In a May 11 Washington Times editorial, Frank Gaffney, Ed Meese, Clifford May, and four additional coauthors—all of whom represent institutions that form part of the hawkish extreme of the Republican Party establishment—called for a “renewed adherence to the national security philosophy of President Ronald Reagan: ‘Peace Through Strength.’”
It is the singular misfortune of the residents of Guam and the Northern Marianas to have been born on tiny islands of great strategic value in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The consequence has been their colonial subordination for four centuries to a succession of empires: Spain, the United States, Germany, Japan, and, since the Pacific War, the US again.
Washington pundits are still pushing Obama to delay or cancel the U.S. disengagement, calling on him to be “flexible” and take into consideration the recent spike of violence in Iraq. Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed and injured during the last few months in what seems to be an organized campaign to challenge U.S. plans.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón came to the United States last week assuming the moral high ground as a victim of U.S. drug consumption and weak gun laws. In his speech before the U.S. Congress, Calderón firmly called on the United States to take concrete steps to cut the traffic of high-caliber arms and illicit money from the United States to Mexico, and reform its immigration policies, particularly Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. By contrast, President Barack Obama had nothing but words of support for his southern neighbor.
Despite spending more than half a billion dollars over the last quarter century, U.S. government broadcasts to Cuba have gained only a tiny audience and have had virtually no effect on the island’s politics, according to a new report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In the wake of the environmental disaster caused by the 20 April explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the oil multinational was immediately pressured into providing adequate compensation by the US government. This is an experience palpably not shared by Nigerian people in the face of another multinational, Shell, in the country’s Niger Delta, writes Alex Free.
“I need a little space.”
When lovers utter these words, it’s usually a bad sign for the relationship. They feel suffocated. They’re reexamining their commitment. They’re checking out other options. But they don’t have the courage to make a clean break.
United States presidents rarely visit the U.S. territory of Guam (or Guåhan in the Chamorro language), but President Obama may visit in June 2010. This will be a significant stop for residents of this small island, 30 miles long and eight miles wide, dubbed, “Where America’s day begins.” Guam is the southern-most island in the Northern Mariana chain that also includes Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. It is the homeland of indigenous Chamorro people whose ancestors first came to the islands nearly 4,000 years ago. Formed from two volcanoes, Guam’s rocky core now constitutes an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” for the United States military in the words of Brig. Gen. Douglas H. Owens, a former commanding officer of Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base.1
In case you hadn’t noticed, our Afghan War, like some oil-slicked bird in the Gulf of Mexico, has been dragged under the waves. It’s largely off front pages and out of the TV spotlight (despite the possible linkage of the Times Square failed car bombing to the Pakistani Taliban). As a result, most Americans undoubtedly have little idea just how large the American war effort there has grown. The president’s massive surge — not just of troops, but of State Department civilians, CIA agents, drones, contractors, base building, and who knows what else — is actually going (if you’ll excuse the phrase) great guns.
The bubble is bursting.
I’m not talking about the Greek economy, the collapse of which has bankers and finance ministers trembling from Athens to Antarctica. Nor am I talking about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which reminds us once again that our current energy security rests on shaky foundations.