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imperialism & war | political theory

A Nice Mess Our President Has Made for US

This is not a smart guy, or even a dummy fronting for a bunch of smart guys. This is an idiot who is listening to a bunch of idiots.

In an excellent piece in Monday's New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert tells how the Bush administration has been trying to turn not just the Guantanamo detainee tribunals but the entire U.S. legal system into the kind of judicial environment more appropriately depicted in a Marx Bros. film.

At the same time, U.S. foreign policy is coming to resemble not Marx-ism, but a Laurel and Hardy script.

Indeed, as Israel, with Bush's blessing, expands its initial militaristic bullying of Gaza into a full-scale invasion of Lebanon, with daily escalation of the violence threatening to ignite the whole Middle East, a version of Oliver Hardy's famous line springs readily to mind: "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten us into."

It is clear by the ease and speed with which Israel's military moved systematically into Gaza, destroying the basic infrastructure of that hemmed-in captive community of a million impoverished human beings, that this had nothing to do with "rescuing" a "kidnapped" soldier, and everything with attempting to destroy the elected government of the nascent Palestinian state. Israel initiated this act of aggression after weeks of rocket and shelling attacks against the territory--including one which killed eight members of a family on a beach outing--all of which provocation took place without any criticism from the U.S.

It doesn't take much of a foreign affairs background to predict that such an all-out assault on the Palestinian people would elicit a response from the Palestinian people's closest ally, the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, and respond Hezbollah did.

Now there may be those in Israel's right-wing government who wanted Hezbollah to attack, giving Israel a pretext to move back into Lebanon and to unleash its American-provided and American taxpayer-financed weaponry against the Palestinian and Lebanese backers of a Palestinian state residing in Lebanon. There may even be those in Israel who for their own insane reasons want an excuse to expand the current bloody war further into Syria, which is a backer of Hezbollah. But where are America's interests here?

Apparently the Stan Laurel impersonator in the White House, with his biblical megalomania and his self-delusional neo-con advisors seems to think all this is a good thing. The president has had not a word of criticism to offer for Israel's blitzkrieg, and is content to take a historic conflict of national, ethnic and tribal dimensions and cram it into his simplistic "us-against-the-terrorists" dogma.

In the Bush worldview, bombing crowded urban areas by air and howitzer is "legitimate national defense," while capturing Israeli soldiers and firing small, unguided rockets back at Israeli territory is "terrorism."

Of course, we can trace this ignorant and simplistic thinking (if it can be called that) back to the invasion of Iraq, where President Laurel/Bush and his gang imagined first of all that invading that country would a) be a piece of cake and b) set off a wave of democratic reform across the Middle East.

A fine mess that has proven to be!

Iraq is now, by almost any measure, a worse place to live than it ever was under Saddam Hussein, and appears headed for at best a religious theocracy, and at worst an interminable period as a failed state of warring tribes and religious sects slaughtering for supremacy. As for spreading democracy, the only place where democracy seems to have really been attempted was Palestine, where the people, using the ballot, threw out the corrupt and ineffective PLO, and replaced it with a government led by Hamas. And what did President Laurel/Bush do in response for this dramatic and honest expression of the people's will? He joined Israel in condemning their decision, and set about, with Israel, in attempting to undermine and overturn that elected government.

We are reaping the result of this unprincipled idiocy today. Just watch the news (after filtering out the pro-Israeli slant on the coverage, if you can).

There are many people on the left and the far right who see all this as part of some master conspiracy of the zionists and neocons, claiming that the idea is to bolster Israel as a military master of the Middle East, while weakening the Arab regimes so that the U.S. can ultimately step in and control them and their oil. I have a couple of problems with this theory. First of all, the U.S. does control Iraq, and it can't even get cheap oil out of that country the way it was able to do while Hussein was in power. Meanwhile, the U.S. has effectively controlled Saudi Arabia for years, and gets full access to that country's oil--and to neighboring Kuwait's oil--without firing a shot. Why spent $1 trillion and create unpredictable chaos abroad and at home to accomplish something that we already have? The truth, anyway, is that while the U.S. is being bankrupted by war this without end, the Chinese are signing long-term oil-supply deals with Iran and other producing countries at favorable forward prices.

These are not smart people running American foreign policy. They're the same kinds of bumbling idiots who brought us the War in Indochina.

A nice mess they're getting us into.

To find out why we can't wait two more years to get rid of this bumbler and con man, and to learn more about the new book, The Case for Impeachment, click here. For early review quotes, check out the "Impeachment News" box on the top right of the homepage at This Can't Be Happening! .

For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net


Why would the US want to control oil in the middle east? 17.Jul.2006 19:42

free human being

Dave Lindorff wrote:

"There are many people on the left and the far right who see all this as part of some master conspiracy of the zionists and neocons, claiming that the idea is to bolster Israel as a military master of the Middle East, while weakening the Arab regimes so that the U.S. can ultimately step in and control them and their oil. I have a couple of problems with this theory. First of all, the U.S. does control Iraq, and it can't even get cheap oil out of that country the way it was able to do while Hussein was in power. Meanwhile, the U.S. has effectively controlled Saudi Arabia for years, and gets full access to that country's oil--and to neighboring Kuwait's oil--without firing a shot. Why spent $1 trillion and create unpredictable chaos abroad and at home to accomplish something that we already have?"
-------------------------------------------

First let me say that I am not neither right, left or center. I do not subsrcribe to any one single political ideology that limits my scope and view in any way. I am a human being that just wants to live free, especially from politicians and political systems.

Now to answer your question about the oil control in the region. Yes the US has "full access" to Saudi oil, but has to pay the price per barrel which now is at $76. In Iraq on the other hand they have absolute control of Iraqi oil for free. All expenses paid by the US tax payer. They can smuggle Iraqi oil out of the country and you would not even know it. They can make $76 to the barrel pure profit. That is the difference.
When you claim that the US is spending $1 trillion, you make it seam like Bush actually cares. He does not. Actually they want to spend that money that will ultimately go back to Halliburton or what ever other company the contracts will be awarded, which in turn will give kickbacks to him and his friends. So why should he care that the US tax payers will have to pay for that if for him that means a profit in the tunes of millions?

Sure the war in Iraq is expensive, but Bush and Chainy and the rest of his friends have been making money out of it, while the US economy has been going into debt. Not really because they want to defend freedom or to democratize the Middle East. It is all purely to make money. Billions in contracts = money in their pocket from corporations and future positions with multinationals with a salary of millions of dollars. Does that make more sense now?

Free human being...

oil may be $78 a barrel, but who profits? 18.Jul.2006 07:07

Dave Lindorff dlindorff@yahoo.com

There are two problems with your theory. First of all, there is no oil being "smuggled" out of Iraq. They literally can't get it to port because the pipelines keep getting blown up. the smuggling was happening while Saddam was in power, to get around the oil-for-food limitations on exports.
Second, that $78 or $76 that is being paid for oil from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait--a lot of it ends up in the pockets of U.S. and British oil companies. And remember, they don't really mind that Saudis get a lot for their oil, because the U.S. companies, which are cranking out enormous amounts of oil inside the U.S, and in other countries where they have full control, like Nigeria, they're pocketing incredible profits, even greater than they pull out of Aramaco.


have you read Palast's book yet? 18.Jul.2006 12:41

.

It would be worth a read to clarify things a bit:

"First of all, the U.S. does control Iraq, and it can't even get cheap oil out of that country the way it was able to do while Hussein was in power"

Exactly, and that was the plan, drafted at Cheney's energy meetings in early 2001. They wanted to stop the flow of oil from Iraq entirely so that prices could be driven up.

"Meanwhile, the U.S. has effectively controlled Saudi Arabia for years, and gets full access to that country's oil--and to neighboring Kuwait's oil--without firing a shot. Why spent $1 trillion and create unpredictable chaos abroad and at home to accomplish something that we already have?"

Well, as pointed out above, because that 1 trillion dollars being spent goes into the pockets of those heavily invested in the military industrial complex. The entire administration has made hundreds of millions of dollars each. That's what they gained. And though the oil from Iraq was to be turned off, it's important for them to be able to turn it back on again when they need to, which can only be accomplished through a military occupation.

Furthermore, the key piece that's missing is that Saudi Arabia is bankrolling the US spending. One reason to drive up oil prices is so that the Saudi royals make more money, which they are then lending to the US which Bush is using for the military contracts going to companies he's close to.

"They literally can't get it to port because the pipelines keep getting blown up."

This claim has been made repeatedly, do you have any evidence that it's actually true? It could be, and the Bush administration would be gleeful at being given an excuse to drive up prices. But where is this information coming from?

I know that as military strategists the administration is not particularly smart. But about money, they do have a plan, and they are getting wealthy beyond anyone's comprehension which would suggest that they are not totally bumbling. You don't have to be particularly smart to understand that a military destabilization of a country can be exploited for obscene profits. And the upside is, destabilization works better when the military does make mistakes, engages in war crimes, and appears to be out of control or poorly led.

"They literally can't get it to port because the pipelines ...." 18.Jul.2006 17:03

Converse Murdoch umlaut@idir.net

I was curious about that too. I typed "current oil exports from Iraq " into google. There were a few articles about pipeline sabotage having a temporary effect, but in general it looks like the oil is getting out.

Attacks on Iraq's northern pipelines cease, oil exports boom , June 29, 2006
 http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/06-06/06-30-06/07world-nation.htm

Iraq oil exports hit postwar high , 5/5/06
 http://www.iraqdirectory.com/DisplayNews.aspx?id=1228

Iraq June oil exports average 1.66 million B/D.
 link to news.morningstar.com