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Imperialism and War

Abbie Bakan

January 1, 2003

Marxism No. 1, 2003
A new left is developing in Canada and internationally. In 1999, the generation of Seattle refused to accept the effects of neo-liberalism and challenged the economic and political hegemony of the capitalist system. Today, this generation is part of a deepening radicalization against the barbaric implications of war.
On the brink of the fourth imperialist war in a dozen years, there is wider and deeper opposition to the status quo of the world system than at any other point in recent memory. According to a December 17, 2002 Los Angeles Times poll, among US respondents, 90 percent doubt whether Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction. In the absence of any new evidence presented by United Nations weapons inspectors, 72 percent of respondents stated that the US president had failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify launching war on Iraq.1 In Britain, where the Labour Party government of Tony Blair is shamefully the most staunch defender of a US-led war on Iraq, anti-war sentiment has threatened to split the party's parliamentary caucus.2
In Canada, according to a national poll conducted December 2-4, 2002, 41 per cent would oppose joining the US in a war on Iraq. In the province of Quebec, opposition to war rises to 77 percent, while in BC it is 66 percent.3 According to pollster Frank Graves of Ekos Research, “We couldn’t find an issue that could possibly be any more polarized than this particular issue.” Perhaps even more notable is the finding that 38 percent of respondents thought George W. Bush was a greater threat than Saddam Hussein.4
Opposition is fuelling, and is being fuelled by, the crisis at the top of society. The scurrying of ruling class solidarity behind the ideological veil of a war on terror thinned as the war on Afghanistan progressed. With the shift to targeting the “axis of evil” states identified by George W. Bush — Iran, North Korea, and more specifically Iraq — the international alliance forged in the weeks after September 11, 2001 has come unstuck. Among the Arab states, in Europe, and within the US itself, the divisions revealed around preparation for war on Iraq are extreme.
Since September 11, the Canadian government has hardly displayed the marks of unity and common cause normally associated with the patriotism of wartime. Jean Chrétien, one of the most loyal of US allies, has hesitated to commit Canada to a war on Iraq without UN approval. While unreliable even on this front, the hesitancy marks a response qualitatively different than that arising in preparation for the war on Afghanistan. Chrétien’s Liberal Party is faced with former Finance Minister Paul Martin’s open challenge for leadership. Chrétien himself could only stay at the helm by promising to resign by February 2004. Three cabinet ministers and one senior Liberal have been forced to resign from leadership posts in scandal. Perhaps most notable are Art Eggleton, former Minister of Defence, who left in “war time” in the shadow of patronage; and François Ducros, former Communications Director, who communicated that she thought George W. Bush was a “moron” rather too loudly.5
The new movement is still at an early stage. If it is to go forward, there will need to be a development of theory that rises to the current level of the practice of resistance. A system so inherently driven to war and corporate greed needs to be understood if it is to be successfully challenged.
Essential to understanding the current crisis is the recent history of imperialism since the end of the Cold War. The 1990s was a decade of transition from the old Cold War era into a new era of international global conflict. The decade was marked by three imperialist wars. The bombing of Afghanistan in October of 2001 was preceded by the war against Serbia in ex-Yugoslavia, and the war against Iraq at the beginning of the 1990s. Each of these wars focussed on competition driven by two main goals: strategic influence of the US and its western allies, and oil. These goals follow a basic dynamic — a capitalist world system driven to expand its profit base beyond national borders, and an inevitable drive to war to protect those profits.
Though there are many new conditions to contend with, the basic dynamic of the system is hardly a new discovery. At the beginning of the last century, with the outbreak of World War I, the same essential dynamic was identified by theorists in the Russian revolutionary tradition, notably V.I. Lenin and Nicolai Bukharin. Though global imperialism has changed over the years, and the specific nature of these changes is critical to our understanding of current circumstances, imperialism then and now is an inevitable feature of the development of capitalism. As Lenin and Bukharin identified, there is an inherent interaction between economic and political competition that drives the system towards war.6 What follows is a discussion of US imperialism in the context of the end of the Cold War, and a specific consideration of the wars of the 1990s from this perspective.
US Imperialism and the End of the Cold War
When the Eastern European states collapsed in the late 1980s, the western side of the Cold War claimed in triumph that a new era had begun. The most articulate version of the right wing celebration of capitalism was developed by Francis Fukuyama.7 He claimed that ideological conflict, and hence history, had now ended. The end of history meant the triumph of liberal democracy, which could not be improved upon. All the things that western liberal democracy could bring would now be assured. There is a left version of essentially the same analysis.8 This perspective, like Fukuyama, focuses on the apparently limitless power of the US. However, it sees this in a negative light, and is nostalgic for the days when the USSR operated as a “counterweight”, as another superpower that was supposedly less imperialistic and less threatening to humanity.
Both these arguments are mistaken. The decade of the 1990s was not an era of peace and prosperity as the pro-market triumphalists predicted. But neither is the US a war mongering state in a world of other states that are peacemaking. While the US is unquestionably the single most powerful military and economic force in the world today, to presume that its power is invincible is a dangerous error.
The end of the Cold War did mean the end of the east bloc states as a distinct geo-political entity in competition with the US and the NATO powers. This has had the effect of increasing the immediate advantage of the US in global competition relative to the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. But as frightening as the present period is, we should not be nostalgic for the Cold War. The collapse of the USSR certainly did change the economic and political landscape, but this was a change from one period of imperialist conflict to another, not from an era of peace to one of war. As John Rees has noted:

The collapse of the Stalinist states in Eastern Europe is one of the greatest political events in the lifetime of anyone born after the Second World War. Events of such great magnitude sometimes paralyse our thought. We simply assume that their consequences are so obvious that we do not need to draw them out. But this is an illusion. The shockwaves from the fall of the Berlin Wall are still reconfiguring the international landscape. The interaction between this crisis in the state system and globalisation is the key to understanding the drive to war in the contemporary capitalist system.9

When the east bloc states collapsed, it was not the end of the socialist alternative to western capitalism. Instead there was a transition from nations dominated by the state as the exclusive capitalist power, to the unleashing of private capital and the rise of domestic competition. The end of the Cold War was not the result of the success of western capitalism, but of the failure of its relatively weaker eastern state capitalist competitor.
The period between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Eastern European state capitalist states was dominated by bi-polarity. Two great superpowers — each claiming moral superiority by pointing to the lack of human rights characteristic of their enemy — depended upon the Cold War to divert criticisms of repression and inequality at home, while military expansion superseded all other priorities. Even the term “globalization”, so much the hallmark of what the anti-capitalist movement opposes, would make no sense if we were still living within a bi-polar world, one side clearly capitalist, the other side claiming the mantle of socialism but no less capitalist in its operation.10
Nor did the end of this period cement forever the US in its position as the only superpower. The Cold War ended with acute crisis in the east, and chronic crisis in the west. The relative weight of the US compared to other powers has actually declined. In 1957, 74 of the top 100 corporations in the world were American-based; by 1972 that figure had declined to 53; and by 2002, the number had fallen to 39, almost matched by the European Union at 36, and followed by Japan at 20.11
The US share of world production has fallen by half since the end of World War II. Long term economic crisis coincided with a decline in US global political dominance. Between 1974 and 1980, 14 nations broke from US imperialist control. The US was unable to defeat Vietnam in 1975. Then the most serious blow after Vietnam came in 1979. In that year, two US “jewels” in the crown of empire were overthrown by mass popular movements: in Iran with the fall of the Shah, and in Nicaragua with the fall of the Somoza dictatorship. The US lost two of its most loyal strategic allies. The first link lost to the US was to oil in the Middle East; the second was to the declared strategic “backyard” of the US, Latin America.
One indication of the extent of the US crisis resulted in the spread of a condition that had both domestic and international implications, the “Vietnam syndrome”. This was the unwillingness of the US population to commit ground troops to a US led imperialist war. The search for a cure for the Vietnam syndrome knows no bounds. The US turned to the creation of enemy “madmen”, in the shape of the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. New forms of military intervention were shaped in the name of supporting “indigenous freedom fighters” like the Contras in Nicaragua or the reactionary UNITA forces in Angola. Another approach was flexing the bullying muscles of imperialism over minuscule targets, such as the lightening invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada with a total population less than the size of Kingston, Ontario. There was the invasion of Panama, where the drug to cure the Vietnam syndrome was supposedly a self styled drug lord himself, Noriega. In each of the 1990s wars against Iraq and Yugoslavia, the US claimed to have found a new Hitler, seeking to find modern versions of the Nazis to justify another so-called “good war” like World War II.12
All of these efforts were designed to reverse the inability of the US to defend its empire by direct armed military assault that risks American lives in combat. The Vietnam syndrome was partially offset by the success of the US in 1991 in the Gulf, and the recent war against Afghanistan. But the success of these efforts has been limited. From the first mobilization of troops into Iraq in the summer of 1990, Bush Senior and then Vice President Dan Quayle repeatedly insisted “this would not be another Vietnam.”
From Cold War to Hot War: Afghanistan
The recent wars are in part affected by the legacy of what came before. There is not only disjuncture from the period of Cold War, but also continuity. US interests in Afghanistan increased substantially in the 1980s, the last decade before the collapse of the east bloc states. During a bitter civil war, the USSR lost territorial control in Afghanistan that ultimately led to the rise of the Taliban government. US guns and money helped to arm the resistance to the USSR, which ultimately led to the victory of the Taliban at the head of the Afghan state. These were the same forces the US and its allies took down in 2001-2 in the “war on terrorism.” In fact, it was the military defeat of the USSR in Afghanistan that was one of the decisive factors fomenting the collapse of the Stalinist states. The US government was acutely aware of this. US government advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in a 1998 interview with the Paris based, Nouvel Observateur:

According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec. 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

When asked by the interviewer if he might, in hindsight, regret the decision. Brzezinski replied:

Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.13

The Russian war in Afghanistan combined with economic weaknesses and growing unrest in the working classes to create massive instability in Russia and the east bloc states. By 1991 the old ruling bureaucracy cracked, ultimately leading to the collapse of the USSR. The Cold War ended, but imperialism did not. In fact, the imperialist competition for resources and markets between the US and Russia that had marked the Cold War continued. Now, however, the geo-political line of demarcation between western and eastern imperialist interests had moved eastward on the map.

Russia’s decline accelerated. More than $72 billion in capital left the country in illegal or semi-legal transactions in the three years between 1996 and 1999 alone. This not only contributed to the collapse of the ruble; it was an expression of it. In a 1998 study conducted by a team of Canadian and Russian researchers, it was estimated that:

a total of $200 billion was sent out of Russia from 1992 to 1997. This is more than the total capital flight from Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Peru over the period from 1979 to 1987 when those countries faced extreme economic difficulties. . . . The $200 billion cumulative total of exported capital by 1997 was more than a quarter of Russian GDP and greater than Russia’s external debt of $196-billion of 1997.14

Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are now experiencing the ravaging effect of a market that will sell assets to the highest bidder, regardless of the cost. The poverty of the population is devastating. For the west, the collapse of the USSR has meant the opening of vast new regions for exploitation. At the same time, the fear of competition from other imperialist states has meant an increased rush to expand the influence of direct military, political and economic control.

The system of capitalist competition on a world scale — where economic competition has a tendency to be expressed in political competition for strategic territorial control, resources and markets — characterized the periods before, during and after the Cold War. The US is the largest and most powerful imperialist power in a world of competing imperialist powers of lesser size. But all capitalist states are driven by profit and those that are capable are prepared to turn to deadly, even nuclear war to protect their profits. The threat of a nuclear conflict emerging between India and Pakistan, for example, is very real.

Moreover, inter-imperialist conflict, of the type that led to two massive world wars in the 20th century, is also a very real threat to global stability. US foreign policy is shaped not only by the end of the Cold War, but also by fear of growing competition from former enemies and allies alike. This reality is clearly influential in the strategic thinking of the Bush government in the US today, expressed in the National Security Strategy published a year after the September 11 attacks.

Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence. . . . We are attentive to the possible renewal of old patterns of great power competition. Several potential great powers are now in the midst of internal transition — most importantly Russia, India, and China. In all three cases, recent developments have encouraged our hope that a truly global consensus about basic principles is slowly taking shape. 15

There is a sense of urgency expressed in this document regarding the increased importance of overt military occupation. The post September 11 context is taken as a model to be generalized. The plan is to increase US military preparedness, including “pre-emptive” strikes in anticipation of enemies before there is any actual threat.

The unparalleled strength of the United States armed forces, and their forward presence, have maintained the peace in some of the world’s most strategically vital regions. However, the threats and enemies we must confront have changed, and so must our forces. A military structured to deter massive Cold War-era armies must be transformed to focus more on how an adversary might fight rather than where and when a war might occur. We will channel our energies to overcome a host of operational challenges. The presence of American forces overseas is one of the most profound symbols of the U.S. commitments to allies and friends. Through our willingness to use force in our own defense and in defense of others, the United States demonstrates its resolve to maintain a balance of power that favors freedom. To contend with uncertainty and to meet the many security challenges we face, the United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. forces. Before the war in Afghanistan, that area was low on the list of major planning contingencies.16

Oil and Imperialist War

Oil is the one raw material resource that is crucial to the military and industrial productivity and profits of the west. The US is the world’s largest oil importer. It depends on oil imports for about half of its domestic energy needs.

The Middle East has two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves, and it is the cheapest place to produce it. Since the collapse of the USSR, however, a newly accessible oil rich region around the Caspian Sea, has altered the terrain of imperialist conflict. The importance of gaining access to Caspian sea oil was well understood by the Bush administration long before September 11. In fact, the multinational oil interests based in the US were an essential part of the Republican Party’s election plan, and comprised the key players in Bush’s new government.

A May, 2001 national energy policy paper, known as the Cheney report, makes the strategy clear. Environmental policy and war are inherently linked. This document has become known for its call to recommend drilling in the Arctic national wildlife refuge. But the background to the document is the expectation that the US, which currently obtains half its petroleum from foreign sources, will by 2020 increase that dependency to two-thirds. The conclusion is that the US must maintain “good relations” with known oil producing states such as Saudi Arabia, but at the same time “diversify” its dependency on oil to other parts of the world. This includes the Arctic, other states in Latin America and Africa, and places like Afghanistan where pipeline construction opens oil sources around the Caspian Sea.17

The oil rich regions of the Middle East and central Asia are now the most dangerous places in the world. There are many other sources of energy that could be found as an alternative, sources that are not damaging to the environment nor at the centre of international rivalry. But it is oil and the profits generated by its use that grease the wheels of capitalism and war. Each of the major wars of the last period have been marked by similar strategic and economic aims. It is useful briefly to review these conflicts, starting with the most recent.

The immediate provocation of the US-led war on Afghanistan was the September 11 attacks. However, competition for US strategic influence in a region rich in oil reserves and formerly under the domain of Russian influence also played a major role.

The number of dead and wounded in Aghanistan is still uncounted. The most accurate estimates place the number of casualties above the numbers who died on September 11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.18 But Afghanistan is now an occupied country, and for the Afghani population, there is still no peace.

Interest in Caspian Sea oil reserves, and controlling the production, distribution, and profits that could be generated from them, was a central concern in the shaping of US foreign policy for a decade prior to September 11. With the collapse of the USSR, the legal status of the Caspian Sea region became unclear. The treaties developed in 1921 and 1940 with the USSR came under dispute. Located in central Asia, there were once only two nations bordering its shores — the USSR and Iran. Now the coasts meet the independent states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, as well as Iran and Russia. The 700-mile sea contains six distinct hydro-carbon basins.

According to the US Energy Information Association:

The prospect of potentially enormous hydrocarbon reserves is part of the allure of the Caspian region. . . . Besides the 18-34 billion barrels currently proven, the region’s possible oil reserves could yield another 235 billion barrels of oil. This is roughly equivalent to a quarter of the Middle East’s total proven reserves. . . . Proven oil reserves for the entire Caspian Sea region (total country reserves, not just for the Caspian Sea itself) are estimated at 18-34 billion barrels, comparable to those in the United States (22 billion barrels) and the North Sea (17 billion barrels).19

Also up for challenge was the direction of pipeline development, both for oil and reserves of natural gas. One plan under consideration well before September 11 was to pipe Caspian oil to the south. Enter Afghanistan. Here is how the US government Energy Information Association, in a website posting dated July of 2001, considered the relative merits of routing through Afghanistan or Iran.

The Afghanistan option, which Turkmenistan has been promoting, would entail building oil and gas pipelines across war-torn Afghan territory to reach markets in Pakistan and possibly India. The Iranian route for gas would pipe Caspian region gas (from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) to Iran’s southern coast, then eastward to Pakistan, while the oil route would take oil to the Persian Gulf, then load it onto tankers for further trans-shipment. However, any significant investment in Iran would be problematic under the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, which imposes sanctions on non-U.S. companies investing in the Iranian oil and gas sectors.20

Pipeline development in fact began immediately after the war in Afghanistan, as soon as the US secured the surrender of the Taliban. And notably, Afghanistan’s newly installed President Hamid Karzai is a former salaried consultant for Unocal, the principal US corporation involved in pipeline negotiations in Afghanistan.

On 30 May 2002, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement to build a multi-billion dollar natural gas pipeline to bring gas south from Turkmenistan’s vast Daulatabad gas fields, through Afghanistan to Pakistan. This is virtually identical to the Unocal proposal of the mid-1990s. 21

War on ex-Yugoslavia – 1999

Only three years prior to the war on Afghanistan, in 1999, the US, Canada and other NATO countries claimed the war in ex-Yugoslavia was, like the so-called “war against terrorism”, necessary for humanitarian reasons, in this case to protect the interests of ethnic Albanians against local Serbian aggression. And, like the war on Afghanistan, the facts do not support the claim. Just before the first bombs were dropped, NATO had expanded into eastern Europe. NATO membership was extended to three former Warsaw-pact countries — Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. A new pro-NATO alliance was forged, consisting of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Muldova, and Azerbaijan — a border state on the Caspian Sea.22

Before the bombing began on March 24, 1999, about 2,000 were killed and wounded in the horrific ongoing civil war in the province of Kosovo. But the bombing raids killed far more — between 10,000 and 15,000 (of whom, 1,500 were Serb civilians and hundreds more Albanian Kosovars). Robert Hayden, director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies of the University of Pittsburgh, stated that, excluding murdered Albanians and Serb military casualties,

the casualties among Serb civilians in the first three weeks of the war are higher than all of the casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months that led up to this war, and yet those three months were supposed to be a humanitarian catastrophe.23

Before the bombing, 50,000 people had been displaced from their homes. After the bombing, this figure jumped astronomically to more than 800,000. NATO bombs, in other words, inflicted far more damage than the dictator Milosevic.

With thousands of tons of explosives raining down on Kosovo and Serbia, with 30,000 NATO bombing sorties (10 percent of which involved Canadian jets, behind only the US and Britain), NATO brought to the forefront the most brutal elements in the Serb paramilitaries. The NATO attacks included dropping cluster bombs on hospitals, the use of radioactive ammunition, and air raids on marching columns of refugees. The murders, rapes and torture carried out by the Serb paramilitary forces were horrific. But the suffering of the Albanian peoples, and innocent Serbs, were made more horrific by the 80-day imperialist war. Nor did the ethnic cleansing stop after the war. The Albanian Kosovars returned to villages rendered uninhabitable by war and continued oppression. The 150-200,000 Serbs who live in Kosovo were forced to flee the ruined province in fear.25

It was left to the workers and students of Yugoslavia to rid their war torn country of the dictator Milosovic. In a magnificent revolutionary uprising, the working class accomplished what the greatest military capitalist powers with all their bombs and devastation were unable to do.

War on Iraq – 1991

The last war against Iraq was ostensibly in defense of the Kuwaiti people under threat from Iraqi military invasion. And again, behind the cover of a new type of “humanitarian war”, was a far less noble aim. The 1991 war on Iraq was another imperialist war, and again the main motivations were strategic influence for the US and their western allies, and oil.

The Gulf War left an estimated 200,000 Iraqi civilians and conscripted soldiers dead. This war also saw the introduction on a mass scale of a new generation of “weapons of mass destruction”, US-style. These included depleted uranium, stealth bombers, and a series of bombs designed to target anything alive. Cluster bombs and fuel air weapons were designed to rupture lungs and crush the internal organs of thousands who were no where near the so-called “military target.”

The state of Kuwait was created in 1928 by an imperialist design cooked up by planners in London and Paris. It is one of the richest oil states in the world. But a war for oil was not ideologically acceptable. Taking place just a year after the collapse of the USSR, the US could hardly claim this was a war against “communism.” Some members of the US ruling class could not, however, keep the secret to themselves. Then US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb said at the time, “If Kuwait grew carrots, we wouldn’t give a damn.”

Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi state lost the war. But Hussein remained in command of a weak and defeated country. The fall of Hussein could have been secured if there was another government to put in its place. At the end of the war, the oppressed peoples of Iraq rebelled against Hussein, in uprisings of Shiite Muslims and the Kurdish people. However, the US was no friend of movements that could inspire revolt in other Middle Eastern states, and among whom there was no promise of allegiance to the US itself. As the US army retreated, Hussein was left in office, given license by the US to suppress the uprisings even as he was condemned for “attacking his own people.”

Now, a decade of imperialism’s vengeance has been meted against the people if Iraq by UN enforced economic sanctions. Since the Gulf War in 1991, United Nations sanctions have caused even more tragedy. An estimated 500,000 children under five have died as a result of sanctions. If adults are added, the number of deaths due to sanctions rises to 1.5 million.26

Towards a Mass Anti-war Movement

The US is again on the brink of war against Iraq. And Afghanistan is an occupied territory under an unstable government constructed by the US and its western allies, including Canada. There is no semblance of democracy, and there is still no peace.

US President George Bush declared in his State of the Union address in January 2002 that the “war against terror is only beginning.”27 For those of us opposed to war, this is a warning. Far from the end of history, present conditions are reminiscent of a period many would like to forget — the era of inter-imperialist rivalry prior to World War II. The system is driven by profit, and competition for greater strategic advantage to enhance and protect the profit of specific sections of capital drives the system to war.

There is, however, growing resistance. The warmongers are no longer on the ideological high ground they claimed in the immediate aftermath of September 11. And while they bare their teeth for war, the anti-war movement is finding its voice and seeking united organizational expression. The importance of understanding the nature of imperialism is to help us put an end to it — and this means challenging the system that generates war and exploitation on such a massive and barbaric scale.


1 Maura Reynolds, “Most Unconvinced on Iraq War: Two-thirds Believe Bush has Failed to Make the Case an Attack Would be Justified”, Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2002 <;. This poll was conducted December 12-15, 2002, and interviewed 1,305 people nationwide.

2 Patrick Wintour, “Labour’s Anti-war Protesters Plan Party Rebellion”, Guardian Unlimited, September 13, 2002 <,11538,791375,00.html>

3 Other provincial breakdowns for opposition to war on Iraq are: Prairies 41 percent; Atlantic provinces 44 percent; Ontario 48 percent; Alberta 57 percent. “Canadians Polarized on Support for War: Poll”, Toronto Star (December 9, 2002) <;. This poll conducted by Ekos Research, commissioned CBC, Toronto Star and La Presse, based on interviews with 1,205 people nationwide.

4 Toronto Star (December 9, 2002)

5 Other Cabinet resignations were Lawrence MacAuley and Alfonso Gagliano.

6 V.I. Lenin, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (Peking: 1970); Nicolai Bukharin, Imperialism and World Economy, intro. V. I. Lenin, (London: 1972). See also the non-Marxist economist who inspired Lenin’s work, J.A. Hobson; see J. A. Hobson: A Reader, ed., Michael Freeman (London: 1988).

7 Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: 1993)

8 See for example, Peter Gowan, The Global Gamble: Washington’s Faustian Bid for World Dominance (London: 1999).

9 John Rees, “Imperialism: Globalisation, the State and War”, International Socialism Journal, series 2, 93, (Special Issue, Winter 2001), p. 8

10 A small minority current on the left understood that this bi-polar world was divided by two great capitalist powers, and maintained that a Marxist challenge to both sides of the system was necessary to socialist strategy. See Tony Cliff, State Capitalism in Russia (London: 1988).

11 See Chris Harman, Explaining the Crisis (London: 1984); and Fortune 500, The 2002 Global 500, July 22, 2002 .

12 World War II was in fact not fought to put a halt to the Nazis, but to secure US strategic hegemony in the world system. See Gabriel Kolko, The Politics of War (New York: 1968); and Chris Bambery, “Was the Second World War a War for Democracy?”, International Socialism, series 2, no. 67 (Summer 1995).

13 Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, January 15-21,1998

14 Geoffrey York, Globe and Mail (Sept. 11, 1998)

15 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September, 2002) <>

16 National Security Strategy

17 Michael T. Klare, “Oil Moves the War Machine”, The Progressive, June 2002 <;

18 Marc Herold, “Counting the Dead”, The Guardian (August 8, 2002) <,11447,770999,

19 US Energy Information Administration, “Caspian Sea Region”, July 2001 <;

20 US Energy Information Administration, “Caspian Sea Region”

21 Paul Kellogg, “The Geo-economics of the New Great Game”, Contemporary Politics, vol. 9, no. 1 (forthcoming March, 2003).

22 See John Rees, “NATO and the New Imperialism”, Socialist Review, no. 231 (June 1999); and Paul Kellogg, “After the War in Kosovo”, unpublished ms., June 20, 1999.

23 Cited in Noam Chomsky, “Kosovo Peace Accord”, Z Magazine, July 1999.

24 “The Horrendous Price of G8 Peace,” PressInfo #69, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research <>; Robert Fisk, “War in the
Balkans — 72 days. 1,500 Dead. Serbs ask Why”, in The Independent, June 4, 1999

25 Paul Koring, “Serbs Run for Their Lives,” in The Globe and Mail, June 16, 1999. Also see Lindsey German, ed., The Balkans: Nationalism and Imperialism (London: 1999).

26 See “Frequently Asked Questions About Sanctions in Iraq”, Voices in the Wildernernss: Campaign to End Economic Sanctions Against the People of Iraq <>

27 “President’s State of the Union Address”, Washington D.C., (January 29, 2002) <>

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