Friday, March 23, 2007

A Few Honest And Courageous Souls, Or A Revolt Of The Generals

Karen Kwiatkowski
is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and a variety of roles for the National Security Agency.
She's one of the best they've got at Lew Rockwell dot com; here's a quick look at one of her most recent columns:

Our Mad Mad Mad Mad Vice President Speaks
The Cheney speech to AIPAC – reassuring militant rightwingers in Israel and the US that America is leaning forward on Iran, and that we are never leaving Iraq – was filled with honesty and conviction, and gives us a clear window into the administration's thinking.
I might have put quotes around that last word, because ...
Cheney's description of terrorists is somewhat emotional and overblown. Calling them "freedom's enemies," he comes dangerously close to describing this administration's id.
Hmm. They do that all the time, don't they? They talk about Islamofascists who want to establish a world caliphate! Irony this rich cannot be unintentional.
His emphasis on one-side’s victims in last summer's war with Lebanon, and his proud silence on the thousands killed, injured, made homeless and jobless by American weaponry is also understandable as he speaks to the AIPAC audience.
Understandable, yes, but one might even say mandatory! Thus...
His "three myths" on Iraq and the so-called war on terror are sermons to a choir that raises its voice demanding America be not a policeman in the Middle East, not an inspiration, but a blustering and imbecilic bodyguard.
But the role of blustering and imbecilic bodyguard to the world covers the most heinous of crimes against humanity -- all under the rubric of keeping us safe. So they can't very well drop that pretense now!
The real truth in Cheney's speech is found in his sense of urgency. Cheney exhorts Congress to remember 9-11 and damns it for failing to subsume its every decision to the maintenance of the administration's cultural mythology of that day.
"The cultural mythology of that day" is a recurring theme here, although I have never known what to call it, so it's nice to see the phrase spelled out for us like that. Were it in Cheney's power, every single detail of American life would already be subsumed in his mad dash for "full-spectrum global dominance". Instead of just most of them.
He rails at the idea of time limits in Iraq, and suggests that debate in Washington on the role, objectives and cost of our militarism in the Middle East is counterproductive and allows the "enemy" to "watch the clock and wait us out."
The thing he doesn't understand -- the thing they never understand -- is that the "enemy" is going to "wait us out" even if there's no clock to watch! The Vietnamese had been kicking foreigners out of their country for a thousand years when we got there; they would have kicked our butt eventually, even if it took a thousand more. And the situation in Iraq is by no means similar -- US forces didn't foment civil war in Vietnam, for instance -- but the same dynamic is in play. The very idea of a "ticking clock" is different -- not to say irrelevant -- to the occupied. And, of course, as we have seen, to the occupiers the idea of a "ticking clock" is a political hot-potato. And
it is Cheney – not al Qaeda – who is watching the clock now. This former Secretary of Defense understands only too well that the deployment of two battle groups in the Persian Gulf, and the onset of this year's "spring offensive" in Afghanistan both point to a ticking clock – second-generation shock and awe forces require many months of planning, and a massive logistics tail to support even a short-lived coordinated attack. The clock is indeed ticking, and nothing must get in the way of that. It is not ticking for the occupied Palestinian territories, nor the fractured and dazed Iraqis living out some kind of neo-colonial nightmare. Those efforts are perfectly on track, as hoped for, and AIPAC completely understands this.
As long as everything is on track for AIPAC, what's the problem? Our Israeli friends wouldn't lead us astray, would they?
It is all about Iran. The U.S. military, from the tone and content of Cheney's speech, is now ready, and the window is open. The administration may actually be a bit behind in building its public case – at least one as plausible as the false case made by this same administration less than five years ago regarding Iraq. Part of this case-making process entails boxing the Congress, and preventing that body from asserting its collective intellect, refreshing its own collective familiarity with truth, justice, reality and even the Constitution.
Lovely words, aren't they? Truth. Justice. Reality. The Constitution. Lest we forget. But
Iran is back on the table, and the House warning language on Iran stricken.
To most thinking people this is outrageous, but then we don't get any money from AIPAC, do we?
70% of the American public, and most of the soldiers and Marines in Iraq understand the idiocy, the pointlessness and shoddy logic of this alter-ego "war" we are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, soon Iran and perhaps even Syria. This majority of Americans are beginning to hate Dick Cheney and George W. Bush for what they are doing to our own nation. But the 70% in this country have no important conferences for the political leadership, they have no lobbyists, they have no deep pockets, and they have no rabidly confident sense that they alone have all the answers to the world's problems. AIPAC, on the other hand, has all these things.
I disagree. It does not appear to me that AIPAC think they have all the answers to the world's problems. To me it looks like they only think they have the answers to their own problems. But then again, these are the only problems they care about.

And that's why they push so hard for us to attack Iran.
And soon, it is likely they'll have their desired attacks on Iran. We may soon hear of an accident, an incursion, or a purported attack on our forces.
... or even a false-flag "terrorist attack" here at home!
That provocation will force the President to bomb until our bombs run out, and will give the Democrats one more opportunity to prove their abject fealty to war. From what we are hearing of this year's AIPAC conference, it will be up to a few honest and courageous souls in the Senate, or a revolt of the generals, to stop America's next war.
I agree with most of what Karen Kwiatkowski says here, but can't stop thinking it's gonna take more than a few "honest and courageous souls", not just in the Senate but everywhere, to get all of us out of this huge mess.

And as for "a revolt of the generals" ... what are they waiting for?