The neocons have a dream. A dream of celebrations in the Iraqi streets at the site of rolling US tanks. Women waving out from windows, men dancing at the edge of the roads, tossing turbans into the air, children riding on the 20 foot long barrels of the tanks, eating pink cotton candy handed down with a warm smile from the helmeted drivers who spin it in the tank cabin.
It could be the Shi-ites of southern Iraq having a memory of slaughter after the US encouraged them to rise against Hussein in 1991. It could be Iraqis having intimate knowledge of the effects the US lead emargo produced over the last 12 years-intimate in the sense that they watch as their children perish from malnutrition. It could be from a correct suspicion that the US isn’t really coming to liberate them (is it ethical to accept gifts from the devil?). The failure of Iraqis to welcome the liberating invaders with open arms may not depend primarily on any of these things.
It is human nature to reject any outside, foreign elements that appear by force and without invitation. It is an instinctual reaction. People are naturally prone to cling to the power of their home. Home is to be least feared, even if the power of home is frightening. So much so that even if the current US invasion actually was Operation Iraqi Freedom, or if the Iraqis sensed that, there would still be resistence to the US forces.
We Americans, our imaginations beaten into total submission by our own homegrown dictator, the media, should reflect on such a scenario occuring in our own home: Another country has decided that it wants to free us of our ruling dictators, the few giant corporations that run our state propaganda machine, the media. The liberating country is composed entirely of non-white people. And they’re not Christian. In fact they think we’re all going to hell, after being freed in this life. Their fighterjets drop leaflets on our cities, which inform us of our coming liberation, and which asks us nicely not to resist. The leaflets go on to explain that though our media dictatorship is not obviously destructive to our freedom, as some oppressive regimes are in other countries, it is the case that our media has programmed as all so deeply, so effectively that our lack of freedom is unconscious to us.
The leaflets explain that in fact we are no more than mere robots acting out the wishes of the media giants, our evil dictators. And again they ask us nicely to not resist their invasion, and to have a nice day. Military divisions of the country amass on our borders, in Mexico and Canada, who were paid well by the liberating country for their services. Missiles begin to hail on our major cities. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston. We are told that the missiles are aimed specifically at the corporate headquaters of our media dictators, and all other structures and systems of power associated with them. We experience total blackouts, our water is cut off, and our supplies. Our military, loyal to the bitter end to our media dictators, fight noble and risky battles, but are no match for the invading liberating forces. Victory goes to the liberating forces. Our media dictators have been destroyed. We are told that we are now free. But they need to stick around for a while, to help us set up an information network that tells the truth, rather than the evil lies of our deceased media dictators. We are told that once they set up new media outlets for us, then we will be free to transmit any information we like. Under one condition: that our new people-run media outlets only say what they want us to say…. Such instinctual resistence has no conscience: new free elections may vote out the liberating heretics without so much as a thank you. At least not a majority thank you. Yet there is something suspicious in the neocon’s expression of their dream, which some call a hubris that will lead to massive errors and chaos in Iraq and the region. It is suspected that Wolfowitz and Perle don’t give much of a damn about chaos, collatoral damage, Americans perishing in suicide attacks (or “terrorist homicide attacks,” as according to Ari Fleischer). In fact the neocons may prefer it. Perpetual instablity is the single best breeder of excuses for further US military excursions, full invasions and regime changes. A US agent in control of the new “liberated” administration in many countries of the region, except Israel-this is their end of means. Or at least a pleasant dream. They can also find evil-doing dictators in other countries, for example Chavez, and even much oil, in Venezuela, and continue their dreams elsewhere.
Claiming the invasions would be easy and be met with celebrations are sufficient lies. The media dispatches the necessary propaganda to keep the US population properly numb to the facts–being the only population in the world capable of stopping the US neocon war machine.
One question regarding non-celebratory reluctant or dismissive participation by Iraqis in a post-war environment is what would happen if, now free and democratic, voted out all liberating US entities and their interests, military, administrative, and business. That would not be allowed to happen. What does that mean, not allowed to happen?
Wolfowitz has lately been espousing great notions of pure democracy for Iraqis. He told the Duke of Sunday Spin Tim Russert that “the goal is not to install some particular group as the new leaders of Iraq. That absolutely contradicts the whole notion of democracy.” And furthermore, “The oil revenues of Iraq, now, for the first time in decades will be dedicated to the welfare of the Iraqi people instead of building up the instruments of a tyrannical state.” The neocons have a dream. This almost seems to suggest that it would be fine and well if the free Iraqi democracy voted out of Iraq all US interests. In fact that seems to be what Wolfowitz intends to be the case anyway.
Perhaps he’s assuming a free democratic Iraq will always vote in US interests.
What if representatives of an Iraqi electorate, performing the will of their districts, construct policies that do not favor US interests? Based on history one could suspect that those elected officials might begin to mysteriously disappear or be filled with bullets. Suggestive precedents abound, such as Pinochet and the death of the elected president Allende of Chile, Kissinger’s role in coordinating that coup, and of other such covert diplomatic excursions by the US around the world.
The US will claim that Iraq is not yet stable enough for them to leave. For Iraq’s own benefit, they had better stay. No doubt they’ll claim terrorism still lurking in the dark alleys of Baghdad.
MICHAEL BERRY can be reached at: email@example.com