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Carl Levin and US Imperial Policy

March 18, 2010

As we have documented previously, Michigan Senator Carl Levin, while having some liberal leanings on domestic policy, tends to support US Foreign Policy that is essentially imperialist in nature.

Earlier this week during a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command Levin made some interesting remarks that indicate he supports an imperialist position.

Levin is in full support of the US occupations of both Afghanistan and Iraq. When speaking about Afghanistan Senator Levin seems most concerned about the speed in which the US & NATO forces are training Afghan military recruits or the lack of necessary equipment for the US special operations forces in Afghanistan.

All of Levin’s references to Afghanistan are in support of the US counterinsurgency plan that President Obama has called for since last fall. Nowhere in his statement does the Michigan Senator acknowledge the Afghani civilians who have died as a result of this campaign.

On Iraq, Levin supports the Obama administration’s claims that the US forces will be reduced to 50,000 by the end of this year and eventually all US forces will be gone by 2011. This of course doesn’t not address the massive US bases that are in Iraq nor the independent reports coming from that country which suggests that the US will not remove all of it’s troops in the next few years.

Levin then goes on to discuss the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing and “that Al Qaeda is a global organization that continues to threaten harm to anyone that does not share its radical views.” Levin mentions the growing anti-American attitude in places like Yemen and the Afghani/Pakistani border and say that US special operations forces need to be deployed in all of those countries to “address the underlying causes of violent extremism.”

However, some groups would argue that it is US policy, particularly the occupation of Afghanistan that is creating anti-US acts of terror. This is the assessment of Afghan groups like RAWA and former CIA Analyst Michael Scheuer, both believe that US policy creates terrorists.

Senator Levin then ends his statement by addressing US policy towards Iran. Levins says, “Iran continues to work to undermine stability in the Middle East and to stoke fear across the region. The brutal tactics and human rights abuses of the Government of Iran in its efforts to silence the voices of the people of Iran are of deep concern.” While it is true that Iran has an atrocious human rights record, it is no worse than Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Israel, all of which are US allies in the region.

Levin supports greater sanctions against Iran for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of their push to develop nuclear technology. This argument ignores the fact that Israel already possesses nuclear weapons, which begs the question why one country in the region can have them and not another.

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