Reshaping the World Order
The American government never clarified its reasons for attacking Iraq; reasons changed as each one faced a contradiction.The U.S. military subdued Iraq and the American government still did not clarify its plans for that nation. The incoherent direction of the policy since its inception appears absurd. There must be a method that arises from a madness which distorts the global order.
The U.S. attack on Iraq threatens a global order governed by international institutions and global alliances. The resulting disorder predicts a reshaping of the world order.
The Reasons for the Attack
The contradictions of the U. S. attack on Iraq disguise the true reasons. In response to the contradictions, political pundits have proposed other reasons:
- The U.S. economic strategy includes having the U.S. become the gas pump of the world. This strategy insures America's access to inexpensive energy resources and obliges other countries, such as China, to deal with the United States for their energy needs.
- By subduing Iraq, the U.S. subdued Arab nationalism and debilitated the Arab world's strongest power.
- The attack on Iraq supports Israel's expansion plans in the Middle East.
- The geographical location of Iraq in the Middle East facilitates U.S. maneuvers against other countries in the region.
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld transformed a war on terrorism into a war on Iraq to enable his defense department to capture a greater portion of the national budget.
All of these reasons might be true, many of them being part of a plan for the United States, together with Israel, to manage the fate of the Arab world. However, the international backlash to the U.S. invasion greatly disadvantages the U.S. The negatives are substantial and indicate that the American invasion of Iraq has a broader meaning and more complex strategy than originally supposed.
The Negatives to America's Invasion of Iraq
The international community has strongly protested against the U. S. invasion of Iraq. The post-war events that include additional killing of Iraqi civilians, insufficient preparation to immediately assist a destroyed state, and a lack of support to prevent widespread looting of Iraq institutions, have infuriated peoples and governments. The United States can expect threatening actions, economic reprisals and social retribution from an angry world. Before the U.S. defends itself by imposing its definition of stability on an unstable world, it must recognize the troubling situations that arose from its invasion of Iraq:
- Pre-emptive actions will now be considered legitimate. Pakistan, India, North Korea are a few of several countries which might consider pre-emptive war as a national policy. New regional wars will involve the United States.
- International institutions with a mission to prevent war have proved to be impotent. Each country will follow its own dictates with a philosophy that "might makes right." A stabilizing force will be required to prevent havoc.
- America's thrust towards total economic dominance will force countries to counter that dominance by economic and social warfare.
- No nation can equal the military power of the U.S. The principal deterrent to U.S. military power is the development of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear and biological.
- The U.S. is burdened with its occupation of Iraq. It cannot easily remove itself from operations in that country.
- It is predicted that the war against Iraq will increase terrorism against the United States.
The United States must consolidate its reasons for waging war against Iraq and counter the negatives from that war. The war has created a chaotic situation that includes alienation from former allies, mistrust and a future clouded with doubt. The reduction in power of international peace-keeping institutions increases the possibility that disturbances in the world system will be less easily resolved and could escalate to greater intensity. The U.S. is forced to create a new global system that brings order from the disorder, stability from the instability and makes sure the Iraq adventure is profitable.
The Global Strategy
Saddam Hussein had his country in the wrong place at the wrong time. Iraq is the right country in the right place for satisfying the American vision of a new global alignment.
The U.S. claims it is bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq. Democracy to a citizen of a less than First World country has been adequately explained by a Nigerian: "Democracy meant we could sell our vote to the highest bidder." History of democratic governments in Great Britain, France,and the American Republic show that freedom comes decades, if not a century, after liberty. Americans proclaimed liberty in 1776. It wasn't until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that all Americans had freedom: freedom to vote, freedom of education, freedom from fear.
"We will not stay one day longer than necessary," has been the administration message, a quote borrowed from the Israeli administrators on the West Bank. The administration strategists know that democracy in Iraq means decades of turmoil, and the U.S. will have to remain in Iraq for a long time to contain the turmoil.
The United States is geographically isolated on the North American continent by two oceans. To America, Iraq is the geographical center of the world, 4000 kms from Paris, 6000 kms from Beijing, 2500 kms from Moscow. The Arab country is strategically located within the Middle East, bordering on Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Iraq is America's new military, economic and political outpost:
- Iraq can serve the U.S. Strategic Air Command as air and fueling bases for U.S. long range bombers. B-2 bombers won't be obligated to fly 10,000 Kms from Kansas to targets. B-52 bombers will not be obligated to fly 4500 Kms from Great Britain to targets.
- Iraq is an effective location for Special Forces for the War On Terrorism
- Iraq is a convenient springboard to countries hostile to U.S. interests.
Iraq has economic benefits for the U.S.
- Iraq has principal oil reserves of the world, able to determine the production and price of petroleum.
- Iraq can be a center for selling American products in Arab countries.
- Pipelines from several oil producing countries can run through Iraq.
- Reconstruction in Iraq can be made to benefit American companies.
Iraq has political benefits for the U.S.
- Iraq can serve as a testing ground and model to frame political changes in other Middle East countries in accord with America's desires.
- Iraq's route to democracy and prosperity can convince a skeptical world that the United States wants to bring freedom and peace to a troubled world.
A New Global Alignment
To accomplish its global strategy, the United States requires a new global alignment. It will undoubtedly promote an agenda that leads to a global order that advances its national interests and enables it to maintain economic dominance.
The U.S. had opportunities to develop new markets by assisting in the development of Second and Third World countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. It failed to sufficiently develop these countries and now faces increasing competition to its exports and decreasing markets for them. How will the global order be shaped to ensure America has economic dominance and market growth? The United States government's post 9/11 actions indicate a possible scenario. The possible scenario is inclusive; it affects all continents:
- North and South America - Continued domination by the United States. The Monroe Doctrine has been effectively enforced since 1821 and has constrained Latin American nations to generally follow U.S. dictates
- Europe - Must be maintained as a friend rather than antagonist, as a trading partner rather than a trading competitor. The U.S. has already solicited Great Britain, and possibly Spain and Italy as partners in maintaining a friendly Europe. The unusually harsh attitude towards France indicates an attempt to diminish France's economic power and prevent a French and German partnership that guards against American interests.
- Africa - Will remain in turmoil until it can serve the global strategy.
- The Middle East and North Africa - Will be controlled by a partnership between the U.S. and Israel. For two decades, the U.S. and Israel have behaved as partners in controlling the actions of Middle East nations. The U.S. can supply the capital and Israel can supply the muscle to shape the Middle East in accord with their dictates. The partnership can diminish the importance of the Arab world and make the region subservient to the partnership's interests.
- South East Asia - Will be managed by an alliance between the U.S. and India. The U.S., Israel and India have already established military and economic pacts that emphasize a close relationship among these three countries. With U.S. support, India will be able to subdue Pakistan and stabilize the Kashmiri region. As a reward for U.S. military assistance, the heavily populated and growing India can open its highly regulated markets to U.S. goods.
- North East Asia - The U.S. can only have one partner - China. Ever since it scuttled its vast fleet in the 15th century, the Asian dynamo has pursued a policy of total self-interest, not making close friends and trying not to make enemies. China has disregarded nefarious activities of other nations as long as these activities didn't encroach upon China's sovereignty and interests. Chinese interference in the Korean and Vietnam wars show it will react if provoked. The U.S. has no alternative: Only China can guarantee a politically and economically stable Asia: Only entry to China's markets can satisfy U.S. technology and capital exports.
- Russia - Russia has no place in the new world order. The U.S. has been ambivalent with the new Russia. The present administration has become suspicious of an antagonistic Putin. It is likely that the U.S. will view resource-rich and nuclear-armed Russia as a military threat and eventual economic competitor. Russia has no close supporters in the developed world. It benefits the U.S. to keep Russia that way, destabilize the Bear, keep it isolated from the global system, and keep it "the sick man of Europe."
Is this a strategy of dreams or a viable strategy that can gain acceptance by the world and actually succeed?
Can the Strategy Succeed?
American planners don't question eventual success. The American economy has peaked and faces tremendous challenges from increased competition and declining markets. To maintain economic dominance and continued growth, America must impose an agenda that stabilizes and regulates global activities. It can do this by masking its intentions.
America tries to convince itself and other nations that it is exporting democracy to the rest of the world. Its actions show otherwise - it tends to export its philosophy - gain wealth to gain power. American democracy and freedom are not the only driving forces of a prosperous and well-armed America. In America, wealth gains power and power gains wealth. The accumulation of wealth and power have no limitations. Power brokers work ceaselessly. They go for broke.
U.S. administrations have repeatedly claimed: "The Middle East is the region that is most troublesome to us." Actually, it is the region where the U.S. has been most troublesome.The principal resistance to the new American agenda will come from the peoples of the Middle East. However, the resistance will be limited to those of Radical Islam and those who are willing to fight to the death. The resistance will be met by a brutality that is proportional to the effectiveness of the resistance - and it will be brutal.
People all over the world don't take too much notice of brutality. How many respond to the severe brutalities in Algeria, Sri Lanka and Palestine? The American people have become inured to brutality. They accepted the brutality in many conflicts in which the U.S. has engaged.
The Iraq war shows that the resistance will not be great. Although the U.S. planned for major resistance, counter-attacks did not materialize - no major battles, no major oil fires, no major uprisings. Iraq is being occupied. Brutality will force Iraq to slowly succumb to the occupation. The Arab world will be occupied. Brutality will slowly force the Arab world to succumb to a new role in the global system.
Many nations, especially Russia and great powers of Europe will be hostile to the U.S. efforts, but they might become weary and discouraged. Nations realize that the United States military and economic power can create instability, violence and economic stagnation to other nations without the U.S. suffering greatly itself. These nations realize that the United States has the potential to bring stability, peace and prosperity to them. Nations yearn for stability, peace and economic prosperity.
Bringing economic and political stability to the world also means an era of brutality. In a world of guided missiles and weapons of mass destruction, people have little strength in determining their fate. More than ever, military power will determine global political direction. The U.S. intends to continue using its military power to reshape the world order. Other nations throughout history have tried to do the same. If the U.S. succeeds, the world will excuse the ravages that accompany the deed.
Only the dead know the end of war. - Plato.
may 1, 2003
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