Wake Me At Armageddon
Sunday, September 23, 2007 1:49 AM
To a certain extent, all of us are what we think. And what we read determines our thoughts. Ergo, we are the product of what we read. No wonder I am confused most of the time. What I have been reading lately is terribly confusing and contradictory. I would prefer to be enjoying the poetry of Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick, the orations of the American Indians, and poems from ancient Greece. As it is, I am stuck in a world of geopolitics and the current American scene, where everything is up for grabs. There is much mendacity and cocksureness, but no beauty. It is dreary and sometimes downright depressing.
For example, I keep reading about how the twice-elected President of the world’s lone surviving “Superpower” intends to attack Iran before he gets out of town. Immediately I am confused, like many Americans, because:
1) There seems to be no good, objective reason for attacking Iran, and
2) Our President does not possess the constitutional authority to do it.
No matter. Domestic politics and “neocon” propaganda dictate that he should. So maybe he will. The latest indication that an unprovoked, “preemptive” attack on Iran is in the cards is from Ken Silverstein of “Washington Babylon” at Harper’s, dated September 4th, and entitled “Former CIA official expects war with Iran”. Most informative, credible and kind of scary. Read it and see what you think.
Then there is the item on another progressive website, CounterPunch.org, entitled “Bush, Iran and Israel’s Hidden Hand,” by former CIA analysts Kathleen and Bill Christison. It calls for Cheney and Bush to be impeached before they can attack Iran. Under this scenario, impeachment would be a preventative measure as well as the penalty for gross malfeasance. That Iran will be attacked “sometime before January 2009, when the Bush administration leaves office” is a given. I am inclined to agree 100 percent with the Christisons on both propositions: (a) Cheney and Bush richly deserve to be impeached (I would add that their closest advisers should be bastinadoed for good measure) based upon the factual record to date and (b) Cheney and Bush in their imbecility will attack Iran, unless stopped. It all makes sense. So far, so good.
The only problem is, Cheney and Bush will not be impeached and they cannot be stopped. There is no way a Democratic-controlled Capitol Hill in 2007-2008 is going to impeach this modern-day version of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Why? Simply because a Democratic-controlled Senate in 2002 authorized the launching of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and has funded the enterprise every foolhardy step of the way. In plain English, if they tried to impeach Cheney-Bush over the enterprise of Iraq, the Democrats would be impeaching themselves. And both sides know it. So it’s a standoff.
The Democrats would be inviting onlookers to ask why the Democrats authorized this predatory war in the first place. Do you think Hillary Clinton and other triangulating enablers want to see video clips of themselves dumping hogwash on a gullible American public back in 2002-2003? The electorate might compare it, side by side, to the hogwash of today as it relates to the equally bogus threat from Iran. The electorate might put 2 + 2 together, and who wants that? Certainly not the Democrats, certainly not the Washington establishment as a whole, and certainly not the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which controls both when it comes to U.S. Middle East policy.
Moreover, if Congress actually had any intention to stop Cheney-Bush from attacking Iran, it does not need to impeach them. Both houses of Congress could simply pass a binding resolution forbidding the President from taking military action against Iran without Congressional authorization. Presto, Edgar and Charlie would be handcuffed. All this would fit nicely within the powers accorded Congress by specific language in the U.S. Constitution. Remember that document? However, at the direction of AIPAC, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have quashed the requirement for the White House to come to Congress for war authorization.
At the same time, the White House and its “neocon” support network are ratcheting up the propaganda against Tehran—in dreary rerun of their mendacious campaign against Iraq in 2002. In effect, Capitol Hill has given the Cheney-Bush White House a free pass to launch a barrage of air strikes on Iran at any time, probably in coordination with Tel Aviv. That is the reality.
Similarly, it would not require the impeachment of Cheney-Bush to end U.S. participation in the Iraq inferno. Capitol Hill could simply cut off funding and set a date certain for withdrawal from that civil war zone, which is all of Iraq except Kurdistan. Republican Presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul and Democratic hopeful former Senator Mike Gravel have pointed this out in no uncertain terms.
But neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership will cut off funding—again thanks to politics and the war lobbies—even though Iraq has transmogrified into a ten-star disaster for all concerned. In short, the Democrats are complicit in the Iraq misadventure up to their armpits, along with the Republicans. The lunatics are running the asylum. The question remains, “How did they get where they are?”
Here’s another question: Why shouldn’t peace-lovers get behind a Ron Paul/Mike Gravel third party ticket to explode the fraudulent two-party establishment? They may not win, but they can ask an endless amount of embarrassing questions to rattle the hypocrites and the frauds in charge.
Which brings me to Mike Ledeen, one of the outstanding warmongers over at Nationalreview.com, where conservatives of the old school have given way to “neocon” crazies like Ledeen and professor Victor Davis Hanson. “Freedom Scholar” Ledeen wants to bomb Iran yesterday, as part of a campaign to “liberate” it and ignite a regional war of liberation. Read his in-house interview “Tick, Tock” on NRO. Evidently, Ledeen is a true believer in his own propaganda, much like the communist apparatchiki in days of yore. This may make him intellectually honest, albeit a numbskull. It also makes him more dangerous.
The joys of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” are not enough for Ledeen. He wants to spread the joy to neighboring countries and the entire region, with all the collateral blowback to America which that would entail. He and Hanson—how do they sleep at night?—may be out of their minds, but they have a soul-mate in the basement of the White House as well as inside the Oval Office.
We know who has a desk in the Oval Office. As for that operative in the basement, it is Elliot Abrams, “the last neocon standing” who is at the controls of U.S. Mideast policy. Elliot Abrams and Dick Cheney are frantically looking for any excuse to bomb the hell out of Iran. Abrams is the son-in-law of the “neocon” mugwump, Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter. Did you think this train wreck is all happening by accident?
The fix is in. What Trotsky was to Bolshevism, Podhoretz is to what has been dubbed “Neoconservatism”. Podhoretz is Rudy Giuliani’s chief foreign policy advisor. Get the picture? Rudy is sending a signal and going for the gold. Podhoretz made his wishes clear last June in a Commentary article entitled “The Case for Bombing Iran”. So even in the very unlikely event that Edgar and Charlie were impeached, and so do not get around to bombing Iran, that unfortunate country may still get whacked in the next “neocon” administration—of either party.
The sheer gall of intellectuals like Podhoretz, Ledeen, Decter and Hanson—who take it upon themselves to propagandize Uncle Sam into a gratuitous war to advance their own private agenda and feed their colossal egos—is breathtaking. Well, they got away with it when it came to Iraq, so why shouldn’t they try it again? Who is to stop them? Certainly not Congress.
At this time allow me to draw your attention to an antidote to the Ledeen-Hanson-Abrams-Podhoretz-Decter balderdash. It may be found in the August 21st interview entitled “Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore” with American journalist Nir Rosen on the left-wing website Democracynow.org, run by peace activist Amy Goodman. What is a traditional conservative like myself doing, perusing a left-wing political Web site? One has to embrace common sense and sanity where one finds it. They have become rare commodities. Nir Rosen has been there—to the actual places called Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan—and he tells it like it is. His outlook should be taken seriously.
Here’s what Rosen has to say about the current meltdown in Iraq: “...the Iraqi government doesn’t matter. It has no power. And it doesn’t matter who you put in there. He’s not going to have any power. Baghdad doesn’t really matter, except for Baghdad.... The government doesn’t do anything, doesn’t provide any services, whether security, electricity, health or otherwise. Various militias control various ministries, and they use it as their fiefdoms. Ministries attack other ministries.” All this chaos comes courtesy of your tax money and mine.
Assuming these circumstances are true, or even just halfway true, what does it matter what General Petraeus reports with respect to his military successes? Iraq is a nightmare. Petraeus is doing his job, but he and his men should not be there in the first place. So what is the point?
Here’s Rosen’s take on Iran: “Iran, until now, I think, has been the primary beneficiary of the US war in Iraq, in that their people are the ones in charge, and their main enemy, or one of them after Israel, Saddam Hussein, was removed. So we could have seen Iran as an ally in all this, and I think that we could have seen them as an ally in Afghanistan, as well. But we’ve chosen to invent an enemy [emphasis added] where we didn’t have one before.”
So now, to even the scales, we are being set up by the White House to bomb the foremost beneficiary of its own self-defeating war in Iraq, which war was launched at the behest of the Israel Lobby and at the urging of its agents, the “neocons”. Always more war. We are witnessing the results. To what end? Does it make any sense?
The entire Nir Rosen interview is worth reading from start to finish. At the end, Rosen addresses the all-important but studiously-neglected topic of Palestine, which is sure to warm the cold hearts of Mike Ledeen, Victor Hanson, Norm Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Elliot Abrams, et alia in the Likud/Neocon constellation. Palestine is at the heart of their regional war, of their widely touted “clash of civilizations,” and at the epicenter of almost all the bloodshed in the Middle East since 1948.
Of course, the usual suspects very seldom confront this central issue, except to dismiss it offhandedly as a side story. Rosen concludes: “What needs to happen at this point is a one-state solution, where Palestinian refugees are allowed to go back to their homes, where Israel is a state for Jews and non-Jews alike, a state for its citizens. And this one-state solution is inevitable.” Rosen has touched upon the ultimate taboo: the right of return for the injured party.
Sounds like democracy to me, purportedly what Cheney and Bush and even the “neocons” themselves are trying to promote in the Middle East, right? At least that is what they say. Or could “democracy” be just another outlandish White House cover story, a hoax? What a surprise and disappointment that would be.
In the meantime, I will be reading Marvell and Herrick, which is what I studied at Columbia. I want to get back to the metaphysical poets and to Lord Rochester and Will Shakespeare. I’ve held onto all that material. Please don’t disturb me until Armageddon.
--September 23rd, 2007--