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Wednesday, December 17, 2008


War and peace

I'll try to keep this shorter than 1424 pages. ;-)

U.S. foreign policy is described in terms of "defense" (as in the misnamed Department of), "national security," or, when it's convenient, more "noble" goals like "promoting democracy" or "preventing genocide." But behind it all lies the real driving force, which is 100% economic. Over lunch, watching a forum on Iraqi Reconstruction on C-SPAN, I saw a nicely encapsulated confirmation of this - a speaker whose title was "Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Business Transformation." "Business Transformation," eh? Gosh, I wonder what that could be?

I'll bet you didn't think that "business transformation" had anything to do with "defense," did you? It doesn't.

The forum was being held by the United States Institute of Peace. I can't say as I had heard of that outfit, but checking out their website reinforces my previously-stated aversion to the espousal of "peace" (as opposed to the opposition to war and imperialism). The Institute describes itself as "an independent, nonpartisan institution" but then immediately contradicts that claim by noting that it was "established and funded by Congress." So I'm not sure who it is "independent" of; certainly not the ruling class (I am actually impressed that they describe themselves as "nonpartisan" rather than "bipartisan" - that in itself is a bit of a rarity).

But looking further reveals even bigger cracks in the "peace" facade. Their report on "Preventing Genocide" (written by warmongers Madeleine Albright and William Cohen) talks openly about "greater preparedness to employ military options." Institute of "Peace"? I think not.

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