Sunday, April 09, 2006

Bully Boy Itches for Another War

Bully Boy's tanked. In the polls, as far as we know, he's not off the wagon. But he's tanking in the polls and the November Congressional elections are just around the corner. What to do? What to do?

Well how did he shore up the 2002 elections?

Ah, yes. The rollout for war. For illegal war.

And cheerleaders love their costumes and love playing dress up so he's probably eager to get back into that flight suit and pretend like he's a fighter pilot. (Pretend a stone's throw from the California coastline only.)

From Seymour M. Hersh's "THE IRAN PLANS" (The New Yorker):

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.
American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred.
There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change. Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has challenged the reality of the Holocaust and said that Israel must be "wiped off the map." Bush and others in the White House view him as a potential Adolf Hitler, a former senior intelligence official said. "That's the name they're using. They say, 'Will Iran get a strategic weapon and threaten another world war?' "
A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was "absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb" if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do "what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do," and "that saving Iran is going to be his legacy."
One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that "a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government." He added, "I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, 'What are they smoking?' "

Smoking? What are they snorting!

We'll note that the statement re: Israel attributed to the Iranian minister has disputed meanings.

But is Bully Boy really so scared that he's about to play his only card -- "War time president" -- and so stupid that he doesn't grasp that he has neither the international nor domestic support to launch his third war while the other two are still playing out (badly)?

So how would such a scheme play out? We don't mean militarily. (Like Laura Nyro we're shouting, "In my mind I can't study war no more/ Save the people/ Save the country/ Now!")

How would the corporate media handle such a prospect? Would they speak out against an invasion?

From Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others, page 65:

During the Vietnam era, war photography became, normatively, a criticism of the war. This was bound to have consequences: mainstream media are not in the business of making people feel queasy about the struggles for which they are mobilized, much less of disseminating propaganda against waging war.

So will the press follow pattern and sit the truth out again? What about the people? Writing in October 2001, Naomi Klein noted (Fences and Windows, pp. 166-167):

Americans still don't get regular coverage on CNN of the ongoing bombings in Iraq, nor are they treated to human interest stories on the devestating effects of economic sanctions on that country's children. After the 1998 bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (mistaken for a chemical weapons facility), there weren't too many follow up reports about what the loss of vaccine manufacturing did to disease prevention in the region.
And when NATO bombed civilian targets in Kosovo -- including markets, hospitals, refugee convoys, passenger trains -- NBC didn't do "streeter" interviews with survivors about how shocked they were by the indiscriminate destruction.
What has come to be called "video-game war coverage" is merely a reflection of the idea that has guided American foreign policy since the Gulf War: that it's possible to intervene in conflicts around the world -- in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan -- while suffering only minimal U.S. casualites. The United States government has come to believe in the ultimate oxymoron: a safe war.

Remember the lies that led to war? Media sold them and a public not willing to question bought them. From page 54 of the Center for Constitutional Rights' Articles Of Impeachment Against George W. Bush:

Shortly thereafer, and despite the administration's recognition that it had no legal support to declare war, Secretary of State Colin Powell went before the UN on February 5, 2003, and made what many thought was a powerful case justifying such war. However, every key contention in his speech was without support. On March 8, ten days prior to the official start of the war, President Bush in a radio address to the American people falsely claimed that he was trying to avoid war: "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force."
On March 17, three days before the war began, President Bush again lied to the American people. "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. And it [Iraq] has aided, trained and harbored terroists including operatives of al Qaeda."

"Could it happen again?" you ask. Why the hell not?

What's changed?

Daniel Ellsberg on Vietnam but it applies today:

As I saw it then, the war needed not only to be resisted; it remained to be understood. Thirty years later, I still believe that is true. . . .

(Via Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove's Voice of a People's History of the United States, page 451.)

Yes, the people have turned against the war, yes, we want the troops out of Iraq. But what's really changed in the way things are dicussed in and by the corporate media?

The war pornographers want to get off on strategies while refusing to examine the realities -- in the lead up and currently. They want to talk about "troops on the ground" and "numbers" (never fatality numbers) while they attempt to con you into believing that better strategy would have made for a better war. One we could, apparently, all be proud of.

As Angela Y. Davis noted, "Bush was reelected -- or elected, since he was appointed into his first term rather than elected -- precisely because of the moral panic that diverted people's attention away from the more complicated questions about our future" (Abolition Democracy, page 89).

It's his only card to play. If he plays it will we act smarter this time? He's hoping we won't. He's hoping that the corporate media is still willing to cheerlead his wars. Maybe they are. But on the ground across the country, people have been saying "no" to war and maybe, just maybe, that he's so tarnished his own image with one scandal after another, that he won't be able to lie us into war again -- with or without the help of the corporate media.
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