FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Iraq and the Death of the West

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

Those who assume that the military action in Iraq will end with Hussein’s capitulation are grievously mistaken, according to the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES Bob Novak. Novak asserts that “a special envoy of the president of Iran traveled to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders” regarding the division of “northern Iraq between them in advance of an anticipated U.S. military victory.”

As Novak puts it, that runs against American war aims. To say the least, Bob. When Ken Adelman predicted a cakewalk, when Hitchens depicted the Iranian “street” as essentially pro-American, and when Mike Ledeen cashed his advance for his tome about the terror masters, they were putting their credibility on the line to argue that a war has seldom been so necessary and easy as the one on Iraq. Those worthies, paraded from cable news set to cable news set like herd animals, indulging such as Rumsfeld in claims [like the one made last week at a DOD “briefing”] that the Iraqis will be “liberated. . . from repression.”

Granted, the Defense Secretary generally is careful to refer to the Iraqis as “oppressed” rather than “repressed”. But why quibble over semantics? Either way, the Iraqi people end up objectified, their alleged passivity in the face of overwhelming force somehow interpreted as consent. The en masse surrenders of Iraqi forces suggest that, far from being a threat to its neighbors, the Iraqi military has been fundamentally unable to defend the nation’s territorial integrity since well before the current campaign started.

In other words, the US military hasn’t attacked the new Hitler. Hussein is — was? — a Third World President For Life. A trusty of Europe, a former trusty of the US, functionally a manager of western interests in the region.

The problem now, from which many future intrigues will spring, is what exactly are Western interests. The schism between the Franco/German/Russian axis — who would’ve imagined that in the 80s? — and the US/British/Spanish alliance strikes independent observers ranging from Walter Cronkite to Joe Sobran as irresolvable. Talk abounds about the ends of OPEC and the UN. Clearly, we are at the end of an epoch, as a power struggle has ensued for control of the international order.

As a result of that power struggle, we can dispense with talk of the West. It no longer exists in any tangible sense. Perhaps those who advocate US restructuring of “the Arab World” understand better than most of us that there is no such thing as shared interests between the US and Europe anymore. Their reasoning seems to run that US interests must consolidate control of the world’s petroleum if the US is to have any hope of stemming its inevitable eclipse by the last standing “tiger economy” — that of China.

China! A billion people, and an economy growing at ten percent per annum. Hundreds of millions of people whose only exposure to direct marketing so far has been missives from the ruling Party.

But that will change. The sheer bulk of the Chinese population inevitably will make the Asian giant the economic superior of the United States. Americans simply don’t have the money even to service their credit anymore, much less to fuel an economic recovery. Americans, compared to three decades prior, work more hours and make less money than they did in what Chomsky called “the golden age of state capitalism.” Uncoincidentally, he describes the last three decades as the “leaden age.”

As usual, Chomsky parses an uncomfortable truth about such matters. This has been a leaden age for those affected by the aggressive state capitalism that now drives the American economy. Small towns vie to be the homes of penitentiaries, under the impression that the incarceration industry will replace the farms or the factories that once fed their families. That sort of misguided logic, perhaps rooted in a conviction that there is no other option, drives our nation’s apparent need to protect the Middle East from itself. Whatever else can be said for the military-industrial complex and the prison industry, those are two industries exempt from downsizing.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular columnist for CounterPunch. He can be reached at: ANTHONY.GANCARSKI@ATTBI.COM

 

Today’s Features

Alexander Cockburn
Ominous Signs

David Lindorff
Peacekeepers at Ground Zero

Diane Christian
Blood Sacrifice

Kathy Kelly
The Morning After Shock and Awe

John Stanton
US Bombs Iran

Wayne Madsen
How to Live with a Rogue Superpower

ANTHONY GANCARSKI
Iraq and the Death of the West

David Vest
Earth vs. Bush

Ahmad Faruqui
The Liberation of Iraq in Perspective

Robert Fisk
We Bomb, They Suffer

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links / feedback

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail