In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Catatonia: the last stage of imperialism

Posted by seumasach on August 31, 2008

Cailean Bochanan

31st August, 2008

The events in Georgia and the irrational wave of Russophobia which have followed it mark a new, last phase of US/UK imperialism. Sakashvili’s bizarre and vicious assault on South Ossetia, conducted presumably under US auspices, may seem to herald a stepping up of US/UK interventionism and power projection. Paradoxically, in my view, it represents the complete opposite: a retreat into isolation comparable to that of a paranoic whose psychotic outbursts only confirm the essential, underlying withdrawal from human intercourse. Sakashvili’s dangerous antics don’t constitute a foreign policy any more than bombing weddings does.


 The reality of the five day war was that it was a response to a psy-op conducted by the war party desperate to protect themselves from the legal consequences of their bloody fiasco in Iraq and Afghanistan- seeking to attain, with the death of a couple of thousand innocents in South Ossetia, closure with regard to a cycle of crime which began with the sacrifice of innocents in New York. Only one consequence of this splendid little provocation was of consequence to its planners: the disruption of pseudo peace candidate, Obama’s presidential band wagon. I can’t absolutely prove this, of course, but let’s give Cheney and Co. the benefit of the doubt since every other consequence- a deep fissure in NATO, the consolidation of the SCO under Russian guidance and the spasm of fear assailing every stooge, subaltern, sartrap and Sakashvili the length and breadth of the empire – has been fatal to US foreign policy. But this has nothing to do with US foreign policy, only the destiny of a faction grappling with its own demons.


No doubt, there will be further bouts of “inappropriate behaviour” and embarrasing, thuggish outbursts justified by cognitive dissonances such as McCain’s claim that “in the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations”. But Boy Milliband’s neo-Blairite “ coalition against Russian aggression” looks farcical and has been received with general derision. It’s not  another “finest hour”. Then there is the strange death of the “war on terror” revived only by a plot, which wasn’t actually a plot, to kill Gordon Brown. It is dead along with their dreams of global domination and our leaders have taken to their bunkers waiting for the Russians, complete with some rhetoric which would have graced the last days of the Third Reich. But the Russians aren’t coming- they hardly have to and, anyway, they’re too busy building the new, multipolar, world order– conducting diplomatic exchanges, building alliances, doing trade deals and, generally, making friends – what Milliband calls the “isolation of Russia” in a telling piece of psychological projection. 


This multipolar world, like the China Olympics, looks very attractive compared to the one we’re retreating into to fixate, like catatonics, on tokens of imagined, past glories and which, lamentably, will be on full view in 2012.

One Response to “Catatonia: the last stage of imperialism”

  1. niqnaq said

    Mighty stuff!

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