Friday, October 21, 2005

Powell Aide Blasts Rice, Cheney- Rumsfeld 'Cabal': After discussing for most of the article how the cabal took over policy thus creating a dysfunctional and dangerous administration, he concludes with this:

"On Iraq, [Powell's former Chief of Staff, who is believed to speak for both Powell and Armitage] said he was ''guardedly optimistic'' because ''we may have reached the point where we are actually listening to the Iraqis.'' U.S. troops will likely have to remain in Iraq for between five to eight years, however, because ''it is strategic in the sense that Vietnam was not.''

ie, it has a lot of oil while Vietnam did not.

"He predicted that a precipitous withdrawal ''without leav(ing) something behind we can trust, we will mobilize the nation, with five million men and women under arms to go back and take the Middle East within a decade,'' due to the U.S. dependence on the region’s energy sources."

This represents the 'liberal hawk' or 'intelligent imperialist' approach to the problem. Note that it assumes without question that the US has right to the region's energy sources (what is our oil doing under their sand?) and that it is therefore unthinkable that the Middle East could ever be abandoned. If a combination of military, financial, economic, diplomatic and political circumstances force a US withdrawal from the Middle East it seems that the ruling elite is totally unprepared for the consequences. Its Gulf Oil or bust.

"He disclosed that the Department’s policy planning bureau had a discussion about ''actually mounting an operation to take the oil fields in the Middle East, internationalise them under some sort of UN trusteeship and administer the revenues and the oil accordingly.''"

Sounds like desperation and fantasy to me. As if, after the Iraq disaster, the UN and the rest of the world would be happy to go along with a US plot like this. And if such plans are admitted to exist, the Howard government must be challenged immediately by asking if it would directly rule out the multiple breaches of international peace and law that such a plot necessarily involves.

If the US does not embark, and soon, on a crash program of energy conservation and renewability, heaven help them. The same applies to a (only slightly) lesser extent in Australia.

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