After the U.S.S.R. dissolved, Americans believed their country was the sole, remaining superpower, but the strength of any nation is its economy. Without a robust and thriving economy, the U.S. never could have built the vast military machine that projects American power to all corners of the globe. But the U.S. has weakened. Since 2006, Bush admits he’s increased the deficit by three trillion dollars since taking office, but creative book keeping conceals the real number. Add the as yet unfunded future payments to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, plus individual, corporate and the fifty state’s collective debt, and the deficit skyrockets to 44 trillion dollars. This figure was determined by economists and budget analysts at the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Budget Office. The Bush Administration’s tax cuts, the corporate scandals that occur with rapid fire frequency, the huge expenditures on prosecuting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and now the threats against Iran send the message to foreign lenders that the U.S. has no intention of reining in its spending. "The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled." Cicero. 106-43 B.C.
The occupation of Iraq was going to greatly reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports. The plan was that after seizing Iraq’s oil fields, U.S. oil producers would move in and get the wells pumping again, and before you could say, “Iraqi Oil” the U.S. would be shipping high grade crude to American refineries. Rebuilding Iraq? Don’t worry about it. As soon as the dust settles, the money will flow. But like everything else about the occupation, it didn’t work out that way. The Iraqi oil ministry is carefully weighing the options of how best to help the war ravaged land and its people. Russia is rebuilding Iraq’s power plants and are waiting to help Iraq develop its unexplored oil fields. Iraq has claimed their vast oil wealth a natural resource that belongs to the Iraqi people. The U.S. watched from the sidelines as Iraq discussed honoring pre-war contracts with Russia, China, France, and India. No major drilling concessions have been awarded yet, but it’s expected that a multinational conglomerate of oil producers will eventually share in developing Iraq’s unexplored oil reserves.
The Bush Administration’s hawkish elements had once dreamed of ccupying the entire Middle East. If the U.S. controlled a significant percentage of the world’s oil wealth they reasoned, it could maintain its faltering superpower status. The plan had been to occupy Iraq, take Iran’s oil fields, go after Syria - then Egypt. But the neocons have been forced to see the impossibility of their pipe dreams, and now Russia and China have warned the U.S against an Iranian attack. On October 25th, during a press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “To run around like a madman waving a knife is not the best way forward,” He added, “Why drive the situation into a dead end?'' This, from a man whose soul Bush looked into, and found good.
Russia is not a friend to the U.S, and contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a weak, bygone power either. Russia is still very much a communist state, and as such, remains an enemy of free market capitalism. The Financial Times reported in August of 2006, that Russia’s proven oil reserves had surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest. This puts Russia in a position to dominate the world’s oil markets, and with Bush weakening U.S. influence around the globe, Russian oil exports to European Nations may soon be paid for in rubles, replacing the dollar as the world’s fiat currency. This plays directly into Russia’s plans to isolate the U.S. from its traditional allies, and Bush seems to be doing everything he can to assure the Russian plan succeeds. The world’s contempt for U.S. foreign policy, if a permanent war footing can be called that, has been greatly exacerbated by Bush’s abandonment of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Global Arms Trade Treaty.
Russia, in response, has rearmed its ballistic missiles with MIRV’s, Multiple Independently guided Re-entry Vehicles. It has also resumed long range bomber flights, that are presumably nuclear capable. In November, 2005 The Washington Times reported that Russia had developed a new ballistic missile that was capable of changing course in mid-flight, negating any technology the U.S. possesses to intercept incoming missiles. In January of 2006, during a news conference, Russia’s president said, “These missile systems don’t represent a response to a missile defense system, but they are immune to that. They are hypersonic and capable of changing their flight path.” Alexei Bayer, a frequent contributor to Geopolitical, Global Analysis writes, “The Pentagon Budget may be larger than the sum total of what the rest of the world spends on defense, but Russia can still incinerate all of the U.S. in about 15 minutes—hardly a condition for world domination by Washington.”
The Bush Administrations strategy, if one is charitable enough to call it that, is to hand the democrats the enormous debt Bush and his neocons have incurred. They’ll also hand the democrats the unenviable task of finding an exit strategy out of Iraq. This assumes the democrats will win the White House in 2008, and Bush doesn’t attack Iran. If he does, the entire Middle East will erupt in anti-American hatred, with Muslims the world over vowing revenge against U.S. interests, including American citizens abroad. Russia will not sit idly by while the U.S. establishes military bases on the Russian border.
Reagan began the U.S. decline with his deregulation of American corporations. The American public bought into the scheme with promises of lower costs for everything through healthy competition. The opposite has proven true. As Paul Krugman recently wrote in the New York Times, “Unfortunately, assertions that unregulated financial markets would take care of themselves have proved as wrong as claims that deregulation would reduce electricity prices.” Corporate failures, from the S&L’s to California’s utilities, have destroyed overseas confidence in U.S. markets, and have cost taxpayers trillions of dollars that should have been spent on infrastructure, educating a globally competitive workforce, and a serious investment in alternative energy, freeing the U.S. from oil blackmail. Bush and his neocons thought that occupying Iraq and taking control of its oil would make them all fantastically wealthy. Instead, their misguided and disastrous invasion has seriously threatened the U.S. economy, and has cast a long shadow on America’s once, good name.