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The Fourth Reich: US Imperialism and the War on Arabs and Muslims

The Fourth Reich: US Imperialism and the War on Arabs and Muslims

The Fourth Reich: US Imperialism and the War on Arabs and Muslims
March 01
00:13 2015

In the U.S., anti-war activists are always cautious about comparing U.S. imperialism to Germany under Adolph Hitler.

Partly this is because the form of government in the U.S. is still a liberal democracy. Recently, there has been a wide spread protest movement against racist discrimination and national oppression following the police crimes in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere.

We are also careful because public opinion makers would dismiss our views as fanatical, and we would be isolated.

For the purpose of this conference, how does the US today compare with Nazi Germany?

What are the most recognized features of fascism? State repression of popular forces – trade unions, socialist and communist movements and organizations. The mobilization of national chauvinist sentiment against certain nationalities, religious and racial minorities.

An objective analysis would have to admit that there is a growing degree of repression and racist violence in the U.S. Witness the murders of the Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina last week. For the Black communities in the U.S., there is a police state, which evokes the fascist regimes as well. And the U.S. government war on Arabs and Muslims, both abroad and at home, continues and expands, despite the drawing down of troops in Afghanistan and the end of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The case of the Palestinian activist, Rasmea Odeh, is the latest example of repression of that community.

Looking back, under European fascism of the Hitler variety, anti-democratic rule domestically was also accompanied by wars of aggression abroad. The greatest loss of life in any war was in the 2nd World War. But U.S. imperialism has been extremely bloody, and for many decades longer than the decade of the Second World War. The U.S. achieved actual world domination, to which the Third Reich only aspired.

The fascist war brought the deaths of 70 or 80 million. What about the death toll of all US wars since 1945. Including direct invasions, support for occupations, low intensity conflict, fomenting civil wars, and funding proxy armies.

Vietnam – 5 million

Korea – 4 million

Iraq War 1991 – 200,000

Iraq War (2003) – 1 million

Sanctions regime over Iraq (1990s) – .5 million

Indonesia (1965-66) – 500,000 to 3 million

Guatemala 1980s – 200,000

El Salvador 1980s – 70,000

Nicaragua 1980s – 25,000 to 50,000

Cambodia 1970s – 600,000

Angola 1970s – 750,000

East Timor – 200,000

Israeli occupation of Palestine – 80,000

Laos – 200,000

Philippines – Marcos dictatorship – 100,000

Sudan Civil War – 2 million

Yugoslavia – 100,000

Democratic Republic of Congo civil war – 5.4 million

Total: 21 to 23 million

While not the level of deaths in the great war, it is a monstrous record.

To understand US imperialism today, it’s useful, to look at the recent developments in the War on Arabs and Muslims: First, the wars fought in the past year; the level of racism and Islamophobia whipped up by the politicians and media; and the case of Rasmea Odeh, the latest victim of political repression by Washington, DC.

This period begins with George W. Bush. He used the 9/11 attacks to justify launching wars of conquest. The US had been in decline on the world stage since defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese. The War on Terror was intended to put us back on top, to regain a position of power and profitability enjoyed in the 1950s and 60s.

Things didn’t work out that way. The Iraq War ended a disastrous loss, and Afghanistan is an unfolding defeat.

The empire didn’t learn the lesson from these losses that regular people learned – that the era where big powers can remake the map using military force has come to an end. The White House thinks it is a matter of smarter tactics, choosing wars more carefully, and keeping the junior partners on board. Now President Obama deploys a variety of war fighting methods: drone warfare, special operations, color revolutions, and proxy armies – but their objective is the same. To use military force and the murder of 100s of thousands, as in Syria, to maintain and expand US hegemony, to control markets, and to ensure profitability.

The new Iraq War might seem to be a response to the danger to the world from the Islamic State. However, there’s nothing new about wars of “humanitarian intervention.” The same pretext was used in Libya in 2011. The US was looking for a reason to justify going back into Iraq, and now they have it.

Officially, the War on Terrorism has ended. That rhetoric is no longer used. But in truth, there continues to be a war on Arab and Muslim peoples. Why are they targeted? Because the countries where they are the majority are the largest oil producers. Because those peoples have had the audacity to believe that their national resources should be theirs to develop.

The endless war on these peoples is required because they refuse to accept the dictates by Washington.

In the US, there is a necessary corollary to these wars. It is a domestic war on Arabs and Muslims. The latest victim a Palestinian community activist in Chicago named Rasmea Odeh. 68 years old, she has been put on trial and convicted in November, and now faces a possible sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and deportation. What crime did she commit? When she emigrated to the US from Palestine, she failed to admit that she had been brutally tortured and raped by Israeli guards in 1969. She didn’t say on her application for citizenship that a kangaroo court of the Israeli occupation, which is illegitimate and criminal in the eyes of the world, convicted her of a bombing, based on a confession that they tortured out of her, and which she immediately denied.

The US courts don’t allow the use of evidence obtained through torture. The War on Arabs and Muslims has changed that. We use torture against prisoners in our wars abroad, and our courts now uphold the use of torture by the Israelis.

On March 12th, Rasmea Odeh will be sentenced. We are calling for leniency, and we are preparing for the appeal. Rasmea’s story is the tale of the Palestinian people. She and the Palestinians are victims of a brutal occupation that has cost many lives and much suffering.

Endless wars; state sanctioned racism; elimination of rights; these are all features of Nazism. They are also features of imperialism, more generally. The difference is not unimportant. At the same time, perhaps it can be best expressed this way: imperialism prefers world domination by economic means. When they are challenged, they use military and political force. They have many tactical options, one of which is fascism. Hitler type fascism is the most extreme, but it shares features with all forms of imperialist rule, whether the form of government is fascist or liberal democracy.

There is an old metaphor: the iron fist and the velvet glove. Normally, imperialism prefers to rule with the velvet glove. It provides them with the illusion of the legitimacy of their system. But when threatened, off comes the glove.

Joe Iosbaker, Speech for Yalta Conference

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