The Bewildered Right - There are two possibilities - either Bush planned democratic revolution in the Middle East all along or he just made it up as he went along. We've been arguing all along that Bush and company had a very real need to deceive the right because Bush planned to do something that was genuine left in Iraq, overthrow fascism and support democracy
Author: kerrb Date : Dec 1, 2003 6:39 pm _____________
there are two possibilities - either Bush planned democratic revolution in the Middle East all along or he just made it up as he went along
albert has been arguing all along that Bush and company had a very real need to deceive the right because Bush planned to do something that was genuine left in Iraq, overthrow fascism and support democracy
you would expect then that many of the right who can't see far enough to understand that democracy in the Middle East is in their best interests might now be pissed off with Bush for a variety of reasons:
don't like being lied to about WMD things haven't gone smoothly, Americans are dying Bush is now raving on about democratic revolution, scary lefty talk I submit Plan A as evidence that rightists are now pissed off and seriously bewildered by the way things are turning out.
[Yglesias] I think it's fair to say that Howard Dean, and many other liberals-but-not-pacifists, who opposed the war allowed their detestation for the Bush administration to blind them to the merits of the arguments in favor of the war. At the same time, those of us who were more open to military action appear to have allowed our appreciation for the merits of the pro-war arguments to blind us to the utterly despicable nature of the Bush administration.
To put this another way, during the pre-war era I took it for granted that the administration understood that creating a mess in Iraq would not serve their political interests. Therefore, I reasoned, they wouldn't be so eager to do this unless they had a good plan for avoiding the mess. I was never so naive as to believe the promises of democracy, but creating something that was neither a mess, nor Saddam Hussein, would still be an improvement. That's what I thought. I was wrong [/Yglesias]
maybe now that the right is turning against Bush, then a few more on the left may begin to support his introduction of democracy into Iraq - or am I being too optimistic?
There are a lot of comments following the Plan A post on Matt Yglesias' blog.
Here are a couple of interesting ones to give you some idea of how this conversation is working itself out:
The neocons are endemically rather shortsighted, as if hobbled by emotional armor. They hold a very high opinion of themselves. They've also swallowed the Machiavellian theories of Leo Strauss: lying to the public is o.k., if it serves the "greater good"; and that's how we got the string of reasons (WMD's, etc.) to invade Iraq.
Even so, the extraordinary stupidity of the postwar planning can hardly be explained by "shortsightedness". Why would they run right over all the people at Defense and State who raised cautionary flags? It all feels very curious--as if some piece of the puzzle has yet to be revealed. I've begun to wonder whether it can only be explained as psychological compensation for some massive emotional trauma...
Maybe it's possible that what a number of people have said (and called insane for it) could be true: the Bushies took to heart a statement of the Project for the New American Century that the American people wouldn't support their "clean break" in the Middle East, without a new "Pearl Harbor" of some sort. The big names signed onto this. When all the intelligence came in before 9/11, they thought they had a simple hijacking, and decided to let it happen, to make IT the reason for invasions of Afganistan and Iraq which were already cooking on the back burner. When 9/11 turned out to be the horrifying disaster, they immediately went into guilt-complex overload, and had to make up for this extraordinary misjudgement. And so, adolescents that they are, they put all their existing plans into overdrive, as if to justify.
Sorry for all the psychologisms. I just can't figure out any other way to explain such precipitate behavior. Certainly the whole world's wondering...
Posted by: Lee A. at November 28, 2003 07:46 PM
I think that if you go back to the August 2002 VFW speech by Cheney, you can see that the "we will be greeted as liberators" idea was already quite operative:
[Cheney] Another argument holds that opposing Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world, and interfere with the larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction of the Arab "street," the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are "sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans." Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. [/Cheney]
Never mind that it the last time Iraqis were dancing in the streets was probably September 12, 2001.
Posted by: praktike at November 28, 2003 08:31 PM
Re:the bewildered right (by Patrick on 12/01/2003)
The moribund US ruling class.
The world has loads of sons of former rulers who either directly or indirectly inherit political posts. George W Bush is one of the indirect variety common under bourgeois democracy. He wanted to be a conservative US President and carry on running things in a business as usual fashion. Indeed if he had not been of this ilk he would not have received the required endorsements to even run for the job. He had the contacts, and he got the numbers. In this regard, he’s much like Beazley (or Crean ), only he won.
Then 9/11 happened, and his Presidency agenda was dramatically changed when some of his advisors convinced him to become a revolutionary.
Bush has not been a life long bourgeois revolutionary who came to office with the purpose of advancing that revolution, but he had to chair a war cabinet and ask some basic questions like what is the strategy for winning this war, and what else is the enemy capable of doing to ‘us’? At the end of the day, the Neo-Con advisers were the only theorists that made sense. They convinced him that the only strategy to adopt to win this inescapable war was to drain the swamps and bring the bourgeois revolution to the entire Middle East. GWB was just a garden variety conservative who was convinced by an argument that has no reasonable opposition. The point is, he did not lead. He did not do the convincing, so ‘greatness was thrust upon him’.
Afghanistan was only to be the first totally inescapable battle that everyone knew had to occur. Overthrowing the Taliban, and killing lots of terrorists could not however foment the required revolution.
How to start this new strategy was IMV an automatic given. The advisers knew why Iraq had to be the next battle, and once again they convinced G W Bush by force of logic. Nasty undemocratic Saddam had been taunting the US for years. Iraq was do-able. Twelve years of failing UN sanctions should and could be ended. If the conservative G W Bush, could be and was convinced to bring on democracy to the Middle East because there was no alternative, then why not convince others of this? Why not convince the numbers in Congress? Answer; no need to, because that job would take care of itself.
Both the President, and all the advisers now running things knew what they were about to see. Saddam was doing something with WMD, and that was sufficient reason to start the war, so nothing else more difficult was needed to start it. The President was always going to get his way, and the basic funding to do this war based on Saddam having a WMD program that everyone believed in, even Scott Ritter was certain.
Naturally, as it was not necessary to convince anybody in Congress, nobody bothered overly much, but that argument was still being put as well. Congress and its money, was already covered by the game plan. They would be dragged along paying the bills later. Everything would work out when the actual war turned up his WMD program and stocks, because everyone knew he had them. Woops.
Albert places great store on the issue of congressional authorization for the money to fund the revolution ‘But if Bush had adopted Chomsky's position so early, that would have prevented congressional authorisation.’
At this point I could slip in over my depth, because I haven’t the time to do enough research on the US Congress. Questions like what ‘the numbers’ actually were in the congress; who were the dominant opinion makers; what sway Bush could expect to carry from the start, and who among the ‘opponents’ would be able to be convinced of the real national interests as they were explained by the very capable Neo-con advisors etc. But in the absence of real knowledge I rely here on the missing valid alternative argument.
The US national interest argument is IMV unassailable and every one from Chomsky to the Neo-cons has been able to work it out. In addition, unlike the pseudo left, the ruling elite do need to know how the real world is working because they need to run it. The issue didn’t arise because the easy way out (via ‘known WMD’), had been seen and taken from the start. This was a mistake and the easy way turns out to be a problem.
My view remains that Bush and co are bungling through or from another point of view just inexperienced revolutionaries. This should not surprise anyone. The fact that the whole class that they represent have forgotten that they ever had a revolutionary role to play in the world, is a good indication of what to expect from there idiot offspring. The requirement to take in groups of congressional reps and convince them that US interests would now be best served if the Middle East was democratized is not something that I feel is so difficult.
I bet Bush has not read ‘Proclamation of the Chinese people’s liberation army April 25 1949. That’s the sort of document produced by experienced revolutionaries. The whole occupation has shown up as neophyte incompetence. Fancy not ordering people to stay at there posts. The Looting was breathtaking US incompetence. Imagine leaving idle people hanging around not subject to immediate disipline. Iraqi soldiers should have been subjected to new discipline and barracks type confinement from word go. Where is the reeducation plan? In the face of such reconstruction needs fancy not ordering people to clean up the streets and make a start at organizing their country. Even my old convent nuns knew that the devil makes work for idle hands!
No, G W Bush is running a muddle through mess.
But on the bright side the US has a tradition of thinking big and a ‘can do’ attitude that will (when they are on the side of the angels as they are now) succeed. They seem to have got ‘the Russian revolutionary sweep’ so after a bit of experience ‘American efficiency’ should return.
Bush is concerned what the masses think because he wants to be President and the masses vote. I think those that learn first hand learn best so for the sake of the whole Middle East I hope Bush goes on for another term. However the Iraq project (and a shit load of issues flow directly from that) is now locked in, even if Tweedledee replaces Tweedledum, ‘so what will be will be.’
Who ever wins it’s not as if they would be people of the pseudo left that simply will not reason a problem through ;-)
Last modified 2006-08-07 12:11 AM