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"The Thirty Year Itch: For Three Decades, Washington Hawks Have Pushed for the U.S. to Seize Control of the Persian Gulf. Their Time Is Now."

March 03, 2003


"If you were to spin the globe and look for real estate critical to building an American empire, your first stop would have to be the Persian Gulf. The desert sands of this region hold two of every three barrels of oil in the world–Iraq’s reserves alone are equal, by some estimates, to those of Russia, the United States, China and Mexico combined. For the past 30 years, the Gulf has been in the crosshairs of an influential group of Washington foreign-policy strategists who believe that in order to ensure its global dominance the United States must seize control of it."

So begins an article just published in this month’s Mother Jones magazine. The article is called "The Thirty Year Itch" and the sub-heading reads: "For three decades, Washington Hawks have pushed for the US to seize control of the Persian Gulf. Their time is now."

The article goes on to outline five key steps that the U.S. has taken since the 1970s to establish firm control of the Middle East. First there was the establishment of a rapid deployment force in the region. Then the U.S. created a Central Command military outpost to oversee the region. Then there was the Gulf War which gave the U.S. an opportunity to begin permanently stationing troops across the region and to full tens of billions to arm allies including Saudi Arabia. Step four was the war in Afghanistan and the so-called war on terror. And there is one final step: war in Iraq.

Well, today we are joined by the author of that article. He is Robert Dreyfuss, investigative reporter and contributing editor to Mother Jones, The Nation and American Prospect.

  • Robert Dreyfuss, investigative reporter and contributing editor at Mother Jones, the Nation and American Prospect . His article The Thirty Year Itch was just published in this month’s Mother Jones magazine.
  • Anne Joyce, vice president of the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington think-tank. She is also the editor of the Council’s Middle East Journal.

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