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an "enduring relationship" « Previous | |Next »
October 24, 2007

Spencer Ackerman In Iraq Forever in American Prospect argues that the construction of permanent U.S. bases along with long-term plans for troop presence continues apace:

The war in Iraq can sometimes feel like a military commitment in search of a rationale. Yet there has never been any doubt among insiders that the Bush administration intended Iraq to become an outpost of U.S. power projection throughout the Middle East.....The assumption made by advocates of an enduring U.S. presence in Iraq is that the U.S. can improve security to the point where a reduced American presence would no longer be provocative to Iraqis.

It is similar to the British in Egypt says John B. Judis. The Bush Republican Washington view is that Iraqi leaders who owe their positions to the U.S. occupation want the Americans to stay indefinitely, and Bush is ready to oblige them, albeit with a smaller force. What Bush has done in Iraq, rather than what he says he has done, is to revive an imperialist foreign policy, reminiscent of the British and French in the Middle East. It's called an enduring relationship.

Judis says that:

Indeed, this brand of imperialism, as practiced by the Bush administration, is remarkably similar to the older European variety. Its outward veneer is optimistic and even triumphalist, when articulated by a neo-conservative like Max Boot or William Kristol, and is usually accompanied by a vision of global moral-religious-social transformation. The British boasted of bringing Christianity and civilization to the heathens; America's neo-conservatives trumpet the virtues of free-market capitalism and democracy. And like the older imperialism, Bush's policy toward Iraq and the Middle East has been driven by a fear of losing out on scarce natural resources. Ultimately, his policy is as much a product of the relative decline of American power brought about by the increasingly fierce international competition for resources and markets as it is of America's "unipolar moment."

Even if waging a imperial war in the post-imperial age is self-defeating, Bush and Cheney continue to beat the drums of war with Iran ever louder. An all-out attack against Iran's nuclear sites is what I assume Bush and Cheney are after. Hence all the chest-thumping and belligerent bellowing.


| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:41 AM | | Comments (5)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
there is a history between the US Iran. In 1953 the U.S. overthrew Iran's democratically elected Iranian president, Mohammad Mosaddeq, installing for the next 27 years the brutal regime of the Shah.

President Reagan and his Vice President, George Herbert Walker Bush urged, funded and equipped Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran-a war that took around 700,000 Iranian lives.

Peter
the other bit of history we need to remember is that the American empire always needs a virtual, world-embracing enemy, a single enemy which includes all the opponents of the United States around the world.

Once upon a time the whole world used to be divided between Good Guys (the Americans and their supporters) and Bad Guys (the Commies). Everybody who opposed American interests was automatically a Communist. The secret police of the Shah of Iran belonged to the Free World.

When the Communist empire collapsed, America was suddenly left without a world-wide enemy.

This vacuum has now been filled by the Muslims-Terrorists. Thus the American world view rearranged itself: a good world (Western Civilization) and a bad world (Islamic civilization). The world-wide wall between the West and Islam is deemed to be the front-line of the Clash of Civilizations.

Peter,
don't we have to think in terms of the Iran-Israel-U.S. relationship?

Nan,
yes. Iran represents a strategic challenge to the favorable balance of power enjoyed by Israel and the U.S. in the Middle East over the past 15 years.

Basically the U.S. seek to contain Iran's growth as a regional power. The balance of power in the region must be weighted toward Israel and away from Iran. So Israel acts to ensure that it can rely on Washington to control Tehran. Israeli strategy towards Iran is based on the idea that Israel stands to gain from a U.S-Iranian conflict.

Thus we have the media strategy of vilifying Iran and seeking its international isolation from both Washington and Jerusalem. In its crudest form this says Israel is good and everyone opposed to Israel is a Nazi. It’s 1938 revsited, Iran, is Nazi Germany, and there's a new Hitler on the march in the east. Anyone who advocates diplomacy and engagement with Tehran is simply reprising the tragic appeasement politics of Neville Chamberlain. Israeli politicians across the spectrum continue to tell their people that they face imminent annihilation by Iranian nuclear weapons.

There is no imminent danger of Iran actually possessing nuclear weapons, and there’s no sound reason to believe that even if it had these, it would brandish them at Israel — which, after all, has far more nuclear weapons at its disposal and wouldn’t hesitate to nuke Tehran if it felt threatened with extinction.

The neoconservatives argue that Bush's team, should launch a military strike against Iran, or will nudge Israel to do so, and that this will happen. See this account by Steve Clemons in Salon.

i wonder if usa can stop a suicide attack by iranian air force on saudi oil fields..