On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
This is a Government War
Please, I want it placed clearly on the record that this invasion of Iraq is a government war. It's not a Republican War or a Bankers' War or a businessman's war or a Democrat War, it's a Government War. However it turns out, the entire Establishment is responsible and let nobody forget that.
Republicans and Democrats voted for it in Congress, and the media have systematically supported it from the get-go; one of its most amazing aspects is the uniformity of mainstream media support, even though that predominantly Democrat establishment had the opportunity to dissent from a Republican President. This is a Government War.
True, more Dems than Reps dissented; Daschle and Kennedy et al voted against it - though almost certainly for reasons of cynical, party political advantage. Not one voted against it on principled grounds, such as that of nonintervention. They were otherwise all united, with any disagreement being about when, not whether, to use force; a Government War.
If you didn't want the war, you should have opposed government itself, as I did. Otherwise, you're to blame for electing those who wage it.
This one is different, therefore, from most recent wars. Most were very clearly Democrat wars. Wilson intervened in WW-I without a shred of defensive need. Roosevelt intervened in WW-II without a shred of defensive need, and by systematically engineering Pearl Harbor to make it look as if there was. Kennedy initiated Vietnam but then backed off shortly before being assassinated; LBJ reversed course. So Democrats began it, and then complained when Republican Nixon didn't end it fast enough. But this invasion of Iraq is a Government War. Nobody opposed it, except a rather impressive display of public outrage... and what does the public matter? - they should just shut up and obey. And pay. The public, in this total inversion of American ideals, is not to question why; the public is there to do, and maybe die.
So if it brings credit to America, government can take that credit. If oil flows more smoothly, with more predictable prices, government can take that credit. If the anticipated victory is cheap, government can take that credit. If the people of Iraq are taken out from under a vicious dictatorship and given a degree more liberty, government can take the credit. If the funding and arming of suicidal terrorists is emasculated, with consequent reduction in the "Homeland Security" hysteria and the savage attacks on civil liberties it has brought, government can (however reluctantly) take the credit. If the proliferation of utterly evil weaponry, which the US government invented and developed, is slowed down - then yes, government can take the credit. If it leads to the end of NATO and the UN - each of them a serious menace to individual liberty - then goverment, although it may not want it, will take the credit.
But if it brings disgrace to America, then government will take the blame. If the present worldwide popular protests do herald a revulsion against America instead of the admiration that has lasted two centuries, government will take the blame. If this large-scale extension of the American Empire generates hatred for this Land of the Free, blame the entire government establishment. If it sparks a worldwide terrorist war between Muslims and the developed, secular West (and a recently-retired head of Israel's Mossad does think we are witnessing the start of WW-III) then government will take the blame. If it triggers a literal Armageddon with a nuclear war that annihilates the human race, then carve yourself a memorial in advance that tells the successor species that you blame government. If instead it "just" bogs down hundreds of thousands of US government agents in Baghdad to suppress a resentful population for years and maybe decades to come, sapping the wealth and self-respect of Americans even more than Vietnam did, government is to blame. If resentment against US imperialism drives away foreign customers and so bankrupts big segments of American industry and shifts the world's economic power to Europe and causes the Euro to replace the Dollar as the world's reserve currency, so undermining American industry and living standards, the blame is on government.
There is a statue in New York Harbor, that faces outwards; and no government put it there: "Liberty, Enlightening the World". But now, the symbol remains while the reality is gone; and the blame lies on government.
Not on Republicans alone, or Democrats alone, or on the media alone, or on the Council on Foreign Relations alone, but on the whole miserable establishment rat-bag of the lot of them: for this, more than any, is a Government War.
Back to Subject Index