Monday, October 30, 2006

the struggle du jour

David Brooks's column this week (as i write this its freely avail on but if you're reading this later you may have to pay to see it) says:
We’re about to enter another of those periods without a dominant ideology. It’s clear that this election will mark the end of conservative dominance. This election is a period, not a comma in political history.
People like Brooks make me a little nuts sometimes because I feel like they are writing as if the "conservative" movement in america today is the Goldwater conservatism of my father's generation rather than the radical anti-empiricist movement it has become. I think (or is it hope?) that Brooks is wrong and we're on the verge, not of sliding into a period of non-aligned politics but a big swing back toward the enlightenment values that our country was founded on. Maybe we'll look back on this as a time when the attack on our country by a dangerous bunch of religious nut-cases briefly put another bunch of dangerous religious nut-cases in control?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

bye bye Thanks Jay for the space and encouragement to blog! My first comment from 'MK' was that I was blogging inside of a blog. So, I made my own blog. Hurray for blogging. Check it out at the above site.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The J Curve

In the segment “Globalism: The New System” I offered “Globalism” as our focus for foreign affairs instead of the myopic “War on Terror” because Globalism accounts for many more forces at play in our world today. We should replace the “Neocon’s agenda of military global domination” with a “Globalists effort to engage the new world order” so we can better weigh the positive and negative effects of our actions in the world. Now I offer something in place of the “Bush Doctrine” as an approach to foreign policy: Ian Bremmer’s “The J Curve”.

First some credentials: Ian Bremmer is President of Eurasia Group, the world’s largest political risk consultancy. He has written for the Financial Times, the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, and has authored or edited five books. He is a columnist for Slate, a contributing editor at The National Interest, and political commentator on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

Once again this is not a cure all. He speaks broadly and he says that a one size fits all approach to foreign affairs is a recipe for failure. Yet, he does a better job of speaking about the world than our current policy makers rhetoric of ‘evildoers threaten us from their outposts of tyranny’. Closed states should not journey to open globalization until they are prepared to do so. Globalization is a destabilizing process for states, yet if they can manage the shift to openness and exchange, the resulting connectedness can lead to an enduring stability.

The J curve has an x-axis of ‘openness’, a y-axis of ‘stability’ and all nation-states constantly fluctuate to some extent along the J curve. Bremmer explains that what makes a society stable while being on the right side of the curve are enduring institutions and that their culture is open to global and interior exchange of ideas, goods and services. Nation-states on the left side of the curve find stability in the form of an authoritarian governments yet these forms of governments are closed to the exchange of ideas, goods and services. What separates these two forms of stable governments is a gulf of instability.

Bremmer comments, “any leader of any government has as their first goal the stability and continuity of their own governance—their ability to continue to rule. If you’re the leader of a stable democracy that means you’re going to want to continue integrating your country into the global order and improving the educational level and economic well-being of your people. And you’d tend to respond to outside incentives to keep that going. But in authoritarian countries—in the most threatening rogue states—leaders accomplish their goal of remaining in power not by educating their population or improving their country’s integration into the broader global community but rather by furthering their country’s isolation and keeping it there.”

Bremmer argues quite persuasively that sanctions do not work. The goal of states on the right side of the J curve is to raise the entire arc of a country on the left side of the J curve as they journey through the swoon of instability. To raise the arc is to increase the wealth of a country thus establishing the demands of a middle class for more openness and the creating a heightened awareness of the people living inside of the country to the outside world by means of providing people access to technology, media so that they have the understanding that “we don’t have to live this way”. This is a slow, patient process indeed. What it means is that we can not force democracy on people by the points of our bayonets. We must persuade others to come along with us down the road of globalization. This means the creation of fair and balanced global institutions that encourages participation without the fear of being exploited by the dominant countries on the right side of the J curve.

Bremmer also demonstrates that the Bush Doctrine is ineffective because you can not force massive amounts of reform on a people. Too much reform all at once forces a country into the unstable depths of the J Curve, much like Iraq is now. More likely than not the people will turn to an authoritarian personality to provide jobs, food and security. A people plunged into instability will want a quick fix and they will give up their civil liberties instead of the long trial of establishing effective institutions.

“When a state suddenly becomes unstable, its citizens may demand a restoration of stability at the expense of all meaningful reform. When the soviet Union collapsed, the government of the Russian Federation took steps to establish Russia on the right side of the curve. Boris Yeltsin’s government subjected Russian society to economic “shock therapy.” At the same time, opposition parties and the national media, which had up to that point been completely under state domination, were freed to do and say virtually anything. The combination of spiraling inflation, social insecurity, Chechen separatist attacks, unchecked crony capitalism, and heightened public awareness of all these problems created a frightening sense of chaos across the country. The widespread sense that society was in free fall prompted many Russians to support moves to hit the brakes on Russia’s reform-driven politics. In other words, the deep social anxiety provoked by so much reform all at once-created demand for an imposed order, for closed politics. That’s an important reason why Russia has retreated over the last half-decade to the left side of the curve.”

A second reason that the Bush Doctrine has failed is that the U.S. armed forces do not have the resources to sustain such an aggressive long term agenda. ‘Military regime change is prohibitively expensive as a major component of U.S. foreign policy. The (Bush) administration lacks both the material resources and the political capital to continue to use these tools…” New York Times reports, “strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.”

Reuters notes that most soldiers are facing their second or third deployment. “About 102,000 of the 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are Army soldiers, as well as 16,000 of 21,000 troops in Afghanistan.”

In the past two months, the Pentagon has extended two brigades of nearly 4,000 soldiers each beyond their scheduled departure date from Iraq -- which can undermine morale and upset families at home.

Army leaders are expressing concern over getting sufficient resources to sustain overseas deployments and replace and fix tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment battered in Iraq.

The Congressional Research Service reports that the Iraq war is costing American taxpayers $2 billion a week -- that’s about twice as much as in 2003. Afghanistan -- where the 9-11 hijackers were linked -- is costing $370 million a week, up 20 percent from 2005.

These costs fly in the face of the Administration’s pre-war assessments, which assured Americans that the bulk of reconstruction costs would be shouldered by Iraq and that the total cost of the war would be around $50 billion.

Part of the cost increase is related to “semi-permanent support bases,” which means that the Pentagon tacitly believes the US military will be in Iraq for the long-haul. This is not unlike the $2.5 billion that the Congressional Research Service found the Pentagon “diverted from other spending authorizations in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the invasion.”

And yet a new poll shows that six-in-10 (60%) of Iraqis “say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces.” Most Iraqis (about 80%) believe the crux of the controversial NIE report: the US presence in Iraq “provokes more violence than it prevents.”

Bremmer goes on to be critical of the administrations policy by adding ‘the strategy is dangerous precisely because the Bush administration hasn’t fully articulated how states that aren’t ready for the transition (from stable, closed authoritarian states to stable, open international participants) can withstand the buffeting they’ll face in the depths of the curve. Foreign policy is not an abstraction, and a one-size-fits-all approach is doomed to failure.”

However, Bremmer does not preach American isolation. “U.S. policy makers should never have had to choose between the best of three bad options: counterproductive sanctions, capitulation, or a costly war that left U.S. troops to play a principal role in rebuilding Iraq’s stability. The lesson of the J curve is that a process of creating opportunities for ordinary Iraqis to profit from access to the resources of the outside world would have destabilized Saddam at less cost to both the Iraqi people and to the United States. To be fair, it’s not realistic to believe George H. W. Bush or Bill Clinton could have made an effective political case for punishing Saddam by extending Iraq an invitation to join the WTO. Nonetheless, policies that provided resources and created opportunities for Iraqis to interact as fully as possible with the outside world and with one another might have forced Saddam to contend with pressures for change from within Iraq. U.S. policies designed to isolate North Korea and Cuba have led to the same false choice: capitulation or costly confrontation.”

“The countries on the right side of the J curve have a collective political, economic, and security interests on working together to help move left-side states through instability to the right side of the curve. But they must recognize that the most powerful agents for constructive, sustainable change in any society are the people who live within it.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Globalism: The New System

Globalism is not presented here as a prescription for a cure all. Nor is it a harden agenda to replace what the Bush administration has implemented as policy. I say Globalism is what makes our current Presidents ideology anathema. Globalism demands the need for leaders to account for a broader range of dynamic forces and to be humble in changing course when policy fails.

Globalism is a perspective, a set of tools to help describe and interact with the current global landscape and those tools will change because the world is a dynamic place that no single source can dominate. I propose Globalism as an approach to discussing foreign policy which will inform the United States as it constantly updates policy to interact with a new global system. This is a call to broaden the American focus from a “War on Terror” to a more sophisticated public discourse on foreign policy.

I dare to suggest that Globalism is closer to a Big Tent where the WTO should sit down and talk to protestors about what is going on in the world and become accountable to their actions. If they can’t actually sit down and speak, a blue sky dream to be sure, a public discourse grounded in Globalism will at least set the table for these opposed view points to be shared. Meanwhile, the mantra ‘War on Terror’ accounts for neither perspective. If Globalism is embraced as a national public discourse we can begin to weigh the positive and negative effects of our actions in this big global marketplace.

I would say globalism is a fact, the state of affairs, and that terrorism is but one facet of the machinery that is operating in the world. The ‘War on Terror’ turns Globalization on its head, picks out one facet of the new reality, emphasizes that one aspect in order to perpetuate Cold War values so that the U.S. military-industrial-complex remains the dominant force of this new world order. I contend that the threat of terrorism has less of an impact on your daily life than United States trade relations with China. Globalization is a perspective you will never hear from George Bush’s bully pulpit of fear and deceit. We need our national discussion to be raised above this petty tribalism where the ‘evil doers’ are pitted against the ‘patriots’. The continued support of this Imperial Presidents platform will do nothing but stunt the United States adaptation to this brave new world.

“China Sets Goal of Selling Roses to All the World”
From the New York Times front page, September 25, 2006, by Keith Bradsher

“Americans and Europeans are used to buying mass produced shoes, toys and microwave ovens from China. So why not roses?

“That is the thinking behind an elaborate Chinese government effort to export cut flowers, aimed not just at developing a new business to take on the world but at redeveloping the social and economic landscape here in southwestern China.

“By placing the flower industry, along with several others, far from the coastal provinces that have enjoyed most of the nation’s prosperity, Beijing officials hope to bring jobs to tens of millions of impoverished, isolated workers in a bid to narrow the income gap between rich city dwellers and unemployed farmers.”

The first sustained exports of Chinese flowers arrived in the United States last week.

Here is a quote from Jacob Frenkel, governor of Israel’s Central Bank and a University of Chicago-trained economist. Frenkel remarked that he too was going through a perspective change: “Before, when we talked about macroeconomics, we started by looking at the local markets, local financial systems and the interrelationship between them, and then, as an afterthought, we looked at the international economy. There was a feeling that what we do is primarily our own business and then there are some outlets where we will sell abroad. Now we reverse the perspective. Let’s not ask what markets we should export to, after having decided what to produce; rather let’s first study the global framework within which we operate and then decide what to produce. It changes your whole perspective.”

Today I’m presenting a consolidation of the first two chapters of Thomas Friedman’s book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, edition 2, April 2000. This book is the first place to my knowledge that suggests and offers a framework to begin the project of ‘Globalism as approach to Foreign Policy’.

Opening Scene : the World is Ten Years Old

The slow, fixed, divided Cold War system that had dominated international affairs since 1945 had been firmly replaced by a new, very greased, interconnected system called globalization. If we didn’t fully understand that in 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, we sure understood it a decade later. Indeed, on October 11, 1998, at the height of the global economic crisis, Merrill Lynch ran full-page ads in major newspapers throughout America to drive this point home. The ads read:

The World is 10 Years Old
It was born when the Wall fell in 1989. It’s no surprise that the world’s youngest economy—the global economy­— is still finding its bearings. The intricate checks and balances that stabilize economies are only incorporated with time. Many world markets are only recently freed, governed for the first time by the emotions of the people rather than the fists of the state. From where we sit, none of this diminishes the promise offered a decade ago by the demise of the walled-off world…The spread of free markets and democracy around the world is permitting more people everywhere to turn their aspirations into achievements. And technology, properly harnessed and liberally distributed, has the power to erase no just geographical borders but also human ones. It seems to us that, for a 10-year-old, the world continues to hold great promise. In the meantime, no one ever said growing up was easy. (page xvi)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The formally divided world that emerged after World War II was then frozen in place by the Cold War. The Cold War was also an international system. It lasted roughly from 1945 to 1989, when, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was replaced by another system: the new era of globalization we are now in. (page xvii)

American power after World War II deliberately set out to forge an open international trading system to stimulate employment and counterbalance Soviet communism. It was America that drove the creation of the International Monetary Fund, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and a host of other institutions for opening markets and fostering trade around the world. And it was the American fleet that kept the sea lanes open for these open markets to easily connect. So when the Information Revolution flowered in the late 1980s—and made it possible for so many more people to act globally, communicate globally, travel globally and sell globally—it flowered into a global power structure that encouraged and enhanced all these trends and made it very costly for any country that tried to buck them. (page xix)

Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, viewed, with the Cold War over, we won’t have the Soviets to kick around anymore, so we will naturally go back to kicking the Hindus and Muslims around and them kicking us. He implicitly ruled out the rise of some new international system that could shape events differently. For Huntingon, only tribalism could follow the Cold War, not anything new.

My argument is different. I believe that if you want to understand the post–Cold War world you have to start by understanding that a new international system has succeeded it—globalization. That is “The One Big Thing” people should focus on. Globalization is not the only thing influencing events in the world today, but to the extent that there is a North Star and a worldwide shaping force, it is this system. What is new is the system; what is old is power politics, chaos, clashing civilizations and liberalism. And what is the drama of the post–Cold War world is the interaction between this new system and all these old passions and aspirations. It is a complex drama, with the final act still not written.

That is why under the globalization system you will find both clashes of civilization and the homogenization of civilizations, both environmental disasters and amazing environmental rescues, both the triumph of liberal, free-market capitalism and a backlash against it, both the durability of nation-states and the rise of enormously powerful nonstate actors. (page xxi)

I believe the best way for us to deal with the brutalities of globalization is by first understanding the logic of the system and its moving parts, and then figuring out how this system can benefit the most people, while inflicting the least amount of pain. (page xxii)

Chapter 1: The New System

When I say that globalization has replaced the Cold War as the defining international system, what exactly do I mean?

I mean that, as an international system, the Cold War had its own structure of power: the balance between the United States and the U.S.S.R. (page 7)

The globalization system, unlike the Cold War system, is not frozen, but a dynamic ongoing process. That’s why I define globalization this way: it is the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies to a degree never witnessed before—in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into individuals, corporations and nation-states farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before. This process of globalization is also producing a powerful backlash from those brutalized or left behind by this new system.

The driving idea behind globalization is free-market capitalism­—the more you let market forces rule and the more you open your economy to free trade and competition, the more efficient and flourishing your economy will be. Globalization means the spread of free-market capitalism to virtually every country in the world. Therefore, globalization also has its own set of economic rules­—rules that revolve around opening, deregulating and privatizing your economy, in order to make it more competitive and attractive to foreign investment. (page 9

Indeed, if the Cold War were a sport, it would be sumo wrestling, says Johns Hopkins University foreign affairs professor Michael Mandelbaum. “It would be two big fat guys in a ring, with all sorts of posturing and rituals and stomping of feet, but actually very little contact, until the end of the match, when there is a brief moment of shoving and the loser gets pushed out of the ring, but nobody gets killed.”

By contrast, if globalization were a sport, it would be the 100-meter dash, over and over and over. And no matter how many times you win, you have to race again the next day.

To paraphrase German political theorist Carl Schmitt, the Cold War was a world of “friends” and “enemies”. The globalization world, by contrast, tends to turn all friends and enemies into “competitors.” (page 12)

Globalization has its own defining structure of power, which is much more complex than the Cold War structure. The Cold War system was built exclusively around nation-states. You acted on the world in that system through your state. The Cold War was primarily a drama of states confronting states, balancing states and aligning with states. And, as a system, the Cold War was balanced at the center by two superstates: the United States and the Soviet Union.

The globalization system, by contrast, is built around three balances, which overlap and affect one another. The first is the traditional balance between nation-states. In the globalization system, the United States is now the sole and dominant superpower and all other nations are subordinate to it to one degree of another. The balance of power between the United States and the other states, though, still matters for the stability of this system. And it can still explain a lot of the news you read on the front page of the papers, whether it is the containment of Iraq in the Middle East or the expansion of NATO against Russia in Central Europe.

The second balance in the globalization system is between nation-states and global markets. These global markets are made up of millions of investors moving money around the world with the click of a mouse. I call them ‘the Electronic Herd,’ and this herd gathers in key global financial centers, such as Wall Street, Hong Kong, London and Frankfurt, which I call ‘the Supermarkets.’ The attitudes and actions of the Electronic Herd and the Supermarkets can have a huge impact on nation-states today, even to the point of triggering the downfall of governments. Who ousted Suharto in Indonesia in 1998? It wasn’t another state, it was the Supermarkets, by withdrawing their support for, and confidence in, the Indonesian economy. You will not understand the front page of news-papers today unless you bring the Supermarkets into your analysis. Because the Untied States can destroy you by dropping bombs and the Supermarkets can destroy you by downgrading your bonds.

The third balance that you have to pay attention to in the globalization system—the one that is really the newest of all—is the balance between individuals and nation-states. Because globalization has brought down many of the walls that limited the movement and reach of people, and because it has simultaneously wired the world into networks, it gives more power to individuals to influence both markets and nation-states than at any time in history. Individuals can increasingly act on the world stage directly­—unmediated by a state. So you have today not only a superpower, not only Supermarkets, but you now have Super-empowered individuals. Some of these Super-empowered individuals are quite angry, some of them quite wonderful but all of them are now able to act directly on the world stage.

Without the knowledge of the U.S. government, Long-Term Capital Management­—a few guys with a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut­—amassed more financial bets around the world than all the foreign reserves of China. Osama bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire with his own global network, declared war on the United States in the late 1990’s, and the U.S. Air Force retaliated with a cruise missile attack on him (where he resided in Afghanistan) as though he were another nation-state. Think about that. The United States fired 75 cruise missiles, at $1 million apiece, at a person! That was a superpower against a Super-empowered angry man. Jody Williams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her contribution to the international ban on landmines. She achieved that ban not only without much government help, but in the face of opposition from all the major powers. And what did she say was her secret weapon for organizing 1,000 different human rights and arms control groups on six continents? “E-mail.” (page 14)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Global Domination, Globalization, Sustainability

NOTE: Amy and early-adopter (sorry for the lack of posts, we've just both been really busy-- i know --who isn't?) are pleased to welcome our friend moonshiner to the early-adopter blog to posting some thoughts

Welcome to this the first posting of the Moonshiner blogs which aim at opening three parallel topics for discussion. “Global Domination, the recent past” will focus on the current United States leadership: The Neocons and the Republican Party. This blog will contend that the “War on Terror” is a myopic, Cold War approach to a world that is more sophisticated than it was in 1980, that their policies have failed miserably in the current climate and that the United States needs a new direction for a new era. Today’s entry will focus on “Dick Cheneys Song Of America” which some of you will recognize from a recent email blast titled ‘The Flat World vs Global Domination’.

The second topic of this blog is a means to broaden the discussion of United States foreign affairs to a multi-lense topic of “Globalization, the present”. Part of the Globalization segment will be looking at how Thomas Friedman defines the topic which includes Information Arbitrage— ‘Today, more than ever, the traditional boundaries between politics, culture, technology, finance, national security and ecology are disappearing. You often cannot explain one without referring to the others, and you cannot explain the whole without reference to them all.” The key here is to account for the burden we put on 'ecology' as capitalist consumers.

Shifting the focus to a broader topic of how the U.S. economy now depends heavily on our international neighbors stability and prosperity, we begin to offer plans on how to do better in this new climate. Topic three is “Sustainability, the future.” Two of the first items that will be discussed in this section will be the reform of corporations so that they are legally responsible to act better as ‘corporate citizens’ instead of simply being beholden to creating profits for their share holders thus reforming the culture that allowed the Enron episode to occur. Plus, there will be a call for a federal mandate to infuse our roads with electric/gas hybrid automobiles over the next five years along with an initiative to create the infrastructure to support this shift. The United States needs to reclaim its pioneer spirit and shift its domestic and federal policies so that we create a society which cares for the worlds resources and the life that depends upon those resources.

Now let’s get to the meat of today’s entry and the presentation of why we refer to Neocon policy as ‘Global Domination’.

We can’t kill, jail or occupy all our enemies.

“He (Bill Clinton) won repeated applause with his appeals to fight global poverty, the audience (the UK Labor Party conference on September 27th, 2006) once again marvelling at the contrast between this American president and the current incumbent. They lapped up his attacks on George Bush, both explicit and implicit - not least his almost throwaway declaration that “we can’t kill, jail or occupy all our enemies.” When he explained that it was cheaper to give the children of the poorest countries access to clean water or free schooling than it was to fight a war - and that it would do a better job of preventing terrorism - his words were drowned in applause.”

This quote comes from Jonathan Freeland’s blog on the ‘Comment is Free’ section of

Keep in mind, when the commentator says that the party ‘drowned his words in applause’, that this is the government that gave George W Bush his strongest support to invade Iraq. When Bush made his internationally unpopular argument for military confrontation against Iraq, it was the Labor Party’s leader, Tony Blair, who alone stood by his side in support. Now Tony Blair is prematurely removing himself from the office of Prime Minister due to pressure from his own party. “Disappointment and disillusionment have increased ever since, above all since the illegal and catastrophic Iraq enterprise,” comments Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Guardian, Wednesday August 30, 2006.

One way to talk about the culture differences that are shaping the United States foreign policy discourse this election cycle is to say that the side that is currently setting US policy, the President and a Republican dominated congress, is that they are people who are afraid of global competition in the market place because they feel entitled to their status as ‘the only world super power’ and seek to dominate the world by way of confrontation and unilateral military activity. Here are the words, published June 3, 1997, of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, I. Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz and others:

“As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?

We are in danger of squandering the opportunity and failing the challenge. We are living off the capital -- both the military investments and the foreign policy achievements -- built up by past administrations. Cuts in foreign affairs and defense spending, inattention to the tools of statecraft, and inconstant leadership are making it increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world. And the promise of short-term commercial benefits threatens to override strategic considerations. As a consequence, we are jeopardizing the nation’s ability to meet present threats and to deal with potentially greater challenges that lie ahead. We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration’s success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities.

• we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future”

The war in Iraq alone has cost the US $300 billion dollars, the Iraq people over 100,000 lives, including 50,000+ of women and children accredited mostly to US bombing, and the Neocons have engaged us in this violent conflict that has no end in sight by the means of public lies about weapons of mass destruction. As George Bush boasts, we are engaged in a war that will span generations and “people will thank us for our vision.”

What is this vision?

There are two places to look. The first is in the publishing of the Neocons themselves who include in this letter Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. The letter dates January 26, 1998 and it documents ‘the Visions’ first step in manifesting itself. The letter is called “Letter to President Clinton on Iraq” . This letter clearly documents the motive to go to war with Iraq pre 9/11/01. They intended to go to war with Iraq the day they stepped into office in order to establish the policy of global U.S. military dominance.

The second place to look is the commentary of David Armstrong who is an investigative reporter for the National Security News Service.

In his article “Dick Cheney’s Song of America: drafting a plan for global dominance”, published by Harpers Magazine in October of 2002, he describes how ‘The Vision’ was formed, he calls it ‘The Plan’, back when Cheney was the Defense Secretary under George H. Bush in the years 1991-1993. The military establishment needed to justify a lavish defense budget once the cold war was over. In short, Cheney hatched a plan to appease his constituency, the military-industrial-complex, to be sure that they stayed well funded and in control of the world order.

“With the Soviet Union gone, the United States had a choice. It could capitalize on the euphoria of the moment by nurturing cooperative relations and developing multilateral structures to help guide the global realignment then taking place; or it could consolidate its power and pursue a strategy of unilateralism and global dominance. It chose the latter course.

In early 1992, as Powell and Cheney campaigned to win congressional support for their augmented Base Force plan, a new logic entered into their appeals. The United States, Powell told members of the House Armed Services Committee, required “sufficient power” to “deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.” To emphasize the point, he cast the United States in the role of street thug. “I want to be the bully on the block,” he said, implanting in the mind of potential opponents that “there is no future in trying to challenge the armed forces of the United States.”

As Powell and Cheney were making this new argument in their congressional rounds, Wolfowitz was busy expanding the concept and working to have it incorporated into U.S. policy. During the early months of 1992, Wolfowitz supervised the preparation of an internal Pentagon policy statement used to guide military officials in the preparation of their forces, budgets, and strategies. The classified document, known as the Defense Planning Guidance, depicted a world dominated by the United States, which would maintain its superpower status through a combination of positive guidance and overwhelming military might. The image was one of a heavily armed City on a Hill.

The DPG stated that the “first objective” of U.S. defense strategy was “to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival.” Achieving this objective required that the United States “prevent any hostile power from dominating a region” of strategic significance. America’s new mission would be to convince allies and enemies alike “that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.”

Another new theme was the use of preemptive military force. The options, the DPG noted, ranged from taking preemptive military action to head off a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack to “punishing” or “threatening punishment of” aggressors “through a variety of means,” including strikes against weapons-manufacturing facilities.

The DPG also envisioned maintaining a substantial U.S. nuclear arsenal while discouraging the development of nuclear programs in other countries. It depicted a “U.S.-led system of collective security” that implicitly precluded the need for rearmament of any kind by countries such as Germany and Japan. And it called for the “early introduction” of a global missile-defense system that would presumably render all missile-launched weapons, including those of the United States, obsolete. (The United States would, of course, remain the world’s dominant military power on the strength of its other weapons systems.)

The story, in short, was dominance by way of unilateral action and military superiority. While coalitions—such as the one formed during the Gulf War—held “considerable promise for promoting collective action,” the draft DPG stated, the United States should expect future alliances to be “ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted, and in many cases carrying only general agreement over the objectives to be accomplished.” It was essential to create “the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S.” and essential that America position itself “to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated” or in crisis situations requiring immediate action. “While the U.S. cannot become the world’s ‘policeman,’” the document said, “we will retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends.” Among the interests the draft indicated the United States would defend in this manner were “access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to U.S. citizens from terrorism.”

This policy, as long as the Republicans are in charge, will remain the face of America foreign relations.