FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Street Legal

by CHRIS FLOYD

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in America last weekend to protest the Bush Regime’s planned invasion of Iraq. It was an impressive outpouring of public will, cutting across a broad swathe of the social spectrum. In Bush’s own capital city of Washington, for example, an anti-war crowd of some 200,000 was packed with religious leaders, nurses, store clerks, military veterans, housewives, hard-hats, office workers –a host of deep-dyed “Heartland” types.

Just days earlier, the city council of Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city –a tough, no-nonsense, big-business town –voted 46-1 for a declaration opposing the Regime’s “pre-emptive” aggression. (You might have missed that story, of course; it wasn’t deemed worthy of mention in those organs of record, the New York Times and the Washington Post.) Meanwhile, a group of prominent Republican businessmen took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal declaring their opposition to Bush’s war.

This was all rousing stuff: mainstream America stirring at last from its long slumber to confront the preening usurper in the White House. Unfortunately, these protests –and a hundred more like them –won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to the Regime’s calculations for war on Iraq.

That decision was made long ago: before the September 11 attacks, before the November 2000 election –even before the 1992 election, which saw the temporary ouster of the Bush oligarchy from public power. During the waning days of that failed administration, plans were drawn up –by Dick Cheney among others –to ensure long-term American economic and military dominance over the world. The plan was refined over the next few years by the Project for a New American Century, a think-tank whose members included Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush and several current Regime officials. PNAC called for the conquest of Iraq, the planting of military bases throughout Central Asia, and the establishment of a pipeline through Afghanistan.

Why then didn’t Bush the Elder simply capture Baghdad when he had the chance, during the first Gulf War? In this case, we can probably take the old deceiver at his word: “The coalition would have fallen apart.” More to the point, the Saudis and Japanese would not have bankrolled further combat. People tend to forget that America was an economic basketcase under the first Bush Regime; even the police action to chase Saddam out of Kuwait and restore the undemocratic rule of George I’s royal business partners would’ve been too costly without the foreign bailout. The Soviet Union –still in existence at that time, and still regarded as a superpower –also would have balked.

But what a difference a decade makes. Years of prosperity filled American coffers to overflowing. The Soviet Union disappeared, leaving behind a weak and acquiescent Russia, eager to scoop a few crumbs from the new master’s table. Central Asia was now wide open for the plucking, ruled by the kind of thuggish crimelords Washington has always preferred to deal with. All that was missing was what one of the PNAC planners called a “Pearl Harbor-type event” to galvanize public support for unlimited military action.

No, we don’t hold with the theory that the Regime planned the Sept. 11 attacks. Nor is there yet a preponderance of public evidence to indicate that they specifically allowed it to happen –although their criminal negligence before the attack, and their strangely lethargic response during it, does call their competence and morality into severe question. But it wouldn’t have required a nefarious conspiracy –or a crystal ball –to see that a big blowback from the renegade CIA army of Islamic extremists was going to hit home sooner or later. You just had to be ready to exploit it.

And if there’s one thing the Bush boys know, it’s how to make hay when the sun shines –or, in this case, when the smoke rises over the burning corpses of dead Americans. With a shellshocked public still reeling from the blow, the Regime seized on the catastrophe to put its long-held plans into action. At home, it established a virtual dictatorship of the Executive, running roughshod over ancient liberties –and acquiring unprecedented power to curb dissent, should it ever prove truly meddlesome. Meanwhile, cronies and contributors –including “family firms” like Cheney’s Halliburton and Papa Bush’s Carlyle Group –reaped billions in tax cuts and increased military spending.

The PNAC plan was then enshrined as official policy in Bush’s “National Security Strategy,” which commits America to military “pre-emption” around the world to promote what Bush calls “the single sustainable model of national existence” –i.e., the Regime’s own peculiar brand of corporacracy. Or as the suddenly-popular President himself put it just days after the Sept. 11 attacks: “Through my tears I see opportunity.”

So here we are. The newly-installed regime in Afghanistan is now signing fat deals for foreign consortiums to build pipelines across its territory. American military bases –built on open-ended contracts by Halliburton –are going up all over Central Asia. Some 250,000 troops are massing on the Iraqi border.

Months ago, the Regime’s war-planners said quite openly that they wouldn’t be ready to attack until the “mid-February time frame.” And that’s why the war has not yet come. It has nothing to with the time-killing farce of UN “debates” and pre-doomed inspections, or with the moral force of mainstream protests on America’s streets. When the logistics are ready, the assault will begin.

It’s very simple; brutally simple. This war –and the attendant skewing of national priorities toward a militarized corporate state –is the reason the Regime came into existence. This is their cherished dream. No one will stop it now.

CHRIS FLOYD is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to CounterPunch. 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:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail