Tuesday, April 15, 2003

from "In California During the Gulf War"
Denise Levertov

. . . No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.
Now we know of course that the poem's last line is true in more than just general terms. The particular war in question, the first Gulf War, had not ended. Wolfowitz, et al. went into their think tanks and conncocted the invasion we now have. Newish thoughts:
1. Conspiracy theories make me uncomfortable unless I can be made to see exactly *how* and *why* the conspiracy was undertaken. I don't believe this is a conspiracy theory. Did Co. (& Bush) purposefully fail to win the support of the U.N.? Here's my thought.
The Bush administration argued--right up until the start of the war--that the existence of WoMD in Iraq & Iraqi ties to terrorist organizations were the primary justifications for an invasion. (They say, war.) Then the invasion was dubbed "Operation Iraqi Freedom" and the administration deemphasized the WoMD & terrorist ties. "Liberation!" became the call-to-arms. Why the change?
Perhaps the Bush administration intended all along to go it alone. Perhaps they *wanted* to go it alone. Why? So they would have greater--almost complete--control over the *shape* of a post-invasion Iraq. Powell's presentation to the U.N. appealed to the domestic audience. USAmericans want revenge. Powell was able to do just enough to suggest a war against Iraq could be a piece of that revenge. He never said it. Didn't have to. & the administration new it. So w/ the homefront secure, so to speak, one would have thought that the Bush administration might appeal to humanitarian concerns to sway world opinion. If he *wanted* to win over the protesters in London--for Blair's sake--wouldn't he & his cohort have taken every opportunity to emphasize that this would be a war of "liberation". Instead he stuck to the WoMDs & terrorist ties which only appealed to the domestic market. (He only needs to be re-elected. He doesn't even need to be like in Europe to get what he wants.)
With the U.N. at home, the U.S. gets to call the shots. Consolidating power.
2. The Neocons who have been designing this war for ten years--the New American Century, Pax Americana, etc.--are true believers. But what they believe in is not democracy but market economies driven by powerful corporations. Of course they often conflate the two but the later will, for example, certainly come before the former in Iraq. No doubt.
I imagine the following scenerio (with a tip of the cap to Aldous Huxley)...
Is it not possible--perhaps the seeds of such an entity are sprouting on the east coast of China--that the new "democracies" will actually be corporate havens filled with opiated consumers, almost entirely devoid of real democratic processes (cf. a lesser Brave New World). What the neocons don't say is that the corporatation-dominated market-economies *can* exist without democracy & the people--if properly opiated (cf. US-style mass media)--won't put up much of a struggle. Of course, lots of people who resist--prideful of their home culture, etc.--will be killed.
(Sidenote: the US public is completely unable to understand that many Iraqis are cheering for the fall of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical regime but are **not** cheering **for** the US invasion. Will the neocons have to buy off who they can & kill the rest? Probably. That is nation building US (as opposed to UN) style. [See point #1].)
But then while on a walk or having a pint I have wondered--and a good friend has also wondered--if the neocon vision is really all that bad. I mean a comfortable (though opiated) existence is certainly preferable to living with fear (caused by Saddam Hussein) and hunger (contributed to significantly by the sanctions).
But there **must** be other options. And the educated public **must** demand that the neocons come clean about their plans now. The motives behind this first invasion are in some ways hidden in plain sight. (After all the neocon doctrine is easily available to anyone who is reading this now.) This vision--which is quite different from the isolationist one Bush ran on in '00--must be dragged out into the light of day so that its flaws might show forth.