Speaking for the Workers Party of Britain, Comrade Ranjeet reminds the audience that US imperialism poured 3.5 trillion dollars into its 20-year war in Afghanistan, and that despite all the blood and treasure lost, not least by the Afghan people themselves, who have been left with a ruined and utterly impoverished country, the USA was ignominiously defeated in all its aims.
This, points out Ranjeet, is what we need to understand about today’s world: the balance of power is shifting. The rise of Russia and China as militarily and economically strong forces means that many poor countries, which previously had little choice but to rely on the debt-trap of imperialist ‘aid’ and ‘loans’, with all the political and economic subjugation they entailed (enforced by the World Bank, IMF and US military), are now able to make a different choice.
Mutually beneficial trade and infrastructure development is being offered to countries to enable them to advance their technological base, develop their productive forces and lift their people up in dignity.
Looking back over the last 70 years, it is clearer than ever that the US’s so-called mission to ‘spread democracy’ has had nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the domination and hegemony of Anglo-American finance capital. But this model is failing.
With the imperialists desperate to save their failing system and shore up their waning hegemony, the panel takes a whistlestop tour of the most combustible geopolitical faultlines and asks: is one or more of these – Iran, Taiwan, Ukraine – likely to break into outright war in the coming year?
Comrade Ranjeet points out that while the aggressors in each case would appear to be local, what we see when we look closely is that in each case these fascistic regimes are puppets of US imperialism, created, funded and directed from Washington, whether that be the coup government in Ukraine, the zionist regime in Israel or the anticommunist forces in Taiwan. And in each case, the European imperialists have not been far behind.
George observes that while the US may not be ready to put boots on the ground in defence of its proxies in Ukraine (although it is clearly ready to aid them in every other way), it may well feel that now is the time to launch a war against China – before the People’s Republic becomes too powerful for that to even be considered.
Comrade Ranjeet suggests that the moment in question has already passed. Despite the warmongering of the most rabid of the USA’s hawks, China, he says, is now too powerful economically and militarily, and has too many friends around the world, to be beaten in the case of outright war between the two countries.
In the economic sphere, the agreement between Russia and India (in recent times considered to be a very loyal ally of the USA) to trade directly in their own currencies is just one more sign of the decline of the US financiers’ hold on the world trading and banking system.
And militarily, it is noteworthy that more and more of those targeted by the US war machine are linking up to form an axis of resistance, not only in the middle east but across the globe.
Meanwhile, at home in Britain and the USA, the Covid crisis has exposed the inability of the present system to take care of the basic needs of working people. Instead of taking efficient health measures our rulers have acted in such a way as to benefit monopoly corporations – big tech and big pharma prominent amongst them.
The pandemic has also been used as an excuse for enacting a new tranche of draconian legislation, which, combined with the rising poverty and inequality, has served to expose the fact that the capitalist state machinery does not act in the interests of the workers but serves only the profit drive of monopoly corporations.
One thing we can say for certain about the coming year: it will continue to show us a declining USA, and the imperialists will continue to look for ever more desperate ways to shore up their moribund system.
This programme also featured panelists Calvin Tuckerco, Dr Niall McCrae, Prof Alexander Azadgan and Prof Walter Hixson. It was aired on Al Mayahadeen TV on 14 January 2022.