from thefreeonline by Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz 3,067Likes 978Retweets
In response to questions he received during a press conference on Monday about Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin cementing a “new era” in strategic partnership between China and Russia, the White House National Security Council’s John Kirby made no fewer than seven assertions that the US is the “leader” of the world.
Listen to a reading of this article:
Here are excerpts from his comments:
- “The two countries have grown closer. But they are both countries that chafe and bristle at U.S. leadership around the world.”
- “And in China’s case in particular, they certainly would like to challenge U.S. leadership around the world.“
- “But these are not two countries that have, you know, decades-long experience working together and full trust and confidence. It’s a burgeoning of late based on America’s increasing leadership around the world and trying to check that.”
- “Peter, these are two countries that have long chafed, as I said to Jeff — long chafed at U.S. leadership around the world and the network of alliances and partnerships that we have.”
- “And we work on those relationships one at a time, because every country on the continent is different, has different needs and different expectations of American leadership.”
- “That’s the power of American convening leadership. And you don’t see that power out of either Russia or China.”
- “But one of the reasons why you’re seeing that tightening relationship is because they recognize that they don’t have that strong foundation of international support for what they’re trying to do, which is basically challenge American leadership around the world.”
The illusory truth effect is a cognitive bias which causes people to mistake something they have heard many times for an established fact, because the way the human brain receives and interprets information tends to draw little or no distinction between repetition and truth. Propagandists and empire managers often take advantage of this glitch in our wetware, which is what’s happening when you see them repeating key phrases over and over again that they want people to believe.
We saw another repetition of this line recently at an online conference hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, in which the US ambassador to China asserted that Beijing must accept the US as the “leader” of the region China happens to occupy.
US empire managers are of course getting very assertive about the narrative that they are the world’s “leader” because that self-appointed “leadership” is being challenged by China, and the nations which support it with increasing openness like Russia.
US Ambassador To China: “We’re The Leader” Of The Indo-Pacific
Most of the major international news stories of our day are either directly or indirectly related to this dynamic, wherein the US is struggling to secure unipolar planetary domination by thwarting China’s rise and undermining its partners.
The message they’re putting out is, “This is our world. We’re in charge. Anyone who claims otherwise is freakish and abnormal, and must be opposed.”
Why do they say the US is the “leader” of the world instead of its “ruler”, anyway? I’m unclear on the difference as practically applied. Is it meant to give us the impression that the US rules the world by democratic vote? That this is something the rest of the world consented to? Because I sure as hell don’t remember voting for it, and we’ve all seen what happens to governments which don’t comply with US “leadership”.
I’m not one of those who believe a multipolar world will be a wonderful thing, I just recognize that it beats the hell out of the alternative, that being increasingly reckless nuclear brinkmanship to maintain global control.
Infographic: US military presence around the world |
The US has been in charge long enough to make it clear that the world order it dominates can only be maintained by nonstop violence and aggression, with more and more of that violence and aggression being directed toward major nuclear-armed powers. The facts are in and the case is closed: US unipolar hegemony is unsustainable.
The problem is that the US empire itself does not know this. This horrifying trajectory we’re on toward an Atomic Age world war is the result of the empire’s doctrine that it must maintain unipolar control at all costs crashing into the rise of a multipolar world order.
It doesn’t need to be this way. There’s no valid reason why the US needs to remain in charge of the world and can’t just let different people in different regions sort out their own affairs like they always did before.
There’s no valid reason why governments need to be brandishing armageddon weapons at each other instead of collaborating peacefully in the interest of all humankind. We’re being pushed toward disaster to preserve “American leadership around the world,” and I for one do not consent to this.
How the U.S. is Able to Dictate to the Rest of the World
by Pete Dolack at Counterpunch.org
Image by UX Gun.
The United States government is able to impose its will on all the world’s countries. The rest of the world, even some of the strongest imperialist countries of the Global North, lie prostrate at the feet of the U.S. What is the source of this seemingly impregnable power?
Which of course leads to the next question: How long can it last?
The U.S. moves against any country that dares to act on a belief that its resources should be for its own people’s benefits rather than maximizing profits of multinational corporations or prioritizes the welfare of its citizens over corporate profit or simply refuses to accept dictation in how it should organize its economy.
The military is frequently put to use, as are manipulation of the United Nations and the strong arms of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). But sanctions are a frequently used tool, enforced on countries, banks and corporations that have no presence in the U.S. and conduct business entirely outside the United States.
The U.S. can impose its will on national governments around the world, using multilateral institutions to force governments to act in the interest of multinational capital, even when that is opposite the interests of the country itself or that country’s peoples.
And when a country persists in refusing to bend to U.S. demands, sanctions imposing misery on the general population are unilaterally imposed and the rest of the world is forced to observe them.
In short, the U.S. government possesses a power that no country has ever held, not even Britain at the height of its empire. And that government, regardless of which party or what personality is in the White House or in control of Congress, is ruthless in using this power to impose its will.
This power is most often wielded within an enveloping shell of propaganda that claims the U.S. is acting in the interest of “democracy” and maintaining the “rule of law” so that business can be conducted in the interest of a common good. So successful has this propaganda been that this domination is called the “Washington Consensus.” Just who agreed to this “consensus” other than Washington political elites and the corporate executives and financial speculators those elites represent has never been clear. “Washington diktat” would be a more accurate name.
Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog
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