The Grand Prize for Ugly Americanism Goes to ...

The Grand Prize for Ugly Americanism Goes to ...

by Dr. Robert Dickson Crane

  As the popularity of America’s president sinks toward record lows, the center of the storm in Washington on Iraq has focused on the paradigmatic issue of political and economic subsidiarity, which is a Christian concept that power, both economic and political, should flow from the bottom in society, not from the top. 

  This issue was first authoritatively presented in his excellent article “Unity through Autonomy,” by Leslie Gelb in the New York Times of May 1, 2006.  He is the head of the Council on Foreign Relations and a stalwart in its think-tank, the Aspen Institute, which traditionally has been the most influential policy center in the world.

  The response finally emerged in The New York Times on May 9th in a counter position paper, entitled “Three Iraqs Would Be One Big Problem,” by Anthony Cordesman.  He is a long-time strategist in the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which during the perhaps brief reign of the Neo-Conservatives in Washington has preempted access to the White House.  Tony Cordesman has never been a NeoCon, but his imperialistic global policy to impose top-down American control of the world shows that the pandemic of solving all the world’s problems from Washington has spread beyond its originators. 

  Every one of the points in his position paper is based on self-serving fiction, especially his contention that oil must be owned by a statist elite in Baghdad in order to stabilize the region.  He rejects the counter position so ably presented by the Rand Corporation’s Charles Wolf in the Wall Street Journal in November, 2005.  Wolf supported those Iraqis who propose that the ownership of Iraq’s oil be privatized in equal shares of inalienable voting stock to every citizen of the Iraqi federation, so that every Sunni, Shi’a, and Kurd would share equally and everyone would have an equal incentive to support the federation that made this possible.  Of course, those with an interest in maintaining the status quo with all of its injustices claim that the very idea of expanding capital ownership shows that the world is spinning out of control.

  Cordesman’s naivete is mind-boggling in his insistence that the self-defense force of the Kurds must be eliminated.  This is equivalent to pretending that the Palestinians do not deserve to exist and must be made to accept this as fact.  Cordesman’s self-serving logic is perhaps best shown by his contention that the peoples of Iraq cannot cooperate without ethnic cleansing in multi-ethnic areas.  This is the ultimate putdown, because it makes sense only in a scenario of centralized control imposed by America.

  These issues have been discussed in a number of my recent articles in The American Muslim, including “Bundling the Twigs, Parts I and II,” “Shi’a-Sunni Split, Fact or Fiction?”, “The Legality of Political and Economic Subsidiarity,” and “Who is the Uglyist Person in the Land?” 

  For sheer autistic ignorance about human nature and for the lack of even the barest concept of justice, Tony Cordesman and his supporters in the Center for Strategic and International Studies deserve the grand prize for “ugly Americanism.”