rn: US prepared to “rescue” others


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,             July 11

When the Kosovo bombing started, a former career naval officer turned
activist/lawyer wrote a delightful little letter to the editor saying that
he hoped our leaders wouldn't decide to "rescue" the homeless (as they were
"rescuing" the Kosovars)...

Well, it would seem there are plans to do more rescue missions :-(

But there are also, as the speech by Dr. Joseph Gerson shows, plans to do
some real "rescue" work, to try to get foreign military bases removed. 

all the best, Jan
Date:   Sun, 4 Jul 1999 21:24:42 -0400
From: Eric Fawcett <•••@••.•••>
Subject: sfp-2: The Clinton Doctrine: enforcement of US global hegemony

It is appropriate on the 4th of July, the last American Independence Day
of the Millennium, to quote President Bill Clinton's views on future
possibilities for Kosovo-style "humanitarian intervention"; followed by a
penetrating analysis of the real-politik of US global hegemony by a
prominent US peace activist.

1] AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE: [full text at www.flora.org/flora.mai-not/12230]

Clinton says NATO is ready to fight repression in Europe, Africa
SKOPJE, June 22 (AFP) - Praising NATO for its campaign in Kosovo, US
President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that the alliance could intervene
elsewhere in Europe or in Africa to fight repression. "In Africa or
central Europe, we will not allow, only because of differences in ethnic
background or religion or racism, people to be attacked. We will stop
that," Clinton told US troops gathered at the Skopje airport. "We can do
it now. We can do it tomorrow, if it is necessary, somewhere else," he
said. "No one ever should be punished and discriminated against or killed
or uprooted because of their religion or ethnic heritage," he added.

2] Below is the text of a talk I gave last week in Seoul at a meeting
>which took initial steps toward region-wide Asia-Pacific cooperation in
>organizing for the withdrawal of foreign military bases. I apologize for
>its length. It includes a section which summarizes nuclear legacies of the
>US/NATO-Yugoslav war that have serious implications for the Asia-Pacific
> Dr. Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee
>US Asia-Pacific Hegemony and Possibilities of Popular Solidarity:
>re-examining the role and impact of US bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
>Seoul, South Korea, June 26-27, 1999
>  It is a privilege to join you in this gathering. Many  here have taken
>extraordinary and courageous actions so that people may  live with
>security, freedom and dignity. You are my teachers, and in some cases I am
>privileged to say, my friends. I want to thank Focus on Global South, Green
>Korea United, and the Korean Committee for US Military Bases Return for
>your initiatives and efforts in bringing us together.
>  Hope builds movement. It gives people the confidence to risk and to break
>with the status quo.  But, hope based on false promises and assumptions
>leads to failure, disillusionment, and worse. For these reasons my report
>will be less than fully encouraging. This should come as no surprise, given
>that the US is the dominant hegemon, reinforced in significant measure by
>its culture and the economic privileges enjoyed by most of its people.
>Initiatives for the withdrawal of US and other foreign military bases must
>begin and have their strongest foundations amongst peoples struggling for
>freedom from  the "abuses and usurpations" of foreign military troops and
>bases (as the US Declaration of Independence described it.)  
>Reinforcing US Asia-Pacific Hegemony:
>  Because many here did not attend last year's Conference on Alternative
>Security in Manila, I want to quickly summarize several of the points I
>made there to serve as the foundation for my remarks today.
>  For several years, the U.S. elite has been clear that this is an era of
>US hegemony. In the Asia-Pacific region, the USA is enforcing its 21st
>century "Open Door" policy by means of the IMF, the World Bank, APEC, bases
>and forward deployments, the Seventh Fleet, and its nuclear arsenal as it
>seeks to simultaneously contain and engage China, to dominate the sea lanes
>and straits through which the region's trade and supplies of oil must
>travel (the "jugular vein" of Asia Pacific economies), and to "cap"
>Japanese militarism and nationalism.
>  Since 1951, the hub of this strategic architecture has been the Mutual
>Security Treaty with Japan (MST)  During the Clinton years, the MST has
>been "redefined" to reconsolidate US, and to a lesser extent, Japanese,
>power. The expanded alliance is also serving as the coercive foundation for
>integrating China's rising power into the U.S.-Japanese dominated system.
>Ideally, the USA seeks a hierarchical US-Japanese-Chinese condominium,
>with Japan and China competing for the privilege of being the United
>States' "number one" regional partner. Failing that, Washington will use
>either nation to isolate and contain the other.
>  There is another strategic concept at work in US Asia-Pacific policy.
>This is the goal of maintaining and increasing US power and advantage in
>the region while not repeating failures to integrate rising powers -
>Germany and Japan - into the dominant system earlier in this century.
>Trilateralists and their successors are seeking to integrate China's
>emerging power into the US-Japanese regional system and into the
>IMF-WTO-TNC global economic system on US and, to a lesser extent,
>Japanese terms. These "enlightened" imperialists have powerful opponents in
>the Republican-controlled Congress, the Taiwan lobby, and some sectors of
>the human rights movement.
>  Numerous US officials, beginning with President Clinton and Secretary of
>State Albright, and moving down the chain of command, have reiterated that
>the US-Japan alliance "is the foundation for stability in the
>Asia-Pacific" and that it is "the cornerstone of our Strategic policy in
>Asia."  In 1995, before the massive wave of Okinawan and Japanese protest
>in response to the Marine abduction and rape of an Okinawan school girl,
>Washington knew it faced two major impediments to continued Japanese
>support of the MST. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the alliance
>lacked a credible enemy, and Japanese - especially Okinawans - were
>increasingly intolerant of the dangers and disruptions they had suffered
>during fifty years of formal and informal US military occupation.
>  To address these faults in the alliance, we had the "Nye Initiative"
>which called for US and Japanese officials to "identify common security
>interests for the post-Cold War era, the develop a new public rationale for
>the alliance, and to deepen personal relationships between senior US
>leaders and their Japanese counterparts. This was followed by the "US-Japan
>Joint Declaration on Security Alliance for the 21st Century" proclaimed at
>what then Defense (War) Secretary Perry described as the "most significant"
>summit of the Post-Cold War era. During the summit, President Clinton and
>Prime Minister Hashimoto named the alliance's new enemies and "public
>rationales": tensions and instability on the Korean Peninsula, China's
>nuclear arsenal, and territorial disputes with China. They also announced
>the "Review of the 1978 Joint Defense Guidelines. 
>  To put things in their proper perspective, you should be aware that
>several months ago Joe Nye conceded that if Beijing continues its military
>build up at its current pace, in twenty years it will have the military
>capabilities of a mid-level NATO nation of "forty years ago."  Even as he
>made this concession, he and Ezra Vogel - his colleague at Harvard and in
>shaping US Asia-Pacific foreign and military policies - have been
>representing the USA in "non-governmental" meetings with Japanese and
>Chinese "non-governmental" representatives (including a former Japanese
>ambassador to Washington) to explore the possible creation of a
>U.S.-Japanese-Chinese "security forum."  During an interview, Ezra Vogel
>told me that his goal in these meetings is to negotiate a "grad bargain"
>with China. How? By threatening China with the deployment of Theater
>Missile Defenses which could theoretically neutralize all of China's
>missile forces, and then by offering to forego the TMD deployments in
>exchange for a Chinese commitment not to deploy weapons with greater
>aggressive potential than are already in Beijing's arsenals and not to
>adopt military doctrines more aggressive than those of current Chinese
>policy. Of course, such an agreement would leave the Mutual Security Treaty
>with Japan, the US nuclear arsenal, the 7th fleet and other
>forward-deployed US forces, and the US Space Command in place for
>continued "containment" of China.
>  As I learned in China last summer and more recently, Chinese policy makers
>and strategic analysis are preoccupied by the threatened TMD deployments,
>which they see as a "shield to reinforce the US sword." They are clear
>that if the U.S. and Japan deploy TMD, it will result in a new and
>dangerous arms race. China will build as many missiles as it can afford in
>order to overwhelm TMD.
>  And then there is Taiwan, the most likely trigger for US-Chinese
>nuclear confrontation and war.
>A Wider View of US Hegemony:
>  As I turn to a wider view of recent developments, I want to quote two
>lessons taught by the faculty of Georgetown University's School of Foreign
>Service when Bill Clinton and I were students there in the mid-1960s.  They
>illuminate two foundations of US foreign policy which are subconsciously
>recognized, but rarely articulated within the United States.  When we were
>second year students, Professor Ello began his course on international
>relations by saying that "the study of international relations is akin to
>studying the rules of the game among Mafia families." And,  in our last
>year,  international law Professor O'Brien repeatedly emphasized that
>"International law is what those who have the power to impose it say it is." 
>  Since some here met in Manila a year ago, we have witnessed the US and
>lesser powers brutally struggling to reorder regional and global structures
>of hegemony, privilege, and violence for the post Cold War era in the
>traditions described by professors Ello and O'Brien.  In the Asia-Pacific
>region, the US-Chinese "strategic partnership," celebrated during Bill
>Clinton's carefully choreographed tour of China, has disintegrated into
>renewed diplomatic and military rivalry as a result of Washington's
>deepening commitment to "containing" China and to its increasing arrogance
>as global hegemon.  Accelerating preparations to deploy Theater Missile
>Defenses around China, sensationalized and unproved allegations of Chinese
>nuclear spying  ridiculous claims Chinese nuclear parity with the US, the
>humiliating rejection of Zhu Rongji's concessions to gain entry the World
>Trade Organization, the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and
>Congressional encouragements of Taiwan's independence have brought us to
>the brink of a new and extremely dangerous Cold War.        
>  Across the region, G.E. Capital and other US-based transnational
>corporations have been taking advantage of the Asian economic crisis and
>Japan's prolonged recession to increase access to, to challenge, and to
>dominate East Asian economies. In the US, Tom Friedman, the New York Times
>leading foreign policy columnist, has been propounding that without
>McDonnell Douglas and the US marines to guarantee their markets and to
>defend their interests, there can be no security for McDonalds, for
>Microsoft, and for globalizing capitalism led by the USA.  The US
>presidential campaign, which has already begun, holds little promise of
>improving the situation and could seriously exacerbate tensions in various
>parts of the Asia-Pacific, especially here in Korea and with China.
>  Collaborating with the USA, Japanese nationalists and militarists have
>ratified the deepening and globalization of the US-Japan military alliance.
>The "collateral damage" of this restructuring includes the people Okinawa
>and other communities on which US bases and military installations are
>imposed,  Japan's peace constitution, and regional security.    
>  To the south, as Walden Bello predicted almost a decade ago, Washington is
>regaining access to ports and bases throughout the Philippines by means of
>the recently ratified access agreement marketed in Orwellian terms as a
>"Visiting Forces Agreement."  And, at the same time that senior White House
>officials emphasize that "the most dangerous place on earth is not downtown
>Pristina [Kosovo] but the Korean border",  considerable attention is also
>being devoted to Indonesia, lest the USA lose access to its natural
>resources, markets, and its domination of strategically important straits.
>  This is not to say that USA is the sole source of insecurity, injustice
>and terror in the Asia-Pacific. Chaebols are not exactly democratic
>institutions. More than weather has been responsible for famine's
>staggering toll in North Korea. Even as there is increased freedom of
>expression in China, its limits are  policed by threat of imprisonment and
>are well understood. The 1989 massacre of workers and students in Beijing
>has not been forgotten, and many long for the day when the democratic
>aspirations of that time are honored and institutionalized. And,
>understandable as they are, the siege of the US embassy, Beijing's vow to
>build as many missiles as are needed to overwhelm TMD, and the militarized
>extension of China's claims to the Spratley islands do little to enhance
>human security.
>  US Asia-Pacific policy and Asia-Paciific security do not exist in
>isolation from events elsewhere in the world. It is in this context that I
>mention the US/NATO war against Yugoslavia which had little to do with
>humanitarian commitments to Kosovo's ethnic Albanians whose suffering was
>multipled as a result of the bombing campaign.  The US/NATO bombing
>campaign had to do with hegemony, empire and restructuring the global
>disorder for the coming era.  It is no accident that the US and NATO went
>to war in the name of Kosovar Albanians but not for Kurds, Palestinians,
>Tutsis or the East Timorese.
>  Much as the USA "bombed Iraq into the pre-industrial age" in 1991, with
>its staggering and continuing civilian death toll, Washington has savaged
>Yugoslavia to reinforce its global power.  The goals this time were to
>guarantee NATO's credibility  (i.e. its will and ability to terrorize
>people and governments into submission), to reinforce the US foothold in
>Europe and to contain Germany (see Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand
>Chessboard), to extend NATO and the so-called "free-market" economy further
>across Eastern Europe, and  to stabilize that region^Òs Balkan frontier
>which now doubles as the northwestern frontier of the US dominated and
>oil-rich Middle East and as the western approach to equally large Caspian
>Sea and Central Asian oil reserves.  This last goal is entirely consistent
>with what Noam Chomsky terms "political axiom #1 of US foreign policy: that
>neither its enemies nor its allies gain independent access to Middle East
>  On the US left, there is growing agreement that a "Clinton Doctrine" is
>replacing the Powell Doctrine. During the war against Yugoslavia, Clinton
>reiterated a conception of US foreign and military policy that he had
>articulated earlier at the United Nations: "The forces of global
>integration [read US-dominated global economy] are a great tide inexorably
>wearing away the established order of things...we must decide what will be
>left in...while isolating those who would challenge [us] from the outside."
>To this end, the US unilaterally, without UN sanction or a declaration of
>war, bombed Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan within a six month period.
>  Michael Klare describes the Clinton Doctrine as having three components:
>1) an increasingly pessimistic appraisal of the global security
>environment, 2) as the richest status quo power, a vested US interest in
>maintaining international stability, and 3) the need for the US to maintain
>sufficient military strength for simultaneous military operations in widely
>separated areas of the world against multiple adversaries. This helps to
>explain why the US insists on maintaining its global infrastructure of
>foreign military bases. I also explains why, with a military budget already
>equaling the combined total of the world's next nine greatest military
>spenders, Clinton and Congress are increasing the US military spending at
>the expense of social security and other human needs programs.
>  The Clinton Administration makes frequent reference to "the international
>community" to justify its aggressions, but it has repeatedly circumvented
>and undermined the United Nations and the legacy of international law. This
>outlaw behavior is supported  by the US foreign policy elite.  During the
>bombing of Yugoslavia, Foreign Affairs, the publication of the elite
>Council on Foreign Relations published a remarkable editorial article. It
>reported, and I ask you to bear Professor O'Brien's lesson in mind here,
>that "the United States and NATO -- with little discussion and less fanfare
>-- have effectively abandoned the old UN Charter rules that strictly limit
>international intervention in local conflicts...in favor of a vague new
>system that is much more tolerant of military intervention but has few hard
>and fast rules....Kosovo illustrates...America's new willingness to do what
>it thinks right -- international law notwithstanding."  I should emphasize
>that this analysis was not written as a critique, but with appreciation and
>in celebration of this subversion of the United Nations and the legacies of
>international law. Thus, even as two million US citizens are salted away in
>federal, state and local prisons, and the US persists in its commitment to
>capital punishment, nations as diverse as China, Russia, Malaysia and North
>Korea have reason to fear that the US may someday rely on its "vague new
>system" and high-tech military to savage their cities and  populations  for
>ostensibly humanitarian purposes. 
>  This is not entirely new. In parks across New England, where I live, you
>can see monuments to  veterans of the war fought 100 years ago ostensibly
>to protect human rights. That was the war in which the USA seized the
>Philippines, Guam, Cuba and Puerto Rico from the Spanish Empire. The
>Clinton Doctrine is perhaps best understood as simply the latest expression
>of liberal imperialism.
>Nuclear Weapons and US Hegemony:
>  I should  say a few things about the roles and practice of US nuclear
>war policy -- the ultimate guarantor of US hegemony. Many US bases and
>military installations across the Asia Pacific are essential to continued
>US preparations for the threat and use of these omnicidal weapons.
>  The British American Security Information Council recently published the
>partially declassified text of the US Strategic Command's 1995 "Essentials
>of Post-Cold War Deterrence." Following are a few quotations that certainly
>apply to Korea and the Asia-Pacific as a whole:
>  "For non-Russian states, the penalty for using Weapons of Mass Destruction
>(WMD) should not just be military defeat, but the threat of even worse
>consequences. Should we ever fail to deter such an aggressor, we must make
>good on our deterrence statement in such a convincing way that the message
>to others will be so immediately discernible as to bolster deterrence [read
>escalation dominance] thereafter...."
>  "[T]he United States should have available to the full range of responses,
>conventional weapons, special operations, and nuclear weapons. Unlike
>chemical or biological weapons, the extreme destruction from a nuclear
>explosion is immediate, with few if any palliatives to reduce its effect.
>Although we are not likely to use nuclear weapons in less than matters of
>the greatest national importance...nuclear weapons always cast a shadow
>over any crisis or conflict in which the US is engaged. Thus, deterrence
>through the threat of use of nuclear weapons will continue to be our top
>military strategy...." [emphasis added]
>  "That the USA may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests
>are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project to all
>adversaries....nuclear weapons seem destined to be the centerpiece of US
>strategic deterrence for the foreseeable future."
>  Noam Chomsky explains that "Our strategic nuclear weapons system provides
>us with a kind of umbrella within which we can carry out conventional
>actions, meaning aggression and subversion, without any concern that it
>will be impeded in any fashion...under this umbrella....we have succeeded
>in sufficiently intimidating anyone who might help protect people who we
>are determined to attack." Thus the Clinton Administration threatened to
>annihilate North Korea as it has threatened other nations on more than
>twenty occasions. Thus the USA fought its war against Yugoslavia without
>fear of Russian intervention.
>  I should add a note about the second US use of depleted uranium weapons 
>in war. This is dangerous because of the apparent mid-term medical
>consequences and the poisoning of the environment. Even more dangerous may
>be its blurring of the fire break between nuclear and "conventional"
>weapons which provides a greater semblance of legitimacy to the possible
>launching of cataclysmic nuclear weapons by the USA or other countries in
>  US insistence on imposing as much of its Rambouillet ultimatum as it could
>not only failed to provide security for Kosovo's ethnic Albanians and
>savaged the lives of people of Serbia and Montenegro, but it also seriously
>undermined diplomatic and popular initiatives for nuclear disarmament and
>nuclear weapons abolition. In the US, the "successful" use of US nuclear
>weapons to once again ensure US escalation dominance will serve to
>reinforce the US commitment to its nuclear "cornerstone."
>  Thinking globally, more dangerous than the Russian Duma's indefinite
>postponement of consideration of the START II Agreement and the decision to
>cancel cooperation in addressing Y2K nuclear dangers, was Yeltsin's
>decision to reiterate Russia's first-strike doctrine and his decision to
>compensate for disintegrating Russian "conventional" military power by once
>again deploying  tactical nuclear weapons. One other development should be
>borne in mind.  In a sharp repartee to a Clinton defense of NATO's war,
>Victor Chernomyrdan emphasized that one lesson the international community
>has taken from the war is that any nation intending to challenge the United
>States must have nuclear weapons in its arsenal. So much for
>non-proliferation and counter-proliferation!
>The US Peace Movement and Asia-Pacific Solidarity:
>  Let me conclude with a few words about the US peace movement. Being an
>anti-historical and geographically illiterate culture and society, too many
>Americans can read and believe that "the most dangerous place on earth" is
>Korea. That we might live in the most dangerous nation in the world rarely
>occurs to any US American.  With the exception of former GIs, few have any
>awareness that the USa maintains a global infrastructure of foreign military
>bases which exacts terrible tolls from the people of "host" nations and
>communities. Reinforced by domesticated media, equally domesticated
>academics, and relative economic prosperity,  most US Americans are
>preoccupied by simply living their daily lives and are lost to the
>diversions of the consumer culture. This is compounded by the illusions
>that with the end of the Cold War, Americans are secure in a largely
>peaceful world and that when wars must be fought, they can be won without
>US casualties.
>  This does not mean that US Americans actively support US foreign military
>interventions or the structures that make them possible. In 1995, news that
>an Okinawan school girl had been abducted and raped by US marines horrified
>most Americans.  The Clinton wars against Iraq and Yugoslavia were fought
>without popular support. Polls have indicated that the vast majority of US
>Americans favor abolition of nuclear weapons, and when voters in the state
>of Vermont were given opportunity, they voted overwhelming that abolition
>should become US policy.
>  Unhappily, I have to report that the US peace movement has seriously
>atrophied over the past decade as popular consciousness has turned inward.
>But a vital core remains, based in religious and secular peace
>organizations and in the popular consciousness that are the legacies of the
>Vietnam era peace movement, the nuclear disarmament movement of the 1980s,
>and the Anti-apartheid and Central America solidarity movements.
>  The 1991 victory of the Philippine people in forcing the withdrawal of US
>military bases is a powerful example of what a conscious and mobilized
>people can achieve. I am sorry to say that that victory was won with
>minimal support and solidarity from the US peace movement. The victory of
>the Vietnamese national liberation struggle provides different example, one
>in which Vietnamese cultivation of broad sectors of the US public played an
>important role reducing US commitments to, and ultimately, ending funding
>for, the war. More recently, with speaking tours by atomic and hydrogen
>bomb witness survivors from Japan, Korea, and other nations and of
>anti-bases activists from Okinawa and other parts of Japan, we have been
>reminded how sincerely and powerfully US Americans can and will respond to
>the human faces and stories of war and of what the government that speaks
>in our name is inflicting on others.
>  As we consider the possibility and strategies of an Asia-Pacific wide
>anti-bases campaign, I hope that we will bear these lessons in mind. Today,
>the US movement is too weak on its own to force the withdrawal of forward
>deployed US forces across the region. But, with with your help, we can
>build important and possibly powerful solidarity movements that can give
>meaningful support to Asia-Pacific struggles for freedom and peace.
>Dr. Joseph Gerson
>Director of Programs, American Friends Service Committee
>New England Regional Office, 2161 Massachusetts Avenue
>Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02140 USA
>Phone: 617-661-6130, Fax: 617-354-2832
>E-mail: •••@••.•••