Soft Imperialism: The Lie

Monday, April 24, 2006

Soft Imperialism: The Lie

In one of Bruce's recent posts "How Dangerous Would An Iran with Nuclear Weapons be to the United States?" he shares a piece by military historian Martin van Creveld. In it is the quintessential American brand of "soft imperialism":

With Iraq in pieces, thanks to President Bush, the United States is now the only country that can safeguard the Gulf States – and with them the flow of oil – from Iran. America's armed forces, therefore, will have to remain in the region regardless of whether or not Iran goes nuclear.

Soft imperialism is the equivalent of the benevolent slave master of days past. Safeguard the Gulf States from whom? If history is any guide, we are safeguarding the Gulf States from any movement that would seek to use the resources of the region to benefit the people of that region. In short, we must maintain our ability to plunder the natural resources of the middle east at will.

Throughout our history you see this again and again. Kosovo is a good example:

Because the Yugoslav strongman, Slobodan Milosevic, was being less than cooperative with U.S. efforts to extend its influence in Eastern Europe, breaking up Yugoslavia was a cause the U.S. could warm up to. The Clinton Administration embraced the Kosovo Liberation Army, despite their drug dealing, ethnic extremism and brutality. Following established practice, the Administration issued an ultimatum the Yugoslavs could not possibly accept:

Here's the deal. First NATO takes over Kosovo. Second, NATO has free access to all of Yugoslavia. Third, you help pay for the NATO-run government. Sign here or we bomb you.

The violence escalated in the region just as expected. After the bombing–not before–the Serbian soldiers began driving Albanians out of the country, killing thousands.

Within the mainstream media this was heralded as a humanitarian act that illustrated our benevolence and good will. We simply couldn't stand by and ignore the attrocities we were about to escalate.

It's the same line of reasoning that is now being used in Iraq. We've led the country into a civil war through our de-Baathification process and our blind support for Shiias and Kurds and the expense of Sunnis who, of course, feel marginlized. Thus it is argued that since we have escalated the sectarian violence, plunging Iraq into a civil war, we must stay.

Here's your wonderfully narrow political spectrum in this country. On the Right are those like Wolfowitz, Cheney, and the neo-cons of PNAC who argue that we must maintain access to the Middle East and maintain global hegemony at any cost. On the other side of that coin are the liberals who time after time try and sell us this "soft imperialism" where we just have to stay so we can fix what we "accidentally" messed up.

It's imperialistic propaganda plain and simple. If the Gulf States need protection from anybody, they need protection from the United States of America and its policies of world domination. We have to quit buying into this nonsense that we are the police of the world.

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Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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