US control is diminishing, but it still thinks it owns the worldSubmitted by Bob-45 on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 00:30
The United States has long assumed the right to use violence to achieve its aims, but it is now less able to implement its policies
Noam Chomsky for TomDispatch, part of the Guardian Comment Network
guardian.co.uk, Monday 4 February 2013 09.01 EST
This piece is adapted from Uprisings, a chapter in Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to US Empire, Noam Chomsky's new book of interviews with David Barsamian (with thanks to the publisher, Metropolitan Books). The questions are Barsamian's, the answers Chomsky's.
Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?
The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab spring is limited, but it's not insignificant. The western-controlled dictatorial system is being eroded. In fact, it's been being eroded for some time. So, for example, if you go back 50 years, the energy resources – the main concern of US planners – have been mostly nationalised. There are constantly attempts to reverse that, but they have not succeeded.
Take the US invasion of Iraq, for example. To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory.