Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another Call for Bloodless Regime Change

We have another entry from Terry McKenna, below. First, about Karl: I am here to defend the inventor of Rovespeak. Perhaps you and the other two people who read this blog regularly might be confused at that statement, as I have been pretty rough on Karl lately.

But firing Karl Rove (as moveon.org and other groups are demanding) is a very poor solution to the problems we are dealing with in Washington. My sights are set somewhat higher than Karl.

In terms of regime change, Impeachment is the next step, the most crucial and pressing need for this nation. This is not just "if Bubba can face impeachment just for getting his lollipop licked, why not Dubya?"—never mind Bubba and the past. This is a little bit more substantive, more urgent, than that.

This is about an imperial presidency built exclusively on lies—criminal lies that directly led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people of several different nations, including our own. This is about a President and his inner circle who lied to Congress, lied to (and manipulated) the press, and even lied to (and bullied) their own international allies—on the most critical and profound matters: intelligence, national security, military preparedness, and the grounds for war. So while I agree with moveon.org and others that getting rid of the man who essentially represents the public voice of this administration would be a very good thing indeed; it's not enough.

Let's show this administration how a regime change should be done properly: without bloodshed, without bombs, even without hatred (remember, to hate them is to give them power). Let your Congressman and the mass media hear your voice: we must impeach this President, and we must start it now.

Speaking of the mainstream media, is there an awakening afoot? Check out this video from yesterday's White House Press Briefing. No more softball questions from the reps of the big three networks—could the imprisonment of Judith Miller have been the straw that broke this camel's back? We don't know yet: let's see them work the President himself over the way they handled poor little Scott McClellan, and then I'll agree that there is a transformation under way in the American mass media.

Mr. McKenna, front and center—the blog is yours:

Might as well add my two cents to the flood of verbiage about the London bombings. Since we are here in the US, I'll focus on what the bombings mean for the homeland. To begin with, they reaffirm the failure of the so called War on Terror. By the way, isn't it ironic that we are only a few weeks past G W's major speech on the War on Terror. Of course it was much more a mantra for staying the course that a strong rhetorical defense for current policy. Bush kept repeating: ”9 11, democracy, stay the course, 9 11, democracy, stay the course” to which the only fair retort is, “the man is a moron.” If he was a smart man, George Bush would no doubt be humiliated. But he's not. He just tightens his facial muscles and keeps going right along. The current public figure most like GW is the energizer bunny. In the ads, the bunny keeps on beating his drum, even after falling down. But the bunny is a toy, and at the whim of his handlers....Oh, so too is George Bush! Good point.

The War on Terror works best as a metaphor. Unfortunately, we've gone way past metaphor by our invading both Afghanistan and Iraq. Our Afghan adventure can be understood as part self defense and part vengeance. Even if the war turns out to have been a failure it will also always be understood as the necessary consequence of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The US was shaken and did what any powerful nation does when stirred. It fought back. But the war in Iraq was based upon no similarly shocking event. Although there is a small element of vengeance on a personal level - Saddam wanted to kill GW's daddy; the real motives for the war were geopolitical, and founded on issues arising in the first Gulf War, long before 9 11 occurred. Among other things, we needed a foil against both Iran and Saudi Arabia - as an Arab oil state, a compliant and pro-Western Iraq would yield significant dividends for us. Pro Israeli Neo-cons had an additional motive. They understood Israel's desperate isolation. If they could change the entire thrust of middle eastern history - by creating a free market democracy in Iraq, then the Arab masses in the surrounding states would eventually pressure their governments for a similar system. It was assumed that a democratic middle east would be a much less dangerous place for Israel. Of course that was just a pipe dream.

So wither the war on terror in the aftermath of London? Is there anything to win? And even if we decide there is, do we have a tactical goal to help achieve victory? Our long term goal remains the defeat of radical Islam, and the destruction of Al-Qaeda. But we apparently have crippled much of the Al-Qaeda that operated in Afghanistan, and so what. And tactically, we have no focus.

What do I mean by tactical objectives? I'll illustrate with examples from US history. In the Civil War, after it was realized that we would not be taking Richmond in one battle, the Union's objective became the capture of the several confederate armies. With this simple goal, Union generals were able to plan several years of effective campaigning - and eventually the War was won. In the First World War, the two sides grappled in a pan European trench battle. The tactical goal for both sides became breaking the enemy's lines. This was not easy, but late in the war, after American troops started appearing in large numbers, the German army finally reached its breaking point and an armistice was quickly signed. Even in Viet Nam we had a tactical goal, which was to use our overwhelming firepower to destroy concentrations of Viet Cong troops. The goal was never achieved, but almost all of our efforts were focused on this simple idea.

But with the War on Terror; all we have is a pipe dream - that we can bring democracy to Iraq, and eventually to all of the middle east. But in terms of tactics, we have no goals. So, day in day out, our soldiers and their commanders risk death for a pipe dream. And day in day out, we get nowhere.

OF course, we could reassess our involvement in the middle east. We could withdraw our support for the Saudis and our knee-jerk support for Israel. But then we would also have to leave the middle east alone for a few decades. Long enough for the Arab street to know we meant it. Then maybe they would have no other excuse but their own behaviors for their backwardness.

—Terence McKenna

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