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Commentary :: International
For the Neo-Cons, the War in Iraq is Already Won
12 Oct 2004
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It does not matter whether or not George Bush is thrown out of office in November. The fact that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction does not bother Secretary Rumsfeld or Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. The scandal that is the invasion of Iraq does not cause Dick Cheney or Elliott Abrams to lose sleep at night. They know that they will never be tried as criminals for lying to Congress as they deserve to be and as a Democratic parallel would be. And most importantly, the loss of a secure, albeit totalitarian Iraq as a staunch opponent to radical Muslim fundamentalism does not bother them in the slightest. Why? Because the war in Iraq has already been won. Iraq was not selected as a target in the war on terror following an exhaustive weighing of the options after 9/11. The country was selected as a target by elite members of neo-conservative society years ago. The Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, is one of the most ideologically unified and powerful neo-conservative think tanks in American politics. Since PNAC’s inception in 1997, it has isolated Iraq as the first step in a broader effort to dominate the Middle East and by extension, the world. In other words, Iraq is Poland in 1939. And if Iraq is Poland, who will be France? And does that mean Britain is the new Italy? Oh wait no Italy is the new Italy. So if this were 1939, Britain would be either the U.S.S.R or Imperial Japan. I don’t know which is preferable.

From Iraq, one can build bases and launch strikes against Syria, Iran, and if the political climate in Washington changes, Saudi Arabia. This war has accomplished what it was meant to do, namely occupy Iraq long enough to build military bases and secure the country’s resources. Certainly many things have been lost, but to the neo-cons the war isn’t one of them. The loss of soldiers’ lives is not seen as a loss, but a sacrifice to the greater good of American military dominance. The downward spiral of American credibility matters little for those bent on “global leadership.” The seemingly never ending and Orwellian war on terror is not a true crusade like the war on Nazi Germany but rather a salesman’s spiel to sell the American people on empire.

15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Did America go after Saudi Arabia? Of course not, it went after Iraq. Why? To put it as simply as possible, because there is no war on terror. There is a war going on. In fact there are several. There’s a war on civil liberties, on dissent, on women’s rights, on the environment, on public schooling, on fiscal prudence, I can keep going. But if the first goal of the war on terror is to eliminate terror then there is no war on terror. The current war on terror has produced more terrorists than at any other point in history. The Bush administration is the biggest boost to Al-Qaeda’s membership since, well, ever. Osama bin Laden actually endorsed George Bush for re-election several months ago because he knows that Bush administration policies create more terrorists than all the repressive governments in the Middle East combined, Israel included.

The halls at the Project for A New American Century are brimming with delight though. The news from Iraq that they care about is not stories of soldiers being ambushed and gruesome beheadings. Such occurrences do not concern the chicken-hawk-neo-cons who love the abstract concept of war but would never actually fight in one. They know the beheadings are far away but the benefits being reaped from the invasion are close to home. No dead family members, just a lot of paychecks and the first step towards their ultimate goal of complete and over-arching American military dominance.

What exactly is the Project For a New American Century? According to their website, www.newamericancentury.org, they “aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.” They advocate America having “the resolve to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests.” They worry that it is becoming “increasingly difficult to sustain American influence around the world.” Their position is clear. They advocate “a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges, a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad, and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.” They believe the United States must “shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire.” If this all sounds a tad pre-emptive, that’s because it is. The history lover in me desperately wants to point out that pre-emptive war was Hitler’s favourite tactic and meeting crises before they emerged his favourite excuse.

And just who are these PNAC people with such delusions of grandeur? None other than Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld, the same people currently controlling the world’s most powerful nation and the architects of the invasion of Iraq. As far back as 1998 one can find reports and articles written for PNAC with titles such as “A Way to Oust Saddam,” and “How to Attack Iraq.” Anyone who still believes this administration looked at the world differently after 9/11 is truly fooling themselves. These people have a one-traq mind.

What the American people do not seem to understand is that terrorism is not an enemy, it is a tactic. You can wage war on a country, a city, or a tribe, but you cannot wage war on a tactic. Terrorism is a tactic employed by the weak. It is symptomatic of a society brutalized by oppression and at a loss for hope. As the goal of greater and greater American military dominance progresses, one can expect to see a substantial increase in the number of terrorists and the number of terrorist attacks worldwide. The first step, the invasion of Iraq, has already demonstrated this relationship superbly.

One can only derive two conclusions from these facts as they become more apparent. One is that the war on terror is a failure. This is a logical conclusion to draw. To be more precise though, one should conclude that the war on terror is a farce. It does not actually exist. One should be able to see that this war is about increasing American military dominance worldwide, not diminishing the number of terrorist attacks worldwide. As this war on the world is waged, one can expect to see many more terrorist attacks worldwide as a by-product. Most likely, judging from current examples, any such terrorist attacks will be quickly followed by media reports spinning the consequence of the war on terror as another failure in the war on terror. As Orwell said, “It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly.”

The American people therefore have two questions they must ask themselves. One is which would be worse for the fight against terrorism, leaving Iraq or staying? Two, what must really be done to end terrorism in the world?

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