[Marxism] Andre Gunder Frank article

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jun 3 09:24:34 MDT 2004


by Andre Gunder Frank

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: First, the coup one on the illegitimacy of the Bush 
government and the long standing agenda of the Cheney group who has made 
another coup within the Bush coup. Secondly there follows the paper 
tiger one about 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 its and 
his illegitimacy. It 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 Congress 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 PNAC – Program 
for a New American Century – maniacal adventurers, led by “Wolfowitz of 

This illegitimacy of the President’s and his administration’s 
inauguration now takes on enormous further significance with the 
revelations that after having lied to the electorate, they have 
continued to lie and even more so to the American and the world public 
about the State of the Nation and that of the world and about their 
policies in them. Documentation is overwhelming, but not even the tip of 
the iceberg is yet emerging in the Congressional inquiry, that the 
Administration and President Bush himself have consistently lied and 
covered up about September 11, 2001. They have lied about security and 
have deliberately weakened it and have themselves terrorized the 
American public, not to mention having torn the Bill of Rights to shreds 
and otherwise having violated the Constitution, and 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 as well as 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 an education presidency of 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 their befuddled 
‘’justification.” His and his government’s verbal denunciation combined 
with de facto generation and sponsorship of terrorism is wearing thin 
and has totally irresponsibly 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. 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 unobserved and unbathered with its 
major agenda there: OIL and the economy. The Cheney sponsored oil 
pipeline through Afghanistan that the Taliban was supposed to but was 
unable to guarantee, thus converting it from friend to enemy , is now in 
the hands of the new American appointed government. In Iraq it is yet 
difficult to tell WHAT the US occupation is doing – nobody even bather 
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 Victor 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. That 
would surely be good news to the GI’s, reservists, and privately 
employed but Pentagon contracted mercenaries who went to Iraq 
predominantly from poor rural America because the military offered their 
only option if that is really an offer for them now to join Cheney on 
the board of Halliburton.

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 paperpart of this essay speaks to this issue of the 
greatest world importance, Iraqi oil is again being priced in US dollars 
and no longer in Euros as under the dreadful Saddam Hussein.

full: http://www.marxmail.org/agfrank.htm


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