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Nuclear Free Scotland February 2005

A NEO-CON ERA?

‘The neo-cons position has been strengthened by the resignation of Colin Powell’

The revelations in the New Yorker magazine that US special forces are already operating on the ground inside Iran should concentrate our minds. Perhaps you thought the horror of Bush's re-election in November was at least tempered by the consolation that the world had changed and that reality would finally marginalise the discredited neo-conservative forces. After all, wasn't the US army seriously overstretched and taking a beating in Iraq? Had not the war fractured alliances with leading industrial nations like Germany and France, generated a huge wave of international anger at the abuse of American power across the world and fanned the flames of terrorism rather than destroying it? In return, it was difficult to see any achievements from the war and occupation. In particular, it had abjectly failed to deliver its promise of stability, prosperity or democracy to the people of Iraq. Perhaps, like me, you thought it was inconceivable that the US could sustain in political, economic or military terms another conflict in the near future.

Well think again. Bush's victory in a bitterly fought election campaign allows him to claim a popular mandate that he lacked 4 years ago. In the course of the campaign they created a 'seige' mentality in the minds of at least half the US population. Moreover, instead of being weakened by the perceived failure of their policy in Iraq, the neo-cons position has been strengthened by the resignation of secretary of state Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage and their replacement by Condeleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley. With Rumsfeld, Woolfowitz and Cheney remaining in post, the neo-conservatives have consodidated their grip on foreign policy. Changes and resignations at the CIA also suggest that the agency will be more clearly moulded to the needs of the new administration. This was reinforced by the tone of Bush's recent inauguration address. 'The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands'. The condition for maintaining the US way of life, it appears, is to export US-style 'freedom', if necessary by force of arms, to all corners of the world. And, as if to leave no doubt, Dick Cheney has described Iran as the administration's number one state of concern

 

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