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February 01, 2006

We're at war, but not with "terror"

Kevin Drum links to Boston Globe columnist James Carroll who asks "Is America actually in a state of war?"

Carroll concludes that we are not at fact at war, not even in Iraq: "But, regarding the Iraq conflict as it involves the United States, something essential is lacking that would make it a war -- and that is an enemy."

Carroll's point is that the conflict in Iraq has lost whatever justification it might have had. We're fighting to occupy a country that we allegedly set out to liberate. I agree. But nobody ever said that a conflict needed a sound justification or a clear objective in order to qualify as a war.

There's certainly a war going on in Iraq. It's the kind of low-level foreign war that rich countries fight all the time while carrying on business as usual at home. By itself, the conflict in Iraq wouldn't justify any extraordinary war measures at home. The PR triumph of the Bush administration is to convince people that our nasty little war in Iraq is part of something much grander: A Global War on Terror.

GWOT-talk invites comparisons total wars like WW1 and WW2 in which entire nations were mobilized to fight. It's during those kinds of all-consuming, but ultimately-time limited struggles that democratic governments temporarily invoked special powers that would have been unthinkable in peacetime, or during some remote colonial skirmish.

It's convenient for the Bush administration to have a real shooting war to point to. Without Iraq, the "War on Terror" would diminish in stature. It would be obvious that the GWOT is like its predecessor, The War On Drugs--an amalgam of policework, PR, and powergrabs dressed up in war metaphors.

Whenever anyone questions whether we're at war, Bush points to our troops in the field. They are objective evidence that he is a war president. The question is, which war? Not the war on terror, because there's no such thing.

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Comments

This is why I've been suggesting Congress revoke the war authorization resolutions.

For proudly self-proclaimed strict constructionists to stake their entire political well-being on the concept that we're at war absent a declaration of war from Congress -- well, it's just one on those uber-follies of this era. I can't smack my head on my desk anymore cuz my desk is broke.

No matter what happens in Iraq or the GWOT, Bush will always be at war with the English language.

If you remember the Bader -meinhof and other political gangs of the 70's you may recall that their violence was handled as a law enforcement problem of international scope--and was not turned into a perpetual state of "war" which required the destruction of civil rights to carry out.
Bader-meinhof was especially vicious--staging massacres at airports and setting off destructive and deadly bombs over a period of several years across Europe. These gangs were eventually broken up and the members captured through well- coodinated law enforcement, while preserving civil rights and a sense of normalcy.
This contrasts greatly with the bush regime which systematically exagerrates the threat to promote 9/11 paranoia which it then uses to gain approval for its clearly authoritarian --dictatorial-- aims--that steadily tighten the noose around the neck of anyone opposed to bush policies. Saying AMerica is at "war" perpetually is the central tactic in this strategy The "war" in Iraq (we fight terrorists there so we don't have to fight them at home) was pushed down the throats of Americans to prolong the "war" status that the bush regime needs now to keep any substantial public approval whatsoever--the American people see that domestically the regime is bankrupt and corrupt.
Even presuming that the Taliban had to be chased out of Afganistan-- clearly America is not now at war-----as the American people clearly saw (notice bush no longer mentions "victory "in Iraq)--there is no war.
The Iraq occupation, as dems have pointed out has made Iraq the training ground for the next generation of hard-core terrorists and is a terrible waste of the money that should have been used to beef up our intellligence security and court apparatus here in the us and abroad to bring all our intelligence and law enforcement capability to bear-- just as it happened in the 70'S---with maximum international cooperation. The minimum 500 billion dollars wasted in Iraq could have constructed the finest network of intelligence ever--without compromising our civil rights.
But bear in mind that the bush regime agenda is to keep the high flown democracy rhetoric flying while repressing systematically progressive voices here in the US though severe degradation of the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly-and privacy- and to secure a right wing and corporate hold on power by whatever means the regime can get away with-- including rigged voting machines.
Mark my words: the bush administration will seek ever more stringent repression of progressive elements-systematically, consistently (ahrlen spector is currently doing his part for this agenda as judicialry committee head--see all the repressive measures he has shoved through congress)
----- this is a regime with the amibition to create a fascist state. You think I exagerrate--I only hope I am wrong.
As soon as I heard the title "homeland security" and "patriot act" --phrases worthy of Goebbels ---it became clear to me that the model for the bush regime was Hitler's government.
It really now is time to organize -- perhaps to form the beginnings of an underground---to fight the coming tyranny. The dems are impotent.




Oh, WOT is similar to WWI and WWII in one way.

In both of those wars the parties in power (this particular abuse of power is not restricted to one ideology) used racist fear mongering to impose their policies on the public and in doing so violated the rights of innocents.

While you can debate the necessity of this abuse you can not debate the immorality of it.

And of course WWI and WWII are history and we can debate them all day as a fun exercise or write a scholarly history on them but I live in the so-called WOT and see no reason whay I should tolerate this shit.

I always figured that the 'War on Terra' just played better with the focus groups that the more accurate title of 'War on the Sixties'.

This war is being waged by all the blue-balled limp-dicked crew-cuts who couldn't get laid in a women's prison with a fist full of pardons and they have always resented the fact that those damn-dirty-war-protesting-hippies actually participated in the sexual revolution and they look back fondly on a time when all those non-white and non-penis-owning folks knew their place and were kept in it by the pale hairless patriarchy.

At least thats how it looks to me.

Cheers,

Naked Ape

Oh yeah Naked Ape we are in the midst of the counter, counter-culture movement back to the Right. We have been for the past 20+ years. Unfortunately, it has been politically incorrect to attack it.

It think it is time to re-evaluate Godwin's Law as "quaint" and start confronting the Right on their fascist tactics.

I have come to believe that the Bush administration's war is with the American people. Here's a description of just one battle:

http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=885&Itemid=184

There's a fluffy little movie called The American President starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening (sp?) which has one good line. An opponent of the President, who is our hero in this movie, is haranguing the masses on TV about morality, when the President's girlfriend remarks that this guy claims to love America even while he hates Americans. I think that aptly describes our current administration and its policies.

on related news. (I'll jsut tag it here)

war is a racket

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/01/international/middleeast/01cnd-reconstruct.html?hp&ex=1138856400&en=1a959e1e4f9cac5a&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Former U.S. Official in Iraq to Plead Guilty to Corruption

A former American occupation official in Iraq is expected to plead guilty to bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and other charges in federal court on Thursday for his actions in a scheme to use sexual favors, jewelry and millions of dollars in cash to steer reconstruction work to a corrupt contractor, according to papers filed with the court.

The official, Robert J. Stein Jr., served as a comptroller and funding officer in 2003 and 2004 for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which governed Iraq after the American-led invasion. Four Americans, including Mr. Stein and the contractor, Philip H. Bloom, have been arrested in the case. Mr. Stein's plea, apparently with the understanding that he will cooperate with prosecutors, is the first to be made public.

Whatever you call it, we're losing it.

http://www.btcnews.com/btcnews/1191

1. Use GWOT to enrage as many Muslims, Arabs, etc. as possible.
2. Under funded and ignored genuinely effective counterterrorism measures permit terrorist incident on American soil.
3. America panics.
4. Dubya reads Churchillian speech written for him with artful mix of histrionics and menace.
5. America votes GOP.
6. Business as usual.

Let's not forget Italy's Red Brigade. Turns out these "reds" were connected to the Propaganda Due Lodge, an ultra-rightist fascist org comprised of businessmen, intelligence officers and Fascist residua. Italy managed to pursue them for years while the Red Brigade struck terror across the country, bombing train stations, kidnaping politicians, etc.

Just consider a "state of terror" as an advertising campaign for the totalitarian state.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has retained (coincidentally, I'm sure) control over both the media and his office for years and years, is said to have had connections with the Propaganda Due Lodge.

Just keep saying it: "there is no war." I've been saying it since 9/11 -- nice to see the world coming around.

We need police work, law enforcement, allies, friends, soft power and some vigilance. The rest is phony business used by greedy oilmen to try to extend their bonanza and the American Taliban to keep the rest of us scared out of our wits.

Just keep saying it: "there is no war." I've been saying it since 9/11 -- nice to see more and more of us getting clear.

We need police work, law enforcement, allies, friends, soft power and some vigilance. The rest is phony business used by greedy oilmen to try to extend their bonanza and the American Taliban to keep the rest of us scared out of our wits.

I'm holding a ration coupon book my grandmother had left over from WW2. Now that was a war. A real war. This puny Iraq war is a private Bush family war.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the neocons have been looking for a substitute for the Cold War. The Cold War was used to justify repression at home and intervention abroad, and when it ended Bush Sr. turned immediately to the War on Drugs.

The problem with the WoD was that it was so limited. The Cold War could be used to target any left-of-center individual or movement, but the WoD net missed too many liberals, and alienated too many libertarians. And, although Noriega and FARC could be dealt with using WoD as a pretext, it was useless against Castro, Chavez, Kirchner, and other leftists.

Since the WoD was inadequate for their needs, Cheneyco quickly switched to the GWOT after 9/11. Soon, it was being used to justify military action throughout Asia and the Middle East, regardless of the presence of al-Qaeda.

It doesn't really work in the Americas, but the focus of Cheneyco is Asia and the Middle East, where it does a servicable job of offering a pretext for the policies that they want to pursue. At home, Cheneyco gleefully throws the libertarians under the bus along with the entirety of the left, as any questioning of the government is characterized as treason.

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