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BOTH BARRELS: How the USA's foreign policy became controlled by big business

Published: 2 August, 2012

If you have a hat, take it off and salute Christopher Doran of Indiana University, and Pluto Press of Archway Road, for telling and publishing a devastating exposé of the constant reasons for American foreign policy and its uncaring repercussions.

In an act of forensic brilliance, it cuts through to the roots of the real political power the US uses, and, above all, its relentless creed of the dollar remaining the most important reserve currency in the world.

In 1910, the acclaimed novelist Jack London wrote a disturbing book, The Iron Heel, anticipating the present.

As did President Eisenhower in his valedictory address to Congress, warning in the 1960s of a “military and defence industry nexus” who were setting the agenda.

Doran’s case for the prosecution begins in 1886 with the decision of the United States supreme court in the matter of Santa Clara and Pacific Railways. For the first time, their decision gave private industry the same rights and privileges enjoyed by private individuals, damaging The Bill of Rights, the safeguard of every American.

You can follow the argument which leads smoothly to the Bretton Woods meeting of the world’s financial experts in 1944.

It carefully cast the financial interdependence of nations in the post-war situation, setting up the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – the first one to fund developing countries with their reconstruction, the other to bridge the gap where currencies wobbled.

Its parents, JM Keynes from Britain, and Dexter White of the US Treasury, won the day.

A policy of social and economic intervention guided most Western countries.

Later, in the political miasma of Senator McCarthy and his witchhunt, White was named posthumously as a secret communist.

There was a cruel ending to this honeymoon, and 1980 was the tipping point, when the forces of evil converged.

A trio arrived whose joint efforts would have a lasting effect.

These ugly sisters included Milton Friedman of the Chicago School, who captivated the new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and she cosied up amicably with Ronald Reagan.

They practised and preached the policy of retrenchment, less government, fewer taxes, privatisation, and curbing too much social involvement. Thatcher was the high priestess and announced TINA – there is no alternative.

Meanwhile, the World Bank and the IMF continued persistently to make demands.

Doran’s recurring and convincing argument is that always and at all costs, the dollar must predominate.

But the free enterprise forces did not rest. In 1992, Dick Cheney, a Bush hatchet man, and others with similar Haliburton backgrounds, wrote Project for the New American Century. It is an absolute blueprint for maintaining their place as the world’s strongest economic power.

By this time the guidelines for domestic austerity for the poor and strong action on the world stage was becoming obvious.

But peep behind the curtain and all will be revealed. Unpredictable behaviour becomes explicable. Business leaders moved into government and became the policy makers, bringing their baggage with them.

That is why to the casual observer, Hilary Clinton seems to have lost her radical edge.

It is interesting to recall that she was schooled in legal and social responsibility by two American Communist Party members, Jessica Mitford and her husband.

She is now virtually neutralised, and Obama, well, remember Guantanamo Bay and other prisons were to be shut?

Now, as Clinton and Blair did with scatter-bombs in Bosnia, Obama orders drones to be activated from remote comfort in the state of Utah, to home in on targets which sadly kill innocent and probably very poor peasants.

It goes down well with the American macho faith.

Bush said: “Dead or alive.” Sadly, most of the 3,000 killed by this sinister and effective weapon have been the most vulnerable.

TV news saves us from the most harrowing scenes.

The hegemony of the US must constantly be asserted.

The truth is coming to the surface. Sanctions against Saddam’s Iraq boosted the US economy. But now the puppet government is biting back.

America placed a high priority on grabbing and restoring Iraqi oil fields. Oil experts predict that oil production will soar by 2017 to 12 million barrels of crude. The control of this is vital to the US’s financial stability.

Doran has, from obscurity in a university from the deep south, become a John the Baptist, declaring the true gospel.

More than 90 of the leading 150 main economic blocks in the world are represented deep in the effective heart of Washington.

The motivation is profit and power.

Suddenly there are signs of an effective revolt in South America, where certain states have dared to vote for a left-wing governmental.

They are ignoring the warnings of the Pentagon and the IMF who have over the years drained them with high interest rates.

Doran has, like that plaque in ancient Rome, la boco de veritas (the mouth of truth), a mouth that will bite your arm off if you tell lies.

• Making the World Safe for Capitalism: How Iraq Threatened the US Economic Empire and had to be Destroyed. By Christopher Doran.
Pluto Press, £17.99.


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