The Real Reason For US Military Presence in The Middle East?

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    • Edger on July 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm
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    Fear of “empire” collapse.

    Democratic and Republican pols in Washington, and their financial backers the capitalist elites live in more fear than the the fear they try to fan in the American population with all their WOT rhetoric.

  1. I’m of two minds about the interview:  First, I certainly hope that Mr. Ahmad is absolutely correct about the benign intentions of the Chinese.  I certainly understand and disagree intensely with the arguments and actions of the neocons of our government also-I don’t believe there is any justification for what we’ve done to Iraq.  None.  IMHO, bush’s actions have in themselves set off inevitable push back by nations that may not have felt the need to escalate if bush had used diplomacy rather than threats and military actions.

    One never really knows the true motivations of those in power, nor the full extent to which they, or future leaders of their countries will be willing to turn their military and their weapons from defensive to offensive purposes (witness bush/cheney)…

    I want to see us bring the troops home from Iraq, and for our resources to be put into the economy and energy.  But, we also must be aware of what is going on in the world.  It is helpful to know all aspects of what is going on, and that knowledge hopefully can diplomatically head off small problems and/or conflicts before they become bigger conflicts, already on a non-stop course.

    IMHO, whether or not China and/or Russia are speaking purely from a defensive posture, or have (or will have in the future offensive military plans) is an unknown.

    I don’t think that merely stating that China is building up their military for purely defensive and benign purposes doesn’t change the fact that they are building up their military, and that China and Russia are becoming more closely allied militarily.     China and Russia in 2005 had first joint war games:  

    “…Analysts say China and Russia are signalling they are prepared to counter US dominance in international affairs…They also add some substance to the political rhetoric that is now emerging from these two formerly uneasy and even hostile neighbours of a new strategic partnership…China’s military has been modernising rapidly…”

    Also, in 2007:   Russia, China flex muscles in joint war games:

    “…The exercises take place against a backdrop of mounting rivalry between the West, and Russia and China for influence over Central Asia, a strategic region that has huge oil, gas and mineral resources…Putin announced at the firing range that Russia was resuming Soviet-era sorties by its strategic bomber aircraft near NATO airspace…”

    And…

    “…The week-long maneuvers off the Pacific coast are widely viewed as Moscow lending a mail-gloved hand to China’s efforts to warn the United States away from involvement in any future crisis over Taiwan. But preparations to deal with potential unrest in Central Asia may also figure…Shared security concerns in the far East and Central Asia are driving Russia and China into much closer security cooperation,” says Sergei Lusyanin, an expert with the official Institute of International Relations, which trains Russian diplomats. “It’s not surprising to see them flexing a bit of joint military muscle for the first time, and I think we can expect much more of that in future…”  

    Sorry for the length of my comment, it’s just that there are a lot of cat and mouse games still being played between major countries, always has been, and always will be.  It doesn’t mean we need to do anything different in particular, other than to get out of Iraq, and pay attention to what else is going on in the world outside of Iraq.  

  2. And not just cheap gasoline for SUVs, but the chance to control the spigots for the largest reserves in the world. In a time of shrinking possibilities for empire-building, where the U.S. exerts less and less economic pressure and nuclear weapons are less and less practical, control of the world’s oil supply can be an ace in the hole. It can be used to pressure both adversaries and allies to tailor their policies to U.S. investment interests.

    Like food, fuel can be a weapon.  

    • Edger on July 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm
      Author

    US Draws Russian Fire, Signing Missile Defense Deal

    Agence France Presse, Wednesday 09 July 2008, via Truthout

    Prague – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed Tuesday what she called a “landmark” missile defence deal with the Czech Republic, drawing immediate condemnation and threats from Russia. The accord permits the siting of a tracking radar station on Czech soil as part of an extended US missile shield that Washington says is necessary to ward off potential attacks by so-called “rogue” states such as Iran. Moscow immediately threatened to respond with “military resources” to what it sees as a threat on its doorstep from the proposed system.

    “If a US strategic anti-missile shield is deployed near our borders, we will be forced to react not in a diplomatic fashion but with military resources,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had already clashed with US President George W. Bush over missile defence at their first face-to- face meeting, during the G8 summit in Japan on Monday.

    Analysts say the Russians fear not only a potential long-term threat to their own nuclear deterrent and the security of their airspace but also associate the shield with NATO’s enlargement to include Ukraine and Georgia.

  3. To put all this way too simplistically, it feels like the US is still playing “king of the hill” while the rest of the world has grown up and is thinking about strategic alliances.

  4. reminds me of a dream I had a few years ago.  It was a vivid image that I’ll always remember:

    From the back of a darkened room, I saw the backs of three Americans sitting on a couch watching television in the corner.  In the door in the other corner,  came some Chinese, in military uniforms, Mao caps and all.  The Chinese were giving out brusque, quick orders.  When the Americans turned to them, and I saw their faces, they had no faces, just potato-faces, three American couch potatoes.

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