Bush/Neocons Against Democracy; McCain Admits War Is for Oil
Reading the James Kitfields, neocons, and chickenhawks of the world takes a dose of good humor.
That's because the humanitarian disasters that he (along with other neocon cheerleaders) excuses and his unseemly enthusiasm for defending the perpetrators tends to grate on the nerves of those for whom tyranny and authoritarianism are repulsive.
Consider James Kitfield in the cover story of the National Journal, Democracy Stalled.
Apparently mystified by the Arab peoples' utter rejection of the American imperial project, Kitfield in his 4,400-word piece references Bush's second Inaugural Address in which Bush, and you can look it up, mentioned "freedom" and "liberty" a whole bunch of times.
Remarkably, it was just three years ago that President Bush unveiled a new 'freedom' agenda in his second Inaugural Address, rallying the United States and its allies to a generations-spanning effort to transform the Middle East through democracy. In his soaring speech, Bush called the campaign to topple the forces of tyranny and authoritarianism a national security mandate and a moral imperative.
'America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one,' Bush proclaimed. 'We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: the moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right.'
Well, remarkably it was just five years ago that Bush decided to invade Iraq in violation of international law (hey, come along UN if you want to be "relevant"), and proceeded to be forced into accepting direct election of local officials under threat by the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Now, as civil war continues, Bush is paying Sunnis millions of American tax dollars not to kill our troops, all the while insisting that we must keep the troops there as an occupation force against whoever Bush decides for the moment is the real threat to America.
Though Bush soared in his rhetoric, a quick examination of Kitfield's piece reveals a couple of deflating facts.
He mentioned the word "oil" not once.
Noam Chomsky cuts through this ideological oil constraint nicely in an interview from 2006.
"Doctrinal managers would like us to believe that the US and UK would have 'liberated' Iraq even if its major exports were lettuce and pickles and the major energy resources of the world were in the South Pacific. It takes really impressive discipline 'not to see' the obvious."
Also, Kitfield mentions "Abu Ghraib prison" not once.
These democratic idealists like Kitfield are just too busy analyzing to be bothered by such fare in their pieces.
As Kitfield delves into what What Went Wrong with Bush's idealistic democracy-promoting enterprise, it's worth noting that Kitfield, one has to believe, deliberately ignores the mission, vision, objectives and goals of Bush and his regime.
That would be controlling oil, not exporting democracy.
Carl Estrabrook sums it up nicely, though not on the pages of the National Journal.
Since the Second World War -- from which the United States emerged as the world's only undamaged major country and proceeded to organize the economy of the world -- a cornerstone of American policy has been control of Middle East energy resources, the greatest geopolitical prize in the modern world.
Instead he ponders:
Confronted with mounting internal instability, an ascendant Shiite Iran, and empowered Islamist groups throughout the region, authoritarian Sunni Arab governments allied with the United States have cracked down on opposition groups and the press, reversing their own modest democratic reforms. Each day seems to bring news of more opposition figures or government critics arrested and imprisoned, and more restrictions imposed on the press in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.
So it is with good humor that one must say to Kitfield and his ilk: Leave democracy and liberty out of it; you're out of your league. And you may wish to ask your editor for a new headline: Imperialism Stalled.