Question 8(Security Theory and Peak Oil)
Natural resources have gained the outmost importance during the last decades. Nations have become more dependent on the resources of the fossil fuels. As a result, oil plays an important role in the international relations in general, and in the US foreign policy in particular. Oil factor has also become one of the driving forces in the US events conducted against terrorism.
According to the main idea of the film Oil, Smoke, and Mirrors, the future of the international community is determined by the limited resources of the fossil fuels. Through the several interviews, the film criticizes the recent foreign policy of the United Nations. It also demonstrates that the events of 9/11 attacks, the US war on terror, and the global supply of oil are tightly connected. Global resources of oil represent vital national interest of the United States. In order to dominate on the international scene, the USA has to ensure its dominance in the regions rich with energy resources.
Read also: "Academic Book Review: How to Complete It"
Through the range of interviews, the director of the film proves that the US wars in the Middle-East and Central Asia are held in order to provide the dominance over the oil resources. Thus, there is a connection between peak oil and the events of 9/11 attacks or subsequent war on terror. Peak oil was determined as a perfect motive for legal invasion of the United States into the Middle-Eastern and Central Asian countries. 9/11 attacks were determined by the peak oil factor. These terrorist attacks later allowed the US government to begin invasion to Iraq. Subsequently, the war against terror gave the US an opportunity to establish a dominant military position in the worlds biggest energy production region. As a result, 9/11 attacks and war on terror meet the concept of peak oil in the US foreign policy.
Question 7 (Religion and Nationalism)
In the modern world, the issue of religion has become extremely important in the international relations. Culture, traditions, and religions have remained the same. However, the pace of globalization has changed the perception of religion. In particular, western tradition has a lot of negative and positive impacts on other nations and cultures. For example, for Muslim countries consider Western traditions to be a serious threat. It is considered that the American culture can discredit long lasting Eastern traditions and undermine main principles of their religion. Moreover, new customs are enforced on other nations. Young people are extremely vulnerable to the negative influence of the new traditions.
While some cultures and nations may cooperate and interact, others cannot accept traditions of each other. For instance, it is considered that Western traditions predominantly make pressure or ignore other cultures. Western or American traditions are being forced on other nations all over the world. Moreover, they demonstrate little acknowledgement or patience towards other cultures. As a result, it is considered that Western tradition has mainly negative influence on other nations.
At the same time, it has to be mentioned that Western culture has many positive aspects. Thus, the situation can be changed. Positive influence of the West, such as promotion of democracy and human rights, has to be adopted by other nations. Indeed, every religion has its distinguishing features in doctrine and rituals. However, each religion has to be respected by the believers. Moreover, I suppose that religious leaders together with politicians have to change the situation and develop positive aspects of a particular religion. It is possible to solve different disputes and conflicts with non-violent actions. Thus, there is hope that people will understand the message of the film and will support the necessity to promote positive aspects of a contemporary religion.
Question 7 (International Relations and the Global Environment)
According to the principles of the free-market environmentalism, environment can be preserved and protected by the principles of the free market and property rights. Paul Hawken, one of the biggest supporters of the green market, has introduced completely different position on the free-market environment. According to his studies, the ecological crisis will result in more dangerous consequences than it has been considered earlier. Hawken states that ecological issues have to be addressed with the interference of the government. It has to take a strong position on the environmental problems. National governments have to be more responsive to the ecological crisis.
Moreover, Hawken has introduced an effective mechanism that can help to improve the environment. The mechanism is based on the application of the green taxes. They are aimed at producing cleaner and more ecologically-friendly production. As a result, the negative influence of the world industries on the environment can be eliminated or considerably restricted. Many growing countries have already developed greener economies in order to protect the nature. According to Hawken, natural capitalism can create a distinguishing reality. It can help to build a new world with high living standards, low taxes, and preservation of the environment. On the contrary, modern capitalism is extremely harmful to the nature and will result in ecological catastrophe.
In general, I consider Hawkens ideas on the free-market environmentalism to be relatively utopian. The free-market environmentalism cannot work out an effective solution to the environmental problems. The problems of environmental degradation and exhausting of natural resources require collective response of the whole community. However, supporters of natural capitalism reject any collective regulations of the environmental problems. I believe that the notion of free-market environmentalism cannot address the most important problems. Moreover, it can create obstacles on the way towards solving them.
Question 5 (United States Foreign Policy)
According to Parenti, the US foreign policy is focused on the necessity of building a powerful military empire. He explains that the US aspiration for becoming a global military power opposes the idea that the US foreign policy is respectful of other nations sovereignty. Indeed, during the last decades, the US foreign policy has expanded greatly. At the same time, the military power of the United States has also significantly developed. As a result, the analysis of Parentis argument can become fruitful in studying the US foreign policy.
Parenti states that American foreign policy is driven by the principles of the imperialism. The scientist proves that the US foreign policy is not aimed at the democracy saving. It is not focused on the well-being of the defenseless population. In general, the policy can be described as a global interventionism. It is often justified by the idea of the opposition to the democracy. At the same time, national security is a main instrument in achieving the goals of the US foreign policy.
Another idea of Parenti demonstrates that the revolutionary states represent a threat not for the US security, but for the corporate and financial interests. Indeed, such corporations as Exxon and Mobil or General Motors have to be protected as a world system. Thus, the USA strives to develop an economic democracy and protect corporate interests. The US foreign policy towards other nations is not aimed at the democracy saving. It is not focused on the well-being of the defenseless population. The US foreign policy is predominantly focused on the territorial or economic expansionism.
The examples of counterinsurgency in Colombia, Guatemala, and El Salvador, the US invasions in Grenada or Panama prove that the US foreign policy has become extremely controversial. Thus, the Parentis analysis of American foreign policy can be successfully applied to the studying of the international policy of the United States.