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Catalyst for chaos!Catalyst for chaos!

ANYONE IN Ulster with digital television can watch a fascinating programme on the CNBC news channel early on Saturday mornings. Editorial Board brings together editors, commentators and columnists from the neo-conservative Wall Street Journal - the most influential voice of America’s war party.

On August 10th 2002, they discussed Saudi Arabia in the light of a leaked document from the Pentagon’s “Defense Policy Advisory Board” that branded the Middle-Eastern kingdom as ‘the kernel of evil’ in the world.

Despite their long history of support for the United States, the House of Saud has fallen foul of the new driving force behind US foreign policy. This neo-conservative war party seems to put the interests of a foreign state - Israel - above all other considerations, even that of the American people themselves.

The line that the WSJ editorial board is promoting is interesting - and self-serving! US forces should invade and occupy Iraq, kill or depose Saddam Hussein and install a Bosnian style puppet regime in Baghdad. According to this rose-tinted scenario, the citizens of the neighbouring Arab states will be so impressed by this paragon of Yankee-imposed ‘democratic system’ that they will demand some too.

According to this line, the House of Saud fears this outcome greatly, hence their unwillingness to allow American forces to use their country as a base to attack Iraq. In fact, the ruling families of Saudi Arabia and Jordan have their own good reasons to oppose US military action against Iraq. Popular outrage among their citizens could cost them their thrones!

No problem, say the neo-con warmongers. The Middle East needs a good dose of US-imposed destabilization and occupation. We’ll just have to seize the Saudi oilfields, invade and occupy Jordan, Syria, Iran and Egypt and make the whole region a quieter, safer place. This is no exaggeration. These people are quite prepared to take on the entire Arab and Islamic worlds in order to advance their ‘support-Israel-first-at-all-costs’ foreign policy aims. They know that their hero, Ariel Sharon, will be able to do pretty much as he likes as he carves out a ‘Greater Israel’ in the background of the regional conflagration that George Bush will unleash with a unilateral invasion of Iraq. These people are all around George W Bush.

The Hollywood cliché, in films like Seven Days in May and Twilight’s Last Gleaming is of wild-eyed rightwing fanatical generals who are murderously intent on dropping bombs, firing missiles and getting stuck in to the enemy of the moment. In fact it is the professional soldiers – the officers and men who would actually have to do the fighting and dying – who are concerned at the heavy burden that they are expected to carry. The irony of this situation is that, like their president, (who avoided the draft at a time when thousands of young Americans died in the jungles of Vietnam), most of these war hawks and ‘laptop bombardiers’ have never served a day in the military.

A year on from the atrocity in New York, these people have succeeded in diverting America from its declared goal of defeating Al Quaeda or getting Osama bin Laden. As Chalmers Johnson points out in his magnificent book, Blowback, there is much talk of "rogue states" these days, and what to do about them: but the real problem, is that the world is afflicted by a "rogue superpower" – the US. Lecturing, threatening, and overtly seeking to overthrow any and all regimes that fail to bow low enough before the American hegemon, The former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was a prime example. In February 1998, explaining why it was necessary to launch cruise missiles against Iraq, Mad Madeleine launched into one of her trademark tirades: "If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see farther into the future."

Hubristic neo-cons like William Kristol, Richard Perle and Donald Rumsfield take the same view. If they get their way, all the world will be plunged into chaos. God help us all!

David Kerr
Autumn 2002

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