Liquidation of Empire

Winston Churchill – icon for President George W. Bush and the neo-crazies – is revered for declaring “I did not become Her Majesty’s First Minister so that I might oversee the liquidation of the British Empire!” Churchill is – understandably – much less revered for proceeding to do just that.

With just a year to go in his Presidency, it increasing appears that Bush-43’s chief legacy may be the liquidation of our empire, accumulated during the so-called American Century.

To get a sense of the State of the American Hegemony under the stewardship thus far of Bush-43, take a look at the homepage.

There are separate sections, there, largely devoted to consequences of Bush-43 interventions – actual, intended or threatened – into the internal affairs of Russia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon/Syria, Afghanistan, India, the Koreas, Pakistan, Somalia, the Congo, Algeria, Peru, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the American Homeland, itself.

Of course, we – and the whole world – were given fair warning that there would be such interventions. In his very first State of the Union Address, Bush-43, the self-proclaimed Commander-in-Chief of the Global War on Terror, declared that;

“Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent in the pursuit of two great objectives.  

“First, we will shut down terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to justice.  

“And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening the United States and the world.

“Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries.  A terrorist underworld — including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-i-Mohammed — operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities.

“Our soldiers, working with the Bosnian government, seized terrorists who were plotting to bomb our embassy.  

“Our Navy is patrolling the coast of Africa to block the shipment of weapons and the establishment of terrorist camps in Somalia.

“Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.  

“North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

“Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.

“Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. 

“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.  

“We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction.  We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack.

“And all nations should know:  America will do what is necessary to ensure our nation’s security.

“We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side.  I will not wait on events, while dangers gather.  I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer.”  

Bush’s 2002 National Security Statement, formalizing those policies to be implemented during prosecution of the GWOT under the American Hegemony, focused on “rogue states,” rather than the terrorists themselves.

The 2006 update to the 2002 NSS further states that;

“The best way to block aspiring nuclear states or nuclear terrorists is to deny them access to the essential ingredient of fissile material.

“Therefore, our strategy focuses on controlling fissile material with two priority objectives:

“First, to keep states from acquiring the capability to produce fissile material suitable for making nuclear weapons; and second, to deter, interdict, or prevent any transfer of that material from states that have this capability to rogue states or to terrorists.

“The first objective requires closing a loophole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty that permits regimes to produce fissile material that can be used to make nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear power program.”

Of course, the internationally agreed-upon strategy to prevent nuclear-weapons proliferation has always focused on controlling the fissile materials absolutely essential to their production.

But, in return for a signatory’s subjecting all nuclear-energy related activities to International Atomic Energy Agency Safeguards – for the exclusive purpose of the IAEA’s being able to verify that certain proscribed materials are never used to produce nuclear weapons – the NPT affirms a signatory’s inalienable right to produce and use such materials for peaceful purposes.

Far from constituting a “loop hole,” that guarantee is one of the “three pillars” of the NPT.

Another NPT pillar is the commitment – reaffirmed by President Clinton at the 2000 NPT Review Conference – to get rid of all our nukes.

Then, there’s the NPT prohibition – as well as prohibitions in US law – against Bush’s assisting India [not a NPT-signatory] with its nuclear programs.

Finally, there’s the implied NPT prohibition – and the explicit prohibition in the UN Charter – against Bush’s imposition of sanctions on Russia and China for facilitating Iran’s enjoyment – without discrimination – of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Hence, implementing Bush’s 2006 National Security Strategy – designed to secure the American Hegemony – requires nothing less than the deliberate destruction of the existing international nuclear-weapons proliferation-prevention regime.

But, hold on.

Even though Bush-43 recently warned Russia and China that World War III could result unless they joined him in imposing crushing economic sanctions on Iran – in violation of the UN Charter – and in denying Iran its inalienable rights under the NPT, Russian President Putin defied Bush by attending a summit meeting in Tehran of the oil-rich Caspian Sea littoral states, pointedly declaring afterward in a joint Iran-Russia press conference that “Iran is an important regional and global power”.

Furthermore, China has just defied Bush-43 by concluding a deal with Iran that obliges it “to make all necessary investments to develop the Yadavaran Oil Field in Southwestern Iran.”

So, maybe Russia and China won’t allow Bush to emasculate the IAEA-NPT-NSG nuke proliferation-prevention regime – which is solidly athwart his American Hegemony ambitions.

Then what will be George W. Bush’s chief legacy? World War III, or – like Churchill – liquidiation of an empire?

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.