2389The Dollar Paper Tiger
- Jun 7, 2004Coup d'Etat in Washington and "The Dollar Paper Tiger"
Fiery Dragon in Asia and the Pacific
by Andre Gunder Frank
3 June 2004
We bring to the attention of our readers this essay by Professor
Andre Gunder Frank, one of the World's leading and most distinguished
Frank analyses the relationship between militarisation and the crisis
of the US dollar as a World currency.
The essay provides a comprehensive perspective on the evolving New
World Order, its structural weaknesses and contradictions.
More importantly, it enables us to understand the economic
underpinnings of the Neocons "war on terrorism."
This essay consists of the following parts:
Coup d' État in Washington
Paper Tiger - The United States and the World
Fiery Dragon: China in East Asia
André Gunder Frank is currently an Associate of the Luxembourg
Institute for European and International Studies, Luxembourg and
Senior Fellow, World History Center, Northeastern University, Boston,
For details on André Gunder Frank`s writings, see
Recent events in Iraq that require no further elucidation here make
this essay now more timely than when it was written.
For this essay is a combination of two related articles:
First, my earlier paper focusing on the 2000 [Election] Coup d'Etat.
This paper related to the illegitimacy of the Bush government and the
long standing agenda of the Cheney group which has made another Coup
within the Bush Coup.
Secondly, my paper on the paper tiger, concerning the underlying
Achilles heels vulnerability of American power that rests only on the
paper dollar and the military Pentagon.
Vice President Gore's major speech damning the policy of the Bush
administration and calling the President himself incompetent, as he
surely is, nonetheless judiciously avoided any direct mention of the
illegitimacy of the president and his administration.
Bush's presidency was derived from a veritable coup d' Etat, not in
having lost the popular vote, but first in having also lost the vote
in the key state of Florida and "won" it through fraud and violence.
And then they violated the fourteenth amendment of due process
through the stacked vote in the Supreme Court and its refusal to let
anybody abide by due process.
Moreover, not only did Dick Cheney manage the entire transition to
and construction of the Bush administration, but as Vice President he
has continued to run the President's show from behind the scenes.
That is so much so that after their joint three hour testimony to the
9/11 commission about their Iraqi malfeasance, the New York Times was
moved to editorialize that it made evident that the President is no
more than a puppet managed by the Vice-President.
And as we know and the coup part of this essay further documents, the
Vice-President himself was captured and molded to its own ends of
long standing by a team of the PNAC Program for the New American
Century maniacal adventurers, led by "Wolfowitz of Arabia."
This illegitimacy of the President and his administration's
inauguration now takes further significance with the revelations that
after having lied to the electorate, they have continued to lie and
mislead the American public and the world regarding the State of the
Nation and that of the world, as well as with regard to the
devastating impacts of their foreign and domestic policies.
The documentation is overwhelming, but not even the tip of the
iceberg is yet emerging that the Administration and President Bush
himself have consistently lied and covered up about September 11,
They have lied about security and have deliberately weakened it and
have themselves terrorized the American public, not to mention that
they have torn the Bill of Rights to shreds and otherwise have
violated the Constitution.
By sending the machine gun toting National Guard into every airport
in the country, they are every day violating the Posse Comitatus Act
that prohibits military participation in domestic civilian affairs
that has stood since 1878. They have also violated a more recent law
prohibiting the CIA from doing so as well. All this only to scare the
public and Congress into accepting their unconstitutional Patriot
Acts and other measures from the agenda of a small right minority.
And of course they have perpetrated monstrous lies about their war
against Afghanistan and now against Iraq.
Thus, an illegitimate president who promised "gentle conservatism"
has instead taken the most radical departure of militarizing American
society at home, privatizing the US Military abroad, and antagonizing
the rest of the world by his unilateral militarism and anti-
environmentalism, not to mention his administration's
His and his government's verbal denunciation combined with de facto
generation and sponsorship of terrorism is wearing thin and has in a
totally irresponsible fashion led them and us into a Catch 22 damned
if you do, damned if you don't debacle.
The one in Iraq demonstrates one of several underlying
vulnerabilities of American reliance on the Pentagon.
The Paper Tiger Dollar
As this essay argues, this military Achilles heel also further
weakens the other one, which is based on the paper tiger dollar. That
has declined in value against the Euro and the Yen since I first
wrote about this threat and how it in turn would weaken the Pentagon
that must be financed by devalued dollars, especially in its
increasing ventures abroad.
At the same time, while the revelations and soul searching about
American torture in Iraq and now we know long since also in
Afghanistan and Guantanamo - the US occupation in Iraq is proceeding
relentlessly with its major agenda there: OIL and the economy.
The Cheney sponsored oil pipeline through Afghanistan that the
Taliban was supposed to implement but was unable to guarantee, thus
converting it from friend to enemy, is now in the hands of the new
American appointed government in Kabul.
In Iraq, it is yet difficult to tell WHAT the US occupation is doing
nobody even bothers to look beyond the torture any more - about the
oil and the economy, other than that they are being privatized and
sold off at bargain basement prices to big American companies, with
Vice President Cheney's Haliburton in the lead. He still derives
income from it, although his super-hawk friend Richard Perle resigned
his high Defense Dept position so that his conflict of interest
would `'not hurt the President's re-election chances.''
Meanwhile President Bush himself defends giving a near monopoly of
contracts for `'re-building Iraq'' to US near monopolies on the
grounds that `'WE'' put our lives on the line and so are we
legitimately entitled to the economic rewards there from.
But more important, with the region's second largest oil deposits in
Iraq , what is the US really doing there on the world oil market and
its efforts to control or break OPEC?
One thing is sure, and the oil section of the paper tiger part of
this essay speaks to this issue: Iraqi oil is again being priced in
US dollars and no longer in Euros as under Saddam Hussein.
In the meantime also, the dollar has indeed fallen significantly
against the Euro and the Yen. This devaluation of the dollar would at
least make US industrial and agricultural products more salable on
the world market if they were otherwise competitive . But the
industrial ones are not and the agricultural ones thrive only thanks
to the huge government subsidy, the same as in Western Europe and
On the other hand, a devalued dollar makes the US less attractive for
the continued inflow of foreign capital from overseas savings on
which the US economy and the American standard of living and way of
life is so vitally dependent.
All presidential administrations have lied to the American public
about the sources of their well being that are allegedly based on
American efforts and skills promoted by healthy government domestic
and foreign economic policies. But nothing could be further from the
The Clinton boom years of the 1990s after the 1989-92 recession -
were based entirely on the suction and flight of capital first from
the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe who were forced into a
depression far deeper than that of the 1930s and after the financial
crisis of 1997 in Southeast Asia that was deliberately sponsored by
Larry Summers, now President of Harvard but then at the World Bank
and the US Treasury.
That resulted in declines of income by 40 and 50 percent and the
deliberately managed misery and death of millions in East Asia and
the flight of their own and foreign speculative capital to the US
safe haven of Treasury certificates (where it permitted a sudden but
temporary balanced budget) and into Wall Street. There it fired the
bull market that attracted Main Street to invest in Wall Street and
made Mr. And Mrs. America feel rich and able to spend also on $ 100
billion of excess imports of textiles and gadgets from China.
The Chinese in turn also sent the dollars they earned thereby back to
Washington to buy Treasury certificates, so that the poor Chinese are
by now the world's largest creditors to the rich Americans.
More recently however, China has begun to import more itself, in
particular from Southeast Asia and using it's American earned US
dollars to get at least something more that worthless Treasury
certificates on which the US is bound to default, because it will be
neither able nor willing to make good.
All depends on how long the rest of the world is still willing to put
up with the US dollar as the world currency and what alternatives
thereto there are. And this brings us back to the Pentagon as a shaky
support for the dollar and the Iraq debacle as yet another chink in
the rusty armor of confidence in the US in general and its money in
And it leads us forward to examine the expanding role in the world of
China, whose ten percent annual economic growth has been duplicating
income every six years and making it a, and soon perhaps the, major
player in the world economy.
What is the basis and security of the United States position and
power in the world? The answer is the twin pillars of the Dollar and
The dollar is a paper tiger literally so, much more than when Mao
applied this term to the US. The Pentagon's strength and mobility is
dependent on the dollar, which in turn is supported by US military
might. But these two supporting towers of the US are also its two
Achilles heels. Through them, like the twin towers of the World Trade
Center in New York, the entire US edifice can come crashing down in
one morning not by terrorism but through the operation of the world
market economy and the foolish policies of the United States
With the end of the cold war in 1989 and the subsequent decline of
Russia as a serious immediate contender, as well as the decline
during the 1990s of the hype of JAPAN AS # 1 [Vogel 1979] two other
regions, states and powers came into contention. They are the United
States whose fortunes and prospects seemed to have declined after
1970 but recovered in the 1990s; and yet it is a paper tiger. The
other is the rising Fiery Chinese Dragon In global terms, we could
regard this as a process of continued shift of the world center of
gravity west-ward around the globe, from East Asia/China to Western
Europe, then across the Atlantic to the United States, and there then
from the eastern to the western seaboard, and now onwards across the
Pacific back to East Asia, as observed in my "Around the World in
Eighty Years" [Frank 2000]. Let us inquire further into the so far
last part of this historical process.
Coup d'Etat in Washington
Be wary of conspiracy theories, beware of real conspiracies, and be
aware of a grab of power.
It has happened in Washington and its instigators are pursuing a
policy of (several) faits accomplis that attracts ever more people to
jump on the band wagon. The Busch administration has made a real Coup
d'Etat and achieved its apparently unknowing acceptance by America
and the World. Even Hitler and Mussolini came to power by electoral
routes and Stalin and Latin American dictators had to resort to
violence to make their coups d'etat. Busch and his small coterie
required none of these to get to the seat of power.
To begin with, Bush's accession to the Presidency was in violation to
the Constitution. It is not that he received a minority of the
popular vote, because the Constitution provides for the President's
election by the Electoral College. But Bush received the Electoral
College vote by fraud, for he lost the decisive popular and thereby
electoral vote in Florida. His brother Jeb as Governor of Florida
with the help of Mrs Harris as Secretary of State first deprived
hundreds of thousands of African American and presumably Democratic
voters of the vote through incarceration, intimidation, and other
The Republican Cuban Mafia sent its goon squads physically to prevent
a recount in Broward County. Mrs. Harris did all she could, which was
plenty, to interfere with recounts in other counties in Florida. The
alleged recounts that were made were a sham. They only recounted
votes that were NOT counted in the first count by voters who had been
unable to punch holes all the way through the voting cards without
leaving the infamous hanging chads. Yet much more importantly one
either before the decision or afterwards when the newspapers did it
again, NO one ever recounted the votes that HAD been for the
Democrats but were discounted because voter mistakenly also punched a
second hole on a confusing ballot. Yet even the third and most
conservative candidate Pat Buchanon declared publicly that these
duplicate votes in heavily Jewish and Democratic counties were surely
not for him but for the Democratic Party candidate. These votes [or
even half of them if they had been allotted also to other candidates]
would have given a decisive majority of the popular vote and
therefore of the Electoral College votes in Florida to the Democrats.
Yet they were never counted or recounted for the Democrats.
In the end Bush was not elected, but was SElected in the Supreme
Court by the decisive political swing vote of Justice Kennedy. The
Supreme Court's appeal to the 14th amendment, which guarantees due
process of Law to all, was ironically biased. For it was selectively
applied without due process to squash the popular vote in Florida,
but the same due process procedures were not applied to challenged
votes in any other State. That in itself was already a de facto coup
Then, several members of the House of Representatives called for a
challenge of the Electoral College under Constitutional provisions
that permit the Congress to do so if the challenge has the support of
at least one member of both houses. Yet they were not joined by even
a single Senator, who would have made the challenge legally
effective. In other words, the Congress simply acquiesced to this
power grab by the Bush administration through a Coup d'eat with the
help of the Supreme Court but in clear violation to the Constitution.
That was the beginning of the violation of the Constitutional
separation of powers and checks and balances. Since then, the Bush
administration has carried these violations farther than any previous
one in the history of the United States. Not even President Lincoln
in the Civil War, nor President Roosevelt in the Second World War nor
his previous attempt to stack the Supreme Court, ever grabbed and
concentrated as much power for the executive branch while
marginalizing the Legislative branch and the Judiciary.
Beware of Conspiracy Theories. But be aware that it was really Vice-
President elect Dick Cheney who then put together the Bush
Administration, selecting whom to place in which positions of power,
especially in defense affairs. And beware of PNAC, the Project for a
New American Century, which was already lobbying Washington with
their plans for a "Pax Americana" in 1992, 1997, and 2000 among other
PNAC issued a long report in September of 2000 entitled "Rebuilding
America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New
Century." Its statement of principles calls for a massive increase in
military power, U.S. military domination of Eurasia to prevent the
rise of hostile powers; and pre-emptive [not just pre-ventive]
military action against states suspected of developing weapons of
mass destruction. PNAC's prescriptions have been converted into
official US policy and praxis by the Bush Administration.
PNAC founding members and signatories of its statements include;
Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security assistant and now the
Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding member, now Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz [of Arabia], now Deputy Defense Secretary and arguably
the groups ideologue
Eliot Abrams, pardoned by Bush Sr. in the Iran/Contra scandal and now
member of the National Security Council
John Bolton, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International
Richard Perle, the most outspoken hawk in the Reagan administration
who advocates dumping the United Nations, then chairman of the
powerful Defense Policy Board, who was forced to resign one of his
positions over a conflict of interest scandal,
Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the Liberation of
Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national security aide and who served as
an advisor to Rumsfeld on Iraq in 2001
Bruce Jackson, now Chairman of PNAC and former vice president of
weapons manufacturer Lockheed-Martin who headed the Republican Party
Platform subcommittee for National Security where he called for as
had Wolfowitz for some years - the removal of Saddam Hussein
William Kristol, noted conservative writer for the Weekly Standard, a
magazine owned along with the most hawkish Fox News Network owned by
Norman Podhoretz, editor of the right wing New Republic
and others, like Norman Kaplan and Douglas Feith.
The core group of the PNAC now hold the highest positions of policy
making power in the Pentagon and much of it in the White House.
They have also planted one of their group in the State Department to
keep an eye and check on Colin Powell who is the only major foreign
policy player who is not a member of this inner sanctum.
An interesting sidelight is that Wolfowitz , Perle and Feith also
went to Israel to serve as advisors to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,
for whom they drew up a battle plan against the Palestinians. Behind
them lies the strange ideological bed-fellow political alliance of
two of the most powerful lobbies in the United States: Organized
Zionism and Christian Fundamentalism. For good measure, throw in the
Cuban Mafia as well.
Another matter to consider are some of the connections of these same
people with the private sector. Two examples should suffice to give a
general idea. Cheney was chairman of Halliburton Inc., which in turn
owns Brown & Root and other habitual contractors of the Defense
Department for major construction and/or petroleum projects around
One of these companies was awarded a 1 Billion dollar contract to re-
build the Iraqi oil fields in case they should be damaged in the war.
Another, of which the now "Prime Minister" of Afghanistan was a
former employee, namely UNOCAL, is first in line to build the
proposed oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan from Central Asia to
the Indian Ocean. The Bush family and George W. Bush himself have
long standing business relations with the Carlyle Group, which also
represents the Bin Laden family (including Osama), with whom they
have also maintained direct relations.
The White House and the Executive Branch generally has made full use
of its new power to serve its economic and political allies. Those
who made the largest campaign contributions have been handsomely
rewarded with government hand-outs and regulations, or rather de-
regulation. The Bush administration has issued at least 200 separate
executive orders to roll back regulations enacted by previous
administrations, even Republican ones, to protect the environment
and/or Public Health and Safety. Executive Order has received a whole
new meaning: Special interests write an order that is passed to the
President for his signature, whereby mostly without knowing what he
is doing he converts it into an Executive Order.
The Pentagon has petitioned the White House to exempt it from
existing environmental protection regulations that hamper their
disposal of spent munitions and other hardware and thereby interfere
with `'national security. " The President deliberately appointed as
Secretary of the Interior a person known for her ties to the timber
and oil industries to whose exploitation she seeks to open thousands
of acres of federally owned lands as well as the Alaska Wilderness
for the construction of a new pipe-line all in the interest of
course of `'national security."
The Bill Of Rights and the Constitution
More serious still, the Bush administration has shredded the Bill of
Rights, abrogated the Constitution, and even violated the age - old
common law of Habeus Corpus, which prohibits the detention and
holding of anybody against his will without due process of law.
Elsewhere in the Executive Branch, President Bush appointed and lent
full support to Attorney General John Ashcroft who was already known
for his racist and authoritarian inclinations. Although many Senators
had doubts about his appointment, the Senate ratified it anyway.
Since then, Attorney General Ashcroft and his staff have converted
several arms of the Department of Justice into those of a police
state. The Executive has encouraged and permitted the Attorney
General and the Department of Justice Judiciary Branch to violate the
Bill of Rights and the Constitution on multiple counts. For instance,
the US Government already claims the right to monitor all e-mail and
to bug telephone conversations without specific judicial permission.
The Bush Administration brought Admiral Pointdexter back into
government after his participation in the Iran-Contra Scandal and
lyiung about it to Congress. His new mission is a project, called
Total Information Awareness Project (TIAP): to develop computers to
monitor "vast quantities of data generated by US civilians in their
daily lives: Academic transcripts, ATM receipts, prescription drugs,
telephone calls, driving licences, airline tickets, parking permits,
mortgage payments, banking records, emails, website visits and credit
card slips" [The Guardian November 23, 2002].
In critique of all this and the Patriot Act, only the lone voice in
Congress of Representative and presidential candidate Dennis J.
Kucinich (D-Ohio) has asked
"How can we justify in effect canceling
- the First Amendment and the right of free speech, the right to
- the Fourth Amendment, probable cause, the prohibitions against
unreasonable search and seizure?
- the Fifth Amendment, nullifying due process, and allowing for
indefinite incarceration without a trial?
- the Sixth Amendment, the right to prompt and public trial?
-the Eighth Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual
- And Justice for All?"
The Constitution makes all the rights it guarantees extensive to
anybody in the US, but the Attorney General has declared that non-
citizens are not worthy of protection by the Constitution.
We do not know yet how much of a loss that is because the Department
of Justice and its Immigration and Naturalization Service[INS] have
also taken it upon themselves also to divest naturalized and even
native-born American Citizens of their citizenship, again in clear
violation of the Constitution.
And even those who remain citizens are under constant threat to have
their rights violated without due process under the fourteenth
amendment, or to be detained in violation of Habeus Corpus.
They are denied representation by legal counsel and trial in civil
courts, as provided for by the Constitution. In particular, hundreds
of thousands of American residents and Citizens of Arab descent or
even of features that appear to individual agents of the Department
of Justice or the police's racial profiling as perhaps being Arab, or
Muslim, or who knows what else have been called in for questioning.
When they appeared in Los Angles, they were detained without charge.
They now live in constant fear of the infamous knock on the door at
3AM that was made infamous by Hitler's Gestapo and Stalin's GPU. That
is so if they are even favored by a knock on the door before a blast
of gunfire of shooting first and asking questions later.
So far as we know of over 700 people who have remained in detention
since September 2001; though there may be many more, since nobody
knows or says where they are, or who they are, or what they are
accused of. Indeed, only a dozen of these have ever been charged with
anything. The others remain out of sight and out of mind except for
their families who are not allowed even to secure legal
representation for them. So do the innocent Afghani prisoners the US
keeps in in Guantanamo and the countless ones still detained under
horrible conditions in Afghanistan. How come there is no public
outcry about any of these?
On the other hand, the same Executive Branch has divested the
Judiciary of powers and the citizenry of judicial protection by
illegally transferring powers of the Judiciary to itself. Perhaps
only the most visible tip of the iceberg of this process is the Bush
Administration and Pentagon declaration that it will bring normal
civil suits before military tribunals that operate under rules of
court marshal and other procedures of Military "Justice" that can
order death sentences without appeal. Moreover, the accused do not
know whereof, cannot chose legal counsel, and their conversation with
whom can be overheard by the authorities. The prestigious very
conservative publicist William Saffire refers to them as `'kangaroo
courts" and observes that "no longer does the judicial branch and an
independent jury stand between the government and the accused.
In lieu of those checks and balances central to our legal system, non-
citizens face an executive that is now investigator, prosecutor,
judge, jury and jailer or executioner. In an Orwellian twist, Bush's
order calls this Soviet-style abomination "a full and fair trial."
The Land of the Free?
John Ashcroft has also issued instructions to the Department of
Justice to resist as far as possible the delivery of documents under
the Freedom of Information Act.
And the Executive itself has severely restricted the kind and number
of documents of its own that it is prepared to make public. In other
words, transparency and therefore control or even critique of the
ever widening powers and their use by the Executive Branch is itself
being severely restricted.
On the other hand, the Executive Branch has multiplied its own access
to information. During the congressional debate on John Ashcroft's
USA Patriot Act, an American Civil Liberties Union fact sheet on the
bill's assaults on the Bill of Rights revealed that Section 215 of
the act "would grant FBI agents across the country breathtaking
authority to obtain an order from the FISA [Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act] court . . . requiring any person or business to
produce any books, records, documents, or items." That includes
bookstores and public libraries being obliged to divulge who is
reading what. This is now the law,
Alas, the Congress has been intimidated into passive acceptance of
virtually everything and anything the Executive proposes and demands.
It passed the Patriot Act that severely restricts civil liberties
virtually without reading it.
The proposed Patriot Act # 2 has not even bee submitted to the
Congress for study and yet the version leaked by the Press suggests
that it proposes even more of a police state than the first one. When
the Leader of the Democratic Majority in the Senate voiced only the
mildest doubts about Bush's military moves, he was immediately
reprimanded by his Republican Majority Leader counterpart Lott,
for `'how dare he criticize the President in time of war!" Both have
been forced to resign since then, but for scandals unconnected to
Moreover, the Executive has been more than secretive about the events
and circumstances of September 11, 2001; and the Congress has not
launched any serious inquiry of its own. Neither have the Media.
There has not even been any public inquiry or disclosure into the
failure of the Air Force or National Guard to scramble fighter
aircraft to investigate the airliners that had clearly gone off
course. That is every day routine standard operating procedure, but
it was called off or at least not enacted during the 90 minutes that
elapsed between the crash into the first World Trade Tower and the
one into the Pentagon that is IF the Pentagon was damaged by an
aircraft which has been seriously questioned if only because no
evidence has ever been made public for such an occurrence.
Nor has the government given any account of its receipt and disregard
of multiple forewarnings from intelligence agencies among its allies
in Pakistan, Russia, Germany, France, Israel. In other words, the
very circumstances that allegedly require all these domestic and
foreign responses by the Bush Administration are themselves wrapped
in a shroud of self-imposed secrecy.
The violation of the Constitutional provisions for the separation of
powers is particularly flagrant regarding the powers reserved to the
Legislative Branch of the Congress and the Constitutional prohibition
against military action in domestic civil affairs.
Bush also disregards the Constitutional provision that only Congress
may declare war, and it violates the 1976 War Powers act that
Congress passed to regulate that Constitutional provision after it
had been grossly violated in the Vietnam War. The Bush administration
has de facto-also abrogated the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act that
prohibits military participation in the enforcement of civil law, and
it violates the general Constitutional provision against the military
action in domestic affairs.
Instead, the Bush Administration has visibly mobilized the Armed
Forces and National Guard around all US airports and elsewhere, and
the Pentagon is drawing up plans for its intervention in endless
domestic affairs. It stands to reason that the machine gun toting
military presence in the passenger areas of airports has not added
one iota to security but serves only to terrorize the public into
blind and passive acceptance of the violation of their civil rights
there and elsewhere. Even the government has stated repeatedly that
any other terrorist attack on the US is not likely to copy that of
September 11, 2001 but to take totally different forms against which
this military presence would offer no defense. Indeed, it would not
have prevented that of September 11 either. The pretext that the
country is at war is being used as cover for US government terror of
its own at home and abroad; and the country is being militarized as
never before, not even in war time.
The Pentagon is extending its actions in American Civil Affairs ever
more, also by establishing a new office of Under Secretary of Defense
for Homeland Security, which then created a northern command to
coordinate military response to domestic threats. The Pentagon also
has a new Under Secretary for Intelligence,
Stephen Cambone, who said the existing agencies will continue with
their work but that his unit will ensure that they are meeting the
intelligence needs and priorities laid out by the Pentagon, also at
home. [Boston Globe June 8, 2003].
The Pentagon is also expanding into previously unimagined places and
roles overseas. There are now well over 100 US military bases around
the world. and current US military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan,
the Horn of Africa, Colombia, the former Yugoslavia, South Korea, the
Philippines, and former Soviet states such as Georgia. The latest
details, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal on June 10th 2003,
include plans to increase U.S. forces in Djibouti on the Horn of
Africa across the Red Sea from Yemen, setting up semi-
permanent "forward bases" in Algeria, Morocco, and possibly Tunisia,
and smaller facilities in Senegal, Ghana, and Mali that could be used
to intervene in oil-rich West African countries, particularly
Nigeria. Similar bases--or what some call lily pads--are now being
sought or expanded in northern Australia, Thailand, Singapore, the
Philippines, Kenya, Georgia, Azerbaijan, throughout Central Asia,
Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar, even Vietnam, and Iraq. [Needless
to say that the construction of these military bases constitute
lucrative multimillion contracts for US corporations including
Bechtel and Halliburton. (Edtor)]
The new republics in former Soviet Central Asia and the former Soviet
satellite states in Eastern Europe are a particularly strong magnets
for U.S. military presence, and a glance at the map will show that
the US is systematically encircling China. Moreover, the Pentagon
military missions are marginalizing the State Department diplomatic
ones, with the senior military officer having more resources and
greater influence than the US ambassador [Boston Globe, June 8 2003].
Even so, the Associated Press reports on February 24 that " senior
U.S. officials have been quietly dispatched in recent days to the
capitals of key Security Council countries where they are warning
leaders to vote with the United States on Iraq or risk "paying a
heavy price." Although this kind of blackmail has been SOP in all
American administrations, the Bush Administration has carried the
threat and practice to previously unheard of new heights. As
President Bush declared in his State of the Union address "Those who
are not with us, are against us" and will pay a heavy price.
"We are in the process of taking a fundamental look at our military
posture worldwide, including in the United States," said Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on a recent visit to Singapore,
where he met with military chiefs and defense ministers from
throughout East Asia about U.S. plans there. "We're facing a very
different threat than any one we've faced historically." But recall
that this is the same Wolfowitz of Arabia talking who drew up his and
PNAC's plans to face this different threat already in his memos of
1992, 1997 and 2000.
The Law of the West
The Bush administration has also set aside centuries of International
law. It wages illegal war, prohibited by numerous international
treaties and by the United Nations Charter. Indeed it makes war
without even declaring it, which even Hitler took the trouble to do.
The US armed forces wantonly violate Geneva conventions of crimes
against humanity, genocide, weapons of mass destruction such as
depleted uranium, cluster bombs, massive `'Daisy Cutter" bombs,
destruction of civilian facilities to provide as power, water, and
sanitation, and even neutral international waterways as when it
deliberately blocked shipping on the Danube.
The Bush Administration (though Presidents Clinton and Bush Sr. also
already earlier) have completely emasculated the United Nations
instruments and procedures set up by the US and its allies after
World War II to preserve the peace. Bush even had the gall to go to
the UN and charge it with dereliction of duty and of its reputation
by failing to give its stamp of approval for his War against Iraq
when the clear duty of the UN and especially of its Security Council
is not to make war but to keep the peace.
His government and his lackey press mislead the public into believing
that a Security Council resolution could legalize his war. The fact
is that even with a SC resolution, his father's War against Iraq in
1991 was in clear violation of Articles 2, 27, 41, 42, 43 and 53 of
the UN Charter, among others.
The NATO states and President Clinton failed even to consult the UN
before going to War against Yugoslavia. Then the present President
waged War against Afghanistan without the slightest provocation from
its government, without UN approval. And then it made War on Iraq in
clear violation of the expressed desires of the UN membership. What
this illustrates is the total abandonment of the UN as an institution
and instrument for peace.
The demise of the UN as an International Body
After the US bombs a country into shambles, it then goes to the UN to
ask it to pick up the pieces, or in plain English allegedly to
legitimize the US military occupation of the country it had just
But not only that, the violation of international law also
constitutes ipso facto a violation of national law, because Senate
ratification of an international treaty converts it into US law as
well. Moreover, domestic democracy has been sacrificed to waging
international war as well, as when NATO did so against Yugoslavia
without even a single member country government troubling itself to
ask its parliament or Congress for authorization to do so.
In a word, the US has replaced existing International law by new Law
IN the West on the model of its own old Law OF the West. Then in the
19th century, vigilante lynch mobs formed ad hoc to go hang whomever
they wanted; and now the US is imposing this Vigilante "Law" on the
rest of the world by force. And as the vigilantes bought off or
terrorized the sheriff and the judge to `'legitimize" themselves, so
is the US, doing the same world wide in the real world, following the
scripts of fictitious Spaghetti Western movies.
And what of the Fourth Estate the Media?
They are strictly the mouthpiece of the Administration.
Note their behavior at White House, State Department, or Pentagon
news conferences. All their questions are limited to technicalities
about the implementation of Administration policies that are
themselves accepted as cartes blanches.
Never ever has any representative of the US media posed a question
that challenges the basis of the official policy in even the most
Indeed, not only what the press says or does not say reflects the
policy and press- releases of the Administration. The very Media
selection of what is or is not `'news,'' e.g on the 6.30 pm Evening
News of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and shame on PPS for carrying the
just as bad Jim Lehrer News Hour, is a simple reflection of what the
White House or the State Department have declared to be `'news'' that
No matter how world shaking an event, if it has not shaken the piper,
it does not merit mention by the media. But whatever the White House
or the State Department declares to be news IS news. And even they
have been obliged to make an agonizing reappraisal , albeit still
only partial, of their own, after the revelations of torture of
Iraqis has cast a shadow on their previous glowing reports about
bringing democracy to them.
Their pieces in the press are little better. In a survey of op-eds in
the Washington POST over four months, Russell Mokhiber and Robert
Weissman found twice as many columns for as against the war, and in
February 2003 the count was 24 in favor and 10 against, while the
POST itself brought 9 editorials of its own to support the war. And
that was regarding a war that had the highest popular opposition
ever.The TV and radio talk shows are even more dominated by defenders
of Administration policy. No matter that the Administration cooks,
blends, massages and even simply invents the news; as is finally
emerging regarding the non-existent weapons of mass destruction,
which were the alleged reason for waging War against Iraq.
The Home of the Brave from 1984 to 2003
George Orwell would have to regard his dire predictions of Big
Brother for 1984 as a benign Alice in a charming Wonderland version
of Animal Farm. The latter is to be compared to the 2003 Bush and
Ashcroft reality of double-think and new-speak in which, however,
some are no longer equal than others, either at home or abroad, but
still WAR IS PEACE really the President said so.
But the capacity of the United States to rule the world is more than
questionable, especially after its 2003 debacle in Iraq.
Paper Tiger - The United States and the World
The US still has the world's largest economy, which saw boom times
during much of the 1990s, and it has unrivalled military power
exceeding the total of the next dozen or more military powers
combined. Moreover, the present Bush administration makes use of both
of them in unilateral policies to impose its will on the rest of the
world, friend and foe alike, to all of which Bush threw down the
gauntlet of `'you are either with us or against us."
With means you do as we say, and against means you are under threat
to be destroyed economically and politically, as well as militarily
if we wish.
In case there be any doubt about our intentions and capabilities,
Russia and Argentina are prime examples on the economic front as are
Iraq through the boycott, Serbia and Afghanistan are so on the
military front as well. The latter but really both are what
President Bush father called THE NEW WORLD ORDER when he bombed Iraq
in 1991. I termed it THIRD WORLD WAR in two senses, one that it takes
place in THE THIRD WORLD and secondly that this war against the Third
World constitutes a THIRD World War [Frank 1991].
The prosperity and welfare of the American people rests primarily on
its position in the world today as Britain's did in the nineteenth
century. That observation is fundamentally different from the
political and media hype about the sources of American exceptionalism
that are supposedly in its genius, morality, productivity, and other
characteristics that allegedly differentiate America from the rest of
the world. On the contrary, America rests on two maybe three-
1.The DOLLAR as the world currency whose monopoly privilege the US
has to print at will, and
2. The PENTAGON with its unrivalled military capacities.
3. A third pillar perhaps is the government, educational and media
fed IDEOLOGY that obscures these simple facts from public view.
Moreover each supports the other: It costs dollars to maintain the
Pentagon, its bases in 80 countries around the world, and the
deployment of its military forces around the globe. Military
expenditures are the prime causes of the twin American deficits, in
the federal budget and in the balance of trade. Conversely, Pentagon
strength helps sustain global confidence in the dollar.
But this same mutual reliance for strength, therefore, also
constitutes two mutually related American Achilles heels.
The dollar is literally a Paper Tiger in that it is printed on paper
whose value is based only on its acceptance and confidence in the
same around the world. That confidence can decline or be withdrawn
altogether almost from one day to the next and cause the dollar to
lose half or more of its value.
Apart from cutting American consumption and investment as well as
dollar-denominated wealth, any decline in the value of the dollar
would also compromise US ability to maintain and deploy its military
Conversely, any military disaster would weaken confidence in and
thereby the value of the dollar. Indeed, at the 2003 World Economic
Forum in Davos, the assembled world political and business elites
expressed very serious fears that the mere deployment of the US
military, e.g. against Iraq, would bring on a world depression. TIME
Magazine this week reports on a comprehensive study of the US airline
industry, which concludes that a war against Iraq would drive half of
it into immediate bankruptcy. If so, what of still weaker non-
American airlines? The insecurity that comes with military saber
rattling and threats undermine confidence in the dollar and put
brakes on investment. And no amount of ideology is sufficient
completely to obscure that economic situation.
In fact, the world already is in depression, from which so far only
the United States, Canada and Western Europe are partially exempt.
And the latter is so, because of the privileged position of the
American economy within the global one, from whose mis-fortune
Americans have been deriving the benefits of that position, which to
repeat is essentially derived from the privilege of printing the
world currency with which Americans can first buy up the production
of the rest of the world at depressed prices and then have the same
dollars be returned from abroad to be invested in Wall Street and US
Treasury certificates for safe-keeping and/or higher earnings than
are available elsewhere.
In the mid 1980s James Tobin [the inventor of the Tobin tax on
financial transactions] and I were to my knowledge the only ones
already to published predictions of DE-flation as the coming world
economic danger. Economic policy makers however ignored these
warnings and this risk [not really risk, but necessary consequence]
while continuing their policies designed to fight IN-flation.
Nonetheless, since then commodity prices have fallen sharply and
consistently and more recently industrial prices have fallen as well.
Moreover in WORLD economic terms, high inflation in terms of their
national currencies [pesos, rubles, etc.] and their sharp DEVALUATION
against the DOLLAR world currency has been an effective de facto
major DE-flation in the rest of the world. That has reduced their
prices and made their exports cheaper to those who buy their
currencies with dollars, primarily of course consumers, producers and
investors in - and from ! - the United States. These additionally,
which is hardly ever mentioned!, can and do buy up the rest of the
world with dollars that ''cost'' only their printing and
distribution, which for Americans have virtually no cost. [The $ 100
dollar bill is the world's most used cash currency on which runs the
entire Russian economy, and there are two to now three times as many
of them circulating outside as inside the US].
The American boom and welfare and then ''balanced'' federal budget
1992-2000 Clinton administration, contrary to its populist claims,
only happened to coincide with this boom. The also same 8 year long
prosperity of the United States was entirely built on the backs of
the terrible depression, deflation and thus generated marked increase
in poverty in the rest of the world. During this one decade,
production declined by over half in Russia and Eastern Europe and
life expectancy in Russia declined by 10 - ten - years, infant
mortality, drunkenness, crime and suicide increased as never before
in peacetime. Since 1997, income in Indonesia declined by half and
generated its ongoing political crisis. That is dissipation of
entropy generated in the US and its export abroad to those who are
obliged to absorb it in ever greater DISorder. It would be difficult
to find better examples except the destruction of the entire
society in Argentina, Rwanda, Congo, Sierra Leone, previously
prosperous and stable Ivory Coast not to mention the countries that
have been visited by destruction through American military power
All this has among others the following consequences: in the US. it
can export inflation that would otherwise be generated by this high
supply of currency at home, whose low rate of inflation in the 1990s
was therefore no miracle result of domestic ''appropriate'' Fed
The US has been able to cover its twin balance of trade and budget
deficits with cheap money and goods from abroad. The US trade deficit
is now running at over 500 billion dollars a year and still growing.
Of that, 100 billion are covered by Japanese investment of their own
savings in the US that saves nothing and which the Japanese may soon
have to repatriate to manage their own banking and economic crisis
especially if an American war against Iraq causes a n even temporary
spike the price of oil on whose import Japan is so dependent.
Another $ 100 billion comes from Europe in the form of various kinds
of investment, including direct real investment, which could dry up
as the European recession continues, the Europeans become exasperated
with American policy, or they have any number of other reasons to
reduce their dollar reserves and put them into their own Euro
A third 100 billion is supplied by China, which first sells the US
its cheap manufactures for dollars and then accumulates those dollars
as foreign exchange reserves thus in effect giving away its poor
producers' goods to rich Americans. China does this to keep its
exports flowing and its industries going, but if it decided to devote
these goods to expanding its own internal market more, its people
would gain in income and wealth, and the United States would be out
of luck. The remaining $ 200 billion of deficit are covered by other
capital flows, including debt service from the poor Latin Americans
and Africans who have paid off the principal of their debts already
several times over and yet keep increasing the total amount owed by
rolling it over at higher rates of interest. The idea of declaring US
chapter 11 or 9 type insolvency is however finally catching on.
Thus, deflation / devaluation elsewhere in the world has like a
magnet attracted speculative financial capital from the rest of the
world - both American owned and foreign owned into US Treasury
certificates [ stopping up the US budget deficit] and into Wall
Street. That is what fed and supported its 1990s bull market, which
in turn has increased, supported and spread wider a speculative and
illusory in increase in wealth for American and other stock holders
and through this also illusory ''wealth effect'' has supported higher
consumption and investment. The subsequent and present bear market
decline in stock prices nonetheless is a still a profit boon for
enterprises who issued and sold their stocks at bull market high and
rising stock prices. For they are now buying back their OWN stocks at
what for them are bargain basement low prices, which represent an
enormous profit for them at the expense of small stock holders who
are now selling these stocks at low and declining prices. The
US ''prosperity'' now rests on the knife edge also of an unstable
enormous domestic corporate and consumer [credit card, mortgage and
Moreover, the US is also vastly over-indebted to foreign owners of US
Treasury certificates, Wall Street stock and other assets, which can
be called in by foreign central banks who have been keeping reserves
in US dollars and other foreign owners of US debt. Indeed, it is the
very US policy that has contributed so much to destabilization
elsewhere in the world [e.g. through the destabilization of Southeast
Asia that undermined the Japanese economy and financial system even
more than it would otherwise have been] that now threatens and now
soon makes much more likely that especially Japanese and European
holders of US debt must cash it in to shore up their own ever more
unstable instable economic and financial systems. The liabilities of
the US to foreigners now equal two thirds of annual US GNP and
therefore can and will never be paid off. However any hick in rolling
this debt over and over, can result in foreign attempts to get out as
much money as they can resulting in a crash of the dollar.
Another major consequence is that the US - and world! - economy is
now in a bind from which it most probably can NOT extricate itself by
resorting to Keynesian pump priming and much less to full scale macro-
economic policy and support of the US and Western/Japanese economy,
as the Carter and Reagan administrations did. Military Keynesianism,
disguised as Friedman/Volker Monetarism and Laffer Curve Supply-
Sideism, was begun by Carter in 1977 and put into high gear in 1979,
when Carter the Fed was run by Carter appointee Paul Volker, who in
October 1979 switched Fed monetary policy from high money creation /
low interest price thereof to attempted low money creation / high
interest [ to 20 percent monetary! ] to rescue the dollar from its
1970s tumble and attract foreign capital to the poor US. At the same
time, Carter began Military Keynesianism in June 1979., which was
then escalated further by President Reagan In that they then
It is highly unlikely however that analogous policies could succeed
again now. The US would need to invoke the same re-flationary policy
again for itself and its allies, now. but it can not do so! The Fed
has already lowered the interest rate so far that it cannot go much
lower and is not likely to stimulate investment by doing so. On the
other hand, raising the interest rate to continue to attract funds
from abroad would risk choking off all domestic investment and
working capital. Brazil tried that, admittedly with extravagant
monetary interest rates at 60 percent to attract foreign capital, and
ruined its domestic economy.
The US may [should? must ??] now attempt a repeat performance of the
1980s to spend itself and its allies [now minus Japan but plus
Russia?] out of the present and much deeper world recession and
threatening globe encompassing depression. The US would then again
have to resort to massive Keynesian deficit [ using September 11 as a
pretext for probably military] RE-flationary spending as the
locomotive to pull the rest of the world out of its economic
doldrums. However, the US is already the world consumer of last
resort, but it can be so with the savings, investments and cheap
imports from abroad, which themselves form part of the global
Moreover, to settle its now enormous and ever growing foreign debt,
the US may chose also to resort to IN-flationary reduction of the
burden to itself of that debt and its also ever growing foreign debt
service. But even the latter could - in contrast to the above
summarized previous period- NOT avoid generating a further SUPER
trade balance particularly if market demand falls further and
pressure increases abroad to export to the US demand/er of last
resort. But this time, there will be NO capital inflows from abroad
to rescue the US economy. On the contrary, the now downward pressure
to devalue the US dollar against other currencies would spark a
capital flight from the US, both from US Government bonds and from
Wall Street where significant stock price declines generate further
price declines and deflation in world terms even if the US attempts
The price of oil is yet another fly in the political economic
ointment, whose dimension and importance is inversely proportional to
the health or illness of the ointment itself. And today that is quite
sick and deteriorating already. The world price of oil has always
been a two edged sword whose double cutting edges can be de-sharpened
with the help of successful alternative economic and price policies.
On the one hand, oil producing economies and states and their
interests need a minimum price floor to produce and sell their oil
instead of leaving it underground and also postponing further oil
productive investment while waiting for better times. The US is a
high cost oil producer. A high oil price is economically and
politically essential also for important states like Russia, Iran and
especially Saudi Arabia, as well as US oil interests. On the other
hand, a low price of oil is good for oil importing countries, their
consumers including oil consuming producers of other products, and
supports state macro economic policy, eg in the US, where low oil
prices are both good politics and good for the economy. These days,
the high/low price line between the two seems to be around US$ 20 a
barrel - at the present value price of the dollar! But nobody seems
to be able to rig the price of oil at that level. The present
conflict, long since no longer within OPEC, is primarily between OPEC
that now sells only about 30 to 40 percent of the world supply and
other producers that supply 60 percent, today especially Russia but
also including the US itself as both a significant producer and a
major market, although that is increasingly shifting to East Asia.
Recession in both and the resultant decline in demand for oil drags
its price downward. US strategy and wars against Afghanistan and
Iraq. is to gain as much CONTROL of oil as it can and for now to
share as little of it as it must with Russia in Central Asia, Caspian
Sea and Persian Gulf regions. And that control, even if it cannot
control the price of oil, is to be used as an important geo-political
economic lever to manipulate against US oil import dependent allies
in Europe and Japan and ultimately its strategic enemy in China.
For US Keynesian spending re-flation as well as in-flation can no
longer put the floor under the price of oil needed today and
tomorrow. No policy, but only recovery generated world market demand
I- and/or limitations in the supply of oil -can now provide a floor
to and prevent a further fall in the price of oil - and its
deflationary pull on other prices. And further deflation in turn will
increase the burden of the already vastly over-indebted US, Russian
and East Asian, not to mention some European and Third World,
Thus the political economy of oil is likely to add to further
deflationary pressure. That would - indeed already does - again
significantly weaken oil export dependent Russia. But this time it
would also weaken US oil interests and their partners abroad,
especially in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Indeed, the low
price of oil during the 1990s has already transformed the Saudi
economy from erstwhile boom to a bust. That has already generated
middle class unemployment and a significant decline in income that
has also already generated widespread dissatisfaction and now
threatens to do so even more at precisely the time when the Saudi
monarchy is already facing destabilizing generational transition
problems of its own. Moreover a low oil price would also make new
investment unattractive and postpone both new oil production and
eliminate potential profits from laying new pipelines in Central Asia.
indeed, there is an even more immediate urgent need for the US to
control Iraqi oil reserves, the second largest in the region and the
most under-drilled with a large capacity to increase oil production
and drive down prices. But that is not all or even the heart of the
matter. Many people were surprised when President Bush added Iran and
North Korea to his `'axis of evil." Though they may not be so
surprised at American efforts to promote a coup and change of regime
in Venezuela, which supplies about 15 percent of US imports. So what
do these countries have in common, many people ask. Well, three of
them have oil, but not North Korea. So what is its threat that puts
it in Bush's axis. Surely not geography or alliances [Iraq and Iran
were mortal enemies, and North Korea does not play ball in their
The answer is simple and resolves not only that puzzle but what
could otherwise appear as a rather confused and confusing US foreign
[1.] Iraq changed the pricing of its oil from dollars to Euros in
 Iran threatens to do so.
 North Korea has changed to deal only in Euros.
 Venezuela has withdrawn some of its oil from dollar pricing and
is instead swapping it for goods with other third world countries.
Besides an old friend of mine, Venezuela's Fernando Mires at OPEC
headquarters in Vienna, proposed that all of OPEC should switch from
pricing its oil in dollars to pricing it in Euros!
OPEC has recently re-examined his possibility and now Russia has as
well. Nothing else, no amount of terrorism, could be more threatening
to the US; for any and all of that would pull all support out from
under the dollar as oil importers would no longer buy dollars but
instead Euros to buy their oil. Indeed they would want also to switch
their reserves out of the dollar and into the Euro. Iraq, prior to
the invasion, already gained about 15 percent with its switch as the
Euro rose against the dollar.
And besides, the Arab oil states who now sell their oil for paper
dollars would be unlikely to continue turning around and spending
them again for US military hardware. It is this horrific scenario
that US occupation of Iraq is designed to prevent, with Iran next in
line. Curiously, this oil-dollar-euro `'detail'' is never mentioned
by the US government or media. No wonder that major European states
are opposed to Bush's Iraq policy, which is supported only by the UK,
which is a North Sea oil producer itself. Simple how one little piece
of incidental information can make the other pieces of the entire jig-
saw puzzle fall into place!
All of these present problems and developments now threaten to
[will?] pull the rug out from under US domestic and international
political economy and finance. The only protection still available to
the United States still derives from its long since and still only
two pillars of the ''NEW WORLD ORDER'' established by President Bush
father after ''Bush's Gulf War" against Iraq and the dissolution of
the Soviet Union in 1991. President Bush son is now trying to
consolidate his father's new world order [no doubt with the latter
still as a power behind the throne] beginning with the WAR AGAINST
AFGHANISTAN and threatening once again against Iraq, and the Bush-
Putin effort now also to construct a US-Russian Entente - or is it
The dollar pillar is now threatening to crumble, as it already did
after the Vietnam War but has so far remained standing through three
decades of remedial patch work.
But as we have seen, the US is now running out of further economic
remedies to maintain the dollar pillar upright. It's only protection
would be to generate serious inflation in the short run by printing
still more US dollars to service its debt, which would then undermine
its strength and crack the dollar pillar and weaken the support it
affords still more.
That would leave only the US military pillar to support US political
economy and society.
But it and reliance on it also entails dangers of its own. Visibly,
that is the case for such countries as Iraq, Yugoslavia, and
Afghanistan and of course all others who are thereby deliberately put
on notice to play ball by US rules in its new world order on pain of
eliciting the same fate for themselves.
But the political blackmail to participate in the new world order on
US terms also extends to US - especially NATO - allies and Japan. It
was so exercised in the Gulf War [other states paid US expenses so
that the US made a net profit from that war], the US war against
Yugoslavia in which NATO and its member states were cajoled to
participate, and then by the War against Afghanistan as part of
President Bush's new policy pronouncement. He used the early Cold WAR
terminology of John Foster Dulles that ''You Are Either With Us Or
Against Us"] But US reliance on this, the then only remaining,
strategy of military political blackmail can also lead the US to
bankruptcy as the failing dollar pillar fails to support it as well;
and it can come also to entail US ''OVERSTRETCH'' in Paul Kennedy
terms and ''BLOWBACK' in CIA and Chalmers Johnson terms.
In summary and plain English, the US has only two assets left to rely
on, both admittedly of world importance, but perhaps even so
insufficient. They are the dollar and its military political assets.
For the first, the economic chickens in the US Ponzi scheme pyramid
of cards are now coming home to roost even in the United States
The second pillar is now in use to prop up the new order the world
over. Most importantly perhaps is the now proposed US/Russia entente
against China instead of [or to achieve?] a US defense against a
Russia/China [and India?] entente. The NATO War against Yugoslavia
generated moves toward the latter, and the US War against Afghanistan
promotes the former]. God/Allah forbid that any of these nor their
Holy War against Islam blow us all up or provoke others to do so.
However that<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)