Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The southern axis of evil

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

""Hitler" did New York and was received like, well, the new Adolf Hitler. Then he flew south and was received like a revolutionary hero. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has seen the face of two radically different Americas. Call it a practical lesson in the new multipolar world order.

After the sparring at Columbia University and his speech at the United Nations, the Iranian president visited Bolivian President Evo Morales in La Paz and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Merida. Both countries are rich in natural resources, against the George W Bush administration's hegemonic designs, and supportive of the Iranian civilian nuclear program. As such, they are configured as Iran's key strategic allies in South America. From the point of view of the Islamic Republic, this is regarded as nothing short than a key geopolitical victory......

Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and eternal US nemesis Fidel Castro of Cuba also qualify for the "alternative bloc". On Sunday, Correa, a US-trained socialist economist, captured a huge victory at the polls, with a new, truly representative batch of parliamentary members expected to follow the current corrupt, right-wing-controlled House and perform as a true constituent assembly......

The big picture

One does not need to be the invaluable Immanuel Wallerstein, professor emeritus at Yale and director of the Fernand Braudel Center in New York, to read the writing on the wall. Wallerstein argues that the Bush administration's endless-war ethos has not only exposed all the limits of US bombs-and-bullets power but has also laid bare to the world US political impotence.

This is the real talk of the town in western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa: US hegemony coming to an irreversible end, revealing, Wallerstein would say, "multiple poles of geopolitical power". We are entering "a situation of structural crisis towards the construction of a new world system" - with no hegemonic power.

The multiple poles include the US, western Europe, Russia, China, Japan, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil and the southern cone and, Wallerstein would add, "maybe South America as a regional bloc"......

In a recent interview to Venezuelan/American lawyer and essayist Eva Golinger, US author Noam Chomsky very much put it all in perspective for those not familiar with the extraordinary egalitarian push now at work in South America:

For the first time since the Spanish invasion, the countries are beginning to face some of the internal problems in Latin America. One of the problems is just disintegration. The countries have very little relationship to one another. They typically were related to the outside imperial power, not to each other. You can even see it in the transportation systems.

But there is also internal disintegration, tremendous inequality, the worst in the world; small elites and huge [numbers of] massively impoverished people, and the elites were Europe-oriented or US-oriented later - that's where their second homes were, that's where their capital went to, that's where their children went to school. They didn't have anything to do with the population. The elites in Latin America had very little responsibility for the countries. And these two forms of disintegration are slowly being overcome.

So there is more, there is a pretty close correlation between wealth and whiteness all over the continent. It's one of the reasons for the antagonism to Chavez, it's because he doesn't look white

Well, it's not about good guys and bad guys. Most of all it's about the old, arrogant, corrupt, sub-imperialist order, and the desire for a more just, equitable, continentally integrated order. Iran has seen which way the wind is blowing - and it's rather toward Caracas and La Paz than toward the bright lights, the big city. "


What Chomsky said about Latin America equally applies to the Arab world. The difference is that Latin America is rebelling against the Empire and changing while the Arabs are moving even closer to the imperial center! In the overall scheme of things the Arabs are acting as a sub-species.

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