• Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The War on Terror as a Tool for Power Projection

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Horus, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. Horus

    Horus ADMINISTRATOR

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    The War on Terror as a Tool for Power Projection
    In order to understand the hype surrounding the phenomena of Islamic radicalism and terrorism, we need to understand the prevailing global economic order and its prognosis. What the pragmatic economists have forecasted about free market capitalism has turned out to be true; whether we like it or not. A kind of global economic entropy has set into motion: money is flowing from the area of high monetary density to the area of low monetary density.

    The rise of BRICS countries in the 21st century is the proof of this tendency. BRICS are growing economically because the labor in developing economies is cheap; labor laws and rights are virtually nonexistent; expenses on creating a safe and healthy work environment are minimal; regulatory framework is lax; expenses on environmental protection are negligible; taxes are low; and in the nutshell, windfalls for multinational corporations are huge.

    Thus, BRICS are threatening the global economic monopoly of the Western capitalist bloc: that is, North America and Western Europe. Here, we need to understand the difference between manufacturing sector and services sector. Manufacturing sector is the backbone of economy; one cannot create a manufacturing base overnight.

    It is based on hard assets: we need raw materials; production equipment; transport and power infrastructure; and last but not the least, a technically-educated labor force. It takes decades to build and sustain a manufacturing base. But the services sector, like the Western financial institutions, can be built and dismantled in a relatively short period of time.

    If we take a cursory look at the economy of the Western capitalist bloc, it has still retained some of its high-tech manufacturing base, but it is losing fast to the cheaper and equally robust manufacturing base of the developing BRICS nations. Everything is made in China these days, except for high-tech microprocessors, softwares, a few internet giants, some pharmaceutical products, the Big Oil and the all-important, military hardware and defense production industry.

    Apart from that, the entire economy of the Western capitalist bloc is based on financial institutions: the behemoth investment banks that dominate and control the global economy, like JP Morgan chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs in the US; BNP Paribas and Axa Group in France; Deutsche Bank and Allianz Group in Germany; and Barclays and HSBC in the UK.

    After establishing the fact that the Western economy is mostly based on its financial services sector, we need to understand its implications. Like I have contended earlier, that it takes time to build a manufacturing base, but it is relatively easy to build and dismantle an economy based on financial services.

    What if Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani (the ruler of Qatar) decides tomorrow to withdraw his shares from Barclays and put them in an Organization of Islamic Conference-sponsored bank in accordance with Sharia? What if all the sheikhs of the Gulf States withdraw their petro-dollars from the Western financial institutions; can the fragile financial services-based Western economies sustain such a loss of investments?

    In April last year, the Saudi foreign minister threatened [1] that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if Congress passed a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible for any role in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

    Bear in mind, moreover, that $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the US, if we add its investment in the Western Europe, and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf’s investment in North America and Western Europe.

    Similarly, according to a July 2014 New York Post report [2], the Chinese entrepreneurs had deposited $1.4 trillion in the Western banks between 2002 to 2014, and the Russian oligarchs were the runner-ups with $800 billion of deposits.

    Moreover, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf’s oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few rough stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold more than half of world’s 1500 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves.

    Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry’s sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report [3] authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama Administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight years tenure.

    Similarly, during its first international visit after the inauguration to Saudi Arabia in May, the Trump Administration signed arms deals worth $110 billion, and over 10 years, total sales would reach $350 billion.

    Notwithstanding, we need to look for comparative advantages and disadvantages here. If the vulnerable economy is their biggest weakness, what are the biggest strengths of the Western powers? The biggest strength of the Western capitalist bloc is its military might.

    We must give credit to the Western hawks that they have done what nobody else in the world has the courage to do: that is, they have privatized their defense production industry. And as we know, that privately-owned enterprises are more innovative, efficient and in this particular case, lethal. But having power is one thing and using that power to achieve certain desirable goals is another.

    The Western liberal democracies are not autocracies; they are answerable to their electorates for their deeds and misdeeds. And much to the dismay of pragmatic, Machiavellian rulers, ordinary citizens just can’t get over their antediluvian moral prejudices.

    In order to overcome this ethical dilemma, the Western political establishments wanted a moral pretext to do what they wanted to do on pragmatic, economic grounds. That’s when 9/11 took place: a blessing in disguise for the Western political establishments, because the pretext of the “war on terror” gave them a free pass to invade and occupy any oil-rich country in the Middle East and North Africa region.

    No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Middle East in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: “Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

    During the last 16 years of the so-called "war on terror," the Western powers have toppled only a single Islamist regime of the Taliban in Afghanistan and three “unfriendly” Arab nationalist regimes: Saddam's Baathist regime in Iraq, Qaddafi's Afro-Arab nationalist regime in Libya and for the last seven years, they have desperately been trying to overthrow another anti-Zionist Baathist regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

    More to the point, it is only a “coincidence” that Iraq holds 150 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels of oil per day, while Libya has 45 billion barrels reserves and it used to produce 1.6 million barrels per day before the civil war.

    Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary global political and economic order, according to a recent infographic [4] by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel are currently stationed all over the world; including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East (of which, 28,000 have been deployed in the Persian Gulf alone, including 11,000 in the sprawling Al-Udeid airbase in Qatar).

    By comparison, the number of US troops in Afghanistan is only 8,500 which is regarded as an occupied country. Thus, the Gulf Arab principalities are not sovereign states, as such, but the virtual protectorates of the corporate America.

    In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf’s petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of trillions of dollars in the Western economies.

    Sources and links:

    [1] Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/...allout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?_r=0

    [2] Why $10 billion of China’s money is laundered every month:

    http://nypost.com/2014/07/26/why-10b-of-chinas-money-is-laundered-every-month/

    [3] The Obama administration’s arms sales offers to Saudi top $115 billion:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-security-idUSKCN11D2JQ

    [4] What the U.S. Gets for Defending Its Allies and Interests Abroad?

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...ato-asia-persian-gulf.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0


    About the author:

    Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.
     
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  2. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    Total US arms exports last year was $33B. US total exports are measured in Trillions. Arms is just a drop in the bucket.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  3. Syed.Ali.Haider

    Syed.Ali.Haider ELITE MEMBER

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    Never mind facts, the most interesting line is this:

    How can a "fact" be established without quoting a single number, or source? Let us not even get into the facts that USA is a net exporter of energy, imports little from the Middle East, and ensures security on a global scale, not just in the Middle East (that the entire world benefits from), and we have a classic tinfoil hat theorist writing the article, the kind that is loved by PDF, for obvious reasons. :D
     
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  4. Piotr

    Piotr FULL MEMBER

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    It's not only about money but first and foremost about control. US Empire seeks global hegemony, and US apparatchiks don't even hide this (Project for the New American Century, Grand Chessboard). It seems that you don't understant what article posted by @Horus is about.


    Even US based Wikipedia mentions that:
    "The U.S. finance industry comprised only 10% of total non-farm business profits in 1947, but it grew to 50% by 2010."
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_the_United_States

    "security":omghaha::omghaha::omghaha:
    "USA" destroyed Vietnam, Afganistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
    "USA" killed more than 20 million people since World War II (source)
    "USA" is world’s largest source of terrorism (source)
    "USA" used nuclear weapons against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    "USA" is using depleted uranium against Afganistan (source)
    "USA" was founded by racist slaveowners
    "USA" was founded on the graves of Native Americans.

    "USA" don't care about security, values or democracy. "USA" care only about power and money.
     
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  5. Syed.Ali.Haider

    Syed.Ali.Haider ELITE MEMBER

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    USA always pursues its national interests relentlessly, just like all other nations. Being jealous of USA just because it is able to do it better than anybody else, at this point in human history, is rather juvenile.
     
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  6. Piotr

    Piotr FULL MEMBER

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    "USA" is by far the most evil country in the World.
    "USA" is the only country to use nuclear weapons (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

    Being jealous of what ? Being unemployed like 102 million working age people living in the so called "USA" (source) ?
    Or being jealous of being tortured in US torture chambers like that in Chicago (source).
    You're eating too much US beef with ractopamine.
     
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  7. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    While I don't think things are where they were pre-2008 these all encompassing numbers don't take into consideration the US and pretty much every country on this planet has never had close to 100% working age employment.

    For instance women in the workforce. Many wives in the US take care of the kids and don't work as their husband's make enough. In many countries they are not even allowed in the workforce. Many people in the 16-21 working age range are still in school.

    If we had close to 100% employment it actually would be an alarming trend. Kids skipping school to work and both parents needing to work to survive.
     
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  8. Piotr

    Piotr FULL MEMBER

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    Many people whom US government count as “not in the labor force” are in fact unemployed, but some as you mentioned are not willing to work. According to (source) real unemployment rate in “USA” is currently 22 %.

    My point is that I see no reason why I should be jealous of "USA" like @Syed.Ali.Haider suggested.
     
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  9. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    I believe the employed numbers are 52% for the 16-24 age range. 82% for the 25-54 age range. 65% for the 55-64 age range.

    So the under 24 crowd are the largest unemployed percent. But a good percentage of them are in school...which makes sense. These days you need a degree just to be a secretary in corporate America.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/...quired-by-increasing-number-of-companies.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  10. jetray

    jetray FULL MEMBER

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    Instead of blaming US why doesnt saudi or chinese invest in their own countries. $750 billion or $1.4 trillion is no small change. If they say america is accused then these countries are nothing but accomplices who help dollar reign supreme.
     
  11. Syed.Ali.Haider

    Syed.Ali.Haider ELITE MEMBER

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    Capital is best invested where it will get the best returns as safely as possible. USA remains the #1 choice in this regard.
     
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  12. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    The days of importing a huge percent of our oil from the Middle East are over. Plus with electric cars on their way in developed countries oil use will decline. The Middle East will be selling more to developing countries...let's see how much they are willing to buy at $70/barrel.
     
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  13. wiseone2

    wiseone2 BANNED

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    102 million unemployed is a myth
     
  14. Syed.Ali.Haider

    Syed.Ali.Haider ELITE MEMBER

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    Not if you keep watching Depression era clips favored by Khrushchev era Soviet propaganda movies. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017