Sunday, June 04, 2006

[political-research] Bloglines - Jane Smiley: Hi, Mom

The Huffington Post | Raw Feed
The Huffington Post Raw Feed

Jane Smiley: Hi, Mom

By Jane Smiley on Iraq

This morning, my mother told me that she had been reading my posts here on the Huffpo, and when I then gave her a moment of silence, she said that she thought I should pay attention to those who disagree with me, because they are probably experts. I said that I do pay attention to those who disagree with me. She then went on to say that she regretted voting for George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004. She said that she had been naive. She said that Bush is an "adolescent". I said that he is an idiot. I guess we still disagree on the details. Anyway, my mom writes political verse. I saw in her last book that she has had it up to here. I understand that she is withdrawing her vote in the 2004 election. Thanks, Mom!

Now I have few more remarks to add, since I haven't posted in a while.

When I was in the UK last week, I read that pundits and Tony Blair himself are beginning to dribble on again about how the mess in Iraq constitutes "good-intentions-gone-wrong". Too bad for them that the
Downing Street memo and other documents from before the war show not only that Bush's and Cheney's intentions were never good, but also that Tony Blair knows this perfectly well. As for Blair's intentions, the kindest thing to say at this point is that he thought he could use George Bush for his own supposedly altruistic (if arrogant and stupid) purposes, and discovered very quickly (though he hasn't admitted it) that Bush never minds a "quid", but he also never offers a "pro quo". Bush does what he wants. He is a selfish man. It is almost (but not quite) sad to see Blair soldiering on, making speeches about what he wants Bush to do for him. Bush will never do a single thing for him except manipulate him for Bushian ends.

Here's some news for all those who regret what might have been (if the Iraq War had "gone right" or been "properly fought"): The Iraq war would not have gone right. It could never have gone right. Mistakes were not made. The Iraq war was not intended to go well or badly, because nothing about it was intended. The Iraq war, for Bush and Cheney, was a sideshow on their way to consolidating the iron-fisted power of themselves and their corporate buddies in the US. (Note to those who wonder why the hatred many of us feel for Bush is ever-fresh: We know that their plan to disenfranchise us was always the first priority, and we cannot forgive them until they are defeated). The execution of the plan began with the theft of the 2000 election. The conservatives had been lying in wait and scheming to regain power for eight years, and when Scalia and his unethical and possibly criminal colleagues handed the executive branch to them, they started acting at once to simultaneously castrate the Democrats and provoke some sort of showdown with Saddam. Democracy in Iraq was never the point. The point was taking over Iraqi oil fields and using them to profit American oil companies--that is, theft, or, let's make the correct legal distinction, armed robbery, plain and simple. The US Congress and the
Judiciary were to be hollowed out and turned into shadow branches of the all-powerful executive. The conventional wisdom among Neocons was that just as Americans would be too dumb to know the difference between an actual republic and a sham republic, they would also be too dumb to know the difference between a baseless war of aggression and a justifiable war of self-defense. Some always were and still are too dumb to know the difference, and one of these is Tony Blair, but they underestimated the rest of us.

But there is more than mere tactics going on here. If this plan to destroy democracy and enrich and empower themselves sounds both evil and stupid, that's because it is both evil and stupid. The Iraq war partakes equally of both the evil and the stupidity. Therefore, IT COULD NOT HAVE SUCCEEDED. The Iraq war was not conceived of in accordance with any known version of common sense. Moreover, nor was the right wing scheme to become the permanent ruling party of the US conceived of in accordance with any known version of common sense, and it is now unravelling. It is not unravelling because Rove and Cheney haven't executed it properly, it is unravelling because it was conceived of by narrow-minded and ignorant men who don't understand their fellow citizens, but see them as even dumber versions of themselves.

Of course, the immediate danger is that the perpetrators of these crimes against democracy and humanity are too blind to see that they have failed already. The danger is that they will fight to the finish
and beyond, destroying whatever they can (Iran, the State Department, the Congress, the rest of the world) before yielding. Rove, Cheney, and the others cannot win the power they sought, but they can perpetrate another election fraud, this one even more blatant than the last two or three. Possibly they will simply block the voting and corrupt the voting machines. Possibly they will come up with some other pretext, such as an attack on Iran, to rally support and/or install martial law. But eventually, we will get rid of them. Even though the MSM has been slow to recognize that the 2004 election was stolen, in fact, it only took a couple of months for "the mandate" Bush declared that the 2004 election gave him to show itself as a fraud. The voters who allegedly voted for him did not agree with any of his policy proposals. The MSM considered this a surprise and a mystery--how could it be that every time he went on the road, his approval rating sank? The answer is that he was never elected to begin with; the exit polls tracked with the approval ratings. But Bush and Cheney aren't going to go without a fight. That fight cannot be subtle--it will have to include not merely a hidden coup d etat, but an overt one.

If that scenario sounds scary, there is a scarier one, and it is that the ideas Tony Blair professes about imposing democracy by force around the world won't go away when the current set of criminal idiots is
taken care of, but will be perpetuated by neo-neo cons, who will assert the failure was simply in not being able to execute those "good intentions". Of course, if I had to suggest three actual intentions
held by the corporatocracy/religious right-wing, they would be these: 1) let the taxpayers foot the bill for big business through tax-breaks of all kinds, but force them to pay the price of unregulated business
(environmental degradation, bad health care, bad schools, unaffordable housing, poisonous food, etc) 2) gain social control by means of various forms of terror, both here on earth and in "the hereafter" and
3) consolidate oligarchic corporate and exploitation of all the world's natural resources and assure the disempowerment and disenfranchisement of everyone else who may have a claim to them. Bringing democracy is only the cover for these bad intentions.

I am assuming that when we get control again, when we see what's in the secret files, we will be shocked, frightened, and possibly disheartened by the damage Bush, Cheney, and their cronies have done. I am assuming that more people will have been spied upon, for baser reasons, than we know about now. I am assuming that the treasury will have been gutted and the thieves will have gotten away with plenty of it through companies like Halliburton. I am assuming that more innnocent people than we realize will have been tortured and killed in more prisons that we are presently aware of. I am assuming that election fraud will have been widespread. I am assuming that American soldiers and commanders will have more atrocities than Fallujah and Haditha on their consciences. I am assuming that the eight lost years in preparing for global warming will be more important than we think, and will lead to unnecessary global suffering. I am assuming that the time we have wasted debating the criminal absurdities of Bush and Cheney rather than actual policies that might have benefited the nation will result in extra suffering for poor and middle class Americans of all ages. I am assuming that the level of antagonism and conflict in the US that has been fanned by the Republicans will seriously endanger the future of the country.

And yet, what they've planned is impossible and always was impossible. They were never going to succeed in their fantasy of unassailable power and overall control. America is too anarchic for that. Iraq is too anarchic for that. Too many Americans simply refuse to be told what to do and they are too widely dispersed to be managed by the sort of direct force that the US has used, unsuccessfully, in Iraq. The only thing the idiots have done is the only thing they could have done--seriously damage the nation's reputation, cause unnecessary deaths, dismemberments, and other forms of agony, worsen all
environmental problems, destroy the trust of the citizens in their government, and set the country back decades for no discernible reason other than Bush's egomania and Cheney's greed.


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