by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - October 22, 2007) After Bush's reelection, Seymour Hersh, a reporter with inside information on the administration, reported in January 2005 that secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran had been taking place since the previous summer and war with Iran was on its agenda. The following month Scott Ritter, a reliable source for what military insiders are learning, stated that Bush was set to bomb Iran in June 2005. Other reports around that time had Israel and the U.S. planning the attack.
Over two and a half years have elapsed and the latest report from Hersh has the attack scaled back to "surgical" strikes on Revolutionary Guard facilities to protect the GIs in Iraq because the justification for a massive bombing, Iran's alleged building of a nuclear bomb, had not riled the public sufficiently. The new tactic, if questioned, can be condoned as a strictly defensive move to protect the troops in Iraq. Some authorities however, including historian Gabriel Kolko and former military advisor to several presidents Brent Scowcroft, do not believe an attack will occur. Although the egomaniac is extremely dangerous, his momentum for belligerence has been curtailed and it's possible that his term may end before a fatal decision is made.
What pray tell will occur when the Shrub is gone? What will his successor do? I'm afraid that all of the likely replacements are more gung-ho for war with Iran and the continuation of the Iraq fiasco than he is! Their rhetoric and actions indicate as much.
What has been taking place and will continue is a simulation of a theatrical production. The Washington politicos are actors who put on a show for their constituents while following a script written and directed by the power elite -- the gang who pay them off. Like character actors on the stage or screen who interpret the same role somewhat differently, so does the Washington branch of show business.
Let's examine the cast of potential characters for the starring role. With the public screaming for impeachment of Bush and his buddy Cheney, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would plop into the top spot, if such a long-shot possibility should occur. In as much as Nancy took impeachment off the table she obviously doesn't want the job. Her personality is such that she'd leave things the way they are for the winner of the 2008 electoral Grand Prix.
The major players for the top spot have been outspoken in their belligerent attitudes towards Iran. At the annual Herzlyah conference, where Israeli politicians and militarists formulate plans for the upcoming year, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani, and John Edwards outdid one another in expressing their strong commitment to the state of Israel and their recognition of the threat posed by Iran. Clinton and Obama showed their true blue colors of loyalty to Israel at the AIPAC annual conference in Washington. And neither of the two would promise to withdraw from Iraq by 2009, the end of their first term, should either one gain the presidency. A more telling indicator of their intentions can be deduced from their choice of foreign policy advisors -- an abundance of hawks.
Both parties do have candidates who espouse the antiwar sentiment of the majority of the public -- Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel -- but the pundits are mostly ignoring them and writing them off. Why, if they are responding to the demands of the people? Because the power elite who have bought and control those pundits want WAR. The underdog mavericks will not get elite money, publicity, and recognition so there is little likelihood that their campaigns can take off. Besides, both parties are well stocked with loyal confederates of the elite. They would oppose and stymie the policies of an antiwar president. Haven't the opposition Dems complied with Bush's unpopular schemes for continuation and expansion of the Iraq debacle?
The elite, the media, and the politicians held out against the increasing antiwar sentiment during the Vietnam War. Johnson, the retiring president, proponent of the war that he was, realized that the game was up and acceded to negotiations to terminate the hostilities. Nixon was elected president with his promise to end the war. Did he fulfill his promise? No! Tricky Dick had no such intentions. He not only kept the war going for another four years but expanded it into Cambodia and Laos.
As the presidential horse race for the nominations proceeds the contenders may shift their positions as they read the results of the early primaries. But like Nixon such shifts will be ploys to garner votes. The major contenders and the probable winner know what they must do -- it will be war, war, and more WAR! Resulting in more deaths, more appropriated money, more deficits and much, much more hatred of the U.S. from foreign friends and foes alike!! The vast oil bonanza is just too tantalizing to give up when there is still a possibility of some return on the wartime investment.
Does that mean we're in for years and years of war? No, Nixon wanted to keep the guns firing but he gave up nonetheless. Why? Because the guys who do the dirty work, the kids on the front lines, had enough. They mutinied and were more willing to face the music than the enemy! What spelled fini for that war may terminate Bush's follies as well.
The symptoms have been present for almost two years since Pennsylvania representative John Murtha, a retired marine colonel, claimed the army was "broken." His comments have been substantially echoed by the brass. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey told Congress that the Army was "stretched so thin by the war in Iraq that it cannot adequately respond to another conflict" and CENTCOM Commander, Admiral William Fallon, was quoted by an anonymous source as stating that an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch." These remarks and others may have led Dana Priest, a specialist on National Security at The Washington Post, to think that if Bush launched a war against Iran ". . . the military would revolt and there would be no pilots to fly those missions." While such a revolt by the brass is unlikely if the wars last long enough the grunts will do what they did before. They cannot continue this madness indefinitely.
An Iranian war would hasten the decline of the American empire. Iran is much larger, more populous, and more powerful than the two earlier US targets. Iran can create more havoc than both of those pesky countries combined. A cutoff of oil shipments from the Strait of Hormuz, a likely consequence, could boost gasoline prices so high that the irate consumer reaction would terrify the administration.
Outside of the war zones a couple of startling events will eventually occur. They will have a devastating impact on the economy and since the military is so dependent on the wealth of the nation and strength of the economy it will brake the inflated ambitions of the warmongers.
The continuing deficits will cause foreign governments, friend and foe alike, to ditch the dollar as a reserve currency. Their dollar holdings have already diminished against the euro, yen, and other currencies and sticking with it will only exacerbate those losses. Once the dollar is dethroned, the already existing but unheeded US bankruptcy will become patent. The hardships that will then engulf the country will be dire indeed. The other catastrophic matter involves the implosion of the real estate market that may plunge the country into a replay of the depression. Will the occupant of the White House follow the example of FDR or will he attempt to forcibly suppress the demands of the people?
All of these outcomes are extremely likely and any one or all may occur before the Decider's term is over! The fireworks ahead will provoke major changes in the policies of the Federal government. How will the actors perform their roles? Will the forces of repression be sufficient to crush the urgent and insistent demands of the masses? A Thomas Jefferson quotation describes the ultimate result succinctly: "When the government fears the People, that is Liberty. When the People fear the Government, that is tyranny."
If you find our work useful and appreciate its quality, please consider making aMoney is spent to pay for Internet costs, maintenance and upgrade of our computer network, and development of the site.