Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate Evades Dark Realities

By Robert Parry
September 27, 2008

Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect a U.S. presidential debate to deal substantively – and honestly – with wrongful actions by the American government, even at the end of George W. Bush’s eight-year reign as one of the planet’s preeminent rogue operatives.

Read on.


Ron's Legacy said...

Bob Parry's article evokes sadness and small consolation.

For months I've been focusing, in my little circle, on Obama's overall superior capabilities vis-a-vis McCain and the disturbing gap between what I would project should be Obama's inferentially presumptive positions and his actual performance.

For example, he did not stand with Kucinich on the immorality of the war, nor decry any of its specific war criminal aspects, was not a leader in the efforts to stop the war, did not support Russ Feingold or Chris Dodd in their efforts....

He's been a moral "no-show", not even "Present" on these issues: that the Iraq war is a war crime by international standards,is not just an economic tragedy as Obama suggests, rather the horror is not the pain in our deficit but the lives our actions have taken.

Isn't Obama's embrace of the efficiency of locating and liquidating a suspected terrorist by drone an obvious moral howler? Obama as Prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner?

Bob Parry's journalistic vigilance and service as our conscience is so reliable we take Consortium News' efforts for granted.

I take his point to be not merely that Obama is a moral pragmatist but that our nation fails to see or, worse, to acknowledge the moral abyss: however great the gulf between Obama's appearance of basic decency and McCain's amoral, opportunistic militarism, there's risk that their differences are, ultimately, tweedle dum vs. tweedle dee.

Obama's appearance of decency is belied by his moral silence and his stated readiness to turn Afghanistan into our next Vietnam.

Is Obama's posture more reprehensible than McCain's in that he's a lawyer, constitutional scholar and obviously more capable of morally nuanced deliberations than the impulsive boorish McCain?

Maybe so.

Does the apparent political reality that a truthful and candid Obama could not be elected, justify his demogoging the use of US military force, taking innocent lives in the wary, and the lives of our military personnel?

We can rest assured, if elected, he'll do the right thing?

George Collins

Anonymous said...

The effect of the "surge" is easily understood when you consider that already control the Anbar province. And will take over this province with its vast amounts of water. Which it needs badly to eswtablish new industries in Saudi Arabia.

BUSH and King ABDULLAH of Saudi Arabia met in the Anbar province which otherwise was considered a territory that US troops for security reasons, and by order had to stay away from. BUSH and KING ABDULLAH simply made an agreement that Saudi Arabia would stop the sunni aggression against US troops if it would be allowed to take over the ANBAR province. BUSH could easily accept the annection of the ANBAR province by Saudi Arabia. BUSH INTEREREST WAS THE OIL IN KURDISTAN.

When Saudi Arabia stopped support to sunni militsias, and their crossing the Saudi Arabian border IT IS OBVIOUS THAT attacks on US military will diminish. !!!!!!!!!

Russia´s attack in Georgia :

Georgia is a loophole for transit of oil from Aserbajan into Turkey and Greece. !!!!! ; AS WELL AS AN OPEN DOOR TO Iran´s and Turmenistan´s immense amounts oil at the coast of the Caspian shores.

I do not think anybody would leave their backdoor wide open if burglars and aggressive people was all over the neighborhood. !!

Simple as that !!

Of course Russia closes its backdoor, to the huge oil fields in Iran, Turkmenistan and Aserbadjan.

The " Shanghai Cooporation Organisation" ( SCO) is now a military alliance, which includes Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan etc.India is negotiating its participation in SCO currently, but already have observer status.
In case the US may attack any muslim state in south east Asia the SCO countroes will immediately react with a powerful response which also includes nuclear weapons ; as a first in line defense.

That´s why the "Caspian Guard" mission was stopped. Putin simply told the US government that if the american troops situated outside Turkmenistans Capital would move just 50 miles closer to the Caspian Sea they would be erradicated - totally destroyed -, with all neccesary means.

Anonymous said...

The surge only "appeared" to work. No one is looking at the facts deeply enough.

Remember how peaceful and calm the northern area of Iraq was? Remember who was there and what kind of business was going on ever since George Bush I implemented the no fly zone after his state department gave Saddam the okay to invade Kuwait? Joe Wilson was there, but all Joe gives us is a post script on another issue any with open eyes knew - that Iraq did not attempt any suicidal purchase of Niger Yellow Cake. I want Joe to tell us about what went on when his boss allowed Iraq to attack Kuwait. I don't care about his wife being outed by Rove and Libby. I do care about the treasonous acts she forced on other countries as she pretended to be a Coke a Cola executive. I do care about the number of innocents that died as a result of her directed operations. I don't care about Joe's phony baloney Yellow Cake misdirection either - I want Joe to tell me what went on when his boss gave Saddam the Okay to invade Kuwait - and then I want Joe to explain to us why he never talks about that.

The surge didn't work because of some military plan. It only appeared to work due to an unanticipated circumstance that happened outside Iraq. Since Bush I implemented the No Fly Zone , Israelis (Mossad and IDF) have been working with Kurdish Iraqi elements of the PKK. In fact Israel was the first country to get an oil concession in Israeli Northern Kurdish Iraq. The Lebanese War was an attempt to burn a new blue zone through Lebanon to connect [illegal] Israeli/Kurdish oil pumping stations to the meters and cash registers in Hafia.

Remember all the sectarian violence outside of Israeli/Kurd Northern Iraq? Remember the Iraqi Interior Department costumed masked vendettas that were ravaging southern and central Iraq?


That stuff never went on in the Kurdish/Israeli/PKK northern sector. Why not? Why weren't the dogs barking there like they were in greater central and southern Iraq?

Why weren't the dogs baking in Israeli Kurdish Northern Iraq?

Why? Because Israeli and Kurdish PKK terror contractors were the terrorists unleashing hell on southern Iraq. Sy Hersh reported this Israeli/Kurdish partnership went back a long way. He reported that Israelis granted 100 Thousand homesteads to Iraqi Kurds for their cooperation in violating Iraqi law by selling oil contracts, to Israel (and others) without the approval of the Iraqi assembly.

The mayhem in central and souther Iraq would have continued right through the surge. The purpose of the Israeli/Kurdish "vendettas" was to assure a divided Iraq and a separate Kurdish state. That was also the purpose of the no fly zone.

So why did it stop? Why did the "masked interior uniformed vendettas" stop in central and southern Iraq? Because arrogance is self destructive. The Kurd Israeli violence had been planting evidence and doing the CIA's bidding across the border in Iran. Iran restrained itself. However, when the Israeli/Kurd/PKK operations tested the will of the Turks, the Turkish Military responded with a vengeance.

Look at the history. The apparent success of the surge had nothing to do with US military plans. Think about it: Peace breaks out, no more no bid contracts, no more Black Water Contracts, no more black projects for fancy killing devices - the purpose of US military presence is not peace.

The purpose of US military presence in Iraq is profit.

Again - look at the time line. At the point our esteemed talking heads began telling us the surge was working, the Turkish Military attacked northern Iraq. The Israeli/Kurd/PKK operations in southern Iraq had stopped because the not quite as bashful about a response Turkish Military forced them to hunker down and defend. When your hunkered down and cowering for your life you don't have the will or resources or time to put on an Interior Ministry Uniform (and a mask) and do the vendetta murders for the western media.

Besides - think about it - what is a vendetta? It's pay back. The goal is to let those know who is paying them back and for what. A man committing a vendetta does not hide his identity - he boasts it.

That is why a vendetta is executed.

The surge did not work. The people (Israeli/Kurd/PKK operatives) were too busy protecting their asses from the might of the Turkish Military to cause anymore problems in central and southern Iraq. That's not success - that's a mistake.


Nat Parry said...

I too have been disappointed in Obama's inability or unwillingness to acknowledge the immorality, illegality and ultimate human tragedy of the Iraq war. I believe Obama is a good man, and would like to think that deep down he must be troubled about the crimes America has committed. The fact that these sorts of issues are unmentionable in polite company reflects deep-seated structural issues in the American doctrinal system, I believe. Obama just cannot talk about these things, or he will be destroyed. Americans just won't vote for politicians who tell the truth about these things. That's unfortunate, but I just can't really blame Obama for it. I just hope that he really does understand the utter tragedy of the Iraq war -- and war in general -- and that as president he won't be as eager to bomb a country as Bush, Clinton, or just about any other president we've had for the past 60 years.

However, one thing I will fault Obama for is his unwillingness to connect the Bush Doctrine to the current problems we are having with nuclear proliferation. Assuming that Iran really is pursuing nuclear weapons, would it be so hard to make the point that Bush's policy of pre-emptive war has led to unstable world where nations feel they must arm themselves with nukes to deter US aggression? Think about it: Bush named three countries in his "axis of evil," Iraq, Iran and N. Korea. One of those countries he proceeded to invade, and the other two he put on notice that they might be next. So what did the other two do? Well, they did what any country would do with an instinct for self-preservation. They immediately began to arm themselves with nuclear weapons (allegedly).

When Obama talks about how the Iraq war has "emboldened" Iran, by eliminating its historical rival in the region, he is only telling half the story. The other half of the story is that the doctrine of pre-emptive war has led to the destabilization of the entire international system, and essentially "the law of the jungle."

I understand why it is hard to make the point that the invasion of Iraq was criminal and immoral, but why is it so hard to make the point about the Bush Doctrine being counter-productive and leading instability and proliferation?

Anonymous said...

I think you're right; but wrong on the timing. Yes, some of our leaders have committed crimes. And yes, under the law they should be prosecuted. I don't think the forum for this was the first presidential debate. 1)let the guy win an election 2) choose a different forum to fight this battle 3)lets make the future brighter and halt the corruption.
RE: Obama talking about Afghanistan. I think this is merely an argument to reinforce what a disaster iraq is. I hope the US learned from the Russians what a crummy place this is and not truly escalate there. At least Iraq has some oil worth fighting for. Not sure if i'll stay warm in winter with an Afghan! More seriously however, i think in a debate with a hawk, Obama can spin the argument that we fought the wrong battle and wasted lives, dollars, and let a battle we had won go to waste.

Anonymous said...

I think we are all too focused on the US, Parry, Bloggers and Obama too.

Part of Georgia wanted to remain connected to Russia. Whoever is right. Georgia had not business firing on Russian peacekeepers. If they attempted to escort the Russians back to the Russian border, escalation toward violence might have occurred anyway. Russian counter-overreaction was less than what the US would have done, if Chavez fired on US troops.

All Obama had to due was mention a provocation and overreaction and called for both sides to behave, in my mind he would have won the debate hands on, and all our futures much more assured. But others tell me, if Obama did this he would have upset the powers at be.

I don't know, but this subject if far more important than arguing over Iraq. Shame on all the above and commentators as well, for not mentioning this hugely important detail.

Sadly, RichardKanePA

Rowan Berkeley said...

The Obama team would simply say that the voters who want to go yet further left in their foreign policy analyses are captive voters for them anyway, since under no circumstances will they fail to vote for the strongest anti-neocon candidate, who of course is Obama, and not e.g. Cynthia McKinney.

Thus, there is no gain in catering to these voters, whereas there is a loss of middle ground voters, who oppose the war in Iraq specifically, but do not wish to think beyond that, one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Iraq was not a preemptive war since there was nothing to preempt. It was aggressive war, a war crime.

Bill from Saginaw said...

I, too, was disappointed in the manner that Barack Obama pulled his punches on a variety of substantive issues in the first presidential debate.

At the same time however, I agree with Nat Parry and Rowan Berkeley that this tactical (strategic?) restraint is tragic but understandable, in the context of the two-party beauty contest that regrettably has become the format of the American electoral process.

That said, I really think there are two issues - the purported success of the surge, and the Bush doctrine of preemptive war - that the Obama campaign should stop bobbing and weaving about.

At least five times during Friday's televised debate session, John McCain proclaimed that victory in Iraq was at hand due to the brilliance of General Petraeus's surge. The notion that militarism can work to promote democracy abroad is a core theme of Bush/Cheney's legacy and of John McCain's campaign.

Obama should flatly call these hyperbolic claims about the success of the surge nothing but John McCain's own "mission accomplished" moment. It is dangerous wishful thinking of the highest order, being trumpeted by the Bush White House and the GOP media spin machine as fact, purely for its short term political expediency with American voters.

At a minimum, Obama should call McCain out on this victory-upon-the-horizon bullshit. You don't hear General Petraeus, or Robert Gates, or even lame duck George Bush casually tossing the word victory about. Only John McCain is doing that. Barack should tell him to go pull on a flight suit and prance around the deck of an aircraft carrier if he wants to peddle that simplistic snake oil message.

Nobody - literally nobody - in the Middle East or anywhere else on the planet outside of the US mainstream media cocoon shares McCain's delusion that recent tinkering with the US occupation's counterinsurgency tactics via the surge has magically induced the lion to lie down with the lamb in Iraq for more than just a cat nap.

Say it, Barack. This mission ain't nowhere near accomplished.

Second, the Bush doctrine of preemptive war should be categorically denounced.

Jim Lehrer's question about whether the country was safer today than we were on 9/11 from the threat of another international terrorist attack on US soil was a perfect opportunity to talk about the inevitable long term destabilizing blowback of engaging in constant sabre rattling, and threats of regime change by use of preemptive military strike, supposedly in the name of halting nuclear proliferation. Instead, both candidates digressed off into babble about projects, priorities and funding for Homeland Security, and whether the invasion of Iraq was basically a fumble caused by our quarterback taking his eye off the ball.

Continued embrace of the Bush doctrine of preemptive war is not only illegal and immoral, it is also the height of folly.

Legitimizing the notion that not all wars of aggression are bad abruptly multiplies many times over the range of homicidal non-state entities like Al Quaeda, and genuine nation state actors (each with their own covert black-ops capabilities, and some - like Pakistan and North Korea - having their own nuclear weapons) that have an irrational or a perfectly rational incentive to hurry up and nuke Uncle Sam first - leaving behind in the rubble either a false trail, or perhaps no fingerprints at all.

As the great Molly Ivins would have put it, it really is okay for adults to talk about such things.

If not during the presidential campaign or debates, then when?
Bill from Saginaw

Anonymous said...