Two contrasting global models

By Zhao Jinglun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 9, 2014
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Permanent U.S. military dominance means no power is allowed to rise in either Europe or Asia to challenge U.S. military superiority, as plainly stated in the National Security Strategy document of 2002 written by Philip D. Zelikow at the behest of Condi Rice, George W. Bush's National Security Advisor. It claims that the United States has a right to launch preemptive wars. In short, it envisions "full-spectrum dominance," something no other empire in history has ever even attempted.

World domination is only one aspect of "Cheneyism." It is coupled with "unitary executive" (a.k.a. imperial presidency) at home. As Todd E. Pierce, a retired JAG Major, put it: "Cheney's ideology combines militarism under a state of permanent war with an un-American, anti-constitutional authoritarianism."

As the most powerful vice president in American history, Dick Cheney boosted presidential power to unprecedented heights, especially the power to wage war.

The fountainhead of that power was the so-called "Rehnquist Memo" written in 1970 by William Rehnquist, assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel (later appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan). It asserted the right of the U.S. president to wage preemptive war on the flimsiest grounds.

So George Bush launched his preemptive war, the strategically disastrous Iraq War. Obama launched his air war against Gaddafi's Libya even without consulting congress.

Barack Obama inherited that kind of unconstrained presidential power to engage in extra-judicial targeted killing of American citizens accused of terrorism, and conduct unconstrained surveillance of American citizens, sweeping invocation of state secrets, and defense of military commissions.

So we have two sharply contrasting value schemata.

The author is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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