Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The failure of the "War on Terrorism" and the Middle East crisis

The invasion of Iraq (2003) had several justifications, according to the reasons invoked by the Bush Administration. One of those, the possession of “arms of mass destruction” by Iraq’s dictatorial regime, putting at risk the safety of the West, proved to be totally false and represented, since the beginning, a serious setback for the credibility and consistency of the American strategy for the Middle East. But such invasion was also part of the so-called “global war on terrorism”. Firstly, because of the supposed connections between Sadam’s regime and Al Qaeda; and then, because it was hoped that the fall of Iraq’s dictatorship and the subsequent democratic regime to be installed, would have had a “contagious effect” in the Middle East region and would then help to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As everyone can see…

The strategy associated to the “global war on terrorism” had several components. On one hand, the fight against terrorism was conceived as a “war” and, therefore, the focus put on the use of military means as the most efficient way to defeat the terrorists. Such strategy (hard power), immediately managed to alienate the huge wave of solidarity that Americans had known after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. Remember not only the hesitations of the governments of many allies’ countries on the militarist strategy, but also the huge popular demonstrations opposing the war on Iraq on February 15th, 2003, especially, but not only, in Europe. On the other hand, these hesitations of the allies on the strategy focused on the hard power and the difficulties of the Americans in framing it within international legality are at the origin of the second fundamental component of this “global war on terrorism”: the unilateralism.

In After the Neocons – America at the Crossroads (2006), one famous American neoconservative, Fukuyama, not only recognises the failure of Washington’s hard power strategy, but also declares his desertion from the neoconservative movement, namely because of its support of such options in terms of external policy. Otherwise, President Bush himself recognised (at least implicitly) the failure of his options and, more recently, moved away from them and tried to give more focus to the use of the soft power and multilateralism.

This is all because of the recent violence escalade in the Middle East. Reacting to the capture of one of its soldiers in the Gaza border by Hamas’ activists one month ago and, two weeks later, of two other soldiers in the Lebanese border (by the Hezbollah fundamentalists), Israel started two war offensives not only against those movements, but also against Gaza and the Lebanon as a whole, randomly attacking governmental institutions, civil and military infra-structures, civil settlements and military forces. The Israeli leaders have been trying to present the provocations and the attacks on Israel as being part of one more strategy of the “axis of evil” (nowadays composed by Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah) in its war against the West. Therefore, we are again at the “global war on terrorism”, now starred by Israel, with American support.

On one hand, internally, it is basically with Israel that the West shares democratic values, the same concept of human rights and common guidelines in terms of liberalisation of habits and traditions. Moreover, we can’t help recognising its right to respond to provocations and attacks from its neighbours. On the other hand, we also have to condemn the brutal and disproportional reaction by which Israel is punishing the entire populations of Gaza and Lebanon. Otherwise, with these kinds of reactions, how can we distinguish the Israeli democracy from any barbarian dictatorship? Where does the supposed moral supremacy of democracies, so dear to the neoconservatives, lay? Past and forgotten seem to be the times of contained reactions of Rabin’s government to the continued provocations suffered, even after the Oslo agreements…

The same way that the Bush Administration’s militarist options completely failed, it is also very likely that the Israeli strategy won’t be the best way to solve the problems. On one hand, it deepens the Arab humiliation and gives more ground to some of the arguments often invoked by the fundamentalists in their crusade against the West. On the other hand, it alienates the needed support from the moderates to any Israeli-Arab agreements. But, are Israeli authorities worried at all? It is hard to believe that, since the democratic election of Hamas as the new major party ay the Parliament in Gaza, all the Israeli efforts were put in trying to isolate the movement and almost anything has been done to empower the moderates and to create the conditions for the recognition of Israel. And it is also hard to understand, unless it is seen as part of an already existing strategy, that, when the Palestinian President Abbas was trying, with the support of the Hamas, to organise a referendum which would implicitly recognise the State of Israel, the reaction of Israel to the capture of its soldier in the Gaza border has been so brutally violent.
*Text written by my fomer Political Sciences teacher, André Freire, published last Monday on Público. I am the one to blame for the poor translation into English...


Blogger PrimeMinisterKalkiGaur said...

The Global Order of Neo-Conservatives
Author: Kalki Gaur, “Manifesto of Neo-Conservatism” (2006, $30). © Copyrights 2006, Page 17, Chapter 1. 1(3).
One. What was the outcome of this expenditure of Neo-Cons intellectual energy in American politics? During the decade between the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the onset of the global war on terror in 2001, the political achievements of second-generation Neo-Conservatives compare favorably with those of the anti-Communist liberals who in the immediate aftermath of World War II created the ideological foundation for what became a durable postwar American foreign policy consensus. The Cold War liberals helped to lend respectability to certain propositions that in the 1930s might have seemed outlandish, for example, the decision to invade Korea and Vietnam, the decision to permanently station U.S. troops in Europe and to create the apparatus of the national security state. In short, Cold War liberals fostered a climate congenial to Truman's pursuit of certain hard-line anti-Communist policies and increased the political risks faced by those inclined to question such policies. During the 1990s, the intellectual Neo-Conservatives repeated this trick and by the end of that decade, Neo-Conservatives were no longer insurgents; they had transformed themselves into establishment figures in the first Bush administration. Neo-Conservative views entered the mainstream of American public discourse and became less controversial and acquired legitimacy in the first Bush administration. The Neo-Conservatives warned of the ever-present dangers of isolationism and appeasement, called forever more munificent levels of defense spending, and advocated stern measures to isolate, punish, or overthrow tyrannical regimes and never-do-wells around the world.
Two. The grand vision of second-generation Neo-Conservatives demanded that the United States shatter the status quo in the oil-producing Wahhabi Middle East. New conditions and new unipolar world order absolved Americans from any further requirement to adhere to the norms that had defined the postwar bipolar international order. As a direct consequence of determined political discourse neo-conservative views about the efficacy of American military power and the legitimacy of its use, gained wide currency and the Kissinger-type amoral realism thoroughly discredited. On major foreign policy issues the "rise" of China to the proper response to Islamic terror, Neo-Conservatives recast the American public policy debate about the obligations imposed upon and prerogatives to be claimed by the sole superpower or the hegemon of the world. Neo-Cons kept the focus on the issues that they believed mattered most, namely, an America that was strong, engaged, and even pugnacious. Wilsonian Idealistic Ideas that even in 1980 might have seemed reckless or preposterous came to seem perfectly reasonable in 2000. To persist in the existing status quo in the Middle East and in the Third World course of weakness and drift, the Neo-Conservatives warned ominously, puts American national interests as well as America’s future or democracy’s future at risk.
Three. The principal “theses” guiding neocon foreign policy are: (i) that patriotism is a good thing, (ii) that world government is a bad thing, and (iii) that statesmen should be able to distinguish friends from enemies. The neocon foreign policy states that is, U.S. foreign policy should not be confined to safeguarding the territorial United States, it must be concerned with the entire world.“ A larger nation has more extensive interests. And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns. Neocon foreign policy applies equally to the Soviet Union and the United States, both of whom have (or had, in the case of the Soviets) “ideological interests” which trump mere territorial concerns. The U.S. “will always feel obliged to defend a democratic nation under attack from non-democratic forces,” the Neocons thus “feel it necessary to defend Israel today.” Neocons demand fair and free holding of elections, and Neocons do not want to impose domestic policy agenda of these elected governments’ policies and even then they’re willing to give some leeway to cooperative dictators. No central principles (other than the one spelled p-o-w-e-r) guide the neocons in their quest for America’s “national greatness.” It’s clear, that Corporate America forcefully joined the bandwagon of the neocons. Neocons celebrate the power of the United States and realize that with power come responsibilities, whether sought or not, whether welcome or not. And it is a fact that if America has the kind of power it now has, either it will find opportunities to use it, or the world will discover them for America. The neocons, of course, are not content to let the world find uses for the American power they’ve worked so hard to achieve. As a matter of fact, Neocons more than happy to “find opportunities to use it, to promote nation building, crusades for democracy and war on global Islamic terrorism. All that matters is that the neocons are the ones finding the opportunities and wielding the power.
Four. There is no doubt that the Bush administration qualifies as Neo-Conservative. Bush and his administration, turn out to be quite at home in Neo-Conservative political environment, although it is clear they did not anticipate this role any more than their party as a whole did. Neo-Cons have won and traditional Republican conservatives never saw it coming and still don’t know what hit them. Many Republican conservatives believe that Bush administration remains fully within the American conservative tradition.
Five. It is wrong to argue that when terrorist attacks of 9/11 drove up "demand," for new policies, a single factor on the supply side, the ruthless zeal of neocon ideologues, caused President Bush to adopt a new foreign policy. President Bush was determined to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, even without the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attacks simply delayed the invasion of Iraq as United States forced to invade Afghanistan, before it could invade Iraq. This overlooks the rest of the "supply" situation: the fact that other ideas on offer at the time were unpersuasive.
Six. It is wrong to say that President Bush’s post-9/11 U.S. foreign policy as systematically unilateralist and militaristic, when in fact is has been multifaceted and highly experimental, under Secretary Colin Powell as well as under Secretary Condoleezza Rice. The intellectual roots of Neo-Conservatism can be traced to the people who first earned that label in the 1960s, though it is bad intellectual history. The fact is that the 1960’s group called "neocon" wasn't especially homogeneous. The neocons of 2000s are literally the descendants of those so labeled in the 1960s. The Neo-Cons undergoing constant change is at least as evident as continuity in their assumptions about how the world works and what to do about it.
Seven. The original neocons were heavily concerned with the theoretical assumptions that lay behind government policies. They focused much more on domestic than foreign policy. Like any set of serious people searching for solutions to big problems, the neocons disagreed with each other almost as much as they agreed. Neo-Cons had in common repulsion for Communism and the New Left. But to condemn Neo-Cons as a tightly knit “ism" is like treating "Protestants" that way just because they all left Catholicism for vaguely related reasons. Even worse than homogenizing the first neocons is jointly homogenizing two competing groups both called neocon. This is often done without much intellectual connective tissue ever being identified.
Eight. Donald Rumsfeld is not a Neocon. Condoleezza Rice had not been Neo-Conservative prior to joining the Bush Administration. It is stupid to believe "that strong-minded Protestants like Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rice could be fooled by a bunch of cunning subordinates. Bush administration adopted key neocon proposals because rival foreign policy approaches did not provide credible alternatives.
Nine. It is wrong to portray Neocons as blind ideologues that collide uncomfortably with international reality. It is wrong to argue that Kissinger-type foreign policy approach is realistic or pragmatic or devoid of hidden agenda. It is wrong to criticize that "the fatal Neo-Conservative flaw includes conceptual overreach and the absence of pragmatism. Treating neocons as an ideological community invites critics to treat their ideas as the product of an ideological heritage instead of as the product of hard-won, real-world experience. It would be better to evaluate the validity of neocon ideas compared to other competing foreign policy proposals of rival foreign policy schools. The neocons should be analyzed as a "political interest group," and American political system usually highlights competition between interest groups. It is wrong to suggest that there wasn't competition between competing foreign policy proposals, and that neocons took over American foreign policy without a fight because they were zealous and well positioned.
(4) America’s Virtuous Quest for Empire
One. Moreover, the litmus test for identifying a Bushian Republican neocon is said to be the belief that the United State is capable of crafting democracies in the Islamic world and must set about that task. This belief would strike, has already struck, several original neocons as utopian and imprudent. Bushian Republican Neocons are labeled on the basis of foreign policy alone, and are not assumed necessarily to share a single domestic policy position. Neocons often find military strength handy. However it does not mean that Neo-Cons see "the use of military force as the first, not the last option of foreign policy."
Two. After the end of the Cold War, the demise of the Communism and the Soviet Union, and the emergence of the Unipolar world order, the White House faced two overarching national security questions: (a) What should U.S. grand strategy be in a "unipolar" world? And (b) how should America deal with violent Islamism and its global ambitions? The ideology of "Neo-Conservatism" provided a consistent foreign policy alternative, on these two matters, to traditional realism and liberal institutionalism. America today stands astride the world as no other country in history. This is not because it is inherently more powerful than everyone else. Other states combined amply possess enough population, money, and technology to check America. America is daunting because, first, it has no close single rival, and second, it mobilizes its capabilities in defense spending at a higher rate than any other great power. America’s hegemony is unlikely to fade anytime soon. In foreign policy the Republican neocons have a lot in common with Rooseveltian realists but differ sharply with liberal institutionalists. Liberal institutionalists say unipolarity cannot last, so America should soften its (inevitable) relative decline by intertwining all countries in international institutions favorable to us, as they insist it did after 1945.
Three. Many scholars in the 1970s to late 1980s proclaimed that U.S. power was in terminal decline" and advocated that the United States should accommodate rather than confront the Soviet Union. Had Reagan administration accepted the above logic, the Cold War might have continued for decades longer. Instead, Reagan avoided American decline "through bold foreign policy choices that overemphasized American superiority. The record simply does not support the belief that America is inevitably declining now any more than then. Thus, Wilsonian Neocons and Rooseveltian realists are basically indistinguishable in proposing to maintain the present level of predominance of American military power. The Rooseveltian realists as well as Wilsonian Neocons agree that international institutions and agreements are not reliable guarantors of security, and it their common response to real-world events. It is foolish to portray neocons as doctrinaire, and to avoid engaging substantively with Neo-Con reasoning. Rooseveltian realists urge caution in a unipolar world by arguing that restraint is the bold choice that can help keep the world unipolar, by avoiding frightening other countries into "balancing" against a threatening hegemon America. It is Rooseveltian realism to believe that most nations do not balance against America as they do against others, because we are oceans away and have a history of benign intentions. So far the Protestant Wilsonian neocons have the open field in the Bush administration. Despite American predominance in power and recent preemptive attacks on Iraq, there is simply no evidence that other countries are even beginning to balance against sole super power America. Neo-Cons correctly reject the advice to tread exceedingly cautiously, proffered by some Kissinger-type realists and isolationists, as this policy advice based on the flawed premise that the most likely source of long-term threats is because of increased American military deployments around the world, as most likely the opposite seems the case.
It is wrong to argue that Neocons are over-reliant on the use of force as instrument of national policy. Like Rooseveltian realists, the Wilsonian Neocon do not advocate a massive American military presence in Latin America, South Asia, or sub-Saharan Africa, because those regions pose no possible strategic challenge to the American hegemony. It is wrong to argue that neocons prefer war as a first resort and eschew other non-war instruments of American foreign policy. Republican Neocons say America should vigorously contain China but America should not invade China. Neo-Con hawks are also uncertain whether it makes sense for America to attack nuclear facilities in North Korea and Iran. On the subject of violent Islamism, neocons are more distinguishable by their emphasis on political reform in the Middle East, while Rooseveltian realists emphasize on the use of American military might. The neocon approach to unipolarity is bold but well within the American mainstream. Neocon views about the actual use of force are utterly conventional. The Neocon take on deterrence is cloudy, but for now so is the evidence.
Five. Neocons distinctively argue that Mideast tyranny is the taproot of radicalism and that democratization will cut it off. The Neo-Con policy for crusades for democracy in the Islamic world strikes liberal institutionalists as needlessly provocative and Kissinger-type realists as recklessly meddling. Kissinger-type Realists and liberal institutionalists have no policies custom-tooled to the novel fact that 9/11 attacks on America was undertaken by Islamic terrorist organizations that were financed and nurtured by pro-American Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait and Wahhabi mosques in the United States.
Six. The priorities and roots of the Republican Neo-Conservative have always been in foreign policy and in global issues and they can always make adjustments with local issues and could co-opt Christian religious right conspiracy within the Republican Party, without allowing it to influence the American foreign policy. The foreign policy of President Bush and Secretary Rice influenced by the religious agenda of neither Catholic fundamentalism nor Protestant fundamentalism, as it is influenced by Petro-Imperialism.
Seven. Unlike Isolationists, the Neo-Conservatism wants to have pro-active American foreign policy so that America may leverage its unique position as the sole super power to export America-type democracy, laws, society, culture and civilization worldwide. Unlike Papacy, the Neo-Conservatism does not want to weaken the State rather they want to strengthen the American State. Neo-Conservatism does not want to abolish the State, but Neo-Conservatives want to control it, especially if the Neo-Conservative State they control is capable of controlling all others nations and states of the world by means of crusades for democracy, exporting American Creed, Culture and Civilization, even with the preemptive use of force. Neo-Conservatism are not "patriotic" in any conventional sense of the term and do not identify themselves with the real and historic America but see the United States merely as the host organism for the exercise of America’s Will to Power and to export of America’s democratic creed and civilization worldwide. Whereas the American Conservative political tradition has long been fixated on the dangers of centralized state power, on the desirability of limited government and non-intervention in foreign affairs, the Neo-Conservatives exalt and worship state power, and want America to become a hyper-state in order to be an effective global hegemon. Even when Neo-Cons support certain foreign governments it is on the expediency grounds that it is more efficient and responsive to the demands of the American Empire, not on Constitutional grounds.
Eight. The Imperialist Neo-Conservatism justify the use of preemptive force to build a secular American colonial empire to secure energy security interests, but would militarily oppose any coalition of nations that conspire in concert with Pope to establish a new Holy Christian Empire in any part of the world. Neo-Conservatism supports the ideal of American Colonial Empire, Petro-Imperialism and Pax-Americana, but totally rejects the ideal of creating a Holy Roman Empire in the United States. Neo-Conservatism rejects the hidden agenda of Christian religious right conservative conspiracy to implement the hidden iconoclast patriarchal anti-Hindu and anti-Pagan agenda through the instrumentality of the White House and the State Department. Neo-Conservatism rejects the Papal idea that America should become a willing agent to create Papal Universal Church in the world. Neo-Conservatism rejects the white racists idea that restricts the non-European immigration and refused to accept the need for accommodating the non-white Asians into the corridors of power. The Neo-Conservative view of the United States is an American dream of a hybrid "imagined" nation where immigrants of all color and races finds it a home to make their own American Dream a reality. Neo-Conservatives’ relentless pursuit of an American Oil-Colonial Empire is coupled by their deliberate domestic transformation of the federal government of the United States into a Leviathan unbound by constitutional restraints of checks and balances by vastly increasing the executive powers of the President. The secular Hindu India has no objection for secular American Colonial Empire but would militarily oppose if America sought to build an iconoclast patriarchal Occidental Holy Christian Empire either in Oriental or Pagan world.
Nine. The Republican National Strategic Strategy doctrine, September 2005, calls for an indefinite and massive military build-up unconnected to any identifiable military threat to the United States. Neo-Conservatism demands ‘citizen involvement,' in effect, militarization of the American populace but the traditional 'citizen soldier' concept is reversed. The goal of the Neo-Conservatism is to get suitably indoctrinated young Americans to go and risk their lives not only for the honor and security of their own country, but also for the ideological democratic missions that Neo-Conservatives have represented to the public and which American public and many world leaders find politically acceptable. Neo-Conservative foreign policy puts guns before butter and butter always follows guns. Neo-Cons believe that gunboat diplomacy rather than economic carrots policy is the inescapable price of American regional presence abroad. Secretary Rice realized that British Indian Empire’s 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries Gunboat diplomacy in the Persian Gulf is more useful that Kissinger-Brzezinski-Albright-type realism in case of Ayatollah-ruled Iran.
Ten. Republican Neo-Conservatives want Siberia to secede from Russia, as Siberia is the land twice the size of the United States but with only 40 million people. While Kissinger-Brzezinski-Albright Trio wanted China to takeover Siberia as a prelude to an American-led scramble for Siberia, Neo-Conservative consider rising China to be a greater enemy of the United States than Russia. In the aftermath of the Cold War the Neo-Conservatives regard Moscow as the enemy, enthusiastically supporting Chechen separatists as "freedom fighters" and advocated NATO expansion to include non-Slav Eastern Europe. Secretary Kissinger was obsessed with Siberia and exhorted China to invade Siberia. Their atavism is comparable to Hitler's obsession with Russia, an animosity that was equally unrelated to the nature of its regime. It is only a matter of time before some Kissinger-type realists start advocating a new Drang nach Osten, in the form of an American-led scramble for Siberia. Neo-Conservatives do not want China to takeover Eastern Siberia. Neo-Conservatives fear Chinese invasion of Australia, a continent-size nation with only 25 million people, which Chinese believe can support 800 million Chinese people. Neo-Conservatives will support Russia in case of any Russia-China War in the 21st Century.
Eleven. Neo-Conservative foreign policy is the product of a colossal insight that fixed its sights on the idea of American global hegemony, an ideology that is more Jacobin than Jeffersonian and one that is particularly well suited to the present day American mindset in the new age of one super power unipolar world order. Republican Neo-Conservatives came to Washington after inauguration of the Bush administration, with a very clear agenda, which they had been working on for over a decade, while Bill Clinton ran the White House. As a matter of fact, Republican Neo-Conservatives had returned to Washington, since Neo-Conservatives had first tasted the fruits of power during the Reagan administration and G.H.W. Bush administration (1980-2002). Neo-Conservative network in Bush government and academia, and the foreign policy agenda of Neo-Conservatism, is distinctly different from that of traditional Conservatism and borders to revolutionary foreign policy agenda and involved a tectonic shift in American foreign policy under Secretary Rice during second Bush administration, which is truly called the un-first term administration.
Twelve. Neo-Republicans gained access to the American ruler after Bush inauguration in 2001, through campaign management, dissimulation, sycophancy and general craftiness. Once entrenched in power they were in a position to whisper in the ruler's ear, making President Bush their willing instrument, because Neo-Conservatism expressed what President Bush had always believed in as a rebel during his father’s administration and after. With dissimulation, sycophancy and general craftiness the Neocons wormed their way into the corridors of power and seized de facto control of the ship of state in a revolutionary manner that no body could oppose and succeeded to purge the iconoclast patriarchal and amoral realist mindset of the White House that Kissinger-Brzezinski-Albright had secretly established.
Three. The Rise of Neo-Cons was a turning point in American history and what was in effect a coup d'etat and Bob Woodward in book, “Plan of Attack,” describes the mechanics of how this actually came about. Secretary Collin Powell felt that Vice President Dick Cheney along with I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, had established what amounted to a separate government," that Powell called Feith's 'Gestapo' office.
Hegelian philosopher Kalki Gaur belonging to the school of German Idealism is the patron Saint and philosophical Father to the political ideology and philosophy Neoconservatism. Hegelian Neocoservatism is the Revolutionary Ideology of the 21st Century and shall reign throughout 2000 years of the Aquarius Age. There are three political world philosophies in the world, namely, Neoconservatism, Communism and Fascism. Karl Marx was a prostitute philosopher and he produced shit-philosophy of Marxism and Communism, which his tribesmen over 100 years coated the shit Marxism in gold-plated and sugar coated capsules. Neoconservative political parties shall take control of the political power in over 100 countries of the world before 2050 AD. Neoconservatives should join forces to elect a Republican Neoconservative as the President of the United States in elections 2008 and also in India, Britain, Canada, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany and Japan.
Author: Kalki Gaur, “Manifesto of Neo-Conservatism” (2006, $30). © Copyrights 2006; Email:; Weblog: //

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