December 19, 2003

Information Clearing House calls "Best Laid Plans" by Chris Floyd in Moscow Times a must read. So do I. Excerpts:

This has been the plan all along: to install a "strongman" in Iraq who can "hold the country together" and protect the imperial flank while America "projects its dominance" over the oil wealth -- and political life -- of the Middle East and Central Asia. There's no great secret here: Team Bush has been talking about it for years in the corporate-funded "think tanks" they inhabited during the Clinton interregnum. There, they published their dreams about a "new Pearl Harbor" that would "catalyze" the American public into supporting wide-ranging militarization at home and extensive "interventions" abroad. This vision was most clearly articulated in a September 2000 report published by the Cheney-Rumsfeld group, Project for the New American Century.

Central to this dream -- besides the Pearl Harbor bit, which those lucky duckies got only a year later -- was the conquest of Iraq, a project that PNAC said "transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." The crimes of their now-captured errand boy -- most of which (including "gassing his own people") were committed when he was being serviced and pampered by the Reagan-Bush administrations -- were always irrelevant to the PNAC catalyzers, except as a PR pitch to help sell their "transcendent" invasion . . .

That's why the occupation seems such a shambles. The stated policies don't really matter; they're just window dressing for the master plan. Thus they can be discarded the moment they're no longer politically expedient. What matters is getting the strongman in place -- Saddam 2.0, a more obedient, more presentable, less quirky upgrade, who will "invite" a lasting American military presence and uphold Bush's arbitrary decrees granting foreign corporations a stranglehold on the Iraqi economy.

Now, is this an evil plan, conceived in ignorance and arrogance, predicated on the war crime of military aggression, an act of terrorism on a scale than bin Laden could only dream of? You bet. But let's be fair: it is a plan. You can't say that Bush hasn't got one.

Be at peace.