Send In The Clowns!
This Whacko Nearly Became Commander-In-Chief!
Looking like a circus performer who holds his nose and kisses a snake because the show must go on, President Obama addressed the nation and announced the end of the war in Iraq. There was no sense of triumph in his voice or swagger in his body language, just a solemn recitation of the facts and a heart felt expression of gratitude to those who had sacrificed so much as members of the armed forces of the USA. Having opposed the war in the first place, and being smart enough to know that the idea of “victory” in Iraq is a cruel illusion, the President kept his eye on the future and the monumental changes he is bringing about in America and the world.
For reasons of political expedience Mr. Obama chose not to condemn George II and the Republican Neo-cons for starting this disastrous war of choice in a secular Arab nation that has unleashed an upsurge of radical Islamicists, which will almost certainly result in a barbaric civil war once American forces are out of the picture. Instead he was very gracious – I say to a fault – in interpeting the legacy of the Bushmen in this murderous fiasco. He said none could doubt that George Bush was a patriot, loved America and revered the troops. He went on to add that “there were patriots on both sides” of the war.
The most interesting commentary regarding the end of the war, ironically, comes from the Republicans. Those who are familiar with Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” recognize that the Devil is more interesting than God as a subject for literary treatment. Which explains the appeal of the Republicans, with their putrid rhetoric and devious machinations – it is the epitome of amoral evil. I have long argued that the Grand Obstructionist Party calculates the extent to which their audience is too stupid to distinguish fact from fiction. So they tell them anything. Their commentary on the origins and conclusion of the war in Iraq is a graphic case in point.
It is no wonder that none of the Republican Party big wigs will accept Chris Matthew’s offer to come on his show, “Hardball,” and denounce any of the scurrilous lies about President Obama that is Rush Limbaugh’s stock in trade. For they thrive on lies. In fact, they had the unmitigated gall to parade themselves before the public seeking absolution from their sins in supporting the Bushmen in starting a war of choice – which, according to Columbia professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Steiglitz, will cost three trillion dollars all told – by telling damned lies!
Witnessing Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and John McCain protest that President Obama didn’t congratulate George Bush, because it was his brilliant surge strategy that brought “victory” in Iraq, allowing Barack to bring the troops home with dignity, I am appalled. It was an episode so filled with treachery, duplicity, pomposity, self-deception, misplaced vanity, and shameles lies that Shakespeare could not have resisted putting pen to paper in order to teach us some grand lesson about the flawed nature of human beings…. and the moral depravity that sometimes informs our actions. But since Sweet William is no longer with us – except in his timeless texts – the task of unmasking these charlatans has fallen to we lesser scribes alas.
Just as they recited the same mantra calling for the invasion of Iraq – “We must seize their weapons of mass destruction before Sadam gives them to Osama! ” they cried- now they speak in unison attempting to paint the worst blunder in American diplomatic history as a virtuous war in defense of the nation. It is, to say the least, absurd. It is also insulting to our intelligence. Since I was one of the very few commentators who opposed this war from Jump Street – see “The Prophetic Commentary On Iraq” – it is altogether fitting and proper that I should offer an assessment at its formal conclusion. I say “formal conclusion,” because in reality it ain’t over yet; fifty thousand troops – a sizable army by most measures – will still remain.
If truth is the first casualty of war, it is also the final casualty in the aggressor’s justification for war. Thus we see the Republicans, whose lies and deceptions led us into an unnecessary war that cost the nation dearly in blood and treasure, now attempting to rewrite history right before our eyes. Now, after the of tens of thousands of American lives have been lost or shattered, and perhaps a million Iraqi’s killed – most of them innocent civilians – the Republicans are telling us that the invasion of Iraq was a great crusade to liberate the Iraqi people from the oppression of a ruthless dictator and establish a modern democracy there. The unbridled arrogance of such an ambition speaks for itself.
It is, therefore, essential that we remember the basic facts about how the US military came to invade Iraq, and assess its consequences, in order to counter the narrative of the shameless Republican mythmakers. Evidently they have forgotten that we live in an age of video tape, but Rachel Maddow had a grand old time reminding them, as she replayed all of the significant public statements made by Republican leaders from the President on down. In the beginning there was no talk of bringing Democracy to Iraq, it was all about retaliation for the attack on the US by militant Islamic Jihadists on 9/11. Which, of course, the Iraqi’s had nothing to do with – many observers, including some in the intelligence community, believe that they knew it too. The invasion was justified in Orwellian language that cast an invading army as liberators, and war mongering became peace making. We were told that if Sadam Hussein were not crushed he would arm Al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction and this would enevitably lead to the fall of America.
As I pointed out in a 3,000 word commentary on the eve of the war, Sadam and Osama represented opposing forces – secular military strongmen vs. the Jihidast theocrats – that had been slaughtering each other for nearly half a century in the Muslim world. The whole idea was absurd, but since Boobus Americans is clueless about the world beyond the shores of the US, the Bushmen managed to convince millions of Americans that this manufactured threat was real!
What The Devil Looks Like in the 21st Century!
The actual ideological architects of this war was Dirty Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle and the Neo-con cabal from “The Project for a New American Century,” whom Cheney installed in strategic positions within the national security apparatus. Their mission was to counter the conventional wisdom of the State Department and National Security Advisor – the domains of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice – on foreign affairs.
This cabal had devised the plans for an invasion of Iraq in a sweeping policy paper published by this privately funded far right think tank titled “Redesigning America’s Defenses,” long before George W. Bush was even nominated for the presidency. That ‘s why the Neo-con ideologues like Bill Kristol fell into dispair when George Bush won the Republican Party nomination, their man was John McCain – a died in the wool hawk who was out to redeem himself for his failure in Vietnam.
My understanding of this aspect of McCain’s character – he reminded me of the French generals who led the French expiditionary force tasked with the mission of suppressing the Algerian Revolution, after their defeat by Ho chi Mihn in Vietnam – led me to question his judgement as a Commander-In-Chief when everybody else was praising his virtues . I even wrote a commentary titled “General Clarke Is right: John McCain is unqualified to be Commander-In-Chief.” In fact, it the first commentary I posted on this blog.
The Project for A New American Century plan was an ambitious blueprint for American domination of the planet in the post cold war unipolar world of the 21st century; the 9/11 attack gave the Neo-Cons their opportunity to implement it. A clueless George Bush, whose major concern was reducing taxes for the rich – he had said publicly “My base is the haves and have mores” – panicked after the 9/11 attack and Condi’s authority was undermined by the fact that she was asleep at the wheel and thus allowed this tragedy to happen, when it could have been prevented if her head was not still preoccupied with cold war issues concerned with containing the Soviet Union, which she seemed not to notice had disappeared.
In fact, on 9/11 – after repeatedly ignoring terrorist Czar Richard Clarke’s admonitions to call a joint meeting of all of America’s intelligence agencies and have them compare notes on the activities of Al Qaeda – Condi was scheduled to deliver what was billed as a major address on national security. Her subject was building the “Star Wars” missile defense system around Russia, a clear violation of the Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty. Which was, after all, her area of expertise – and like all vain academicians she was determined to demonstrate her prescient wisdom. Hence the towers burned as Condi fiddled!
Since I have written an 108 page essay that explains in considerable detail just how we blundered into this misbegotten and murderous conflict in Iraq – which will soon be posted on a website I am setting up to accommodate larger pieces as well as many of my radio shows produced on WBAI – I will not belabor the issue further here. But suffice it to say that the American invasion of Iraq was based on official lies and deception; a concerted propaganda campaign skillfully and ruthlessly conducted by the Neo-Con cabal set up by Dirty Dick Cheney. Confused and frightened in the aftermath of Al Qaeda’s bold unprecedented attack, George II bought the Neo-Con line, and Wolfowitz and company in league with Dirty Dick hijacked American foreign policy.
If not victory, what can Americans claim as the result of this war that lasted longer than world War II: the war that was supposed to end all wars. Any candid assessment of the objective facts must conclude that the main consequence of America’s invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Sadam Hussein – which everybody constantly points to as the crowing achievement of the war – is to create the conditions for the long festering conflict between the Shiite and Sunni Islamic factions to explode into full civil war.
The so-called “democracy” the US claims to have established in Iraq is in fact a tyranny of the majority, in which Shiites will eventually control everything and exact revenge for centuries of oppression at the hands of the Sunnis – who recognize this and thus continue to bomb their mosques and attack them everywhere. Furthermore the ascension of a Shiite dominated government in Iraq has expanded the influence of Iran in the region – a predictable consequence. This has made the option of invading Iran an even more perilous adventure than it would previously have been.
The invasion of Iraq also took away vital resources that were needed to fight Al Qaeda in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, and caused the US to neglect developments in a nuclear armed Pakistan – which I argued was the real danger to US security in terms of the Jihadists acquiring a weapon of mass destruction, a point of view that everybody in the National Security Establishment has come around to now. My claim to the ear of the public at this juncture, is based on my prophetic analysis of the beginning of this war, and the many insightful pieces that followed. Look them up on this blog and see if I am making unfounded claims.
In view of these incontrovertible facts, the only reasonable conclusion regarding the American misadventure in Iraq is that it was an unmitigated disaster. It was based on a lie and failed to accomplish any of its stated objectives. For instance, we have heard about the victories of the surge ad nauseum. But the cheer leaders for these inflated claims conviently neglect to point out – as George Bush can clearly be seen explaining on video tape – that the purpose tof he surge was to create the conditions for the formation of a successful coailition governmet in Iraq.
Yet five weeks have passed since the much celebrted elections and the Parliament – which is riven by antagonistic factions – has convened to conduct the people’s business for the grand total of 18 minutes! And there is a better than even chance that the whole thing could fall apart like a house of cards. Almost a decade after this war began, after rivers of innocent Iraqi blood and many chests of American treasure, the Republican chicken hawks in the Senate, who cheered and supported this tragic and criminal invasion, now attempt to present it as a virtuous crusade to spread democracy, and cast themselves and their hapless commander-In- chief , as heroes.
Worst of all, not only did they fail to get “Osama been Forgotten,” they have become the main recruiters for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, with their increasingly virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric and boisterous, venom filled, opposition to the building of mosques in this country. As I listen to the Republican play play warriors plead their bogus case in search of absolution for the innocent blood on their hands, I keep hearing the refrain from Stephan Sondheim’s Broadway comedy: “Send in the clowns!”
Mitch: The Senate Minority Leader
King of the GOP Clowns!
Harlem, New York
August 31, 2010