What's particularly odd is that there seems to be no sophisticated, professional, insiders' version of the thinking that drove events. ...
My "best assessment of the real motives for war" suffers from the obstacle common to all assessments--none of the principals has been talking. But the fact that Bush, Cheney, and company had a central idea seems unmistakable to me. Their determination to invade and occupy Iraq says a great deal by itself. A useful way to look at things is to recall the reaction in Washington to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Sympathy for the Afghans was several places down the list. What most aroused Washington, and American allies in Europe, was the prospect that the Soviet Union would keep on going to fulfill a longstanding Russian dream of establishing a military presence on the Persian Gulf. The prospect of that had policymakers like Zbigniew Brzezinski seriously worried, because Soviet control of the movement of oil would provide a mighty tool for coercion of the entire developed world.
What it was only feared the Russians might do the Americans have actually done--they have planted themselves squarely astride the world's largest pool of oil, in a position potentially to control its movement and to coerce all the governments who depend on that oil. Americans naturally do not suspect their own motives but others do. The reaction of the Russians, the Germans, and the French in the months leading up to the Iraq war suggests that none of them wished to give Americans the power which Brzezinski had feared was the goal of the Soviets. In any event, the planting of a large-scale, long-term American military presence in the Middle East represents a huge strategic initiative--a gamble, in fact, of the sort that makes or breaks empires.
shitty documentaries about new kinds of gun that can shoot around corners and the like
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