THE REAL MEANING OF A DEMOCRATIC SWEEP: NEO—CONS OR LIBERALS?

By Carolyn Baker

 For the past six years we have been held hostage by the neocon mob of the George W. Bush administration, selected in 2000 by the Supreme Court and taking power again in 2004 through countless dirty electoral tricks, particularly in the state of Ohio, abundantly documented by researchers of electronic voting. No one should assume that dirty tricks were not again in the works as the Democrats swept the Congressional elections of 2006 this week, followed the next day by the resignation of Dr. Death, Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. Bev Harris’ recent documentary, “Hacking Democracy” made very clear that both parties have been complicit in election-rigging. What is certain, however, as one witnesses the Democratic sweep is that neocon policies are guaranteed to be supplanted by neoliberal ones.Before thinking about what that means, it is important to understand the terms used, and particularly the origins, theory, and definitions of liberalism and neoliberalism. Essentially, neoliberalism is not simply an economic structure, it is a philosophy. This is most visible in attitudes toward society, the individual and employment. Neo-liberals tend to see the world in terms of market metaphors and couch their agenda in concepts such as “diplomacy”, “humanitarian aid”, “creating jobs”, and “growing the economy.” In fact, www.answers.com adds a further definition: “A political movement beginning in the 1960s that blends traditional liberal concerns for social justice with an emphasis on economic growth.” [Emphasis added]A clear articulation of the neoliberal paradigm is exemplifed by Richard Haass, President of the Council of Foreign Relations in the summary of his recent Foreign Affairs article, “The New Middle East” in which the author emphasizes the necessity of “diplomacy” geopolitics:The age of U.S. dominance in the Middle East has ended and a new era in the modern history of the region has begun. It will be shaped by new actors and new forces competing for influence, and to master it, Washington will have to rely more on diplomacy than on military might.Haass knows, in fact, that the age of U.S. dominance in the Middle East has not ended, but what the rest of the article clarifies is that for Haass, “dominance” is not unlike the neocon dominance of the region and the world. What is different is the methods employed. The neocons have blatantly proclaimed their agenda of geostrategic hegemony, achieved largely through military efforts, whereas the neoliberal strategy, which envisions the same hegemony, is sold with the above-named concepts, constituting the velvet glove encasing the iron globalist fist. Witness the famous June, 1991 quote by David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission who spoke unashamedly of the necessity of concealing the globalist mission:

We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries. [Emphasis added]

While many Democrats feign opposition to globalization, their votes tell another story. Master Globalist, Bill Clinton, put together with his former Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, the Hamilton Project, to “generate new ideas and an election strategy”, according to Washington Post business columnist, Steven Pearlstein, who noted that at the Project’s July 25 symposium, “Protect people, not jobs, was the headline message in the Hamilton Project briefing paper that rejected the protectionist policies of the union left as well as the ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics of the laissez-faire right.” In other words, centrist for the globalists means more outsourcing of American jobs, but implementing their hegemonic strategy discreetly.In the world envisioned by globalist Democrats, Haass comments: As for the opportunities to be seized, the first is to intervene more in the Middle East’s affairs with nonmilitary tools. Regarding Iraq, in addition to any redeployment of U.S. troops and training of local military and police, the United States should establish a regional forum for Iraq’s neighbors (Turkey and Saudi Arabia in particular) and other interested parties akin to that used to help manage events in Afghanistan following the intervention there in 2001. Doing so would necessarily require bringing in both Iran and Syria. Syria, which can affect the movement of fighters into Iraq and arms into Lebanon, should be persuaded to close its borders in exchange for economic benefits (from Arab governments, Europe, and the United States) and a commitment to restart talks on the status of the Golan Heights. In the new Middle East, there is a danger that Syria might be more interested in working with Tehran than with Washington. But it did join the U.S.-led coalition during the Persian Gulf War and attend the Madrid peace conference in 1991, two gestures that suggest it might be open to a deal with the United States in the future.The “non-military tools” to which Haass refers are essentially economic arm-twisting as employed by U.S. corporations worldwide to manipulate chaotic areas of the globe or developing nations with the assistance of the World Bank, World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and U.S. corporate privatization of resources.On this day following the mid-term elections, many individuals around me are cheering, but I am yawning—the other wing of America’s one and only corporate party has triumphed and is certain to anoint another consummate globalist in 2008. Whether the name is Clinton or Obama matters little. The Democrats, also tied to government contracts and petroleum in Iraq, champion leaders like Zbigniew Brzezinski whose Grand Chessboard laid out the globalist strategy of petro-dominance during the Clinton administration. In one moment, they wildly embrace the neoliberal agenda, then behave like contortionists in the next, frantically veering toward “the center.”Meanwhile, issues of Peak Oil and global climate chaos, “the dark matter” of American politics, are virtually ignored by the Democrats, and the next two years will see little achieved by them in addressing those ecological emergencies, unless doing so profits the corporations who own them.Yes, the Democrats swept Congress and a number of governorships, and yes, Rumsfeld resigned, now to be replaced by former CIA Director, Robert Gates of Iran-Contra fame. Don’t waste your energy cheering. You’ll need it when the temperature in Buffalo is the same 125 degrees as the temperature in Baghdad, and you have no energy for air conditioning.       

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