June was a busy month for two of Washington’s real ‘Axis of Evil’. Venezuela’s Chavez completed his nationalisation of oil and Iran’s Ahmedinejad stemmed a Western-backed colour revolution, leaving both bad boys in place, muses Eric Walberg
What drives US foreign policy? Is it primarily the domestic economy, as it logically should be, or, as many argue, the powerful Israel lobby, or as other argue, the need to secure energy sources? Of course, the answer is all three, in varying degrees depending on the geopoltical importance of the country in question. And woe to any country that threatens any of the above.
Russia is perhaps a special case, as US politics was dependent for so long on the anti-communist Cold War that ideologues found it impossible to dispense with this useful bugaboo even after the collapse of Communism. But it was not only Sovietologists like Condoleezza Rice that perversely prospered from this obsession, but the US domestic economy itself, which was transformed into what is best described as the military-industrial complex (MIC). It would take very little to placate today’s Russia -- pull in NATO’s horns and stop pandering to the Russophobes in Eastern Europe -- but that would hurt the MIC and would hamper the US plans for empire and oil. So it remains an enemy of choice, though not part of the Axis of Evil.