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Russian President Vladimir Putin has a point. Democrats have "no moral right" to criticize Bush for invading Iraq. Why? Because they were gung-ho about invading Yugoslavia. Putin made the comment at the G8 neolib feast on Sea Island, Georgia.
Democrats, of course, are attacking Bush because they want John Kerry in the White House next year. Kerry says he will continue Bush’s failed policy in Iraq with the notable exception that he would "internationalize" the mess and ask Europeans to help out in the murder of Iraqi freedom fighters and innocent civilians.
Turn Democrats upside down and they look like Republicans. Most of them voted for Bush’s invasion. Most of them believe killing Iraqis will return the sort of results the neocons had in mind when they lied their way into the invasion. Most of them are responsible for war crimes. Most of them should be standing alongside Bush and his neocons rabble in the docket at the Hague.
How soon we forget.
Clinton attacked Yugoslavia. He ordered the bombing of civilian targets — homes, roads, farms, factories, hospitals, bridges, churches, monasteries, columns of refugees, TV stations, office buildings — and killed a "few thousand random civilians for good measure, and thus weakening the will of the population to resist, so that they would submit to NATO occupation," as David Ramsay Steele summarizes. By attacking Yugoslavia Clinton and the Democrats basically laid the groundwork for Bush and the neocons: For Clinton and the Democrats, it is perfectly acceptable to attack other nations — this is not a Republican proclivity — even if they pose no threat to the United States or anybody else. The United Nations does not need to be consulted.
Neolibs believe they possess the moral authority — the neocon faction like to call it "moral clarity" — to murder anybody and everybody who stands between them and oil, minerals, rainforests chock full of lumber, and "natural monopolies," that is publicly owned power grids, railroads, telecoms, schools, hospitals, and even aquifers of fresh water. On this Democrats and Republicans are in agreement.
The American people only need be lulled to sleep. Or exposed to a pantheon of spine-chilling demons. It’s easy to frighten children with scary stories. Halloween can be easily rescheduled to June or December or March. Freddy Kruger Hussein or Chuckie Slobodan Milosevic are trotted out on cue. Booga booga. Arab cave dwellers with satellite phones want to kill your first born.
Clinton sounded like Bush when he said, "[Hussein's] regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region, and the security of all the rest of us. Some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. Let there be no doubt, we are prepared to act."
Surely, there is no doubt. Republicans and Democrats are into mass murder and theft.
In 1998 Senate Democrats passed Resolution 71, which gave Clinton the authority to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end it’s weapons of mass destruction programs," in other words the authority to attack the people of Iraq who were suffering under years of brutally imposed sanctions. On December 16, 1998, Clinton attacked Iraq. Prior to this he bombed Sudan and Afghanistan. Clinton and the Democrats showed Bush and the Republicans how to go about violating the Constitution and international law.
Peas in a pod. Birds of a feather.
Putin is correct — the Democrats have no right to criticize Bush. Junior is simply doing what the Democrats did in Yugoslavia, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Only difference is the president is a Republican, not a Democrat. It is this fact that really irritates Democrats. Not an illegal war on the people of Iraq.
Democrats are going after Bush because they want Kerry in the White House next year. Democrats are pissed because they lost the last time they played musical chairs. Bush rigged the game, but that does not seem to bother them a whole lot. Democrats would do the same, given half the chance. It’s just that the Democrats are a few cents short in the viciousness department.
Clinton wanted us to believe he was a nice guy as he killed Serbian school children and Iraqi grandmothers. Republicans don’t care what you think. God told Bush what to do. He doesn’t especially care if you like him or not. It’s not about popularity. It’s about who can secure the planet for neolib digestion.
So, in November, you can vote for a Republican warmonger or a Democrat warmonger. Oh, you can vote for Ralph Nader on principle, or not vote at all, but the forgone conclusion is that the War Party will be in the White House — either Republican or Democrat flavor, no difference — for another four years. Meanwhile, the neoliberal war against Islam and the third world will continue. The Wall Street neolibs may get a new CEO, but the game plan will remain essentially unchanged. It’s all about management style — the charter remains rock solid.
We have little choice but to sit back and watch the empire crumble. It may take a year, or it may take 20, but sooner or later the empire will disintegrate — as all empires eventually do. In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.
If Bush gives you heartburn, you can, as Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt suggested, always change the channel. Everybody Love Raymond is a short skip, hop, and a jump away. Laugh tracks effectively narcotize the public. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Four more years — and then the countdown to destruction.
In Rome, the people watched gladiatorial combat in the Colosseum. In America, we watch it on CNN and Fox. In Rome, the Praetorian Guard eventually decided who would rule. In America, the new Praetorian Guard — a marriage of convenience between corporations and the Pentagon — decide who will rule. In Rome, the throne was sold off to the highest bidder. In America, the bidders are all neoliberal rich people.
Choose your suit: Democrat or Republican cut.
Makes no difference.
KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/blogger.html . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org