The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski
Best-selling author and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski offers a bold new global vision for extending American preeminence in the 21st Century. . As the twentieth century draws to a close, the United States has emerged as the worlds only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interes... (See the whole review)
Bush's Middle East policies are dictated by neoconservatives in his defense cabinet. The neocons have been itching to invade Iraq and topple Saddam long before 9-11 (many of you are probably aware that this 1998 letter to President Clinton, urging the overthrow of Saddam, was signed by prominent neocons such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, all of them senior defense advisors in the Bush administration. Wolfowitz is widely regarded as the chief architect behind the Iraq war concept).
Iraq is simply part one of a larger neocon program of global military domination. Mind you, it's not exactly a policy of conquest and imperialism, rather, it's more a view that the United States should spread democracy and serve as world's policeman (and reap the economic benefits and clout that such a position manifests). Project for a New American Century, a defense-oriented neocon think tank, wrote a policy paper in 2000 called Rebuilding America's Defenses, which effectively outlines this view of the role of American power in the post-Cold War era. Both Wolfowitz and Lewis "Scooter" Libby (chief of staff to Dick Cheney) were major contributors to this paper.
In light of these facts, do you really believe that the underlying reasons for the Iraq war were exclusively related to defeating Islamic terrorism, or do you think perhaps the neocons are in fact also taking advantage of 9-11 to begin implementing their vision of a more powerful and globally-entrenched US military?
I have wrestled with the answer to this question myself, but I must admit that it does currently seem to me that the latter scenario is at play to a reasonable degree. And this is precisely what is troubling many libertarians such as myself, as we tend to view defense policy as the Founders did: that America should avoid military adventures abroad.
Yes... well, of course that's right. This book is not called The Grand Chessboard for nothing.
In this book, the writer (I'll just call him "the writer" instead of constantly trying to spell his name) presents his main point that it is the area of southwest Asia (you know, Iraq, and the 'Stans and all that east and northeast of the eastern shores of the Mediterranean) which is the seat of geopolitical power.
And the writer is a heavyweight influence in Washington. However, I also wonder if bin Laden's people also know of this book and -- despite appearing to his people like another charismatic lunatic -- are also trying to control the same critical territories.
I see bin Laden's influence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and so on.... these are all part of that "sweet spot" the writer speaks of.
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