OPINION

The US as a world system

Millions of people around the world, their governments and political parties are strongly condemning the US attack on Iraq and have been demonstrating their opposition to this war in many ways. There is increasing concern in many sensitive parts of the world at Washington’s policies and at the autocratic behavior of the elite that governs the US. However, one wonders how far these international protests will be able to influence developments without any specific political action on the part of Germany, France, Russia or China. Washington does not appear to want to deceive any other government. It has made it clear that it wants to impose its will everywhere on a «new world» as it sees it, in an imperial manner. As Henry Kissinger once wrote about the US (in his 1994 book «Diplomacy»), empires do not need to function within an international system. They themselves aim to be that system. It is irrelevant whether President Bush is religious. US leaders have long dealt with confronting the forces of «Evil» and tried to impose «justice» and «freedom» wherever they saw fit. Decades before George Bush Jr moved into the White House, another president, John F. Kennedy, said in 1961 that America «shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.» Nothing has changed since then in the mentality of US leaders. They have all launched military operations somewhere in the world in the name of human rights and freedom. All US leaders have appeared to be firmly convinced that the US mission is some kind of world reform in the service of Good. That mentality is now stronger than ever. The superpower has become very dangerous. Its leadership has gone mad from an excess of power. The question is whether other powers exist that could curb this US «madness.»