Recent US war history in a nutshell: Responding to an ’01 terror attack on NYC by activists from Saudi Arabia, funded by Pakistan, and trained in Afghanistan, the US in ’03 attacked Iraq, supposedly because they had “weapons of mass destruction,” never found. US denied it wanted control of the strategic resource-rich Persian Gulf, saying it remains there to “nation-build.” In ’07 US geologists reported Afghanistan has $1 trillion in mineral wealth, and then in ’09 the US more than
The fact of the matter is that the US is an imperial power with hundreds of military bases throughout the world. They seek to dominate global markets, resources, and labor, as do the European Union. The fact that billions of dollars are spent , and thousands of lives lost in the course of war are immaterial because it is we they tax payer and the 'little people' that pick up the 'bill' while the global elite become ever richer.
Once the conquest is complete, the Trans National corporations move in and reap the rewards. The IMF and World Bank dish out 'Aid' and in return the 'conquered' open up their markets, sell the rights to their mineral wealth, allow cheap subsidized foreign imports to flood the country, thus bankrupting the local farmers/businesses. And all the while the puppets that are are allowed to rule fill their pockets and the people become impoverished. Impoverished people equal a force force prepared to work for peanuts in sweat shops.
But we are the dumb ones because we know that politicians are liars but we believe the BS about 'spreading Democracy, Nation Building, WMD, war on terror,.
THE SIMPLE PLAIN FACT IS THIS, CHECK HISTORY, WARS ARE THOUGHT OVER LAND AND RESOURCES. Yes sometimes they are fought in self the defense, but in defense of land and resources!
Even hardcore leftists like Michael Albert at ZNet have nothing but ridicule for the idea that we were in Vietnam to get access to whatever puny pile of tin, zinc, copper, or whatever.
I must be even more hardcore, then. The primary sources speak for themselves. It may not have significantly influenced U.S. policy, but folks invoked the allure of natural resources at the time.
Compared to those adventures, our involvement in the Middle East has been a sideshow.
Until 1991, perhaps so. These days it's the main attraction.
I am genuinely confused by the type of argument made in the post. When is the last time that the US "looted" a country's natural resources? Have we done so in Iraq or Kuwait? How does the looting occur? I mean this as a genuine question. I can see if the conquered country were required to provide cheap oil leases to our corporations how that might occur. But when is the last time it happened?
Until this is explained, I am baffled by this type of argument. It seems like a conspiracy theory on the order of the "truthers."
A trillion dollars sounds like a lot of money. But it is 25 days of U.S. GDP. Or five months of U.S. government outlays. The invasion will not pass a cost/benefit test on this mineral find alone.
Even hardcore leftists like Michael Albert at ZNet have nothing but ridicule for the idea that we were in Vietnam to get access to whatever puny pile of tin, zinc, copper, or whatever. They've got nothing.
Control over oil is a big concern, and explains our interest in the Middle East, but that is a small piece of U.S. imperialism. We've never done anything there on the scale of Central America, South America, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, or the Pacific Islands. Compared to those adventures, our involvement in the Middle East has been a sideshow.
U.S. imperialism doesn’t look like it ever had much to do with acquiring resources.
Untrue. Control over the oil reserves in the Middle East has been a U.S. strategic goal at least since World War II. For example, why do you think the country supported the coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh after he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company?
Nothing worth grabbing in Southeast Asia either.[/quote]Also untrue. Business leaders at the time talked about the various raw materials they would be able to extract from Vietnam. The war was more about beating communism, of course, but that contest was about becoming the dominant world power, a position that give one greater control over resources.
The really problem that I have with Iraq and Afghanistan is we went we saw we conquered. We won everything there is to win we got Sadaam and took out the Taliban so why did we not admit victory and go home? After the pounding we put on them the Taliban and Iraq government are not likely to attack us. Al Qada is a different story but IMO we could keep pressure on them without holding Iraq or Afghanistan.
What kind of human being would wack the head of someone else so that he changes his behavior?
Kanchay, opinion polls show that most Americans actually did support the Iraq war. Similarly, when MLK Jr was actually alive (before his deification removed everything about him but a symbol) and protesting the Vietnam war, most Americans also supported it.
Jess Riedel, I guess I should have written "plausible", it's been a while since I actually reread his article. But I do think that's the explanation. We were still angry from 9/11 and not satisfied with just Afghanistan. Jonah Goldberg expresses the "Ledeen doctrine" as "every once in a while the United States has to pick up some shitty country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business". Thomas Friedman similarly says the real (and perfectly legitimate!) reason we invaded was to say "Suck. On. This".
That explains why we went to war primarily against Iraq — in the public’s subjective perception, as revealed by surveys, that’s who was ultimately behind 9/11.
Eh, the public perceived Iraq as responsible because the leaders who wanted to go to war with Iraq portrayed Iraq as responsible.
Yes, quote it, that's fine.
"I think there is a problem in using successful terrorist attacks in the US as a measure of “islamic terrorism”. IIRC the total sample size is 2 (both attacks on the WTC)."
WRONG. The United States has been targeted by terrorist attacks even after 9/11. For some reason though, the general public do not classify them as terrorist attacks, hence they have been overlooked. Here's a forum topic that gives you a list of terrorist attacks in the US that took place from Sept. 12 2001 to Dec. 2007. During that time period, 45 terrorist attacks occured.
The United States is still suffering from terrorism. To claim that the US has never been attacked is foolhardy.
U.S. imperialism doesn't look like it ever had much to do with acquiring resources. There isn't jack squat in Central America, but that was by far the leading place where we were imperialist during the whole decade of the 1980s. Nothing worth grabbing in Southeast Asia either. Or the Balkans in the late '90s. Or during our occupation of Haiti earlier in the 20th C.
Rather it's a signal of our might -- "look what we can and will do, without provocation, so don't mess with us."
I had an idea that U.S. imperialism goes up or down with the domestic crime rate. When the world gets more dangerous at home, voters want something to be done, hence tough-on-crime campaigns. But voters don't limit their fear to those inside our borders, so politicians have to deliver tough-on-foreign-dictators policies to show they're trying to keep us safe:
That explains why we went to war primarily against Iraq -- in the public's subjective perception, as revealed by surveys, that's who was ultimately behind 9/11.
For a historical perspective, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq almost have to at least contain elements of imperialism. If natural resources suddenly don't affect U.S. foreign policy, that would be quite a development.
I agree with your comments, do you mind of I quote from it?
Although I would add that the politician think what must I say to get people to vote for me (if people are confident in me they will vote for me).
It should be pointed out that the US attacked Afghanistan (not Iraq) in response to the 911 attacks. They moved on to Iraq later. The change in Afghanistan after the mineral wealth discovery there was just a surge in the previously existing war.
That said, I think the imperialist story can (and will/was) be framed using the correct facts as well. But forgetting to mention the initial attack on Afghanistan after 911 is disingenuous.