December 2, 2006
Noam Chomsky remarked democracy is the last thing in the world our present administration would like to see in Iraq. I know this is not a normal administration. As I try to understand its motivation in Iraq, the only hypothesis that seems to accommodate all the pieces is that our administration actually wants an outcome similar to the one it has. Rumsfeld was kept on so long because the anarchy his policies generated is more or less the outcome wanted. Gates will be Rumsfeld's replacement because he can be trusted to maintain the anarchy. The anarchy in Iraq keeps us on a war-time basis--and surely this makes Rove happy. But more importantly, it means we are the indispensable institution in Iraq--the only one that does anything. So the bases and the embassy get built. As the incompetence of the Iraqis to restore order becomes daily more evident, our rationale for being there is strengthened. Our ambassador to Iraq is an oilman from Unocal. Our Secretary of State is from the oil industry. In neighboring Afghanistan we've installed another oilman. When the dust begins to settle, we'll still be in Iraq--and we'll have hegemony-plus- bases-and-physical-presence. And the only Iraqis who will have much leverage will be people who have learned to cooperate with us. The fuel pipeline we want built will be built. The prices and access regarding Iraqi oil will be those set with our approval. When Bush says, "We won't leave till the job is done," this is the job he has in mind. For brevity and clarity he might just say: "We won't leave."
It sounds crazy to say the present anarchy is what we want--until our presence there has become institutionalized and "normal;" but nothing else explains to me the stubborn cheerfulness in the administration about a situation that just about everyone not at the center of the administration regards as blunder and unmitigated disaster.
Still, a view such as the one I present here seems almost never to be the premise of any reporting or commentary on the situation.
What do you say? Is this a plausible premise? Or is it nutty to think even this administration is that Machiavellian?
Have you actually talked to sources who are saying he [Gates] is expected to be quickly confirmed? I don't doubt you may be right as for expectations at this point, but why not call some Senate staffers and light a fire under them to turn up the heat on Gates? Send your story around?
It may be too early to do this, since the Dems are obviously trying to play
patty cake bi-partisan games with the White House through Christmas.
Once they get their new drapes up in late January, however, and unless Bush gives them everything they want, I expect the partisan warfare to kick up again. John Conyers is not going to back down, no matter what Pelosi says.
And Kerry's staff might have something to say about it. I was recently in
touch with them and the entire Iran-Contra report is available on a Web
site, although not one that is easy to find. They sent me the link. ...
But I would not necessarily assume at this point that Gates will have such
an easy ride of it.
Editor & Publisher
thanks for posting Robert Higgs' fine analysis of the stages of US
imperialist "adventures" abroad. I hope you'll follow it up with other
pieces that mince no words regarding the actions of the power elite and
the corpress who PR for them.
But even Higgs doesn't include Afghanistan among these crimes. I say
"even" because it seems very few "progressives" pay much attention to
that "other war" ... some, heaven help us, even defend it to one degree
or another as "just" because its stated aim is to get that dirty bin
Laden and the Taliban gang that sheltered him.
Of course, I recall the US had a chummy relationship with the guy back
in the day ... luckily no one had the arrogance and the firepower to try
to punish and occupy our green and pleasant land in retaliation. Funny
how that old "sauce for the goose" saying never seems to apply to the
good ol' U S and A ... innit?
But if it *did* ... what's wrong with Cuba and Venezuela dropping some
tonnage on south Florida and occupying prime coastal real estate in the
hunt for Messrs Bosch and Carilles? Surely the residents of Miami and
Lauderdale would understand the necessity of such action in the context
of the Global War on Terror (tm).
Yeah ... it's bullshit. So is what's happening half a world away ... in
Iraq, *and* Afghanistan. Dead is dead ... people is people. Yes, of
course bin Laden and his confederates should be brought to justice for
their heinous crimes ... without committing our own.
And wouldn't it be justice if some Shrubbery were planted right next to
him in the dock?
Back to Home Page