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Reviewing F. William Engdahl's "Full Spectrum Dominance:" Part II
by Stephen Lendman
Email: lendmanstephen (nospam) sbcglobal.net
27 Jul 2009
the threat of totalitarian democracy
Reviewing F. William Engdahl's "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order:" Part II - by Stephen Lendman
For over 30 years, F. William Engdahl has been a leading researcher, economist, and analyst of the New World Order with extensive writing to his credit on energy, politics, and economics. His newest book is titled "Full Strectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order."
Part I was reviewed earlier. Part II continues the story of America's quest for global dominance and why its own internal rot may defeat it.
The Significance of Darfur in Sudan
In a word - oil in the form of huge potential reserves with Chinese companies involved in discovering them. Washington's genocide claim is a hoax. Yet it's trumpeted by the media and foolhardy celebrities used as props for the charade. By 2007, China was getting up to 30% of its oil from Africa prompting its "extraordinary series of diplomatic initiatives that left Washington furious" and determined to respond.
Beijing offers African countries "no-strings-attached dollar credits" compared to exploitive IMF and World Bank terms. It paid off with important oil deals with Nigeria, South Africa, and Sudan's Darfur region. China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) is now Sudan's largest foreign investor, around $15 billion in the past decade, and it co-owns a refinery near Khartoum. It also built an oil pipeline from southern Sudan to Port Sudan on the Red Sea from where tankers ship it to China.
With its need for oil growing at around 30% a year, China must have all the secure sources it can arrange, so what Africa can supply is crucial. Hence the Darfur confrontation, fake genocide charges, and Washington pressuring the government to sever its ties with China, something Khartoum won't countenance.
For years as well, America used proxy Chad, Eritrea, and other forces, poured arms into Southeastern Sudan and Darfur, and trained the Sudan People's Liberation Army's (SPLA) John Garang at the School of the Americas for his role as a Pentagon's stooge. His campaign in the country's south, and that of others in Darfur, killed tens of thousands and left several million displaced. At stake is vital energy and other resources from Sudan and elsewhere, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, long reeling from Washington-initiated aggression using proxy forces for the dirty work.
For one, Chad's thuggish "President for life" Idriss Deby's elite troops, trained and armed by the Pentagon, for attacks in Darfur and to aid rebel forces against the Khartoum government in Southwestern Sudan. A US/World Bank-financed pipeline also extends from Chad to the Cameroon coast as "part of a far grander scheme to control the oil riches of Central Africa from Sudan to the Gulf of Guinea" - an area with reserves potentially on a par with the Persian Gulf making it a great enough prize to go all out for.
Enter China with "buckets of aid money" offered Chad the result of Deby wanting a greater share of the revenues, creating his own oil company, SHT, and threatening to expel Chevron for not paying its required taxes. Things got resolved, "but the winds of change were blowing" with China taking advantage, something "not greeted well in Washington."
"Chad and Darfur (are) part of a significant Chinese effort to secure oil at the source(s), all across Africa," a matter Washington's Africa policy is addressing with AFRICOM and various military bases on the continent plus others planned. Washington wants global control of oil. Because of its growing needs, China represents a challenge everywhere but especially in Africa and Latin America. The result - "an undeclared, but very real, New Cold War (is on) over oil."
Tibet is another battleground with unrest unleashed ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The operation dates from when George Bush met the Dalai Lama publicly in Washington for the first time, signaled his backing for Tibetan independence, and awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal. It clearly angered China that considers Tibet part of its territory.
China also worried that Washington targeted Tibet with a Crimson Revolution much like earlier ones in Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere while at the same time embarrassing Beijing ahead of its Olympics - intended to display its prosperity to a world television audience round the clock from August 8 - 24. The stakes on both sides are huge and remain so going forward.
The Dalai Lama plays a pivotal role, but not what most people think. Although promoted in the West as spiritual and concerned for human rights and justice, as far back as the 1930s he "traveled in rather extreme conservative political circles," including with extremist Nazis when he was a boy.
Later in 1999, he joined with Margaret Thatcher and GHW Bush in demanding the British government release Augusto Pinochet, under house arrest in London, and not extradite him to Spain for prosecution. Also, US government documents dating from 1959 revealed that he was was financed and backed by "various US and Western intelligence services and their gaggle of NGOs." He continues to serve them today and got a White House meeting and Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts.
In 1959, the CIA helped him flee Tibet to Dharamsala, India where he's lived for the past 50 years, surfacing where Washington sends him for whatever purpose is intended. He's also gotten millions of NED dollars to engage in disruptive activities benefitting the West against designated adversaries.
"The most prominent pro-Dalai Lama Tibet independence organization in the destabilization attempt of 2008 was the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), founded in Washington in 1988." Its board of directors includes former US State Department officials revealing Washington's clear involvement. For the past 15 years, NED provided funding for its usual type mischief. Other anti-Beijing organizations are also active, including the US-based Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), founded in 1994 as a US Tibet Committee project, financed by NED for "made-in-the-USA" subversion.
Tibet is also important as one of the world's most valued water sources and for its "treasure of minerals....oil (and) some of the world's largest uranium and borax deposits, one half of the world's lithium, the largest copper deposits in Asia, enormous iron deposits, and over 80,000 gold mines." Also its forests contain China's largest timber reserve, and its "treasure basin" border with Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has 57 types of mineral reserves, including oil, natural gas, coal, crude salt, potassium, magnesium, lead, zinc and gold worth an estimated $1.8 trillion. Truly a "treasure" worth contesting for and the reason for America's interest. Human rights and promoting democracy are subterfuge, the same as everywhere America has a strategic interest, usually focused on resources.
Destabilizing Tibet "was part of a shift of great significance....at a time when the US economy and the US dollar....were in the worst crisis since the 1930s....By the end of 2008 (America looked) more and more like the British Empire of the late 1930s - a global imperium in terminal decline" yet determined to impose its will on an increasingly reluctant world wanting better alternatives than they're getting. Quashing it requires "full spectrum dominance," something the Pentagon clearly understands. So do nations like China, Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and others on every continent.
Global Bases As the Basis of Empire
NATO currently includes 28 member states, including 10 former Soviet Republics and Warsaw Pact countries. Prospective new candidates include Georgia, Ukraine, Croatia, Albania and Macedonia and potentially others later to more tightly encircle Russia. At the same time, the Middle East and part of Eurasia have been increasingly militarized with a network of US bases from Qatar to Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond - a clear breach of GHW Bush's promise to Mikhail Gorbachev that paved the way for unifying Germany in 1990 and dissolving the Soviet Union.
The Pentagon has hundreds of bases globally, 1000 or more by some estimates, including secret and shared ones for greater control - at a time when no nation threatens America yet trillions of dollars are spent anyway and over time may bankrupt the nation.
Many of them were built in the last 10 years starting with Camp Bondsteel in occupied Kosovo. Numerous others followed in Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and new ones planned for Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean - to be closer to potential targets like Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Cuba.
In recent years, it's become clear that America seeks more than the strategic control of resources. It wants global dominance, without challenge, by political, economic and military means. In other words, "full spectrum dominance" to become master of the universe.
Along with encroachment, encirclement and control, another agenda is in play - over a dozen built or planned Afghanistan bases to defend the country's opium fields and the lucrative billions they provide. Much like Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle in the 1960s and 1970s, they supply CIA with significant drug revenues, then laundered through front company banks abroad and at home to finance covert and intelligence activities along with the agency's generous black budget.
Pentagon planners regard Afghanistan as strategically crucial - to project military power against Russia, China, Iran, and other oil-rich Middle East States. It's also for a proposed oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean and close to Kyrgyzstan where another US base is planned at Bishkek's international airport. In all, 13 new US bases will cross Eurasia, including three in Pakistani cities. Most, perhaps all, are permanent, especially in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.
America in Terminal Decline?
Like ancient Rome, Ottoman Turkey, Britain, Austria-Hungary, and dozens of other previous empires, America increasingly shows signs of "terminal decline as Bush and Cheney launched their bold military policies to extend its imperial life, or as George HW Bush (called it), the New World Order." Friendly persuasion no longer works. Raw military power is the strategy, "a de facto admission of the failure of the American Century" and a sign of its terminal decline.
At the end of the Cold War, a "leaner and meaner" nuclear force" was deployed with little fanfare, including (post-2004) Conplan 8022 (for contingency plan) putting nuclear bombers on Ready Alert status from global locations - to conduct "Global Strikes" anywhere with devastating force, nuclear or conventional. In addition, NATO "would be subject to US desires and adventures" - a very disquieting situation for potential targets and planet earth if nuclear weapons are used.
The Curious History of "Star Wars"
As mentioned above, Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (dubbed "Star Wars") on March 23, 1983 even though the whole idea is fantasy as independent experts then and now assert. MIT's Theodore Postal for one, a leading authority on ballistic missile defenses. He flatly states:
"the National Missile Defense System has no credible scientific chance of working (and) is a serious abuse of our security system."
Nonetheless, the program was launched, and according to a former economic studies head of the Soviet Union's Institute of World and Economy & International Relations (IMECO), it forced his country to spend so much that it contributed greatly to the Warsaw Pact's collapse and Germany's 1990 reunification.
NASA and Military Secrecy
In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Act created NASA's Space Program in response to the Soviet's successful October 1957 Sputnik 1 launching. The Space Race was on to see which side could trump the other but not without inevitable problems.
A major one happened on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in flight killing all on board. Official causes cited faulty O-rings to hide the truth. Contrary to NASA being "devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of mankind," it's really to control space, weaponize it, launch first-strikes against adversaries like Russia, and achieve "full spectrum dominance."
In December 2000, prior to Donald Rumsfeld becoming Defense Secretary, the Pentagon's newly released Strategy Report for Europe and NATO included a Theater Missile Defense section in clear violation of the ABM Treaty. Russia and China expressed "grave concern," and with good reason. They're the main targets and they know it.
"Missile defense" is for offense, but not against "rogue states" or "terrorists." It's for nuclear supremacy ("unilateral assured destruction") and "full spectrum dominance." It's also to intimidate rivals like Russia and China, and potentially unleash a first-strike attack with catastrophic consequences if it happens.
Iran threatens no other nation, and so far as known, its commercial nuclear program complies with NPT unlike notorious nuclear outlaw states - Israel, India and Pakistan. Nonetheless, Tehran may also be targeted for its huge oil and natural gas reserves and to remove Israel's main regional rival. But that's a sideshow. "Full spectrum dominance" depends on eliminating any challenge from Russia mainly, a nuclear superpower, then China, a less formidable nuclear threat but growing economic rival.
Washington's Nuclear Obsession
Russia knows that "missile defense" is for offense and nuclear supremacy to enforce America's will on the world without challenge. After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration renounced its treaty obligations, like ABM, then pursued "explicitly banned weapons....with hardly a peep of protest from Congress" or most other nations.
Studies like the 1995-96 Air Force 2025 elaborately detailed "hundreds of technologically advanced, super-sophisticated space-based weapons systems intended to provide the United States with global combat support capabilities in space (to let America) remain the dominant air and space force in the future...."
One example is a laser cannon to:
"successfully attack ground or airborne targets by melting or cracking cockpit canopies, burning through control cables, exploding fuel tanks, melting or burning sensor assemblies and antenna arrays, exploding or melting munitions pods, destroying ground communications and power grids, and melting or burning a large variety of strategic targets (of every imaginable kind) - all in a fraction of a second."
During the Cold War, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) restrained both sides. However, with space-based capabilities, America could think the unthinkable - the insane idea that nuclear war harms only the target, not the US or rest of the world. That's "really and truly mad."
Secretly under development since the 1970s, Nuclear Missile Defense (NMD) includes:
-- radar installations to detect enemy missile launches and track them; and
-- ground-based interceptor missiles to destroy them in flight before they reach US air space.
The Bush administration planned interceptor sites in California, Alaska, and Poland. Installing "infrastructure in East Europe was far and away the most reckless enterprise of a cabal that had already demonstrated its bent for dangerous and foolish brinkmanship." With missile "defenses" within minutes of Russian targets, Moscow wouldn't know if they were nuclear armed or not, but the possibility puts the world "on a hair-trigger to possible nuclear war, by design or miscalculation," and thus the greatest ever threat to possible Armageddon if leaders on either side react wrongly.
Yet that's precisely the path still on with Obama pursuing the same recklessness as George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld - "full spectrum dominance, the New World Order, and the elimination of Russia, once and for all, as a potential rival for power." China potentially as well. Installing NMD is one part of the grand scheme. Launching offensive nuclear missiles another, and today the chance it may happen is greater than ever, despite the sheer madness of doing it.
Yet NMD is "coupled with the Top Secret order by the Secretary of Defense....to implement Conplan 8022, 'which provides the President a prompt, global strike capability.' (It means Washington) decided to make nuclear war an 'option' " - an absolutely insane strategy.
Dr. Strangelove Lives!
The 1964 Stanley Kubrick film portrayed a nuclear Doomsday Machine with the subtitle: "How to stop worrying and love the bomb." It ended with "an accidental, inadvertent, pre-emptive US nuclear attack on the Soviet Union," today more possible than ever, something the film only portrayed as black comedy.
Conplan 8022 is offensive and preemptive on "the mere perception of an imminent threat, and carried out by Presidential order," with no Congressional authorization, internal debate, or consultation with allies. Today, the world risks Armageddon based solely on perception, US intentions, and whether the president of the United States pulls the nuclear trigger.
The Permanent War State Lobby
Post-WW II, US dominance "depended on two main pillars:"
-- maintaining the dollar as the world's reserve currency, with oil and other hard commodities dollar denominated; and
-- unchallengeable US military power.
The American Security Council
Founded in 1956, the Washington-based American Security Council (ASC) is "One of the least-known and most influential organizations to formulate policy initiatives for (the) military-industrial complex....(It's) played a prominent role in almost every important foreign policy or national security program since World War II." According to its web site, its "inner circle" included some "of the most influential names in the American establishment of the day."
Figures like Time magazine's founder Henry Luce and his wife Clare Boothe Luce, closely tied to CIA chief Allen Dulles who considered Henry one of his key media assets. Noteworthy others as well - a who's who, including Walt Disney, Averell Harriman, Senator Thomas Dodd (Chris Dodd's father), Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson, General Douglas MacArthur, House Speaker Sam Rayburn, Nelson Rockefeller, Eugene Rostow, Senator John Tower, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, and "some of the most aggressive military organizations in the United States."
Throughout the Cold War, "the ASC was at the heart of propaganda and lobbying initiatives which supported the military-industrial complex and the establishment of America's permanent Security State and war economy."
After the Soviet Union's dissolution, a New Military-Industrial Complex emerged, according to writers Ian Mount, David Freedman, and Matthew Maier in the March 2003 issue of Business2.0. It embraced "the latest generation of high-tech weaponry (and) the military's new doctrine of faster, lighter, smarter warfare - combat in which cutting-edge technology becomes US troops' deadliest weapon."
The Pentagon calls it a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) or a blueprint for "full spectrum dominance." Its proponents include "some of the most powerful people ever (in) Washington, including Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney," out of office but still influential.
The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)
Afghanistan and Iraq are examples of "alternative methods to secure the American Century well into the future." So is the notion of first-strike with enough force to prevent any significant retaliation. The Pentagon's notion of "counterforce" means the ability to destroy an adversary's nuclear missiles pre-launch with Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), then "cleaning up" the few still remaining to precude retaliation.
The idea isn't new and first surfaced in the 1970s under Nixon, Kissinger, and other prominent military-industrial complex figures. In a word, it's that "nuclear war is not only 'thinkable,' it was do-able" to secure US Nuclear Primacy.
In January 1974, in the midst of the Watergate crisis, Nixon signed National Security Decision Memorandum 242 (NSDM-242) titled "Policy for Planning for Employment of Nuclear Weapons....for Deterrence." It stated that:
"The United States will rely primarily on US and allied conventional forces to deter conventional aggression by both nuclear and non-nuclear powers. Nevertheless, this does not preclude US use of nuclear weapons in response to conventional aggression." It also said "The fundamental mission of US nuclear forces is to deter nuclear war (and) attacks - conventional and nuclear" and implied that first-strike would be used to do it as part of new nuclear war options. "The USA was going for it all."
Defense Secretary James Schlesinger directed the development of new technologies to achieve it, including:
-- miniaturization of nuclear warheads enough for one missile nose cone to carry up to 17; and
-- atomic physics and computerized navigational device advances to improve accuracy to within 50 feet of a target.
These breakthroughs gave America a first ever strategic edge - the ability to destroy hardened silos, submarines and aircraft. Even so, the "essential element to make the entire program workable and operational remained (elusive): a Ballistic Missile Defense (BDM) system to take out any (surviving) Soviet missiles" that could be launched in retaliation.
So in 1973, RAND think-tank specialist Dr. Andrew W. Marshall became Director of the Office of Net Assessment, US Defense Department, and created what was called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). He described it as:
"a major change in the nature of warfare brought about by the innovative application of new technologies which, combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine and operational and organizational concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations."
Marshall became known as "Yoda," referring to the Star Wars film character Grand Master of the Jedi Order. At age 86, he's still active because of his expertise, skills, and value. His job is "to assess regional and global military balances and to determine long-term trends and threats."
Developing first-strike systems continued after Richard Nixon, including Jimmy Carter's Presidential Directives PD 18 - 59 calling for:
-- developing Anti-Satellite weapons (ASAT) to destroy Soviet early warning systems;
-- Pershing II missiles to decapitate the Soviet leadership; and
-- a Counterforce Nuclear First Strike to destroy almost all Soviet nuclear weapons.
During his tenure, Carter "authorized the greatest commitment to war-fighting of any President in history." Nonetheless, an effective anti-missile defense remains "the missing link to a First Strike capability." The Cold War ended in 1990. America's quest for a First Strike advantage still continues. It's considered the "grand prize for global domination through Nuclear Primacy."
That along with a new way of waging wars: "by spy satellites and long-range missiles, by computer viruses that would disable the enemies' offensive and defensive systems, and by a 'layered' defense system that would make the US impenetrable."
The political climate and neoliberal heyday under Bill Clinton held new military technological advances at bay. That changed under George Bush, even before 9/11, with Andrew Marshall still around and active at an advanced age. His proteges include a rogues gallery of hawks, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney who with others comprised the hard core defense and intelligence team, neocons in the Bush administration.
"As a group, Andrew Marshall's proteges formed the most powerful military lobby in the US policy establishment in the first years of the 21st century. They advocated radical force transformation, deployment of anti-missile defense, unilateral pre-emptive aggression, and militarization of space in order to use the US military to achieve for the United States and its closest allies, total domination of the planet (and) outer space. It was perhaps the most dangerous group of ideologues in United States history," and their influence remains.
Marshall advocates weaponizing new technologies and testing them in real conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama's security appointments reflect the same ideas and goals so expect continuation of Bush policies ahead. He favored preemptive aggressive wars. So does Obama as evidenced by his stepped up offensive in Afghanistan and Pakistan, permanent occupation of Iraq, challenging Russia with offensive missiles, and encirclement with new military bases.
Challenging the Official 9/11 Scenario
Skeptics abound and with good reason. The idea that 19 Arab terrorists "could commandeer, with only primitive boxcutters, four sophisticated Boeing commercial jets and redirect three of them, successfully, as apparently poorly-trained amateurs in air maneuvers which seasoned pilots claimed were near impossible" seemed utterly preposterous.
Eckehardt Werthebach, former German domestic intelligence service president said:
"the deathly precision and the magnitude of planning behind the attacks would have needed years of planning (and would require the) fixed frame (of a state intelligence organization unavailable to a) loose group" of terrorists. Werthebach's conclusion: the attacks were "state organized actions."
Andreas von Bulow, a former German Parliamentary Commission member in charge of three branches of German secret service, believes the Israeli Mossad and CIA were responsible for the attacks using corrupt "guns for hire" to pull it off. The lack of an open and serious investigation was incomprehensible in their view and proof of an official cover-up. Other experts agree. The 9/11 story is preposterous on its face - concocted to hide the truth.
Just as Franklin Roosevelt used Japan's Pearl Harbor attack (known well in advance to be coming) to launch The American Century, the neocons around George Bush used 9/11 for the Global War on Terror, attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, and waging permanent war on the world ever since with defense appropriations topping a trillion dollars annually in spite of America having no enemies.
In a bid for "full spectrum dominance" to extend many years into the future, "It was to be an increasingly desperate bid to prop up a crumbling empire, that like ancient Rome, the Ottoman Empire, Czarist Russia, the British Empire," and all others in history, "had already rotted far too deeply from within." The price of imperial arrogance yields bitter fruit. America is no exception. It's not a question of if it will fall, just when and with what fallout.
Full Spectrum Dominance or Fully Mad
Under George Bush, "defense" spending "exploded beyond all precedent" and annually way exceeds $1 trillion dollars now with all categories included. The official Pentagon budget alone more than doubled from $333 billion in FY 2001 to $711 billion for FY 2009, and Obama's proposed FY 2010 budget is the highest ever requested. Today, America accounts for around half of all global military spending - at a time it has no enemies but seeks global dominance through wars, intimidation or other means.
Supporting a "Mafia state" in Kosovo is one example. When Kosovars declared their independence in early 2008, Washington extended recognition despite objections from several EU countries and the fact "Kosovo independence and its recognition openly violated UN resolutions for Kosovo, making a farce of the UN, as well as violating international law."
Equally troublesome is Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaci, a known criminal whom Interpol and German BND intelligence connect to organized crime, including drugs trafficking, extortion, and prostitution. No matter, as Washington, NATO, and the EU embrace a man they can control, and for America it secured a strategic foothold in Southeast Europe - "a major step in consolidating NATO's control of Eurasia...." Moscow objected vehemently as it compromises its own security.
Georgia's August 2008 South Ossetia invasion did as well, another provocation very troublesome to the Kremlin, and with good reason. Like most others, it was made-in-the-USA and Moscow knew it, especially after uncovering incriminating evidence besides what was already known about Washington and Israel's involvement.
After Russia easily defeated the Georgian army, its spy satellite spotted a convoy with Georgian special troops en route to Poti, the port city under Russian occupation. It was captured along with its weapons and "a large trove of top-secret NATO documents concerning their hightly secret satellite technology." It was analyzed, used to capture large stocks of US military equipment stored in Georgia, and humiliate Washington and Israel at the same time.
It was also learned that captured Pentagon electronic equipment was manufactured in the Ukraine (a non-NATO state) under US license, yet "NATO-compatible sensitive military equipment" was being made there sub rosa. The discovery for Russia "totally compromised both the American and Israeli intelligence networks set up in Georgia (to spy) on Iran, Russia and Turkey."
Later it was learned that Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko was involved in illegal Georgian arms sales, fraudulently under-reported their value to his own tax authorities, and engaged in extensive embezzlement exceeding $1 billion for himself and associates.
Yet along with Georgia, Washington supports Ukraine's admission to NATO for greater chokehold control over Russia. Gangster dictatorships in both countries make them all the more attractive to America's strategic aim for global dominance.
AFRICOM, China and Resource Wars
China's rapid growth requires increasing amounts of all types of resources, especially oil, natural gas and all others for its industries plus enough food to feed its huge and growing population. Getting them puts it in competition with America that wants global control of them all.
For its part, geologists believe Africa holds the world's largest mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for one, an immense country the size of Western Europe with its Kivu region bordering Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi in the East being one of the most mineral-rich regions in the world, which is why so much conflict vies to control it.
Overall, Congo has over half the world's cobalt, one-third of its diamonds, and three-fourths of its vital columbite-tantalite or "coltan," essential for computer chips, circuit boards, mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices. Having the right leadership in the country and its neighbors is thus crucial, and when any outlive their usefulness they're removed, by assassination or other means.
"The common thread linking Kivu with Darfur" and other vital regions of the continent is that America wants control of their resources to be able to deny them to China and other non-strategic partners. For its part, Beijing needs a reliable present and future supply and has taken effective non-military means to secure them.
The toll on Congolese has been horrific, the result of Washington-engineered conflict to split the country and control its eastern riches. According to the International Rescue Committee, over 5.4 million civilians have been killed in ongoing fighting since 1996, without a word of outcry from the Western media compared to fraudulent genocide claims in Darfur.
Also unreported was that Congo's president, Joseph Kabila, was negotiating a $9 billion trade agreement with China - his "irreversible choice" as preferred trading partner to the displeasure of Washington. Shortly afterwards, eastern fighting broke out with regional US stooges attacking the DRC - Rwanda's president Paul Kagame (trained at Fort Leavenworth, KS) and Laurent Nkunda (another Fort Leavenworth product), his ally and henchman with all signs pointing to a US role sure to intensify with the establishment of AFRICOM.
America's two key Eastern Africa military partners, Rwanda and Uganda, are used freely against Eastern Congo to counter China's influence in the region. "The balkanization of Congo appeared to be a major objective behind the organized chaos (and mass slaughter) in the Great Lakes region."
Throughout the continent, the Pentagon under George Bush signed base agreements with numerous countries, including Botswana, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia - besides many others in Iraq and other Middle Eastern oil-rich states.
China is the target - seen as a threat to Washington's control of the continent's riches. Its rapid industrialization requires growing amounts of "every mineral commodity imaginable...." AFRICOM was established to secure them for America and deny them to Beijing by blocking its economic presence in the region.
Obama supports it, and it's why he retained Robert Gates as Defense Secretary. He's said publicly that he backs offensive missiles in Poland and connected radar in the Czech Republic - both targeting Russia, not Iran, the official claim. In addition, Marine General James Jones, a former NATO commander, was appointed National Security Advisor and played a central role in establishing AFRICOM. After retiring, he served on the boards of Boeing and Chevron Oil and is closely connected to the military-industrial-oil complex as well as neocons in the Bush administration. Obama also appointed Admiral Dennis Blair, a former Pacific Fleet commander and China specialist, as Director of National Intelligence - the top intelligence job.
Afghanistan as "The Main Geopolitical Prize"
Straightaway in his new administration, Obama ordered an additional 17,500 more troops to the country, potentially more to follow, and just recently appointed a new commander, General Stanley McChrystal, described earlier as a hired gun with a reputation for brutishness and indifference to slaughtering civilians.
America's interest in Afghanistan has nothing to do with bin Laden (likely dead since December 2001), Al Qaeda, or the Taliban. It's all about "geopolitics and the geopolitical encirclement of both China and Russia" with Eurasia the grandest of grand prizes. To do it after the 2001 invasion, America built at least 19 military bases in Central East Asia and Middle Asia, including 14 in Afghanistan - for regional control and "air and space surveillance systems to monitor air traffic throughout all of Eurasia, from China to Russia."
America's obsession with militarism includes the homeland with an array of post-9/11 police state laws destroying constitutional checks and balances and Bill of Rights protections. Illegal spying on Americans is now widespread and commonplace, and the Pentagon, for starters, ordered 20,000 combat troops deployed inside the country by 2011. In addition, the Bush administration funded FEMA with hundreds of millions of dollars to retrofit former military bases and construct other facilities as detention camps.
Currently, over 800 are in every state, ready if ordered, with enough capacity for many tens of thousands of internees. They're not ordinary in any sense. They're concentration camps for dissidents or others targeted by order of the president or others he directs. In addition, National Guard forces will be employed, and local police have been militarized to work cooperatively with the Pentagon to achieve police state enforcement on the pretext of "respond(ing) to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe."
It's why this writer calls the country Police State America, and unless addressed will get more hardline until fast disappearing civil liberties no longer exist and the nation is isn't safe or fit to live in. That's where we're heading without a hint from Big Media.
Equally alarming is an Obama administration proposal calling for a National Civilian Security Force that will be "at least as powerful and well-funded as the US military."
Early in the new administration, it's clear that continuity, not change, is planned with "full spectrum dominance" the goal, globally, including hardline in America. What's unclear is "the extent to which the most devastating economic crisis since the Great Depression would affect the ability of Washington policymakers to project that power."
Going forward, today's choices "could spell the end of the American Century from the rot of its own internal policy since the Vietnam War." The nation's militarism threatens its own survival "as a functioning democracy" and the planet.
In his writings, Chalmers Johnson explains that America is plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires unwilling to change - "isolation, overstretch, the uniting of local and global forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end bankruptcy" along with authoritarian rule and loss of personal freedom. Nixon's chief economic advisor, Herb Stein, explained it saying: "Things that can't go on forever, won't."
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at) sbcglobal.net.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman/blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.
This work is in the public domain