Belaboring the Obvious

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Uh, Raincheck On That Democracy Stuff....

With all this ejaculative talk of "surges" in Iraq, revived Presidential aspirations for "victory," however the hell Bush defines that in his own mind, it's worth asking, briefly, what it is that is expected to be attained. We know that the all the excuses for the war first offered or implied--WMDs, collusion with al-Qaeda, involvement in 9/11--were all a load of horseshit. So, the real reasons for the invasion and occupation should figure prominently in any definition of "victory."

The end arguments about what the future can bring must depend upon the ultimate intentions of the originators of the plan. The neo-conservatives have always fallen back on the Ledeen imperative--"creative destruction"--or some such other nonsense approximating the shading of imperial ambition with words the meanings of which neither the press nor the public ever attempts to define: freedom, democracy, free market, free trade, etc.

So, baldly and crassly, the aims were to a) invade the country for the purposes of destroying the existing regime and to install a puppet government (for now) aligned with the United States, thus facilitating, b) to obtain contractual arrangements for US and British (else, why would Tony Blair ever go along with this insanity?) multinational oil firms to obtain Iraqi oil at the cheapest possible cost and, c) to obtain agreements to place US troops permanently in the country, in order use them as protective services for US oil companies and to obtain logistic advantage for further forays into the Middle East and central Asia, and, finally, d) turning the entire country into a laboratory experiment in privatization.

I suppose if even one of those aims were met, the neo-conservatives could say they'd achieved a partial victory, but, if the sole aim were item "a" above, as has been proffered by the Bush administration, we could have packed up and left in December, 2003, before the insurgency gained hold, and left the details of the construction of a government to the Iraqis and perhaps some international advisers, possibly to the everlasting appreciation of the Iraqis.

That we did not belies the truth: items "b" and "c" and "d" above are the real reasons for the invasion. This was apparent, even in April, 2003, although there was little hindsight at the time to help with the determination. If the intent was to preserve Iraq and turn it over to Iraqis after obtaining their freedom, why would the US ignore the protection of the many divisions of government which were mostly responsible for management of civil society in Iraq and focus their attentions only on the Interior Ministry and the Petroleum Ministry while the rest of the agencies (not to mention cultural repositories) were looted and for practical purposes rendered completely inoperative for months and years?

Oops. They gave away the game within days of reaching Baghdad, and the press just tsk-tsked.

So, whither victory? When the airtight, copper-clad oil contracts and constitutional imbroglio are firmly set and the status of forces agreements are signed (if they haven't been already, without the Iraqi public's knowledge), that's when Bush claims victory and goes on to the next misadventure.

If you're expecting either shame or introspection from these whores of Babylon West, it's going to be a long wait.


Post a Comment

<< Home