tjir4-4d - The Beginning of the End of the Petrodollar What...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.4, No.4, Winter 2005 40 The Beginning of the End of the Petrodollar: What Connects Iraq to Iran Bulent Gokay Throughout history, empires and their civilisations have come and gone. During the first part of the last century, the US quietly built its empire, first in the North and Central Americas and in South America. Soon after the Second World War, the US worked to maximise the advantages it gained, and the power it assumed, between 1943 and 1945, from its victory over Germany and Japan, and as a consequence of massive Soviet casualties, and large British debt and financial burden caused by the war. The USA assumed the leading role in the Western world by, on one hand, containing the Soviet Union and preventing the spread of communist revolution beyond the borders of the Soviet bloc; and on the other hand, ensuring uncontested American supremacy within the Western world. During the Cold War years, there was little or no challenge to the dominant position of the US in the Western world. However, with the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, the knot tying the basic objectives of the US global strategy together began to come unravelled. Once the communist danger was off the table, American supremacy ceased to be an automatic requirement of the Western system. Since 20 September 2002, the US government has abandoned its former multilateral approach to global affairs, and adopted an imperial posture known as the so-called Bush doctrine. The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, (…). To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively. 1 This new agenda is based on militarist and imperial values with some theocratic overtones. 2 This agenda looks much like what some people see in US foreign policy at the end of the 19 th century, and the beginning of the 20 th , when the US actively sought to dominate the entire Caribbean basin, Central America and even the western Pacific. Six months after the Bush doctrine was announced, the new American doctrine was applied as a justification for an unprovoked war against Iraq by the neo-conservative
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.4, No.4, Winter 2005 41 administration of the US. 3 Toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime without the support of the UN, and in the face of strong opposition from traditional US allies, was a clear presentation of a new unilateralist American foreign policy. The ‘regime change’ in Baghdad was not an isolated event, but only an opening salvo in a much broader neo-conservative agenda. The neo-conservatives ‘advocate a paradigm shift in which the United States spreads American values by asserting American power-by force, if necessary’. 4
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Wormer during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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tjir4-4d - The Beginning of the End of the Petrodollar What...

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