Wanted: a New York Times Columnist with "Three Functioning Grey Cells" (or a Modicum of Courage)
By Paul Street at Jul 13, 2007
MEDIA ALERT: Childish power-worshipping petro-imperialism denial and doctrinally mandated policy ignorance are reaching new levels of absurdity among New York Times columnists.
As the world's leading intellectual and top U.S. policy analyst and critic Noam Chomsky has observed in words that most of the world's morally and politically cognizant population would find uncontroversial, "the U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it's right in the heart of the world's energy system."
If the U.S. succeeds in controlling Iraq, Chomsky has elaborated, "it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its 'critical leverage' over Europe and Asia . That's a major reason for controlling the oil resources – it gives you strategic power. Even if you're on renewable energy you want to do that. That's the reason for invading Iraq , the fundamental reason," readily understood, Chomsky adds, by anybody who has "three gray cells functioning."
The core objective behind the invasion will "hardly be attained by helping Iraq act in accord with the principles of democracy and national independence."
As the noted Left geographer and world-systems analyst David Harvey argues, the United States' long decline, reflecting predictable (and predicted) shifts in the spatial patterns of capitalist investment and social infrastructure gives special urgency for the U.S Empire to deepen its control of Middle Eastern oil and use it as a bargaining chip with even more oil-dependent regions like Western Europe and East Asia, homes to the leading threats to U.S. economic power.
Wanted: a columnist at the United States' "newspaper of record" with "three functioning grey cells." Or two.I'll leave out other parts of the human anatomy.
1. The monumentally criminal nature of the invasion, which involved (in the words of the 2005 Istanbul Declaration) "planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles."
2. The brazenly imperialist and colonial nature of the occupation, which is richly continuous with earlier U.S. behavior within and beyond the Middle East and provides critical context for understanding why U.S. soldiers die on a regular basis in Iraq (where Americans are understandably seen as unlawful invaders).
3. The racist nature of the occupation, expressed in the false conflation between al Qaeda and a small group of predominantly Saudi hijackers on one hand and the broad Arab and Muslim worlds on the other hand. This racism has found expression also in U.S. ground forces' recurrent description of Iraqi civilians and resistance fighters as "hajis" and "towel heads"(among other terrible designations) and in many Americans' insistence on describing the entire Middle East as a den of primitive, barbarian and enemies of modern "civilization."
4. The full and overwhelming extent of Iraqi civilian casualties, including more than 700,000 dead by now. The Iraqi body count dwarfs the U.S. death toll in Iraq , but dominant U.S. media remains primarily and narcissistically obsessed with U.S. fatalities in Mesopotamia . The mostly civilian Arab victims of U.S. imperial violence (a lovely expression of America 's noble commitment to "civilization") are unworthy victims of the Iraq War as far as dominant U.S. media is concerned.
5. The critical role of the American Empire Project's longstanding core concern with the control of Middle Eastern oil in shaping the decision to invade Iraq and in ensuring that the U.S. will not completely or truly withdraw from that illegally occupied nation or indeed the region anytime soon, whichever corporate-imperial party happens to hold power in Washington.