Class Notes (839,483)
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Sociology (1,100)
SOCY 122 (211)
Rob Beamish (190)
Lecture 2

Sociology Notes Week 22

7 Pages

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SOCY 122
Rob Beamish

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Sociology Notes Week 22 From Vietnam to Iraq o After Vietnam US was deeply scarred – US remained involved in the Persian Gulf region and Afghanistan o In the oil rich region of the Persian Gulf the American supported the government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi – The Shah of Iran  US became involved in civil war between Western leaning government of the Shah and anti-Western radical Islamists o 1979 American government permitted Shah to enter US for cancer treatment despite protests of Khomeini’s government – wanted Shah to face trial  Followers of the Imam Khomeini’s Line stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 US diplomats hostage  Students actions, failed rescue attempt by US military and inability of Carter administration to negotiate release  Ronald Reagan won presidential election in 1980 o Events like these began to shape American attitudes to Iran and so-called Muslim extremists  Formation of uninformed, provocative, one-dimensional image of the Muslim world  Fear of an Islamist Revolution o Soviet Union deployed troops in Afghanistan and in 1978 the Marxist People’s Democratic Party staged a coup to take power in Kabul  Declaration of a new Democratic Republic of Afghanistan  Taraki government faced the rising of anti-Soviet mujahedeen resistance fighters  US funneled money and war material into Afghanistan to support the anti-Soviet mujahedeen resistance fighters  Same reasons the Soviets had supported the North Vietnamese  Osama bin Laden became prominent organizer of an all-Arab group of Islamist volunteers – al Qaeda  Soviets could not keep Taraki In power and were forced to withdraw their troops by 1989 o Pakistani-backed Taliban gained control of Kabul and most of Afghanistan by 2001 – Taliban would create another Islamist state similar to Khomeini  Islamist Revolution in Iran and Khomeini’s position of power were destabilizing forces around the Persian Gulf  Khomeini encouraged Shia Muslims to join the Islamist Revolution o Saddam Hussein – head of ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party of Iraq and Iraq’s president was concerned  Shia Muslims constituted majority of Iraq’s population but the Ba’ath party was comprised of minority Sunnis  Shia majority was concentrated in most economically depressed regions of Iraq – Sunnis enjoyed rich North o Saddam wanted to regain the oil-rich province of Khuzestan for economic gain and to symbolically demonstrate the power of Iraq over Iran  Ultimate objective: To become the new leader of the Arab world o In the wake of Iranian civil war that brought Khomeini to power Saddam seized the territory in Iran  Shah’s overthrow ended flow of American military technology into Iran  Saddam believed /Iranian military was weak and expected the Sunni minority in Iran to support the Sunnis of Iraq  Undermining military power of Iran o Iraq/Iran war – 1980-88 resulted in death of more than half a million soldiers and civilians o War demonstrated perverse inversion of human values – children were used as human anti-tank-mine detectors  Children deemed as more expendable than the military’s expensive technology o Saddam captured and held the Khuzestan region but Iran was ultimately successful in driving Iraqi forces out of the province  Iran retained control of moist oil reserves o After events in Iran US funneled support to Iraqi war effort for eight years – funds enriched Saddam and helped build his army and military strength  At the end of the Iraq-Iran war Saddam accused Kuwait of drilling into Iraqi oil o Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait and the invasion denounced by the UN and led to economic sanctions  George H.W Bush and British Prime Minister John Major built a coalition of forces through the UN to force Iraq out of Kuwait o Operation Instant Thunder – US-led forces would overwhelm Iraq from the air minimizing the risk of losing American combat soldiers  First Gulf War claimed to have met all its strategic objections  Coalition drove Iraq out of Kuwait but Saddam’s elite forces were not completely destroyed  Coalition allowed 80 000 Iraqi Republican Guards to escape  Forces were used mercilessly to crush uprisings across Iraq  Shiite majority had begun local uprisings – Saddam restored his rule in Iraq with forces left from Gulf o Rumours of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq were probable under existing social construction of Saddam and Iraq o Central to new image of US military was the laser-guided smart bombs  War morphed into a twenty-first century form that altered its role as apolitical instrument o Key event: Breakup of the USSR brought the twentieth century to a close and changed the world order – US was now a lone superpower Project for a New American Century o 1992 – Cheney, the Secretary of Defense in President George H.W. Bush’s administration, questioned decision in Iraq o Defense Planning Guidance - America’s political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure no rival superpower emerges  Tylor – document is devoid of references to collective action through the UN  UN provided mandate for allied assault on Iraqi forces in Kuwait  UN may be asked to provide mandate to force Saddam to comply with ceasefire obligations  Guide indicated US should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated  Emphasized the right of the US to ensure it was the sole military global superpower o Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush in the 1992 presidential election – Bush defeat lead to:  Withdrawal of US neoconservatives from the main political stage to backrooms – plan strategy to regain White House  The Project for a New American Country (PNAC) emerged and took a neoconservative position that brought back the glory of the Reagan presidency o PNAC’s founding principles echoed article that Kristol and Kagan published in Foreign Affairs and drew heavily from Defense Planning Guidance document  Kristol and Kagan believed the Republican party and US conservatives needed assert benevolent global hegemony o First objective of US foreign policy should be to preserve and enhance predominance by strengthening America’s security  Supporting allies  Advancing interests  Standing up for America’s principles around the world o Biggest problem facing the US was its success – no visible threat to America’s strategic power  In a world of peace American security depended on its power and will to use it  Goal of American policy should be to preserve hegemony as far into the future as possible o Neo-Reaganite foreign policy rested on 3 imperatives:  Increase in defense budget and continued increases to US military expenditures  Increased support of American citizens  Greater moral clarity – support for American principles around the world – exertion of American influence o Successful presidents – Roosevelt and Reagan – inspired Americans to assume international responsibilities with increased power and influence o Defense Planning Guidance Document became the center pieces for PNACs formal statement of principles  Essential elements of Reagan administration’s success:  Military strong and ready to meet challenges  Foreign policy that promotes American principles
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