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Topic: Empire America?, A UK perspective< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
not_an_american Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2002,18:00  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

First off, Im glad to hear your mother in on the mend, I know things were difficult recently. As you know we debated the US military capability and imperialism etc recently. I just came upon this article in the Guardian newspaper in the UK that I thought raised some interesting points of view. Im not endorsing the viewpoint, but nor am I attacking it. For the moment I guess it's "hmmm... maybe!"

The article posits the opinion that the UK should oppose US policies, not align itself with the US..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4476167,00.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 07 2002,20:03 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The only thing that I can accept as "hmmm... maybe!" is the fact that the US is walking along the road to empire. Period. All the rest of this guy's bile revolves around the fact that the US shouldn't be a sovereign nation. All those treaties, conventions and international courts that the US should subscribe to just because the UN or the EU or him say so!

 The anti-ballistic missile treaty was voided around 1991 when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Even if you want to consider Russia as the successor of the Soviet Union, the world has changed substantially since the time the ABM treaty was originally signed and in case anyone has forgotten the most important part of that treaty was the ban on the development of defensive weapon systems. DEFENSIVE!!! This way BOTH parties could insure total destruction of BOTH contenders. Why is everyone shouting so loud about it? Because the world knows that a Star Wars program will put the US even farther ahead in the technological lead. The first priority of any government, and Robert will say the ONLY use of government, is to protect its citizens.

 Regarding all that war crap against Iraq... Is this guy dumb or what? Has he forgotten who started the war in the first place? Weren't the UN inspectors thrown out by the Iraqi government? Hasn't Sadam used weapons of mass destruction in the past?

 Why is it that so many European citizens forget their history so quickly? Had Britain and France had the balls to stop Hitler when he annexed Austria and then Czechoslovakia then the US wouldn't have had to save their sorry asses in WWII and as an added bonus the US wouldn't be so far ahead of them right now. For the record: I'm a EU citizen (I've got the passport to prove it).

 Is Bush taking advantage of the current events to cover up his ass? Sure! He's a politician, same as Clinton bombing Sudan to cover up his blow job, and both should be punished for their immoral actions, but George Monbiot isn't helping with his nonsense. The US, and specially the US government, has a lot to be criticized about, but this guy hasn't got a clue.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,06:30 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

phew! I was hoping for a response.. but that sure is vehement!

Im not so sure I'd call the article bile, I believe there is a certain amount of truth in there, in that the US is finally waking up to the fact that it can do what the damn it likes and to hell with others.

Regarding the proposed war with Iraq, in my opinion its sick. The coalition had the chance to finish off Saddam in 91 and weasled out of it. Now, 11 years later, Bush feels its a good idea to go back in. I have to ask why ? Monbiot makes some interesting points as to why.  I was disgusted 11 years ago that the coalition didn't finish the job it started, but that doesnt excuse an arbitrary choice to go back now. Fact is, you don't commit to war over a few weapons inspectors - if Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, the satellites etc can find them - and they can be taken out without an invasion. Ultimately the coalitions decision not to commit to finishing the job 11 years ago has caused untold misery for the iraqis, not to mention leaving the kurds etc to be given the once over for supporting the coalition. Now, to go back will only compound the misery..
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,12:09 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Of course the problem revolves around the fact that the Gulf War never came to conclusion and I think it's valid that we should talk about it. However George Monbiot is bitter at the US whatever the US does.

 The reason for not ousting Sadam the first time was for the illusion that the World needed to maintain stability for stability's sake and I'm sure that the US acted the way they did because the rest of their allies asked them to leave Sadam in power. Please read Stability, America's Enemy and then tell me what you think.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,15:38 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yes, Im aware of that arguement - it went along the lines that without Saddam there would be no stable govt in the area thus allowing Iran and the kurds to run riot causing god knows what problems. The question now, is what replaces Saddam at this moment? The USA ?

I skimmed the article, its not something I really want to read right now, its been a long day, but I read the last few paragraphs and the author makes the point that the US ought not to be the worlds policeman - which I agree with. That aside, I extracted little as I didn't read it in depth yet..

ok I have now read it and its an interesting article. As I understand it the author puts forward the theory that historically, the US has moved to prop up existing governments despite any problems they may have simply to keep the status quo, as that is good. He further theorises that changing this policy is good, as it would potentially allow greater access to new markets, as well as allowing people to live in proper nations, not the 'make nations' that exist after the breakup of colonial power. I have to agree with that - it makes sense to me.

Edited by not_an_american on --
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,16:08 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Firstly:  I agree with Maceda, how can one abrogate a treaty with a nation that no longer exits?  Are we also to observe treaties with Cuba that predate Castro?

Secondly:  It may not matter who is in charge after Sadam.  There maybe nobody left to be in charge of.

Thirdly:  It's our (USA, Great Britain and The Netherlands) oil anyway.  We found it.  It was our captial that developed the production facilities.  It was our technology that refined the ugly, useless crude into useful products.  It was our capitalist economies that provided our citizens with the wealth to purchase these products enhancing our standards of living.  Those few nomads who ran their sheep and camels over the future oil fields on their annual migrations had nothing to do with it.  (Actually, it was a scourge to them when their animals fell into natural oil seepages and couldn't be rescued.)  Our first mistake was to pay them royalties (initially, they thought that we were crazy to pay for that ugly, black stuff) just because we believed in property rights (something of which they had no prior concept as nomads) and as such it was their due.  In doing so, we made them rich beyond their imaginations and then, in their greed, they wanted it all.  It was our weak, isolationist government at that time that let them get away with that theft of our oil. It's time that we reclaim it.

Slim

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,16:39 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"It's our oil anyway.  We found it." what kind of childish self serving rubbish is that? The oil is part of the natural resources of a foreign country. It is not yours just because a westerner figured out a valuable use for it.  If an arab came up with a use for a natural resource found in the US, and an arab company paid for the factory to refine this natural resource, would you feel it was an arab resource, and hand it all over to them? like hell you would..
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 08 2002,22:32 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The succinct answer is:  Yes.
British Petroleum has bought several formerly USA incorporated major oil companies:  Arco, Sohio,, etc.
There are a number of Canadian companies actively mining in the USA, gold mines among them.  And I would not approve of our government "nationalizing" them, which is the communist/socialist euphamism for stealing.

One needs to remember that in that part of the world early in the 20th century there was no central government (as there isn't in Afghanistan & Palestine today) to pay royalties to if the wells were on uninhabited land (which 99%) of the land was.  There were no local goverments that recognized and protected private property rights with "grant deeds."

We were the great ecologists of that era that were cleaning up their toxic/hazardous waste dumps and paying the nomads(who neither lived on those lands nor owned them) to remove the oil that was poisoning their scarce water sources and killing their stock as they got trapped in the oil and tar pits.  (I forgot what my teacher told me about run-on sentences.)  They thought that we were crazy to pay them for the oil.  They would have been happy to pay us if the had any money.  (Short sentences now.)  We (Chevron, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell, etc.) have never been so generous as we provided them the means to crawl out of the stone age.  How could they drill for the oil in the lands that their animals grazed over once a year on their travels when they didn't know how to build with steel.  (Our first derricks were actually wooden because we had trees and they were cheaper, but then we went to steel when we realized it would last longer that the dotcoms.)

One needs to put the ant-American propaganda aside and drop the anti-capitalist mentality prior to studying the true history of the mideast.

Slim

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2002,07:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Im neither anti american or anti capitalist. You seem to think its ok to take the natural resources of another country just because the original inhabitants were too backward to utilise them. That is theft. Its the same theft that took the land from the American Indians, left the Aboriginals in Australia with nothing and so on, so forth throughout the planet where a technologicaly advanced culture thinks its ok to take what they want from a poorer relation.  Its wrong, pure and simple. You are saying that their ignorance justifies theft. Just because a country cannot utilise a natural resource, doesn't mean another country can barge in and take it. I'm sure the western oil companies have made vast profits on their saudi adventures.

__
on rereading your post I get the impression US companies operating in the gulf have had their assets seized sometime in the past ? Im not aware of that, and of course it does change things. But, it still wouldn't justify going in now, so many years later and taking the oil. Different times, different people, different regimes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2002,10:14 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote (not_an_american @ Aug. 08 2002,  17:39)
"It's our oil anyway.  We found it." what kind of childish self serving rubbish is that? The oil is part of the natural resources of a foreign country. It is not yours just because a westerner figured out a valuable use for it.  If an arab came up with a use for a natural resource found in the US, and an arab company paid for the factory to refine this natural resource, would you feel it was an arab resource, and hand it all over to them? like hell you would..

Saudi Arabia was not and never really has been a country. The areas that are now oil fields were not settled, and the presence of a few nomads crossing the areas infrequently gives the House of Saud no claim on them.

If I were George Bush and wanted simultaneously to defend US citizens, eliminate the Arab countries as threats, and advance the cause of Imperial USA, I'd: (a) freeze all Saudi and Kuwaiti assets, (b) declare war on Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, © invade and occupy Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, (d) depose the House of Saud, (e) annex Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as a US colony, (f) leave a holding force sufficient to prevent incursions, (g) put oil rights up for bid to the major oil companies on an annually renewal basis, such bids sufficient to cover the costs of the holding force as well as the value of the oil, (h) demand that the oil company holding the lease pump Saudi Arabia and Kuwait dry, expanding output by as much as is technically feasible, with the goal of glutting the world oil markets. The goal would be for oil to sell on the world markets for $10 to $15/bbl and in the US for no more than $1 or $2/bbl.

The US itself actually has oil reserves much greater than those of the entire Middle East. But I would suggest to George that we conserve those for later use as feedstocks and use up the Middle East reserves. During the period when we are pumping the Middle East dry, we should be investing that windfall to achieve energy independence from the Middle East, preferably with nuclear power and the first stages of space-based power.

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