We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down. -- O'Shaughnessy
The U.S. military oligarchy, empowered by their purchased figurehead in the Oval office, has never been more transparent about their quest to revive and expand the Faustian patronage of American empire. To secure their colonialist plunder in Iraq and firmly establish their new U.S. satellite, the Bush regime is laying the groundwork for reloading and reinvigorating the military protection scheme that once gave NATO its relevance after WWII, codifying the imperialism of American hegemony with the collective destructive threat of its massive arsenals.
The Bush regime is insisting to the world that Iran, with their infant nuclear program, poses a threat to its neighbors, against which the U.S. is duty-bound to lead an international defense, notwithstanding the lack of any proof at all that Iran has actually threatened anyone outside of defense of their own borders. They are set to convince Congress to give them $1.6b for the establishment of an 'anti-missile' base in Eastern Europe to defend against, what they claim, is a threat to the region from Iran's ballistic missiles.
Under consideration are sites in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Their rationale for these sites is for a wall of defense against missiles aimed at other countries in Europe, or even farther, the United States. I wonder if anyone in Congress will consider that Iran has no intercontinental missiles. Of course, we have no way of knowing what Iran is doing in those fictional underground labs that were conjured-up to justify the need for the Bush regime's new nuclear bunker-busters. Perhaps Bush can conjure a intercontinental missile program there also.
Iran doesn't have to be anything more than steamed at this point, as the present U.S. missile defense boondoggle hasn't produced anything that works, much less any system that threatens. But, countries like Russia will understandably prick up their ears at the sound of American empire's siren song.
The Bush regime's militarism hearkens back to the Cold War and reminds Russia that the original mission of NATO was to resist the expansion and influence of the former Soviet Union. The emergence of the newly-independent states was an opportunity for the U.S. to expand their own influence in Europe through the patronage of their coddled military industry. Now, Bush imperialism is a mockery of the underlying principles of the cooperation among nations that would serve to restrain the imperialist ambitions of militarily powerful countries against the lesser-equipped ones.
The United States spends an estimated $120b a year on its NATO commitment to defend Europe. One of the advocates for the NATO protection scheme was Bruce Jackson, former Vice President for Strategy and Planning at Lockheed Martin. Jackson was the founder and president of the Project on Transitional Democracy, an organization which guided 'newly independent', former Soviet provinces through the congressional appropriations process to connect the foreign leaders with U.S. tax dollars. His influence led to the acceptance of many of these countries into NATO compliance and membership. The introduction of these former provinces into the NATO resulted in a boon for weapon's manufacturers as the new republics were required to modernize their military forces to comply with NATO defense requirements.
Former Lockheed secretary, Bruce Jackson and former Lockheed counsel, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley worked closely together on the Committee to Expand NATO. Jackson was president of this entity, based in the Washington offices of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute; Hadley was its secretary.
U.S. ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns explained Jackson's role to the Dallas Morning News in 2002: "In Europe, he coaches officials of candidate countries on whom to see, what to say and how to behave in Washington. He also browbeats them on what reforms they need to make and what issues they must address, such as lingering anti-Semitism, if they expect the Senate to let them into NATO."
These days it's anti-Iranism which is required for membership in the new Pentagon patronage club. Their current funnel for inserting defense dollars into compliant foreign states is the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The head of the agency, Air Force Lt Gen. Jeffrey Kohler, in a Reuters article this week, boasted about the organization's $10.6b in U.S. government arms sales last year and the approval of about about $13b this year.
DSCA programs facilitate the transfer of defense articles and services to international organizations and 'friendly' foreign governments via sales, grants, leases, or loans'. That includes the delivery of defense weapon systems to foreign governments, U.S. Service school training to international students, U.S. personnel advice to other governments on their internal defense, and other materials and mechanizations which support U.S. military muckraking and meddling abroad.
"Our job is not to rack up sales," Gen. Kohler was quoted as saying. "Our job is to help people get the capabilities they need."
Asked about which countries were the focus of sales, he said: "Let 's just say everybody that is not Iran."