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The New American Century vs. The UN

 Jesse Lee OpEdNews.com March 10, 2003

The word has slowly been getting out about the Project for a New American Century.  For those who are not aware, it is an organization dedicated to enormous increases in military spending, universal military presence, and a remodeling of the world in America 's image and interests by force.  The signatories of this doctrine include Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and a host of others surrounding this administration.  This political philosophy serves as the missing premise in the argument for war in Iraq, filling a hole that has had even supporters of this war baffled for so long.  The first step in the enacting such a philosophy is the establishment of a formidable military outpost in the Middle East, poised to strike at neighboring nations, and oil independence from those nations.  The assumption of this philosophy is that America 's power is so great that in the end nobody will be able to stop such an enterprise, and depending on how one gauges the power of terrorism, they may be right.             

However, there is one powerful and legitimate institution that is severely at odds with the philosophy of the administration, namely the UN.  When Dick Cheney and others urged President Bush to avoid the UN and proceed directly with a unilateral invasion of Iraq, he was advocating slitting the throat of the UN once and for all.  The only meaningful, fundamental principle of the UN is that it will not condone the use of military force unless it is provoked by an attack or a definitively immanent threat, a threshold that Iraq comes nowhere near meeting.  Therefore, for the greatest power in the world to invade another for the sake of regime change, without the justification required by the UN, would mean an immediate and complete dismantling of UN authority.  In an apparent gesture towards multilateralism, and a rejection of Cheney 's recommendation, Bush gave into pressure and took his case to the UN floor.

Now, as Bush prepares to go to war without UN consent, probably with a vast majority of nations against him, the knife is at the UN 's throat once again.  It might be worth examining exactly what has been accomplished since Bush made his initial decision.  Bush has had great success amongst the American people in his attempt to place the onus of UN legitimacy on those nations that dissent from his position.  Much of the country has turned viciously on France as the leader of opposition, rendering French objections largely unconsidered and ineffectual in the American popular debate.  The phrase "unreasonable veto " has been introduced and will be used to discredit any opposition on the coming vote.  England has been used as the "second opinion " on which citizens can count to validate Bush against criticism, a role that Americans first gave to the UN.  In short, Bush has put himself in a position to make the UN obsolete without worrying about an unpredictable reaction from the American people.  With tensions as high as they are now, it might make it easier in the short term to have UN approval, but in the long run he would rather it 's demise.

That is because the long run will, if the hawkish members of his administration have their way, see a great deal more of these sort of interventions.  The New American Century does not end with Iraq.  Iraq will not even end with Iraq.  Bush 's administration is not as naïve as the rhetoric Bush weaves.  They are well aware that there will be no stability in Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East after this war.  They intend to shake things up so they can be resettled by force in America 's interest.  The UN would never stand for such action, and all the better for the administration if it be dismantled right now.  The doctrine of "Preemptive Strikes " is the cornerstone of implementing the neo-conservative philosophy, and it is directly at odds with the Charter and spirit of the UN. 

And in even more general terms, it should be no surprise that men who see American power as the measure of all things take issue with a body of international order that puts it on the same plane as France and Russia.  Such egalitarianism hinders the true manifestation of a unipolar world, a world which this administration thinks the US has earned and should act to sustain.  This war will not bring peace, stability or unity within the world, it will do exactly the opposite, and that is exactly what the administration is banking on.  It will blame the negatives on its foes, rally America behind its troops, and plunge into remaking the world.

this article originally appeared in YellowTimes.org


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