Belaboring the Obvious

Thursday, June 07, 2007

They Write Letters....

Everyone from Henry Kissinger to his paperboy's aunt wrote letters in support of Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby, attesting to his character, and particularly, his "service" to his country.

I can understand people like Paul Wolfowitz attesting to his character, because they're peas in a pod. But, this "service" to country bullshit really sticks in my craw. Just because someone is in government doesn't mean they're diligently obsessed with the welfare of the people, and this bunch of neo-cons (with Judge Reggie Walton now nicely redefining that moniker) never gave "the people" a second thought in all their time in power.

And, indeed, they were in government for the power, the raw, obscene power they wanted to exercise over the world. I suppose that if these people had been born in Lichtenstein, they would have still been attracted to government, that it would have been in their blood to take over Europe. After Europe, the world.

Sound extreme? Let's go back to those heady days of the reign of Bush the Elder. It was Wolfowitz and Libby who were commissioned in 1992 by none other than VP Toad-In-The-Hole, when he was Bush the Elder's Secretary of Defense, to come up with the plan to rule the world.

And they were very obliging. The resulting 1992 "Defense Planning Guidance" they created was nothing short of exactly that. The plan proposed:

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union, and Southwest Asia.

"There are three additional aspects to this objective: First the U.S must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

Remember, this is the time of the end of the Soviet Union. About the only places in the world in which they weren't interested at the time were Africa and South America (likely because both were poor). That would change, of course, when they refocused their attention on oil.

It's interesting that, when the draft DPG was released to select members of the elder Bush's administration, no one got too excited about it--until it was leaked to the New York Times. Then, apparently, Bush went bonkers and ordered all the copies retrieved and, as rumor has it, burned.

Which is a way of saying, ultimately, that the principal difference between Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger is one of style, not substance. They really do think the same way because they're both rich WASP elitists who have an overweening sense of entitlement. But, Junior likes to get in people's faces, while Senior would prefer to work in the dark, and leave as few fingerprints as possible. They both needed people like Cheney, Wolfowitz and Libby, people like "loyal" Scooter (as Alan Simpson, the Homer Simpson of Wyoming, put it), to do the scut work of empire-building for them.

If empire-building seems too strong a term for this, consider, as Frontline put, these words from the report:

There is no mention in the draft document of taking collective action through the United Nations.

The document states that coalitions "hold considerable promise for promoting collective action," but it also states the U.S. "should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies" formed to deal with a particular crisis and which may not outlive the resolution of the crisis.

The document states that what is most important is "the sense that the world order is ultimately backed by the U.S." and that "the United States should be postured to act independently when collective action cannot be orchestrated" or in a crisis that calls for quick response.

Orchestrated. As in, orchestrated by the United States. As in, all power derives from us. (I wonder if Tony Blair has thought to read the 1992 DPG and wonder about his role in one of those "ad hoc assemblies.")

Of course, how nice for the Bushes that they've been in the driver's seat of this kind of policy, too.

Irving Lewis Libby is as much a symptom of the Bush disease as he has been a cause of its spread. Loyal to individuals with whom he shared an ideology of world conquest, loyal to a dream of hegemony, loyal to power. Loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, umm, not so much. That's why mention of Scooter's "service" to his country sticks in my craw. He was never interested in the country. He never worked for the country. He's always worked for his Prince. That's what got him into trouble. "Cheney's Cheney," everyone called him. Little wonder now why they did.


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