By Andrew Williams
Islamophobia – anti-Muslim bigotry – has become an important ideological component in imperialism’s current international offensive. As has been argued in an earlier article on this website, US imperialism’s determination to maintain its international pre-eminence has for the past 30 years required it to increasingly assert its military superiority to compensate for the reduced competitiveness of its domestic economy. Over that period US military activity has extended in all areas of the globe, including in the Middle East, Central Asia and now Latin America.
The Middle East and Central Asia are adjoining regions and key to world oil and gas supplies and so of strategic importance to the US – not just because its economy is dependent on these commodities, but also because the degree to which the US can exert control over supplies gives it an advantage over its rivals.
After the Second World War, US hegemony, based on its economic leverage and its role as imperialism’s military police force internationally, meant it could develop client regimes or negotiate favourable contracts for extraction and pipelines, without direct military intervention. But its economic decline has meant that its economic leverage is now sometimes insufficient to secure this, and it increasingly therefore has to resort to military action.