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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The coming Pax Americana

Gorilla in the Room continues its essential role in discussing the unmentionable. They highlight a startling article in Haaretz by Efraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad and now Ariel Sharon's national security advisor. In a candid piece aimed at an Israeli audience, Halevy analyses the desired future role of the US in the Middle East. Gorilla outlines the revelations:

"A large part of the reason Saudi Arabia is so unstable right now is the U.S. presence in Iraq, which has made the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims feel that the U.S. has gone to war against the whole Islamic world. Halevy's (and the neocons', and AIPAC's) preferred solution for all of this is additional U.S. wars against other Arab and Muslim (Iran) states, a resumption of the draft (where else would we get hundreds of thousands of additional Americans to serve as cannon fodder for this?), and a "generational" presence as occupiers in the region. (Of course, this would generate additional impetus for terrorism against the U.S. itself.)"

To this I would add the following. As an Australian, I question whether the government of John Howard is signing us up for adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows where else, with a vested interest in allowing America's role in the region to increase. When Australia sends more troops to Iraq, we are asked to believe that it's to secure the Iraqi people and provide democracy. Alternative theories are essential. Historian Clinton Fernandes argues, instead: "Today, Australian military personnel are participating in the US-led attempt to create a stable investment climate, complete with a vast military presence, in Iraq." This involvement mirrors, Fernandes posits, a repeat of similiar behaviour in relation to Asia, especially Indonesia under General Soeharto.

It's time to dispense the myth that the Iraq invasion was about bringing democracy to the country. American, British and Australian financial and political interests are seen to align in the Middle East region. Never believe anyone who says otherwise.

I'm currently reading a fascinating book that expands on these matters. Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation reveals the private contractors profiting from the occupation. Writer Pratap Chatterjee (managing editor of CorpWatch) painfully details how going to war makes good business sense. Hear the storm clouds gathering over Iran?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Christ, is no one else going to jump in here? OK, fine.

So Chatterjee is "corrupt and unaccountable"? Heh...well I'm sure it will be interesting to have a look at CorpWatch's IRS Form 990 to find out some more about that!

(Seriously though, why is it that corporations are always corrupt to the left, but the people who try and bring them down are always purely motivated?)

Let's play around with this post a bit and go back, say, fifty or sixty years from now. Lowey, I can just imagine you horrified by the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift: "American military personnel are being used to create a stable investment climate in Germany, complete with a vast military presence! It's time to dispense with this idea that it is about bringing democracy to Germany, everyone knows the Hun is incapable of that sort of political organization and it is racist and colonialist for us to impose it on them!"

Of course, the US military is out of Saudi Arabia now...perhaps the reason why that country is so unstable is because it is fundamentally dysfunctional and has been using its vast oil wealth to pay for (a) an extravagant lifestyle for the ruling classes while (b) buying off the rest of the population by throwing them red (halal) meat in the form of fundamentalist Islamic kill-the-Joos-and-Darpsie-too rhetoric?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 12:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice stealth-edit there, out, or the Super-Subediting Nanny is gonna send you to the naughty corner -- that is not esseptible!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:36:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I've been duly chastised. Naughty Ant is better for the experience...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:38:00 pm  

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