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

Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Minute Musings: On Why the United States Should Launch a Tomahawk Strike on Puerto Rico
Tom Clifford
The Return of “Mein Kampf” … in Japan
Todd Larsen
Concerned About Climate Change? Change Where You Bank!
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Brexit: Britain’s Opening to China?
John Hutchison
Everything Old is New Again: a Brief Retrospectus on Korea and the Cold War
Michael Brenner
The Ghost in the Dream Machine
Yves Engler
The Military Occupation of Haiti
Christopher Brauchli
Guardians of Lies
James Preece
How Labour Can Win the Snap Elections
Cesar Chelala
Preventing Disabilities in the Elderly
Sam Gordon
From We Shall Overcome to Where Have all the Flowers Gone?
Charles Thomson
It’s Still Not Too Late to Deserve Your CBE, Chris Ofili
Louis Proyect
Documentaries That Punch
Charles R. Larson
Review: Vivek Shanbhag’s “Ghachar Ghochar”
David Yearsley
Raiding the Tomb of Lubitsch
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail