Progressive Calendar 08.29.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 16:12:23 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    08.29.10

1. Plug-in hybrids   8.30 9am
2. StThomas/torture  8.30 10am
3. Food gardens      8.30 6pm
4. Peace walk        8.30 6pm RiverFalls WI
5. Mpls bike plan    8.30 6:30pm
6. Amnesty Intl      8.30 7pm

7. Palestine/CTV     8.31 5pm
8. Peace/McDonald    8.31 6:30pm

9. Alliant vigil     9.01 7am
10. MN hiring equity 9.01 1pm
11. Merriam/peace    9.01 6pm

12.John Bellamy Foster - Warning to Africa: new US imperial grand strategy
13. ed                 - Bumpersticker

--------1 of 13--------

From: TruthToTell <andydriscoll [at]>
Subject: Plug-in hybrids 8.30 9am

MONDAY at 9:00AM - KFAI FM 90.3 or 106.7 or LISTEN LIVE at

We've talked before on TruthToTell about Peak Oil and the inevitability of
higher prices at the pump, not to mention the rapid depletion of easily
accessible supplies of crude oil and our voracious appetite for the black
blood of the earth here in the good old USofA. The slow transition of some
vehicle manufacturers to hybrid gas/electric automobiles has spawned some
serious interest in driving greener and cleaner.

The purchase of a Prius to make driving greener by using hybrid
gas/electric technology is seen as but the first step to moving off
petroleum-based transportation. Now comes ReGo - a homegrown company
taking the Prius - and, eventually, they hope, all hybrids, nay, all
vehicles - to the highest possible level of green efficiency: extending
the electric part of the Prius by a factor of ten and turning 50 MPG to 85
MPG and more - and all with an extension cord to your standard home or
garage outlet.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN (who owns a Prius) talk
with ReGo Electric conversion partners SHAYNA BERKOWITZ and ALEX
DANOVITCH about what makes this technology so innovative and where it may
take us next.

Tune in Monday at 9:00AM to hear the story of the little green enterprise
that could.

Conversions for Hybrid Cars

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From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: StThomas/torture 8.30 10am

Leafleting and Bannering with T3
Monday, August 30, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. University of St. Thomas,
School of Law, 1000 LaSalle Avenue, Minneapolis.

Leafleting and bannering on August 30 to remind the St. Thomas School of
Law how it's failing to follow its own Mission Statement when it employs
Robert Delahunty who coauthored with John Yoo the Office of Legal Counsel
memos that declared the Geneva Conventions no longer applied to "non-
state Actors" thus opening the door to torture. Sponsored by: the WAMM
Tackling Torture at the Top (T3).

--------3 of 13--------

From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at]>
Subject: Food gardens 8.30 6pm

Join efforts to develop Neighborhood Resource Hubs for local food!

The City of Minneapolis is teaming up with Gardening Matters to establish
neighborhood-based resource centers to support household gardeners,
community gardeners, urban farmers and others in improving and expanding
our local food system.  The kickoff event is scheduled for Monday, August
30, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in the
Basement Fellowship Room (2901 Emerson Avenue N., Minneapolis).  We
encourage you all to attend to help co-create these public structures that
will support future Minneapolis efforts to increase local food growing,
preservation, distribution, consumption and composting!

Gardening Matters is currently accepting letters of interest related to
the project.  If you are potentially interested in partnering to host a
Resource Hub in your neighborhood, please send a short letter of interest
by September 5th 2010, with the following information:

Your name, organization's name, and contact information (phone, email,
What you would like to offer a Resource Hub (if you know)
The need you see for a Resource Hub in your geographic area

Please send your Letters of Interest to:
Info [at] or
Gardening Matters
Sabathani Community Center
310 E. 38th St., Suite 204b
Minneapolis, MN  55409
Questions?  Call 612-492-8964

Your letters of interest and input at the August 30th meeting will help
structure conversations to make the most of the follow-up event on
September 12-14th when Greening of Detroit staff are in Minneapolis to
share what they learned in developing their own Garden Resource Hubs. The
Detroit visit will include building one or more hoophouses, developing a
plan of action, and learning more about local opportunities to increase
fresh foods in our communities!

*These projects are supported by the Minneapolis Department of Health and
Family Support and its Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative
of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, funded by the
Minnesota Department of Health.  This effort is also part of the City's
of Minneapolis' Homegrown Minneapolis initiative.

--------4 of 13--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 8.30 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------5 of 13--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at]>
Subject: Mpls bike plan 8.30 6:30pm

A Draft Bicycle Master Plan was presented to a Council committee this week
and is headed to the full Council after one more round of gathering
community input. The plan has been in the works for over a year and will
become the first comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan for Minneapolis.

According to the staff report "The purpose of the Bicycle Master Plan is
to establish goals, objectives, and benchmarks that improve safety and
mobility for bicyclists and increase the number of trips taken by bicycle.
The Bicycle Master Plan discusses bicycle policy, evaluates existing
conditions, conducts a needs analysis, creates a list of prioritized
projects and initiatives, and suggests funding strategies to be
implemented to complete the plan."

You can see the plan at:

Five public meetings have been scheduled to allow for public input and to
answer questions as follows:

- Monday, August 30th, Edison High School Auditorium, 700 22nd Avenue NE,
6:30 to 8:30pm

- Wednesday, September 1st, Roosevelt High School Auditorium, 4029 28th
Avenue S, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

- Wednesday, September 8th, Washburn High School Auditorium, 201 W 49th
Street, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

- Monday, September 13th, Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall
Auditorium, 300 Nicollet Mall, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

- Wednesday, September 15th, University of Minnesota Urban Research and
Outreach/Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Avenue N, 6:00 to 8:00pm

We are giving the public 45 days to provide comments, with an October 1
comment deadline.  After reviewing the comments received, a final draft
will be presented to the Transportation and Public Works Committee on
November 30.

I hope many people will take the time to review the plan and make
comments. To help get more people involved, please feel encouraged to
share this information. This plan has the potential to guide bicycling
policy, projects and investments for years to come. Let's all work
together to make it the best plan possible.

Cam Gordon Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward 673-2202, 296-0579
cam [at]

--------6 of 13--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 8.30 7pm

Augustana Homes Seniors Group meets on Monday, August 30th, from 7:00 to
8:00 p.m. in the party room of the 1020 Building, 1020 E 17th Street,
Minneapolis. For more information contact Ardes Johnson at 612/378-1166 or
johns779 [at]

--------7 of 13--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine/CTV 8.31 5pm

On tv and streaming now @ ...
"From One West Bank to Another: Two Locals' Stories from Palestine"

Speaking to an audience in the West Bank area in Minneapolis, two young
American women share stories from their recent visits to the West Bank in
Palestine.  Their interactive presentation provides an intimate glimpse
into the lives of Palestinians rarely seen on U.S. television. (filmed
Aug. '10)

SPNN 15 viewers:
"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)
Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm, midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am,
after DemocracyNow! Households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 8/31 @ 5pm & midnight + Wed, 9/1, 10am
"From One West Bank to Another: Two Locals' Stories from Palestine"

--------8 of 13--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Peace/McDonald 8.31 6:30pm

Tuesday, Aug. 31, we will be treated to the Voices for Peace, a singing
group, including, among others, Brigid McDonald.  Peace comes to us in
little things, and listening to these women sing, and hearing people
express what peace means to us, will only help us do what we need to do to
keep working for peace and justice.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------9 of 13--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 9.01 7am

Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am
Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday
morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems,
7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie.
We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies?
directions and lots of info:

--------10 of 13--------

From: Maura Brown - Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Subject: MN hiring equity 9.01 1pm

Moving Minnesota from Worst to Best on Hiring Equity
A leadership session with Algernon Austen of the Economic Policy

This spring, the Economic Policy Institute released a report (PDF) that
revealed the Twin Cities is the worst metropolitan region in the nation
when it comes to unemployment disparities between blacks and whites.
African Americans in the Twin Cities are more than three times as likely
to be unemployed than whites with similar education levels.

The Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, in partnership with the Minnesota
Council on Foundations, invites you to join the author of that report to
examine unemployment in the Twin Cities. Algernon Austen will discuss the
findings of the report, and what nonprofits and government agencies can do
to promote workforce opportunities for all residents.

Moving Minnesota from Worst to Best on Hiring Equity 1 - 3:30 pm
Wednesday, September 1 Wilder Center, St. Paul

Algernon Austin is a leading researcher on race and employment. He will be
joined by local nonprofit and government leaders who will discuss how to
advance equitable policies in Minnesota (panelists TBA). Anyone with an
interest in reducing racial disparities in unemployment is encouraged to
attend -- nonprofit leaders, public sector employees, funders and

Registration for this event is free, but space is limited. Online
registration is required.

Maura Brown Associate Director Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

--------11 of 13--------

From: "Krista Menzel (Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace)" <web [at]>
Subject: Merriam/peace 9.01 6pm

2010 Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace Meetings
First Wednesday of each month
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
6:00-7:45 p.m. (Note time change due to reduced library hours)
Merriam Park Library - Basement Meeting Room A or B
1831 Marshall Avenue (at Fairview Avenue), St. Paul, MN

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A Warning to Africa: The New U.S. Imperial Grand Strategy
by John Bellamy Foster
Monthly Review June **2006**

Imperialism is constant for capitalism. But it passes through various
phases as the system evolves. At present the world is experiencing a new
age of imperialism marked by a U.S. grand strategy of global domination.
One indication of how things have changed is that the U.S. military is now
truly global in its operations with permanent bases on every continent,
including Africa, where a new scramble for control is taking place focused
on oil.

Elite opinion in the United States in the decade immediately following the
collapse of the Soviet Union often decried the absence of a U.S. grand
strategy comparable to what George Kennan labeled .containment,. under the
mantle of which the United States intervened throughout the Cold War
years. The key question, as posed in November 2000 by national-security
analyst Richard Haass, was that of determining how the United States
should utilize its current .surplus of power. to reshape the world.
Haass.s answer, which doubtless contributed to his being hired immediately
after as director of policy planning for Colin Powell.s State Department
in the new Bush administration, was to promote an .Imperial America.
strategy aimed at securing U.S. global dominance for decades to come. Only
months before, a similar, if even more nakedly militaristic, grand
strategy had been presented by the Project for the New American Century,
in a report authored by future top Bush-administration figures Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Lewis Libby, among others.1

This new imperial grand strategy became a reality, following the attacks
of September 11, 2001, in the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.and
was soon officially enshrined in the White House.s National Security
Strategy statement of 2002. Summing up the new imperial thrust in Harvard
Magazine, Stephen Peter Rosen, director of the Olin Institute for
Strategic Studies at Harvard and a founding member of the Project for the
New American Century, wrote:

A political unit that has overwhelming superiority in military power, and
uses that power to influence the internal behavior of other states, is
called an empire. Because the United States does not seek to control
territory or govern the overseas citizens of the empire, we are an
indirect empire, to be sure, but an empire nonetheless. If this is
correct, our goal is not combating a rival, but maintaining our imperial
position, and maintaining imperial order. Planning for imperial wars is
different from planning for conventional international wars....Imperial
wars to restore order are not so constrained [by deterrence
considerations]. The maximum amount of force can and should be used as
quickly as possible for psychological demonstrate that the
empire cannot be challenged with impunity....[I]mperial strategy focuses
on preventing the emergence of powerful, hostile challengers to the
empire: by war if necessary, but by imperial assimilation if possible.2
Commenting in late 2002 in Foreign Policy, John Lewis Gaddis, professor of
military and naval history at Yale, stated that the goal of the impending
war on Iraq was one of inflicting an .Agincourt on the banks of the
Euphrates.. This would be a demonstration of power so great that, as in
Henry V.s famous fifteenth-century victory in France, the geopolitical
landscape would be changed for decades to come. What was ultimately at
issue, according to Gaddis, was .the management of the international
system by a single hegemon..the United States. This securing of hegemony
over the entire world by the United States by means of preemptive actions
was, he contended, nothing less than .a new grand strategy of

The Nature of Grand Strategy

Since the time of Clausewitz, tactics has been designated in military
circles as .the art of using troops in battle. strategy as .the art of
using battles to win the war..4 In contrast, the idea of .grand strategy.
as classically promoted by military strategists and historians, such as
Edward Meade Earle and B. H. Liddell Hart, refers to the integration of
the war-making potential of a state with its larger political-economic
ends. As historian Paul Kennedy observed in Grand Strategies in War and
Peace (1991): .a true grand strategy. is .concerned with peace as much as
(perhaps even more than) with war....about the evolution or integration of
policies that should operate for decades, or even for centuries..5

Grand strategies are geopolitical in orientation, geared to domination of
whole geographical regions.including strategic resources such as minerals
and waterways, economic assets, populations, and vital military positions.
The most successful grand strategies of the past are seen as those of
long-standing empires, which have been able to maintain their power over
large geographical expanses for extended periods of time. Hence,
historians of grand strategy commonly focus on the nineteenth-century
British Empire (Pax Britannica) and even the ancient Roman Empire (Pax

For the United States today what is at stake is no longer control of a
mere portion of the globe, but a truly global Pax Americana. Although some
commentators have seen the latest U.S. imperial thrust as the work of a
small cabal of neoconservatives within the Bush administration, the
reality is one of broad concurrence within the U.S. power structure on the
necessity of expanding the U.S. empire. One recent collection, including
contributions by administration critics, is entitled The Obligation of
Empire: United States. Grand Strategy for a New Century.6

Ivo. H. Daalder (senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former
foreign policy advisor to Howard Dean) and James M. Lindsay (vice
president of the Council on Foreign Relations, previously employed by
Clinton.s National Security Council) argue in their book America Unbound
that the United States has long had a .secret empire,. disguised by
multilateralism. The Bush White House.s unilateral policy of building
.empire on American power alone. has changed things only to the extent
that it has stripped away the empire.s hidden character and reduced its
overall force by relying less on vassal states. According to Daalder and
Lindsay, the United States is now under the command of .hegemonist.
thinkers who want to ensure that the United States dominates the entire
globe.both in its own national self-interest and in order to reshape the
world in tune with .democratic imperialism.. But such an aggressive
posture, they point out, is not outside the historic range of U.S. policy.
A unilateralist imperial thrust can be traced back to Theodore Roosevelt
and was present from the beginning of the Cold War era in the Truman and
Eisenhower administrations. Still, Daalder and Lindsay hold out the
possibility of a more cooperative strategy, with the other great powers
falling in behind the United States, as a superior approach to running an

Such cooperative imperialism, however, becomes more difficult to achieve
once the hegemon.s power begins to wane. Not only is the United States
suffering increased economic competition, but with the demise of the
Soviet Union the NATO alliance has weakened: Washington.s European vassals
do not always follow its lead, even though they are unable to challenge it
directly. The temptation facing a waning hegemonic power.still armed and
dangerous.caught in such circumstances is to attempt to rebuild and even
expand its power by acting unilaterally and monopolizing the spoils.

The War for the .New American Century.

Capitalism is a system that is worldwide in its economic scope but divided
politically into competing states that develop economically at different
rates. The contradiction of uneven capitalist development was classically
expressed by Lenin in 1916 in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of

There can be no other conceivable basis under capitalism for the division
of spheres of influence, of interests, of colonies, etc., than a
calculation of the strength of the participants in the division, their
general economic, financial, military strength, etc. And the strength of
these participants in the division does not change to an equal degree, for
under capitalism the development of different undertakings, trusts,
branches of industry, or countries cannot be even. Half a century ago,
Germany was a miserable, insignificant country, as far as its capitalist
strength was concerned, compared with the strength of England at that
time. Japan was similarly insignificant compared with Russia. Is it
.conceivable. that in ten or twenty years. time the relative strength of
the imperialist powers will have remained unchanged? Absolutely
It is now widely acknowledged that the world is undergoing a global
economic transformation. Not only is the growth rate of the world economy
as a whole slowing, but the relative economic strength of the United
States is continuing to weaken. In 1950 the United States accounted for
about half of world GDP, falling to a little over a fifth by 2003.
Likewise it accounted for almost half of the world.s stock of global
foreign direct investment in 1960, compared to a little over 20 percent at
the beginning of this century. According to projections of Goldman Sachs,
China could overtake the United States as the world.s largest economy by

This growing threat to U.S. power is fueling Washington.s obsession with
laying the groundwork for a .New American Century.. Its current
interventionism is aimed at taking advantage of its present short-term
economic and military primacy to secure strategic assets that will provide
long-term guarantees of global supremacy. The goal is to extend U.S. power
directly while depriving potential competitors of those vital strategic
assets that might allow them eventually to challenge it globally or even
within particular regions.

The National Security Strategy of the United States of 2002 gave notice
that .Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries
from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the
power of the United States.. But grand strategy extends beyond mere
military power. Economic advantages vis--vis potential rivals are the real
coin of intercapitalist competition. Hence, U.S. grand strategy integrates
military power with the struggle to control capital, trade, the value of
the dollar, and strategic raw materials.

Perhaps the clearest ordering of U.S. strategic objectives has been
provided by Robert J. Art, professor of international relations at
Brandeis and a research associate of the Olin Institute, in A Grand
Strategy for America. .A grand strategy,. he writes, .tells a nation.s
leaders what goals they should aim for and how best they can use their
country.s military power to attain these goals.. In conceptualizing such a
grand strategy for the Untied States, Art presents six .overarching
national interests. in order of importance:

.First, prevent an attack on the American homeland;
.Second, prevent great-power Eurasian wars and, if possible, the intense
security competitions that make them more likely;
.Third, preserve access to a reasonably priced and secure supply of oil;
.Fourth, preserve an open international economic order;
.Fifth, foster the spread of democracy and respect for human rights
abroad, and prevent genocide or mass murder in civil wars;
.Sixth, protect the global environment, especially from the adverse
effects of global warming and severe climate change.
After national defense proper, i.e., defense of .the homeland. against
external attack, the next three highest strategic priorities are thus: (1)
the traditional geopolitical goal of hegemony over the Eurasian heartland
seen as the key to world power, (2) securing control over world oil
supplies, and (3) promoting global-capitalist economic relations.

In order to meet these objectives, Art contends, Washington should
.maintain forward-based forces. in Europe and East Asia (the two rimlands
of Eurasia with great power concentrations) and in the Persian Gulf
(containing the bulk of world oil reserves). .Eurasia is home to most of
the world.s people, most of its proven oil reserves, and most of its
military powers, as well as a large share of its economic growth.. It is
therefore crucial that the U.S. imperial grand strategy be aimed at
strengthening its hegemony in this region, beginning with the key oil
regions of South-Central Asia.10

With the wars on and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq still unresolved,
Washington has been stepping-up its threats of a .preemptive. attack on
these states. more powerful neighbor, Iran. The main justification offered
for this is Iran.s uranium-enrichment program, which could eventually
allow it to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. Yet, there are other
reasons that the United States is interested in Iran. Like Iraq before it,
Iran is a leading oil power, now with the second largest proven oil
reserves behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iraq. Control of Iran is thus
crucial to Washington.s goal of dominating the Persian Gulf and its oil.

Iran.s geopolitical importance, moreover, stretches far beyond the Middle
East. It is a key prize (as in the case also of Afghanistan) in the New
Great Game for control of all of South-Central Asia, including the Caspian
Sea Basin with its enormous fossil fuel reserves. U.S. strategic planners
are obsessed with fears of an Asian energy-security grid, in which Russia,
China, Iran, and the Central Asian countries (possibly also including
Japan) would come together economically and in an energy accord to break
the U.S. and Western stranglehold on the world oil and gas market.creating
the basis for a general shift of world power to the East. At present
China, the world.s fastest growing economy, lacks energy security even as
its demand for fossil fuels is rapidly mounting. It is attempting to solve
this partly through greater access to the energy resources of Iran and the
Central Asian states. Recent U.S. attempts to establish a stronger
alliance with India, with Washington bolstering India.s status as a
nuclear power, are clearly part of this New Great Game for control of
South-Central Asia.reminiscent of the nineteenth-century Great Game
between Britain and Russia for control of this part of Asia.11

The New Scramble for Africa

If there is a New Great Game afoot in Asia there is also a .New Scramble
for Africa. on the part of the great powers.12 The National Security
Strategy of the United States of 2002 declared that .combating global
terror. and ensuring U.S. energy security required that the United States
increase its commitments to Africa and called upon .coalitions of the
willing. to generate regional security arrangements on that continent.
Soon after the U.S. European Command, based in Stuttgart,
charge of U.S. military operations in Sub-Saharan Africa.increased its
activities in West Africa, centering on those states with substantial oil
production and/or reserves in or around the Gulf of Guinea (stretching
roughly from the Ivory Coast to Angola). The U.S. military.s European
Command now devotes 70 percent of its time to African affairs, up from
almost nothing as recently as 2003.13

As pointed out by Richard Haass, now president of the Council on Foreign
Relations, in his foreword to the 2005 council report entitled More Than
Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa: .By the end of
the decade sub-Saharan Africa is likely to become as important as a source
of U.S. energy imports as the Middle East..14 West Africa has some 60
billion barrels of proven oil reserves. Its oil is the low sulfur, sweet
crude prized by the U.S. economy. U.S. agencies and think tanks project
that one in every five new barrels of oil entering the global economy in
the latter half of this decade will come from the Gulf of Guinea, raising
its share of U.S. oil imports from 15 to over 20 percent by 2010, and 25
percent by 2015. Nigeria already supplies the United States with 10
percent of its imported oil. Angola provides 4 percent of U.S. oil
imports, which could double by the end of the decade. The discovery of new
reserves and the expansion of oil production are turning other states in
the region into major oil exporters, including Equatorial Guinea, So Tom
and Principe, Gabon, Cameroon, and Chad. Mauritania is scheduled to emerge
as an oil exporter by 2007. Sudan, bordering the Red Sea in the east and
Chad to the west, is an important oil producer.

At present the main, permanent U.S. military base in Africa is the one
established in 2002 in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, giving the United
States strategic control of the maritime zone through which a quarter of
the world.s oil production passes. The Djibouti base is also in close
proximity to the Sudanese oil pipeline. (The French military has long had
a major presence in Djibouti and also has an air base at Abeche, Chad on
the Sudanese border.) The Djibouti base allows the United States to
dominate the eastern end of the broad oil swath cutting across Africa that
it now considers vital to its strategic interests.a vast strip running
southwest from the 994-mile Higleig-Port Sudan oil pipeline in the east to
the 640-mile Chad-Cameroon pipeline and the Gulf of Guinea in the West. A
new U.S. forward-operating location in Uganda gives the United States the
potential of dominating southern Sudan, where most of that country.s oil
is to be found.

In West Africa, the U.S. military.s European Command has now established
forward-operating locations in Senegal, Mali, Ghana, and well as
Namibia, bordering Angola on the south.involving the upgrading of
airfields, the pre-positioning of critical supplies and fuel, and access
agreements for swift deployment of U.S. troops.15 In 2003 it launched a
counterterrorism program in West Africa, and in March 2004 U.S. Special
Forces were directly involved in a military operation with Sahel countries
against the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.on Washington.s list
of terrorist organizations. The U.S. European Command is developing a
coastal security system in the Gulf of Guinea called the Gulf of Guinea
Guard. It has also been planning the construction of a U.S. naval base in
So Tom and Principe, which the European Command has intimated could rival
the U.S. naval base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The Pentagon is
thus moving aggressively to establish a military presence in the Gulf of
Guinea that will allow it to control the western part of the broad
trans-Africa oil strip and the vital oil reserves now being discovered
there. Operation Flintlock, a start-up U.S. military exercise in West
Africa in 2005, incorporated 1,000 U.S. Special Forces. The U.S. European
Command will be conducting exercises for its new rapid-reaction force for
the Gulf of Guinea this summer.

Here the flag is following trade: the major U.S. and Western oil
corporations are all scrambling for West African oil and demanding
security. The U.S. military.s European Command, the Wall Street Journal
reported in its April 25th issue, is also working with the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce to expand the role of U.S. corporations in Africa as part of an
.integrated U.S. response.. In this economic scramble for Africa.s
petroleum resources the old colonial powers, Britain and France, are in
competition with the United States. Militarily, however, they are working
closely with the United States to secure Western imperial control of the

The U.S. military buildup in Africa is frequently justified as necessary
both to fight terrorism and to counter growing instability in the oil
region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2003 Sudan has been torn by civil war
and ethnic conflict focused on its southwestern Darfur region (where much
of the country.s oil is located), resulting in innumerable human rights
violations and mass killings by government-linked militia forces against
the population of the region. Attempted coups recently occurred in the new
petrostates of So Tom and Principe (2003) and Equatorial Guinea (2004).
Chad, which is run by a brutally oppressive regime shielded by a security
and intelligence apparatus backed by the United States, also experienced
an attempted coup in 2004. A successful coup took place in Mauritania in
2005 against U.S.-supported strongman Ely Ould Mohamed Taya. Angola.s
three-decade-long civil war.instigated and fueled by the United States,
which together with South Africa organized the terrorist army under Jonas
Savimbi.s UNITA.lasted until the ceasefire following Savimbi.s death in
2002. Nigeria, the regional hegemon, is rife with corruption, revolts, and
organized oil theft, with considerable portions of oil production in the
Niger Delta region being siphoned off.up to 300,000 barrels a day in early
2004.16 The rise of armed insurgency in the Niger Delta and the potential
of conflict between the Islamic north and non-Islamic south of the country
are major U.S. concerns.

Hence there are incessant calls and no lack of seeming justifications for
U.S. .humanitarian interventions. in Africa. The Council on Foreign
Relations report More than Humanitarianism insists that .the United States
and its allies must be ready to take appropriate action. in Darfur in
Sudan .including sanctions and, if necessary, military intervention, if
the Security Council is blocked from doing so.. Meanwhile the notion that
the U.S. military might before long need to intervene in Nigeria is being
widely floated among pundits and in policy circles. Atlantic Monthly
correspondent Jeffrey Taylor wrote in April 2006 that Nigeria has become
.the largest failed state on earth,. and that a further destabilization of
that state, or its takeover by radical Islamic forces, would endanger .the
abundant oil reserves that America has vowed to protect. Should that day
come, it would herald a military intervention far more massive than the
Iraqi campaign..17

Still, U.S. grand strategists are clear that the real issues are not the
African states themselves and the welfare of their populations but oil and
China.s growing presence in Africa. As the Wall Street Journal noted in
.Africa Emerges as a Strategic Battlefield,. .China has made Africa a
front line in its pursuit of more global influence, tripling trade with
the continent to some $37 billion over the last five years and locking up
energy assets, closing trade deals with regimes like Sudan.s and educating
Africa.s future elites at Chinese universities and military schools.. In
More than Humanitarianism, the Council on Foreign Relations likewise
depicts the leading threat as coming from China: .China has altered the
strategic context in Africa. All across Africa today, China is acquiring
control of natural resource assets, outbidding Western contractors on
major infrastructure projects, and providing soft loans and other
incentives to bolster its competitive advantage..18 China imports more
than a quarter of its oil from Africa, primarily Angola, Sudan, and Congo.
It is Sudan.s largest foreign investor. It has provided heavy subsidies to
Nigeria to increase its influence and has been selling fighter jets there.
Most threatening from the standpoint of U.S. grand strategists is China.s
$2 billion low-interest loan to Angola in 2004, which has allowed Angola
to withstand IMF demands to reshape its economy and society along
neoliberal lines.

For the Council on Foreign Relations, all of this adds up to nothing less
than a threat to Western imperialist control of Africa. Given China.s
role, the council report says, .the United States and Europe cannot
consider Africa their chasse gard [private hunting ground], as the French
once saw francophone Africa. The rules are changing as China seeks not
only to gain access to resources, but also to control resource production
and distribution, perhaps positioning itself for priority access as these
resources become scarcer.. The council report on Africa is so concerned
with combating China through the expansion of U.S. military operations in
the region, that none other than Chester Crocker, former assistant
secretary of state for African affairs in the Reagan administration,
charges it with sounding .wistfully nostalgic for an era when the United
States or the West was the only major influence and could pursue
its...objectives with a free hand..19

What is certain is that the U.S empire is being enlarged to encompass
parts of Africa in the rapacious search for oil. The results could be
devastating for Africa.s peoples. Like the old scramble for Africa this
new one is a struggle among great powers for resources and plunder.not for
the development of Africa or the welfare of its population.

A Grand Strategy of Enlargement

Despite the rapidly evolving strategic context and the shift to a more
naked imperialism in recent years, there is a consistency in U.S. imperial
grand strategy, which derives from the broad agreement at the very top of
the U.S. power structure that the United States should seek .global
supremacy,. as President Jimmy Carter.s former National Security Advisor,
Zbigniew Brzezinski put it.20

The Council on Foreign Relations. 2006 report on More Than
Humanitarianism, which supports the enlargement of U.S. grand strategy to
take in Africa, was cochaired by Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor
to Clinton from 1993.1997 and Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the
Environmental Protection Agency under Bush. As Clinton.s National Security
Advisor, Lake played a leading role in defining the U.S. grand strategy in
the Clinton administration. In a speech entitled .From Containment to
Enlargement,. delivered to the School of Advanced International Studies at
Johns Hopkins University on September 21, 2003, he declared that with the
collapse of the Soviet Union the United States was the world.s .dominant
power...we have the world.s strongest military, its largest economy and
its most dynamic, multiethnic society....We contained a global threat to
market democracies; now we should seek to enlarge, their reach. The
successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement..
Translated this meant an expansion of the sphere of world capitalism under
the U.S. military-strategic umbrella. The chief enemies of this new world
order were characterized by Lake as the .backlash states,. especially Iraq
and Iran. Lake.s insistence, in the early Clinton era, on a grand
.strategy of enlargement. for the United States is being realized today in
the enlargement of the U.S. military role not only in Central Asia and the
Middle East, but also in Africa.21

U.S. imperial grand strategy is less a product of policies generated in
Washington by this or that wing of the ruling class, than an inevitable
result of the power position that U.S. capitalism finds itself in at the
commencement of the twenty-first century. U.S. economic strength (along
with that of its closest allies) has been ebbing fairly steadily. The
great powers are not likely to stand in the same relation to each other
economically two decades hence. At the same time U.S. world military power
has increased relatively with the demise of the Soviet Union. The United
States now accounts for about half of all of the world.s military
spending.a proportion two or more times its share of world output.

The goal of the new U.S. imperial grand strategy is to use this
unprecedented military strength to preempt emerging historical forces by
creating a sphere of full-spectrum dominance so vast, now encompassing
every continent, that no potential rivals will be able to challenge the
United States decades down the line. This is a war against the peoples of
the periphery of the capitalist world and for the expansion of world
capitalism, particularly U.S. capitalism. But it is also a war to secure a
.New American Century. in which third world nations are viewed as
.strategic assets. within a larger global geopolitical struggle

The lessons of history are clear: attempts to gain world dominance by
military means, though inevitable under capitalism, are destined to fail
and can only lead to new and greater wars. It is the responsibility of
those committed to world peace to resist the new U.S. imperial grand
strategy by calling into question imperialism and its economic taproot:
capitalism itself.


1.Haass.s views are explored in John Bellamy Foster, ..Imperial America.
and War,. Monthly Review 55, no. 1 (May 2003): 1.10; Project for the New
American Century, Rebuilding America.s Defenses (September 2000),
2.Stephen Peter Rosen, .The Future of War and the American Military,.
Harvard Magazine 104, no. 5 (May.June 2002): 29.31.
3.John Lewis Gaddis, .A Grand Strategy of Transformation,. Foreign Policy
(November/December 2002): 50.57.
4.Clausewitz quoted in Paul Kennedy, ed., Grand Strategies in War and
Peace (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991), 1.
5.Edwin R. Earle, ed., Makers of Modern Strategy (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1948); B. H. Liddel Hart, Strategy (New York: Praeger,
1967); Kennedy, ed., Grand Strategies, 1.4.
6.James J. Hentz, ed., The Obligation of Empire: United States. Grand
Strategy for a New Century (Lexington, Kentucky: University of Kentucky
Press, 2004).
7.Ivo H. Daalder & James M. Lindsay, America Unbound (Hoboken, New Jersey:
John Wiley and Sons, 2005), 4.5, 40.41, 194.
8.V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (New York:
International Publishers, 1939), 119.
9.Richard B. Du Boff, .U.S Empire,. Monthly Review 55, no. 7 (December
2003): 1.2; Dominic Wilson & Roopa Purshothaman, .Dreaming with BRICs,.
Goldman Sachs Global Economics Paper, no. 99 (October 1, 2003), 4,
10.Robert J. Art, A Grand Strategy for America (Ithaca: Cornell University
Press, 2003), 1.11.
11.Noam Chomsky, Failed States (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006),
254.55; Lutz Kleveman, The New Great Game (New York: Grove Press, 2004).
12.See Pierre Abramovici, .United States: The New Scramble for Africa,. Le
Monde Diplomatique (Engish edition), July 2004; .Revealed: The New
Scramble for Africa,. The Guardian, June 1, 2005.
13.Fred Kempe, .Africa Emerges as a Strategic Battlefield,. Wall Street
Journal, April 25, 2006.
14.Council on Foreign Relations, More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic
U.S. Approach Toward Africa, 2006, xiii.
15.Council on Foreign Relations, More Than Humanitarianism, 59.
16.Center for Strategic and International Studies, A Strategic U.S.
Approach to Governance and Security in the Gulf of Guinea, July 2005, 3.
17.Council on Foreign Relations, More Than Humanitarianism, 24, 133;
Jeffrey Taylor, .Worse Than Iraq?,. Atlantic, April 2006, 33.34.
18.Council on Foreign Relations, More Than Humanitarianism, 40.
19.Council on Foreign Relations, More Than Humanitarianism, 52.53, 131.
20.Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard (New York: Basic Books,
1997), 3.
21.Anthony Lake, .From Containment to Enlargement,. speech to School of
Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, September 21,
2003, http://www.mtholyoke.ed/.w

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