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Inside Rumsfeld’s War Diary

by BERNARD WEINER

Dear Diary:

They’re on to us.

It all looked so easy when we drew it up: We’d talk tough, frighten those who might oppose us, get our war plans in high gear, and move before anybody could do anything about it.

And then that namby-pamby went and convinced the Prez that it would look better if we got the U.N. to authorize war, and, just as I predicted, we got stuck in that goddamn political spiderweb — “diplomacy” is just another word for gumming up the works.

Yeah, sure, Powell jumped back on board and stuck out his neck at the U.N. with his “smoking-gun” slide-show. But, sure enough, it happened again: Because Powell convinced everyone that we simply had to make our case — instead of us just making our war — we got bogged down again in the big muddy of what’s evidence and not-evidence.

If the Administration had just stuck to the way it was all laid out in the original Project for the New American Century papers, we’d have been in Baghdad months ago, Saddam would still be hanging by his thumbs in Tikrit, the undamaged oil fields would be in the hands of the U.S. military, and the rest of the world would have received the message: Don’t mess with us, get out of our way.

Now any tinpot dictator can get the U.N. involved, or NATO, or the EU or whatever other alphabet-soup bureaucracy is out there — and, if we fall into the trap, we’re hogtied in discussions and “diplomacy” forever. That’s why we’re cutting ourself off from that “old Europe” way of doing business, so that we can move and get things done that need doing. (I can’t wait until we pull our bases out of Germany and sock it to the Frenchies — those guys are going to pay, big time, for their traitorous behavior.)

Thankfully, the Prez is still on point, like a good bird dog. We’re going to Baghdad, whatever it costs, with or without the Brits, whatever the goddamn “consequences” the liberals keep yapping about. Unless we launch the war, nobody will ever take our bullying threats seriously. We’ll be seen as ordinary politicians who can be rolled, instead of extraordinary, frightening, militarist maniacs that you don’t want to rile.

The liberals and moderates seem to think there’s something wrong with being thought of this way. They don’t understand that our “arrogance” and “swagger” and “bullyboy” behavior is a key, conscious part of the inevitability momentum we’re trying to project

“But there’ll be chaos in the Middle East, terrorism all over the place,” and so on. They still haven’t caught on. We WANT chaos, we WANT terrorism — at least enough to grant us the openings we need to exercise our mighty force, to have folks frightened enough to let us do what we do best: Bring a sense of order and stability to the country, to the world, when things look like they’re getting out of hand.

Hell, nobody else can do it. We’re the only Superpower on the planet. And we’re going to make damn sure it stays that way. This is the New American Century, after all. Any other country or region starts to get too uppity — Europe, Iran, China, Japan, Russia, whoever — they’ll be slapped down. That’s the great thing about being considered bullies and half-mad: They might not like you but they sure as hell get out of your way and let you take what you want. They understand what “pre-emptive war” means and that we’re “crazy” enough to use our nukes on ’em.

So, in a few days — or, if we have to postpone a week while we try to save Blair’s behind by getting the U.N. Security Council on board (damn you, Powell!) — we’ll be on our way to becoming the masters of the Middle East, re-fashioning the whole region to our specs, with friendly democratic governments that we’ve helped install making sure that things are copasetic and that the oil and gas are flowing properly.

If we do it right, we may even get to engineer an Israeli/Palestinian peace, although by giving Sharon his head these past several years, it’s going to be difficult to bring everyone on board. But I like the guy: He showed those towel-heads who’s boss. No messing around; just bomb the crap out of them. N ow even Palestinian moderates know the jig is up, they’re going to have to make an Israeli peace at some point. Problem, of course, is that Arafat doesn’t control Hamas, but we’ll deal with them later. (And with that goofball in North Korea, too. What is THAT all about?)

I’m so tired of these pre-war press conferences, answering the same questions again and again. They used to love me for my sense of humor and honesty; now they think I’m slightly demented, wondering if I’m too old for this sort of thing. (And that Spanish premier, telling me to shut up and that he only wants Powell to visit Spain!) When we’ve taken full charge internationally, and — thanks to the new police powers we’re putting together — domestically, I’ve got a whole list of traitors and insulters and internet pinkos I want to round up for a quick trip to Gitmo.

Damn it, let’s get this war on. Anti-war activists and politicians are getting too much time to organize — all over the frickin’ world! There’s too much time for ordinary middle-class Americans to start asking questions about our evidence and what we’re really up to. They’re even starting to join the hippie peace marchers, and organizing non-violent resistance on the local level. (Note to Ashcroft: get your agents in the peace movement to foment some violence!)

Let’s just go, NOW! Patriotism, support the troops, rally around the flag and the President — all that will kick in once we start the shootin’ war, making it clear sailing for us and our programs. And, with the news being dominated by the war in Iraq 24/7, the Bush domestic agenda will whiz through Congress — including Patriot Act II — with nobody paying much attention. And our judges will ensure no problems for our policies for the next 40 years.

It’s finally about to be a New World Order, for real. God help me, I love being part of the war effort — establishing America’s “benevolent hegemony” around the globe. And I love being at the heart of the transformation of American society and the world to something less messy, something we can control. Let’s roll.

BERNARD WEINER, a poet and playwright, was the San Francisco Chronicle’s theater critic/editor for 16 years; a Ph.D. in government & international relations, he’s taught at various universities, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers

 

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BERNARD WEINER, Ph.D., is co-editor of The Crisis Papers, has taught at various universities, and was a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 20 years.

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