Have you ever noticed how certain words simply refuse to go together? Aside from the obvious oxymora like uniting jumbo with shrimp, or baby with grand, (or president with Bush), there just happen to be combinations of words that resist placement in the same sentence. Some do not even want to coexist on the same page. Pax Americana is supposed to mean peace enforced by the power of America. Another way of defining Pax Americana is to say the peace is due to America's actions. If peace were due to Britain's actions, it would be Pax Britannica. If peace were due to Italy's efforts: Pax Romana, etc.
The term pops up in the most bizarre places. I recently read a summary of the Project for the New American Century's (PNAC) blueprint for Rebuilding America's Defenses (RAD). In addition to giving me a screaming headache, it provided many examples of words and thoughts that do not belong together. I contemplated reading the entire 90-page report but my body has a restricted capacity for punishment. In essence, the PNAC contends that Pax Americana evolved as a byproduct of the ending of the Cold War which left America as the paramount superpower.
As you plow through the document, you get a sense that the plan is all about shoving peace and democracy down the world's throat at the threat of military intervention. It follows closely the schizophrenic action a parent might yield to when he/she gives a child a spanking for fighting. The mantra becomes "Peace our way or we will punish you."
Many of the recommendations given by the PNAC are obviously those of a radically and philosophically single-minded committee. The PNAC members who wrote or influenced the RAD document included Vice-President Dick Cheney, his top national security assistant, I. Lewis Libby; Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz; National Security Council member Eliot Abrams; Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security, John Bolton; former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, Richard Perle; President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, Randy Scheunemann; Republican Party leader, Bruce Jackson; PNAC chairman William Kristol; and Florida governor Jeb Bush. The list of participants reads like a Who's Who of extreme right-wing tunnel-visioned neoconservatives.
The oxymoronic arrangement of proposing Pax Americana by flexing the RAD muscles of a superpower is especially telling of our real agenda. The actions of the cabal responsible for placing George Bush into office afford the most contradictory deed of all. The contradiction is this: We have all heard President Bush repeatedly telling the world that America is in Iraq on a mission of nation rebuilding that includes a regime change and a new government in, i.e., Saddam out and democracy in, like it or not. Now just ponder that tune for a second before reading on…
In a presidential debate with Al Gore on October 11, 2000, in Winston-Salem, NC, Bush said: "I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building…I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have a kind of nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not."
Now maybe I am missing something here, but it appears that our "absolutely not" President Bush is on a nation-building track in Iraq and he is doing it by sending in his 132,000-member nation-building corps, also known as the US Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy. Remember that America attacked Iraq to save us from the impending assault that Saddam Hussein was readying against our country. And that stretch came from the argumentum ad populum that Osama Bin laden was using Iraq as a training ground for terrorism. Didn't you know that Iraq was directly involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks? Apparently almost everyone else knew it! Allowing for a summary of how America got from point A through point L (for lies), to point F (for failure); we see that America had to respond militarily to the 9/11 attacks and upon failing to find OBL, and thanks to our failed intelligence, it unsurprisingly followed that we had to invade Iraq. Meanwhile the blueprint for RAD which was conveniently prepared by the PNAC was pulled off the shelf and put into motion. Understanding the goals of RAD helps to explain why America is still in Iraq even after the Hussein regime was removed, the Iraq military quashed and every last weapon of mass destruction neutralized. And thanks to the guidance of RAD, Bin Laden's capture or his demise is no longer priority #1.
It may be argued that the events of 9/11 were the precipitating cause of our armed aggression into The Middle East but a portion of the predisposing cause may well go to the shelved RAD blueprint. Keep in mind that the RAD was published in September 2000, one full year before the 9/11 attacks. The gee whiz, we need to do something call for help was answered in the form of the bromide furnished by RAD offering to save the day. (Not unlike the old Mighty Mouse cartoon: "Here I come to save the day!") The RAD blueprint is a plan not for world peace as Pax Americana implies. Rather it is a psychotic plan for world dominance. Consider the following categories, a direct paste from the summary:
"Subject areas are arranged under 4 categories: A. Pax Americana outlining the rationale for global empire, B. Securing Global Hegemony pinpointing regions that are considered trouble spots for U.S. policy, C. Rebuilding the Military plans for expansion of U.S. military might, and D. Future Wars of Pax Americana the “RAD” vision of complete control of land, sea, air, space and cyberspace."
The expressions "global empire, global hegemony, expansion of U.S. military might, future wars, complete control of land, sea, air, space and cyberspace" give the impression of placing the footprint of Pax Americana onto the slipperiest of slippery slopes. A nation can no more shove peace or democracy down the throat of any other country than a person can force another to love them.
From the section titled "Iraq and the Persian Gulf," a few quotes demand highlighting: "Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has." May we surmise that "U.S. interests" is code for Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell Oil, et al? Later, "In Europe, the Persian Gulf and East Asia, enduring U.S. security interests argue forcefully for an enduring American military presence…" Might one of those "enduring security interests" be the nation of Halliburton? Then, regarding the Air Force presence in the Gulf region, "…the United States should consider it a de facto permanent presence." Hence, the raison d'etre for the presence of America's Air Force translates to: we are rightfully there because we are there.
From the "Axis of Evil" section, "…adversaries like Iran, Iraq and North Korea are rushing to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent to American intervention in regions they seek to dominate." This makes me wonder if the RAD itself was used as a resource for our horribly failed intelligence that was used in the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Furthermore, might the current hysterical reports of Iran's threat to world peace be based on the same inbred sources?
From the "East Asia" section, "…a majority of the U.S. fleet, including two-thirds of all carrier battle groups, should be concentrated in the Pacific. A new, permanent forward base should be established in Southeast Asia." Yes, America won the popularity contest in Southeast Asia back in the 1960's and 70's and you can be sure the welcome mat is out for us again. Later, "Indeed, in time, American and allied power in the region may provide a spur to the process of democratization inside China itself…" If we have difficulty swallowing that outlandish pill at first, we might try washing it down with some Sino Kool-Aid.
From the "Europe" section, "…it is important that NATO not be replaced by the European Union, leaving the United States without a voice in European security affairs." Or, the American paw marks just have to be in everybody's business and back yard. Maybe this offers a good example of how a conservative of the past (a paleoconservative) differs from a neoconservative of today. Wouldn't it be more honest to just switch neo with un, giving the more accurate designation, unconservative?
In the "Regime Change" section, regarding the need for an American preeminence for "….removing a dangerous and hostile regime when necessary." followed by the likely wars that will occur and "…a decisive victory that results in long-term political or regime change." This is where the recipe calls for moving into the targeted country, building up the military presence there, and staying long enough to force a regime change and turning the country into a democracy no matter what the cost. And if there is resistance, American forces will stay to "deter, defeat, or remove from power the regional aggressors." This sounds a bit like the evening's news on events in Iraq or Afghanistan every day of the week, therefore further illustrating the de facto implementation of RAD.
In the "Army" section a spot of enlightenment appears: "Regimes are difficult to change based upon punishment alone." However, punishment is about all an army is good for! In the same section, "…an American military force that lacks the ability to employ ground forces that can survive and maneuver rapidly on future battlefields will deprive U.S. political leaders of a decisive tool of diplomacy." That sounds like Tony Soprano-style diplomacy where negotiations are delivered at the end of a decisive tool; a gun.
In the "Navy" section, regarding increased presence, "…the Navy needs to better understand the requirement to have substantial numbers of cruise-missile platforms at sea and in close proximity to regional hot spots…" And thanks to the precision missiles which did successfully hit their targets in Iraq, they managed to destroy precisely the life-sustaining economic infrastructure which American companies like Halliburton, Kellogg/Brown/Root are dutifully reconstructing with American taxpayers footing the bill. Call it the cycle of war life.
In the "Overseas Bases" section, regarding our geopolitical posture, U.S. forces should "…provide significant military power to shape events." And "In sum we see an enduring need for large-scale American forces." This recurring theme screams "hegemony our way, or the highway because we dominate you!"
In the "Nuclear Expansion" section, regarding the Clinton Administration's faux pas of signing the purported nuclear deterrent, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, "If the United States is to have a nuclear deterrent that is both effective and safe, it will need to test." This is akin to saying that although we promise not to shoot you, we will have the very best, most accurate, and of course, the most deadly guns on Earth. If the planet buys that line I wonder if "Your check is in the mail" still works.
In the "Future Wars of Pax Americana" section, on the vision of the blueprint, "RAD envisions a future in which the United States is in complete control of land, sea, air, and space and cyberspace of planet Earth." And where will Captain Kirk park The Enterprise?
In the "Control of Space" section, the planners seem to be putting life back into the "Star Wars" space-based defense system. A considerable measure of criticism is passed on the United States' error of signing the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with The Soviet Union: "…the Air Force must accelerate its efforts to create new systems — and, to repeat, the space-based systems — that are necessary to shift the scope of air operations from the theater level to the global level." Later, on the theme of controlling the heavens, "Space control is not an avoidable issue. It is not an optional extra. For U.S. armed forces to continue to assert military preeminence, control of space — defined by Space Command as u2018the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space' — must be an essential element of our military strategy." I can not avoid the apropos cliché expression: far out!
In the "Control of Cyberspace" section, the suggestion is made that the US could use cyber attacks as a military tool: "…the prospects for space war or u2018cyberspace war' represent the truly revolutionary potential inherent in the notion of military transformation." We may as well make the digital devastation a part of the total package.
In the "Strategy for Transforming Conventional Forces" section, some incredible highlights include discussion of "the world of microbes," "fleets of robots, some small enough to fit in soldiers' pockets," "space itself becoming a theater of war," and "advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes that may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." Try to imagine the potential consequences of isolating specific genotypes or even DNA that may be designated as the enemy. Specific populations, limited to exacting DNA characteristics could be targeted. The possibilities grow exponentially once you factor in the distinguishing characteristics of race, nationality, or region. Wiping out a single race through genotype isolation could be a possibility. Considering the horrifying prospect of attacking a genotype, recall that Saddam Hussein's source for the poison gas he used on the Kurds was the United States by way of a transaction engineered by our dear Donald Rumsfeld. Can we trust America not to stoop again to supplying WMD's to a rogue leader? When biological warfare becomes a "politically useful tool," we are in deep doo-doo.
In the "Army of the Future" section, we find "Future soldiers may operate in encapsulated, climate-controlled, powered fighting units, laced with sensors, and boasting chameleon-like u2018active' camouflage. u2018Skin-patch' pharmaceuticals help regulate fears, focus concentration and enhance endurance and strength. Under the u2018Land Warrior' program, some Army experts envision a u2018squad' of seven soldiers able to dominate an area the size of the Gettysburg battlefield — where, in 1863, some 165,000 men fought." Any chance Arnold Schwarzenegger's Robo Cop or Terminator characters were on this committee?
This is a bloodcurdling operational plan for any group to dream up, let alone publish. Perhaps other nations have similar sick plans and we are required to have one that will counterbalance our enemies. I believe that the perversion of this plan is rooted in the fact that it was hatched in a most un-American manner. Much of America's strength comes from the principle that our policies and laws are formed by representatives of the complete spectrum of ideologies. As cumbersome and slow as that process is, it does afford the opinions of many positions to be heard and helps minimize the yes-man mentality. The RAD plan was the brainchild of a very tiny segment of the varied opinions held by the broader continuum of American beliefs. But what ought to have the peace-loving American losing sleep is the fact that the RAD (short for radical?) plan is being instituted by America's myopic president as though he were following the Holy Grail of international relations.
May 2, 2006