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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

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 Guardian.co.uk http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/jonathan_freedland/2006/09/post_445.html

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”

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

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.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

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

http://www.storiesthatmatter.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=27

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.”

http://www.harpers.org/DickCheneysSongOfAmerica.html

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

4 Comments:

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous mk said...

Your new blog seems to be attached to an old blog. That's a first. Also... there is a way to make your links actually "link up"....
To play Devil's Advocate and to argue from a position that I vehemently disagree with....

The Neo-Cons are a group that emerged from a "Social Darwinist" group that had the misunderstanding of Darwinist theory that "the winner takes all" or "battle of the fittest/strongest". When in fact most anyone half familiar with Chuck knows that it's closer to "Those most able to adapt, survive."

This for me reveals where this group came from and why they view the world as they do.
This is our country. Over the past fifty years our grandfathers, etc.. have fought, labored and struggled to build up a Way of Life for the following generations. This is the American Way. We have emerged as the sole superpower and we must use that power to insure that way of life for even further generations. We must see ourselves as Americans first and World Citizens much later.

As we also know... the "strongest" have been known to out-evolve themselves.... (where did those saber-toothed tigers go to anyhow?)

 
At 10:42 PM, Anonymous mk said...

I should also add (not exactly new to anyone) that the Neo-Cons were ALSO formed by a group of Ex-Cold War Kennedy era Liberals. A group mostly of Jewish intellectuals that were deeply influenced by the atrocities of Hitler and believed that Americanism was a general positive movement for Human Rights across the world. Their agenda in Iraq (and the Middle East in general) has some basis in securing Israel against an overt Islamic Fundamentalist threat and also in a perception that Hussein's treatment of his own people was in fact close enough to genocide that it demanded the US interfere.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger moonshiner said...

Thanks for the response MK,

If Israel wants to safe guard itself against an overt Islamic Fundamentalist threat may I suggest that they cease bludgeoning neighboring civilian populations with blunt military force like they did this past summer in south Lebanon. Israel should do more to nurture institutions that promote open and stable government for its neighbors. At least Hezbollah builds hospitals and schools for the Lebanese while Israeli bombs destroy infrastructure and displace thousands. I do not agree with Hezbollah when they say Israel should be vanquished. Yet, I can not support Israel’s actions this past summer either.

As for this comment “in a perception that Hussein’s treatment of his own people was in fact close enough to genocide that it demanded the US interfere”, let’s note that Saddam’s worst atrocities against his own people occurred in 1982 and 1987.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQOEhXb6jlU

Watch the documentary “Why We Fight” (for more reasons stated here). Towards the end you will get an account from an Air Force Colonel who worked directly with Donald Rumsfeld under special assignment to make the case for war against Iraq. She will tell you that your comment was a manufactured talking point to justify war immediately.

In 1989 George H. Bush defended the fact that officials from the Iraq government took part in a conference in Portland Oregon in which they were trained in the development of WMD because Saddam’s regime promised to stabilise the region for U.S. oil interests.

I would contend your comment has more to do with our governments hypocrisy’s than it stands for good justification to make war. Remember that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq that amounted to the threat Bush declared in his 2003 State of the Union address. That State of the Union address was based on intelligence that was plain wrong and this misrepresentation of facts is what compelled this nation to war.

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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