The Doctrine of Zero Risk

Looked at closely, the United States military power dazzles because of its
ineffectuality. For the past few years the U.S. has not engaged in any
real military battles, but instead has shown that it would only accept a
particularly weak military opponent. General Colin Powell, when he was
Commander in Chief, expressed this fear, now referred to as "The Powell
Doctrine", which can be described as only engaging in armed conflicts when
one is certain of victory. Contrary to official pronouncements, the United
States refuses to take risks in order to defend ideology and only engages
in military interventions when it anticipates no personal danger.. Before
the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kosovo, Gen. Powell was Commander of
"Operation Just Cause" against Panama, a country with a 180 times lower
military capacity than the U.S. But to quote Corneille, "To triumph
without peril, is to triumph without glory".

After the debacle in Somalia, the United States developed the theory of
"zero dead" warfare. This meant devising strategic plans while witholding
troops from close combat engagements. This policy was considered the way
to suffer no losses while eliminating the maximum number of enemy forces.
The Pentagon became the leading advocate of high altitude bombing. Pilots
avoid all possibility of exposing their planes to anti-aircraft weaponry.
They have no control over their targets and rely upon smart bombs, guided
by echo or laser technology. These are extraordinarily precise, while
being somewhat unreliable since nine out of ten hit their targets
accurately, while one ou of ten, on average, will be lost and explode
wherever it lands. "Zero dead" warfare is particularly cruel to the
civilian population.

George W. Bush has just delivered two wars. The first, in Afghnistan, did
not expose the U.S. military to the Taliban forces, but instead pitted
Afghan war lords against each other. The U.S. was content to buy the
loyalty of this or that warlord with tranches of millions of dollars and
supply them with weapons. Their military has established an important base
at Bagram, on the outskirts of Kabul, from which their troops dare not
venture out, leaving their imposed President Karzai’s authority to rule
only over Kabul.

Bush’s second war, in Iraq, can also not be described as a brilliant
military success. The United States bombarded the country with thousands
of missiles, causing, by their own estimates, more than 50 billion dollars
worth of damage. Then, they entered the country while meeting with little
resistance because of the complicity of some of Saddam Hussein’s generals
who had been bought.

Failure of U.S. power

Apart from these consentual wars, the power of the U.S. is held back
wherever it seeks to impose itself. U.S. military forces now no longer
have to oppose those of Saddam Hussein, but have the opposition of the
Iraqi people, themselves. Within the past six months, hundreds of dead and
thousands of wounded are greater in number than those caused by the war
itself. Sunday, an attempted assassination of the Pentagon’s No.2, Paul
Wolfowitz. The morale of the GI’s is at a very low point. The number of
suicides within the rank and file has never been as high. This has led to
more troop rotation with leave and free flights to Europe being granted,
but has also enabled numerous troops to desert.

The GI’s no longer believe in their mission. Previously filled with
propaganda, they believed they would be greeted in Iraq as liberators, but
instead met with the hostility of the population. The imperial ambitions
of the United States oblige it to deploy many tens of thousands of
military personnel, over the next five years. However, where will they be
found, since half of those now serving are refusing to lengthen their
service? Latin Americans are being recruited with the promise of U.S.
citizenship, at the the end of their term of service, while mercenaries
are also being engaged. One tenth of those serving in the Coalition in
Iraq are mercenaries, and not regular soldiers.

This week, the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, sent a memo to his
four principal colleagues, asking them think over some questions before
debating them with him. This secret memo found its way to "USA Today"
which published it. The confusion Rumsfeld feels is evident when he asks
himself whether the United States is or is not winning the "war against
terrorism" and whether it is creating more adversaries than eliminating
them. He asks himself whether the U.S. armada with its tanks, aircraft
carriers, missiles and nuclear bombs can succeed in its struggle against
those who oppose it. Coming to the conclusion that all this equipment,
conceived to crush the Soviet Union is of little use today and that no-one
knows how to adapt it to the present situation. He then proposes creating
another Ministry of Defense apart from the Pentagon.

War Against the Dollar, the Pillar of United States Power

Whatever happens, Washington can no longer backtrack. In fact, the
survival of the U.S. is menaced - not by an external enemy, but by
internal economic weakness and tensions running between its communities.
Many are becoming conscious of the fact that U.S. power is based upon a
mirage, the dollar. These are only pieces of paper, printed when more are
needed, while the rest of the world feels obliged to use them.

For the past three years, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder have engaged
France and Germany in a pitiless war against the United States. They have
sent emissaries world wide to convince other States to convert their
monetary reserves to euros. The first to accept were Iran, Iraq and North
Korea. Precisely the countries described by George W. Bush as those of the
"axis of evil".

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has begun restoring the economic independence of
the Russian Federation. He has reimbursed - ahead of time - the debts that
Yeltsin had contracted with the International Monetary Fund and will also
make an early repayment, before the end of the year, of the remaining
debts to the Club of Paris.

Putin has calmly announced that he plans State control of the natural
riches of his country. He has reminded others that the oligarchs made
their fortunes overnight by appropriating, with the complicity of Yeltsin,
all that belonged to the U.S.S.R. and that the State can demand the return
of wealth which should never have been handed over to the oligarchs.

When Gerhard Schroder visited Putin at the beginning of October, Putin
intimated that he would begin by regaining control over Russian gas and
petrol and that he would convert their trading, now in dollars, to euros.

On his part, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohammad, has
experimented with the abandonment of the dollar in international
exchanges, but in order to replace it with gold. He has signed bilateral
agreements with his country’s business partners. Malaysian exports and
imports will in future be traded in gold.

Buoyed by this, he has suggested to the Islamic Bank of Development a plan
that would put an end to U.S. dominance. Inspired by the Arab cartel which
created the oil shortage of 1974, he has outlined a decisive monetary
assault. The idea is to switch world petrol trading to gold, thereby
provoking the fall of the dollar and the collapse of the U.S. economy.

At first, Saudi Arabia, menaced by Washington neo-conservatives, was
opposed to this plan, but became agreable to it. The Islamic Bank of
Development presented the proposal at the summit meeting of the
Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which was held recently in
Malaya, presided over by Dr. Mahatir Mohammad. It was agreed that
bilateral agreements for a transition to the gold standard would be
prepared between Islamic countries, during the course of next year. At the
next summit meeting, to be held in Senegal, the fifty-seven Member-States
of the Islamic Conference would be invited to sign a multilateral

Vladimir Putin who also attended the Islamic Conference, since a large
number of the citizens of the Russian Federation are Muslims, encouraged
the plan.

Abandoning the dollar presents a long and difficult struggle, for Europe
as well as for Muslim countries. While an international campaign accusing
Dr. Mahatir Mohammed of ressuscitating anti-semitism has been launched,
Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice appealed to the oligarch, Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, for help in order to neutralise Putin. Last weekend,
however, Putin had him arrested and detained.

Whatever happens, the monetary war has been declared. In the short-term,
U.S. domination is menaced.