HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Sunday, February 23, 2003

 
Imperialist Stunt

I saw this the other night and I almost couldn’t believe it. If it were anyone but Sy Hersh making the claim I would have to say it was tin-foil time.

When the war began, even though this is-- again, you know, this is complicated. Musharraf asked, as a favor, to protect his position. If we suddenly seized, in in the field, a few dozen military soldiers, including generals, and put them in jail, and punished them, he would be under tremendous pressure from the fundamentalists at home.

So, to protect him, we perceive that it's important to protect him, he asked us-- this is why when I tell you it comes at the level of Don Rumsfeld, it has to. I mean, it does. He asked-- he said, "You've got to protect me. You've got to get my people out."

The initial plan was to take out the Pakistani military. What happened is that they took out al Qaeda with them. And we had no way of stopping it. We lost control. Once there planes began to go, the Pakistanis began-- thousands of al Qaeda got out. And so-- we weren't able to stop it and screen it. The intent wasn't to let al Qaeda out. It was to protect the Pakistani military.

But, when you think about it, it actually makes sense in Bush terms. In order to preserve Musharref’s tenuous hold on a nuclear nation that could easily be overwhelmed by Islamic fundamentalists like the Taliban, the US had to agree to evacuate the Pakistani military who were helping to train the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. In the process, we evacuated al Qaeda and Taliban to Pakistan. From the war we were waging in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The more we hear of things like this the more plausible it really is that the Bush administration doesn’t find the terrorist threat to be very serious and the war with Iraq is being waged as an easy, splashy “pageant” meant to put the world on notice that they should simply give up in the face of our awesome Death Star technology. To do this, it must be an easy win. Whatever the consequences, they’ll wing it.

Neal Gabler makes this case in his "A splendid little war"


The Spanish-America War, like the imminent war in Iraq, had its origins not in any direct threat to American security or in treaty obligations to allies or even in some affront to American honor, but in a desire to project a new sense of the country's power and responsibility -- in historian Frank Friedel's words, "to see the United States function like a great nation." Though the world of the late 19th century was not, like ours, dominated by a single superpower, America possessed an abiding faith in her own moral superiority to every other regnant nation, just as it does today. This was (and is) not entirely without justification. At the time, America was certainly more idealistic than Germany, France, England, Japan or Spain. She believed in the values of democracy and equality even if she didn't always believe in their actual exercise -- Third World nations would need a lot of help -- and she increasingly saw her role as international cop, enforcing what other nations were too craven to enforce.

It’s probably only a coincidence, but Karl Rove calls himself a “student” of the McKinley presidency. (This is mostly because McKinley was really a creature of his political handler Mark Hanna, I suspect; they were almost always pictured together, as partners, in political cartoons like the one below.)




There are many other parallels between the two Presidents, not the least of which is that the war was fully supported, if not created, by the press. War --- but most especially victory --- is very good for the media business.

It would be a good idea, considering all this, to keep in mind that the rallying cry of “Remember The Maine,” referring to the incident that precipitated our declaration of war, was very likely an engine explosion, not a Spanish bomb, as we contemplate the impending and inevitable “material breach.”

Gabler concludes with:

In the end, as much as doves may hate to say it, Bush may be right. Why not go to war? The Cuban portion of the Spanish-American War did last less than 90 days, and it resulted not only in Spain leaving Cuba but in America taking Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines and thus asserting her power. But if Spain was quickly vanquished, the Philippine portion of the war dragged on for years as America tried to pacify insurgents there, resulting in 4,000 American dead and hundreds of thousands of Philippine civilian casualties. (Anyone looking for the analogy to Vietnam will find it here.) As the saying goes, watch what you wish for ...

Of course the assumption, in 2003 as in 1898, is that war will be quick and bloodless -- that it won't be hell but a piece of cake. At least, that is what the Bush administration is telling us and that is what many of us want to believe. We are going to war no matter what and no matter why. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it is. We have been here before. It is 1898 all over again.

But, there were no Pakistans with nukes or bin Laden’s with al Jazeera. The world is much smaller now and the stakes are much bigger. This kind of adventure is beyond risky in the nuclear age. It's reckless.


Thanks to Testify for the NPR link