What the U.S. had in mind for Iraq was already clear in the Fall of 2001, even though it would take another year and a half to implement the attack, mercilessly known as shock and awe. By the time of the attack, many millions of U.S. citizens knew full well the real motivation behind it. Not that it mattered, or could matter.
The propaganda campaign waged by the government proved too effective for the scared, at large population. Their gullibility level was pushed to record heights by the administration’s deep handbag of shifting rationalizations and calls to patriotism. In short, the population was overmatched.
With some admirable exceptions, congresspersons, not known for gullibility, went along for different reasons. Ultimately not to stick their necks out.
A politician’s main job is to stay elected. This is true because they are not limited to a single term. If they were limited to a single term they might be more inclined to assert their individuality. The usual argument against the single term limit is that by then they are just learning their way around. But that’s the trouble–that there is a “way around”. That means knowing who to kiss up to, who’s useful, who will deal and who will pay. Do we really think that if we had a totally new Congress nothing could get done, because nobody knows their way around? We did have an all new Congress in this country. Once.
The media, again with a few admirable exceptions, took the occasion to demonstrate their compliancy. Distinguished less by gullibility than by hard-boiled cynicism, they nonetheless faithfully repeated every administration handout without challenge, indeed, without comment.
Now what was it that was so clear to some from the very beginning? That a takeover of Iraq was a natural way to establish a permanent military presence in the heart of the resource-rich Middle East. This was not a departure from longstanding American foreign policy goals but merely its latest iteration. Iraq happens to harbor the second largest proven oil reserves and oil just happens to be entering its scarcity mode.
The morning newspaper carries an Associated Press story detailing the signing by President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki of a “declaration of principles” between the two countries, which, for those still interested in the real reason we invaded Iraq, amounts to a full confession. Not in front of the International Criminal Court (that’s not for us) but mainstreamed, normalized, now fit to print.
Iraq’s government will “embrace a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees [referred to in another business as a protection racket] as part of a strategic partnershipan enduring relationship in military, economic and political terms.” In addition, the agreement provides for U.S. support for the “democratic regime in Iraq against domestic and external dangers” (the “danger” being that they would be outside our influence).
One should not be surprised that Iraq’s U.S. supported leaders find amenable the terms set for them by Washington. What else would one expect between a dependent client state and its master, the client obliged to obey and the master prepared to reward useful service?
The agreement specifically seeks (details have to be worked out you see) “preferential treatment for American investments.” At this point we might recall that the clever war marketeers chose not to use Operation Iraqi Liberation which would be lampooned as OIL.
Cutely, Lt. Gen. Lute, Bush’s adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, claims the question of whether military bases are required is “on the negotiating table”. Not according to the Iraqi officials cited in the same story who “foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops” at those bases.
In keeping with established practices of imperialist plunderers, the invader now guarantees the security of the invaded. When you think security, don’t think of being secure. Think prison and graveyard. The security is for the government. And when a state of emergency is declared in this country (just suppose), think that the emergency has nothing to do with the population. The emergency will be real, but it will be to the government.
JAMES ROTHENBERG can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org