Original at:
Last checked: May 31, 2004

[ Home ] [ Library ] [ Index ] [ Maps ] [ Links ] [ Search ] [ Email ]

January 15, 1996 

Bosnia and the “American Empire”


If any single factor made the Balkans what they were in history -- and what they still are today -- it was the ordeal of the Turk... For the 18th and 19th Centuries, the image of Turkey was that of a rotting empire, of a corrupt, incompetent and sadistic national elite preying on the subject Balkan peoples - of a cynical government whose very method of rule was ATROCITY....

The above quote is from:
"The Balkans," page 43
Time-Life World Library
by Edmund Stillman and the Editors of LIFE
Time Inc., New York, 1967

Bosnian Muslims trying to outdo the Ottomans

Only rarely does the capitalist press provide even a glimpse of the real considerations that motivate US foreign policy. However, two items which appeared recently in the New York Times give an indication of the class interests that dictate American diplomacy and military action.

The January 2 edition of the Times ran an editorial entitled "The New Great Game in Asia," which began: "While few have noticed, Central Asia has again emerged as a murky battle ground among big powers...." It continued, "Western experts believe the largely untapped oil and natural gas riches of the Caspian Sea countries could make that region the Persian Gulf of the next century."

It would be difficult, the editorial warned, for the US to prevail in the struggle for dominance in the new Caspian Sea states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Russia, Turkey, Iran and China all have historic interests and claims in the region. And they have been joined by Japan in a scramble to develop new oil and gas pipelines. "But," adds the Times, "the resources justify the attempt."

Here, for once, the Times let slip the veil of humanitarianism and exposed the basic driving force behind American interventions around the world -- the striving of US business to grab natural resources and extract superprofits from the domination of foreign economies.

How the Times' editors conceive of this struggle is exemplified by the title of their editorial. "The great game" was the term coined by the British writer Rudyard Kipling to describe the diplomatic and military struggle between czarist Russia and Britain for influence in central Asia during the nineteenth century.

No less revealing was the title of a piece by New Republic editors Jacob Heilbrunn and Michael Lind, which appeared on the opposite page of the same issue of the Times. Headlined "The Third American Empire," this article argued that the US-led occupation of Bosnia should not be seen primarily as an assertion of US leadership in Europe, nor even as an extension of US military power into the Balkans.

The authors asserted that the major aim of the American military deployment in Bosnia was to exert US dominance in the Middle East, transforming the strategic region from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf into a virtual US protectorate: "Instead of seeing Bosnia as the eastern frontier of NATO, we should view the Balkans as the western frontier of America's rapidly expanding sphere of influence in the Middle East."

The article documents the thrust of American military power into the Middle East, site of the world's largest oil reserves. Shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution, President Carter formulated the so-called Carter Doctrine, which designated the Persian Gulf as "vital" to US interests and established a Rapid Deployment Force to answer any threat to American imperialist interests there. This force was subsequently upgraded by the Reagan administration into the United States Central Command.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the US-led invasion of Iraq in the gulf war enabled Washington to massively increase its geopolitical and military presence in the Middle East, establishing a permanent military presence in Saudi Arabia and the gulf states and creating the US Navy's Fifth Fleet to police the Persian Gulf.

If the US has been more willing than France, Britain or Germany to support the establishment of Bosnia as a Moslem state, it is because, say Heilbrunn and Lind, America now heads a coalition of Moslem-client states, whose parameters roughly coincide with the old Ottoman Empire.

The new-born American Empire
supports Feudal Dictators

[T]he U.S. intervention in Bosnia should be viewed as establishing the western border of a new American empire in the Middle East encompassing the regions once ruled by the Ottoman Turks...

[T]his new empire "cannot be justified as a means of spreading democracy and self-determination... [F]eudal dictators prevail in many U.S.-puppet states like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. [And now - Bosnia.] ...

[The US imperialists fear] that failure in Bosnia could undermine the third American empire before it has even been established.

The above quote is from:
"The Great Game: The Comeback of Brasen Empire"
By Fred Goldstein
Workers World
January 18, 1996

America builds Islamic Bosnia

Events in recent weeks have underscored the drive for US military hegemony in the Middle East. Within days of the Saudi king's announcement that he was temporarily handing over power to his brother due to ill health, Defense Secretary William Perry was in Riyadh to pledge an increase in the strength of US forces in the gulf. The Pentagon will beef up its air forces and deploy a full brigade's worth of armor in Kuwait, equipment for an armored battalion in Qatar and "preposition" ammunition in Oman.

During the same trip, Perry announced $300 million in additional military aid to Jordan. President Clinton, meanwhile, has said he is ready to station US troops in the Golan Heights in the event of a deal between the Israeli and Syrian governments.

Iran, which is perceived to be hostile to US interests, is the target of increasing American belligerence. Congress is currently discussing a plan to tighten trade sanctions against Iran, and the House of Representatives, according to a report in the Washington Post, ordered the CIA to mount a $20 million covert action plan to help "moderate" Iran's government.

As the Times articles cited above demonstrate, America's foreign policy--like its domestic policy--is a class policy, whose objective is to secure the economic and political position of US big business. The claim that Washington sends American youth to Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, Iraq or anywhere else to promote peace and democracy is the propaganda churned out by ... the mass media for public consumption. It has as much validity as a fairy tale.

The largest game in town:

In order to gather support for an interventionist foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, the present American leadership has had to formulate a foreign policy that would combine the promotion of American national interests with the messianic perception of morality, democracy, and human rights-and do this in a convincing way, as they did during the Cold War...

The Soviet Union’s disintegration resulted in a geopolitical vacuum in central-eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Central Asia. American governments have not resisted the temptation to fill this vacuum and consolidate the gains of Cold War victory. For the United States, Eurasia is clearly the trophy of its victory in the Cold War. More importantly, its global primacy, according to its leading geopolitician, Zbignew Brzezinski, will be directly dependent on how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. Brzezinski [in "Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-First Century"] advocates a more forward policy around the Russian periphery. He claims that the area, ... extends from the Adriatic to the border of the Chinese province of Sinkiang, and from the Persian Gulf to the Russian-Kazahk frontier...

The above quote is from:
"Systemic Changes and Their Impact on Local Conflicts"
By Constantine Arvanitopoulos Assistant Profesor,
International Politics, Panteion University
Head of Planning, Institute of International Relations, October, 1999

Having lost its economic hegemony over Europe and Japan, US imperialism relies more and more heavily on its military might--the one area where it retains unchallenged supremacy--to project its power. The deployment of American forces on foreign shores has grown apace under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Washington's use of military power is placing an unsupportable strain on its relations with Japan and Europe. Already Japan and Germany have thrown off constitutional restrictions on the deployment of their armed forces overseas. France is campaigning for the establishment of a European security force independent of US-led NATO.

The exact nature of the alliances US imperialism will form in the coming period and precisely where Wall Street will next decide to intervene cannot be determined with certitude. Under the impact of the globalization of production and the increasingly frenzied struggle among the major capitalist countries for markets and resources, class conflict is intensifying, diplomatic alliances are crumbling and states are breaking apart. What is certain is that the world is coming face to face with an ever more militaristic and reckless version of American imperialism.

The struggle against militarism and war can only be carried forward as an anticapitalist struggle, through the mobilization of the working class as an independent political force and the unification of workers struggles internationally.

End quote.

NEXT   Next:

    [ Dismantling Yugoslavia - colonizing Bosnia ]

PREVIOUS   Back to:

    [ Islam is ruling Bosnia again! ]

 Where am I? PATH:

 Book of facts

o History of the Balkans

o Big powers and civil wars in Yugoslavia
(How was Yugoslavia dismantled and why.)

o Proxies at work
(Muslims, Croats and Albanians alike were only proxies of the big powers)

o The Aftermath

The truth belongs to us all.

Feel free to download, copy and redistribute.

Last revised: May 31, 2004