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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

whatever it takes « Previous | |Next »
June 10, 2006

Andrew Bacevich has an interesting article in the London Review of Books entitled Why read Clausewitz when Shock and Awe can make a clean sweep of things?The article is a review of Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor.

Bacevich confirms the position of this weblog that toppling Saddam (for Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) was the first phase of what was expected to be a long campaign to restore US pre-eminence, and that Iraq could serve as a secure operating base or jumping-off point for subsequent US efforts to extend the Pax Americana across the broader Middle East, a project expected to last decades.This would begin to redraw the political map of the region.

The strategy was that ‘The president would preside, the vice-president would guide, and the defense secretary would implement’ --- with Wolfowitz and a handful of others lending the enterprise some semblance of intellectual coherence.

Bacevich goes on to say that this project of unleashing American might abroad involved a radical reconfiguration of power relationships at home.This involved reducing the power of the Congress and the Supreme Court to circumscribe presidential freedom of action and waging a bureaucratic battle royal to marginalise the State Department, to wrest control of intelligence analysis away from the CIA and reform the Pentagon.

Bacevich says that Cheney and Rumsfeld have some wins:

Congress at present hardly amounts to more than a nuisance. Its chief function is simply to appropriate the ever more spectacular sums of money that the war on terror requires and to rubber stamp increases in the national debt.

The CIA has been weakened, the State Department is aligned with Cheney and Rumsfeld under Rice, and the US military has been transformed. What of the Supreme Court? Bacevich says:
The Supreme Court historically has shown little inclination to encroach on presidential turf in time of war. Any prospect of the court confronting this president was seemingly nipped in the bud by the fortuitous retirement of one justice followed by the death of another. In appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito, Bush elevated to the court two jurists with track records of giving the executive branch a wide berth on matters relating to national security.

It is Iraq that has proved to be the stumbling block.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:16 AM | | Comments (3)


Gary,Bacevich enforces my own thoughts on the Iraq fiasco, and Pax Americana. I have read this type of analysis by the likes of Fisk,Pilger etc, and it is nothing new. For mine what has happened in Iraq was as predicted by "the left" and I find it totally amazing that a lot of what can be best described by me as right wing cracker jacks, still buy the W.M.D. line.

What Bacevich really tells me is more about the American people than Bush and his coterie of dangerous nut jobs. That the American people again not withstanding the alleged influence of Kathleen Harris,voted for this MORON twice beggars belief.

I don't really think the American people have realised what they have done by unleashing this idiot on the world. There is going to be pay back for all the innocent lives that have been shed over this phoney war on terror .Is all I can hope for is when it comes, and it will, it effects the Gung Ho wing nuts, that are not only happy about what has happened in Iraq and Afganistan, but would like to march on Moscow, Bejing, stopping for a little lunch in Pyongyang and not my family and I.

What was it that one of Reagans sychophants General Alexander Haigh said? The real enemy is in China and that for mine is where all this is leading.

Bush is pretty much the front man in this--the driving force of the new imperium is Cheney and Rumsfeld.

A good question to ask is: 'Why have the members of Congress been so timorous in the face of the steady encroachment on their constitutional power by the executive branch?'

Because broad constitutional terms are not that important for members of Congress? They are more concerned about needing to get re-elected.

Gary,For one, they have loaded up the supreme court with the stooges of their choice,and two, the democrats are as captive to the military arms manufacturers/suppliers as the republicans.

But most importantly three, 99.9% of the members of both houses of government backed the fiasco called Iraq.The Viet Nam conflict unlike Iraq at the present, burns into the memories of the American people, and split the American Nation to breaking point, not only at the political level but family against family.Young men and women who stood together in their defiance of this insanity against humanity were shot by their own Police.I remember it well.

For mine they are in a bind,they have made such a monumental cock up of this invasion of Iraq and its aftermath they want to put up a united front to their people.This is why they are letting the Bush junta run rough shod over the constitution.Nothing must be allowed to get in the way of the final victory.

The november elections may be the turning point,do they want more of the same or not?.If the republicans as I hope have their arses kicked,I say the Americans will find an excuse to pull out,and leave them to it.