The new 'Pax Americana'
"For those of you out there who are leading the chants of
'Down, down USA', Shame on you, shame on you! This is an argument between you
and the administration of George W Bush and not between you and the American
people. The American people are a law abiding people, the American people are a
good people and the American people can be your ally, if you let them...."
Scott Ritter (Former Major in US Marine Corps & former UN Weapons Inspector)
There is a new imperial power in the ascendancy but at this
stage not from a unified Europe. Our new world order is being spear headed by a
rejuvenated George W. Bush. Accidental President only two years ago and now
after the US mid term elections, undisputed master of the only super power left
in our part of the universe. The first to feel the new found might of the US
President will in all likelihood be Iraq.
The stated reasons to attack Iraq have always sounded
dubious. Therefore it is reasonable to suspect that there are ulterior motives
for President Bush to insist on the invasion. Removal of the Iraqi weapons of
mass destruction and access to the oil reserves may be side issues to a more
significant change in the global role of the US as a super power. Since Sept 11
there have been a series of events that have enabled the Bush administration to
propel the US towards a new imperialism.
The mid term election results were an emphatic but perplexing
endorsement of Bush jnrs Presidency. The Republicans now control both the Senate
and the Congress, it was a result that went against history. The hanging chad
fiasco of the Presidential elections gave way to an electronic voting system in
the US mid terms that has had some political watchdogs scratching their heads.
It seems that verifying the integrity of the new electronic voting system is
more difficult than its predecessor and the new system is susceptible to
A CNN news headline following the elections stated
"Proprietary software may make inspection of electronic voting systems
impossible." Inconceivably the land of the free, our vanguard of democracy
has subjugated the integrity of its electoral system to corporate rights.
The election result allows President Bush to claim a mandate
from the American people to press forward with the objectives set out in his
administrations US National Security Strategy and the Homeland Security bill.
The latter creates a $37 billion bureaucracy set up to find and destroy enemies
of the state. As a bureaucratic beast it is expected that the list of
adversaries of the Homeland will grow as the definition of "enemies"
is revised, and new evidence is found to justify their destruction. It has the
feel of McCarthyism and the potential for the persecution of people for beliefs
that may not accord with the subjective sentiments of the state.
The US National Security Strategy, released by the Bush
administration on Sept. 20 2001, is as significant as the Homeland Security
Bill. The strategy marks a change in foreign policy from deterrence to the
unilateral removal of threats to US interests.
September 11, al Qaeda, the Bali bombing and the ongoing
international threat of terrorist attack has paved the way for an aggressive US
military and foreign policy. The new approach is for pre-emptive strikes against
perceived enemies. The Bush administration supports an "American
internationalism," whereby the US should act independent of international
support and ignore censure from the global community if it suits "US interests".
Effectively the US will take on an international policing and
enforcement role. The cost of this global commitment is enormous and the US
Congress has already approved military expenditure of $383.4 billion in 2003. In
context this amount exceeds the combined military budgets of Russia, the United
Kingdom, China, Japan, France and Germany.
The rise of a new empire, a "Pax Americana" has certainly
begun. The lure of a US peace through imperialism and the spoils of war seem too
great for the Bush administration. The invasion of Iraq would make available to
a struggling US economy, huge oil reserves, cheap fuel to avert a recession.
At the beginning of the 1990's with the cessation of the
Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, a global empire was
essentially laid at the feet of the United States. The opportunity was not
seized by President George Bush Senior. The American people were unlikely to
accept the mantle of the "New Rome".
Now international terrorism has given another opportunity for
US imperialism. The issue that confronts the American people as stated by Jay
Bookman, an Editor with the Atlanta Journal Constitution is whether ". . .
peace and security [is] best achieved by seeking strong alliances and
international consensus, led by the United States? Or is it necessary to take a
more unilateral approach, accepting and enhancing the global dominance that,
according to some, history has thrust upon us?"
At present the American people are not being involved in the
decision to establish the new imperial order. Rather, the empire is being
erected under the guise of eliminating the shadowy enemy of terrorism. There are
no territorial boundaries for this enemy; it is the ideal target for an
administration justifying a global military presence. The threat is real but as
Scott Ritter stated at the opening of this article, for those of us that are
concerned about this "new Rome", the American people can be our greatest
allies for only they can remove the leader of the remaining world super power.