Sunday, January 14, 2007

Iraq War and America's Economic Imperialism

The Iraq War and America's Economic Imperialism by Manning Marable

Several weeks ago, with much media fanfare, the James Baker-Lee Hamilton Committee submitted to President George W. Bush its long-awaited, bipartisan report on the U.S. war in Iraq. On balance, the report provided Bush with a face-saving strategy for pulling out all U.S. combat forces by the beginning of 2008. The Baker-Hamilton report favors an increase of U.S. advisers being embedded inside Iraqi troops and direct negotiations with regional powers Iran and Syria. Bush, however, almost immediately distanced himself from key proposals in the Baker-Hamilton report. He now seems prepared to flagrantly flaunt his contempt for the majority of American voters, who purged both the Senate and House of their Republican majorities last November. Why does Bush defy public opinion by pursuing this unpopular war?

The answer lies not in America's need to "combat Islamic terrorism" but in the economic necessity for the United States to control international markets and valuable natural resources, such as petroleum. Bush's economic strategy is that of "neoliberalism" -- which advocates the dismantling of the welfare state, the abolition of redistributive social programs for the poor, and the elimination of governmental regulations on corporations.

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