Anda di halaman 1dari 28

Either You Are With Us, Or you are with the Terrorists: US Imperial

Hegemony at the eginning o! the "#st $entury

International $on!eren%e on &lo'ali(ation: )igration, $iti(enship an* I*entity
Uni+ersity o! I'a*an, I'a*an, ,igeria
,o+em'er -./, "001
)o23'4ol3 Ol3!3n56 O5ome, 7ro!essor o! 7oliti%al S%ien%e
roo5lyn $ollege, $ity Uni+ersity o! ,ew Yor5
At /:08 pm, on Septem'er "0, "00# 7resi*ent &eorge W9 ush
a**resse* a :oint Session o! $ongress an* the Ameri%an people, an*
pro%laime* that Ameri%a was a %ountry awa5ene* to *anger an* %alle* to
*e!en* !ree*om9 He then as5e* the %ountries o! the worl* to %hoose i! they
woul* stan* with the US or with those he *u''e* terrorists9 In his own
inimita'le way, he sai*, ;E+ery nation in e+ery region now has a *e%ision to
ma5e, you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists9; On the +ery *ay
o! the /<## atta%5s, he pro%laime*, We will ma5e no *istin%tion 'etween the
terrorists an* those who har'or them =Walter >a!e'er, The ush ?o%trine
?iplomati% History, p9 "@AB9 y Septem'er "00", the a*ministration ha*
pro*u%e* its ,ational Se%urity Strategy =,SSB *o%ument, %hapter C+e o!
whi%h was title* 7re+ent our Enemies !rom Threatening us, our Allies an*
our Drien*s with Weapons o! )ass ?estru%tion, in whi%h the a*ministration
summari(e* its i*eas a'out the use o! !or%e an* arti%ulate* the ush
?o%trine9 This was a reiteration o! the post /<##statements 'y the 7resi*ent,
The spee%h 'e!ore the :oint Session o! $ongress on Septem'er
"0, "00#,
The spee%h 'e!ore the Warsaw $on!eren%e on $om'ating
Terrorism on ,o+em'er -,
The State o! the Union A**ress on :anuary "/
The Spee%h 'e!ore the stu*ents at the Eirginia )ilitary A%a*emy
on April #1, an*
The Spee%h 'e!ore the &ra*uating $lass at West 7oint on :une #,
The threat towar* the US was %ast as in%lu*ing ra*i%alism !rom Islami%
!un*amentalists who ha* a%%ess to sophisti%ate* weapons an*
tele%ommuni%ations te%hnology, an* were intent on *estroying the US an*
its people9 In this statement, 7resi*ent ush ma*e a *ire%t an* eFpli%it
%onne%tion 'etween religious eFtremism an* Weapons o! )ass ?estru%tion
The gra+est *anger to !ree*om lies at the %rossroa*s o!
ra*i%alism an* te%hnology9 When the sprea* o! %hemi%al an*
'iologi%al nu%lear weapons, along with 'allisti% missile
te%hnologyGwhen that o%%urs, e+en wea5 states an* small
groups %oul* attain a %atastrophi% power to stri5e great
nations9 Our enemies ha+e *e%lare* this +ery intention an*
ha+e 'een %aught see5ing these terri'le weapons9
This paper will !o%us on the imperialisti% an* hegemoni% %hara%ter o! the
ush a*ministrationHs post</I## !oreign poli%y stan%e as an outgrowth o! the
Unite* States o! Ameri%aHs Juest to *ominate the worl*9 ?oing this
ne%essarily 'rings up the Juestion o! whether or not the US imperial
hegemony is *ri+en newly 'y the ush a*ministrationKs uniJue !oreign poli%y
stan%e, or i! it *raws upon a long<term tra*ition in US relations with the worl*
!rom at least, the #/
$entury9 I agree with >ie'er an* >ie'er that
The ,SS "00" is 'roa*ly %onsistent with Ameri%an strategi%
tra*ition while setting !orth a %oherent gran* *esign !or
Ameri%an poli%y in the !a%e o! new an* *angerous threat9
Although the ush ,SS is a 'ol* an* %an*i* pro%lamation o!
Ameri%an o'2e%ti+es, mu%h o! the *o%ument arti%ulates what has
'een impli%it in Ameri%an strategy sin%e the Unite* States
'e%ame a great power a %entury ago9 )oreo+er, what is new is
generally reasona'le gi+en the nature an* magnitu*e o! the
threats that ha+e emerge* in the post<Septem'er ##th
international en+ironment =A"B9
It is remar5a'le that histori%ally, e+en as it !oun*e* its new %olonies in
Ameri%a, ritain was an imperialist power9 It %reate* the %ountry !rom a
pro%ess that !or%i'ly appropriate* the lan*s o! the in*igenous population,
strenuously trie* to eFterminate them, an* use* the %oer%e* an* 'rutali(e*
la'or o! ensla+e* A!ri%ans to generate mu%h o! the wealth that the
lan*owning %lass in the new %ountry 'elie+e* to 'e its own9 It was hell<'ent
on !ulClling what was %onstru%te* to 'e a mani!est *estiny to eFpan* %ontrol
o+er the new lan* !rom sea to shining sea9 Without the 'rutal o%%upation o!
the territory an* !or%e*, un%ompensate* appropriation o! the in*igenous
populationKs lan*, an* the mer%iless eFploitation o! the la'or, Crst o! the
in*igenous population, an* then, o! ensla+e* A!ri%ansG poli%ies %ontinue*
'y the in*epen*ent %olonistsGit is *ou't!ul that Ameri%a woul* ha+e grown
into the worl* power that it *i*9 To mo+e !ast !orwar* into the present, the
ush a*ministrationKs statement imme*iately a!ter /<## saw a +ery %learly
*i%hotomi(e* worl* %ompose* o! those with us an* those with the
terrorists9 This stan%e, !or many s%holars has %reate* an Ameri%a with an
imperialist *ream o! worl* %onJuest to !orestall any !uture re%urren%e o! a
stri5e at the heart o! Ameri%aKs Cnan%ial an* *e!ense apparatus as well as its
in!rastru%ture9 To a%%omplish these goals, +arious pro'lemati% an*
%ontra*i%tory poli%y initiati+es ha+e 'een employe* in the arena o! tra*e,
me*ia an* in!ormation *issemination, the pro*u%tion o! 5nowle*ge, war, an*
%onLi%t resolution9
In this paper, I will show the %ontra*i%tions in US !oreign poli%y as it
*i%hotomi(es the worl* into those who are with us; an* those ;with the
terrorists9; Su%h intolerant pronoun%ements an* poli%ies 'ase* on them gag
%riti%s o! US !oreign poli%y9 It also !a%ilitates the %ategori(ing o! those who
want to a%%ess resour%es !rom the US, an* !rom whom the US nee*s
%on%essions, to a%t as though they 'elong among those who are with us;
e+en while they ha+e a history o! supporting those to whom the US re!ers as
;terrorists9; At 'ase, the statements also restate* an* %lariCe* a long<
stan*ing US 'elie! that it shoul* 'e the *ominant power in the worl*, an* the
5ey US position as one o! the most power!ul %ountries in the post<Worl* War
II international system, an* its attainment o! prima%y a!ter the %ollapse o!
the So+iet Union, an* the en* o! the %ol* war9 Dinally, the statements
mappe* out a gran* strategy to a%%omplish this goal9
The %on%ept o! terrorism itsel! ought to 'e pro'lemati(e*, parti%ularly
through an eFamination o! US !oreign poli%y, sin%e the history o! US
*iplomati% history is replete with instan%es when ;!ree*om Cghters; 'e%ome
lea*ers o! ;rogue states;9 When the US !ought the war o! in*epen*en%e
against &reat ritain, the sol*iers that parti%ipate* were %onsi*ere* terrorists
'y the ritish9 The *e%laration o! in*epen*en%e an* the *iplomati% eMorts
un*erta5en at the time sought to %on+in%e the power!ul European %ountries
that Ameri%ans were not terrorists 'ut !ree*om Cghters who sought to
li'erate their %ountry !rom an oppressi+e %olonial power9 )ore re%ently, US
allies ha+e also 'een 5nown to 'e%ome ;rogue states,; that %ontrol ;weapons
o! mass *estru%tion,; as with IraJ, ally *uring the Iran<IraJ war, 'ut ;rogue
state; *uring the latter *ays o! the Sa**am Hussein a*ministration, a
situation that le* to the preempti+e sel!<*e!ense strategy that was part o! the
ush ?o%trine9 It is a well<5nown !a%t that the US *e%i*e* that IraJ was
nee*!ul o! a regime %hange, Sa**am Hussein was o+erthrown, he 'e%ame a
!ugiti+e, 'ut was e+entually %apture*, 'rought to trial, an* eFe%ute*9 The
US, whi%h ha* eFpe%te* IraJis to greet its sol*iers as li'erators, an* to
shower them with Lowers in sheer gratitu*e !or 'eing ri* o! a *i%tatorial,
'rutal regime, was sho%5e* to Cn* itsel! stu%5 in a ne+er<en*ing morass that
has su%5e* money, li+es, an* goo*will out o! the Ameri%an people9 7resi*ent
ele%t ara%5 O'ama promise* to en* the war within #N months9 It remains
to 'e seen whether this promise woul* 'e 5ept an* how easy it woul* 'e to
*o so9
7a5istan is also a pro'lemati% %ase, 'eing host to many ma*rassas,
some o! whom are allege* to ha+e pro*u%e* terrorists, %ausing the US to
see5 %ooperation to %ontrol them with the 7a5istani regime un*er &eneral
<<<<9 This strategy !aile*, an* one o! the %asualties was the assassinate*
ena(ir hutto, who was %ut *own 'y assassin 'ullets *uring a %ampaign !or
7resi*en%y9 Su'seJuently, the US 'om'e* allege* terrorist targets within the
'or*ers o! 7a5istan 'eginning !rom the perio* o! the 7er+e( )usharra!
a*ministration, an* intensi!ying *uring the Asi! Ali Oa*ari =ena(ir huttoKs
wi*owerB a*ministration9
These 'om' atta%5s were allege* to ha+e %ause*
%i+ilian %asualties9 7a5istan proteste* the 'om'ings as an un2ustiCe* 'rea%h
o! its territorial integrity as well as 'lame* the intensiC%ation o! terrorist
a%ti+ity on the %i+ilian %asualties %ause* 'y US atta%5s9

The %ase o! the Tali'an regime in A!ghanistan is also instru%ti+e, sin%e
they were literally yester*ayHs A!ghan ;!ree*om Cghters; an* to*ayHs
;terrorists;9 As a state !rom whose soil atta%5s are laun%he* against
Pashmir, an* as one with serious ;weapons o! mass *estru%tion,; whi%h it
has threatene* to use against In*ia in the past, where a military regime
!or%i'ly too5 power, only serious *ou'le<tal5 that s5ill!ully *eploys Lawe* an*
*i%hotomous realpoliti5 %an see 7a5istan as a lesser pro'lem than IraJ9 I!
one %onsi*ers another goo* !rien*, Sau*i Ara'ia, US enemy num'er #,
Osama 'in >a*en an* some o! the /I## a%tors hail !rom thereQ %harita'le
*onation to allege* terrorist groups, in%lu*ing Al Rae*aQ 'eing non<
*emo%rati%Q an* the strength o! the same 5in* o! Waha''ism as the Tali'an
are not %onsi*ere* suS%ient reasons to %reate tensions 'etween the Sau*i
go+ernment an* the Unite* States, whi%h nee*s a%%ess to its hy*ro%ar'on
resour%es, a 'ase !rom whi%h to laun%h atta%5s on IraJ when ne%essary, an*
the nee* !or rights to use its airspa%e when ne%essary ha+e %om'ine* to
ma5e Sau*i Ara'ia a %ountry that is ;with us9; Un*er the ush
a*ministration, the US in large part, approa%he* the worl* with its
*i%hotomous an* %ontra*i%tory +ision9 It i*entiCe* allies an* enemies on the
'asis o! a *eCnition o! national interest that is geare* at enhan%ing an*
maintaining its imperial hegemony9 Its nee* to %ontrol the sour%es o!
strategi% %ommo*ities on whi%h it *epen*s has *ri+en an aggressi+e !oreign
poli%y stan%e that uses e+ents su%h as the /I## atta%5s as an eF%use to
*eCne the states that it see5s to *is%ipline an* *omesti%ate as 'elonging to
an ;aFis o! e+il; against whi%h measures in%lu*ing war, will 'e use* to %reate
a worl* that Cts 'etter with the USH goals9
US quest for world dominance
The $ol* War is o+er9 Only the US is le!t stan*ing, in a situation o!
hegemoni% *ominan%e9 One woul* thin5 that the US is there'y more se%ure,
that it !eels more impregna'le, that it is now prepare* to en2oy the *i+i*en*s
o! pea%e as pronoun%e* in the arti%ulation o! the 'eginning o! the ,ew Worl*
Or*er 'y 7resi*ent &eorge H9W9 ush9 To %on%lu*e the !oregoing woul* not
only 'e ina%%urate, it woul* 'e !oolhar*y, 'e%ause sin%e /<##, the US has
%onsistently *e%lare* its +ulnera'ility to terrorists that are e+erywhere an*
nowhere9 The arti%ulation o! US !oreign poli%y in response to this all
per+asi+e threat was Crst presente* to the worl* in se+eral statements ma*e
'y 7resi*ent &eorge W9 ush in the a!termath o! the atta%5s on the Worl*
Tra*e $enter in ,ew Yor5, the 7entagon in Washington, ?$, a !oile* atta%5
that was sai* to 'e *ire%te* at the White House an* the *eath o! all the
passengers on +arious airplanes that were use* as weapons in laun%hing
these atta%5s9 ,ee*less to say, the atta%5 on %i+ilians, atta%5s ma*e without
a *e%laration o! war %annot 'e morally *e!en*e*9 Durthermore, a group o!
atta%5s against a %ountry wi*ely 'elie+e* to 'e the most power!ul in the
worl* seems at 'est, !oolhar*y9 Surely, the perpetrators must ha+e 5nown
that this woul* 'ring the o+erwhelming !or%e o! US power in all its
ramiC%ations %rushing *own on them9 A!ter se+eral assuran%es that the US
woul* hunt the terrorists *own an* the 'i!ur%ation o! the worl* into those
;with us, or with the terrorists,; the ush a*ministration %ame up with the
ush ?o%trine as lai* *own in the ,ational Se%urity Strategy o! the US in
"00"9 Although some s%holars ha+e seen the ush ?o%trine as a ra*i%al
*eparture in US !oreign poli%y, sin%e as To'ert :er+is sai*, it arti%ulate*
US %ommitment to %reating a *emo%rati% an* !ree worl*,
stressing the importan%e o! the *omesti% stru%tures o! states,
along with a willingness to use su%h means as pre+enti+e war,
an a'sen%e o! inhi'itions a'out unilateral a%tion, an* the
ne%essity o! Ameri%an prima%y, hegemony, hegemony, or
empire !or the sa5e o! pea%e an* sta'ilityGwith the
hegemoni% power not e+en 'oun* 'y rules that apply to
others=&lenn E9 7erry, Imperial ?emo%rati(ation: Thetori%
an* Teality PSQ "N:A<@, SummerIDall "00-, p988B9
The !oregoing shows that the ush a*ministration esta'lishe* a poli%y
o! unilateralism, pre<emption an* pre<eminen%e9 Howe+er, the ush
a*ministration is wi*ely 'elie+e* to ha+e 'een unilateralist 'e!ore /<
##<"00#, with measures ta5en in%lu*ing a'rogation o! the A)
Treaty, with*rawal !rom the International $riminal $ourt, an* its
re2e%tion o! the Pyoto 7roto%ols on $limate $hange =?a+i* Hastings
?unn, A ?o%trine Worthy o! its ,ameU &eorge W, ush an* the
>imits o! 7re<Emption, 7re<Eminan%e =si%B an* Unilateralism,
Diplomacy & Statecraft, #1, "00-, p9 #B9 Some s%holars %laim that the
ush ?o%trine was spe%iC%ally *esigne* to *eal with the )i**le East,
an* to !a%ilitate US in+asion o! IraJ =7erry argues thisB while others
%onsi*er this a more glo'al poli%y that was test<*ri+en, so to say, in
IraJ =Hastings ?unn is an eFample hereB9 In any %ase, the in+asion o!
IraJ in )ar%h "00A is wi*ely %onsi*ere* an appli%ation o! the ush
Attention to history *emonstrates that US imperial hegemony is
neither new nor uniJue to the ush a*ministration9 I! the *e%laration
that the US woul* ma5e the worl* 'oth *emo%rati% an* !ree an* the
arti%ulation o! pre<empti+e an* pre*ominant a%tion to !urther US
national interest are ta5en as important in*i%ators o! US imperialism,
we shoul* also 'e %lear that the whole history o! the post<#/

%entury, an* espe%ially post<worl* war two !oreign poli%y o! the US
has 'een *ire%te* at ma5ing the worl* sa!e !or *emo%ra%y an*
promoting *emo%ra%y through so many !oreign poli%y a*+entures
that sought in the Crst pla%e, to promote US !oreign poli%y, primarily
through *elegitimi(ing %ommunism an* !ostering %apitalism an*
*emo%ra%y =usually *eCne* stri%tly 'y the a'ility o! people within a
gi+en %ountry to +ote an* 'e +ote* !or9 EisenhowerKs *e%laration that
the US woul* roll 'a%5 the iron %urtain in #/8@ meant that the US was
going to o+erthrow %ommunist go+ernments in Eastern Europe9 Some
A!ri%an %ountries also were purge* o! their %ommunist lea*ers, as
the %ase o! >umum'a, ,5rumah *emonstrate9 >atin Ameri%a 'eing so
%lose to the US, !elt the sting o! US anti<$ommunist !oreign poli%y the
most9 The o+erthrow o! the Allen*e regime, the ouster o! :a%o'o
Ar'en(, 7resi*ent o! &uatemala, in a $IA<organi(e* %oup *Ketat, !or
among other reasons, *aring to institute lan* re!orm the ga+e
lan*less peasants that means o! pro*u%tion, an* espe%ially !or
threatening the interests o! the Unite* Druit $ompany, an* the Iran<
$ontra %ase *uring the Teagan A*ministration are all *emonstrati+e
o! US unLin%hing *e*i%ation to the poli%y o! pre<empti+e regime
%hange9 The Teagan a*ministration in+este* huge amounts o! money
in the Strategi% ?e!ense Initiati+e was %onsi*ere* a possi'le way o!
ta5ing on the So+iet Union in a limite* nu%lear war9 The $linton
a*ministration also announ%e* its $ounter 7roli!eration Initiati+e in
#//A whi%h meant that the 7entagon wante* to 'e a'le to *elay,
*isrupt or *eny the *eployment o! weapons o! mass *estru%tion an*
to *isrupt or *estroy the supporting in!rastru%ture !or weapons o!
mass *estru%tion an* missile %apa'ilities =Hastings ?unn, 8B9
One %an, as Hastings ?unn *oes, maintain that while
Eisenhower, Teagan an* $linton either %onsi*ere* or a%tually
eFe%ute* pre<empti+e a%tion against other states, they also
maintaine* a %ommitment to the poli%y o! %ontainmentI*eterren%e9
Again, this is a !un%tion an ina*eJuate attention to history9 As
in*i%ate* earlier, the US has a long history o! me**lingIinter!eren%e in
the politi%s an* *omesti% aMairs o! other %ountries, a situation that is
sometimes %onsi*ere* to ha+e 'een pro*u%e* 'y the realpoliti5 o! the
$ol* War9 Howe+er, a serious histori%al inJuiry *emonstrates that
eMorts to promote *emo%ra%y 'egan as early as the #/
$entury, o!
whi%h Tony Smith sai*:
Ameri%a laun%he* itsel! upon a mission to promote *emo%ra%y
a'roa* somewhat a%%i*entally9 The Spanish<Ameri%an War
was !ought !or a +ariety o! reasons, only one o! whi%h was to
promote what to*ay woul* 'e %alle* human rights !or $u'ans
suMering at the han* o! the Spanish9 ,or *i* %on%ern !or
human rights mean Ameri%ans eFpe%te* to see *emo%ra%y
Lourish in $u'a on%e the Spanish le!t9 When the Ameri%an
$ongress *e%lare* in April #N/N that $u'a ha* a right to
!ree*om an* in*epen*en%e, it *i* not assume that this woul*
rea*ily translate into *emo%ra%y !or that islan*, mu%h less the
,e+ertheless, a!ter the war, some 5in* o! or*er ha* to 'e
esta'lishe* 'y the Ameri%an o%%upiers9 AnneFation to the
Unite* States was at least a possi'ilityQ Hawaii ha* 'een
anneFe* in :uly #N/N, an* the Unite* States ha* 'y then long
eFperien%e in granting statehoo* to peoples who organi(e*
themsel+es in ways %ompati'le with esta'lishe* national
pra%ti%es9 ut !or $u'a an* the 7hilippines, Washington
%on%lu*e* instea* that, !or su%h numerous peoples so *iMerent
!rom ,orth Ameri%ans, e+entual sel!<go+ernment was
pre!era'le9 In these %ir%umstan%es, trying to esta'lish
*emo%rati% go+ernment lo%ally an* then *eparting was all the
Ameri%ans 5new how to *o, e+en i! their way o! pro+i*ing it
pro+e* *eC%ient in many respe%ts =Ameri%aKs )issionV p9 8B9
I! we are to a%%ept as a starting point, Tony SmithKs assumption that
US support !or *emo%ra%y in the 7hilippines an* $u'a was Juite
a%%i*ental, an* that it was wholehearte* in its pursuit o! *emo%ra%y
!or its own %ase, it is remar5a'le at least that a!ter getting its !eet wet
in #N/N, the US got 'ol*er in *emonstrating its support !or
*emo%ra%y, with the o%%upation o! Eera%ru(, )eFi%o in #/#@, the
in+asions o! Haiti in #/#8, an* ?omini%an Tepu'li% in #/#-, the
2ustiC%ation !or the US entry into the Crst worl* war in #/#1, when it
laun%he* an atta%5 against &ermany an* ple*ge* to ma5e the worl*
sa!e !or *emo%ra%y =Smith, p9 8BQ the goal o! the 7aris 7ea%e
$on!eren%e when Wilson %laime* that he wante* the %reation o! a
European or*er o! *emo%rati%ally %onstitute*, nationally sel!<
*etermining states asso%iate* in the >eague o! ,ations, the 'asis o!
the Dourteen 7oint ?e%laration 'y 7resi*ent Woo*row Wilson, the
assertion o! the Dour Dree*oms as state* in the Atlanti% $harter 'y
7resi*ent Dran5lin ?elano Toose+elt, the 'elie! that StalinKs *e%ision
to a'rogate the ?e%laration on >i'erate* Europe that was signe* in
De'ruary #/@8 =with $hur%hill an* Toose+eltB, in whi%h he ha*
promise* to allow !ree an* !air ele%tions in Europe, was an aggressi+e
mo+e, the Truman or*er that Ameri%an o%%upation !or%es in post
Worl* War Two :apan an* &ermany shoul* %onsi*er it a %ru%ial *uty
that 'oth %ountries 'e %on+erte* to sta'le *emo%ra%ies, the #/@1
)arshall 7lan an* its reiteration o! US support !or postwar European
*emo%ra%y, the !ormation o! the Organi(ation o! Ameri%an States in
#/@N, ,ATO I, #/@/, EisenhowerKs #/8A pronoun%ement that the
%apti+e nations o! East $entral Europe woul* 'e helpe* to
*emo%rati(e, Penne*yKs #/-# Allian%e Dor 7rogress with >atin
Ameri%a, an* the *e!ense o! South East Asia against %ommunism as
well as the promotion o! *emo%ra%y within the region, the *eman*s in
the #/10s !rom $ongressional an* other %riti%s o! the ,iFon
a*ministrationKs amoral !oreign poli%y an* the *eman* !or the US to
support *emo%ra%y in among other pla%es, Southern A!ri%a, !ollowing
whi%h the US re%o+ere* its support !or *emo%ra%y a'roa* in earnest,
$arterKs CFation on the support !or human rights a'roa*, TeaganKs
reiterate* %alls !or *emo%rati% re+olution in the worl*, 7resi*ent
&eorge H9W9 ushKs post #/N/ o+ertures in Eastern Europe, the
7hilippines an* $entral Ameri%a, $lintonKs +ow to %ontinue these
same eMorts, all these were !or Tony Smith, in*i%ati+e an* %onstituti+e
o! how Crmly 'ipartisan it now has 'e%ome to see Ameri%an national
se%urity promote* 'y the eFpansion o! *emo%ra%y a'roa* =-B9 As a
matter o! !a%t, Tony Smith goes as !ar as to say that the worl*wi*e
reawa5ene* interest in *emo%ra%y in the #//0s might well 'e
attri'ute* to Ameri%aKs %entury<long eMort to promote it worl*wi*e9
This %ommitment he *es%ri'es as Ameri%aKs li'eral internationalism,
an* unli5e many li'eral an* ra*i%al s%holars who wrote in the post /<
##, post<IraJ in+asion worl*, who see the ush *o%trine as an
eFpression o! Ameri%an imperialism, Smith sees Ameri%an support !or
*emo%ra%y worl*wi*e as an anti<imperialist mo+e =1B9 Tony Smith
presents the Dran5lin ?elano Toose+elt a*ministrationKs &oo*
,eigh'or 7oli%y as a poli%y o! noninter+ention in >atin Ameri%a, whi%h
!ollowe* years o! prote%ting Ameri%an se%urity in >atin Ameri%a
an a'i*ing %on%ern !or politi%al sta'ility in $entral Ameri%a an*
the $ari''ean9 E%onomi% interests =espe%ially un*er Ta!tB an*
the psy%hologi%al satis!a%tion o! eFer%ising power in a superior
manner =espe%ially un*er WilsonB were in+ol+e*, but the
strategic security of the United States was the primary
reason for Washingtons involvement in the region. The
alternati+eGpoliti%al insta'ilityGraise* the spe%ter o! great<
power inter+ention, whi%h in turn pose* real threats to
Ameri%an se%urity !rom the 7anama $anal to the %ities on the
&ul! o! )eFi%o =1NB9
The US is not a relu%tant hegemon, an* the ush ?o%trine is not an
a%%i*ental *eparture !rom US !oreign poli%y9 Instea*, we shoul* see it as part
o! a gran* *esign !or worl* *omination that *raws upon an* 'uil*s on a
history o! US !oreign poli%y9 To Juote on%e again !rom >ie'er an* >ie'er,
Dour 5ey themes o! the ush ,SS ha+e generate* %ontro+ersy9 Dirst,
the ,SS %alls !or pre<empti+e military a%tion against hostile states
an* terrorist groups see5ing to *e+elop weapons o! mass
*estru%tion =W)?B9 Se%on*, the ,SS announ%es that the U9S9 will not
allow its glo'al military strength to 'e %hallenge* 'y any !oreign
power9 Thir*, the ,SS eFpresses a %ommitment to multilateral
international %ooperation, 'ut ma5es %lear that the Unite* States
will not hesitate to a%t alone, i! ne%essary to *e!en* national
interests an* se%urity9 Dourth, the ,SS pro%laims the goal o!
sprea*ing *emo%ra%y an* human rights aroun* the glo'e, espe%ially
in the )uslim worl* =A"B9
Tyan in his semioti% analysis o! the signs an* sym'ols o! /<## argues
that there are many histori%al parallels to the US response to /<##, whi%h he
presents as a US *emonstration o! resol+e an* re2e%tion o! 'eing presente*
to the worl* as a paper tiger in the same manner as *i* the Dor*
A*ministration to the )ayague( in%i*ent in #/18, the Porean Tree in%i*ent in
#/1-,, when the US !elt %ompelle* to in+a*e $entral Ameri%a, IraJ =&ul!
WarB, Poso+o war, an* %onLi%t resolution9 >ie'er an* >ie'er, who Cn* no
pro'lem with the ush a*ministrationKs use o! preempti+e war, %ite many
histori%al eFamples o! the use o! all the !un*amental arguments use* to
support the US position in the ,SS "00" *o%ument9
Drom the perspe%ti+e o! the ush A*ministrationKs "00" ,SS, the
preempti+e use o! military !or%e against terrorists an*Ior state sponsors o!
terrorism that try to o'tain or *eploy W)?9 As state* in the *o%ument, 999as
a matter o! %ommon sense an* sel!<*e!ense, Ameri%a will a%t against su%h
emerging threats 'e!ore they are !ully !orme*9 This eFpan*s the *eCnition
o! preemption to in%lu*e arme* atta%5s !rom the US to its per%ei+e* enemies
e+en i! un%ertainty remains as to the time an* pla%e o! the enemyKs atta%59
Dor those who Cn* this *isJuieting, pre+enti+e military a%tion %annot 'e
unpro'lemati%ally %ategori(e* as preemption 'e%ause there is no legal or
pra%ti%al mooring !or the i*ea, an* thus, the ush ?o%trine %onstitutes a
ra*i%al 'rea5 !rom tra*ition9 Howe+er, in truth, the Unite* States has
%om'ine* preemption an* pre+ention9 The "00" ,SS ma5es the %laim that:
our 'est *e!ense is a goo* oMense, an* this is in line with the histori%al
ten*en%y o! the %ountry to mount a military mission prior to 'eing atta%5e*9
?uring the $ol* War, the U9S9 supporte* regime %hange *uring the $u'an
)issile $risis when 7resi*ent Penne*y threatene* to impose a na+al
Juarantine on $u'a in #/-" to %ompel the So+iet Union to remo+e its nu%lear
warhea*s !rom the Islan* nation9 The US also use* its !ears that IraJ was
planning to laun%h a !uture W)? atta%5 as 2ustiC%ation !or its in+asion o! IraJ
in #//#, when it too5 si*es with Puwait9 As well, the #//@ Agree* Dramewor5
A%%or* with ,orth Porea was negotiate* with the un*erstan*ing that Ameri%a
woul* ta5e military a%tion as a pre+enti+e strategy to stop ,orth Porea !rom
*e+eloping nu%lear weapons9
,SS "00" is %ategori%al an* %lear a'out the US hegemony in worl*
politi%s9 In this +iew, it is imperati+e that the U9S9 5eeps its pre*ominan%e
an* prima%y o+er all other a%tors in worl* politi%s 'y ma5ing sure that there
are no threats !rom any a%tors that might *esire to atta%5 it9 A%%or*ing to
,SS "00",
To*ay, the Unite* States en2oys a position o! unparallele*
military strength an* great e%onomi% an* politi%al inLuen%e9 In
5eeping with our heritage an* prin%iples, we *o not use our
strength to press !or unilateral a*+antage9 We see5 instea* to
%reate a 'alan%e o! power that !a+ors human !ree*om9999
in a**ition, the *o%ument says that: 999WOXur !or%es will 'e strong enough to
*issua*e potential a*+ersaries !rom pursuing a military 'uil*<up in hopes o!
surpassing, or eJualing, the power o! the Unite* States9 Some o'ser+ers
maintain that ,SS "00" is in*i%ati+e o! U9S9 o+er%onC*en%e an* imperial
o+erstret%h 'ut in truth, the US has not *e+iate* !rom an agen*a o! gaining
an* preser+ing its prima%y 'y not allowing any %hallenges to its power an*
pri+ilege in worl* politi%s9
Imperialistic & Hegemonic Character of the Bush Administration's
Post-!"" #oreign Polic$% Contradictor$ #oreign Polic$ Initiati&es in a
'ichotomi(ed )orld of those who *are with us+ and those +with the
As the *ust Cgurati+ely %leare* in ,ew Yor5, 7ennsyl+ania an*
Washington, the ush a*ministration eFpresse* its moral outrage at the
stealthy in+asion o! its soil 'y terrorists who were sponsore* 'y rogue states,
an* +ou%he* that it woul* Cght all these people where+er they are9 The
in+asion o! A!ghanistan was only the Crst step9 As in*i%ate* earlier, the ,SS
"00" *o%ument lai* out a strategy !or *e!en*ing an* prote%ting US se%urity
interests9 e!ore this, 7resi*ent ush ha* tal5e* a'out states in the aFis o!
e+il an* i*entiCe* IraJ, ,orth Porea, an* Iran as 'elonging within this !ol*9
IraJ was 'elie+e* to 'e the Crst priority, *ue to Sa**am HusseinKs
intransigen%e in the !a%e o! the International Atomi% Energy Agen%yKs
in2un%tion that it shoul* *ismantle its sto%5pile o! Weapons o! )ass
?estru%tion9 Instea* o! a !o%us on 7a5istan, the lo%ation o! many o! the
ma*rassas that traine* the mu2ahe**in, an* re!uge !or many Tali'an lea*ers
who Le* a post<o%%upation A!ghanistan, instea* o! hunting *own Osama 'in
>a*en, who a!ter all, %ontinue* to sen* out long an* *etaile* *iatri'es
against the US an* eFhorting his !ollowers to atta%5 it, instea* o! loo5ing to
Sau*i Ara'ia, OsamaKs %ountry o! origin, an* home to Juite a !ew o! those
that laun%he* the atta%5s against the US, or Egypt, !rom whi%h many o! them
haile*, IraJ was 'elie+e* to 'e the +illain9 In a %on+in%ing power point
presentation with Lip %harts an* authoritati+e *eli+ery, &eneral $olin 7owell,
then Se%retary o! State in the ush a*ministration ma*e a %ase !or the
imme*iate in+asion o! IraJ to res%ue the poor IraJi people !rom Sa**am
HusseinKs *ea*ly %lut%hes an* the human rights a'uses he +isite* upon
them, to stop the sto%5piling o! W)?s, an* en!or%e a pre<empti+e regime
Dor the ush a*ministration, IraJ was un*ou'te*ly one o! the %ountries
against us an* !or the terrorists9 IraJ was personiCe* as Sa**am
Hussein, an* he ha* to 'e ta5en *own, presuma'ly to support *emo%ra%y9 In
those hal%yon *ays, it was wi*ely pro%laime* that the US was going in !or a
surgi%al operation that woul* ta5e at the most, siF months9 This is se+en
years into the in+asion an* there is no en* in sight9 The US has 'e%ome an
o%%upation !or%e an* IraJ has *isintegrate* into a state o! interne%ine
%onLi%t9 ,o one %an pre*i%t an eFa%t en*point to the in+asion, not e+en
7resi*ent<ele%t ara%5 O'ama, !or whom the en* shoul* 'e #N months into
his a*ministration9 ,o one %an honestly say that the people o! IraJ are at
least not as poor an* *istresse* to*ay, as they were *uring the reign o!
Sa**am Hussein9 With the eF%eption o! those that ga+e the US its initial
intelligen%e on Sa**am HusseinKs sto%5pile o! Weapons o! )ass ?estru%tion,
who are now stin5ing ri%h, an* those who ha+e manage* to ta5e o+er =al'eit
tenuously an* with US helpB, the reins o! power, it is har* to see how IraJis
ha+e 'eneCtte* !rom this long war9
The worl* has witnesse* the es%alation o! %onLi%t 'etween the Sunni
an* ShiKa, the marginali(ation o! the Sunni, who ha* originally 'oy%otte* the
US sponsore* ele%tions as illegal an* illegitimate, the humiliating %apture,
trial, senten%ing an* eFe%ution o! Sa**am Hussein an* some o! his top
lieutenants, the es%alating spiral o! +iolen%e, US *etention o! thousan*s o!
men, women an* %hil*ren in oMshore an* in Iranian *etention !a%ilities
among whi%h A'u &hrai' an* &uantanamo ay ha+e attaine* a high le+el o!
notoriety9 Howe+er, there ha+e also 'een ren*itions, an* the transporting o!
*etainees who are suspe%te* o! 'eing terrorists to thir* %ountries !or
Juestioning9 There, they are su'2e%te* to torture, in%lu*ing water<'oar*ing
=simulate* *rowningB, a pro%e*ure on whi%h :u*ge )u%asey, ush
a*ministration appointee to repla%e Dernan*e( as Attorney &eneral %oul* not
%ategori%ally %hara%teri(e as torture9
As o!ten happens, international %onLi%t %an 'e an engine o! growth9
Tra*e is o!ten !ostere* 'y !oreign a*+enturism9 In this regar*, IraJ has
'e%ome a 'ig 'usiness !or US %ontra%tors, an* at least -0,000 o! them are
sai* to ha+e opene* up shop there sin%e the in+asion 'egan, not the least o!
whi%h is Halli'urton, where ?i%5 $heney was $EO 'e!ore 'e%oming Ei%e
7resi*ent9 The pro%ess o! awar*ing these %ontra%ts is *eeply Lawe*, sin%e
they are no<'i* %ontra%ts, gi+en on the 'asis o! 'elie! in the superior a'ilities
o! the %ontra%tor 'y the US go+ernment9 In a**ition, military *uties that
shoul* 'e the pur+iew o! the US institutionali(e* *e!ense apparatus are
%ontra%te* out to Crms among whi%h la%5water is only one9 These military
%ontra%tors are laws unto themsel+es9 $ost o+erruns, mismanagement, %ost
inLation, pure em'e((lement are all u'iJuitous in the system9 The !oreign
a*ministrators mostly resi*e in the &reen Oone, 'ehin* 'arri%a*es an*
!ortiC%ations, whi%h nee* I remin* you, is a %lassi% %olonial situation, 2ust li5e
what Danon tol* us o'taine* un*er the )ani%hean system o! %olonialismG
glaring an* star5 *i%hotomy 'etween %oloni(er an* %oloni(e* =The Wretched
of the EarthB9 In a**ition, IraJ is 'eing Lee%e*, as are US taFpayers, an* it is
only hope* that the in%oming a*ministration un*er the lea*ership o!
7resi*ent<ele%t ara%5 O'ama woul* 'ring this situation to an en*9
A goo* eFample o! the pro'lems that permeate the awar* o! %ontra%ts
in IraJ is the %ase o! Halli'urton, whi%h was gi+en a no<'i* %ontra%t to Cght
oil Cel* Cres an* later put up 'i*s !or postwar %ontra%ts9 ?rawing on a
Washington Post story, $S ,ews reports that Halli'urton got %ontra%ts
worth more than Y#91 'illion !or its wor5 in IraJ an* it %oul* ma5e hun*re*s
o! millions more !rom a no 'i* %ontra%t it was awar*e* 'y the Army $orps o!
A%%or*ing to a &uar*ian =UP news report o! We*nes*ay, )ar%h
#", "00A, $heney was pai* Y#m in "00" as *e!erre* %ompensation9 The
&uar*ian reporte* that one o! $heneyKs ai*es %laime* that: This is money
that )r $heney was owe* 'y the %orporation as part o! his salary !rom the
time he was employe* 'y Halli'urton an* whi%h was a CFe* amount pai* to
him o+er time9 V Also, the +i%e presi*ent has nothing whatsoe+er to *o with
the 7entagon 'i**ing pro%ess9 Wen*y Hall, who is Halli'urtonKs
spo5eswoman respon*e* to Juestions o! whether there was a %onLi%t o!
interest in the awar* o! all the %ontra%ts gi+en to the %ompany, an* her
response was: We ha+e 'een wor5ing as a go+ernment %ontra%tor sin%e the
#/@0s9 sin%e this time, PT has 'e%ome the premier pro+i*er o! logisti%s an*
support to all 'ran%hes o! the military9
The paper also reporte* that
Halli'urton is one o! C+e large US %orporations<the others are
the e%htel &roup, Dluor $orp, 7arsons $orp, an* the >ouis
erger &roup . in+ite* to 'i* !or %ontra%ts in what may turn
out to 'e the 'iggest re%onstru%tion pro2e%t sin%e the se%on*
worl* war9 It is estimate* to 'e worth up to Y/00 million !or
the preliminary wor5 alone, su%h as re'uil*ing IraJKs hospitals,
ports, airports an* s%hools9 The %ontra%t winners will 'e a'le
to esta'lish a presen%e in post<Sa**am IraJ that shoul* gi+e
them an in+alua'le e*ge in winning !uture %ontra%ts9 The
?e!ense ?epartment %ontra%t awar*e* to the Halli'urton
su'si*iary, Pellog, rown Z Toot =PTB, to %ontrol oil Cres i!
Sa**am Hussein sets the well hea*s alight, will put the
%ompany in an eF%ellent position to 'i* !or huge %ontra%ts
when IraJKs oil in*ustry is reha'ilitate*9
At the time, PT ha* 'een gi+en %ontra%ts worth YAAm to %onstru%t the
&uantanamo ay *etention %amp where al Ruae*a suspe%ts were
in%ar%erate*9 The &uar*ian %laims that in the hal!<*e%a*e o! $heneyKs +i%e
presi*en%y, Halli'urton *ou'le* the amount o! 'usiness it *i* with the
go+ernment to Y"9A', the %ompany also more than *ou'le* its politi%al
%ontri'utions to Y#9" m, o+erwhelmingly to Tepu'li%an %an*i*ates9
Howe+er, itKs important to note that )r9 $heney sol* most o! his Halli'urton
shares when he le!t the %ompany, 'ut retaine* sto%5 options worth a'out
YNm9 He arrange* to pay any proCts to %harity9
A $ongressional Tesear%h
OS%e report also *e%lare* that a pu'li% oS%ialKs uneFer%ise* sto%5 options
an* *e!erre* salary !all within the *eCnition o! retaine* ties to his !ormer
-edia. Information 'issemination and the Production of /nowledge
When it %omes to me*ia an* in!ormation *issemination, it is use!ul to
%onsi*er ,oam $homs5yKs analysis in his 'oo5 on manu!a%turing %onsent9
Together with the manu!a%ture o! %onsent, %omes the stiLing o! *issent9 One
*oes not ha+e to 'e a ro%5et s%ientist to noti%e that there is a homogeneity
to the news reports on the war on terror9 One nee* only mention $learwater
$hannel an* Time Warner in relation to the me*ia in the US,to imme*iately
e+o5e the spe%ter o! a %on%entrate* narrowe* me*ia %onglomeration in
progress9 The %on%entration o! me*ia is a pro%ess that is pro*u%ing +ery !ew
perspe%ti+es that are +ery *iS%ult to re%ogni(e as *iMerent in any way9 In
a**ition, there has 'een a %onstru%tion o! Homelan* Se%urity as the
separation o! the patrioti% !rom the unpatrioti%9 In the Crst group are those
who un%riti%ally a%%ept an* repro*u%e the ush a*ministrationKs +ision o! the
worl*9 In the latter group, are those who s%rutini(e an* %riti%i(e the poli%ies
an* metho*s use* in the US war on terror9 Again, a worl* is %reate*, o!
those with us an* those with the terrorists9 An a**itional aspe%t o! this
pro'lem is that reporters in IraJ are em'e**e* with the troops an* woul*
naturally i*enti!y with them, an* are lia'le to see the worl* through their
eyes9 Ameri%ans get a saniti(e* reportage o! the goings on in IraJ an* are
not e+en allowe* to see the *ea* 'o*ies o! the !allen sol*iers when they are
'rought 'a%5 statesi*e or to see images o! their 'urials9 Instea*, Ameri%ans
ha+e to 'e %ontent with some me*ia outCtsK rea*ing o! the names o! the
*ea*, their age, an* pro+ision o! +ery 'rie! in!ormation a'out them9
One ma2or !un%tion that the me*ia per!orme* a*mira'ly !or the ush
a*ministration is that it 5ept the pu'li% !o%use* %onsistently on the message
*esire* 'y the US go+ernment . that the worl* is a +ery *angerous pla%e
where people hate Ameri%ans an* are e+er<rea*y to unleash terrorism on
them9 There is +ery little %omprehensi+e, %onsistent an* %lear news analysis
that helps or*inary Ameri%ans %onne%t the *ots a'out go+ernment,
go+ernan%e, an* the a'use o! power9 It is instru%ti+e to %onsi*er ill )oyersK
%ritiJue o! the US 7ress in uying the War, where he %laime* that although
the press ha* reporte* a'out the US pu'li% 'eing misle* 'y the go+ernment,
they !aile* to a%5nowle*ge their own %ompli%ity as *isseminators o!
go+ernment propagan*a an* %heerlea*ers9 As he sai*: as the war rages
into its C!th year, we loo5 'a%5 at those months lea*ing up to the in+asion,
when our press largely surren*ere* its in*epen*en%e an* s5epti%ism to 2oin
with our go+ernment in mar%hing to war9 )oyers as5e* Tim Tussert, the
late top ,$ 2ournalist, an* host o! )eet the 7ress why the me*ia *i* su%h
a poor 2o' o! reporting on the war, sin%e: o! the @"@ IraJ stories 'roa*%ast
on ,$, A$, an* $S nightly news, !rom Septem'er "00" until De'ruary
"00A, almost all the stories %oul* 'e tra%e* 'a%5 to sour%es !rom the White
House, the 7entagon, an* the State ?epartment
TussertKs response
seeme* to imply that the opposition to the war ha* nothing to say9 To the
%ontrary, there were many instan%es o! ?emo%rati% opposition to the war
that were ne+er %o+ere* in the news, in%lu*ing the !a%t that the ?emo%rati%
partyKs "00- plat!orm in%lu*e* a +ery strong plan5 on opposition to the IraJ
war, an* the ?emo%rats were a'le to ta5e the ma2ority away !rom the
:u*ith )iller, $S news reporter who was !or%e* to testi!y in a
lea5 o! the i*entity o! Ealerie 7lame, Am'assa*or :oseph $9 WilsonKs spouse
as a $IA agent a!ter Wilson ma*e a report that it %oul* not 'e su'stantiate*
that the yellow%a5es =!or manu!a%turing uraniumB that were purporte* to 'e
in ,iger, an* were lin5e* with IraJKs nu%lear am'itions9 Wilson pu'li%ly
%riti%i(e* the ush a*ministration in an op<e* pie%e in The ,ew Yor5 Times in
:uly "00A9 :u*ith )iller Cnally re+eale* her sour%e as >ewis >i''y, $hie! o!
StaM !or Ei%e 7resi*ent $heney9 Parl To+e, senior a*+iser an* politi%al
strategist !or 7resi*ent ush was also sai* to ha+e *is%usse* the 7lame %ase
with reporters9 7resi*ent ush ha* threatene* that whomsoe+er was !oun*
to 'e guilty o! the lea5 woul* 'e imme*iately Cre*, 'ut this +ow was not
5ept9 Howe+er, >i''y was %on+i%te* o! o'stru%tion o! 2usti%e, ma5ing !alse
statements an* per2ury on )ar%h -, "0019 He was also Cne* Y"80,000 an*
senten%e* to a " [ year prison term an* two year pro'ation9 7resi*ent ush
%ommute* the senten%e 'y only ma5ing him pay the Cne an* ser+e the
The ush a*ministration was also !oun* to ha+e manipulate* the
me*ia on a large s%ale9 In reports 'y the Christian Science Monitor an* other
ma2or news outlets, the A*ministration %reate* news releases that !a5e* TE
news, was allege* to ha+e plante* :eM &annon, aI5Ia :ames &u%5ert a !a5e
2ournalist at news %on!eren%es so that he %oul* 'e sele%te* to as5 Juestions
slante* in !a+or o! the ush a*ministration9 The ush a*ministration also
pai* three %onsultants to put a positi+e spin on go+ernment programs9 When
these manipulati+e pra%ti%es 'e%ame pu'li% 5nowle*ge, they were wi*ely
%riti%i(e*9 The ush a*ministration also in%rease* the 'u*get !or pu'li%
relations !rom YA/ million to YNN9" million in "00@9
All these !a%tors
%om'ine* ma5e the news a %onstru%tion to !a+or the in%um'ent
a*ministration 'y spinning the news to generate C%tion on a large s%ale9
While the US has an anti<war mo+ement, an* there are an in%reasing num'er
o! %ongressional %riti%s o! ush a*ministration poli%y, the mainstream news
reportage *oes not gi+e an a%%urate pi%ture9
In this *ispensation, it woul* 'e unnatural !or the pro*u%tion o!
5nowle*ge not to 'e aMe%te*9 There is a proli!eration o! Lawe* analysis on
the war in IraJ, US !oreign poli%y, an* Ameri%aKs pla%e in the worl*9
Dortunately, although there is a %orpus o! +ery %onser+ati+e, Lag wa+ing
*is%ourse, there is also a *e%ent response !rom s%holarly popular an*
politi%al %ritiJues9 These %ritiJues +ary !rom those that %onsi*er the ush
a*ministration to 'e a'errant an* antitheti%al to the histori%al *ire%tion o! US
!oreign poli%y to a !ew, =an* some o! them Juite surprisingB, who ha+e
*u''e* this an imperial mo+e that %oul* 'e rea* 'a%5 into US history an*
also normali(e* as the usual pra%ti%e o! hegemons9 To'ert :er+is !or
instan%e %onsi*ers, the US as not *oing anything unusual un*er the ush
a*ministration9 :er+is is a neorealist9 His analysis is *ri+en 'y the manner in
whi%h the logi% o! the *ynami%s o! the international system %reates
imperati+es that propel states to a%t in gi+en ways an* un*er gi+en
%ir%umstan%es9 He argues that an a*miFture o! !ear, per%ei+e* opportunity
an* power lea* the US to 'eha+e in the way that it *oes9 In line with this
logi%, the US a%te* in the manner at it *i* in IraJ 'e%ause it %oul* =The
$ompulsi+e Empire Doreign 7oli%y, #A1, :ulyIAugust "00A, p9 N@B99 This is
%lassi% realist analysis, where it is plausi'le to %laim that in the international
system, the power!ul *o what they want, an* the wea5 ha+e no option 'ut to
%omply with what they get9 Thus, might essentially ma5es right9
US 0ational Interest% Petroleum Politics and the )ar on 1error
I agree with s%holars an* analysts who i*enti!y the !ollowing as the lin%hpin
o! US !oreign poli%y un*er the ush a*ministration:
&uarantee* a%%ess to hy*ro%ar'on resour%es,
A 'ase !rom whi%h to laun%h atta%5s on IraJ when ne%essary, an*
The nee* !or rights to ensure %ontinue* a%%ess to Sau*i oil, an* use its
airspa%e when ne%essary ha+e %om'ine* to ma5e Ara'ia a %ountry
that is ;with us9;
I! one %onsi*ers the !a%t that as the ush a*ministration entere* into
oS%e, it ha* to %onsi*er a 'a%5groun* o! *rasti% shortages in the supply o!
petroleum an* its *eri+ati+es, an* the wi*esprea* per%eption that there was
a *eep<seate* energy %risis as something that aMe%te* transportation,
ele%tri%ity, Juality o! li!e =heating %ostsB, an* in general, energy nee*s9
7etroleum is also nee*e* !or *e!ense . to power planes, tan5s, ships, et%9 On
)ar%h #/, "00#, the US Se%retary o! Energy, Spen%er A'raham, announ%e*
to the ,ational Energy summit that Ameri%a !a%es a ma2or energy supply
%risis o+er the neFt two *e%a*es,VThe !ailure to meet this %hallenge will
threaten our nationKs e%onomi% prosperity, an* literally alter the way we lea*
our li+es9 To Cn* solutions to this looming %risis, the ush a*ministration
!orme* a tas5 !or%e %ompose* o! top go+ernment oS%ialsGthe ,ational
Energy 7oli%y ?e+elopment &roup =,E7?&B9 ?i%5 $heney hea*e* the tas5
!or%e, an* $heney re%ruite* among others, the top eFe%uti+es o! energy
%ompanies su%h as Enron9 The group pro*u%e* what 'e%ame the ,ational
Energy 7oli%y =,E7B, whi%h ma*e many proposals, in%lu*ing suggestions that
the US *omesti% oil pro*u%tion shoul* 'e enhan%e* 'y prospe%ting in the
Ar%ti% ,ational Wil*li!e Te!uge in ,ortheastern Alas5a9 This mo+e was wi*ely
%riti%i(e* an* re2e%te*, an* the US also *e%lare* that it sought %utting e*ge
te%hnologi%al inno+ation that woul* 'e pursue* to re*u%e *epen*en%e on
petroleum9 Howe+er, the a*ministration also got the a*+i%e !rom the ,E7?&
that it shoul* Strengthen &lo'al Allian%es9
A%%or*ing to the ,E7,
US national energy se%urity *epen*s on suS%ient energy
supplies to support US an* glo'al e%onomi% growth99 we %an
strengthen our own energy se%urity an* the share* prosperity o!
the glo'al e%onomy ='y ma5ingB energy se%urity a priority o! our
tra*e an* !oreign poli%y9
Thirty C+e proposals were ma*e 'y the ,E7?& on how to se%ure petroleum
imports9 One thir* o! them were on how to get it !rom !oreign %ountries9
Spe%iC% %ountries an* worl* regions were name*, an* suggestions ma*e on
how politi%al, e%onomi%, legal an* logisti%al o'sta%les woul* 'e eliminate*
to engen*er a%%ess to petroleum in these pla%es9 Dor eFample, the
se%retaries o! energy, %ommer%e an* state were urge* to: *eepen their
%ommer%ial *ialogue with Pa(a5hstan, A(er'ai2an, an* other $aspian states
to pro+i*e a strong, transparent an* sta'le 'usiness %limate !or energy an*
relate* in!rastru%ture pro2e%ts9 In a**ition, they were eFhorte* to ensure
that wars re+olutions or %i+il *isor*er *o not impe*e !oreign *eli+eries to the
US The *o%ument sai* that the 7ersian &ul!, whi%h %urrently supplies a'out
#N\ o! US petroleum nee*s, will remain +ital to US interests9 ?i%5 $heney
%lariCe* this position in a spee%h to Eeterans o! Doreign Wars on August "-,
"00", when he sai*:
Shoul* WSa**amKsX am'itions to a%Juire weapons o! mass
*estru%tionX 'e reali(e*, the impli%ations woul* 'e enormous !or
the )i**le East an* the Unite* StatesVArme* with an arsenal o!
these weapons o! terror an* a seat at the top #0 per%ent o! the
worl*Ks oil reser+es, Sa**am Hussein %oul* then 'e eFpe%te* to
see5 *omination o! the entire )i**le East, ta5e %ontrol o! a great
portion o! the worl*Ks energy supplies, Wan*X *ire%tly threaten
Ameri%aKs !rien*s throughout the region9
Howe+er, all the top a*ministration oS%ials *enie* that oil ha*
anything to *o with the in+asion9 Ari Dleis%her, White House
spo5esperson sai*: The only interest the Unite* States has in the
region is !urthering the %ause o! pea%e an* sta'ility, not in WIraJKs
a'ilityX to generate oil9 Out o! pu'li% s%rutiny, the a*ministration
planne* to ma5e sure that IraJ oil Cel*s woul* 'e prote%te* e+en i!
there was a war9 The 7entagon sai* that US military !or%es un*er the
lea*ership o! &en9 Tommy Dran5s ha+e %ra!te* strategies that will
allow us to se%ure an* prote%t those Cel*s as rapi*ly as possi'le in
or*er to preser+e those prior to *estru%tion9 IraJKs oilCel*s were also
to pro*u%e the resour%es to !un* the re%onstru%tion a!ter the
%ountryKs *estru%tion 'y a US<le* in+asion9
,E7?& also %alle* !or in%reases in Sau*i oil pro*u%tion, an* !or
Sau*i Ara'ia to 'e 5ept sta'le9 To spee* up the in%rease* pro*u%tion,
suggestions were to 'e ma*e that US Crms 'e hire* 'y the Sau*is9
Howe+er, these were 'elie+e* to 'e *iS%ult goals to a%%omplish9 In
a**ition, it was suggeste* that the *epen*en%y on any one worl*
region shoul* 'e re*u%e*9 A%%or*ing to 7resi*ent ush on )ay #1,
"00#, ?i+ersity is important, not only !or energy se%urity 'ut also !or
national se%urity9 VO+er *epen*en%e on any one sour%e o! energy,
espe%ially a !oreign sour%e, lea+es us +ulnera'le to pri%e sho%5s,
supply interruptions, an* in the worst %ase, 'la%5mail9
This worry le* to a*+o%a%y o! eFploration in the $aspian Sea 'asin,
&ul! o! &uinea an* >atin Ameri%a9 The $aspian Sea 'asin is %ompose* o!
A(er'ai2an, &eorgia, Pa(a5hstan, Pyrgy(stan, Tur5menistan, Ta2i5istan,
U('e5istan an* parts o! Iran an* Tussia9 Drom the time o! the $linton
a*ministration, the US has !un*e* pipelines %onstru%tion an* other
in!rastru%ture pro2e%ts that woul* ease petroleum transportation in the area9
?e!ense assistan%e an* military training was also oMere* to insure *omesti%
se%urity in many o! these states9 The ush a*ministration is *e+oting e+en
more resour%es to these pro2e%ts, sent tens o! thousan*s o! troops to
A!ghanistan an* has also esta'lishe* military 'ases in Pyrgy(stan an*
U('e5istan, ostensi'ly to %om'at terrorism9 &eorgia, whi%h also has a
pipeline running through it also was gi+en military instru%tors that pro+i*e*
%ounter<insurgen%y training !or its military in preparation !or its !uture role in
guar*ing the pipeline9 :ust li5e the 7ersian &ul!, the $aspian 'asin has its
pro'lems with %onLi%ts, politi%al insta'ility an* authoritarian go+ernments9
The 'usiness o! pipelines %onstru%tion is also +ery eFpensi+e an* time
%onsuming, plus the pipelines must 'e *e!en*e* !rom atta%5s an* the!t o!
the petroleum9 West A!ri%a is 'elie+e* to 'e +ery attra%ti+e 'e%ause it is
eFpe%te* to in%rease its oil supply !rom #0\ o! glo'al pro*u%tion in "000 to
"8\ in "0"09 a%%or*ing to the $heney report, West A!ri%a is eFpe%te* to 'e
one o! the !astest growing sour%es o! oil an* gas !or the Ameri%an mar5et9
,igeria an* other %ountries in the &ul! o! &uinea an* Angola are the target
(ones, 'ut again, the US has to *eal with resti+e populations as in the ,iger
?elta, where a %om'ination o! ethni% %onLi%t, growing resistan%e to
go+ernment negle%t an* gran* the!t o! petroleum resour%es as well as
authoritarian, illi'eral *emo%ra%ies %ause anFieties !or the US9 A!ri%om is
propose* as a !or%e that %oul* poli%e the &ul! o! &uinea9 ,a+al 'ases are
a%ti+ely 'eing sought in Sao Tome an* ,igeria 'y the US, 'ilateral ai* to
Angola an* ,igeria has in%rease*, an* the 7entagonKs EF%ess ?e!ense
Arti%les program has oMere* surplus arms to Angola an* ,igeria9
>atin Ameri%a is also loo5e* upon as a sour%e o! petroleum9 Spen%er
A'raham, the US Se%retary o! Energy sai*: 7resi*ent ush re%ogni(es not
only the nee* !or an in%rease* supply o! energy, 'ut also the %riti%al role the
hemisphere will play in the a*ministrationKs energy poli%y9 He also tol* the
Di!th Hemispheri% Energy Initiati+e )inisterial $on!eren%e in )eFi%o $ity on
)ar%h N, "00# that: Our goal is to 'uil* relationships among our neigh'ors
that will %ontri'ute to our share* energy se%urityQ to an a*eJuate, relia'le,
en+ironmentally soun*, an* aMor*a'le a%%ess to energy9 One shoul* as5
who 'eneCts !rom this %ooperation9 A%%or*ing to the Energy Teport, )eFi%o
is a lea*ing an* relia'le sour%e o! importe* oilVits large reser+e 'ase,
approFimately "8per%ent larger than our own pro+en reser+es, ma5es )eFi%o
a li5ely sour%e o! in%rease* oil pro*u%tion o+er the neFt *e%a*e9 Eene(uela
has 'oth oil an* hea+y oil, an* Eene(uelan su%%ess in ma5ing hea+y oil
*eposits %ommer%ially +ia'le suggests that they will %ontri'ute su'stantially
to the *i+ersity o! glo'al energy supply an* to our own energy supply miF
o+er the me*ium to long term9 Howe+er, 'oth )eFi%o an* Eene(uela while
*esirous o! tra*e, are wary o! US go+ernment %ooperation, to prospe%t !or
an* eFtra%t petroleum !rom their *omesti% 'oun*aries, 'e%ause they are
wary o! imperialisti% mo+es into their territories9 )eFi%oKs legislature an*
Eene(uelaKs 7resi*ent Hugo $ha+e( ha+e oppose* !oreign in+estment in the
petroleum se%tor9 Eene(uelaKs #/// %onstitution 'ans su%h %ooperation an*
in "00A, Hugo $ha+es also sa%5e* oS%ials o! the 7etroleum %ompany owne*
'y the state who supporte* %olla'oration with !oreign in+estors =)i%hael T9
Plare, US: 7ro%uring the Worl*Ks Oil $ounter%urrents9org
www9%ounter%urrents9orgIus<5lare"N0@0@ a%%esse* at @:8# am, ,o+em'er -,
The US un*er 7resi*ent &eorge W9 ush maintaine* a *i%hotomous an*
%ontra*i%tory +ision9 It i*entiCe* allies an* enemies on the 'asis o! a
*eCnition o! national interest that is geare* at enhan%ing an* maintaining US
imperial hegemony 'ut without *rawing upon reser+es o! so!t power . the
relian%e on *iploma%y, negotiation, suasion, multilateralism an* %olla'orati+e
approa%hes to sol+ing worl* pro'lems, in%lu*ing terrorism9 The per%ei+e* US
nee* to %ontrol the sour%es o! strategi% %ommo*ities on whi%h it *epen*s has
*ri+en an aggressi+e !oreign poli%y stan%e that uses e+ents su%h as the /I##
atta%5s as an eF%use to *eCne the states that it see5s to *is%ipline an*
*omesti%ate as 'elonging to an ;aFis o! e+il; against whi%h measures
in%lu*ing war, will 'e use* to %reate a worl* that Cts 'etter with the USH
goals9 The US also preten*s that its *ri+e !or in%rease* a%%ess to relia'le
petroleum supplies is not the lin%hpin o! mu%h o! its !oreign a*+enturism, 'ut
no one %an miss the %oin%i*en%e that ush a*ministration wants to
guarantee more relia'le a%%ess to oil an* also guarantee what it per%ei+es to
'e inse%urity an* %hallenges to its national interest9 It wants *ominan%e an*
pre<eminen%e an* is unwilling to 'roo5 any opposition9 Thus, the *is%ourse
on terrorism Cts within the US Juest !or worl* *ominan%e, an* in%reasingly,
terrorists might 'e *eCne* as anyone that impe*es the US a%%ess to
The in%oming O'ama a*ministration !a%es signiC%ant %hallenges,
parti%ularly in light o! the melt*own that has roile* the worl*Ks e%onomy,
an* %ause* *e+astation in many Western %ountries9 It also has tremen*ous
opportunity, parti%ularly gi+en the worl*wi*e wellspring o! positi+e responses
an* goo*will eli%ite* 'y anti%ipation o! the 7resi*ent<ele%tKs a*ministration9
Ameri%a has to *e%i*e to use its power responsi'ly an* in the interest o!
humanity9 ?oing so woul* enhan%e not only respe%t, 'ut US authority9 It is
time to en* the *i%hotomous an* hapha(ar*ly applie* stan*ar*s that was
pursue* 'y the ush a*ministration9 Dor A!ri%a, Ameri%an Se%urity poli%y on
A!ri%a, the A!ri%om initiati+e an* US poli%y %on%erning the %ontinentKs trou'le
spots, in%lu*ing The ?emo%rati% Tepu'li% o! the $ongo, Somalia, an* Su*an
must 'e re+ise*, as must the entire ai* ar%hite%ture !or the %ontinent in a
manner that 'etter respon*s to the nee*s o! the people9 This means that
A!ri%an go+ernments an* peoples too must get rea*y to engage the Unite*
States in a *ialogue that %learly presents a positi+e agen*a so that a share*
+ision in!orms US !oreign poli%y on A!ri%a, an* trans!orms the poli%y !rom one
*ri+en 'y imperialism to one *ri+en 'y genuine multilateralism9
Jonathan Karl, Habibullah Khan, and Brian Ross, Outra! as "# Bo$bs %a&istan Bord!r %ost, Killin 11 #oldi!rs'
%a&istan (hr!at!ns (o )nd *+oo,!ration* -n .ar On (!rror/ 0B+ 1!2s, Jun! 11, 2008
O$ar .arai4h, 0nn! %!n&!th and 0ndr!2 Bun4o$b!, %a&istan bla$!s "# raids :or hot!l bo$bin' %a&istan %r!sid!nt
,l!ads 2ith Bush to r!;!rs! ,oli46 as B0 4an4!ls all :lihts to 4ountr6 (u!sda6, The Independent 23 #!,t!$b!r 2008
+h!n!6=s Halliburton (i!s R!$ain, +ontrar6 to >!!,=s +lai$s5/
22254bsn!2s54o$3stori!s3,oliti4s3$ain3200330932635753565sht$l a44!ss!d at 1'46 a$ on 1o;!$b!r 6, 2007
Rob!rt Br64!, Julian Bor!r, +h!n!6 is #till %aid b6 %!ntaon +ontra4tor/ ?uardian"nli$it!d, .!dn!sda6, @ar4h 12,
2003 2225uardian54o5u&3-raA3#tor630,2763,912515,005ht$l 044!ss!d 1'35 a$, .!dn!sda6, 1o;!$b!r 6, 20075
#!! +h!n!6=s Halliburton (i!s R!$ain, +ontrar6 to >!!,=s +lai$s5/
22254bsn!2s54o$3stori!s3,oliti4s3$ain3200330932635753565sht$l a44!ss!d at 1'46 a$ on 1o;!$b!r
6, 2007 and Rob!rt Br64!, @ulti<@illion Bollar R!;ol;in Boor/ @oth!r Jon!s, 0uust 2, 2000 :or a
r!,ort on ho2 +h!n!6, as #!4r!tar6 o: B!:!ns!, !nin!!r!d th! a4Auisition o: hu! a$ounts o: $on!6
:ro$ 2hat is 4onsid!r!d on! o: th! lar!st ,ri;atiCation !::orts in th! histor6 o: th! %!ntaon/ 2hi4h
l!d to $an6 ,ri;at! 4ontra4tors, in4ludin Halliburton=s Bro2n and Root #!r;i4!s, !ttin $illions o:
dollars in "# :!d!ral o;!rn$!nt 4ontra4ts5 2225$ot!rDon!s54o$3n!2s3:!atur!3200030934h!n!65ht$l5
044!ss!d at 1'42 a$ on 1o;!$b!r 6, 2007E5
Ja$ison Fos!r, @anu:a4turin +ons!nt, #ti:lin Biss!nt/ @!dia$att!rs5or3it!$s3200709150002
?ail Russ!ll +haddo4&, Bush 0d$inistration Blurs @!dia Boundar6/ (h! +hristian #4i!n4! @onitor, F!bruar6 17, 2005