James A. Stevenson :
© April 20, 2002
Gigantisme Militaire I: Policy, Purpose, and Contemporary Events
I recently had a class discussion in one of my U.S. history survey
classes in which there occurred a fairly intense debate about not only
current and future U.S. military spending but about its purpose as well.
The financial data that I presented in class came from the Center for Defense
Information (CDI), and those figures revealed that the current Bush Administration
has requested the following funding for the U.S. military in Fiscal Years
(FYs) 2002-2007: 2002 — $350.8 billion (b), 2003 -- $396.1 b., 2004
— $405.0 b., 2005 — $426.2 b., 2006 — $447.5 b., 2007 -- $469.6 b.
These amounts produce a total of over $2.495 trillion in military spending
in those six years. Yet, already, as of the smaller previous
FY 2002 Bush defense budget request of $343 billion, that smaller figure
represented 36% of the entire annual, global military expenditures.
And, as of the higher FY 2003 defense request of $396 billion, that amount
not only represents over 70% more than the combined annual military spending
of Russia, China and the seven so-called "likely adversaries" of the U.S.,
but it is 15% above average annual Cold War spending levels (i.e., $344.1
billion per year), and it is over 51.6% of all federal discretionary spending.
Now, in reaction to these findings, most students were a bit surprised, a few, perhaps, were outraged at the enormity of the expenditures, and one or two seemed pleased with the expenditures. Accordingly, one of the latter said something like, "We have the best military force in the world." To which another rejoined with something like, "But do we need to spend so much, and aren't we just wasting much of that money?" And, from there the debate raged over the efficiency and efficacy of military spending, state and military-industrial complex motives, wasted resources, alternative spending needs, numbers of jobs provided, and a government administered national health care system. Yet, at the close of the really never-ending debate about these important issues, the nagging questions remained: In whose interest and for what purpose are those prodigious military expenditures being made? And, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, are those enormous "defense" expenditures actually creating the "best military force in the world" and, more importantly, one that can defend the homeland?
After all, the attacks on 9/11 occurred unimpeded by the U.S. military/intelligence bureaucracies, despite the spending of over $19 trillion on those bureaucracies from 1946 to 2002. Moreover, it appears that too many people in the Congress and the Bush II Administration consider it unpatriotic to ask some tough questions about how that attack could have occurred so unimpeded. After all, as economist Richard DuBoff makes clear in his critique of the Bush Administration's response to the events of 9/11, there has been a series of attacks on U.S. targets (e.g., World Trade Center in 1993, U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and the suicide ramming of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000) since 1993. But those warning signs and other suggestions of impending danger are not receiving the kind of scrutiny and official inquiries which followed that other historic disaster to which 9/11 is most frequently compared, Pearl Harbor. The reason for that lack of inquiry, DuBoff points out, is because "To carry out this kind of inquiry now would, unavoidably, bring into question the competence and performance of the U.S. military, the FBI, and the CIA. Clearly, this will not do in the post-9/11 era of 'USA triumphant' — the absolute superiority of all U.S. institutions — and the drive to increase the military budget."
Meanwhile, Bush Administration/Pentagon officials and all of the major media pundits are proclaiming U.S. military success in Afghanistan. Yet, just a few weeks ago, Newsweek's field reporters covering the fighting in Shahikot valley and Tora Bora caves offered a cautionary analysis that included the following observations: 1. Despite U.S. claims of up to "700 enemy killed" in the Shahikot valley, "fewer than 10 corpses have been found;" 2. "Leaflets known as shabnamas, night letters, have [started appearing throughout eastern Afghanistan and they are] accusing America of having killed tens of thousands of civilians;" 3. "Taliban and Qaeda forces have begun to regroup [in 20-30 person fighting units] on both sides of the [Afghanistan-Pakistan] border;" 4. "Resentment [against the U.S. imposed government in Kabul] is growing across southern Afghanistan;" 5. "Squabbling among warlords has revived respect for the Taliban, who stamped out internecine fighting during their reign;" 6. The "eight American[s] and three Afghan[s]" who were killed in the most recent ambush were lost, in part, due to advance warnings that allowed the ambush to be set up; 7. Anti-American sentiment is apparently emerging to the extent that some rural Afghans are not only assisting Al Qaeda/Taliban guerrillas, but this sentiment might be epitomized in the statement of one Afghan soldier who claimed to have been rewarded with a pickup truck from the U.S. Special Forces for his assistance in helping to "clear" the caves at Tora Bora. With the "handwriting on the wall" that even American policy makers in Washington ought to be able to read, he said, "My heart is still with Osama bin Laden. If anyone starts fighting the Americans, I'll join tomorrow." So, if these observations in Newsweek are accurate — and they are more likely to be so than the self-serving official U.S government pronouncements — we can anticipate a growth of anti-Americanism inside Afghanistan.
Those who are obtuse to that likelihood also are equally obtuse to the fact that "one of history's few absolutes," as historian Thomas McCormick observed, is that whenever an outside, stronger power extends its power over a weaker one it, "inevitably" disrupts and causes changes in that dominated people's "cultural attitudes . . . in class and social structures, in political institutions and behavior, in technology and economics, in education," in legal, moral and religious systems, and "such changes . . . can and often do cause violent reaction against the intruding alien powers." Or, as America's great writer Gore Vidal succinctly expressed it from the left, "The first law of physics has not been annulled; there is no action without reaction. You cannot attack other countries . . . and then not expect them to strike back." Similarly, Patrick J. Buchanan is one of the apparently rare conservatives on the right who grasps this essential truth. In a "Salon" interview that he gave last December, he pointed out that it is precisely "in countries where the U.S. [has] intervened militarily" that terrorist groups have emerged to strike back. As he said, "You take a look at all the places the U.S. has been intervening since the end of the Cold War, and it's all the same places where terrorism is coming out of." And, a few months later, he is still hopelessly warning those U.S. policy makers who are too far under the sway of "hubris and triumphalism" to listen, that "we need to know the mind of those we expect to conquer and convert, lest we find U.S. troops receiving the same reception in Baghdad as Israeli troops get in Ramallah."
Simply put, the longer (and larger) that direct U.S. or Western military presence is in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, the greater the likelihood will be for the growth of anti-American sentiment. And, at a time when America needs more friends and not more enemies in the Middle East, a continuing war is likely to only exacerbate the hatred and desire to strike back. What some U.S. policy makers appear not to fully understand is that they are not simply up against an organized, finite, political body in the form of Al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or Hizbullah, or Hamas, or Islamic Jihad, or Wahhabism, or whatever. They are up against a larger and more fluid social movement, and a social movement, generated from nationalism or religious beliefs, is not likely to be destroyed by "decapitating" its leadership or destroying its "infrastructure of terror." If that is even accomplished, other leaders and groups are likely to fill in the void, and they may be even more desperate and dangerous. In the perceptive words of Israeli writer Uri Avnery, "When a whole people is seething with rage, it becomes a dangerous enemy, because the rage does not obey orders. [And] when this rage overflows, it creates suicide bombers — human bombs fuelled by the power of anger, against whom there is no defense [because] . . . when there are thousands of them, no military means will restore security." Indeed, he goes on to state that the people who make the claim that "'we have taught them a lesson' [or] 'we have destroyed the infrastructure of terrorism' show an infantile lack of understanding of what they are doing. Far from 'destroying the infrastructure of terrorism,' they have built a hothouse for rearing suicide-bombers [who] . . . are standing in line."
Already, the findings of a February 2002 Gallup poll show that public opinion in nine Muslim countries overwhelmingly branded the U.S. as "aggressive and [not only] biased against Islamic values," but, specifically, biased against the Palestinians. Thus, while 67% of the Muslim respondents thought that the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. were "morally unjustified," 77% also said that "the U.S. military action in Afghanistan was morally unjustified" and 58% of them had "unfavorable opinions" about George Bush. Perhaps, Buchanan best described the dreary meaning of these findings when he wrote: "Arabs and Muslims see us as the new Rome — a ruthless and godless empire — not as a Godly republic or a shinning city on a hill." Now, if Buchanan and the poll respondents are right on all counts, those Muslim sentiments do not bode well for the future peace and security of U.S. nationals either abroad or at home.
After all, Bush II's current popularity in the U.S. and U.S. public opinion in favor of current U.S. military actions are of little weigh against those driven to suicidal rage by a pervasive climate of opinion that is rooted in continuing dispossession, humiliation, poverty, destruction, injury and death. All of which are increasingly seen by a majority of those in the Middle East as coming directly from the U.S. Again, Buchanan displays a certain sensitivity to the basic problem when he writes that Israel's "annexations of Arab land, its dispossession of the Palestinian people, and its denial of their right to a homeland and state of their own on land their fathers farmed for a thousand years are a principal cause of this [Israeli-Palestinian] war and a primary reason why America's reputation has been ravaged in the Arab world." And, when some Americans not only say "who cares what the Arabs think?" but they also ignore those root causes of Arab anger and the sense of injustice that those causes generate among large bodies of religious people, they are flirting with a danger from which even the most expensive nuclear missile shield will not protect us or anyone.
Still, current policy U.S. makers are embarked upon spending cavalcades of money on all sorts of weaponry. Apparently driven by the ages-old arrogance of power, nationalist/patriotic hubris, and overreach, these policy makers and their like-minded counterparts outside the government now constitute what Buchanan has dubbed the "War Party." And some of those War Party hawks include the writers and signatories of a recent open letter to President Bush who warned him that if he "failed to attack Iraq, he faced [in effect] a court-martial for surrender in the War on Terror." Meanwhile, other right-wing thinkers are now insouciantly preaching the virtues of limited nuclear war and trying to rev-up public support for an open-ended and never-ending war against "evil" by resurrecting the old Manichean view of the world that served U.S. policy makers and propagandists so well during the Cold War. That was a dichotomized view of the world which placed the "all evil" on one side and "all good" on the other. Such a view distorted the U.S. people's perception of geopolitical, social, and historical complexities for almost 50 years. It has been essentially resurrected in a new form as the "axis of evil" versus the U.S.
Likewise, playing the nuclear war card seems to be a favorite pastime for those Dr. Strangelove types who have apparently reemerged at the Pentagon. Indeed, recently, the ranks of such nuclear war hawks have been reinforced by several of Bush II’s hard right appointees whom British Member of Parliament Alice Mahon went so far as to term "'lunatics.'" Undertaking what these people, no doubt, regard as tough-mindedness, they have created a secret report called the "Nuclear Posture Review" which was signed into effect by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and later given to Congress on January 8, 2002. In early March, the report was purposely "leaked" to the press and caused what was probably the desired consternation. The plan directs the U.S. military to "prepare contingency plans to use nuclear weapons . . . against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria [and] against targets able to withstand nonnuclear attack; in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or 'in the event of surprising military developments.'" With the report also directing the Pentagon to be "prepared to use nuclear weapons in an Arab-Israeli conflict, in a war between China and Taiwan, or in an attack from North Korea on the south" as well as "an attack by Iraq on Israel or another neighbor," it means that the U.S. Strategic Command has been directed to prepare a nuclear strategy and means that may one day incinerate tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of innocent people in places where most of them probably hate the man or men who dominate them more than does President George W. Bush. And, most certainly, those ordinary people have much less voice in influencing the policies and actions of their leaders than we have in influencing ours. Also, keep in mind, as U.S. writer Geov Parrish correctly points out, that this document was put out for public consumption at a time when "countless scores of Muslims have newly pledged themselves to martyrdom in an anti-American jihad, and [with] any and all of us [as] targets. Bush," he adds, "has . . . [thus unwisely] stripped away what ever few moral qualms such groups might have about using mass, lethal weapons against you or me."
With such plans, Bush II's nuclear policy makers have probably done a very stupid thing as far as national security is concerned. In a particularly thoughtful analysis of the development and meaning of the "Nuclear Posture Review" by Raffi Khatchadourian, he makes it clear that this strategy for preemptively employing both small and large yield nuclear weapons in battlefield areas is new. In fact, it breaches the unwritten "firewall" which, for almost 60 years, has separated the use of conventional and nuclear weapons by both moral and practical constraints. But, now, seduced by the easy argument that "hard and buried targets," such as bunkers and tunnels located deep in mountains or underground, can best be attacked by developing and using "new low-yield, earth-penetrating nuclear weapons," the Bush II Administration's advocates of nuclear war fighting are maneuvering to set aside a priceless six decades-long taboo against using nuclear weapons. These people also are moving to set aside a U.S. self-imposed nuclear testing moratorium and to resume nuclear testing under the pretext of checking the safety and reliability of the existing U.S. nuclear arsenal. All this, retired Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll — one of America's most astute critics of military spending and foolishness — has said is taking us down a slippery slope. He noted that, in the past, we always said, '"nuclear weapons as now designed and employed are essentially useless because you cannot cross this [nuclear] threshold between conventional and nuclear [warfare] without being unequivocal about it.'" But, now, "'people say,'" Carroll continues, "'Well, this new weapon is so little, and we can apply it so precisely . . . that nobody can believe that we're being irresponsible or careless or radical in our use of such a wonderful little weapon.'" The "'truth,'" he warns, "'is [that] the first use of nuclear explosives in warfare breaches the firewall . . . and when we go on beyond that, we're put at the mercy of the other side, which probably doesn't have such 'useful' or 'usable' weapons.'"
Yet, those U.S. policy makers — many of them returnees from the Reagan/Bush I Administrations — are unlikely to heed Admiral Carroll's warning because they seem to be bent on unilateral, superpower purposes. And most of them — including Vice President Dick Cheney and the current president — are steadfast, ultra-patriotic believers in American "exceptionalism" and unilateralism, or, perhaps, some version of a reincarnated 21st century Manifest Destiny. This sort of outlook has become especially evident as the fig leaf of U.S. multilateralism in amassing a coalition of sympathetic powers after 9/11 has worn thinner. As U.S. policy makers clobber Afghanistan with little loss of U.S. lives, their pride of power seems to grow and their use for multilateralism lessens. At this point, only the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, seems unaware of this political reality. But even he might realize his true role when he reads in the New York Times about President Bush II's "fuming" over what Bush called "'weak-kneed European elites.'" Or, perhaps, it will be when Blair finally realizes that the U.S.’s new Manichean division of the world's nations virtually precludes true dialogue, real compromise, and genuine partnership. At any rate, according to commentator Paul Mcgeough, as Bush’s "axis of evil" speech "sinks in," the nations of the world are getting the message "that the U.S. is multilateral only when it suits its unilateral agenda." In the admiring words of the head of the Center for Strategic Research in Moscow, Andrei Piontkovsky, "'We are living in the age of a 'new Rome.'"
Anyway, in the words of an analyst from the prestigious London-based Jane's Foreign Report, U.S. policy makers ambitions in the oil rich "'Causasus and Central Asia'" are now "'in line with the doctrine of 'full-spectrum dominance' that now seems to govern American foreign policy.'" As detailed by the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Vision 2020, "full spectrum dominance" seems nothing short of the military means (with allied and civilian agency assistance where necessary) for maintaining and enlarging the U.S. led global, free market. In its words: "The ultimate goal of our military force is to accomplish the objectives directed by the National Command Authorities. For the joint force of the future [i.e., Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps], this goal will be achieved through full spectrum dominance — the ability of US forces, operating unilaterally or in combination with multinational and interagency partners, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the full range of military operations. . . . Additionally, given the global nature of our interests and obligations, the United States must maintain its overseas presence forces and the ability to rapidly project power worldwide in order to achieve full spectrum dominance" because "the global interests and responsibilities of the United States will endure, and there is no indication that threats to those interests . . . will disappear." Bluntly stated, this means, as Vidal has entitled his latest iconoclastic book, "perpetual war for perpetual peace" in the interest of those whom the great economist Thorstein Veblen called the "vested interests." Full spectrum dominance is simply the latest military means for meeting their global needs. And, with the major media's avoidance or obfuscation of its real meaning and underlying causes, it is George Orwell's 1984 come to life about 20 years behind schedule.
No surprise, then, that the pre-9/11 Bush II-facilitated plans and discussions with the Taliban leaders to construct an oil pipeline through Afghanistan are "being dusted off." Only, now, in their revised form, they include two pipelines and possible Russian involvement in supplying natural gas from their huge holdings. Yet, such an objective in Afghanistan is merely small potatoes compared to what the U.S. State Department long ago described as "'one of the greatest material prizes in world history,'" i.e., oil. As expressed by an April 1944 State Department memorandum entitled "'Petroleum Policy of the United States,'" the U.S. sought "'the preservation of the absolute position presently obtaining [in the Western hemisphere], and therefore vigilant protection of existing concessions in United States hands coupled with insistence upon the Open Door principle of equal opportunity for United States companies in new areas.'" So, with what scholar David Painter described as "'the idea that the United States had a preemptive right to the world's oil resources [having been] well entrenched by World War II,'" some U.S. policy makers seemed fully prepared to take advantage of the Middle East opportunities offered to them by the tragedy of 9/11.
Indeed, economist James M. Cypher points out in one of his recent analyses that the oil and natural gas reserves in that northern region of the Caucasus and central Asia may be part of a grander scheme that requires a huge military buildup to consolidate the U.S. "position as the only superpower." And that consolidation, in turn, requires "continued control of the world's most important traded commodity — energy," again, oil. So, with no more than 5% of the world's population, the U.S. "imports 52% of the oil . . . that it consumes," which is 25% of the world's production. But, most importantly, writes Cypher, the profits of huge oil/natural gas corporations "like Shell, Exxon/Mobil, and Chevron/Texaco come from their global control of oil and gas reserves. Securing this control," emphasizes Cypher, "is one of the major functions of the U.S. military." Cypher, then, not only agrees with author Michael Klare's contention in Resource Wars that "U.S. foreign policy will focus increasingly on securing global resources," but he points out that the "Pentagon and other centers of U.S. power" have long demonstrated that "Middle East energy resources" are a "'vital interest'" to them by supplying U.S. "client regimes" in the region with "top level weapons" and $42 billion of arms between 1990 and 1997.
And, unsurprisingly, some analysts think that, under the Bush II Administration, the "focus on the oil-exporting regions will only rise." After all, according to Cypher, the "Bushes . . . tilt toward 'big energy' is unmistakable." For example, the now defunct Enron energy trading corporation was President George W. Bush's "number-one corporate donor," and, before becoming Vice President, Cheney made his riches as CEO of Halliburton oil services corporation while the current National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is a former director of the Chevron corporation. Such facts probably help explain why, shortly after the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, a U.S. representative to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, met with Pakistan's Federal Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin, to talk about the "'proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project . . . in light of recent geopolitical developments in the region.'" Indeed, as early as November 2001, President Bush II had praised the opening of the "first new pipeline by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium" (CPC), which included Russian, Kazakhstan, Oman and British Petroleum Amoco interests, by saying: "'The CPC project advances my administration's National Energy Policy.'" Thus, only the most naive would be surprised to learn that the U.S.-installed head of the new interim Afghan government, Hamid Karzai, is a former Unocal oil company executive. And, covering all the bases, within nine days of Karzai's installation, the Bush Administration sent, as the U.S. "special envoy" to Karzai's government, a former Unocal aide, Zalmay Khalilzad. Khalilzad not only reports to Rice, but he was a participant in "Unocal's talks with the Taliban" about building an oil pipeline through Afghanistan as early as 1997.
But the big questions in regard to oil resources for the vast majority of Americans who have little or no investments in the oil and/or natural gas energy companies are: Aren't U.S. policy makers doing these things to keep our U.S. gas prices low? And isn't the current U.S. policy makers' ambition for huge military budgets and "full spectrum dominance" as well as securing firmer control of the world’s oil and gas reserves in all Americans' interest? And the answer is not really. However, it is clearly in the interest of the major investors in the military-industrial complex, in those huge, private, transnational energy conglomerates, and their elite counterparts in those energy-rich societies. As the ones who own or control the private and public funnels through which their energy products flow to U.S. consumers, those investors and their allies want to continue reaping the profits that accrue to them by virtue of their economic possessions. Yet, given the fact that, to garner necessary income, the people within the raw energy producing regions of the world would still have to sell their energy resources to world wide consumers, even in the absence of private oil companies, there is no reason why that process cannot be conducted through other funnels than private ones. Nationalized or publicly owned or controlled energy firms have existed and do exist. But U.S. policy makers tend to have a real big problem with any non-private means of producing and selling energy. The problem with such non-private firms — like Iraq's government owned Iraq Oil Company (IOC) — is that they close the "open door" and, thereby, block off private investment and profit making. And, don’t forget that Iraq is second only to Saudi Arabia in supplying the world's consumers with Mideast oil. So, it would be foolish to overlook U.S. business and policy makers' interests in getting a firm grip on Iraqi oil reserves.
Meanwhile, to this date there is virtually no evidence that Saddam Hussein or anyone in Iraq had or has any connection with the 9/11 attacks or the anthrax letters or Al Qaeda terrorists and refugees. Even the evidence of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction is lacking. And, if such evidence materializes, so what? While Hussein has frequently behaved like the most brutal and murderous of dictators, he has never displayed suicidal tendencies. And, facing overwhelming U.S. fire power, he would most likely use any such weapons in self-defense rather than agression. And, if that is the case and as the CIA has noted, a U.S. attack could well provoke him to use any and all of the weapons that he has in his arsenal because he'll know that he has nothing to lose. Pushed into a corner, he'll likely react in keeping with the "mad dog" syndrome. He may bite.
Yet, political pundit Chris Matthews points out that the neoconservative war hawks, who are calling for an invasion of Iraq, are "backed by oil patchers George W. Bush and Dick Cheney" who, in turn, "share a sense of entitlement about the world's oil reserves regardless of what flag flies above them." Could it be that such policy makers are likely to use any plausible pretext that they possibly can to justify an attack on Iraq? Call me cynical, but their interest in "protecting" the U.S. people with such an attack is not overwhelming clear. "Oil," Matthews bluntly states, "is a much more powerful motive" for an invasion and conquest of Iraq. Once that conquest has been accomplished, we should watch to see if, under one guise or another, the IOC will be privatized for the enrichment of a few elite Iraqi collaborators of the U.S. and outside investors.
Still, many ordinary U.S. citizens seem more than willing to go along with this possible war and the certain deaths of those as innocent as those who perished in New York on 9/11. And that is probably because that many in the U.S. have become convinced that such a military action is either part of a just war on terrorism or that Middle Eastern oil is vital for U.S. national well being and security. For some people, it seems, the upcoming military venture is worth whatever loss of lives that U.S. policy makers may deem necessary. Yet, for those who care more about the loss of human life than for the potential profits of some wealthy investors, a thoughtful pause is in order.
According to very interesting 1999 studies published and cited by the conservative Cato Institute and contrary to the conventional wisdom that we've been long fed, neither "the Korean peninsula nor the Persian Gulf is of vital strategic interest to the United States." Citing two other studies in support of his findings, Ivan Eland, the head of Cato Institute's Defense Policy Studies, described a scenario of the "worst case imaginable." In it, Iraq conquers and occupies Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Now, since Saudi Arabia holds 25% of the world's proven oil reserves, Iraq's conquest of it and those other countries means that Iraq would "increase its market power" due to its control of "about 20 percent of the world's oil production." But, adds Eland, citing economist David Henderson, formally of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, if Iraq raised its prices and pushed up the "world price of oil," that "would also cause an increase in oil production from other sources" and the competition would, then, "allow for only a slight increase in the oil price." Other economists, "from across the political spectrum," such as James Tobin, Milton Friedman and William Niskanen, agreed with Henderson's analysis that the price increase "would amount to one-half of 1 percent [.5%] of the U.S. GDP," and they concluded that increase "did not justify a war."
In conclusion, "It's time," states Matthews, "for us to realize that American principles have precious little to do with this costly [upcoming] military campaign." Six months ago, most of the world's people were horrified by the attacks of 9/11, but, now, writer Geov Parrish says, people need to consider if the military doctrine of full spectrum dominance is "an [apparent] aggressive desire for military domination of the world[?]" As for the possible desire to establish firmer control over Middle East oil, it’s time, as well, to realize that those whose patriotism is primarily directed toward power, privileges, and profit simply have a black hole where a moral universe ought to exist. Perhaps, such people would do well to ponder the words of Matthew 16:26 before they doom more innocent people to injury and death: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul." (E)
Notes to U.S. Gigantisme Militaire I: Policy, Purpose, and Contemporary Events
Center for Defense Information (CDI), "Fiscal Year 2003 Pentagon
Budget Request, Budget Authority," February 4, 2002, 1 HYPERLINK
. CDI noted that the figures included "Defense Emergency Response
Funds (FY 2002-2007)" and the total figure for FY 2002 "includes
$3.2 billion for 'Civilian accrual' which in the other years is included
in the actual DoD budget. Totals may not add up due to rounding."
CDI, "World Military Expenditures, US Vs World," 2, HYPERLINK http://www.cdi.org/issues/wme/ www.cdi.org/issues/wme/ .
Ibid., 1-2. The U.S. State and Defense Department identifies the seven so-called "likely adversaries" or "rouge states" as: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
CDI, "Fiscal Year 2003 Budget, Highlights of the FY '03 Budget Request," 1 HYPERLINK http://www.cdi.org/issues/budget/FY03Highlights-pr.cfm; www.cdi.org/issues/budget/FY03Highlights-pr.cfm; CDI, "Fiscal Year 2003 Budget, Discretionary Budget," 1, www.cdi.org/issues/budget/FY03Discretionary-pr-cfm. In FY 2002 dollars, the cost of U.S. military spending in the Cold War, 1946-1991, was almost $15.830 trillion ($15,829,900,000,000). See CDI,, 2001-2002 Military Almanac, Washington, D.C.: CDI, 2002, 35. (Cited as CDI, Almanac).
CDI, Almanac, 35.
Richard DuBoff, "Stopping Terrorism VS. Promoting the Right: No Contest," ZNET Daily Commentaries, 26 March 2002, 1, HYPERLINK http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2002-03/26duboff.cfm www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2002-03/26duboff.cfm .
"Periscope, After Anaconda: Al Qaeda Regroups," Newsweek, 25 March 2002, 6.
Thomas McCormick, The China Market: America’s Quest for Informal Empire, 1893-1901, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1990, 155.
Gore Vidal in an Interview with Barnes & Noble.com, no date, 1, wysiwyg://26http:// shop.barnesandnoble....n=156025405X&displayonly=authorInterview.
Interview of Pat Buchanan by Jake Tapper, "Pat Buchanan: America first," Salon Interview, 3, HYPERLINK http://www.salon.com/people/feature/2001/12/04/buchanan/print.html www.salon.com/people/feature/2001/12/04/buchanan/print.html .
Patrick J. Buchanan, "Why does Islam hate America?" WorldNetDaily, 5 March 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26706 www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26706 (Cited as Buchanan, "Why?").
Uri Avnery, "A Queue of Bombers," 23 March 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/article187.html www.gush-shalom.org/ archives/article187.html .
The poll data came from "face-to-face interviews with 9,924 residents of Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, Kuwait, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia" where "about half of the world's Muslim population lives." Afghanistan public opinion was not polled, but it would be surprising if Afghan sentiments would greatly vary from those polled in the other Muslim countries. The same goes for Iraqi and Iranian sentiments. See CNN.com, "Poll: Muslims call U.S. 'ruthless, arrogant,'" 26 February 2002, 1, CNN.com - poll: Muslims call U.S. ...ess, arrogant - February 26wysiwyg://21http:// cnn.unnews.prin...980681523&partnerID=2004&expire=-1 (Cited as CNN.com).
Buchanan, "Why," 2.
Buchanan, "Bush-bashing by Bill Bennett," WorldNetDaily, 22 March 2002, 2 HYPERLINK http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26929 www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26929 .
Buchanan, "Why the War Party may fail," WorldNetDaily, 16 November 2001, 2-3, HYPERLINK http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25354 www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25354 (Cited as Buchanan, "War Party"). Chris Matthews lists the most vociferous of these neo-conservative, war hawks as Bill Kristol (editor of Weekly Standard), Robert Kegan (columnist for Washington Post), Frank Gaffney Jr. (columnist for Washington Times, William Safire (columnist for New York Times), David Frum (the neo-conservative Canadian speech writer who wrote Bush's "axis of evil" address), Joseph Shattan (speech writer who replaced Frum), Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Secretary of Defense), Doug Feith (Undersecretary of Defense), I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Cheney's Chief of staff), Richard Perle (head of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group), William Luti (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs), and Andrew Marshall (head of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment). See Chris Matthews, "The road to Baghdad," San Francisco Chronicle, 24 March 2002, SFGate, 1, HYPERLINK http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archiev/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ chronicle/archiev/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL ; Seymour M. Hersh, "The Debate Within," New Yorker, March 11,2002, 34; Ken Silverstein, "The Man of ONA," The Nation, no date, 1, HYPERLINK http://www.thenation.com/docPrint.mhtml?i=archive&s=19991025silverstein2 www.thenation.com/docPrint.mhtml?i=archive&s=19991025silverstein2 .
The authors and signers were "William Bennett, Gary Bauer, Jean Kirkpatrick and 38 other ex-Republican officials and foreign-policy scholars." And those people, Buchanan notes, were led and followed by the "chattering classes" and conservative "scribblers," editorialists on T.V., in conservative think-tanks, the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review and the New Republic as well as fellow traveling columnist on the op-ed pages of Washington and New York papers. See Buchanan, "War Party," 2.
Alexandra Williams and Bob Roberts, "Bush's Nuclear Madness," Daily Mirror, 11 March 2002, at Common Dreams News-Center, 1 HYPERLINK http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0311-02.htm www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0311-02.htm . Echoing Mahon's sentiments, British Minister of Parliament, Donald Anderson, chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, said, "I think there are reckless elements in the Pentagon who are on a roll because of Afghanistan." See Williams, 3.
Paul Richter, "U.S. Works Up Plan for Using Nuclear Arms," Los Angeles Times, 9 March 2002, at latimes.com, 1-2, www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/1a-030902bomb.story.
Geov Parrish, "The doomsday regime," WorkingForChange, 4, HYPERLINK http://www.workingforchange.com/printilem.cfm?itemid=12949 www.workingforchange. com/printilem.cfm?itemid=12949 .
The moral constraint was neither that of U.S. policy making pledges not to engage in the "first use" of nuclear weapons nor that of not threatening to use such weapons. U.S. policy makers have always asserted their right to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and U.S. presidents have frequently threatened to use them. But, until "Nuclear Posture Review" was promulgated, the active and serious planning of nuclear first strikes (an exception was Iraq) was invariably against nuclear states or their proxies. The practical constraint was that of not having made many or the type of sophisticated small-yield nuclear weaponry that could be employed on the conventional battlefield. See Parrish, 1; Khatchadourian, 3.
Khatchadourian, 3. On the basis of previous underground nuclear explosions at the Nevada Test Site, nuclear weapons specialist Robert Nelson of the Federation of American Scientists argues that even if an earth-penetration nuclear bomb had a yield that was only 1% of the 15 kiloton Hiroshima bomb, it would not be able to penetrate to sufficient depth (about 650 feet) and explode without creating the likelihood of a fire ball that "would blast through the earth's surface, carrying a cloud of radioactive dirt and debris" unknown distances. See Khatchadourian, 4.
Paul Mcgeough, "The Lone Ranger," Sydney Morning Herald, 9 March 2002, 2, forwarded email.
Idid., 3. Buchanan maintains that Bush's "bellicose wordsmiths of the War Party" "have pushed him out on a limb . . . from which he is already visibly trying to crawl back." See Buchanan, "The War Party and the 'Axis of Evil,'" WorldNetDaily, 5 February 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.wnd.com/new/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26329 www.wnd.com/news/ printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26329 . Four days earlier, Buchanan, still with all due deference to power, put more of the onus on Bush when he asked these questions about the "axis of evil" rhetoric: "Has Bush been carried away by his triumphs and his polls? What happened to the Bush's pre-election promise of humility walking hand-in-hand with American power?" See Buchanan, "American Caesar," WorldNetDaily, 1 February 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26289 www.wnd.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26289 .
Scott Peterson, "Terror war and oil expand U.S. sphere of influence," Christian Science Monitor, 19 March 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0319/p01s04-wosc.html www.csmonitor.com/2002/0319/p01s04-wosc.html . Some of the most influential of the war hawks are Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Secretary of Defense), Doug Feith (Undersecretary of Defense), I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Cheney's Chief of staff), Richard Perle (head of the Defense Policy Board, a Pentagon advisory group), William Luti (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asian Affairs), and Andrew Marshall (head of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment). See Chris Matthews, "The road to Baghdad," San Francisco Chronicle, 24 March 2002, SFGate, 1, HYPERLINK http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archiev/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/ chronicle/archiev/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL ; Seymour M. Hersh, "The Debate Within," New Yorker, March 11,2002, 34; Ken Silverstein, "The Man of ONA," The Nation, no date, 1, HYPERLINK http://www.thenation.com/docPrint.mhtml?i=archive&s=19991025silverstein2 www.thenation.com/docPrint. mhtml?i=archive&s=19991025silverstein2 . Some insight into the attitude of the most important and hawkish of these policy makers may be gained by observing that neither Wolfowitz nor Perle nor Cheney ever served in the military and each of them is demanding a war against Iraq while also backing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's use of force and mass reprisals to crush "terrorism." See Robert Novak, Chicago Sun Times, 31 March 2002, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/print.cgi www.suntimes. com/cgi-bin/print.cgi . In a recent interview, described in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wolfowitz explained his logic for pressing so hard for a war against Saddam Hussein's regime. His reasoning was that the "amount [of evidence that Hussein is covertly working on nuclear weapons] that we don't know is much larger than the amount we do know." See "Soft cry of a hard hawk," San Francisco Chronicle, 1 March 2002, SF Gate, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.sfgate.com/cgi/article.cg.../chronicle/archive/2002/03/01/ED4317.DTL www.sfgate.com/cgi/article.cg.../chronicle/archive/2002/03/01/ED4317.DTL .
Ibid. Full-spectrum dominance is a military doctrine (last expressed in U.S. Department of Defense document Joint Vision 2020) which "means the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations" stretching "from nuclear war to major theater wars to smaller-scale contingencies." See Jim Garamone, "Joint Vision 2020 Emphasizes Full-spectrum Dominance," American Forces Information Service News Articles at DefenseLINK News, U.S. Department of Defense. Actually, full-spectrum dominance is nothing new. It is merely the modernized high tech equivalent of "flexible response" which was introduced to U.S. military strategists and "open door" protectors by Maxwell Taylor's book Uncertain Trumpet in 1959. Adopted by the John F. Kennedy Administration and all subsequent Administrations, the strategy of "flexible response" called (and calls) for the U.S. military and police apparatus to be able to respond to the whole spectrum of "threats" that it could face from thermal nuclear war to small-scale guerrilla war to mere political subversion anywhere in the world. Clearly, "flexible response" and "full spectrum dominance" are not only variants of each other, but they are the means through which global objectives claims may be implemented.
U.S. Department of Defense, General Henry H. Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Office of Primary Responsibility: Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J5; Strategy Division, Joint Vision 2020, Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, June 2000, 6.
Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How We Got To Be So Hated, New York: Thunder's Mouth P., 2002.
Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New, New York: Columbia UP, 1994, 190.
James M. Cypher, "Return of the Iron Triangle: The New Military Buildup," Dollars and Sense, 2002, 7, HYPERLINK http://www.dollarsandsense.org/2002/cypher0102.htm www.dollarsandsense.org/2002/cypher0102.htm .
Chris Matthews, "The road to Baghdad," San Francisco Chronicle, 24 March 2002, SF Gate, 2, HYPERLINK http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/03/24/IN164155.DTL .
Larry Chin, "A rigged chessboard: Bridas, Unocal and the Afghanistan pipeline," 11 March 2002, 4, HYPERLINK http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=5646&mode=thread&order=0 www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=5646&mode=thread&order=0 .
Ibid. Zalmay Khalilzad has served in the Ronald Reagan Administration State Department where he helped arm the mujahadeen (with whom Osama bin Laden served) during the 1980s. He was an undersecretary of defense in the Bush I Administration, and, later, he worked at the always "hawkish Rand Corporation." See Ibid., 4-5.
Matthews lists the most vociferous of these neo-conservative, war hawks as Bill Kristol (editor of Weekly Standard), Robert Kegan (columnist for Washington Post), Frank Gaffney Jr. (columnist for Washington Times, William Safire (columnist for New York Times), David Frum (the neo-conservative Canadian speech writer who wrote Bush's "axis of evil" address), Joseph Shattan (speech writer who replaced Frum), Paul Wolfowitz (Deputy Secretary of Defense), Doug Feith (Undersecretary of Defense), and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Cheney's Chief of staff). See Matthews, 1.
Ivan Eland, "Tilting at Windmills: Post-Cold War Military Threats to U.S. Security," Policy Analysis, No. 332 (8 February 1999), 14, www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-332es.html.