November 30, 2006


At HuffPo, John Seery innocently asks: What If Bush isn't a Complete Idiot?
Consider, for a moment, that he might be pursuing an agenda beyond mere ego and arrogance and idiocy.

The U.S. military hasn't been aggressively patrolling the streets of Baghdad of late. Recent reports suggest that they might be pulling out of al-Anbar province altogether. Sure doesn't look as if the purpose of the U.S. troop presence is to "stabilize" the country anymore. Pull back, lay low, and bide our time. In the meanwhile, let the Shiites kill the Sunnis and vice versa (an official version of Rush Limbaugh's recent call to let civil war proceed unabated). Let the bodies pile up. The Bush Doctrine at this point: Who cares? (Those dead Iraqis are but commas in the Book of History anyway.)

So why stay there? Sometimes you can tease things out by indirection, assuming that they do indeed follow and reveal some logic (a big if in this case, granted). Bush has never pledged that the U.S. would someday leave Iraq altogether, as an ultimate goal. Methinks those military bases are there to stay. "Completing the mission" and "achieving victory" are Bush code words for keeping a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq, a base for future operations.

And for oil. Bush and Cheney, as wily and wangling ex-oil executives, aren't simply going to walk away from those vast oil reserves without a fight.

Let's face it: Bush has no intention of leaving Iraq, but he isn't going public with his ulterior reasons. This is not now a War on Terror, if it ever was--and I suspect he and his advisers know that. This is U.S. imperialism--a geo-strategic land and oil grab. The War on Terror has been a pretext--all along...
Three years later, we are finally moving towards a grown-up discussion. America, what took you so long?

The funny thing is, this could work out to be the best news in months for Bush: just as John Howard has morphed from the "WMDs and terrrrsts" line to the "preserve the strong relationship with the USA" line, so Bush can morph from "spreddin' Democracy" to "in the USA's best strategic interest" line (without skipping a beat, of course).

His base will lap it up. "Brilliant!" they will cry. "You fooled all those dumb Democrat stooges (but not me)."

Just don't think about all the dead bodies.

And hey, buddy! You better be able to PROVE this is really in the USA's best interests.

From the comments at HuffPo:
B I N G O!

This is a probability I hear many people discussing, but it is completely ignored by the media. It makes perfect sense.

Bush and his installers have no shame, they have no principles. They have no ideology other than greed. No religion other than deceit. Neo-conservative? Christian? Pro life? It's all meaningless. Their only "political" philosophy is that they want money. Our money. Iraq's money.

If my friends were domestic oil producers, and their big problem was that their production costs were high and there was too much cheap, middle eastern oil on the market, depressing prices; what would be the best xmas present I could give them?


Anonymous said...

This isn't a new view. There have been people saying since 2002 that the war on terror was nothing but a grab for middle east oil. Its new to see it in any form of mainstream media though. But I cannot accept that Bush is wily and clever. The policy might be wily and clever but that doesn't mean Bush is. It just means that more wily brains than his are directing him - which has been the case all along. Someone else is pulling his strings - Cheney and Rove probably.

gandhi said...

The main issue is not really whether Bush is clever or not, much as people like to personalize global political realities to make them simpler.

The main issue is whether the whole War Of Terror is a ruse, and specifically whether the Iraq War is just a cynical oil grab (with the added benefit of permanent US military bases in the M.E.)

I think Seery was just using the "what if" angle as a hook for this main story. HuffPo is hardly MSM, but it's a conversation that badly needs to grow so loud in the blogosphere that the MSM cannot ignore it.

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