Make Like Yale: Light And Truth

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The White House has recently released a document entitled ‘The National Security Strategy of the United States.’

It makes plain what has been de facto policy for American capitalism since the end of World War II–that “the United States government relies on the armed forces to defend America’s interests . . .” (section IX.).

What interests?

Precisely the corporate desire to “open societies to commerce and investment” (section VII.).

There are two main interwoven trends to be found in the document: the global entrenchment of ‘free trade’ and the American government’s readiness to “not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right to self-defense by acting preemptively against terrorists” (section III.).

Why free trade and terrorism?

Why would a document on national security include two seemingly disconnected issues?

The document states, “free trade and free markets have proven their ability to lift whole societies out of poverty” (introduction).

Yet free trade and free markets have actually thrown whole societies into poverty.

Over the past 25 years, wages for most Americans have stagnated or declined.

In Latin America, free trade has left countries like Argentina with half its population living in poverty.

The document admits that “some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day” (section VII.), and that poverty-perpetuated diseases such as AIDS are destroying whole continents.

But the mere $1 billion per year that the UN is asking of the US to fight AIDS (an amount equivalent to U.S. expenditures PER DAY on the military), has been refused.

Unfortunately, this is fitting. In a world of such brutalities and inequalities, the American ruling class must fight to stay on top–must fight for exclusive access to cheaper labor and cheaper resources.

In this context, the ‘war on terror’ becomes a pretext to exert US military hegemony the world over in order to protect its ‘interests.’

When the document states that America reserves the right to take “anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack” (section V.), it means that the American government can attack any country it wants without provocation or apparent reasons!

Moreover, section IX. states that America’s forces must “be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.”

In other words, the American war machine will be used to deter possible infringement upon its world dominance (and economic preeminence) by . . . who? Russia, China, Germany?

A war on Iraq would be the testing ground for the implementation of this doctrine.

Amidst such aggression emanating from the U.S. government, the onus is put on the American people to actively oppose this recklessness.

To further discuss the implications of the ‘Bush doctrine’ and to begin to build a broad anti-war movement, come to the International Socialist Organization’s next public meeting on Wednesday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Lafayette 100, UVM.