Superpower or Superdebtor?
Since the passage of the
“Iraq Liberation Act” in 1998, the US government has spent more than 40
million taxpayer dollars on the Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed
Chalabi. As we now know, Chalabi in turn fed the US government lies about
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda in the hope that the
US would invade Iraq, overthrow Saddam Hussein, and put him in power. To hedge
his bets, it appears he made a few deals with the Iranians, delivering US
intelligence to that country. How’s that for gratitude? Now we see that the US
has raided the house of Ahmed Chalabi and seized his papers and computers to see
how much damage he may have caused the US with his Iranian dealings.
Round and round we go, and we
never seem to learn. Regime change plans, whether by CIA operations or by
preemptive war, almost always go badly. American
intervention abroad- installing the Shah of Iran in the fifties, killing Diem in
South Vietnam in the sixties, helping Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in the
eighties, and propping up dictators in many Arab countries- has had serious
repercussions for American interests including the loss of American life.
It is clear that
interventionism leads to the perceived need for more interventionism, which
leads to more conflict and to increased resentment and anti-Americanism. It is
an endless cycle and the American taxpayer is always left holding the bill. This
policy has huge dollar costs at home, which contributes to huge deficits, higher
interest rates, inflation, and economic dislocations. War cannot raise the
standard of living for the average American.
The day is fast approaching
when we no longer will be able to afford this burden. For now foreign
governments are willing to loan us the money needed to finance our current
account deficit, and indirectly the cost of our worldwide military operations.
But economic law eventually will limit our ability to live off others by credit
creation. Eventually trust in the dollar will be diminished, if not destroyed.
At that point it will become painfully obvious to even the most strident
supporter of our interventionist foreign policy that the super-power has become
a super-debtor, its power and influence greatly diminished, and its people much
poorer and more vulnerable.