George Bush's State of the Nation Speech Justifies a World War
By Martin Muller-Mertens
[This article published in: Berlin Umschau, 2/3/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide War, link to www.rbi-aktuell.de.]
There are reasons to be thankful for US politicians. Unlike their German counterparts, one hears plain English and less blah-blah - particularly when foreign policy strategies are involved. In a certain way, the empire makes clear that games of hide-and-seek are not necessary.
On Tuesday, US president George Bush burst the dreams that Washington could actually pursue limited goals in the current hegemonial war. This enclosure was necessary in preparing the surprise attack in the Gulf. Now it is not necessary. In a political, economic and spiritual regard, Bush formulated the program of an unlimited world war.
Seen this way, the world is divided in two camps. On one side is the "evil." Evil is not defined spatially or substantively; it is simply always present and fixated on destruction. The recourse to biblical notions of the devil is blatant. On the other side is the good - or divine - embodied by the United States of America. The US is committed to struggle against evil. "Our nation is committed to a long-term historical goal. We strive for the end of tyranny in our world."
Bush made clear he is not interested in compromises. The hegemony of the US in the world, the lawlessness of its conduct legitimated by a higher goal, allows no strategic limitation to the generalization of the war goal. All references to "radical Islam," systems like Burma or North Korea and weaknesses of the Iraqi government become blurred as concrete justifications. References to the security of the United States reflect domestic political exigencies. All this is exchangeable.
That the oilman Bush now announces the imperative development of alternative energies only underlines these intentions. Bush wants the US to be independent of foreign sources...
Washington has long understood itself as a divinely inspired power with global privileges and prerogatives. Now it cannot be addressed any more. Exempting himself from narrowing by the concrete, Bush called his followers to a crusade at whose end could be the reorganization of the world according to the US model. The president announced this world. The consequences will be immense.
The messianic element of this position is its greatest danger. Setting itself up as a superpower is entirely logical and without alternatives from the viewpoint of the US. In alliance with enlightenment fantasies, weighing means, goals and consequences is secondary. Joined with the military and economic potential of the US, this is a dangerous mixture.
DILEMMA OF THE BUSH WARRIORS
Rhetorical Power Demonstration in Washington. However the US President cannot convince the Nation Any More.
By Werner Pirker
[This article published in: Junge Welt, 2/2/2006 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://eee.jungewelt.de/2006/02/016.php?print=1.]
The US president's State of the Union address this year may not have really improved the mood of the nation. George W. Bush gave three cheers to the old chauvinist spirit but his rhetorical power demonstration on Tuesday night did not go down well. The Bush address in the capital of Washington only triggered occasional applause from the republican half while the other side of the House was not emotionally moved. The president spoke to a divided nation.
Bush passionately invoked the Bush doctrine that the world needs a leading nation. The US must remain the leading global power in the interest of national security and world peace, he said. "Our nation is committed to the historical long-term goal to end tyranny in the world," the American president formulated the tyrannical claim of the US to dominate world events. Bush contrasted Washington as the good emperor to the shady customers of this world and insisted America will not withdraw from the world and yield to evil.
Bush named the Islamic regime in Iran as the present focus of evil. "The Iranian government rebels against the world with its nuclear projects. The nations of the world cannot allow the Iranian regime to have nuclear weapons." The speaker of the nation omitted any threats of war. Rather he put his hope in an inner upheaval to create a "free democratic Iran." Tied to this upheaval, Bush emphasized the "spread of democracy" in the Middle East as the US paraphrases its policy of national subjugation. Corresponding to the legitimation ideology of American power politics, the elections in Palestine appear almost as an American achievement where Hamas was the election winner. "The Palestinians have voted and now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, abhor terrorism and work for a lasting peace," the emperor commanded. That the Palestinians elected Hamas to make known their will to continue struggling against the occupation is not earmarked in the rules for the Middle East democracy drawn up by Washington.
Since the US is committed to this democracy in Iraq, Bush excluded an immediate troop withdrawal. The war must be continued until victory. However the nation seems increasingly less ready to accept the staying-the-course of the Bush warriors. Uncertainty extends to the highest circles of power. The neo-conservative spin-doctors had predicted the rapid march through all the fronts. The obvious failure of their Blitzkrieg strategy was largely repressed from the public discourse. The "failed states" as the sources of instability and irrational turmoil have proven to be less failed than they assumed.
George W. Bush repeated this insight in his speech. The US, he complained, made itself dependent on "unstable parts of the world." Therefore the US must end its dependence on oil imports from the Middle East. Bush recommended a withdrawal treatment to drastically reduce the "addiction" for Middle East oil.
The US president carries out the war strategy of his administration ad absurdum. This strategy rested on gaining total control over the sources of energy. Rule over the Middle East had absolute priority. However one-sided relations of dependence cannot be removed as simply as planned. The American war policy has fallen into a serious crisis, not only because the population is weary of war. The warmongering forces will not be satisfied in the long run with promises of a "democratic Middle East." Democracy in this region follows its own rules.