UN Resolution 2: Bribery and extortion
US imperialism's bullying and bribery
THE US is using its huge economic power to threaten and cajole opponents of its drive to war. Most prominent 'victims' have been those European powers, such as Germany and France, whose governments dare to reflect some of the mass opposition in those countries to an assault on Iraq.
As a result, the US and particularly Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, has attacked them as part of "Old Europe", whilst complimenting the countries of Eastern Europe, who are acceding to European Union membership, as the "New Europe".
Reportedly the US will remove some or even all of its 42,000 troops from Germany, possibly relocating to countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic or the Baltic States. Such a move will cost the German economy millions of dollars.
"We are doing this for one reason only," a source told The Observer, "to harm the German economy." Similarly, some US congressmen have suggested applying trade sanctions on French products such as wine and cheese.
The US has a long history of rewarding its supporters and punishing opponents of its foreign policy. In 1990, Yemen was the only country in the UN Security Council to vote against the path to the Gulf War. The very next day, the US cut all of its $70 million aid to the country, the poorest in the Middle East.
Now, the US is trying to cajole Turkey into accepting its troops onto its soil as a base from which to invade Northern Iraq. 90% of Turkey's population opposes the war, and the government and military are worried about the effect of US troops in the country.
After the Gulf War, Turkey's economy suffered badly, so the new AKP government has asked for economic assistance from the US to prevent economic collapse and placate opposition to the war. They were offered $4 billion to $6 billion in cash aid, plus $20 billion in 'loan guarantees'.
None of this was in writing! The Turkish government went back asking for a package worth $92 billion and received a flea in their ear from Bush!
The US uses its economic muscle to bribe friendly governments to accept their policies, but their largesse goes only so far. However, even the US State Department (foreign ministry) is worried that such bullying and bribery might prove counter-productive.
Undoubtedly the masses opposed to war in both Europe and America will not be taken in by such blatant attempts to thwart the antiwar movement.
Dave Carr, SP England.