December 19, 2011
Richard Engel of NBC, reporting from Iraq, put it this way: ‘That’s it, the war is over’. That can be correctly said now, 8 years and 10 months after the war started, and 8 years and 7 months after President George W. Bush announced “Mission Accomplished”. So now what do we do? Look for another war? That certainly seems to be the GOP’s fantasy.
All but a handful of Republicans are upset that President Obama did what he promised America he would do; pull out of Iraq, which he advocated in his campaign in 2007. But why are they upset? Democrat Representative Dana Rohrabacher said in October “I don’t understand” why Republicans want to stay in Iraq. But the truth is, he does know, as we all do.
First, it’s the oil. But there’s a second and more cynical reason.
Republicans have made no secret about their desire to invade Iran. None of them have publically used the word “invade”, but they’ve made that clear. And, geographically speaking, what better place than Iraq to launch an attack on Iran – or any other Middle Eastern country?
In August, the epitome of war hawks, neo-conservative John Bolton was pushing Israel to attack Iran to destroy the nuclear facility in Bushehr. He, along with many others, know that if a war breaks out between Iran and Israel the U.S. will most certainly come to Israel’s aid. No better excuse could ever be devised to jump into a war with Iran than to protect our only true ally in the Middle East. But Bolton is not alone in pushing a war with Iran.
With the exception of Ron Paul, and maybe Jon Huntsman, every single Republican Presidential candidate advocates going to war with Iran. They’re with Bolton on pushing Israel to attack Iran. But Ron Paul said “To me the greatest danger is that we will have a president that will overreact, and we will soon bomb Iran. We ought to really sit back and think, not jump the gun and believe that we are going to be attacked. That’s how we got into that useless war in Iraq and lost so much.” The other candidates jumped all over Paul for saying that, but then again, Ron Paul believes strictly in the Constitution; something the other candidates throw in our faces only when it suits them. And Paul doesn’t support the neocon philosophy, which is why he will never become the GOP Presidential nominee.
Republicans know that it takes building blocks to convince the public that war is the only option. And they’ve already begun.
Back in October of this year, when the plot was uncovered to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, it was tied to an Iranian, thus making it an Iranian regime-sanctioned plot in the minds of many war hawks. As a result, it only took a few days for John Bolton to put together another case for attacking Iran.
Then earlier this month an Iranian was caught in Russia trying to smuggle radioactive metal in to Iran. While we haven’t heard anything yet from Republicans trying to tie this to the case for an attack on Iran, no doubt it is forthcoming. But when Iran shot down one of our military drones recently, they were quick to add that to their war-justification arsenal. Former Vice-President Dick Cheney called for attacking Iran “to get the drone back”. As Ron Paul asked “are we going to start a war to get this drone back”? America wouldn’t, but the neocons would.
Even John McCain, who in the past cautioned about going to war, has suggested that the U.S. should consider going into Syria, while at the same time signaled his support on attacking Iran. He’s also added his objections to pulling out of Iraq.
Wars and promoting wars have another distinct advantage — it pours taxpayer-dollars by the train-loads into those companies who build military weapons. And it is the GOP who benefits mostly from financial support from those companies.
But there’s more — much more!
Robert Parry, well-known investigative journalist, asked ‘will the Iraq debacle prevent a war with Iran’. The answer is ‘yes’, only in that the American public and the rest of the world won’t fall for the same tricks they used in 2003; at least, for a few more generations. So they have to come up with a different one this time, and a way to blame President Obama for spoiling their overall objective. Read some excerpts from Parry’s piece:
…the Iraq War represents one of the worst strategic defeats in American history. An arrogant President George W. Bush invested about $1 trillion and nearly 4,500 American lives in a conflict that did little to advance U.S. national security interests and overall harmed U.S. standing in an economically crucial part of the world.
…the neocons are highly skilled at creating favorable narratives and disseminating them to the American public. Contrary narratives, even when supported by hard facts and strong analysis, usually get short-shrift in the U.S. press.
Another thing the neocons don’t want is for the American people to connect the painful and costly disaster in Iraq to neocon plans for using U.S. military power to advance Israeli security interests, though that is what the historical record points to. In the neocon fantasies of a decade ago, the invasion of Iraq was supposed to transform it into an ally of Israel and a base to pressure other anti-Israeli Muslim states for “regime change,” especially Syria and Iran.
The first key political obstacle [for implementing the “clean break”] was removed when the neocons helped engineer George W. Bush’s ascension to the presidency in Election 2000. However, the path was not fully cleared until al-Qaeda terrorists attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, leaving behind a political climate across America for war and revenge.
…the Iraq debacle, now given a stamp of finality by Obama’s removal of the last U.S. combat troops, threatens to solidify among many Americans a recognition that they were “had” by the neocons, that the Iraq War was a terrible mistake that shouldn’t be repeated again. So, the neocons must move quickly to change that perception, by asserting that the war had actually been “won” by Bush but that Obama “lost” it. That way, Americans won’t close the door on the next neocon adventure, a war with Iran.
As a general rule of thumb, those who love war tend to be of the Republican persuasion; especially a Republican President. The latter sees it as a major instrument to define his presidency. But even without a Republican in the Oval Office, they are still pushing war. And now, with the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il, we have to be concerned about them adding that country to their list of countries they want to invade.
The Parry article referenced above is an absolute must-read. Therefore, I offer a second link here.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky