By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
Wars are planned, financed and fought by governments, not by groups or ordinary people. Wars are based on political agendas bent on complete control over resources, people and territory. Most wars have multiple reasons, domestic, foreign and global outreach. The U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are fought to maintain US domination worldwide, to occupy the untapped natural resources of the Middle East, in particular oil and gas, and to protect the value of U.S. dollar as a stable international reserve currency. In September 2000, the proactive policy paper written by the neoconservative intellectuals to envision the "Project for the New American Century" (PNAC), sets the milestone, seeking U.S. domination over the rest of the world powers. Its objectives: meeting U.S. energy demands through occupation by foce of all the oil and gas resources in the Arab Middle East. The blueprint supports military occupation of the oil-exporting Arab countries and regime change wherever necessary - to fulfill the PNAC policy aims of global domination. Centuries ago, German historian Carl Von Clausewitz wrote On War: “War is not merely a political act but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.”
The wars are declared by the few and not the majority masses. The small ruling elite who plans and wages war is often afraid of citizenry reaction and refusal to accept the rationality of a war. Throughout history, European nationalism institutionalized the doctrine of war as a necessary means to promote national interest and racial superiority over "the other". Most proponents of wars have used “fear” as one of the major instruments of propaganda and manipulation to perpetuate allegiance from the ordinary folks to the elite warmongers in a crisis situation. Sheldon Richman (“War is Government Program” ICS, 05/2007), notes that “war is more dangerous than other government programs and not just for the obvious reason – mass murder….war is useful in keeping the population in a state of fear and therefore trustful of their rulers.”
Ordinary citizens do not have passion for war as it disturbs their safety and security, and destroys the living habitats. The ruling elite, the actual warmongers, force people to think in extreme terms of hatred and rejection of others so that people would be forced to align with the rulers to support and finance the war efforts. Sheldon Richman describes how Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command, understood the discourse of war-making:
“Of course the people don’t want war….but after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether, it’s a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” (Sheldon Richman, “War is Government Program”)
Paul Craig Roberts (“The Collapse of America Power”: ICS, 03/2008), attempts to explain how the British Empire had collapsed once its financial assets were depleted because of the 2nd World War debts. Correlli Barnett (The Collapse of British Power, 1972) states that at the beginning of WWII, Britain had limited gold and foreign exchange funds to meet the pressing demands of the war. The British Government asked the U.S. to help finance their ability to sustain the war. Thus, ‘this dependency signaled the end of British power.’ For its draconian wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is heavily dependent on China, Japan and Saudi Arabia. It is well known that the U.S. treasury owes trillions of dollars to its foreign debtors and therefore, its financial dependency is increasingly becoming an obvious indicator of the end of U.S. global hegemony and its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that the US financial system has broken down and some of the leading banking institutions have gone into bankruptcy, the roller coaster repercussions can be seen across the U.S. economic, social and political spectrum of life. Under the Bush administration, U.S. capability and vitality has shrunk and in fact the country appears to be dismantled as a superpower in global affairs. It is no wonder that other nations of world no longer seem to take the U.S. and its traditional influence, seriously.
In The Collapse of American Power, Paul Craig Roberts stated:
"Noam Chomsky recently wrote that America thinks that it owns the world. That is definitely the view of the neoconized Bush administration. But the fact of the matter is that the US owes the world. The US 'superpower' cannot even finance its own domestic operations, much less its gratuitous wars except via the kindness of foreigners to lend it money that cannot be repaid."
It is undeniable that the US is “bankrupt” because of the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. David M. Walker Comptroller General of the US and Head of the Government Accountability Office (December 2007). reported that “In everyday language, the US Government cannot pass an audit.”
If one is a financial investor, the obvious question asks Paul C. Roberts,
“would you want to hold debt in a currency that has such a poor record against the currency of a small island country that was nuked and defeated in WW II, or against a small landlocked European country that clings to its independence and is not a member of the EU?”
Consequently, the U.S. dollar is being replaced by Euro and other currencies and soon is going to be abandoned as a reserve currency in global financial system. Roberts appears to be seriously concerned: "I sometimes wonder if the bankrupt ‘superpower’ will be able to scrape together the resources to bring home the troops stationed in its hundreds of bases overseas, or whether they will just be abandoned."
This War on Terror is Bogus
Michel Meacher, British Environment Minister under PM Blair (“This War on Terrorism is Bogus”) - provides reliable insight into the real reasons for the 'War on Terrorism'. He claims that the "war on terror" is flatly superficial:
“the 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination ... the so-called 'war on terrorism' is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives ... in fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before 9/11.”
In their report, the Baker Institute of Public Policy (April 2001), stated clearly that “the US remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to….the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East” and it its recommendations elaborated the dire need that because it was a challenging risk therefore, the “US military intervention” was the most favored action (Sunday Herald: Oct 6, 2002).
Both the US and United Kingdom have increasing dependence on imported oil from the Middle East. The overriding motivation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, shielded by a political smokescreen, is that the US and UK will run out of sufficient hydrocarbon energy supplies whereas, the Arab and Muslim world would control almost 60% of the world oil producing capacity and perhaps more significantly, 95% of the remaining global oil production capacity. The news media reports indicate that the US is predicted to produce only 39% of its domestic oil production in 2010, whereas in 1990 it produced 57% of its total oil consumption. The UK Government projects ”severe” gas shortages by 2005 and it confirmed that 70% of the electricity will drawn from gas and 90% of gas will be imported. It is interesting to note that Iraq is said to have 110 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in addition to its approximately 15-20 % of the world oil reserves.
Another research report by the Commission on America’s National Interests (July 2000), observes that the most promising new energy resources are found in the Caspian Sea, Central Asian region and these would spare the US exclusive dependence on the Saudi Arabian oil imports. The report outlined the feasible routes for the Caspian Seas oil deliveries, one hydrocarbon pipeline via Azerbaijan and Georgia and another pipeline through Afghanistan and Pakistan would ensure the future strategic demands of the US government. To review the documentary evidence of the 9/11 events, it is likely that many strategists have seen the U.S. Government's failure to avert the 9/11 terrorist attacks as facilitating a much needed stage drama for its policy aims and an invaluable opportunity to attack Iraq and Afghanistan – a military intervention already well-planned in early 2000. The PNAC policy blueprint of September 2000 projects the transformation of U.S. power as an unchallengeable global superpower and the need for some tangible tragedy to make it happen. The paper states, it “is likely to be a long one in the absence of some catastrophic and catalyzing event- like a new Pearl Harbor.” In his analytical view, Minister Michael Meacher (“This War on terrorism is Bogus”) states "... 'global war on terrorism' has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda - the US goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project."
Did the US hegemonic war achieve any of its set goals for world domination? Have the US and UK Governments secured any viable hydrocarbon energy routes to ensure their depleting gas and oil stocks and the much planned control over the Arab oil reserves? Is the US dollar still a welcomed international currency used by the world nations?
Mike Whitney quotes the retired U.S. Army General Ricardo Sanchez challenging the prevailing notion of the Bush Administration “Mission accomplished" in Iraq, when he asserted that the occupation of Iraq is a “nightmare with no end in sight.” The General claimed that the US administration is “incompetent” and “corrupt” and that the most U.S. people could hope for under the present circumstances is to “stave off defeat” in Iraq war.
Mike Whitney (“Come and see our overflowing morgues…..come and see the rubble of your surgical strikes”: An Arab Women Blues by Layla Anwar), elaborates that General Sanchez is neither against the war nor for withdrawal. He simply doesn’t like losing…. and the United Sates is losing.”
The General is reported to have admitted that “after more than four years of fighting , America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism.” Under President Barrack Obama, the global community looks anxiously on how and when the promised change will come to U.S. failed strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. How soon will the new President will be able to put the body of US politics together again after its moral, political and financial collapse? The U.S. and Britain appear to be lost, not knowing how to come out of the self-engineered defeat in wars against Islam. Masses have sympathies with the true believers and the Islamic Resistance appears to have lost nothing. They had no banks to declare bankruptcy and they had no Bush and Cheney to go down in disgrace. The Mujahideen remain intact and active on all the fronts even buying weapons from the US and Russia to fight against them.
U.S. strategists know well how to do business in global arms market. As a declining superpower, the US is extremely nervous not knowing how soon it could be replaced by smaller nations of the developing world or a combination of new emerging economic powers such as China, India and others. The U.S. is in desperate need of a Navigational Change. President Obama got elected with the moving slogan - “Yes We Can.” Would President Obama know how to make a navigational change when there is nothing left to navigate for Change?
Mike Whitney attempts to share a new humane perspective of the concerns of the Iraqi civilians who are the real victims of this ferocious war against their country. To reflect on how the adversely affected Iraqi people think about the on-going U.S.-British led war, occupation and continuous daily bombing of the civilian population, Layla Anwar, An Arab Women Blues writes in her website blog:
“Everyday, under the pretext of either al-Qaida, insurgents, militants or whatever imaginary name you coined, you have not ceased, not even for one day, slaughtering our innocents……for 4 years, you have not ceased for one single day, not during holiday periods, not during religious celebrations, not even during the day your so called God was born….if you have a God that is.”
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja, an academic with special interests in global peace and security and conflict resolution, and comparative civilizations and author of numerous publications in global affairs. His latest book includes: To America and Canada with Reason. Comments are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org