Monday, September 23, 2013

Thanks to a faithful reader,  just in case you forgot why we went in, per usual.


  1. It's clear that big US corporations aren't going to benefit. In Iraq US oil companies are not participating much either. In Iran after the 1953 Coup the British never got back their oil concession either.

    These kinds of interventions are usually conducted for strategic reasons rather than imperial ones.

    It's a mistake to conclude that business interests are behind them because the resulting situation never favors them.

  2. What would be those "strategic reasons"?

    Rather, neo-imperialistic reasons are complimentary, if not the same as strategic reasons.

    But there does seem to be one instance where often economic reasons are secondary: Neoconservative support for policies which benefit Israel (although, economic benefits might be thought to accrue to Israel in the long run).

    The invasion of Afghanistan was on the books before 911 after negotiations between Chevron and Afghanistan's Taliban government broke down over a proposed natural gas pipeline, which was to run from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan to the coast (likely oil would be included later).

    Regarding Iraq, it would seem neoconservatives pushed for invasion to benefit Israel, but also to give an opportunity for huge military contracts to private contractors, a regular orgy of contracts. Oil probably played into the mix, but that didn't work out, but the "reconstruction" contracts were worth millions and even billions. Even while the American taxpayer paid the tab via huge debt obligations.

    John Perkins is the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which lays out the economic benefits to huge transnational corporations. Non-military means are the preferred method of choice, but failing that political coups and then, as a last resort military means can be employed.

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

    Note the criticism from a writer for The Economist -- the open source political bible for international bankers & transnational corporations.

    Perkins helped with a follow up in response to the criticism of his book.

    A Game as Old as Empire: the Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption

    A Game as Old as Empire: the Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption

    Iraq didn't work out as well as hoped.

    Afghanistan also generated huge military contracts, but as a long range economic benefit, did not pan out and has been a failure.

    Economic penetration has always been a quote, "strategic reason" unquote, for imperial or neo-imperial actions.

    Any study of British imperialism will tell you that.

    Neo-imperialism is simply disguised imperialism, where the obvious tools of imperialism are hidden behind various justifications, often claims of humanitarianism.

    But, hey, if there are "strategic reasons" other than economic, spell those out.

    I'll put one out there for consideration: GEO-POLITICAL POWER.

    But geo-political power is to further economic interests.

    1. As for the "Economic Hitman" Perkins I don't believe his yarns. He's not credible.

      As for the invasion of Iraq it was conducted by neo-cons in the US who convinced gullible morons like Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld that there was a strategic reason for doing so. That reason was to place US assets in the region to ward off future possible Russian and Chinese moves there, even fifty or a hundred years from now when oil might be much scarcer. That's why Cheney and Rumsfeld went for it, but the REAL agenda of the neo-cons who conned them into this was the interests of Israel.

      In the same way that the British conned the US into believing that Mossedeq in Iran would lead to a communist takeover there the neo-con Israeli fith column in the US conned the Bush cabinet into invading Iraq.

      Afghanistan was invading merely and only because it was needed as a successful prelude to accustom the public and military into such campaigns. The US was unprepared for an attack on Iraq after 9-11 but was willing after they saw how easy Afghanistan seemed to be accomplished.

      If you remember the appearance of a quick and low cost victory in Afganistan is what set the stage for overconfidence for another campaign in Iraq.

      As for "strategic reasons" they rather than imperial business interests are in fact the guiding motivation for US policymakers.

      In Iran in 1953, and Guatamala in 1954 and Chile in 1973 and Indonesia in 1965 and Vietnam in 1963 and Congo in 1964 it was strategic interests not business or financial interests which were the deciding factor.

      Read the Pentagon Papers or other authoritative histories on any of these matters and you will learn what the real considerations were.

      I do support Smedley Butler's argument that the gunboat diplomacy of a century ago was for pure imperial and financial interests, but that was before the US got involved in global geo-strategic competitions.

      After the second world war US decision makers say the communists swollow eastern europe, compete for the Meditterranean, take north Vietnam and Korea, all of China, and make huge progress in the Phillpines, Indonesia and Latin America.

      Of course their paranoia was geo-strategic.

    2. In my opinion, Perkins is authentic.

      But, say he isn't credible, for the sake of argument, how do you reconcile the follow-up, response book, after all, there are a number of authors and they all agree with Perkins' analysis, beyond his personal story?

      Mit, I do agree with you that, in part, Afghanistan was a prelude to Iraq to demonstrate that Iraq would be "doable", but it also had its own rationales.

      You agree with Brzezinski, well, Brzezinski argues about access to natural resources.

      I suppose you make a distinction between access to natural resources, in general, to the nation, and advantage to specific transnational corporations.

      Is that how you see it?

      How do you separate general "access" and economic interests?

      Regarding Iran in 1953, the history is clear, it wasn't about Communism, it was about economic interests, namely that Iran nationalized its oil sector depriving the British, through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, a British corporation (currently known as BP), of cheap oil. Whether Eisenhower got 'conned' by the British is another story, I'll have to research that.

      Cheney was a member of PNAC and Rumsfield was also very supportive of overthrowing Saddam during the 90's, those two didn't get conned by anybody.

      Cheney's Halliburton got huge, no-bid, military contracts. Rumsfield was a imperialist by temperament and via his transnational, corporate experience.

      I'll agree that many Americans after WWII saw it as a geo-strategic struggle, as did I, with Communism, but ultimately that was about economic survival, so how do you separate general economic survival issues and transnational imperialism, it seems hard to separate.

      Regarding the Pentagon Papers, there is a line of thought which suggests the leak was intentional because the Pentagon was looking for a way out of Vietnam by 1971 and the big boys wanted to obscure the fact that it was about the armaments industry, the "Military-Industrial Complex" that President Eisenhower had spoke about, so the military brass, but more important, the CIA and their corporate masters in the Military-Industrial Complex wanted to put out a bogus story which would cover for their greed being the cause of over 50,000 American dead and billions spent from the American taxpayer.

  3. I'm pretty confident that it isn't cement that has aroused the commercial classes! Afghanistan traditionally exports dried fruits, nuts, spices, rugs ect, however their mineral wealth consists of salt, silver, gold, rubies, copper, chrome, iron, lead, uranium ect not to mention opium!! Yeah follow the money

    1. Yes, always follow the money and also cui bono, "who benefits".

      At this point, one thing is clear, the American People did not benefit from the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan or Iraq.

    2. Ha! Nor the British people! But it's never about average Joe on the street either in an occupied country or the occupiers populace! If think it was Oscar Wilde that said "only through debt can one hope to live on in the memory of the commercial classes" always the money always has been!

    3. I think there might be gold and other rare earth metal that will be needed for high tech in the future. All high tech relies on rare earth metals.

      But the big find in Afghanistan is lithium. Right now 95 percent of known lithium comes from China and lithium will be needed for electric automobile batteries and other high tech wonders of the future.

      Afghanistan is rich in minerals needed for the future just as Iraq and the Persian gulf will be needed to their oil long after other sources have dried up.

      This is a competition to set the stage for ensuring resources for the next two hundred years and more.

      That's why the long-thinking Chinese are all over Africa and Afghanistan swollowing up their minerals.

      With all his faults Bzesinski is on to this matter, although he treats it in an nineteenth-century model in his "grand chessboard" paradigm.

    4. Good points and spot on about the Chinese and I do believe it is set up like a game of chess but its the same old same old that benefit financially on a grand scale! Nether the less there is dome great points and debate here

  4. Question, is there a better way than neo-imperialism in international relations?

    (I think there is a cooperative, win-win, way of conducting international affairs and diplomacy which ultimately makes America more secure and the world a better place with local developing towards better societies. To the extent that hasn't been pursued, its because of greed and a failure of imagination.

    Is there a non-exploitive