On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
Quagmire or Conquest?
Public opinion may not have caught up yet, but as 2003 draws to a close and still no WMDs are found in Iraq, the pretext for the present US/UK occupation is no longer credible. The slim possibility that the Bush people were misinformed or mistaken is being swamped by the obvious conclusion that they lied.
That leaves a heap of fascinating questions. Let's address two: Why, and Whither.
First, WHY? That's one of the five key questions journalists used to be trained to ask, about every situation; these days, and particularly since 9/11/2001, they seem to have forgotten all about it. One might almost suppose (shocking thought!) that they never investigate anything, but merely write or say what they are told to write or say.
But this "Why" is a really big one. If Bush & Co lied - if they knew full well that Saddam posed no credible threat to the USA - then
There can be only one answer: they had a very powerful reason for wanting to occupy Iraq, and their political "opponents" were in on the deal. The Democrats supported the invasion; as shown here this is a bipartisan war. Naturally, the Dems are now pretending they were deceived, so as to score points at the next election, but they did anyway.
- why did they go ahead and invade his country anyway, and
- why did they tell something they knew would rather quickly be uncovered as a lie?
Now, what might have been that powerful reason? - since nobody is saying, we can only speculate; but it's not too hard. We need only look at the broad sweep of history - especially that of the last Century: US foreign policy has been to expand US influence worldwide.
Its governments did so first by a totally needless and destructive interference in WW-I, which left the US astride Europe. To consolidate that hold and to replace the British pound with the US dollar as the world's currency, it intervened again (with equal lack of defensive need) in WW-II and that time, the President had wickedly to deceive the public to get its support. The Feds can today twist the arms of almost every government in the world, and stations troops in over 100 of their countries just to make sure.
In other words, successive US governments have been busy for a hundred years building a worldwide empire - the biggest in history. And the rest of history tells us that that's precisely what all governments always do, whenever they get the chance.
So the move into Iraq is a massively important step in the building of the American Empire. Baghdad is now "Washington East", and will stay that way for a very long time. Muslims sense it, and that is why their hottest heads are now so feverishly trying to trigger a US withdrawal, before it is - for them - too late.
The Muslim world was the one part of the globe previously outside US control - due mainly to its stranglehold on oil, partly to its mediaeval interest in religion over material wellbeing. In this 2003 master stroke, the US Government has captured territory at the strategic heart of that Muslim world and so is set to extend its hegemony over it in the coming decades. In his speech to Congress soon after 9/11, Bush let slip the word "Crusade"; widely seen as a gaffe, that was maybe the most accurate word he could have used.
The domination of Islam brings two particular benefits for the Bush dynasty: religion, and oil. In Christian mythology there is expected to be some kind of end-of-the-world battle, with demonic forces being defeated at Armageddon; that's just a little way West of Baghdad. The definitely religious George W no doubt hopes history will record him as the white Christian knight defeating the hordes of darkness. And then there's oil; still likely to be the fuel of production and prosperity for half a century ahead or more, the capture of Iraq places the US astride the vast bulk of the world's oil reserves (including perhaps those near the Caspian, via Afghanistan) poised to quell any impudent interruption to supplies in the whole Persian Gulf.
The exclusion of other potentially interested parties - Russia, France, Germany for example, all with extensive trading links with Iraq - has been particularly clever. First BushCo appealed to the UN for help, knowing very well it would be refused since everyone there knew then that he was lying about WMDs, and more recently he appealed there again for help with the occupation - knowing very well they would refuse again since their own electorates would not stand for a military entry into the developing quagmire. Thus control of the Empire will be America's alone, with the UK, and at the request of the potential rivals!
So it's a master stroke of statesmanship, this conquest; if we allow that governments have a valid right to exist and act in what they see as their countries' best interests. On that premise (which I completely reject) we now understand the "Why?"
If the understanding above is correct, then we can be sure that when Bush & Co insist they are "in this for the long haul", for once they are telling the truth. It will need a nuclear superpower to end US control of the Middle East, once it's consolidated, and it will be fifty years before one (China) will emerge and even then a motivation would be needed. So - unlike Saigon - Washington East is permanent. Assuming only that Americans continue to fund the US Government's existence.
That assumption is appreciated by Muslim minds also, which is why violence against the US ocupation is escalating daily; their hope is to use the armaments, cleverly distributed by Saddam Hussein as his government and army collapsed, to kill so many Americans and make them so unpopular among Iraqi civilians that US public opinion will demand their return home. In one sense, we are witnessing a showdown (an Armageddon, if you will) right now; for those armaments will not last for ever. They may shoot down a hundred helicopters, but then their missile inventory will be... shot.
True, they can bring more fanatical towel-heads over the long and leaky borders from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and over the next few years they will probably cause a formidable loss of US life in Iraq; who knows, perhaps as high as the 56,000 in Vietnam. But eventually, they will be crushed. There is no North Vietnam, no Soviet Union, sending in an endless re-supply of arms. The US Government is staking everything on this conquest and will do anything to make it stick. If we at home allow it to, that is.
The answer to "Whither?", then, is that in the next few years yes, there will indeed be a quagmire. Domestic liberties will be curtailed even more; perhaps we shall lose our freedom to fly, as Muslim freedom fighters escalate their attacks on soft civilian targets. But if the Feds can survive the protests at home, they will for certain prevail in Iraq. When the resistance is crushed, their Empire will be secure into the foreseeable future. American Demopublicans will run the world.
The next five years may, then, be grim indeed; and in the decades following, I see no reason to hope that the enormous power thus secured in Washington will ever be removed. Islam will have lost, yet in another sense it will have won; for the worldwide American Empire will be purged of the individual freedoms that provided its economic foundation; a new Dark Age will have begun. The period after 2010 in the scenario above may be just what the political class has so long and earnestly desired; but for everyone else it will be an unrelieved disaster. Liberties we took for granted as children will be distant memories in our old age - as will the wealth they made possible.
The Freedom Alternative
Hence the final question here: is there any way this lunacy can be prevented?
As above, I don't see it being done by force. Suicidal Muslims will try, but they will fail; the Feds have an unlimited arsenal.
Instead, there is one other way it might be done: to withdraw support. There's a key phrase above: "Assuming only that Americans continue to fund the US Government's existence." But if we don't, it will be powerless. Like every other government, ours is totally incapable of earning its own living; it is 100% parasitic. If it cannot live off productive individuals, it will wither. We need only "say no" - in two key ways:
When the Feds are deprived of both money and manpower, they will have a hard time consolidating their insane conquest and the bleak scenario above may yet be avoided.
- Withold taxes, so as to make the fraudulent "income tax" uncollectible. And
- Oppose the coming draft, and of course the war itself. This means political action; I suggest with the Libertarians. They alone consistently oppose war, tax and the draft.
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