Pax Americana? or Pox Neocona?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by KenH, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

    by Karen Kwiatkowski

    That tiptoeing mild-mannered shadow of a newspaper centered in New York City appears to have morphed hulklike, if only for a moment, into something big and green and loud and angry.

    The Times front-page report is a bombshell. Just before the preemptive 2003 march by the world’s only superpower into the desert of a fourth rate but superbly geo-strategically located Arab country, Iraq apparently offered the Bush Administration everything it wanted and more, no strings attached. The unelected neoconservative cabal’s lead chickenhawk, in between visits to his chateau in the south of France, conjuring up a fine soufflé for his dearest friends, and privately profiteering with his public enemies, was the conduit for this offer to prevent war.

    Richard Perle must have been wondering what to do with this information. All those years of planning the Clean Break, Pax Americana in the Middle East, paving the road to Damascus and Teheran through Baghdad. Why, it could all be lost in an instant, the dream destroyed by a single powerful ray of reason and rationality! The horror!

    Here was the deal. Iraq would work with the U.S. to fight terrorism, go along wholeheartedly with any US peace plan for Israel and Palestine, give us all the oil contracts and mining concessions we wanted, work with us to promote our "strategic" interests (this means basing and overflight rights), and allow American soldiers and law enforcement to swarm the country – boots on the ground – searching for WMD. Incidentally, the Iraqis claimed (and David Kay continues to prove) they don’t have any.

    - Rest of article at www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski48.html
     
  2. church mouse guy

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    Ken, the problem is that Babylon is a liability to everyone in the world. Rhetoric aside, one wonders if the President really believes that there can be any sort of democracy in an Arab country? I do not, but I am a mere common man.

    As soon as we have military stability and some sort of Iraqi government, we are out of there forever. The whole orient has a reputation for despotic rule for thousands of years--especially the type of despotism wherein the ruler and the religion were tied together. Islam is too backward to be tied to any good government and too powerful to allow a secular government. The Turks have a system wherein if Islam threatens the government, then the army stages a coup--or so I have read.

    The United States has done too much for Islam. Time to leave. We are only customers at the gas pump. We need to find another gas station where there is no trouble from the owners.
     
  3. True Blue Tuna

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    It had to be that way.

    The group of people in the Administration who were pulling the strings on this invasion (Wolfowitz, Perle, Cheney and Rumsfield) not only needed the war for their foreign policy goals, but they had the military all revved up and ready to go. In addition, American business had just succeeded in getting exclusive contracts for rebuilding the country, and a promise that other countries would be excluded from the profits.

    So these neo-cons in the Administration had no choice - they weren't about to call off a perfectly good war just because the other side surrendered unconditionally. How rude of the Iraqis to give us exactly what we had been asking for. :rolleyes:
     
  4. church mouse guy

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    This sounds like a French, German and Belgium argument that the USA is seeking empire.

    Let's talk about Babylon.

    What nation will make a colony of Babylon? And when did colonies get to be profitable? Colonies are a liability. Iraq is like the Gaza Strip or the West Bank--a perpetual war. Iraq never offered to surrender and still has not in case you have not seen the news this week.

    It looks as if the Democrats are going to nominate Dean. That should make 2004 a vote about the war in Iraq. Will the USA cut and run?
     
  5. KenH

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    The neocons want the U.S. to do so.
     
  6. church mouse guy

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    Who said anything about a colony or an empire? Have you gone over Niagara Falls, also? Or are you just another Don Quixote?

    Tell me, guys, did you say anything about empire when Bill Clinton put troops in Bosnia--troops that were supposed to have been withdrawn years ago. Islamic countries are a mess. Maybe you are too anxious for Howard Dean to be President.
     
  7. KenH

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    1) You need to read more than just articles by neocons.

    2) I did not approve of the Bosnian action.

    3) Bush, Dean - it makes little difference. Both are liberals and want to expand the federal government and decrease liberty for Americans.
     
  8. church mouse guy

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    In my opinion, Libertarians never seem to care when the down and out are suffering. Libertarians are like the imperial British--you have yours. Your closeness to the Democrats can be seen in your refusal to call Bosnia a left-wing Democrat empire. You should be supportive of Dean since he wants to do what the Libertarians want to do: nothing worthwhile.
     
  9. KenH

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    Bosnia was a left-wing Democrat empire attempt.
     
  10. True Blue Tuna

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    The US *is* seeking an empire - one where they can install sympathetic governments, and simply extract concessions for basing rights and natural resource contracts. We have done it before; in the Philippines, for example.

    Babylon hasn't existed for several thousand years. Are you speaking metaphorically here?


    Funny; big powers don't seem to think so. The Ottomans had Iraq as a colony for several hundred years. Then the British came in, and had Iraq as a colony for 40 or 50 years. Oh, and by the way - during that time, they were unable to create a Western style govt or economic system. So when George Bush tells the American people that we invaded Iraq to promote democracy and that we're going to have a Western govt - just remember that the British were there almost 50 years, and they failed at those same goals. In other words, Bush is lying.

    Actually they did. If you'd take the time to read the article that started this thread, you wouldn't have made that mistake.

    The news this week is irrelevant. The actions of a couple dozen or so individual fighters are not the same thing as the official govt of Saddam Hussein.

    If we're smart, we will. Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with control of oil.
     
  11. True Blue Tuna

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    Big difference.

    1. We weren't going in as occupiers - we went in to break up warring factions and preserve the Moslem minority from being "ethnically cleansed".

    2. We had UN backing and European backing for the action, which meant that we were able to go to the UN and Europe and get money as well as troops to support us, so that the burden was equally spread around;

    3. We weren't handing out contracts to big campaign donors and making the US taxpayer foot the bill.

    4. Clinton didn't tell the American public that Bosnia was harboring weapons of mass destruction, in an attempt to enflame public opinion and get the population behind the Bosnian action

    The two situations have almost *nothing* in common.

    Note - it's alarming to think about all the people in the US who have the *nerve* to cast a vote, and yet have no clue about foreign policy or any memory of past events. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Kiffin

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    Anne Coulter (Who I actualy do like many her columns) but unfortuanately goes over board at times and repeats what I think many believe. She stated after 9/11

    Personaly I think we should avoid the Lincoln/Grant scorched earth theory of War and is the USA supposed to be doing evangelism? or is that the business of the Church? :rolleyes: I find linking convert them to Christianity and carpet bombing cities and war to be polar opposites. I do think there are some Conservatives who think we should go on military adventures to make countries into Republics. On the other hand Liberals seem to want to make the USA Military into a meals on wheels global cop (Bosnia is a good example of that)
     
  13. church mouse guy

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    Are we using the same definition of "empire"? My Webster's New World College Dictionary says an empire is "a state uniting many territories and peoples under a single sovereign power."

    Colonies may be valuable to the French, who have a reputation for ripping off African nations, but most Europeans dislike their colonial past and warn against colonies. They are financial liabilities because they have needs that they cannot meet and the imperial nation is then faced with having to spend a lot of money on them.

    Iraq is heavily in debt to France and Germany. Her oil revenues are not enough to pay for the modernization that is needed to improve sanitation and install utilities. Nor are her oil revenues enough to support her people in high-paying jobs. So Iraq would be a red-ink colony for anyone foolish enough to want it. Our interest is to quiet it, disarm it, put some kind of stable government in place, and leave as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile, the pressure is on the Islamofascists. Look at the news. Sudan is talking about peace. Syria is quieting down. Iran looks over the border and sees a powerful American army. The Kurds are breathing a sigh of relief. The Turks can relax the high alerts.

    As for those who say that I know nothing about foreign policy, I want to emphasize that I have eaten in several International House of Pancake restaurants. So I am acquainted with international pancakes, and once I bought a box of Swedish pancake mix.
     
  14. KenH

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    Unfortunately, the neocons, also known as neo-Jacobins, want to do the same to Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

    And it's not looking good right now that they will be able to do so in Iraq.
     
  15. church mouse guy

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    Well, who are these people you are talking about, Ken? I myself despise the French Revolution, so I would not be interested in executing rich people and Catholic clergy. Catholic clergy are irrelevant. Nor do I want to do anything with Egypt. From what I understand it is a very filthy country. As for Syria and Iran, etc, the idea that Arabs can reconcile Islam with a republic is doubtful to me. It defies the thousands of years of oriental depotism (based upon tying religion up with the head of state) that predates even Islam. As long as they cooperate, it is in US interests to stay out of those countries that the liberals are mentioning.

    What really is going on here is that the Libertarians and Liberal Democrats are trying to nominate Dean and make the war an issue.

    What does it matter who the Democrats nominate, other than as a subject of curiosity? If the Democrats are a national party no more and the Libertarians are a national party never before, neither group is likely to be anything except also-rans. Can all this fancy rhetoric and name-calling really dent Bush a year before the election?

    By the way, Democrats, I really have no idea what you are going to do and I think that you are should be free to make up your own minds. Personally, I doubt if Democrats try Dean because of the memory of McGovern, but it is for the Democrats to decide--I vote in the GOP primary.

    As for the GOP, sure it is a blunt instrument. But the election is a year off so why does the GOP have to do much until the proper season?

    So post on, Libertarians and Democrats! Don't mind if the GOP saves its ammunition for next fall.
     
  16. KenH

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    Neocon 101

    Some basic questions answered.

    What do neoconservatives believe?
    "Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power - forcefully if necessary - to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.

    Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster.

    Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security.

    What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs?
    The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world.

    Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans.

    What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative?

    Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored détente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s.

    Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences.

    How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy?

    Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s.

    But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill.

    Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration.

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." AEI - the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy - had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade.

    What does a neoconservative dream world look like?

    Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants.

    Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.

    - web page
     
  17. church mouse guy

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    It seems to me that this is a tempest in a pot of tea. All we are talking about here is a minor shift in US foreign policy as a result of Nine Eleven. To say that Bush really believes that an Arab state will become democratic is to push cynicism to its breaking point.

    So we really need a list of names of who these terrible goblins are that haunt the dreams of the left-wing.

    Bush is a politican, not an ideologue. The ideologues are the paranoid types who write these name-calling articles. It is laughable to even think that anyone in the Bush family has any ideology other than what is expressed openly. Having visions has never been a Bush trademark. President Bush 41 said that he did not have that "vision thing." Neither does Dubya.

    Too erudite, Ken. Politics is too dirty for all that stuff that you are talking about. It is more elemental.
     
  18. KenH

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    Here are some - Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Bill Bennett, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Donald Rumsfeld, John R. Bolton, Douglas J. Feith.
     
  19. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Which would be?
     
  20. church mouse guy

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    Bush says what he means. Remember the left first said that he was a moron. Now they are re-running the point of view that he has engaged in a conspiracy to build an empire out of the Arab middle east. It turns out that by empire the left does not mean the dictionary definition. They mean something like sphere of influence.

    One of the names on the list for the last year or two is a minor journalist named Kristol--a hard-core McCain supporter during the 2000 primaries. How he got on that list is hard for me to understand.

    This point of view is very popular with the left in both the USA and in France, Germany, and Belgium. If you believe in conspiracy theories, here is something for you. I guess Bill Bennett is the Las Vegas connection. Kirkpatrick must be getting payback for naming the San Francisco Democrats twenty years ago. Rumsfeld has shown his disorder; the assistant could not even get a secure hotel in Iraq. The Vice-President is sick, but his job is not worth a pitcher of warm spit.

    What we really have is a war against terror.
     

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