Thanks to maritime engineers and salvage crews – with a lift from the full moon and the tides – that Japanese-owned container ship that was wedged across the Suez Canal for about a week has finally been freed. A backlog of 400 stranded ships has cleared and normal transit operations have resumed.
But a much longer shutdown of the 120-mile-long waterway years ago provides us a means to deconstruct one of the US Deep State's most pernicious talking points.
In writing about the ending of the American Global Military Empire in our new book The Last Gold Rush… Ever!, my co-author Bill Haynes and I chose to make an example of this endlessly repeated but seldom questioned assertion, one used to justify a continuous, across-the-board escalation of military spending. It is applied today especially to the South China Sea: that the US Empire is required "to keep the sea lanes open."
Who exactly is it that has been threatening the sea lanes? China?
China's interest is in keeping the sea lanes open, as it is utterly dependent on the importation of oil and its shipment through both the far away Strait of Hormuz and closer by, through the Malacca Strait. As China has grown economically over the last several decades, it is simply unavoidable that its presence in the region's waterways would grow. It cannot be otherwise. And, in fact, some 75 percent of all commercial shipping through the South China Sea is coming from or going to China.
If China itself were to try to close shipping lanes in the South China Sea to other countries, like the US and Japan, its own economy—vying to be the largest in the world—would collapse with the departure of its largest customers. Millions of suddenly unemployed Chinese workers would pose an existential threat to the central government. And that—an internal upheaval—is what keeps the autocrats in Beijing awake at night.
But this front of the American Empire demonstrates that even in the presence of sensible and proven non-interventionist alternatives, the default position of the Deep State is always in favor of interventionism that piles up debt and death for the people, while enlarging the state and enriching the military-industrial complex.
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 7, THE EMPIRE'S END – The Harder They Fall that helps lay the Empire's sea lane rationale to rest.
At the beginning of the 1967 Six Day War, Egypt closed one of the world's most important sea lanes, the Suez Canal. It remained closed for eight years. Since the Suez Canal is the most direct route from Europe to Asia, today carrying about 7.5 percent of all seagoing commerce, important conclusions can be drawn from its long closure.