Sunday, March 23
A Cheap Family Farce
Peter Escobar, Counterpunch, March 2003

This War is Brought to You By...

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt. They've won. They got their war against Afghanistan (planned before September 11). They're getting their war against Iraq (planned slightly after September 11). After Iraq, they plan to get their wars against Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Last Sunday, one of them, Vice President Dick Cheney, said that President George W Bush would have to make "a very difficult decision" on Iraq. Not really. The decision had already been taken for him in the autumn of 2001.

As far as their "showdown Iraq" is concerned, it's not about weapons of mass destruction, ...[...]

The American corporate media are not inclined to spell it out, and the absolute majority of American public opinion is anesthetized non-stop by a barrage of technical, bureaucratic and totally peripheral aspects of the war against Iraq.

For all the president's (sales)men, the whole game is about global preeminence, if not unilateral world domination--military, economic, political and cultural. This may be an early 21st century replay of the "white man's burden". Or this may be just megalomania. Either way, enshrined in a goal of the Bush administration, it cannot but frighten practically the whole world, from Asia to Africa, from "old Europe" to the conservative establishment within the US itself.[...]

The endgame will reveal itself to be a cheap family farce: the Bush family delivers an ultimatum to the Hussein family. What Gore Vidal describes as "the Bush-Cheney junta" has won: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, the AEI and PNAC stalwarts. Paul Wolfowitz, above all, has won his own personal crusade.

Colin Powell has lost it all. It does not matter that the State Department's classified report, "Iraq, the Middle East and change: no dominoes" was unveiled by the Los Angeles Times. Wolfowitz and Perle will play with their dominoes. By predictable mechanisms of power as old as mankind itself (and incidentally very common in the former USSR) it was Powell--the adversary of the new doctrine of preemption--who was charged to defend it in the face of the world. Sources in New York confirm he was told to get in line: his discourse, his body language, his whole demeanor changed. [...]

They know that by deciding to go to war unilaterally--and leaving the international system in shambles--the US has squandered its biggest capital: its international legitimacy.

And to make matters worse there was absolutely no debate--in the Senate, or in the public opinion arena--about it.
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