Why we fight: all Americans worthy of the name support our troops and pray for their success--but what are we seeking to win in Iraq? (Cover Story: Iraq War).
Contemplating the sacrifices made by our troops on the battlefield, our minds are irresistibly filled with memories of Black Tuesday. We recall images of police, firemen, and rescue workers, after stopping just long enough to receive absolution, dashing into the stricken towers as others fled. We remember the passengers of United Flight 93 saying goodbye to their loved ones by cell phone before prayerfully staging a counterattack against the beasts in human form who had commandeered their plane. We might also remember the account of a naval officer who had lost both of his hands in the Pentagon attack: He told rescue workers to ignore his "trivial" wounds and treat people who were "really hurt."
These are just a few of the myriad acts of courage and selflessness performed on that terrible day, many of which are known only to God. This same courage and strength of character has been displayed by our fighting men in Iraq, and those who have enlisted to fight our country's wars are worthy of respect, gratitude, and prayers on their behalf.
Even as we celebrate the valor and skill of our fighting men, however, we must call to account the political leaders who sent those men into battle. "If these men do not die well," warns a soldier in Shakespeare's Henry V, "it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it." That our men who have fallen in Iraq died bravely, no decent American can doubt. But did they die "well"? Was the objective for which they died worthy of that sacrifice?
As we pray for our valiant troops, and mourn for our honored dead, it is proper and necessary to examine our national leaders' policies and objectives. It is also our duty to seek changes in policies incompatible with our national interest, or unworthy of spilling the blood of our sons.
For most Americans, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is simply payback for the 9-11 attack. According to an opinion poll published shortly after "Operation Iraqi Freedom" began, a slender majority of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was somehow responsible for that atrocity. The Bush administration and its media allies have done everything possible to create that impression--without actually documenting Saddam's involvement in the attack. Yet according to the evidence provided by the Bush administration thus far, Saddam--bestial as he is--had nothing to do with that assault.
None of the knife-wielding Black Tuesday hijackers were Iraqi. At least some of them were led by members of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, in an operation coordinated by Osama bin Laden, a Sunni Muslim terrorist from Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden received aid, support, and sanctuary from Afghanistan's Taliban junta. In trying to tie together Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network, which organized 9-11, the most potent "evidence" the Bush administration was willing to provide was the existence of an al-Qaeda training camp in northeastern Iraq--a territory controlled by Kurdish radicals, not Saddam Hussein.
Unwilling to offer a plausible indictment of Saddam in the 9-11 attack, the Bush administration and its supporters insisted that the most compelling reason for war with Iraq was what Saddam's regime might do in the future, rather than anything it has or may have done in the past.
"The [Iraqi] regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East," declared President Bush in his televised March 17th address. In an earlier speech, President Bush went so far as to suggest that Iraq presented an existential threat to the United States: "I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons."
At the time the president made those remarks, Saddam's regime--brutal and lawless as it was--did not occupy a millimeter of foreign soil. It did not even control the entire country of Iraq, over which U.S. and British warplanes patrolled "no-fly zones" both in the north and south. Twelve years of intermittent bombing had further depleted Iraq's military, which was fifth-rate at the time of the first Gulf War in 1991. Twelve years of economic sanctions had strangled Iraq's economy. How could a dictator presiding over such a ramshackle regime possess the power to hold U.S. citizens at his mercy?
Mr. Bush's most cogent reason for war against Iraq was Saddam's relentless defiance of UN disarmament decrees. "We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council," observed the president in his Ma 17th speech. "The Iraqi regime...has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament....The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now."
According to Mr. Bush, Saddam's defiance of the UN made war inevitable, and UN Security Council resolutions authorized the U.S. to go to war. "In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act, in the early 1990s," continued the president on March 17th. "Under Resolutions 678 and 687--both still in effect--the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.... On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm."
According to Mr. Bush, "This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will"--and he indicted "some permanent members of the Security Council" who opposed military action to enforce the UN's decrees. "These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it." The United States and its coalition partners, however, are ready and willing "to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours."
Our military's mission is to fight and win our nation's wars. American patriots can embrace a war to repel an aggressor, confront an imminent threat, or punish an attack on our nation. But is it right for Americans to die to enforce UN disarmament decrees?
"Effectively Controlling" the World
The campaign to compel Iraq to disarm actually began under Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, and it introduced a new term into the American political vocabulary: "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs), shorthand for nuclear, chemical, and bio warfare weapons. Beginning in 1998, the Clinton administration embraced the view that American national security depends on enforcing UN edicts banning Iraq's possession of WMDs, or its capacity to produce them. The same doctrine undergirds the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq.
But neither this strategic doctrine, nor the expression "weapons of mass destruction," originated in the Clinton era. In fact, they can be traced back to A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, a 1962 State Department-commissioned study written by Dr. Lincoln P. Bloomfield of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. *
The Bloomfield study's purpose was to describe a "stable military environment" that could be based on official U.S. disarmament proposals, particularly the State Department's 1961 Freedom From War blueprint for "general and complete disarmament" under UN supervision. Noted Bloomfield: "The proposed system would explicitly forbid national possession of weapons of mass destruction, of the means of delivery, and of the trained personnel required to mount an attack." (Emphasis added.)
Surveying official U.S. arms control policy (still in effect today), Bloomfield found embedded therein "the notion of a world 'effectively controlled by the United Nations.' It [has not been] made explicit, but the United States [arms control] position carried the unmistakable meaning, by whatever name, of world government, sufficiently powerful in any event to keep the peace and enforce its judgments."
"National disarmament is [an indispensable] condition ... for effective UN control," states the Bloomfield document. This will require that the UN (or a successor organization) be given "effective powers in the realms of disarmament and the settlement of disputes." George W. Bush was following the same formula when he declared on February 26th: "We believe in the Security Council--so much that we want its words to have meaning."
The Bloomfield study also prefigured the Bush administration's rhetoric that Saddam would hold the world at his "mercy" unless he were punished for defying UN orders to disarm. "One mad tribal ruler in a future Congo might not be able to bring the rest of the world to its knees," wrote Bloomfield. "But twenty-five rockets, with megaton warheads previously se-cretect or secretly produced in Soviet or Chinese facilities, could supply to [small] nations an inordinate amount of political and strategic power."
To deal with such challenges to the envisioned world order, the world government authority described by Bloomfield would require an "international force, balanced appropriately between ground, sea, air, and space elements" as well as "a nuclear force" and (Bloomfield suggests) perhaps even a stock of chemical and biological weapons. In this system, the UN (or, once again, a successor) would "monitor and enforce disarmament, settle disputes, and keep the peace. All other powers [would be] reserved to the nations," which would be "disarmed to police levels." Furthermore, "a significant 'UN presence' "would exist in all countries to monitor and enforce the disarmament program.
Of course, in the name of keeping the peace, the world government authority would be prepared and authorized to wage war. Under the system described by Bloomfield, a national government could be charged with "aggression" without violating the borders of another nation-state, or even threatening to do so. A nation could commit this supposed offense simply through "overt repudiation of the new order and the political system representing it," particularly by developing weapons forbidden by the world government authority. This would supposedly justify war in order to "abort such violation by imposing timely sanction upon a violator in the form of immediate seizure of the forbidden facilities, punishment of those responsible, etc.," writes Bloomfield. Again, note how Bloomfield's words foreshadow, with uncanny detail, the Bush administration's approach to Iraq.
Creation of this "new order," Bloomfield predicted, could come about either through gradual, evolutionary means, or through "a grave crisis or war to bring about a sudden transformation in national attitudes sufficient for the purpose.... [T]he order we examine may be brought into existence as a result of a series of sudden, nasty, and traumatic shocks.... For the United States, as well as for the other countries, a threshold will have been crossed from one historical condition to another, drastically different one. However many stages it takes, however tacit or explicit the labels, however gradual or violent the process, there is a Rubicon that divides ... basically untramelled national sovereignty from meaningful supranational authority."
Since 9-11, Americans have been incessantly told that on that terrible morning, "everything changed," and that in the post September 11 world we must act "preemptively" to disarm Saddam and other rulers who defy the UN's will. By launching an aggressive war on Iraq to enforce UN disarmament decrees, our nation has--at very least--reached the "threshold" described by Bloomfield, and while we may not have crossed the Rubicon, we have at very least wet our feet therein.
War for the "Core"
A central concept in A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations is that the collective security system it describes must be "global, with no exceptions to its fiat: universal membership." Building that order will require treating nations outside of it as "aggressors," and forcibly assimilating them. This point is described with stunning candor in a March 2003 Esquire magazine article by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a Pentagon specialist in "Strategic Futures." Barnett's essay, "The Pentagon's New Map," is essentially an updating of A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations.
"When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror," writes Barnett. Instead, it represents what Bloomfield called a "threshold," or Barnett calls a "tipping point": "Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping point--the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization."
The conflict with Iraq, continues Barnett, "forces America to come to terms with what I believe is the new security paradigm [or model] that shapes this age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger. Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime is dangerously disconnected from the globalizing world, from its rule sets, its norms, and all the ties that bind countries together in mutually assured dependence." Notice how Barnett acknowledges that although the enemy is Saddam's regime, this war's true target is America, which is being forced to assume a new global role.
Barnett calls those regions of the world belonging to the emerging global system--such as the European Union and Russia, much of the Pacific Rim, and the NAFTA nations--the "Functioning Core." Nations and regions not yet absorbed into these arrangements fall into "the Non-Integrating Gap." This includes much of Africa, the Middle East, and the Islamic world in general, as well as parts of Asia and Latin America - all of which represent potential theaters of military action as the rulers of the emerging global system plot their wars of assimilation.
"The reason I support going to war in Iraq is not simply that Saddam is a cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years," observes Barnett (a key adviser to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld). "The real reason I support a war like this is that the resulting long-term military commitment will finally force America to deal with the entire Gap as a strategic threat environment."
Assuming that the division described by Barnett reflects the Bush administration's strategic priorities would explain apparent anomalies in the way it has conducted the "war on terrorism." For instance, why are Russia and China regarded as allies despite their major role in sponsoring international terrorism for at least five decades? Barnett explains that Russia, while corrupt and still in the authoritarian clutches of "former" KGB officials like President Putin, has been connected to the international network of finance and "collective security' and thus is part of the "Core."
The same is true of China, Barnett insists, even though it "is still ruled by a 'Communist Party' whose ideological formula is 30 percent Marxist-Leninist and 70 percent Sopranos.... China just signed on to the World Trade Organization, and over the long run, that is far more important [than renouncing Communism] in securing the country's permanent Core status. Why? Because it forces China to harmonize its internal rule set with that of globalization--banking, tariffs, copyright protection, environmental standards."
Once again, there is continuity between Barnett's strategic vision and that set out by Bloomfield four decades ago. Writing in 1962, Bloomfield pointed out that the "central dilemma of world politics today" was this: "[Gliven a continuation unabated of communist dynamism, the subordination of states to a true world government appears impossible; but if the communist dynamic were greatly abated, the West might well lose whatever incentive it has for world government." Accordingly, the best outcome would be not to vanquish communism, but "to transform and tame the forces of communism, in any event to where the present international system might be radically reshaped."
According to Barnett, both post-Soviet Russia and Communist China are now adequately housebroken, and can be regarded as members in good standing of the "Global Core."
Of course, Barnett allows, being assimilated into the Global Core "does not mean bad things will never happen to you.... [I]t is always possible to fall off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops."
In addition to serving as a constabulary in "Core" nations not entirely assimilated, American troops are to be used to break the will of "Gap" nations who resist the gospel of globalization. Barnett poses the following strategic axiom: "A country's potential to warrant a U.S. military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity." Entirely unconnected countries--Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Taliban-era Afghanistan--are priority targets. But on that same roster can be found other countries Barnett calls "seam states," such as Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Under the model presented by Barnett, the U.S. must: "1) Increase the Core's immune system capabilities for responding to September 11-type perturbations; 2) Work the seam states to firewall the Core from the Gap's worst exports, such as terror, drugs, and pandemics; 3) Shrink the Gap."
This is the mission of the U.S. soldiers fighting and dying, and occasionally being tortured, in Iraq. The cold truth is that American blood is being shed in Iraq to "shrink the Gap"--and enlarge the "Core."
CFR's Plans for Iraq
Unlike some defenders of our interventionist foreign policy, Barnett does not avoid describing the emerging U.S. role in the Middle East as imperialism.
"The only thing that will change that nasty environment and open the floodgates for change is if some external power steps in and plays Leviathan full-time," he insists. "Taking down Saddam, the region's bully-in-chief, will force the U.S. into playing that role far more fully than it has over the past several decades, primarily because Iraq is the Yugoslavia of the Middle East--a crossroads of civilizations that has historically required a dictatorship to keep the peace." (Note, once again, how Barnett specifically refers to the U.S. being "forced" by war to carry out a role it has historically avoided.)
Iraq: The Day After, a report from a Council on Foreign Relations task force, sets out a blueprint for America's imperial administration of Iraq. According to the CFR report, once Baghdad is firmly under U.S. control, the Bush administration should be prepared to spend "some $20 billion per year" to maintain "a deployment of 75,000 troops for post-conflict peace stabilization ... as well as funding for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.... If the troop requirements are much larger than 75,000--a genuine possibility--the funding requirement would [be] much greater."
Obviously, this prolonged occupation's costs would be prohibitive, in both money and manpower. Thus the CFR recommends that the burden be "shared" by having "the United Nations ... take responsibility in organizing (with U.S. support and assistance) the political consultative process leading to a transition to a new Iraqi government," as well as reviving and expanding the UN's "oil for food" program. In addition, the U.S. and UN would be in charge of "vetting, training, and mentoring Iraqi police" with the assistance of the UN's Civilian Police (CivPol) program, and also reconstituting Iraq's judicial institutions according to UN specifications.
The Bush administration has openly embraced many key elements of the CFR's blueprint for post-war Iraq:
* During the pre-war summit in the Azores, the U.S., UK, Spain, and Portugal agreed that the UN would have a central role in administering and reconstructing Iraq. "(I]f we use military force, in the post-Saddam Iraq the U.N. will definitely need to have a role," President Bush said at the time. "And that way it can begin to get its legs, legs of responsibility back."
* The March 6th Washington Post reported that "U.S. planners are in the early stages of discussion about a ... Security Council resolution that would set out details of how Iraq would be governed. The measure, if pursued, would cover such sensitive issues as management of the Iraqi oil industry...."
* The Times of London reported on March 5th: "The United Nations has drawn up a confidential plan to establish a post-Saddam government in Iraq.... It proposes ... the creation of a UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, to help to establish a new government. UN sources expected the plan to be implemented even if the U.S. goes to war without a UN resolution authorizing military action." Retired General Jay Garner, head of the newly created Pentagon office of reconstruction and humanitarian affairs, would serve as proconsul in Iraq for at least three months, after which the mission would be turned over to the UN. Following the leak of that document, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan denied that a "secret" plan exists--but nonetheless confirmed many of the particulars described in the Times account.
What Price for "Victory"?
As has always been the case, America today is blessed with courageous and capable fighting men eager to win our nation's wars. In Iraq, as elsewhere, the American fighting man has performed nobly and heroically.
The incomparably precious lives of our sons should be risked--or given--only in defense of our nation, its Constitution, and its independence. Is this what our sons are fighting and dying for in Iraq? Or is an amoral Power Elite exploiting our soldiers to build a system in which our Constitution would be discarded, our independence destroyed, and our nation supplanted by a one-world government?
The evidence is clear: The war on Iraqis only the first of many planned wars of assimilation en route to a world effectively controlled by the United Nations.
* The full text of A World Effectively Cont rolled by the United Nations is available at www.getusout.org/ resources/. Click on the link neat the bottom of the page.
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|Author:||Grigg, William Norman|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Date:||Apr 21, 2003|
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