Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Other Iraq War: Son vs. Father

By Ivan Eland
January 27, 2007

There have been pop psychology explanations that attribute President Bush 43’s aggressive foreign policy decisions to a rivalry with President Bush 41—for example, ascribing junior’s invasion of Iraq as a reaction to his father’s writings about the pitfalls of doing so.

Advocates of such explanations must be trumpeting the President’s recent repudiation of the chief recommendations of the Iraq Study Group—a panel stocked with his father’s former associates—to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq and to engage in direct negotiations with Iran.

Read on.


M Henri Day said...

«... Instead, all it did was to make Iran even more scared of a U.S. attack and thus to accelerate a drive to get nuclear weapons. A second aircraft carrier will do much the same without moderating Iran’s meddling in Iraq. ...»

What evidence can Dr Eland adduce to support his statement to the effect that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons ? And why are Iran's interactions with its neighbour Iraq to be considered as «meddling», while that term is not applied - at least not by Dr Eland - to the interventions of such states as the US and the UK ?...


veritas said...

I recently saw Al Franken perform live, it was mostly a repeat of some of his segments from his radio show, but he did a segment about flying first class on a flight to Houston, and by chance sitting across the aisle from Barbara Bush. Al retold the story of Barbara's disdain and dismissal of his attempts at conversation, but what was more revealing is what his friends in Houston told him "Oh, that's completely typical of Barbara, she is not joking at all" and more importantly, "George W. is just like his mother - what you see in her is what you get in George." There are now volumes written on the psychology (or pathology) of G.W. (starting with Justin Franks "Bush on the Couch"), but even more illuminating is the book by Michael Lind "Made in Texas: George W. Bush and the Southern Takeover of American Politics." Replace "Southern Takeover" with "neo-confederate" or "neo-segregationist" and you understand what Lind is writing about; he documents Texas' neo-confederate culture as being unapologetic about slavery, unapologetic for the Civil War, and indeed, not only does Lind see the militaristic, autocratic, theocratic white supremacist culture as preserving their supremacy after the civil war, but now actually taking over the entire US political leadership with their agenda, which is to TALK "Tax Cuts" while actually taxing the vast majority of the populace into near poverty; the IDEAL being absolute subjugation of chattel slavery, but economic and political disenfranchisement (created by terrorising citizens from enacting their 15th amendment voting rights) a tolerable alternative.

It is indeed ironic that as the reactionary right-wing uses slogans like "freedom!" and "democracy!" to push this subjugation agenda, they clearly envy or lust after the theocratic dictatorial powers of a state like Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, and it is remarkable that such a sizable portion of the US populace STILL responds to the call of this schizophrenic "destroy the village in order to save it" agenda. (Or, "chop of a woman's head for the sin of adultery, but to save her soul and preserve her freedom" as the Taliban, Saudis, or Kuwaitis might exclaim.)

The UK Independent article " US 'victory' Against Cult Leader was 'Massacre'" may or may not be 100% accurate

...but it certainly highlights the American media's propensity to take a Vietnam style BODY COUNT as "proof" of victory or success... and then, irresponsibly, NOT follow up with an in-depth report later. In short, the Bush administration is trying to use the tactics of gradual escalation - waiting (or even praying) for a new terror attack as a reason to declare martial law to accomplish massive escalation - in order to militarize American society, just as the expanding American frontier society was militarized whenever it came into violent conflict with American
natives, especially for example in Texas vs Apache and other warlike tribes. This long, drawn out process of conflict, conquest, subjugation, and ethnic cleansing, is tidily summed up in the term "Manifest Destiny" which of course from a nationalist point of view was a rousing, continental success.

All the above helps to explain how Mr. Bush can be so imperious, so disdainful of decades of international cooperation that led to the successful cold war "containment" strategy; how the president can make jokes about the traumatic nightmare that wounds thousands of our soldiers, while he pushes for tax cuts for the very wealthy and encouraging their conspicuous consumption, even. The psychological conflict (oedipal) is probably part of a "perfect storm" confluence of forces that sees even our own soldiers as expendable (much less unwashed foreign 'terrorists"), and _anything_ which detracts from the absolute power of the entrenched autocracy as not only a political challenge, but a nightmare to be confronted and overcome with the ferocity of putting down that ultimate bogeyman of reactionary culture, the dreaded slave insurrection.