"Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom...A long and violent abuse of power is generally the means of calling the right of it in question..."
~Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Friday, May 22, 2009

Passing the Baton

The following document published by the Center for New American Security (CNAS) seems an all-too-appropriate postscript to our previous discussions on Iraq: Rumors of Wars and Vital Interests. If the previously presented facts left any room for uncertainty, this document confirms the aforementioned conclusions and leaves no doubt as to the motives for the past, current, and future actions of the United States against the Middle East.

Similar even in name, CNAS is a Washington-based think-tank that plays an important role in the current Obama Administration comparable to the role that PNAC played in the recent Bush Administration (see Vital Interests). President Barack Obama has acquired many of his key defense personnel from CNAS which continues to influence his Administration and other politicians. This publication titled 'Finding Our Way: Debating American Grand Strategy' promotes a foriegn policy of 'selective engagement' and puts into writing the current modified version of the Carter Doctrine that has been the unwritten law of American foriegn policy for decades, "the United States must prevent any power—external or internal to the region—from disrupting the flow of oil out of the Gulf." It continues the practice of prioritizing America's interests according to their importance starting with "vital interests" - including the preservation of access to Middle Eastern oil - at the top of the list. The document acknowledges the real motive for the pre-emptive invasion and current occupation of Iraq. It acknowedges the real cause of the current political and diplomatic tension with Iran which are leading toward war. It prides itself in the successful establishment of an increased military presence in the Gulf in order to protect our oil interests.

Again the document is almost all-to-appropriate, and in light of yesterday's Senate approval of an additional $91 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it should now be clear to everyone that the Republican and Democratic parties really are just two facets of one governing political body. The death and destruction of war and the obstruction of human rights at home and abroad so accelerated by George W. Bush have and will be continued and increased now that the baton has been passed to Barack Obama. The time truly is overdue to give heed to the warnings of the prophets both ancient and modern to wake up to a sense of our awful situation and begin to regain and defend our precious freedoms.

In addition to reading these excerts, we invite you to watch or re-watch the documentary on the war on terror that we have had a link to since we began our blog, "Breaking the Silence" by John Pilger, to get a more accurate view on the current wars that you will not find in the mainstream media. It is incredible how open they are about their true motives. Much of the American public does not see this however because it is not displayed front and center in the media day to day (although even the media has highlighted the fact that the Obama Adniminstration pulled many of its members from CNAS). You can read about the Obama Administration's agenda in the Middle East below, in their own words:

Finding Our Way: Debating American Grand Strategy

In order to actually be selective, advocates of selective engagement would employ a tiered hierarchy of national interests, differentiating between the vital interest of defending the homeland, the highly important goals of maintaining Eurasian great power peace and access to Gulf oil at reasonable prices, and important interests such as international economic openness, growth of democracy and human rights, and preventing severe climate change...

Interests and Threats

The United States has six fundamental national interests in the current era: first, to protect the homeland from attack; second, to keep a deep peace among the Eurasian great powers; third, to preserve assured access to stable supplies of oil; fourth, to preserve an open international economic order; fifth, to spread democracy and the rule of law, protect human rights, and prevent mass murders in civil wars; and sixth, to avert severe climate change...

The third requires that the United States act in ways that prevent any state, from within the region or without, from acquiring hegemony over Persian Gulf oil supplies...

Preserving assured access to stable oil supplies is necessary as long as the United States and the rest of the world remain dependent on oil to run their economies. The United States clearly needs an effective energy policy, one that reduces its dependence on fossil fuels and Persian Gulf oil imports, but until it devises one, it and other nations will have to rely on the Persian Gulf because it contains two-thirds of the world’s proven reserves of oil and at least one-third of its proven natural gas supplies. As a consequence, the Gulf must, of necessity, remain of vital interest to the United States, even though the U.S. obtains only about 16 percent of its oil imports from the Gulf. The world oil market is highly integrated; big disruptions in one area affect supply and price globally. Because Gulf oil currently supplies about 40 percent of the oil consumed globally every day, and is projected to supply an even greater percentage a decade or two from now, the United States must prevent any power—external or internal to the region—from disrupting the flow of oil out of the Gulf. The 2003 Gulf War eradicated the Iraqi threat to the stable flow of Gulf oil, but Iran now aspires to be the regional hegemon in the Gulf...

If properly implemented, selective engagement best protects America’s interests in the current and foreseeable international environment... It assures the free flow of Persian Gulf oil through an onshore and offshore military presence there better than either the strategy of restraint or offshore balancing, and does not destabilize the region the way muscular Wilsonianism has...

In the Persian Gulf, the United States faces a different political problem. Many of the Gulf sheikdoms favor some U.S. military presence there, but their publics do not support it. In fact, public opinion polls of the Muslim world show strong majorities opposed to the U.S. military presence in the Middle East. In addition, some analysts are now making credible military arguments that the United States does not need an onshore presence in the Gulf to assure the free flow of oil out of the Gulf, but, instead, can do it from forces afloat that are over the horizon. This may well be the case, but the issue becomes complicated if Iran acquires nuclear weapons. In this case the United States should extend its nuclear umbrella over the Gulf states in order to discourage them from acquiring their own independent nuclear capabilities, much as the U.S alliance with Japan discourages Japan from going nuclear. Whether this umbrella is credible in the Gulf without a visible, in-theater, onshore military presence of some sort in the Gulf sheikdoms is important to ascertain. This will require careful analysis and negotiations with the sheikdoms about the relative merits of a U.S. onshore versus offshore military presence after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq...

The oil wealth of some Arab countries, compared with the poverty of so many others, fuels resentment. Oil and gas also bring the interests and presence of the great powers to the region, especially the United States. The emergence of an economically and militarily successful, Westernized Jewish liberal democracy—Israel— in their midst serves both as a focus of identity politics and a reminder of the extent of Arab political failures since the end of the Second World War. Macro-level economic and technological forces and specifically regional characteristics thus combine to create fertile ground in the Arab world for extremists hostile to the existing international political and economic systems.

2 comments:

dshefman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon or Eric said...

Sorry. I had just posted it as a draft. There were still something I wanted to add. It should be back up now.