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Re: NYTimes.com Article: Scorecard for the War
by Elson Boles
27 March 2003 15:40 UTC
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Furthermore Friedman ignores the relationship of the US to Europe/UN.  A US 
sympathizer might ask 'have the other members of the security council been 
cowed, and signalled that they will no longer consider vetoing US resolutions?' 
 To the extent that the US is targeting Saddam Hussein to intimidate Europe 
(and Russia and China) the war seems to be going extremely poorly.

Steven Sherman

- Which is what makes me doubt that this is what is behind the US's war.  On 
that point Wallerstein makes a good argument, in particular, the effort to 
derail European unity.  But the rest of the argument just doesn't jibe with the 
realities of the rift created; its hard to believe that the hawks didn't see 
this as a distinct possibility (apparently Blair didn't and  thought everyone 
would fall in line once he, a  left-of-center leader, led the way).   Indeed, 
the hawks since the Reagan era knew the first major battle would be with 
moderate rightists like Powell, given his restraining influence on Bush Sr. in 
the Gulf War, as with Schultz of the Reagan era.  

If the hawks were really intent on making Europe acquiesce to US designs, as 
opposed to weakening EU unity, then they would have pulled back at the first 
sign of intense dissent.   It is more convincing to explain the war as 
ideological - that the hawks in part believe what they say about making the 
world more stable in the middle run, that they do believe that the US is 
special and should flex its muscles, and that they just don't care what the 
rest of the world thinks, or that they will be proven right.   That's what 
makes them so dangerous.  

But I'm still convinced that oil plays a large part in this affair.  Sure the 
US may have enough oil.  But that isn't the point.  Capital accumulation is 
endless and capitalists always want more.  Wallerstein overlooks all of the 
backroom bargaining among states and firms to get a share of the war spoils.  
He overlooks the deep conflict of interests within the right among the 
ideologues and the corporate interests, including those wearing both hats, like 
Cheney who, when he ran Halliburton had more contracts lined up in Iraq than 
any other US company.  Let's not forget that some of the oil and non-oil 
profits (including the military-complex) went into getting Bush et all elected. 
 It's as though Wallerstein has ignored political economy and has history 
over-determined by the longue-duree rather than seeing how the long-duree works 
in and through these middle run processes.

- Elson

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