Is this the Start of a New Cold War?

asks Jim Addington

Out of the United States leadership comes a message of arrogance and certainty. President George W Bush, himself no shrinking violet, is regularly outpaced by his lieutenants Rumsfeld and Cheney. They in turn are trumped by Richard Perle, the current 'prince of darkness'. His latest declaration, made in Britain recently, is that assassination is legitimate.

This confirms that the American government is on course for a new imperialism. But many writers in recent years have shown that this is not a new phenomenon. Rosalie Berthell, the Canadian member of a religious order, quoted the Pentagon in her recent book Planet Earth (Womens' Press). The US government's 1992 'Defense Planning Guide', at the start of the Clinton administration, described US policy after the cold war. "Our first objective is to prevent the emergence of a new rival. First the US must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new world order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. It continued, "We must account sufficiently for the interests of advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally we must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role" As Rosalie

Berthell observes, "This is the rule of the gun, not the rule of law. It brings to mind the wild west".

We are told by William Blum in Rogue State (Zed Books) that in 1954 the Doolittle Report by a White House Commission on the CIA stated "It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct no longer apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. "We must develop effective espionage and counter-espionage services" it said, "and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy".

Against the background of these statements, which are only a small selection from the great lexicon of US governmental arrogance, we can easily understand why NATO was established so soon after the signing of the UN Charter. The United States led western European states into an alliance designed to weaken the democracy of the United Nations. Its crowning achievement was to be the leader of 19 NATO member states in an illegal attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. This was against the 1975 Helsinki declaration which forbade breaching any country's sovereignty and against its own Charter which was designed to support any NATO state that was attacked. The merciless bombing of Yugoslavia was done without the support of a UN Security Council resolution.  A third, up to date, US government report is quoted in this month's Labour and Trade Union Review. Jay Bookman, writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September described the National Security Strategy for the Bush administration. This states that "The United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for thelong-distance deployment of US troops".

Jay Bookman writes that despite its many references to terrorism the strategy does not owe its emphasis to September 11 but to an earlier report in 2000 by an American conservative group, the 'Project for the New Century'. "At no time in American history" the report says, "has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals. The challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this 'American Peace'". To preserve the Pax Americana the report says that US forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties", saying that such actions" demand American political leadership rather than that of the United

Nations". The future right wing government which this report foreshadowed hus wrote off the United Nations as an effective or legitimate force for peace. Once its real agenda (and its past behaviour) is fully appreciated by member states they will begin to question the United States right to continue its membership of the UN.