Neoconservatives on Iraq
The article "White Man's Burden" in Haaretz has made me really uncomfortable. Pretty interesting that the clearest statements concerning the philosophy behind the attack and occupation of Iraq are in foreign news outlets. You don't hear much on reshaping the Middle East, on creating a new world order consolidated on American force stateside. Ari Shavit speaks to Neoconservative Icon William Kristol, Neocon mouthpiece Charles Krauthammer and right-wing apologist Thomas Friedman.
What strikes me most about the article is the brooding hint of fascism I sense just below the surface. Maybe a better phraseing would be "anti-democratic militarism". Iraq's neighbors wanted no war. Millions around the world spoke out against the attack. Lies were used to get Congressional aquiesence, lies to get the people of America to get behind the Bush Administration's rush to war. Yet William Kristol can say this:
Does that mean that the war in Iraq is effectively a neoconservative war? That's what people are saying, Kristol replies, laughing. But the truth is that it's an American war. The neoconservatives succeeded because they touched the bedrock of America. The thing is that America has a profound sense of mission. America has a need to offer something that transcends a life of comfort, that goes beyond material success. Therefore, because of their ideals, the Americans accepted what the neoconservatives proposed. They didn't want to fight a war over interests, but over values. They wanted a war driven by a moral vision. They wanted to hitch their wagon to something bigger than themselves. italics mine
This bastard sickens me. American accepted the statements of the Bush Administration as truth. The Neoconservatives
had to resort to deception to wage their war. Democracy is based on fact based actions. As a people we want to believe in our leaders. We have been chumped. But listen to how Kristol talks about it.
I'd like Kristol to say that to the parents, the husband or wife of someone who died in Iraq. They died not to make America safe, but to promote a "moral vision".
Kristol gets credit for influencing the Administration to pursue and prosecute the Iraq Invasion.
In the past 18 months he has used his position as editor of the right-wing Weekly Standard and his status as one of the leaders of the neoconservative circle in Washington to induce the White House to do battle against Saddam Hussein. Because Kristol is believed to exercise considerable influence on the president, Vice President Richard Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, he is also perceived as having been instrumental in getting Washington to launch this all-out campaign against Baghdad.
September 11 comes up as a defining moment for each of these interviewees, just as pointed out by the paper "Rebuilding America's Defenses" written by the Neoconservative Think Tank, the Plan For A New American Century
Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor. (pg 63)
Charles Krauthammer's interview is pretty amazing really; at least for the sense of unintended irony his statements offer the astute reader. A taste of his Bizzaro world perspective.
What is the war about? It's about three different issues. First of all, this is a war for disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. That's the basis, the self-evident cause, and it is also sufficient cause in itself. But beyond that, the war in Iraq is being fought to replace the demonic deal America cut with the Arab world decades ago. That deal said: you will send us oil and we will not intervene in your internal affairs. Send us oil and we will not demand from you what we are demanding of Chile, the Philippines, Korea and South Africa.
Obviously Mr Krauthammer is unfamiliar with the Argentine September 11, when Salvadore Allende was deposed in a murderous military coup by General Augusto Pinochet with CIA complicity. and the people of Chile were subject to torture and assasination for their political views. Under the tutulage of University of Chicago economists the military right wing privatized the social safety net, liberalized trade- and sent the economy into a "free market" tailspin. I should mention that Allende was a democratically elected Marxist that instituted land reform and nationalization of industry. Policy that was good for the people. Pinochet, much like our present right wingers was focused on what was good for multinational corporations and his elite "enforcers".
Ferdinand Marcos (born September 11, 1917) was initially elected to the Presidency of the Philipines. After serving two terms (the maximum allowed by the Philipine Constitution) and seeing no citizen support he declared himself President for life in 1973. Ronald Reagan called him "pledged to democracy" in 1985. George Bush ( the elected one) said "we love your adherence to democratic principle and to the democratic processes" and your "service to freedom," about him in '81. Marcos was a corrupt ruler who plunged his country into poverty while enriching himself and his friends.
America has been part and party to the transgressions of all the regimes Krauthammer has named. South Korea had a few dictators under US watch, and with US support. US involvement in the Arab regimes as well is documented, the Baathist rise to power in Iraq. The brutal and bloody Shah of Iran.
Thomas Friedman, who is not a Neocon had this to say.
Is the Iraq war the great neoconservative war? It's the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It's the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.
I applaud his honesty. The article originally dates from April 2003. This is the first time I've seen it.
You might have noticed I'm running out of energy. Read the article. What do you think?
As you read it, remember this.
According to an account by veteran CBS newsman David Martin last September, Rumsfeld was "telling his aides to start thinking about striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks" five hours after an American Airlines jet slammed into the Pentagon.
Martin attributed his account in part to notes that had been taken at the time by a Rumsfeld aide. They quote the defense chief asking for the "best info fast" to "judge whether good enough to hit SH (Saddam Hussein) at the same time, not only UBL (Usama bin Laden). The administration should "go massive...sweep it all up, things related and not", the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying.