Engdahl: USA’s “geopolitical nightmare”


Richard Moore

USA's 'geopolitical nightmare' and Eurasian strategic energy arrangements

By F. William Engdahl, author of 'A Century of 
War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New 
World Order,' Pluto Press Ltd. He may be 
contacted at, 

Part I: The disintegration of the Bush Presidency

By drawing attention to Iraq and the obvious role 
oil plays in US policy today, the Bush-Cheney 
administration has done just that: They have 
drawn the world's energy-deficit powers' 
attention firmly to the strategic battle over 
energy and especially oil. This is already having 
consequences for the global economy in terms of 
$75 a barrel crude oil price levels. Now it is 
taking on the dimension of what one former US 
Defense Secretary rightly calls a 'geopolitical 
nightmare' for the United States.

The creation by Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld and company 
of a geopolitical nightmare, is also the backdrop 
to comprehend the dramatic political shift within 
the US establishment in the past six months, away 
from the Bush Presidency. Simply put: Bush/Cheney 
and their band of neo-conservative warhawks, with 
their special relationship to the capacities of 
Israel in Iraq and across the Mideast, were given 
a chance. The chance was to deliver on the US 
strategic goal of control of petroleum resources 
globally, in order to ensure the US role as first 
among equals over the next decade and beyond.

Not only have they failed to 'deliver' that goal 
of US strategic dominance. They have also 
threatened the very basis of continued US 
hegemony or as the Rumsfeld Pentagon likes to 
term it, 'Full Spectrum Dominance.' The move by 
Bolivian President Evo Morales, following 
meetings with Velezuela's Hugo Chavez and Fidel 
Castro, to assert national control over oil and 
gas resources is only the latest demonstration of 
the decline in US power projection.

Future of the Bush Doctrine in the balance

As the reality of US foreign policy is obscured 
by the endless rhetoric of 'defending democracy' 
and the like, it is useful to recall that US 
foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet 
Union has been open and explicit. It is to 
prevent at any cost the congealing of a potential 
combination of nations that might challenge US 
dominance. This is the US policy as elaborated in 
Bush's June 2002 West Point speech.

There the President outlined a radical departure 
in explicit US foreign policy in two vital areas: 
A policy of preventive war, should the US be 
threatened by terrorists or by rogue states 
engaged in the production of weapons of mass 
destruction. Second, the right of self-defense 
authorized the USA to launch pre-emptive attacks 
against potential aggressors, cutting them off 
before they are able to launch strikes against 
the US.

The new US doctrine, the Bush Doctrine, also 
proclaimed, 'the duty of the US to pursue 
unilateral military action when acceptable 
multilateral solutions cannot be found.' It went 
further and declared it US policy that the 
'United States has, and intends to keep, military 
strengths beyond challenge.' The US would take 
whatever actions necessary to continue its status 
as the world's sole military superpower. This 
resembled British Empire policy before World War 
I, namely, that the Royal Navy must be larger 
than the world's next two largest navies put 

The policy also included pro-active regime change 
around the world under the slogan of 'extending 
democracy.' As Bush stated at West Point, 
'America has no empire to extend or utopia to 
establish. We wish for others only what we wish 
for ourselves -- safety from violence, the 
rewards of liberty, and the hope for a better 

Those policy fragments were gathered into an 
official policy in September 2002, a National 
Security Council text entitled the National 
Security Strategy of the United States. That text 
was drafted for the President's signature by then 
NSA head Condi Rice. She in turn took an earlier 
policy document prepared under the 1992 Bush 
senior Presidency by neo-conservative Paul 

The Bush Doctrine of Rice had been fully 
delineated in 1992 in a Defense Planning Guidance 
'final draft' done by then Under Secretary of 
Defense for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz, and known in 
Washington as the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Wolfowitz 
declared then, that with the threat of a Soviet 
attack gone, the US was the unchallenged sole 
Superpower and should pursue its global agenda 
including pre-emptive war and unilateral foreign 
policy actions.

An internal leak of the draft to the New York 
Times then led President Bush senior to announce 
it was 'only a draft and not US policy.' By 2002 
it was officially US policy.

The Bush Doctrine stated that 'military 
pre-emption' was legitimate when the threat was 
'emerging' or 'sufficient, even if uncertainty 
remains as to the time and place of the enemy's 
attack.' That left a hole large enough for an 
Abrams tank to roll through, according to 
critics. Afghanistan, as case in point, was 
declared a legitimate target for US military 
bombardment, because the Taliban regime had said 
it would turn Osama bin Laden over only when the 
US  demonstrated proof he was behind the 
September 11 World Trade Center and Pentagon 
attacks. Bush didn't give proof. He did launch a 
'pre-emptive' war. At the time, few bothered to 
look to the niceties of international law.

The Bush Doctrine was and is a neo-conservative 
doctrine of preventive and pre-emptive war. It 
has proven to be a strategic catastrophe for the 
United States role as sole Superpower. That is 
the background to comprehend all events today as 
they are unfolding in and around Washington.

The future of that Bush Doctrine foreign policy 
and in fact the future ability of the United 
States, as sole Superpower or sole anything to 
hold forth is what is now at stake in the issue 
of the future of the Bush Presidency. Useful to 
note is that Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz 
wrote his 1992 draft for then Defense Secretary, 
Dick Cheney.
Bush Administration in crisis

The most fascinating indication of a sea-change 
within the American political establishment 
towards the Bush Doctrine and those who are 
behind it is the developing debate around the 
83-page paper, first published on the official 
website of Harvard University, criticizing the 
dominant role of Israel in shaping US foreign 

The paper was initially trashed by the ADL of 
B'nai Brith and select neo-conservative writers, 
as 'anti-semitic', which it is not, and as one 
commentator tried to smear it, as 'echoing the 
views of former KKK leader and white power 
advocate David Duke,' who has also attacked the 
Israel lobby. However, profoundly significant is 
the fact that this time, leading mainstream 
media, including Richard Cohen in the Washington 
Post , have come to defense of Walt and 
Mearsheimer. Even certain Israeli press has done 
so. The taboo of speaking publicly of the 
pro-Israel agenda of neo-conservatives has 
apparently been broken. That suggests that the 
old-guard foreign policy establishment, types 
such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft 
and their allies, are stepping up to retake 
foreign policy leadership. The neo-cons have 
proved a colossal failure in their defense of 
America's strategic real interests as the 
realists see it.

The paper, 'The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign 
Policy,' was written by two highly respected US 
foreign policy realists and consultants to the 
State Department. The authors are neither 
neo-Nazi skinheads nor anti-Semites. John J. 
Mearsheimer is political science professor and 
co-director of the Program on International 
Security Policy at the University of Chicago. 
Stephen M. Walt is academic dean and a chaired 
professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of 
Government. Both are members of the Coalition for 
a Realistic Foreign Policy. They are so-called 
'realists' along with Kissinger, Scowcroft, 

Some of their conclusions about the Israel lobby's goals:

*  'No lobby has managed to divert foreign policy 
as far from what the American national interest 
would otherwise suggest, while simultaneously 
convincing Americans that U.S. and Israeli 
interests are essentially identical.'

*  American supporters of Israel promoted the war 
against Iraq. The senior administration officials 
who spearheaded the campaign were also in the 
vanguard of the pro-Israel lobby, e.g., then 
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; 
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas 
Feith; Elliott Abrams, Mideast affairs at the 
White House; David Wurmser, Mideast affairs for 
Vice President Richard Cheney; Richard Perle, 
first among neocon equals, chairman of the 
Defense Policy Board, an influential advisory 
body of strategic experts.

*  A similar effort is now under way to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

*  AIPAC is fighting registering as foreign 
agents because this would place severe 
limitations on its congressional activities, 
particularly in the legislative electoral arena. 
... American politicians remain acutely sensitive 
to campaign contributions and other forms of 
political pressure and major media outlets are 
likely to remain sympathetic to Israel no matter 
what it does.

It's useful to quote the official goals of the 
Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, of 
which Walt and Mearsheimer are members, to have a 
better indication of their factional line-up in 
the current factional battle inside the US elite. 
The website of that Coalition states,

'Against the backdrop of an ever-bloodier 
conflict in Iraq, American foreign policy is 
moving in a dangerous direction toward empire.

Worrisome imperial trends are apparent in the 
Bush administration's National Security Strategy. 
That document pledges to maintain America's 
military dominance in the world, and it does so 
in a way that encourages other nations to form 
countervailing coalitions and alliances. We can 
expect, and are seeing now, multiple balances of 
power forming against us. People resent and 
resist domination, no matter how benign.

Authors Walt and Mearsheimer also note that 
Richard Perle and Douglas Feith put their names 
to a 1996 policy blueprint for Benjamin 
Netanyahu's then incoming government in Israel, 
titled, 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for 
Securing the Realm [Israel].'

In that document, Perle and Feith advised 
Netanyahu that the rebuilding of Zionism must 
abandon any thought of trading land for peace 
with the Palestinians, i.e., repeal the Oslo 
accords. Next, Saddam Hussein must be overthrown 
and democracy established in Iraq, which would 
then prove contagious in Israel's other Arab 
neighbors. That was in 1996, seven years before 
Bush launched a near unilateral war for regime 
change in Iraq.

When NBC's TV's Tim Russert on the widely-watched 
'Meet the Press' asked Perle about his 
geopolitical laundry list for Israel's benefit, 
Perle replied, 'What's wrong with that?'

For all this to succeed, Perle and Feith wrote, 
'Israel would have to win broad American 
support.' To ensure this support, they advised 
the Israeli prime minister to use 'language 
familiar to Americans by tapping into themes of 
past US administrations during the Cold War, 
which apply as well to Israel.' An Israeli 
columnist in Ha'aretz accused Perle and Feith of, 
'walking a fine line' between 'their loyalty to 
American governments and Israeli interests.'

Today, Perle has been forced to take a low 
profile in Washington after initially heading 
Rumsfeld's Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon. 
Feith was forced to leave the State Department 
for the private sector. That was more than a year 

Wave of Bush resignations underway

Now White House Chief of Staff and a man who was 
a Bush family loyal retainer for 25 years, Andrew 
Card, has left, and in an announcement that 
apparently shocked the neo-conservative hawks 
like William Kristol, on May 5 Bush's pro-neo-con 
CIA head, Porter Goss, abruptly announced his 
resignation in a one line statement.

Goss' departure was preceded by the growing 
scandal involving Goss' Number 3 man at CIA, 
Executive Director, Kyle 'Dusty' Foggo. Last 
December the CIA Inspector General opened an 
investigation into Foggo's role in Pengaton-CIA 
contract fraud. Foggo is also being linked to an 
emerging White House-GOP sex scandal which could 
pale the Monika Lewinsky affair. As Goss violated 
seniority precedence in naming Foggo to No. 3 at 
CIA, the Goss resignation and the imminent 
breaking sex and bribery scandals around Foggo 
are being linked by some media.

The Foggo case is tied to disgraced Republican 
Congressman, Randall 'Duke' Cunningham. Federal 
prosecutors have accused, as an un-indicted 
co-conspirator, one of Foggo's closest friends, 
San Diego businessman Brent Wilkes, of 
participating in a scheme to bribe Cunningham, 
the former GOP congressman from San Diego. 
Cunningham in turn is linked to convicted 
Republican money launderer and fix-it man, Jack 
Abramoff. Foggo oversaw contracts involving at 
least one of the companies accused of paying 
bribes to Congressman Cunningham. The Wall Street 
Journal reports that Foggo has been a close 
friend, since junior high school, with California 
defense contractor Brent R. Wilkes. They report, 
an ongoing 'criminal investigation' centers on 
whether Mr. Foggo used his postings at the CIA to 
improperly steer contracts to Mr. Wilkes's 

Wilkes was implicated in the charges filed 
against Cunningham, as an un-indicted 
co-conspirator who allegedly paid $630,000 in 
bribes to Cunningham for help in obtaining 
federal defense and other contracts. No charges 
have been filed against Wilkes, though federal 
prosecutors in San Diego are working to build a 
case against him, as well as Foggo.

The FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating 
evidence that Wilkes had given gifts to Foggo and 
paid for various services, including alleged sex 
orgies at the Watergate (now Westin), while Foggo 
was in a position to help him gain particular CIA 

  The CIA inspector general has opened an 
investigation into the spy agency's executive 
director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, and his connections 
to two defense contractors accused of bribing a 
member of Congress and Pentagon officials.

The Goss resignation follows on the heels of 
public calls for Secretary Rumsfeld's immediate 
resignation over the Iraq military debacle coming 
from a growing chorus of retired US military 

The latest in the slow, systematic 'let 'em twist 
in the wind' process of downsizing the Bush 
regime, was an incident in Atlanta May 4 before a 
supposedly friendly foreign policy audience where 
Rumsfeld spoke. During the question period, he 
was confronted with his laying about the ground 
for going to war in Iraq.

Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran who once gave 
then-President George H.W. Bush his morning 
intelligence briefings, engaged in an extended 
debate with Rumsfeld. He asked why Rumsfeld had 
insisted before the Iraq invasion that there was 
'bulletproof evidence' linking Saddam Hussein to 
Al Qaeda.

'Was that a lie, Mr. Rumsfeld, or was that 
manufactured somewhere else? Because all of my 
CIA colleagues disputed that and so did the 9/11 
commission,' McGovern asked a startled Rumsfeld. 
'Why did you lie to get us into a war that was 
not necessary?'

Significant in terms of the shift reflected in 
how the establishment media handles Rumsfeld, 
Cheney and Bush today is the following account in 
the Los Angeles Times:

'At the start of the exchange, Rumsfeld remained 
his usual unflappable self, insisting, "I haven't 
lied; I did not lie then," before launching into 
a vigorous defense of the administration's prewar 
assertions on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

     But Rumsfeld became uncharacteristically 
tongue-tied when McGovern pressed him on claims 
that he knew where unconventional Iraqi weapons 
were located.

     "You said you knew where they were," McGovern said.

     "I did not. I said I knew where suspected sites were," Rumsfeld retorted.

     McGovern then read from statements the 
Defense secretary had made that weapons were 
located near Tikrit, Iraq, and BaghdadŠ'

Rumsfeld was stone silent. The entire episode was 
filmed and shown on network television. 
Rumsfeld's days are clearly numbered. Karl Rove 
is rumoured to be days away from being 
co-indicted with Cheney aide Lewis Libby for the 
Valerie Plame CIA leak affair. Recall that that 
affair was over alleged Niger uranium evidence as 
basis for convincing Congress to waive a War 
Declaration on Iraq and give Bush carte blanche. 
All threads are being carefully woven, evidently 
by a re-emerging realist faction into a tapestry 
which will likely spell Impeachment, perhaps also 
of the Vice President, the real power behind this 

Part II: Disintegration of US Eurasia Strategic Influence

A Foreign Policy disaster over China

In this context, the recent diplomatic insult 
from Bush to visiting China President Hu Jintao, 
is doubly disastrous for the US foreign position. 
Bush acted on a script written by the anti-China 
neo-conservatives, to deliberately insult and 
humiliate Hu at the White House. First was the 
incident of allowing a Taiwanese 'journalist,' a 
Falun Gong member, into the carefully-screened 
White House press conference, to rant in a tirade 
against Chinese human rights for more than three 
minutes, with no attempt at removal, at a White 
House filmed press conference. Then came the 
playing of the Chinese National Hymn for Hu. The 
'Chinese' hymn, however, was the (Taiwan) 
Republic of China hymn, not the (Beijing) 
Peoples' Republic hymn.

It was no 'slip-up by the professional White 
House protocol people. It was a deliberate effort 
to humiliate the Chinese leader. The problem is 
that the US economy has become dependent on 
Chinese trade imports and on Chinese holdings of 
US Treasury securities. China today is the 
largest holder of dollar reserves in form of US 
Treasury paper with an estimated $825 billion. 
Were Beijing to decide to exit the US bond 
market, even in part, it would cause a dollar 
free-fall and collapse of the $7 trillion US real 
estate market, a wave of US bank failures and 
huge unemployment. It's a real option even if 
unlikely at the moment.

China's Hu didn's waste time or tears over the 
Bush affront. He immediately went on to Saudi 
Arabia for a 3 day state visit where both signed 
trade, defense and security agreements. Needless 
to say, this is no small slap in the fact to 
Washington by the traditionally 'loyal' Saudi 
Royal House.

Hu signed a deal for SABIC of Saudi Arabia to 
build a $5.2 billion oil refinery and 
petrochemical project in northeast China. At the 
beginning of this year, King Abdullah was in 
Beijing for a full state visit. HmmmmmŠSince the 
Roosevelt-King Ibn Saud deal giving US Aramco and 
not the British exclusive concession to develop 
Saudi oil in 1943, Saudi Arabia has been regarded 
in Washington as a core strategic sphere of 

Hu then went on to Morocco, another traditional 
US sphere of interest, Nigeria and Kenya, all 
regarded as US spheres of interest. Hmmmm. Only 
two months ago Rumsfeld was in Morocco to offer 
US arms. Hu is offering to finance energy 
exploration there.

The SCO and Iran events

The latest developments around the Shanghai 
Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Iran further 
underscore the dramatic change in the 
geopolitical position of the United States.

The SCO was created in Shanghai on June 15, 2001 
by Russia and China along with four former USSR 
Central Asian republics-- Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, 
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Prior to September 11 
2001, and the US declaration of an Axis of Evil 
in January 2002, the SCO was merely background 
geopolitical chatter as far as Washington was 
concerned. Today the SCO, which has to date been 
blacked out almost entirely in US mainstream 
media, is defining a new political counterweight 
to US hegemony and its 'one-polar' world.

At the next June 15 2006 SCO meeting, Iran has 
been invited to become a full SCO member.

Last month in Teheran, the Chinese Ambassador, 
Lio G Tan announced that a pending oil and gas 
deal between China and Iran is ready to be signed.

The deal is said to be worth at least $100 
billion, and includes development of the huge 
Yadavaran onshore oil field. China's Sinopec 
would agree to buy 250 million tons of LNG over 
25 years. No wonder China is not jumping to back 
Washington against Iran in the UN Security 
Council. The US had been trying to put massive 
pressure on Beijing to halt the deal, for obvious 
geopolitical reasons, to no avail. Another major 
defeat for Washington.

Iran is also moving on plans to deliver natural 
gas via a pipeline to Pakistan and India. Energy 
ministers from the three countries met in Doha 
recently and plan to meet again this month in 

The pipeline progress is a direct rebuff to 
Washington's efforts to steer investors clear of 
Iran. Ironically, US opposition is driving these 
countries into each others' arms, Washington's 
'geopolitical nightmare.'

At the same June 15 SCO meeting, India, which 
Bush is personally attempting to woo as a 
geopolitical Asian 'counterweight' to China, will 
also be invited to join SCO. As well, Mongolia 
and Pakistan will be invited to join SCO. SCO is 
gaining in geopolitical throw-weight quite 

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr 
Mohammadi told ITAR-Tass in Moscow in April that 
Iranian membership in SCO could 'make the world 
more fair.' He also spoke of building an 
Iran-Russia 'gas-and-oil arc' in which the two 
giant energy producers would coordinate 

US out in cold in Central Asia

The admission of Iran into SCO opens many new 
options for Iran and the region. By virtue of SCO 
membership, Iran can now take part in SCO 
projects, which in turn means access to 
badly-needed technology, investment, trade, 
infrastructure development. It will have major 
implications for global energy security.

The SCO has reportedly set up a working group of 
experts ahead of the June summit to develop a 
common SCO Asian energy strategy, and discuss 
joint pipeline projects, oil exploration and 
related activities. Iran sits on the world's 
second largest natural gas reserves, and Russia 
has the largest. Russia is the world's second 
largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia. These 
are no small moves.

India is desperate to come to terms with Iran for 
energy but is being pressured by Washington not 

The Bush Administration last year tried to get 
'observer status' at SCO but was turned down. The 
rebuff - along with SCO's demands for a reduced 
American military presence in Central Asia, 
deeper Russia-China cooperation and the setbacks 
to US diplomacy in Central Asia - have prompted a 
policy review in Washington.

After her October 2005 Central Asian tour, 
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced 
re-organization of the US State Department's 
South Asia Bureau to include the Central Asian 
states, and a new US 'Greater Central Asia' 

Washington is trying to wean Central Asian states 
away from Russia and China. Hamid Karzai's 
government in Kabul has not responded to SCO's 
overtures. Given his ties historically to 
Washington, he likely has little choice.

Gennady Yefstafiyev, a former general in Russia's 
Foreign Intelligence Service, says, 'The US's 
long term goals in Iran are obvious: to engineer 
the downfall of the current regime; to establish 
control over Iran's oil and gas; and to use its 
territory as the shortest route for the 
transportation of hydrocarbons under US control 
from the regions of Central Asia and the Caspian 
Sea bypassing Russia and China. This is not to 
mention Iran's intrinsic military and strategic 

Washington had based its strategy on Kazakhstan 
being its key partner in Central Asia. The US 
wants to expand its physical control over 
Kazakhstan's oil reserves and formalize Kazakh 
oil transportation via Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, as 
well as creating the dominant US role in Caspian 
Sea security. But Kazakhstan isn't playing ball. 
President Nursultan Nazarbayev went to Moscow on 
April 3 to reaffirm his continued dependence on 
Russian oil pipelines. And China, as we noted 
back in December, is making major energy and 
pipeline deals with Kazakhstan as well.

To make Washington's geopolitical problems worse, 
despite securing a major US military basing deal 
with Uzbekistan after September 2001, 
Washington's relations with Uzbekistan today are 
disastrous. The US effort to isolate President 
Islam Karimov, along lines of the Ukraine 'Orange 
Revolution' tactics, is not working. Indian Prime 
Minister Manmohan Singh visited Tashkent in late 

As well, Tajikistan relies heavily on Russia's 
support. In Kyrgyzstan, despite covert US 
attempts to create dissensions within the regime, 
President Burmanbek Bakiyev's alliance with 
Moscow-backed Prime Minister Felix Kulov, is 

In the space of 12 months Russia and China have 
managed to move the pieces on the geopolitical 
'chess board' of Eurasia away from what had been 
an overwhelming US strategic advantage, to the 
opposite, where the US is increasingly isolated. 
It's potentially the greatest strategic defeat 
for the US power projection of the post World War 
II period. This is also the strategic background 
to the re-emergence of the so-called realist 
faction in US policy.


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