the Disillusioned kid
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Sunday, June 13, 2004

Looks like the Iraqi fiasco is beginning to have an effect on the US's global deployments. This week saw announcements of the withdrawal of 12,500 troops from South Korea (a third of the 37,000 currently there) and the withdrawal of its two Army divisions in Germany (with plans to replace them with a smaller, more flexible presence). None of this is very surprising given the kicking they are being given in Iraq. It is important that when considering the difficulties faced by US imperialism, progressives do not make the mistake of focusing only on the overt forms, primarily troop deployments and wars, and thus conclude that it has been seriously curtailed.

Since the Vietnam War the standard form which US intervention takes is through proxies, the overt forms of intervention as in Iraq are in fact the exception. These indirect interventions continue apace. Recent months have seen various examples: the presence of over 100 Colombian paramilitaries in Venezuela apparently there to train the Venezuelan army in preparation for a coup to depose the country's president Hugo Chavez; the barely concealed US role in the coup which removed Haitian president Aristide and returned to power the paramilitary thugs who had ruled the country during the early 90s; in the Middle East the US has been a willing accomplice in Sharon's efforts to secure Israeli control over the West Bank by imposing an agreement on the Palestinians; there is also growing evidence of US involvement in the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia which removed President Eduard Shevardnadze.

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