantial change.
The appointments of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton to replace less hawkish members of the White House team comes at the same time as threatened new trade tariffs on China’s alleged theft of American intellectual property, a problem recognised within China, on top of tariffs on steel and aluminium, and the strengthening of US-Taiwan relations.
Those moves appear to be classic Trumpian ‘transactionalism’ – a big rhetorical roar designed to open negotiations and force concessions, or the ‘art of the deal’. This was clearly seen with steel and aluminium tariffs, initially on all states yet from which the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Argentina, are now exempt pending talks on trade and military spending. The difference, however, is that the latter are US allies while China has been declared a strategic competitor and revisionist power.
The aim seems to be to leverage US market access and military power against other states to shore up the US’ position, to reverse widely perceived ‘decline’ through America First ‘principled realism’ which US President Donald Trump claims will ‘make America great again’.
A risky strategy
After 14 months in office, it is becoming clearer that President Trump operates at three levels: actually renegotiating great power relations; via transactionalist ‘give and take’ tactics; and simultaneously managing the media optics for parties to negotiation and to his political voter base.
The results may well yield a slight elevation of the US position within the international order in the short to medium terms as there is no alternative pole of global power of sufficient strength, at least for next few decades. China has yet to approach credibility as a rival model to the US-led liberal order per se.
Nevertheless, this is a risky strategy from a seemingly risk-taking stylistically-unorthodox administration. At worst, Trump’s approach risks damaging the rules-based order itself due to selective engagement with its core rules and institutions, testing the loyalty of allies, and presenting opportunities for ‘rising’ powers like China to promote at least the possibility of an alternative axis.
Unsurprisingly, this worries the US foreign policy establishment which, since Pearl Harbor, has worked tirelessly to build the international architecture of US-led order – the United Nations system, US-European and US-East Asian security systems, as well as a string of alliances in the western hemisphere and the Middle East. Establishmentarians worry how far President Trump may go; he’s not ‘one of us’.
But the Trump strategy is politically-convenient, distracting attention from basic domestic sources of the political legitimacy crisis laid bare in the historic election campaigns of 2016. By blaming the foreigner, the outsider, the immigrant, Trump sends a loud and clear message to his political base – ‘America First’ and ‘Make America Great Again’!
Thus far, his core support remains solid – at around 80% favourability among his GOP 2016 voters – but as this base erodes, however slowly, we should expect more xenophobic rhetoric and policies as we approach November 2018.
Likely result? In the end, I doubt the damage that Trump inflicts on the international order will bring about its demise – the order is deeply-embedded and has powerful support among global elites. Yet, the crisis of that liberal order, which predates Trump, will continue to deepen for the simple reason that at a very basic level, the order is not serving well an increasingly larger proportion of the world’s people, including in the West. The political crisis is probably more acute inside the US than elsewhere at this time, though the symptoms are evident in the rise of populist right-wing nationalism and the erosion or near-collapse of the political centre across Europe.
But in the US, the rise of the Left is actually the bigger story, launched by the Bernie Sanders campaign, galvanised into mass opposition since Trump’s inauguration by women’s marches, teachers’ strikes, and since the recent Florida school shooting, among school children more generally. Millennials are on the march, in particular, and they have swung left, and passionately anti-Trump.
The North Korea meet
Pompeo and Bolton might be just the kind of men to advise President Trump as he prepares the optics for upcoming talks with Kim Jong-un. They are Trump loyalists; Bolton was a fervent proponent and facilitator of the Iraq war, as President Bush’s arms control under-secretary. They’re hardliners on Iran, Syria, Russia, China, unafraid to counsel pre-emptive military strikes, as Bolton so disastrously did over non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Yet, if President Trump is serious about an agreement to denuclearise North Korea, how he and his team handle diplomacy and optics with Iran may be key. The renegotiation of the Iran nuclear agreement, for example, is likely to involve its (non-nuclear) ballistic missile programme, as well as guarantees on regime change, which Iran’s leaders fear drives US policy in their region.
But if the aim is rhetorical fire and fury, and a military build-up to boot, to put Iran and North Korea ‘in their place’ then the likelihood of conflict, especially over Iran, increases. China, which is invested in a friendly regime in North Korea, would not accept a pro-American Korean peninsula.
Shifting power balances
With the sacking of Rex Tillerson, the removal of General H.R. McMaster from the National Security Council and the appointment of John Bolton, even the veneer of diplomacy appears to be giving way to military power and the credible threat of the use of massive force, the consequences of which would be catastrophic. Trump, however, appears to be assembling a war cabinet.
As in other regards, however, Trump is hardly the architect of the broader shift from diplomacy to military force in America’s power projection. Since 9/11 in particular, the power balance in US strategy has decisively shifted towards the military and war, towards the Pentagon and CIA, and selective commitment to international law.
With the rise of Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, backed by President Trump’s favourite think tank, the Heritage Foundation – which backs robust US leadership vis a vis Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Isis, Trump would now appear to have embraced a mix of neo-conservative and right-wing conservative nationalism – the very tendencies he attacked and who attacked him as unfit for office during the 2016 election campaign.
President Trump, for all his claims of radical ‘America First-ism’ in foreign and national security policy is now pretty much in the establishment fold. His rhetorical style differs markedly, to be sure, worrying establishment stalwarts, but the substance of President Trump’s policies differs little from theirs.
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, and the author of Foundations of the American Century. His twitter handle is @USEmpire
There is little room for soft power in Trump’s foreign policy; diplomacy has been side-lined in favour of military solutions.
One year into President Donald Trump’s administration, serious questions are being asked about the nature and extent of the ‘crisis’ of the US-led liberal order, and its hegemonic state. The most fervent proponents of that order – liberal internationalists – are in varying states of despair. According to their Whiggish narratives, the order was supposed to be open, universal, prosperous for most, and integrative. After the Cold War’s end, the triumph of liberalism seemed all but certain. Though success bred its own international challenges, liberals were ready for them. China, India, and the rest of the BRICS, not to mention South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey (until recently), among others, continue to be seen as success stories of the order. Despite dark Realist mutterings of inevitable military conflict between extant and rising hegemons, liberal optimism remained. Until November 2016.
What is most shocking to liberals is that the significant threat appears to be at ‘home’, i.e., in the western heartlands: First, Britain voted to ‘Brexit’ the European Union; then Trump defeated liberal-order champion Hillary Clinton. For the first time since 1945, a US President won office by attacking the principal relationships that are the very sinews of established order – NATO, American Middle eastern policy, East Asian security treaties.
President Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and a governing style favouring illiberal and racialised authoritarian-populism, rather than tolerance and diversity, is narrowing American identity around the macho (angry) white male, being restored after decades of ‘humiliation’ at the hands of “usurpers.” Women’s rights, civil rights, immigrants, and liberal elite social engineering that ‘emasculated’ the American white man, tampered with the constitution and under the banner of diversity changed the very face of America.
The ‘other’ is a Muslim, refugee, terrorist, Mexican immigrant, the unwanted African and Haitian – when the immigrants Trump wants look like Norwegians, a position applauded by white supremacists. A recent Gallup poll shows the effects – collapse in America’s global approval from 48% in 2016 to 30% today, just above Russia, slightly behind China and significantly trailing Germany (43%).
The levels of social and economic inequality at home – alongside the crisis of ‘immigration’ and forced migration – much of it driven by war, poverty and military violence – makes a lethal political cocktail that has bred and encouraged leaders promoting right-wing xenophobic populism, challenging liberal norms.
Yet, those crises may have been predictable given fault-lines fundamental to the liberal order. Some are inherent in an expansionist liberalism – spreading its democracy and market economics across the world, creating its own competitors and challengers in the process, leaving nowhere for American and other western states to export their crises.
Other crises occurred because the promise of the liberal order was unequally shared. The liberal world order turned out to be the West plus Japan and pro-US South Korea. Large parts of the ‘periphery’ (across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, for example) did not share in the liberals’ bounty. That post-1945 era sublimated its colonial-era racialised-imperial impulse – embedded in the distribution of power within international institutions and the terms of trade, as well as the extraordinary violence during the North American-Western European ‘long peace.’
Yet the western ‘fix’ in the 1970s to the challenge of post-colonial nations’ demands for a New International Economic Order – leading to the export of capital to the global south through loans and investment in ‘middle class’ third world states, not only created competitors but also aided the industrial job-destruction process kick-started by automation: rust belt areas lost jobs and suffered socially. White working and middle classes drifted politically towards the Republicans, whose subliminal racialised appeals – against ‘reverse discrimination’, for example, nurtured a grievance at loss of position, viewed as others gaining unfair advantages over ‘real’ Americans. The seeds of the Trump triumph of 2016 were sown in the decline of the postwar social contract that initially fuelled Reaganism – and small government and low taxes conservatism. The wages of whiteness however delivered little in material terms to Reagan Democrats. And combined with globalisation and automation, their living standards fell, along with other large swathes of American society, as corporate wealth and political power increased.
President Trump’s ‘principled realism’ – sketched out in his inaugural address through the speech to the UN General Assembly in September, to his first National Security Strategy of December 2017, and General Mattis’s National Defense Strategy of January 2017 – is unilateral, selectively internationalist, and heavily militarised. It is also extractive, transactional, and based on American hard power. Trumpism is a kind of social Darwinism: unregulated corporate power with militarised policing at home; armed and dangerous states abroad eschewing diplomacy, loosening the bonds of international norms, underpinned by a survival-of-the-fittest mentality.
As his support erodes in practically all parts of the electorate, the legitimacy of American political and financial elite declines, and America’s global standing slips below China’s, Trump is pursuing a more militarist strategy against China and Russia – which he has labelled ‘revisionist’ powers, and closing down diplomatic pathways in dealing with major global crises. The growing threat of war, the downgrading of diplomacy and extolling the virtues of a global ‘national awakening’, augurs ill for the future of world politics, with strong undertones of worship of ‘strength’, ‘nation’ and ‘God’.
There is little room for soft power in Trump’s foreign policy; diplomacy has been side-lined in favour of military solutions. And America’s attitude to international organisations is ambivalent. Thus far, however, the effects have not fundamentally altered the international order – but President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, UNESCO, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and selective engagement with other international institutions suggests a loosening of the international order created by Anglo-American power after World War II.
The title of a major report for discussion at the January 2018 meetings at Davos, based on a survey of global elite opinion, is ominous for the future of the international system: “Fractures, Fears and Failures.” The report’s subheadings include: “Grim Reaping,” “The Death of Trade,” “Democracy Buckles,” “Precision Extinction”, “Into the Abyss”, “Fears of Ecological Armageddon” and “War without Rules.”
Inderjeet Parmar is professor of international politics at City, University of London, and a columnist for The Wire. His twitter handle is @USEmpire.
By Dr Mark Ledwidge
This op-ed was originally published in International History & Politics 3(1): 14-16, Newsletter Summer 2017, An Organised Section of the American Political Science Association
This essay will not provide a historical legitimisation of the race first philosophy advocated by Marcus Garvey, nor will it attempt to legitimise the Pan- Africanist and Black Nationalist philosophies advocated by Garvey.1 The essay situates Garvey as the forerunner of the Black Nationalist leaders that came to prominence in Africa and the African diaspora during the mid-20th Century. That is, Garvey unleashed an African world view which challenged global white supremacy. In short, Garvey’s ideological thrust laid the basis for the trans-national liberation movement for Africans at home and abroad;2 Garvey influenced leaders such as Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Malcolm X and a cadre of Nationalists, reformists and revolutionaries.3 A key facet of Garvey’s leadership was countering the negative racial propaganda that Europeans and Euro- Americans had fastened onto the image of black people.4
As often occurs regarding counter hegemonic movements, mainstream historians have generally focused on Garvey’s failure to liberate Africa and people of African descent. Nonetheless it is not wrong to suggest that the Universal Improvement Association (UNIA) and the African Communities League (Founded July 15th 1914) did not fulfil Garvey’s aims. 5 Examined from a materialist perspective, the failings of the Black Star Line and the UNIA’s other business ventures, and the collapse of the UNIA could negate the assertion that Garvey possessed leadership credentials, accepting of course the external factors that caused the UNIA’s downfall.6 On reflection, Garvey’s leadership was best exemplified in his efforts to decolonize the minds of African people as he reached down into the fractured consciousness of a people whose self-image had been ravaged by centuries of racist and pseudo-scientific propaganda, and told them that they were heirs to a hidden history and stolen legacy.7 Indeed, Garvey concurred with the racial philosophy of Arthur A. Shomburg who exalted black pride in his seminal essay ‘The Negro Digs up his Past’ in the book The New Negro.
Unlike Du Bois, and the elite faction of the African American talented tenth, Garvey spoke to lay persons and the black masses across the globe by articulating his message of liberation in the Negro World and later the Black Man magazine.8 Garvey’s conflict with some members of the African American elite included issues related to colour, class9 and the double consciousness that Du Bois had identified in The Souls of Black Folk. Garvey theorised that centuries of racial oppression and colonialism had encouraged disunity among black people and deep suspicions regarding the legitimacy of black leadership. Ultimately Garvey’s activism forced black people to confront the externally induced self- loathing that hindered their efforts to meet their collective interests.10 Significantly Garvey argued that black liberation was dependent on self- knowledge bolstered by an appreciation of African peoples’ historical achievements. 11 Henceforth Garvey played a pivotal role in intellectualizing and internationalising Pan-Africanism, along with Du Bois and George Padmore12 but prior to Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and others. In short, Garvey understood that the principal battlefield exists within the mind of both the oppressed and the oppressor, and that liberation or behaviour modification requires the restructuring of a group's political and intellectual consciousness.
The under-acknowledgement of Garvey’s leadership credentials pertaining to international relations and black liberation are derived from three factors:
1. The successful covert counter-intelligence operations of British and American government intelligence apparatus.13
2. Garvey’s quest for African liberation was antithetical to the racial politics and interests of state actors in America and in the colonies.14
3. Despite exceptions, the academy’s tendency to construct, maintain, or perpetuate the Euro-centric and racial mores of Western society has created tensions in evaluating black freedom fighters like Garvey, whose activities threatened to destabilise the dominant social order.15
The fact that the UNIA was destabilised by British, American and colonial governments is indicative of the threat Garvey’s movement posed to Western interests. In America J. Edgar Hoover’s General Intelligence Division (the forerunner of the FBI) and other organs of the American State, willingly bypassed their own racism and utilised black informants and agent provocateurs to disrupt Garvey’s business and political ventures.16 Hoover, the US State Department, and the US Justice Department pursued Garvey with a vengeance. Hoover ordered his subordinates to find or manufacture illegal activities in order to destroy Garvey.17
“...Garvey understood that the principal battlefield exists within the mind of both the oppressed and the oppressor, and that liberation or behaviour modification requires the restructuring of a group's political and intellectual consciousness.”
In brief, persecution from the State coupled with the collaboration of African American leaders like Du Bois and members of the NAACP led to Garvey’s imprisonment and deportation from America.18 Suffice to say Garvey’s plans stimulated the significant opposition he faced.
The fact that Garvey travelled widely in the Caribbean, parts of South and North America and London provided him with insight into the international dimensions of white hegemony. 19 Ironically European Americans rejected Garvey’s revolutionary spirit despite their reverence of the American Revolution and Patrick Henry’s cry of “give me liberty or give me death”. Here racism, self- interest, and cognitive dissonance prevented the white collective from supporting the UNIA’s global agenda. It is conceivable that whites rejected the UNIA and its so-called militant tendencies. However historiographers must recognise that the brutality of racial oppression and colonialism undoubtedly fuelled the rise of Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Mosiah Garvey was born in St Ann’s Bay on August 17th 1887, on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean.20 The history of the Caribbean was rudely interrupted by the rise of Europe, particularly Spain as a result of the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492.21 The emergence of Spain and Portugal and the V oyages of Christopher Columbus stimulated European expansionism and had a cataclysmic impact on Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the world.22
European expansionism and the profiteering of commissioned and semi-commissioned adventurers like Sir Francis Drake and his cousin Sir John Hawkins,23 who was financed by the Virgin Queen to enslave, commoditise and sell Africans,24 helped fund the (so called) triangular trade, which Eric Williams maintains in the book, Capitalism and Slavery, assisted in financing Britain’s imperialist thrust into the Caribbean islands and America. 25 The profiteering of European Nation States led to the legalised enslavement of millions of Africans and the genocide of millions of the indigenous people of the Caribbean. Note the Catholic cleric Bartholomeo de las Casas estimated that 12 to 15 million Caribs were wiped out as a result of European imperialism.26 In addition, Europe’s conquests caused the construction of a hegemonic racial power paradigm.27
Garvey recognised that for centuries racism had impoverished the lives of Africans across the globe from a material, psychological, spiritual, cultural, and historical perspective.28 Clearly the descendants of enslaved Africans and Africans in general had inherited notions of inferiority that had damaged the African psyche.
Garvey realised before Franz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, and Joy Leary that white supremacy had left a legacy of psycho-cultural trauma which had distorted the political consciousness of Africans. In retrospect an unlettered man born in Jamaica pierced the veil of centuries of mis-education by identifying the so- called Negro’s African heritage. It is noteworthy that when Garvey was born there were no major texts that identified the existence of ancient African civilisations or an abundance of literary texts that exalted the virtues of an African identity, as Africans in Africa were viewed as savages and the descendants of enslaved Africans in the diaspora had been taught to reject Africa and their blackness. Consider also that in Garvey’s lifetime only Haiti, Ethiopia and Liberia had any semblance of political sovereignty.29
To conclude, Garvey made errors but became a leader of international stature because he spoke in a bold manner that began to address the damage that centuries of racial propaganda had wrought on the minds of Africans at home and abroad. Garvey recognised that his constituency had been taught to despise their features and made to believe that they had no legitimate history or corresponding culture.30 Marcus Garvey was an international leader, the intellectual black Moses, who reconstructed race relations internationally by spawning a greater awareness of Africa, African identity, and Africa’s role in politics, economics, and history. Finally, Garvey inspired generations of black and African people even beyond the grave. Clearly Garvey was one of the Fathers of Black Nationalism and Pan- Africanism in addition to despite the odds becoming a leader in both international and intellectual power politics.
Dr Mark Ledwidge is the Subject Lead and Senior Lecturer in American Studies in the School of Humanities. He has emerged as one of the UK’s leading scholars on the presidency of Barack Obama. His publications include: Obama and the World, 2nd edition (co-editor), Barack Obama and the Myth of Post-Racial America (co-editor) and Race and US Foreign Policy, all available from the University Bookshop.
To find out more about the American Studies courses at Christ Church, visit:
1 Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (Los Angeles: University of Sankore Press, 2002); Tony Martin., Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (Massachusetts: Majority Press, 1986).
2 Imanuel Geiss, The Pan-African Movement (London: Methuen & Co., 1974), p. 274; Liz Mackie, The Great Marcus Garvey (London: Hansib Publications, 2001), p. 63; Adolph Edwards, Early Twentieth-Century America (London: Verso, 2000), p. 136.
4 Amy Jacques Garvey, The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey (Massachusetts: Majority Press, 1986); John Henrik Clarke, Notes for an African World Revolution: Africans at the Crossroads (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1992).
5 David Levering Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963 (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000).
6 Richard Gid Powers, Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover (London: Hutchinson, 1987); Theodore Kornweibel Jr., “Seeing Red”: Federal Campaigns Against Black Militancy, 1919-1925 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998).
7 Martin, Race First, p. 13; Robert A. Hill, Marcus Garvey: Life and Lessons, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), p.15.
8 Rupert Lewis and Patrick Bryan, eds., Garvey: His Work and Impact (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1991); Mark Ledwidge, Race and US Foreign Policy: The African-American Foreign Affairs Network (New York: Routledge, 2012).
9 Lewis, W.E.B. Du Bois, p. 67.
10 Rupert Lewis, Marcus Garvey: Anti-Colonial Champion (London: Karia Press, 1987); Horace Campbell, Rasta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney (London: Hansib Publications, 1985).
11 Hill, Marcus Garvey.
12 Toyin Falola and Kwame Essien, Pan-Africanism, and the Politics of African Citizenship and Identity (London: Routledge, 2015); Ledwidge, The African-American Foreign Affairs Network.
13 Mackie, The Great Marcus Garvey; Clarke, Notes for an African World Revolution, p. 223; Ledwidge, The African- American Foreign Affairs Network, p. 42.
14 Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood, Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 (London: Routledge, 2003).
15 Ledwidge, The African-American Foreign Affairs Network.
16 Churchill Ward and Jim Vander Wall, Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (Cambridge: South End Press, 2002), p. 94; Kornweibel, “Seeing Red,” p. 131.
17 Kornweibel, “Seeing Red,” p. 130; Powers, Secrecy and Power, p. 369.
18 Ledwidge, The African-American Foreign Affairs Network, p. 42.
19 Lewis, Marcus Garvey.
20 Hill, Marcus Garvey, p. lxiii.
21 John Henrik Clarke, Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism (New York: A&B Publishers Group, 1998); Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969 (Suffolk: St Edmundsbury Press, 1993).
22 Clarke, Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust.
23 The Captain of the Jesus of Lubeck, the slaving ship given him to Queen Elizabeth the first.
24 Clarke, Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust, p. 31; Harry Kelsey, Sir John Hawkins: Queen Elizabeth’s Slave Trader (London: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 18.
25 Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1994).
26 Bartolomé De Las Casas, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (London: Penguin Group, 1992).
27 Frank Furedi, The Silent War: Imperialism and the Changing Perception of Race (London: Pluto Press, 1998), p. 1; Thoams McCarthy, Race, Empire and the Idea of Human Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 1.
28 John Henrik Clarke, ed., Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa (New York: Vintage Books, 1974).
29 Ledwidge, The African-American Foreign Affairs Network. 30 Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (London: Pluto Press, 1993).
THE ELITE POWER BLOG
On this page one of the EPIC members as well as occasional guests will regularly publish blogs commenting on news and developments in world politics showing the power of elites or the resistance to elite power