Wednesday, March 23, 2011

American Imperialism, 2011

Libya and Obama's Embrace of the Imperial Presidency
Huffington Post
Joseph A. Palermo

Associate Professor, American History, California State University, Sacramento

One of the biggest problems of allowing a chief executive like George W. Bush to run roughshod over the Constitution is that it sets precedents. Now, President Barack Obama believes that as commander-in-chief he has the power to order the U.S. military into battle. By attacking Libya he has greatly expanded the unchecked executive powers that Bush's excesses and overreach established.

The good news is that, unlike the Iraq invasion, the United Nations has given the Libyan operation its imprimatur, rendering it "legal" in terms of international law. The bad news is that the United States Congress, the only Constitutionally-recognized war-making body, was rendered irrelevant in the process. As other commentators have pointed out: if President Obama can bomb Libya without a Congressional resolution authorizing him to do so, then a President Barbour or a President Palin can bomb Iran without going to Congress too. In fact, any future president could wake up on the wrong side of the bed one morning and begin firing off the Tomahawks at some hapless country.

And it's a little late to be talking about keeping the "footprint" of the American military action in Libya "light" and the operation "small" when the United States is already occupying two other Muslim countries of about 25 million people each.

Whenever the U.S. bombs a country the recent record shows pretty clearly that it always ends up being far more destructive than originally promised and the targets are often the state-run enterprises (parastatals) that multinational corporations (and free marketeers of all stripes) despise with a passion. The U.S. did it in Serbia. It did it in Iraq too. Privatization via bombing.

The United States military is ill-suited for "humanitarian" interventions because, once the violence is unleashed, it inevitably has a tendency to escalate and move in unpredictable directions. There are also so many seen and unseen ulterior motives to these periodic spasms of violence and the occupations that follow that they defy being labeled "humanitarian." When President Bill Clinton launched the U.S. military against Serbia for "humanitarian" purposes, it quickly targeted just about all of the remaining state-run enterprises. Those were the exact types of public institutions that any post-war Serbian government needed to rebuild and begin to meet the "humanitarian" needs of its people. The same phenomenon occurred when President Bush took the nation to war in Iraq. In addition to the WMD scare, even the "shock and awe" campaign claimed to have had a "humanitarian" component. (Remember all those neo-cons shedding tears over the plight of the Kurds and chatting up Saddam's "rape rooms?") But once again, Iraq's state-run enterprises came under blistering air assault, and then Paul Bremer went in and privatized the whole goddamned country.

The only thing the French and Italian governments care about is maintaining their corporations' access to Libya's light, sweet crude oil. It strains credulity that they've just discovered that after 40 years that Muammar Gaddafi is a despot. He's fighting against a revolution and killing his own people and he deserves to be condemned by the world community. But how pulverizing the infrastructure of Libya with Tomahawk cruise missiles and 2,000-pound bombs is going to alter the political equation inside Libya is anybody's guess. Libyan politics and the Libyan people themselves are going to have to sort it out one way or another. Remember, the Vietnam War was a "liberal" intervention with all of the same "humanitarian" trappings we hear today about Libya. In Vietnam, as we see happening in Afghanistan, as the United States military grew more and more powerful in the country, the U.S. political position among the indigenous population grew weaker and weaker.

Each Tomahawk cruise missile costs approximately between $750,000 and $1.5 million. If the average salary of a schoolteacher is $50,000 a year then -- Poof! -- with every single Tomahawk goes with it the taxpayer resources to pay 15 to 20 teachers' annual salaries. Raytheon Corporation must be stoked. And this doesn't count all of the money it takes to fly around-the-clock sorties with stealth bombers and all the other whiz-bang gadgetry money can buy. The Libyan operation once again exposes the obscenely skewed priorities of a society that slashes programs for the health and education of its citizens in order to feed a "national security" beast that devours over $700 billion a year.

President Obama's handling of the Libyan operation, like his decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, shows he has clearly embraced the imperial presidency. In displaying "toughness" against Gaddafi and in Afghanistan, Obama diverts attention from his own obsequiousness to power domestically. He gave Wall Street a get-out-of-jail-free card because he didn't want to take the political risk involved in confronting the predators who collapsed the economy. He looked foolish when he advocated streamlining the licensing for more offshore deep-water oil drilling (a gift to Big Oil) just weeks before the BP/Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He looks foolish having promoted nuclear power as part of his "green" energy initiative (a gift to the nuclear industry) now that the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster has once again illustrated the potential costs of that particular energy source. He looks foolish calling for "staying the course" in Afghanistan even though the American people changed the channel on that war about five years ago giving Haley Barbour -- Haley Barbour! -- a political opening to criticize Obama by posing as a "peace" candidate. And if this Libya operation moves in an unpredictable direction, for instance, a Gaddafi-inspired terrorist attack against Americans requiring a "response," then Obama might appear foolish once again getting the U.S. waist-deep in another Big Muddy.

Game Over For American Imperialism and Middle East Oppression
Allen L Roland
"The Game is so over for American imperialism and Middle East oppression and with that defeat will come the discovery of its epicenter ~ the Big Lie of the 9/11 cover up and its utilization as a justification for the War on Terror which has now led back to ourselves as the obvious rogue state of global imperialistic designs and terror."

The die is cast ~ the Middle East and North Africa are breaking their shackles of control by the imperialistic oil hungry west and nothing will stop the people from toppling their oppressive regimes and claiming their freedom. As I have written before ~ the epicenter of the Middle East people’s revolt is the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel ~ which is a constant and humiliating reminder to the Arab world that they are servants of the global elite who maintain their oppressive regimes through military power and economic control.

As I have also written ~ the epicenter of the blossoming people’s revolt in the United States is the 9/11 cover up and conspiracy where Vice President Dick Cheney created a shadow government committed to corporate welfare and beholden to the global elite. That’s when the Republic began its death throes and the corpocracy emerged from the fallen twin tower’s ashes ~ and where it still controls the masses through fear, demonizing, and rationalized dishonesty which began with 9/11. Under Cheney’s active direction, and Tony Blair’s enthusiastic acquiescence, the Middle East has been virtually controlled by the West through their support of their oppressive monarchies and their unholy alliance with their ongoing partner in crime, Israel.

The game is over ~ events are overtaking the Obama administration who is now engaged in an elaborate Kabuki theater act of trying to seem in control of events that are quite obviously overwhelming them. For instance, Obama recently said “I have also asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis. This includes those actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners or those that we’ll carry out through multilateral institutions.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed this: “Everything will be on the table. We will look at all options.”~ but the truth is they have no options and virtually no control of events that are now unfolding in Libya and their words are false assurances that they have a handle on a people’s revolution that is, in essence, rightfully scaring them to death!

As Liberation correctly writes ~ “ While the U.S. policymakers dream about owning Libya outright, and replacing Gaddafi with a client regime, their main concern is now, as it has always been, stable and guaranteed control over Middle East oil resources. To the extent Washington becomes more “pro-active” against Libya, it will mean they have devised a plan ~ or found someone better ~ to do that job… As the third wave of revolution spreads, deepens, and faces new contradictions, it is the people of Libya and the Arab world who will determine their future. For activists here, our main task is to mobilize in opposition to any and all U.S. threats against Libya and the other countries of the Middle East and North Africa." Read the story here

Read the article @ Veteran's Today

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