The End of America As We Know It?
Mike Hersh (c) 2002
I hope this is more of a warning than a eulogy. Consider the politics driving Bush's imminent invasion of Iraq. Team Bush is using 9/11 as their fight song and campaign slogan. They are manipulating our fear, anger and pride to fuel their propaganda machine for narrow partisan advantage. This will increase through Election Day.
A military expert familiar with the Bush administration says, "We are watching pre-invasion propaganda" as opposed to any kind of discussion or debate. Bush's pretense of considering inspections is nothing more than a stalling tactic; a way to quiet complaints and mop up any remaining opposition. He adds, "The Iraq War is already underway. It began last July. The CIA and Special Operations Forces are in Iraq." This violates the US Constitution and the War Powers Act.
Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution grants the Congress exclusive authority to support the military and initiate war. The ultimate law of the US states: "The Congress shall have power to declare war, to raise and support armies but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years."
There's no chance at all Bush will respect the Constitution on this regard any more than he has in others.
The media, the Democrats, and most of us are falling into the trap Karl Rove set last year. Bush's chief political thinker -- known in Texas as "Bush's Brain" -- advised the Republican National Committee to use war to win elections in Houston, Texas last January.
The American people are unaware of this Republican effort to politicize and exploit our defense issues because we have no free media. After favoring Bush throughout the 2000 election, the press is now a pompom squad cheering on the Bush Occupation.
The Bush Occupation carefully timed their orchestrated war drumming to dominate and determine the congressional campaigns. Even while the wreckage of the Pentagon and World Trade Center was still smoldering, Karl Rove planned to make war the issue to cement Republican power. Rove freely admitted this.
The New York Times quoted Karl Rove: "Americans trust the Republicans to do a better job of keeping our communities and our families safe," at a Republican National Committee meeting last January.
Rove continued to highlight partisan advantages of war: "We can also go to the country on this issue because they trust the Republican Party to do a better job of protecting and strengthening America's military might and thereby protecting America."
The Times accurately described Rove's strategy as trying "to turn the war into partisan advantage, telling Republicans gathered here that the administration's handling of terrorism could be an important theme for the party to trumpet in the November midterm elections." Bush Adviser Suggests War as Campaign Theme (Richard Berke, New York Times, 1/19/02)
The Washington Post confirmed this, reporting: "President Bush's top political adviser said today that Republicans will make the president's handling of the war on terrorism the centerpiece of their strategy to win back the Senate and keep control of the House in this year's midterm elections." GOP Touts War as Campaign Issue (Thomas Edsall, Washington Post, Page A02 1/19/02)
Democrats quickly denounced Rove's manipulation of war for partisan political advantage. Representative Martin Frost (D-TX) wrote:
"I am deeply saddened that Karl Rove has promised to make a partisan issue of the war on terrorism for the Republican Party. It would be disappointing enough coming from a Republican Party spokesperson, but Karl Rove is a senior White House official, who is paid with taxpayer funds and whose influence over all areas of Bush Administration policy is well-known."
Frost added: "Democrats will continue working with the President to win the war on terrorism -- regardless of how cynically White House officials use the war to help the Republican Party. America cannot afford to allow partisan politics to have any role in the war effort." White House Aide Rove Owes Apology to American People, US Military.
The Post noted "Rove's remarks are the first time an administration official has said the GOP will use the war as a partisan issue," and quoted other Democrats deploring Republican plans to politicize war or fan fears of terrorist attacks for partisan gain.
Democratic House Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the Post she was "saddened by the tenor of [Rove's] remarks." She stressed that Democrats "stand side by side with President Bush on the war on terrorism," and "strive for unity on every front and try to do this in a bipartisan way when it comes to the war on terrorism."
The Post quoted DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe backing Rep. Pelosi's statement: "Democratic leaders have stood with this president on this war on terrorism, and for Karl Rove to make it political would be an affront to the integrity of the U.S. military." (Washington Post, Page A02 1/19/02)
The New York Times also quoted McAuliffe: "If the White House is politicizing the war, that's nothing short of despicable." (Berke, New York Times, 1/19/02)
It's clear the White House is politicizing war. Now more than ever. Still, the silence is deafening, and time for dissent is running out. The impending full-scale military attack against Iraq will dominate the election, just as Rove planned.
Do we have an anti-Bush party? Karl Rove clearly set up the Democrats. He and the GOP partisans stand ready to brand Democrats as weaklings if they protest Bush's crusade.
Maybe their polls show Democrats and Republicans war is popular with voters. If so, then the Congress will give Bush his war, unless we do something quickly to change the situation. As the public and media knuckle under, the Congressional Democrats will also cave in.
Congress is playing into Rove's hands. They demanded that Bush to consult them. He went through the motions. Then they told him to consult the United Nations. Bush appeared to, but really dictated an unconditional ultimatum to the UN and put them on a short leash. Within weeks Bush will yank that leash to embarrass the UN into submission or irrelevance.
Bush already bypassed the Constitution and Congress and made an end round play against the UN. He now can demand a pro forma vote rubber-stamping his plans by Congress and the General Assembly. This would force the Chinese and / or the Russians to exercise a Security Council veto, or appear to acquiesce.
The military expert told me Bush will "launch the ground effort after the election" to ensure voters will not see American troops coming home in body bags. Then Bush will "declare his victory and his poll numbers will rise again." Here are some more predictions from this source:
* Bush will have both a Republican Senate and House to work with after November.
* We will lose fewer than 250 Americans in the first phase, and will kill approximately 50,000 Iraqis.
* The ground campaign will take less than ten days.
* We will not confirm that Saddam is dead, but will claim he was killed in a bombing of one of his palaces. A body will not be produced, unless it is the body of one of his doubles.
* In the aftermath, we will occupy Iraq for years or decades.
* Bush will inch our forces toward the border, then squeeze Iran between our forces based in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* Since we will carry most of the load, the US and Britain will also control the spoils of war.
Some historical context: throughout most of the 20th Century, the Anglo-American alliance dominated oil production. The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Tony Blair and Bush seem intent to turn back the clock to recreate this domination of the region.
As my source explains, "Look at the map."
With the Iraq occupation and the squeeze play against Iran, only pro-US Jordan would stand between Iraq and Israel. Some predict Syria would become the next target. That would only underscore the "might makes right" Bush Doctrine which the US would establish with an unprovoked Iraq invasion.
"With the plot mature, Bush will leverage" US power, according to this source. That would place the entire oil-rich region under US military, geopolitical and economic domination. Massive US, UK and allied Israeli forces could enforce compliance throughout the Middle East. Such a situation would destabilize Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait -- and inevitably the entire planet.
Our enemies' outrage would intensify. Even our allies could not tolerate such a situation. Threatened by our unmatched power and its careless use, concerned for their economic and military security, ever more determined alliances of increasing power would contend against the United States.
At first, they would strive to undermine the US economy, using de facto trade embargos and other tactics. Our standard of living would fall as our rivals strove to render our ever expanding, ever more demanding military commitments untenable.
If that didn't free them from fear of our threats and bullying, my source fears they would ultimately attack us militarily -- "bringing open warfare to our homeland." History says we would eventually be defeated. No nation can stand alone against the World.
Bush is a fundamentalist with a literal interpretation of the Bible. Drawing on his personal knowledge of Bush and those around him, my source says, "None of this is inconsistent with the teaching in Revelations," meaning the apocalyptic visions of Armageddon which prophesize war, death and destruction on an unlimited scale.
Bush believes God selected him as the terrible avenging sword of heaven. He is intent on invasion, no matter the cost to America, Iraq or the planet.
If Bush invades Iraq, America will have established a very dangerous "first strike" precedent. It would mark a clear break with the proud history of this nation. The rest of the world would view our unparalleled, uncontrolled power as a threat to peace and world stability. It's foolish to assume the world will let America get away with it.
A first strike would also render the US morally incapable of opposing similar first strikes by other nations -- China vs. Taiwan, India vs. Pakistan, or vice versa.
Most assume Bush would not risk such devastation, because it could harm his long-term political prospects, but my source concedes, "I am not convinced Bush will run for re-election in 2004. By then he will have met his ordained mission," and realize he is at the apex of his reign. Most troubling, "if he runs again, Bush will have moved into another mentality, not unlike Saddam's state of mind."
Do we have any hope of preventing this wag the dog war? I think we do, but we must step in and do the job the media won't do. What can we do? Change the polls, if we can. Raise the stakes.
We have to make Bush and the sane Republicans understand the huge political price they will pay. We have to do everything we can to blow the whistle on this wag the dog war.
Since our people are so weak and our leaders so meek, we have to stand up now. We may have little hope to stop the Bush Occupation. America as we know it may already be over. We have a last clear chance to regain our freedom and restore of our dignity. If we act now. However, time is running out.
We have to do all we can to stop Bush's war. If we can't stop their wag the dog war, at least we can prevent them from exploiting their cynical manipulation for partisan gains.
Help the Democrats running in your area. Read the papers, call your local Board of Elections, and search the web. Find out who is running, and do everything you can do to halt Rove's Republican schemes.
Contribute your time and money. Hand out literature. Put up lawn signs. Go door to door. Work the phones and the polling places. Talk to friends, relatives and strangers.
Tell them to vote Democrat this November, even if they never vote again. Because they might not get another chance. Work! Work! Work! Work as if this were the last American election ever. Because it just might be.