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
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail