Upping the anté & wishy-washy liberalism By William Bowles

2 January 2004

Upping the anté
Richard Perle’s latest book “An end to evil: What’s next in the war on terrorism?” might well be described as the handbook for the imperium’s agenda for 2004 with its call for an invasion of Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style blockade of North Korea. The question to be asked of this quasi-fascist’s quest for power is; will he be listened to or is it merely the last gasp of the ‘neo-con’ agenda following the miserable failure of the ‘war on terror’ 2003? I would like to have brought you more ‘Perle’s of wisdom’ but the book isn’t available in the UK yet so I’m relying on reports from those who have had the ‘benefit’ of reading the latest rants from the current ‘prince of darkness’.

Aside from Perle’s wet dreams of war, the simple fact is that the US is incapable of invading Syria, Iran or anywhere else for that matter — except its own domestic population. But of course, logic is probably the last thing we should consider when trying to figure out the workings of the Beltway ‘bandits’.

Yet these guys are in power and like Hitler, who desperate for oil just as Bush and co are, couldn’t resist the temptation to take on Russia even as his advisors warned against fighting a war on two fronts. And this goes to the very heart of the problem and what scares me most about Blair, is the idea that they too have actually lost the plot completely. For nothing else can explain the doctrine of the ‘war on terror’ except deviance on a gargantuan scale.

My rational mind cries out against such a possibility but what cannot be in doubt is the ramping up of the hysteria with the US decision to ban flights, question passengers, armed marshals on planes arriving in or bound for the US. And what is the basis of these decisions? We’ll never know, as the US authorities aren’t letting us know.

Air France, that had six flights cancelled over the Christmas period, said that US intelligence agencies wrongly identified passengers as “terrorists”.

Scanning the British media today, I find that they too have ‘lost the plot’. Nowhere could I find a single questioning of this latest escalation in hysterical scaremongering. The Independent (02/01/04) had one article on p. 5 under Home News headed “BA flight to US grounded twice after terror alerts” and the article merely listed the flights involved and a mention of the “latest scare” involving British Airways. What one must ask is why the media in particular don’t want to address the issue? So far, not a single person has been arrested or even denied entry to the US. If there ever was a case of being ‘in denial’ this is it.

Wishy-washy liberalism
Elsewhere in the same edition of the Independent, is an op-ed piece by Robert Fisk titled “Mr Bush has one priority for 2004. Get America out of Iraq. Fast.” What is it with these ‘bleeding heart liberals’ who when faced with the monstrous acts of the imperium retreat into a fantasy land that is completely devoid of politics, where people are all ‘merely’ victims. And whilst accepting Fisk’s ‘anti-war’ credentials, and his obvious hatred of the ‘neo-cons’, it’s not enough to portray them as ‘bad guys’ as this explains nothing at all.

The piece opens with a description of the latest plan to ‘Balkanise’ Iraq (proposed by Sharonite Leslie Gelb) by splitting Iraq into three separate entities based upon the alleged religious/ethnic composition of the country. And as ever, Fisk accepts without question the utterly unsubstantiated claim that Iraq is composed of “…Shias, who form 60% of the country”. The closest Fisk gets to an explanation of this plan, indeed for the invasion is to say that it maintains “American military power” by weakening Iraq. But anybody with any understanding of history knows that the objective of invading Iraq was not to maintain America’s military power but to extend its economic control of vital resources. This is just wishy-washy liberal claptrap that might make a vicar weep or get some well-meaning individual to contribute to their favourite charity but explains nothing.

The article has a pull quote that reads:

“Iraq is breaking up into rebels and collaborators, with a heap of innocent bodies turning up each day at the morgues”.

Fisk would have us believe that the ‘breaking up” of Iraq is happening because of “rebels and collaborators”.

The piece is a perfect example of why Fisk gets published and virtually no other anti-war articles that look at the politics behind actions ever make it into print in the so-called Independent. It’s fine to publish a ‘humanitarian’ view which is essentially a ‘plague on all your houses’ position as this is unlikely to offend anyone, let alone offer anything beyond that of ‘human nature’ as an explanation for events. It’s either this or the delusional writings of Rupert Cornwall and his ‘personal’ interpretation of events that I referred to the other day.

And what of the title of Fisk’s article “Mr Bush has one priority for 2004. Get America out of Iraq. Fast.”? The essay itself makes no case for this assertion except the following:

“…the US administration will be ever anxious to do two things: to insist that America will “stay the course” — and to get out as quickly as possible.””

How Fisk comes to this conclusion aside from a reference to the approaching election is not stated. Frankly, I’d rather the right-wing views of the Daily Telegraph or the New York Times than this purportedly anti-war article that succeeds in sucking all meaning out of events by reducing everything to the vague and apparently purposeless actions of a few ‘deranged’ individuals. In Fisk’s world, just as in the world of Rupert Cornwall, it’s ‘morals’ that count, not objectives. Events happen not because of vested interests whether for economic or political reasons but because of something, well, undefined.

Fisk’s piece ends with the following:

“So there you have it. More Israeli settlement building on Arab land and, I’ve no doubt, more Palestinian suicide bombings. More desperate attempts by the Americans to escape from Iraq and more talk of turning “New Iraq” into ethnic statelets. More anger. More Arab humiliation. More “war on terror”. Flak jackets on for 2004.”

Ultimately, Fisk’s world is as delusional as the neo-cons and frankly, just as dangerous as it avoids the essential elements, explains nothing and offers nothing in the way of a solution. In fact, everything in Fisk’s article when unpacked, has no explanation at all, only ‘literary’ descriptions of the obvious horror of the effect of imperialism on peoples’ lives. But if one wants reasons look elsewhere because you won’t find them in the Independent.

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