'Wiping Countries Off the Map': Who’s Failing the 'Failed States'
Prof Michel Chossudovsky
“Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran’s President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, “Israel must be wiped off the map”. Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, …” (Arash Norouzi, Wiped off The Map: The Rumor of the Century January 2007)
“The United States has attacked, directly or indirectly, some 44 countries throughout the world since August 1945, a number of them many times. The avowed objective of these military interventions has been to effect “regime change”. The cloaks of “human rights” and of “democracy” were invariably evoked to justify what were unilateral and illegal acts. (Professor Eric Waddell, The United States’ Global Military Crusade (1945- ), Global Research, February 2007
“This is a [Pentagon] memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” (General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now, March 2, 2007)
* * *
Washington is in the “business of destroying” a very long list of countries.
Who is “Wiping Countries off the Map”? Iran or the United States?
During a period which is euphemistically called the “post-war era” –extending from 1945 to the present–, the US has directly or indirectly attacked more than 40 countries.
While the tenets of US foreign policy are predicated on the “spread of democracy”, US interventionism –through military means and covert operations– has resulted in the outright destabilization and partition of sovereign nations.
Destroying countries is part of a US Imperial project, a process of global domination. Moreover, according to official sources, the US has a total of 737 military bases in foreign countries. (2005 data)
The Notion of “Failed States”
The Washington based National Intelligence Council (NIC) in its Global Trends report (December 2012) “predicts” that 15 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East will become “failed states” by 2030, due to their “potential for conflict and environmental ills”.
The list of countries in the 2012 NIC report includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, DR Congo, Malawi, Haiti, Yemen. (see p 39)
In its previous 2005 report, published at the outset of Bush’s second term, the National Intelligence Council had predicted that Pakistan would become a “failed’ state” by 2015 “as it will be affected by civil war, complete Talibanisation and struggle for control of its nuclear weapons”.
Pakistan was compared to Yugoslavia which was carved up into seven proxy states after a decade of US-NATO sponsored “civil wars”.
The NIC forecast for Pakistan was a “Yugoslav-like fate” in a “country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries” (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005).
While the failed states are said to “serve as safehavens for political and religious extremists” (p. 143), the report does not acknowledge the fact that the US and its allies have, since the 1970s, provided covert support to religious extremist organizations as a means to destabilize sovereign secular nation states. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan were secular states in the 1970s.
A Yugoslav or Somalia-style “failed state status” is not the result of internal social divisions, it is a strategic objective implemented through covert operations and military action.
The Washington based Fund for Peace, whose mandate is to promote “sustainable security through research”, publishes (annually) a “Failed States Index” based on a risk assessment (see map below). Thirty three countries (included in the Alert and Warm categories) are identified as “failed states”.