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11 January 2007

Escalation Speech

The speech was awful, but not because Bush is incompetent or a bad leader or whatever else MSM: "Liberal Wing" may be saying.

One can't really assume anymore (if one ever could) that

  1. Bush runs things; and
  2. that major goals are not being pursued, albeit not perfectly, but doggedly.
Most elite discontent stems from not wrapping this up more quickly. Democracy is a "nice-to-have" -- for some "critics" of Bush, like the wet-finger-in-the-air Friedman. It was, for the Flatworlder, in 1991, not desired; in 2002/3, desired; in 2006/7, not desired.

What I mean by "things" in #1 above is the vaunted "stability," which means US control over oil, which means over the global economy. There is simply no other rational explanation for this war, even with the Israel Lobbies, the Military-Industrial Complex, neocons, et al. We would not be in Iraq if their main export were figs.

The owners don't do this stuff for no reason, and they're not at all stupid. Virtually everyone who is against this war would have been for it had it wrapped up in three weeks. If by some miracle this escalation "works" in the sense of getting American deaths off the TV screen, then most against this now will be for it later. Anyway, without a full military and colonial presence, Iraq almost certainly could not have "been wrapped up" without literally hundreds of thousands of people; and once they left, guerilla war would have started, most likely. It's the way of these things.

Chris Floyd explains a large facet of it quite well.

Most presidents since FDR have used one excuse or another, usually false, to kill or allowed to be killed millions of people. Bush is just ploddingly obvious about it. One main reason people like Albright, who thought hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi children was "worth it" under sanctions in Holy Clinton's Golden Age, complained in Foreign Affairs was that Bush was being too obvious about usual US foreign and domestic policy. See: the Indochina War, East Timor, COINTELPRO, etc.

There isn't much of an historic moment here, if you're talking about 9/11 or the Iraq war. The historic moment that matters to the owners, here and in other nations, is that key resources are running out quickly, and US hegemony is solely military and lagging in other areas, especially compared to post-WWII. Both, especially the latter, were inevitable and obvious to all; hence the proxy wars, "Cold War," and the "war on terror."

Anyway, on the apparent Dem rollover for the Prez, with some notable exceptions:

More are becoming aware of our one-party system.
  1. Demz want power; afraid of being labeled as cowards or not supporting the troops (by not sending more to their deaths). 2008 is in the offing.
  2. AIPAC, et al, own the Demz, even more than the Rethugz. They like us over there, and later in Iran.
  3. The military-industrial complex is having a field day with this war. Exactly like AIPAC, and in exactly the same lobbying way -- probably much more powerfully -- they want it to continue.
  4. Iraq has nothing to do with Iraq, Saddam, democracy, or even Israel, per se. It's about maintaining the artificial global dominance we've had since 1945, steadily eroding. No one really gave a damn about communism, either -- certainly made for good propaganda, but we dealt with all kinds of terrible regimes, and still do.
  5. Like most wars, and most empires, the key issue is elite dominance of the masses at home as well as of other nations abroad. The Demz are mostly of that ilk, too.
That's why I'm completely unsurprised. We don't live in a representative democracy, really. 61% against the "surge" -- a deceitful term; they'll be there for years. 74% against the handling of the war. 63% against Bush's admin, period. Note that nothing in the vaunted 100 Days legislation addresses the MCA, restoring habeas corpus, signing statements, the Patriot Act, etc. A majority of Americans are consistently for impeachment; "off the table." They're for universal healthcare, when properly asked. Also off the table.

So, Kennedy and his cosponsors mustered the courage to stop funding for an escalation. That's good. No one but Sanders and Kucinich is talking about cutting off funding for the war, with the exception of what's needed to withdraw safely (obviously), ASAP. That is the only thing that will stop this war, no matter who is president in 2008.

At the same time, it is possible that a groundswell of revulsion and public action will force change. That happens in all but the most totalitarian nations. So, as per usual, it's up to us, collectively and individually. Note the horror with which the term "class warfare" is hysterically thrown at normal progressive policies, while true class warfare is waged on the vast majority of the population here at home. If you know any really rich people -- and I do (my uncle's brother by marriage is the now stroke-felled Malcolm Glazer, of Man United fame...a billionaire who could give a damn about how one of his companies was destroying the Chesapeake, and was a huge Bush supporter) -- they pretty much get that the world is going to hell, don't much care, as they have their bunkers (literally and figuratively). Big shock.

And so it goes. We call it a "democracy deficit" when it happens in other countries. Here, it's called "mature centrism." If you read contemporary op-eds during Vietnam, it's the same thing. So-called "liberals" saying the same stuff as wacko-proto-fascists wipe out Asians nonstop, flexing muscles twitching from the M-I complex and other issues: "credibility" being a key euphemism. Plus, with all that excess wealth and armaments, without a real enemy, the people might start getting pissed off at the owners...

As Tammany says in Gangs of New York, "We can always hire one half of the poor to kill the other half." There are many ways of doing this, both figuratively/economically and literally.



  1. There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

    I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

    If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”


    The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

    How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

    Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

    From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

    This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

    This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

    We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

  2. RG:

    Thanks for your comment! I can't say it made me feel any better, but the US Govt is a monster, especially the Pentagon, which, like the intelligence services, is completely out of control. Can't even do their books properly, and no one cares. Too much money to be made.