The Great Seal of the United States features an eagle with an olive branch in one talon and arrows in the other. It is meant to signify that we as a nation offer either peace or war. It should be noted however that the eagle is clutching only one olive branch but a sheaf of arrows. The symbol of the modern United States should feature arrows in one talon and bundles of cash in the other. Our modern nation offers allies and adversaries either money or mayhem.
Our foreign and military policy has become so corrupted that it is difficult to find any semblance of logic to it. Admiral Mike Mullen was appointed to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by George W. Bush on the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Gates is a lifetime CIA officer and Gates was also the lone cabinet holdover from the Bush administration. Mullen, a Navy officer was selected to head the military as the US fought two virtually landlocked wars.
Mullen it appears was chosen because the Bush administration was having difficulty with Army and Marine generals. In 2009 Mullin told Congress the following, "More force for more time is, without doubt, the safer course. But that does not necessarily make it the best course. Only the president, in the end, can really determine the acceptable level of risk we must take. I believe he has done so." Or in other words, I don't know if I like it, but I'll do it.
Mullen's first job was to transition American forces from the Iraqi combat theater to Afghanistan combat theater. This is the most obvious and glaring foreign policy debacle and lost in this catastrophic waste of blood and treasure is the question why? Why do we continue the occupation and why do we persist in achieving the unachievable in Afghanistan? In Fascist countries it is necessary to have a moral imperative, a sense of victimhood. In Fascist Germany it was the myth of the November criminals who had stabbed Germany in the back at the close of WWI. In this country we had the myth of the Democrats and the media which would not let us win the Vietnam War.
The South Vietnamese regime supported by the US was corrupt and had little public support. Ten percent of the South Vietnamese Army deserted its ranks on any given month, shoulda, coulda, woulda. In Iraq, the so called rising of tribal leaders was in fact the opening of a big American checkbook. Why shoot at Americans when you can "cha ching" cash in on them! Iraqi tribal warlords are paid millions of dollars to "guard" highways in the countryside because after the quiver of arrows didn't work, lets try cash. Rather than democracy we have reinforced the tribal warlord society based on the model of British colonialism once used in India.
If the Bush administration had been looking to invade just any old oil rich nation they should have chosen Mexico and saved the bus fare. A nation of 107 million souls where a ruling elite of one million rightwing ideologues controls a majority of the society's assets. Forty seven percent of the Mexican population owns nothing, not land or cars or homes, they own nothing. The reason the US didn't invade Mexico to steal their oil is because we've already stolen their oil.
In 1994 in the last year of Mexican President Carlos Salinas's administration the government embarked on a spending spree. Salinas was just one more in a long line of American educated Mexican politicians. Salinas used the spending to create an economic bubble in the Mexican economy and then he took the Mexican took the Peso off of a fixed exchange system and allowed it to float with a net result of popping the bubble. The Peso exchange rate went from four to the dollar to 7.2 Peso's to the dollar within a week. As the Peso crashed, the US rushed to Mexico's assistance and offered $20 billion in currency swaps and loan guarantees. Well it wasn't exactly the US government alone it was US banks headed by Goldman Sachs that offered the currency swaps and loans which used Mexican oil reserves as collateral and as a means of payment.
The collateral of Mexican oil was valued at $23.00 dollars per barrel. The bailout was led by Robert Rubin or as Associate Professor of Law at Florida International University College of Law Hannibal Travis put it, the "former manager of $5 billion in Mexican investments at Goldman Sachs became U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and lobbied for legislation that forced U.S. taxpayers to contribute in excess of $20 billion to bail out investors in Mexican securities, in a form of 'corporate socialism'." Corporate socialism is better known by its street name of fascism.
There is a striking similarity between the Mexican crash and our own financial collapse in the waning days of the Bush administration, but I'm getting ahead of myself. In 1995 Mario Ruiz Massieu deputy Attorney General under President Salinas was indicted in the US on charges that he used his position as Mexico's top drug enforcement official to solicit large bribes from drug traffickers. In 1995 the sister in law of President Salinas was arrested in Switzerland trying to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars from a Swiss bank account using a fake passport.
The sister in law wasn't actually even a sister in law but the live-in girlfriend of the President's brother Raul. Swiss officials discovered yet another European bank account in which Raul had stashed away over $100 million dollars. Raul claimed that he had no idea where this money came from because his job description was that of a mid level civil servant. Raul was also indicted for murder in the death of a political opponent. He worked, or I should say he was paid, by a university in Southern California as an acting professor until two years ago. What else did Carlos Salinas do of note during his tenure as President of Mexico besides crash the economy and rob the Mexican people blind? He was the Mexican President who formally signed the NAFTA treaty with the United States. There was no reason to invade Mexico, corporate America already owns it.
In June of 2008 the Me'rida Initiative (also called Plan Mexico) was signed into law. It is a security agreement between the US and Mexico and it funds and organizes the training and maintenance of a counter insurgency in Mexico. Funded by Congress for three years at $1.6 billion its goal is to retain control over a Mexico with two provinces in open rebellion and crime and corruption are rampant throughout. The bulk of that money will never leave the borders of the good old USA as it will be spent to purchase Blackhawk helicopters, surveillance aircraft, computer software and other goods and services provided by private defense contractors. Upwards of 41 percent of the money will be used to finance the operation of the Mexican Army and Navy.
The idea for Plan Mexico was based upon Plan Colombia, and Plan Colombia annually costs the US taxpayers close to $1 billion. The program initially was designed to fight drug trafficking in Colombia, and like Plan Mexico, provides tens of millions of dollars in military hardware through private defense contractors. By 2006 more than 82 percent of Plan Colombia funding was being used for military hardware and training. Rather than fighting drug trafficking the military went after the leftist FARC guerillas who had been fighting a 20 year insurgency against a rightwing military regime. But why, you might ask is the US so interested in militarizing Colombia?