Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on Crosstalk to discuss the war in Yemen. He points out the obvious hypocrisy of US policy as it champions legitimacy of the deposed government in Yemen, while rejecting the same concept in Ukraine. Draitser examines some of the primary motivations for both Saudi Arabia and the United States in this war, as well as the failures and distortions of the western corporate media. Also, he addresses some of the regional geopolitics, demonization of Iran, and much more.
The military intervention in Yemen by a US-backed coalition of Arab states will undoubtedly inflame the conflict both in Yemen, and throughout the region. It is likely to be a protracted war involving many actors, each of which is interested in furthering its own political and geopolitical agenda.
However, it is the international reaction to this new regional war which is of particular interest; specifically, the way in which the United States has reacted to this undeniable aggression by its Gulf allies. While Washington has gone to great lengths to paint Russia’s reunification with Crimea and its limited support for the anti-Kiev rebels of eastern Ukraine as “aggression,” it has allowed that same loaded term to be completely left out of the narrative about the new war in Yemen.
So it seems that, according to Washington, aggression is not defined by any objective indicators: use of military hardware, initiation of hostilities, etc. Rather, the United States defines aggression by the relationship of a given conflict to its own strategic interests. In Crimea and Ukraine, Russia is the aggressor because, in defending its own interests and those of Russian people, it has acted against the perceived geopolitical interests of the US. While in Yemen, the initiation by Saudi Arabia and other US-backed countries of an unprovoked war with the expressed goal of regime change, this is not aggression as it furthers Washington’s interests.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org debates the Saudi-led war on Yemen. He argues that the war should be understood as a proxy war intitiated by Saudi Arabia in order to prop up a puppet government and further its own interests. Draitser illustrates the hypocrisy of the US and its allies as they confer legitimacy on compliant regimes, and call illegitimate those that do not bow to their diktats. He examines the issues of terrorism, geopolitics, and imperialism, explaining how they are relevant to this discussion.
Scientific and technological innovations have the power to fundamentally transform human civilization as new possibilities previously deemed impossible are made realities. However, it is not the technologies themselves that dictate the nature of the political, economic or social evolution. Rather, it is control over, and access to, technology that has the truly profound impact. While advanced medicines, new methods of energy production and biotechnology breakthroughs are in themselves important, when monopolized by a select few, the implications for the majority of people can be dire.
So it is with the emerging revolution in 3D printing, a technology that manufactures (or “prints”), layer by layer, physical objects from computer models using a variety of materials. While 3D printing has existed in concept since the early 1980s, only in recent years has the technology been brought to the desktop level, allowing individuals and small groups of hobbyists to print a wide variety of objects, from plastic coasters to medical equipment. Having started in the traditional industrial and fabrication setting, it was the application of 3D printing by independent, technologically inclined “hackers” (individuals who manipulate and/or customize computer and electronic equipment to fit their needs) that helped mainstream this technology.
Today, there is a consensus among those in the know – from the most ruthless capitalist profit-seekers to anarcho-communist hackers – that the 3D printing revolution is coming, and the world will not be the same once it arrives. So the struggle is not whether there will be 3D printers, but rather how that technology will be used, how it will be dispersed in society, who will have access to it, and who will control and/or steer its development.
The central question will not be whether a working-class person can 3D print some household object in his garage; this is a foregone conclusion. Instead, it will be whether or not the ability to 3D print the elemental parts of modern and future society (computer processors, nanobots, telecommunications equipment etc.) will be open to all, or controlled by the few.
Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his analysis of NATO’s missile systems in Eastern Europe. He explains that while the US maintains the missiles are “defensive,” they should be understood as part of an aggressive policy aimed at Russia. Draitser notes that Ukraine is only one front in the broader conflict in which NATO expansion plays a key role.