America's president has never left any doubt that he means what he says and does what he means. He has announced ad nauseam that the guiding principle of his presidency, “America first,” will mark the start of political offensives on several fronts. He wants to give a boost to domestic capital growth, not just out of cronyism with the rich and super-rich in the country, but for strategic reasons:
“A growing and innovative economy allows the United States to maintain the world’s most powerful military and protect our homeland.”
To this end, he wants free but above all fair world trade; by this he means a substantial correction to the global flow of goods and money, to the effect that the heaps of money other nations have one-sidedly earned in and on the USA and have accumulated in the form of American debt to such an extent that on balance America actually has no money at all, flow back to their country of origin and true homeland. This includes recovering from its partners and allies funds that America has spent protecting them militarily. The strategic goal pursued by the President is rather clearly stated in the strategy paper quoted by his government: the United States has to remain the most powerful military power in the world.
Since its beginnings in the markets for American mortgages, the great financial crisis has gone on for over three years now, and for the moment, those in charge are rather satisfied with themselves. A number of bankruptcies have been wound down or prevented by the state. Masses of worthless financial assets have been stowed away in bad banks or carefully written off, with state license and assistance. The ultimate powers have boldly intervened, preventing a massive financial meltdown by having their central banks provide liquidity and by granting loans from special government funds. Speculation against particularly heavily indebted eurozone countries and their common currency has been averted. After the deep recession of 2009, good money is being made again in the financial industry and the real economy — at least as far as German exports are concerned.
On the other hand, that mustn’t fool anybody into thinking that the crisis is “already” over. Experts are warning against announcing prematurely that all is clear and interpret “market signals” this way: from the money markets, which speculate on and then against the dollar and the euro; from the capital markets, which spurred on Greek bankruptcy while at the same time buying low-yield German bonds; from the global commodity markets, on which German firms are enjoying unexpected export success while America is failing as an “economic locomotive”; from the Chinese market, too, whose welcome boom is now suspected of crumbling soon. These are all reasons to worry — but about what exactly? Is inflation looming because of the masses of state-created liquidity? Or is deflation to be feared instead because of the weak U.S. economy, a lack of economic growth in Japan, and austerity policies in Europe? Will the crisis be followed by another bubble inflated by state credit, cheap money, and dyed-in-the-wool speculators? Or should one brace for longer-term stagnation and, at best, a dual-speed world economy? What kind of a risk does rapidly rising government debt pose? Or is there still too little of it to promote a sustained economic upturn? Is the speculation against Greece and the euro a scandal? Or do the speculators only bring up a painful subject, exposing the common currency as a misconstruction that cannot cope with the crisis? Is the credit guarantee for over-indebted eurozone countries a step toward regaining fiscal stability — or toward abandoning it once and for all? And so on, and so forth.
After almost two years of peace in Northern Ireland, during which there was already talk of an upswing in investment and the population's growing support for the "peace process," everything has gone back to the way it was. In February 1996, the IRA resumed their war of liberation with bombings in England. In June, the Protestants again announced their "marching season," the traditional victory marches through Catholic districts. The — Protestant — police at first prohibited the marches or suggested less provocative alternative routes to the marchers and blocked the street through the Catholic district in Portadown. After three days of uninterrupted demonstrations at the roadblock they gave up their resistance against the Orange Order, clearing the way for the men with bowlers and orange sashes by beating the Catholics back, for a change. The chief constable justified giving in to pressure from the street on the grounds that the explosive atmosphere made him fear for human lives. When the Catholics rioted in answer to the Orangemen's permission to march, the law-and-order standpoint triumphed once again over the saving of lives. A Catholic was run over and killed by an armored police vehicle during the dispersal of the rioters. Public opinion in Britain and Europe now views the "peace process" to be breaking down.
The British people voted for Brexit 52% to 48%. In view of this result, there is a sense of disbelief across the rest of Europe. Just how can such a fundamental question of the reason of state for the nation in particular, and for Europe in general, be put to the people to answer? How irresponsible of Prime Minister Cameron not only to gamble with Britain’s future in the EU but possibly risk the future of all Europe, simply because he wanted to have the upper hand against his Europhobic party members. The interested public in Germany and elsewhere may well understand the dual calculation of the British prime minister, namely to put pressure on the EU by threatening a referendum in order to negotiate more beneficial conditions of membership so that he could end the permanent row about EU membership that paralysed his party. But now that Cameron has ‘lost the gamble’, no one will understand any more. After the first spiteful comments – if you ask the people, you shouldn’t be surprised if you eventually fritter away not only your own career but also the future of the nation! – there is now general concern in Europe about how to end the ‘insecurity’ as fast as possible in the upcoming ‘difficult and lengthy negotiations’ with a British government that has decided to leave Europe; to limit the damage caused by losing a key member; and to rebuild a relationship with Britain that is useful for the present state and future progress of the EU. Britain on its part – for all the excitement that the supporters of the exit show about their regained ‘independence’ – has to bear in mind its continued politico-economic ‘dependence’ on the EU, that’s for sure.
When condemning is on the rise, when consternation effortlessly makes the difference between human victims and damaged national security vanish; when horror not only prevails but is cultivated so thoroughly that it is only good for the unchallengeable call to military action, then explaining the events and the international situation in which they take place already counts as dissenting behavior. And yet, such behavior is directly invited by the official interpreters of "this senseless lunacy" when they publicly pronounce their judgements. Time and again they raise the question of how such a "boundless hatred for America and the entire West can come about." Unfortunately, this trace of curiosity is also continuously smothered — the prosecutorial ambition committed to "infinite justice" contents itself with the answer "inexplicable," certifies the assassins as having warped perceptions, and considers how to get hold of people who harbor and carry out such a dissenting and malicious world view. Everything that characterizes the "new world order" — along with all the usual biases of a free society — comes up in these considerations, everything that as well causes so many difficulties for those who have proclaimed it and intend to establish it.
“This is the most serious financial crisis that [Great Britain] has ever seen” (Sir Mervyn King, 6 Oct 2012), so the governor of the Bank of England has been saying since the crisis broke out nearly six years ago. The Prime Minister explains the reason for the crisis to the common folks: it started across the Atlantic with the property crash but “we were hit particularly hard by the banking crisis because of the significant size of our financial sector” (David Cameron, House of Commons, 13 May 2011). The nation whose capital city accommodates the greatest concentration of international banks and other financial speculators — this nation is a victim infected by the American financial markets? The matter is slightly different from what the national view would pretend. Along with the USA, Britain is the prominent cause of the global financial crisis. No wonder the country is also among those most affected by the crisis — and therefore one of the principal actors in the crisis competition of states.
America is going to have its war on Iraq: the aims of the troop deployments — “disarmament” and “regime change” — leave no doubt about it. Ever since the only remaining superpower learned that it, too, can be attacked on its own territory, it has considerably broadened its view of its own vulnerability: there are unbearable nations; nations that simply stand against America’s cause by exercising their sovereignty and pursuing their interests. America no longer endures such states; it demands a world of unconditionally pro-American states.
Many an observer of global politics took the U.S. government’s declaration of war on Iraq as a profound turn in international relations. When the Bush administration, even without awaiting general authorization by the UN and its Security Council, resorted to a “preemptive strike” in order to eliminate this Mesopotamian threat to the law-abiding human species, they sensed a breach, if not an abandonment, of international law as an institution of international politics on the part of the superpower. Advocates of the legal form of relations between nations considered the approach of the “hawks” to be “legally suspect” and therefore regrettable and alarming. And yet what is noteworthy here is that the United States for its part obstinately insisted on its right to wage war in general and to launch a “preemptive strike” in particular.