October 24, 2006

Charting A New Course

Bush now says, "We've never been stay the course." Ironically, there is some truth in that: despite Bush's "steely" public bravado, his administration has shifted rationales for their invasion of Iraq over and over again. Their goal of seizing Iraq oil and establising US bases may never have changed, but the strategies for achieving it were always open to suggestion.

It now looks like Bush will be forced to change tack, if not chart a whole new course (whether or not his ultimate goal is still achieveable remains to be seen). But it is also clear that we, the people of his crazy coalition, need to take a good look at where we are now, how we got here, and then make sure that our governments know exactly where we want them to go next.

Come with me on a little trip through the anti-war press, such as it exists. We start with the UK Times, and Matthew Parris:
It is no small thing to find oneself on the wrong side of an argument when the debate is about the biggest disaster in British foreign policy since Suez; no small thing to have handed Iran a final, undreamt-of victory in an Iran-Iraq war that we thought had ended in the 1980s; no small thing to have lost Britain her credit in half the world; no small thing — in the name of Atlanticism — to have shackled our own good name to a doomed US presidency and crazed foreign-policy adventure that the next political generation in America will remember only with an embarrassed shudder.

It is no small thing to have embellished the philosophy, found the prose and made the case for the most almighty cock-up in politics that we are ever likely to witness.
As the USA increasingly blames the Iraqis for their self-made mess, Parris thinks UK neo-cons will blame the USA:
“The principle was good but the Americans screwed up the execution.”
Justin Raimondo picks up the argument:
There's more to neoconservatism than a callous disregard for facts and a persistence that borders on mania.

The complete disregard for American interests – which can be measured in the rising U.S. casualty rate and the worldwide diplomatic and political "blowback" emanating from the decision to invade – goes beyond mere recklessness. It's not as if they made an honest mistake: American interests did not enter into the calculations of key policymakers. Other interests were paramount in the decision to go to war, and since we're talking about the neoconservatives, Israel was surely a major factor, if not the determining factor, pushing us into Iraq...

The AIPAC spy scandal – in which the top official at AIPAC, former pro-Israel spark plug Steve Rosen, and foreign policy analyst Keith Weissman were indicted for violating the Espionage Act – is the signal that the tide is turning against the [pro-Israel] Lobby. If AIPAC survives the trial of Rosen and Weissman, I'd be very surprised...

[And yet] the AIPAC case is the dorsal fin of something much larger lurking just below the surface. This was indicated by hints of Israeli involvement in the faux "intelligence" that was funneled to the White House, Congress, and the American people by the secretive Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon. According to former Pentagon analyst Karen Kwiatkowski, Israelis enjoyed rights of unrestricted access and didn't bother to go through the process of signing in at high-level Pentagon meetings with U.S. officials...

Before the AIPAC investigation is through, it could cut a wide swath through the world of Washington politics, ensnaring members of both parties and exposing the true extent of Israel's fifth column in America.
Now let's turn to Scott McConnell in the American Conservative:
The cat is now out of the bag, and despite the lobby’s best effort to suppress it, there will be a more freewheeling debate about whether America’s Mideast policy should be so completely Israel-centric. The subject has simply become too important to ignore.

... with the Mideast now on the front burner, as even Bush administration officials acknowledge, America will have no allies whatsoever in the war against terrorists unless progress is made towards a fair settlement of the Palestine question; it is shameful to remain silent. Walt and Mearsheimer have opened the door, and others of great eminence have joined them. The Iraq War highlights the price of continued indifference or silence, and the price can only grow steeper.
People the world over just want to live out their lives in peace. These mad wars concocted by political and business elites are never in the people's interests.

Those of us who live in countries which have been dragged into such wars by our governments now need to reach deep and force our fellow countrymen to chart a new course, one based on the very values which the war-mongers have hypocritically espoused for so long: equality, altruism, peace, respect, and stability.


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