The Neo-cons thought they had in all figured out when they planned their Pax Americana. They were going to rule the entire world, taking strategic resources for America, keeping America’s economy humming, and they were going to do it utilizing the most powerful military in the history of the world. It seemed so simple…
First Iraq, then Syria, then Iran, then Saudi Arabia, and then on to the Caspian Sea region. One by one the nations would fall under the bombs and cruise missiles (including nuclear, if necessary) of America and her partner, Israel. The Russians and the Chinese would be forced to limit their own economic engines while American prosperity grew and grew as America fed on foreign oil taken and controlled by the U.S. military.
The Neo-cons had their military strategists, though none had actually served in the military. All the Neo-cons, or most of them, had successfully evaded military service, because they had more important things to do in their youthful years, such as get their Harvard MBA’s or go into government. Thus, the grandiose plans for the use of military might by the Neo-cons were based on their own assumptions of the capabilities of military power, and the realities of those capabilities were not understood at all.
The plan began working around 9/11/2001. A new Pearl Harbor type event was staged. The American people were manipulated by the events of that day and the spin of the corporate press that became the propaganda mouthpiece of the corporate/military/government complex. Americans felt under threat from outside forces and rallied to the defense of their country and even of their "way of life", following the lead from their Vice-President, the Chicken Hawk Dick Cheney. Many young Americans immediately volunteered for military service in defense of their country, including young men like Casey Sheehan.
Afghanistan was invaded, following military and political plans that (unknown to the American public) preceded the events of 9/11/2001. A former employee of Chevron was installed by America as the ruler of Afghanistan. Iraq was invaded and Paul Bremer was made Viceroy. The Iraqi economy was taken under by rules established by Mr. Bremer and the oilfield occupied by American forces. Victory was declared, but the Iraqis were just beginning to fight.
Soon, the weaknesses of the Neo-con military strategies began to appear. The use of American military firepower can allow seizure of any piece of ground in the entire world, but only for a limited period of time. Warplanes and missiles and tanks can be used to take ground, but warm bodies are required to hold it; warm bodies like that of Casey Sheehan.
The Neo-cons wanted to attain a quick, painless victory in Iraq, and it seemed within grasp. Then they would move on to Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Caspian Sea area, and by grabbing control of the oil reserves of the Persian Gulf America would guarantee its hegemony, while simultaneously limiting the power of competitors in China and Russia.
But Iraqis resisted, and resisted fiercely. None of the kids of the Neo-cons were killed, because they were all at Harvard and Stanford getting their own MBAs and partying with the Bush girls. But the Casey Sheehans started dying, and the Cindy Sheehans started wondering about their sacrifices.
The Cindy Sheehans started asking, why did my son have to die to remove a dictator put in place by my own government? Why did my son have to die for a democracy that was installed at the point of his rifle and not representing the true desires of the Iraqi people? Why did my son have to die so that the nephew of George Bush could be free to avoid risk and have a comfortable life of affluence and power? If the Bushes and the government cared so much about the Iraqi people, why did they insist on sanctions for many years that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children?
The Neo-cons overreached by misunderstanding the capabilities of military power. The Neo-cons thought the world would roll over and allow an uncontested Pax Americana. But the world, starting with Afghanistan and Iraq decided otherwise. Afghan and Iraqi patriots decided that their motto would be "Give me Liberty (from American hegemony) or Give me Death!" And they started killing people like Casey Sheehan in increasingly large numbers.
So, now the Cindy Sheehans of America are waking up and questioning the Pax Americana. They are beginning to wonder if the sacrifice is worth it. Must my son die so that George Bush daughters and nephews and nieces can party every night in luxury and build careers of power and influence? Must my son kill Iraqis and Afghans so that I can drive my car on stolen oil? Is this worth it?
The Pax Americana was always a bad idea. Empires are never benevolent enterprises. Empires are expressions of force, usually for reasons of accumulating wealth and power. Empires take lives from their own citizens and from those they rule. The Roman Empire relied on brutal subjugations, and so does the American Empire. These realities are becoming apparent to Cindy Sheehan and to many others like her. The Neo-cons never accounted for this. Their own avoidance of military service in their youth is coming back to haunt them. At some point, the Neo-cons will have to subjugate the Cindy Sheehans or yield to them. The fate of the American people is at stake.