Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Reality of Empire: Two former military men were on an Air America talk. They supported the Iraq war and even support a future venture into Iran give the same rationales for the Iraq war that the US has given for all of its wars since its inception. They actually said it was for "truth, justice and the American way." I question the American public's cerebral abilities and wonder just what fuels these mythological beliefs and rationales for America going to war and why the American public is so easily duped when the consequences are so distinct and dire.

With the exception of World War II this country has made war consistently, invaded and with purpose tried to create an economic empire of influence throughout the entire world. Our empire has been somewhat different from those throughout history in that the US has never really had a taste to be an occupier but rather has been interested in using the military for accumulation of wealth and extending its influence. Money and power are companion bedfellows. One cannot thrive without the other. We are no different from what the goal of man has been since the dawn of time. I wish we would just say that instead of couching rationales in elementary school lies. After all, we are not children.

The US like any other empire is interested in the accumulation of influence as well as the money and power that come with that. Spreading so called truth, justice and the American way mean absolutely 100% nothing. It is indeed hubris and fiasco to think that through the barrel of a gun this country would stuff our so called way of life down the throats of people whether they want it or not. Those are verbal manifestations of rationales which sound so good and make a gullible public acquiesce to a variety of expensive and life expending ventures because the rationales for those ventures are couched in such glorious terms. Perhaps if they knew the real reasons they would not volunteer to put their blood on the line. If they knew that the war, in part, meant $3.00 plus a gallon for oil and that the immense profits go into just a very few coffers they would not be so quick to commit their sons and daughters so that CEO's of oil companies and wealthy Arab dictators would become very very very rich.

I personally believe that after the perhaps singular glorious fight of World War II we have been yearning to be seen as the strong democratic liberator. It is a nice thought. It is, though, hard to rationalize that when we have since WWII and even before supported and still support dictatorships all over the world without expending two thoughts about it. Vietnam was no exception and certainly most of all Iraq is a marvelous example. Botched wars do not a liberator make. We also forget, too, that the democracy we supposedly love in other countries sometimes can backfire and elect the very Islamic fundamentalists we abhor; witness the rise of Hamas.

The Iraqis are now enslaved by their own fractured populous which was induced by the invasion of a country by the US. Iraq was a country which did nothing to harm us. That is unheard of in recent times since the Hiterlian and Communist episodes of the 20th century. The true rationale for Iraq, as Alan Greenspan aptly said in his book "Age of Turbulence", is oil but it is also I believe a darker motivation of revenge. We wanted revenge for 9/11 and who could blame us. The problem is, as a caller quite correctly said, the money for 9/11 was gleaned through Pakistan and most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi in origin and Whabbi in spirit. Hussein had nothing to do with any of that so why invade Iraq? Invade and conquer Iraq we did because we could. Bush NEVER calculated on the fracturing of Iraq because in his oft laughed-about ignorance, he knew nothing about Iraq's history or its people. In addition, his perpetrating minions did not care about that nor did they, I believe, truly care about American lives or American treasure. We have paid a heavy price in blood and treasure for the miscalculations of the Iraq War. The yet-to-be-seen consequences may be of epic proportions.

The guests knew NOTHING about Iraq, much less about the Middle East, its history or even did they question all the pabulum they are fed by government to take us to war. I might even suggest that our species being what it is loves war. We claim to hate it; we claim to loath the gruesomeness of it but when push comes to shove most will go and feel that sense of glory in killing an enemy any enemy even one which did nothing to us. We claim to love democracy but label as traitors those who disagree with policy.

Norman Mailer recently said he was not at all surprised by what has happened in 20th century history. He said he believed most people were really fascists at heart. It is a sad commentary on who we are as a species but it is made even sadder because we as Americans claim to be much better than that. Are we? I wonder.