FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

General Principles

by Chris Floyd

Quietly, without fanfare, in a bland statement issued by its most “moderate” front man, the Bush Regime crossed another moral Rubicon last week, carrying the once-great republic they have usurped deeper into the blood-soaked mire of international criminality.

The move–committing the United States of America to a policy of Hitlerian military aggression–was little noted at the time. A quick soundbite, maybe, on a couple of the more wonky TV news shows; a brief quote buried somewhere in the thick gray sludge of the “serious” papers. The Regime guaranteed its poison pill would go down sugarcoated by picking Secretary of State Colin Powell as its mouthpiece.

It was a masterstroke of propaganda, really. The former general has long been regarded by the “serious” media on both sides of the Atlantic as a “moderate” maverick on Bush’s hard-right team. Liberal commentators praise Powell as a “restraining influence” on more bellicose insiders like Cheney and Rumsfeld, and a wise, guiding hand for a president unschooled in the subtleties of world diplomacy.

It’s all a sham, of course. Powell is nothing more than a lifelong bagman for powerful interests. His willingness to play ball, to look the other way, has made him a convenient tool for the some of the most violent and undemocratic forces ever to pollute American society.

His first job on the Inside was an attempted whitewash of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam; it didn’t quite work, but he won points for his obfuscatory efforts and went on to a plum job in the crime-ridden, Mob-connected Nixon White House. Then came Iran-Contra, the criminal conspiracy of drug-running and terrorism operated directly out of the Reagan-Bush White House. Powell illicitly sent missiles to the terrorist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, then helped with the ensuing cover-up. For this service, he was made head of the entire U.S. military.

He then directed the illegal American aggression against Panama, when President George H.W. Bush killed hundreds of innocent civilians in a hissy fit against his old CIA employee Manuel Noreiga. Powell, like Bush, had long known Noreiga was a murderous drug dealer, but they found him useful, and plied him with plaudits and cash–until Bush needed to prove his tough-guy cojones to Reaganite critics in the Republican Party.

Now Powell serves faithfully as a water-carrier for the rabid rightists in Bush Junior’s crew. Powell breaks bread with John Ashcroft, who breaks bread with the avowed racists at Southern Partisan magazine, who break bread with extremists who call for concentration camps, expulsions and executions for, among many others, African-Americans. It doesn’t bother Powell. He’s never made a public moral stand against any hard-right lunacy advocated by his bosses and their cronies. He just follows orders. He’s a General Jodl for the 21st century.

So what better man to announce George W. Bush’s adoption of Adolf Hitler’s moral code? Powell sat down with the media sycophants on ABC’s “This Week” and calmly–moderately — laid out the new doctrine. The subject, of course, was Iraq. The UN was working on a deal that would allow international inspectors back into the country to verify that Saddam Hussein no longer possessed weapons of mass destruction.

These inspections were vital because, as George W. never ceases to remind us, Saddam Hussein is so evil that he “gassed his own people.” And he most certainly did. But Junior always omits the inconvenient fact that one year after Hussein killed 100,000 Iraqi Kurds, Daddy Bush signed an executive order mandating closer U.S. ties to Saddam’s regime. Daddy Bush showered Saddam with endless financial credits and mountains of “dual-use technology”–which the dictator duly used to develop his WMDs–right up until the day before Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Needless to say, Powell, as head of Daddy’s military, was complicit in this lunatic operation and raised no demur, “moderate” or otherwise.

Flash forward to the present day. Junior Bush in the White House now. For months, he has threatened military action against Iraq if Hussein fails to verify the destruction of his WMD capacity. (At the same time, of course, Junior undercuts international treaties that would require monitoring of his own biochemical warfare facilities. There’s a good reason for that: the Regime is now preparing to develop offensive biochemical weapons, in contravention of international and U.S. law, the Village Voice reports.)

The world braces for another conflagration in the Mesopotamian sands. But then Saddam blinks. He starts talking with the UN. He renounces aggression. He makes up with Kuwait. Sooner or later, the inspectors will go back in–no cause for war now, right?

Wrong, Powell told the sycophants last week. The “moderate” secretary said that even if UN inspectors go in and verify compliance, the Bush Regime still “reserves its options” to do anything necessary, including military invasion, to effect a “regime change.” Bush himself has already acknowledged that nuclear force is among those “options.”

So there it is. The United States now openly claims the right to launch an all-out attack on any nation in the world whose regime it doesn’t like–even if that nation is not engaged in active military aggression or terrorism–and even if the mere threat of aggression has been defused by UN monitoring.

No provocation necessary. No legality required. Just a thuggish elite raining death on the world, for profit and power, sowing hatred for the once-great nation they have hijacked–and ensuring more death and terror for its people.

Chris Floyd is a columnist for the Moscow Times. He can be reached at: cfloyd72@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

More articles by:
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
Stephanie Van Hook
The Time for Silence is Over
Ajamu Nangwaya
Toronto’s Bathhouse Raids: Racialized, Queer Solidarity and Police Violence
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail