It's The Economy,....!

America Rules, Okay?

by Bayard Stockton
published by Santa Barbara Independent

Do we want decades of hugely-expensive military alert, scattered brush-fire wars, and one or two major conflicts . . .simultaneously?

Isn?t it time for Mr. Bush and his in-house intellects to explain to us the American Century?s Doctrine of Hegemony?

All the wordifying about WMDs and OBL-Saddam has been waffle. How about if they said, right up front: ?OK! Look, Iraq is a pre-emptive war. We need certain real estate to build the American Empire, and to hell with the cost . . .!

?We went in because we need a base in that part of the world.?

If those NeoCons? glowering intellects, guys who have never broken in a pair of Army boots, had explained their plan for world rule. . .If we had become comfortable with the idea of managing the globe in our own interest . . .maybe we wouldn?t feel so guilty about having committed a hugely costly blunder. . .in lives and dollars.

But admitting greed isn?t Nice.

So Mr. Bush casts our military adventures as Twenty-First Century Dragon Slaying, and we nod obsequiously, more or less.

The real question for American citizens, as it is for brutally-pragmatic foreign governments, is whether to support the NeoCon juggernaut drive to world domination.

Is it any wonder that foreign chanceries let it be known, unsubtly, that they would far prefer to deal with a more urbane Kerry Administration?

The Bush World

Let?s look at the available real estate through covetous NeoCon eyes.

?New Europe? It?s nice to have Poland and Romania and the others on our side . . for a fee, of course. In the ME, Turkey?s unstable, and is hung up on the Kurds. Greece will play if we pay their Olympic bill . . .Jordan, Egypt, Syria: too obbly. Can?t count on them.

?Afghanistan is useless as a springboard for large-scale operations, but damn, we may need that pipeline down from the Caspian one of these days..

?We already own the Gulf States, but they don?t have the basing structure we need.

We need to be able to go into Saudi if The Royals there start to lose their grip.

?Iran? Of course, we can bomb it and other places to smithereens, but we won?t be able to do much else against Teheran should the need arise, because we are tied down in Iraq and our land forces are strapped. . . and our supply lines are not secure. If we bring the Israelis in, any hope of accord with the Arabs will dissolve in the smoke of the first missile attack.

?Pakistan? How long can we prop up Musharaff? India . . .Bollywood and outsourcing, and exploding population. Pretty shaky. Potentially dangerous.

?So we?ve negotiated those pit stops in the ?Stans which we could use if, say, the Caspian area really blows up. But they?re pretty inaccessible, to support a major thrust.

?And who knows what the hell GWB?s ?foxhole buddy?, Volodya Putin, will pull next? He?s got big troubles in Chechnya, not to mention Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the other Caspian nations . . .And a lot of that trouble has Muslim plastered all over it.

?Putin?s ruthless. He doesn?t like us stationing people in his sphere of influence. And he knows the value of oil. Look at what he has done to Yukos.

?What we?re really talking about is the real prize, the Caspian Basin, isn?t it?

?Look at the map. Look at Iraq as a springboard.?

?Then there?s China. A huge population which means an economy that has to tick over, which means it will need more energy. And China?s already a major consumer of oil. And its western province, facing into the Caspian area is Muslim.

?And none of this considers Odd-Ball Kim and his slave scientists in North Korea, or their cousins in the South. Talk about loose cannons!?

NeoCon Street Smarts

This kind of talk is too blunt for our sensibilities. Instead, we hear a lot about The War On Terror, a catchy marketing phrase that elicits kneejerk response; and we talk about democratizing the Arab/Muslim countries by cutting them a larger piece of the prosperity pie.

And so we have The Middle Eastern Follies, sloppily written, produced and directed by Laugh-A-Minte NeoCon Associates. . unshaven, stand-up comics in bad polyester threads.

But the NeoCons have absolutely no street smarts. They were genuinely surprised that the merchants and players in Iraq?s souks didn?t prostrate themselves out of love for the American liberators.

They hadn?t paused to think what would happen if, for instance, someone invaded and tried to occupy the US . . .what the sharp, armed reaction from the citizenry would be, apart from military retaliation.

Maybe someone ought to stick Wolfie and Perlie and Feithie and their pals in thin-skinned Humvees to patrol the sewer-slimy streets of Sadr City in 120 degree heat for 48 hours ?

No one told the cloistered NeoCons that terrorists think outside the box as a rule, not as an exception; and that they would learn fast how to make life for the occupiers very, very nasty.

Nor do the NeoCons understand that Terrorism spreads as rain runs down a mountain and seeps into desert sand.

Now, 18 months after Shock and Awe, our armed forces are embarrassed to admit they do not control large chunks of central Iraq.

Is the dream of Christian Hegemony . . .the American Century . . . realistic?

We will stay in Iraq, whatever the cost, at least for the next few years. We have a huge investment there. To pull out would create a dangerous psychological, political, economic and military vacuum in the Middle East. And we need that foothold.

We will continue to lose lives in Iraq, one or two or ten soldiers at a time, because we are The Occupiers. Humvees and Bradleys and Abrams tanks don?t work well in the narrow streets of Najjaf or the alleys of Falluja. Helicopters are vulnerable to simple shoulder-fired missiles. Roads can be mined by ?improvised? weapons.

American blood trickles down the gutters of the ravaged streets. The NeoCons shrug. It?s a small price to pay for The Dream.


OBL?s nasty little group has logged a lot of experience in the arcane arts of terrorism and will probably hit the US hard again. . .will, indeed, get through no matter how iron-fisted Homeland Security becomes. Its suicidal squadrons will achieve maximum casualties, and will provoke the media storm, which Al Qaeda relies on as much as actual damage.

Terrorism is psychological warfare. We live on edgy alert in the name of protecting freedom, while we breed more and more terrorists abroad . . .
The Cost?

How much is the dream of American Hegemony going to cost us? We?re already in debt which will take at least a generation to pay off, much to the delight of the money-lenders.

All the intellectualizing by people who should have known far better will not only drain funds from deeply-needed domestic programs.

Carried to its extreme, we might end up under martial law in the Homeland, and the hell with posse comitatus. The Army would patrol, particularly, hotbeds of resistance in the major cities, using tactics it has learned in Baghdad and Najjaf. In the early 1970s I talked with a retired Major General whose last job had been as head of The Defense Intelligence Agency.

He said The Army would never take over, but he admitted he had spent several months ?flying around the US, gathering the plans for strategic installations from city fathers, and I never expected I would be doing that when I graduated from West Point.?

Do We Want To Rule?

Final thoughts: The ?War on Terrorism? is a catchy slogan which has never been truly defined. Is it a convenient cover? How do you fight a war against shadows?

Is it still ?My Country, Right or Wrong?? Are we gearing up for a true global Crusade guised in the garb of Christianity, but basically about Black Gold? Is this what the Strategic Planning Departments of the multinational banks and Big Oil and, yes, the military, have been urging on the ultra-cservative Republicans for several decades?

Do we overlook those niggling doubts that go against what we were brought up to believe in? Do we boisterously back any policy that waves high the American flag? Should we not examine the nature of the liberty we cherish. Shouldn?t we contemplate our democracy? Think about the extent to which we want to control the world? Examine religious freedom? Question fanaticism?

Morality doesn?t enter into the equation, not when you?re talking global economics, which amounts to medium/long-term survival. In Militant Christianity, the ruthless strategic planners probably feel they have found the standard-bearers they need to make their plans and their activities look slightly more acceptable to largely-white, Have populations. And the rigid devotion of militants to their faith is synonymous whether it be to God or Allah.

This is what we started in Afghanistan. Sure it was a response to 9-11, but that sad date also provided an excuse for something more, the same way December 7th 1941 provided an unhappy impulse to get us into WWII. It?s what we radically upgraded on a single night in March 22nd 2003. Only, the guys in the war rooms didn?t take human nature and human belief systems into consideration.

Now maybe we can look at the equation more realistically.

But . . .really . . .if we are at a turning point, shouldn?t the American people be honestly informed, and have some say about the dedication of some people to a brand of Christianity, and to an energy policy that guarantees warfare for the foreseeable future?

When the chips are down and the oil gets really scarce, or hard to extract and ship, does the U.S. really want to rule the world by means other than our economic and technological strength. . .Do we all become militant Crusaders? Is there room for disagreement, even for debate?


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