FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Bush Victory in Iraq

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER And ROBERT WEISSMAN

George Bush has already won a victory in Iraq, and we’re not talking about weapons inspectors’ access inside the country.

The administration’s beating of the war drums has drowned out the dominant stories of two months ago — the corporate scandals and failing economy.

The scandals continue to unfold, in ever more gory detail. In recent weeks, Chainsaw Al Dunlap has settled charges of financial manipulation, former GE CEO Jack Welch has renounced his obscene retirement perks, and new information surfaces almost daily on the tens of millions of dollars of shady loans and perks that Tyco granted to its executives.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to struggle. Unemployment remains high by recent standards. The stock market collapse has eaten away the retirement savings of tens of millions of people. Many experts believe the economy may return to recession.

The media still report on all of this, but not with the banner headlines of a few months ago.

Now, the coverage is focused on Iraq. While the administration has taken some lumps from those who advocate a common-sense resistance to military unilateralism and a dangerous and illegal doctrine of preemptive war, it has successfully changed the primary topic of political conversation in the United States. From a subject that had the administration on the defensive — especially as revelations continued of more and more improper or unethical actions at Dick Cheney’s Halliburton — the focus is now on a topic that plays to the administration’s strengths and ability to control information.

Of course, external events might have forced such a shift. But they did not. The administration has abandoned its claims that Iraq is involved with global terrorism. And whatever the truth about Iraq’s efforts to build nuclear weaponry, there is absolutely no evidence that there has been a step-up in the Iraqi nuclear program or that the country is anywhere near construction of a nuclear bomb.

In short, not only is there no evidence of an imminent threat from Iraq against the United States, nothing has changed in the recent period to suggest Iraq is anywhere near being a threat to the U.S.

It is the United States that has chosen to force the issue. The fanatical faction in the Bush Pentagon and White House (still counterbalanced more effectively by dissident Republicans than the Democratic Party) wants to put the United States on permanent war footing, with Iraq and Afghanistan just the beginning.

One not-so-incidental impact of the permanent war society is that war talk permanently displaces debate over economic and social justice.

The administration has already had its first victory in Iraq, simply by threatening to go to war. If the American people permit the Bush team to launch a war, we can be sure of long-term defeat for the people on the American homefront, irrespective of the outcome on the battlefield.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, and co-director of Essential Action. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999.)

 

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba after Fidel: Interview with Professor John Kirk
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail