Well before George W. Bush took the presidency in 2000, his collaborators at the Project for the New American Century described a goal of establishing and extending the "Pax Americana". Essentially, the Pax Americana is a concept in which American hegemony by force of arms results in a world dominated by American interests under force of American arms, with no strategic rivals permitted. The goal is to allow American control of strategic petroleum and its transport so that American corporations can inflict peace and prosperity around the world to the enrichment of the American corporate elite and their governmental/military patrons.
Pacification of nations by American force of arms is not entirely a new concept. Who can forget the "pacification" attempts by the U.S. military in Vietnam? Pacification by force or arms was documented as resulting in "destroying a village in order to save it". In order for pacification to work, the targets of pacification must acquiesce to it. This usually means that people must be intimidated by fear or violence into accepting a status quo in their own homeland and in the daily conduct of their lives that is not in their own best interests. In order to be pacified, people must often have their own goals and aspirations neutralized by violence or threat of violence. Thus the need for American occupations of foreign lands and the basing of American troops in scores of nations around the world.
Iraqis of all population subsets are now learning about pacification under the Pax Americana. Iraqis have a proud tradition of resisting foreign occupation, which fact should have been known to the Bush Administration. But imperial hubris and perhaps "faith in god" has led to denial of real history by the American authorities in favor of the belief that Iraqis will "see the light" of the benefits of American hegemony. Or, perhaps the neo-con promoters of the Pax Americana feel that American force of arms will ultimately prevail due to superior American firepower and resolve.
The resolution of the question of whether Pax Americana can be securely installed in Iraq guarantees one result — the massive loss of human life in Iraq. Iraqis appear to be willing to accept la rage scale loss of their own lives in order to reject the Pax Americana and displace it from their soil. Americans, both in the active military and in the public back in America, appear all too willing to accept large scale murder of Iraqis in order to suppress Iraqi instincts for freedom from the Pax Americana. And Americans by and large are willing to accept large scale deaths of American troops in order to obtain American hegemony.
The cost in blood and in treasure for the promotion of the Pax Americana in Iraq is very high. And it will only increase as the stakes grow higher. It seems virtually impossible for an American government of either party to conceive of withdrawing American forces from Iraq because the unspoken goal of the Pax Americana in Iraq is not related to peace and freedom, but to control of strategic oil resources.
The same political forces that implemented policies resulting in invasion of Iraq are now targeting Iran and probably other independent sovereign states, including Sudan, Venezuela, and others. This is all oil-related. The installation of a Pax Americana in Iran would most certainly be another very bloody affair. It is certainly possible that America can suffer eventual military defeat due to overextension of its commitments to fight multiple wars with limited resources. Installation of a Pax Americana around the world sounds easier on paper than it is on the ground, because most citizens of the world have sentiments similar to a founding father of America who, when offered a choice, said: "Give me liberty or give me death".
Pax Americana is designed to subjugate nations and take their resources by force if necessary. Under those circumstances, the only peace in Pax Americana is the peace of the dead, which become plentiful in the pacification process.
The 2004 election will go a long way into determining the future of the Pax Americana. We have got a strong preview of what to expect in this regard from the first Bush/Cheney administration. A victory by Bush/Cheney in 2004 will certainly extend the machinations of the Pax Americana and no doubt increase profits to the armaments industry. And a lot of lives will be lost before the issue of whether America can pacify the entire world is settled.