From sanjoy@mrao.cam.ac.uk Sun Feb 4 10:16:32 2001
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 12:34:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Geopolitical fascism (John Pilger / New Statesman / Feb 5)
From: Sanjoy Mahajan <sanjoy@mrao.cam.ac.uk>
Article: 114448
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Fascism today is not just skinheads and an Austrian political thug; There is also a geopolitical fascism, led by the US

By John Pilger, New Statesman (London), 5 Feburary 2001

Washington—Former President Bill Clinton, having bombed and blockaded civilians on several continents, and doubled America's prison population while accelerating the number of mostly non-white executions by limiting federal appeals, finally signed off by pardoning a coterie of suspects and crooks, including a convicted Wall Street embezzler who reportedly is to give $135m to Clinton's presidential library.

In Britain, liberals at Tony Blair's court wrote obsequious farewells to Clinton, whom they loved. They mock Dubbya. Manufacturing difference between the two is as important as the Westminster correspondents' arduous task of running a cigarette paper between Blair and Hague, and Straw and Widdecombe, suggesting democratic choice where there is none.

Thus, the dumping of Peter Mandelson was hot political news. In truth, it was merely a useful exercise for the government to pretend it is opposed to lying. Real political news was a week earlier. This was the despatch by Blair of two of his senior people to Washington, including Jonathan Powell, his chief of staff and a leading member of the semi-masonic British American Project. The Prime Minister is pitching hard to be the first European leader to travel to Washington, reported the Guardian. Mr Blair is determined to prove that he can be as close to the Republican George Bush as he was to the Democrat Clinton.

The reason that increasing numbers of people have stopped voting in Britain is the same as in the United States. There is no one who speaks for them. The two parties speak for big business and the supremacy of American-led economic power. The rest is Monica Lewinsky, Peter Mandelson and other lies. A current lie spun by the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoffrey Hoon, is that the government has not yet decided to support Washington's missile defence system, the Son of Star Wars insanity, of which the Fylingdales early warning base in north Yorkshire is a vital component. It's too soon, says Hoon, when there is not the slightest doubt that the government has made clear to the Americans, though not to the British people, that they can, as always, rely on their closest ally.

Whitehall may not like the old Reagan nonsense about a missile shield for freedom, but servility to America is a divinity, and Foreign Office strategy is to promote Britain as a bridge builder between Europe and the US. What politicians must not do is provoke a wide debate, alerting the public. Last week, Peter Hain was demoted to junior energy minister not because he was at odds with policy, but because his aggrandising, public verbosity on Africa and in defence of infanticide in Iraq was becoming an embarrassment.

Support for Son of Star Wars is treacherous of true British interests, which lie in a peaceful and secure world, not one manipulated by economic conquest and violence. Politicians genuinely speaking up for these interests, and the human rights of the British people, would condemn any collaboration with a missile programme whose dangers cannot be overstated. It will trigger another nuclear arms race. It will disturb and distort development priorities in much of the world. For Washington, it will serve to contain the growing economic power of China by forcing the Chinese to compete and, like the Soviets before them, to spend themselves into submission. The Pentagon's obsession is the control of space. Satellite technology was used extensively in both the Gulf war and the Nato attack on Yugoslavia. The rationale of a threat from rogue states such as Libya and North Korea is drivel.

These are surreal times. War plans are policy and there is no enemy. Piratical corporations are afforded the rights owed only to humans, while inhuman concepts go unrecognised. Umberto Eco tells us why fascism is still latent, warning us that it is merely a diffuse form of totalitarianism. He defines its characteristics: delusion of advanced knowledge, disregard of rational and humane principles, state machismo, racism, a consuming sense of insecurity, televised populism and the use of newspeak with its unstated limit on ideas.

Modern fascism is not merely skinheads and an Austrian political thug. There has long been a geopolitical fascism overseen by the United States, assisted by Britain. Its record is truly blood-drenched: Vietnam, Indonesia, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Palestine, Turkey and Colombia. Remembering them is as important as remembering the Holocaust. Globalisation, the advance of rapacious capital, is another phase, with a new militarism known as humanitarian intervention. Within a space of 18 months, the Blair government used armed force three times outside United Nations control. Since the Gulf war, British governments have spent 911m bombing Iraq — enough to buy back the railways twice over. Within hours of Bush's inauguration, American and British pilots reportedly killed six civilians in Muthanna province, southern Iraq.

Once again, people are putting the pieces together. Not only is a resistance to western economic warfare growing rapidly, the peace movement has regenerated, and the true humanitarian intervention of those seeking to expose and disarm nuclear weapons is gaining recognition. On 18 January in Manchester Crown Court, a jury found two Trident Ploughshares activists not guilty on a charge of conspiracy to commit criminal damage. Their attempts to disarm the nuclear submarine HMS Vengeance were justified on the grounds that the government was in breach of international law. Bush and Blair have not yet won.