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WHEN THIEVES FALL OUT (english)
by Workers World
Email: boston (nospam) workers.org
17 Jul 2003
By Fred Goldstein
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the July 24, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper
WHEN THIEVES FALL OUT
By Fred Goldstein
The so-called Bush Doctrine of world domination and pre-emption has not been mentioned recently. Hailing the "brilliant" Rumsfeld strategy has gone out of vogue. The advocates of empire have fallen silent of late.
Instead, the capitalist media, which spoke out in unison and with
enthusiasm for war against Iraq only five months ago, is now filled with headlines about Bush's lies, politicians' claims that they were
"fooled," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's admission that more
troops may be needed in Iraq, the cost of the war skyrocketing, more
U.S. soldiers killed or wounded daily, and the occupation overlord Paul Bremer having to hastily reverse course and come up with an Iraqi puppet "governing council" in a feeble attempt to give the occupation a "democratic" fašade.
Driving it all is the steadily growing Iraqi resistance to colonial
The Democratic Party politicians and even sections of the Republican
Party are making a huge case out of the concocted story about the Iraq government trying to purchase uranium from Niger for a nuclear weapons program. It is important that such lies are exposed for the education of the people, who are now watching the Bush administration twist in the wind and say that "George Tenet did it," or "the British swore to it," or National Security Advisor Condo leezza Rice's memorable phrase: "It was only 16 words in a speech."
Suddenly the media and the politicians have discovered that the charges about the Hussein government seeking uranium from Niger were expunged from Bush's speech on Oct. 6, 2002, at the demand of the CIA. The charges were put back into his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, and then omitted from Secretary of State Colin Powell's address to the United Nations a week later. "How it met Mr. Bush's standards and not Mr. Powell's is one of the mysteries the White House has not addressed," wrote the July 15 New York Times.
THE ESTABLISHMENT WAKES UP--WHY NOW?
But even greater than the "mystery" of the contradiction between Bush's and Powell's speeches is the mystery of why the New York Times, and, indeed, the entire capitalist media establishment, took six months to notice the contradiction--which was readily apparent to any casual observer in February, after Powell's speech.
If a war was being planned based upon such a serious charge, if
Washington's efforts to scare people into approving the war by references to "mushroom clouds" and nuclear attack were based on evidence so flimsy that the secretary of state refused to include it in the most important world presentation of the case for war, why not call for an investigation before the war? Why wait until three months after it is over and tens of thousands of people have been killed or wounded and an entire country crippled in a brutal, unprovoked invasion?
All Washington insiders were fully aware of the contradiction. The
evidence was tainted then. And it was clear that the CIA and its
director, George Tenet, did not want to sign on to this particular
falsification--not because the department of "dirty tricks" suddenly had scruples about lying. Lying, spying, subversion and killing are what they do. It was because Tenet was reluctant to go war in the first place and did not want to get the rap for falsification of evidence if things went wrong.
And that is precisely what happened. Things went wrong. The Iraqi people never could overcome the super-power military machine in a conventional war. But the U.S. war machine could not break the will of the Iraqi people to resist and is now bogged down in a guerrilla war where much of the Pentagon arsenal is neutralized and unusable. And now the blame game is in full swing.
The failure of the Pentagon to vanquish the Iraqi population and
smoothly accomplish political stability with a surgical "regime change" has brought about demoralization in the ruling class. Washington, which seemed to be on top of the world just a few months ago, is losing control of events.
RUMSFELD: 'MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE'
This was dramatically illustrated by the remarks of Donald Rumsfeld
about the occupation, reported by cbsnews. com on July 14: "Is it an
important thing to be doing? Yes. Is it tough? You bet. Are more people going to be killed? You bet. Does it cost some money? You bet. Can we tell the world precisely what it's going to cost or how long it's going to last? No."
In addition, Rumsfeld--the prophet of "military transformation" and the replacement of ground troops by high-tech terror weapons--told Meet the Press on July 14 that "It seems to me that the numbers of forces are unlikely to go up. Now could they? You bet. If needed, they will be there."
So the ruling class, which was promised a quick war to be followed by a quick transition to a stable pro-U.S. regime and troop reductions to the level of 30,000 by September, is now facing an open-ended guerrilla war with escalating costs, a force level of 145,000 U.S. troops, and escalating casualties in a conflict of unknown duration and outcome.
WAR COSTS SKYROCKET, SERVICES CUT
Rumsfeld had to tell a Senate committee last week that the occupation is costing close to $4 billion a month. That is approximately what the war itself cost. "This week," wrote the July 13 Washington Post, officials expect to announce that the "federal deficit is exploding" and will "exceed $400 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the largest in U.S. history by a wide margin."
With the added rising war costs, Goldman Sachs Group calculated that the deficit may climb to $475 billion.
Thus the occupation is putting unexpected pressure on the financial
system and is causing anxiety among the bankers and bosses.
More importantly, from the point of view of the workers and the
oppressed at home, the war is measured in terms of vital services lost. Anti-war activists in Boston estimate the costs of the war at $67 billion this year already. On their website--www.costofwar.com--they have calculated that this amount of money could have put 9.5 million more children in Head Start, financed the hiring of 1.3 million school teachers, covered the health insurance costs for 29 million children, or built 977,000 new affordable housing units.
In addition to weakening the financial system and laying the basis for mass rebellion at home against the intensified cuts to social services, the growing Iraq quagmire has stretched U.S. military forces to the extent that the Pentagon has had to once more postpone the departure of two brigades of the Third Infantry Division and is casting about desperately, trying to find a way to shore up its forces.
The Pentagon suffered a severe setback when the government of India,
after months of lobbying by the entire Bush administration, rejected a proposal to send its troops to be part of the occupation. The Pentagon was counting on a full division of 17,000 or more Indian soldiers. Up to 87 percent of the Indian population is opposed to the war, according to the July 15 New York Times.
The Iraqi resistance has pushed the reactionary Indian government to
turn Washington down. "Public opinion is sharply critical of the war," a prominent Indian journalist told the Times. "It just doesn't make sense for Indian soldiers to be basically used as cannon fodder when the U.S. is getting bogged down and taking casualties."
The Times cited a "more prevailing view," written in the magazine
Outlook by Prem Shankar Jha: "Iraq has not been liberated, but invaded and occupied. The Iraqis know it, resent it, and are preparing to resist it. If India sends troops now, it will be as part of an occupation force. Stabilization will mean oppression."
PUPPET COUNCIL OUTLAWS ANTI-COLONIAL HOLIDAY
Pressured by the growing resistance, L. Paul Bremer was compelled to
come up with a fig-leaf "governing council" of 25 Iraqis to try to take the steam out of the charges of occupation. He changed the name from "advisory" to "governing" under pressure, even though Bremer has the absolute veto over anything they do, sits in on all their meetings, and holds all the military and economic cards as the occupier.
The council showed its political colors in its first official act. On
July 12 it abolished all the holidays that existed during Saddam
Hussein's government. It even abolished the July 14 holiday
commemorating the anti-colonial revolution that liberated Iraq from the British colonial puppet monarchy. That has been the national holiday ever since 1958--10 years before Saddam Hussein played any governmental role in Iraq.
In place of the anti-colonial holiday, the council declared April 9, the day of the new colonial occupation, to be the new national day. Of course, this truly expresses the sentiments of people like the principal advocate for the U.S., Ahmad Chalabi--a rich, U.S.-educated, philandering banker whose family fled the anti-imperialist revolution in 1958.
The July 14 ban did not work out that well, according to the July 15
edition of the London Guardian. It reported: "Thou sands of Iraqis
marched through Baghdad yesterday, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarch and calling for the restoration of national independence." Many carried pictures of Abdul Karim Kassem, the leader of the 1958 overturn of the British puppet monarchy.
THE REAL ISSUE: COLONIAL AGGRESSION
The debate inside U.S. ruling circles is fueled by the coming election campaign. Democratic Party luminaries are saying they were "misled" into voting for war by tainted evidence.
The charges flying against Bush are a clear case of thieves falling out and truth coming into its own. The Democratic Party politicians are not interested in truth, but votes. They are interested in not getting in the way of the growing anger and disillusionment of the people as the casualty count of U.S. troops mounts. But they will never say that which needs to be said.
Evidence of lying, bad as that is, is not the basic issue.
The issue is that this was an unjust war of aggression in pursuit of
expanding the U.S. empire in the Middle East. Washing ton's goal was to conquer Iraq, get its oil, put in a pro-U.S. colonial regime and take this strategic outpost on the Persian Gulf.
It was the implementation of the doctrine of so-called "pre-emption," a doctrine that proclaims an end to the right of sovereignty, the right of self-defense and the right of self-determination.
It was a criminal war of colonial aggression. That is the issue.
- END -
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