Thursday, May 11, 2006

World War III and Counting

As Patriot Daily at My Left Wing points out, young Mister Bush has apparently decided to change the name of the "Global War on Terror" to "World War III." It's fairly certain that even Bush realizes renaming his war isn't going to make it go any better, so he has to be fishing for a way to keep the American public from voting his party out of control of Congress this fall. We'll see how that goes.

This is not, of course, the first time the Bush propaganda machine has used patriotic sounding allusions to previous American wars--and cheesy pop culture references--to sell the administration's neoconservative agenda. In his 2002 State of the Union Address, Bush labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the "axis of evil," an invocation that combined the "axis powers" of World War II (Germany, Italy and Japan) and Ronald Reagan's Cold War description of Russia as the "evil empire," which itself was drawn from the Star Wars movie series.

During the run-up to the Iraq invasion, Bush friendly media outlets like National Review began echoing the mantra that compared Saddam Hussein to Adolph Hitler.

The term "generational war" recalled misty eyed accounts of American sacrifice in the Second World War as described by Tom Brokaw in his book The Greatest Generation.

"Fighting them over there" comes from the World War I propaganda song "Over There."

"Mission Accomplished," that piece of Rovewellian theater in which Mister Bush played Navy fighter pilot on the USS Lincoln, provided imagery drawn from visual media pieces ranging from the television program Victory at Sea to newsreels of the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri to the feature film Top Gun.

And boy, when Donald Rumsfeld decided to change the name of the Global War on Terror to the "Struggle Against Global Extremism," Mister Bush put the kibosh on that right away. We were in a doggone war, doggone it, and Bush wasn't going to be remembered as no "struggle-time" president.

Does anybody else remember the time Rumsfeld talked to the troops Iraq and answered a question (an obviously staged one) regarding criticism of Mister Bush over the war? Rumsfeld said that Abraham Lincoln had suffered scathing rebukes in the press over his handling of the American Civil War, drawing not only an absurd comparison of that war an the Iraq war, but between Lincoln and (gasp) George W. Bush.

Still Going

Like the Energizer Bunny, the Bush machine continues to bang the war drum long after its dream of global domination by armed force has proven itself delusional.

Divine Strake, the bunker buster test scheduled for June in Nevada, will ostensibly send a signal to Iran and North Korea that no matter how deeply they bury their bunkers, we'll find a way to bust them. But the signal we're liable to send by showing them how deep a bunker we can bust is how much deeper they need to bury their bunkers so we can't bust them.

But that makes no never mind, because Divine Strake's real target audience isn't Iran, or North Korea, or China, or Russia. It's the American public. When the Bush administration was garnering support for the invasion of Iraq, Condi Rice and Mister Bush made scare noise about "mushroom clouds." Now they're going to give us more than just talk.

Divine Strake is expected to create a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas, and boy, do you think that's going to get play on the cable news channels?

Scary, huh kids? Next time, it'll be them nasty old terrorists setting off that there bomb, and ground zero will be Vegas itself!

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now being cast as Hitler. And oh, I see where some sources are starting to describe Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as playing "Mussolini to Iran's Hitler."

Rewriting the War Story

A glance through the neoconservative think tank Project for the New American Century's paper trail going back to 1997 clearly shows that the Bush administration's foreign policy was based on a desire to establish a global American hegemony. Its ambitions for the Middle East were to establish an increased military footprint in the Middle East for the purpose of protecting Israel and other allies in the Gulf region and ensure continued U.S. access to the region's oil. The policy had nothing to do with terrorism. And it only tangentially had to do with the threat from weapons of mass destruction or Saddam Hussein. The 9/11 attacks were a convenient excuse to execute "the plan," and Saddam Hussein was a convenient bad guy to go after. But, as the PNAC's September 2000 "Rebuilding America's Defenses" revealed, 9/11 was the cataclysmic "new Pearl Harbor" needed to execute the neoconservative plan, and "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf" transcended "the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

On September 20, nine days after the 9/11 attacks, PNAC wrote a letter to Mister Bush that said, "…even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."

What's It All About, Condi?

One way to track how the war story has changed over the course of the Bush administration is to take a look at statements made by Condi Rice.

Back in 2002 she said, "The prospect of Saddam Hussein acquiring [weapons of mass destruction] is a very powerful moral case for regime change."

In September 2003, Condi Rice, defending the Iraq invasion, Condi said, "Iraq, if it is prosperous and stable, in a different kind of Middle East, is going to be the death knell for terrorism." (Since Hussein's ouster, Iraq has been anything but prosperous or stable, and terrorism incidents have increased.)

In October 2005, well after the WMD and terrorism claims regarding Iraq had been disproven, she said, "…the liberation of the Iraqi people was long overdue.”

Compare that pattern with Condi's rhetoric on Iran:

In December 2005 she told Fox News that Iran could not be trusted with technology that could lead to nuclear arms.

In March 2006, she described Iran as "the world's leading sponsor of terrorism."

Later in March she said, "We do not have a problem with the Iranian people. We want the Iranian people to be free. Our problem is with the Iranian regime."

I'm guessing she can repeat that pattern indefinitely.

World Wars from Here to Eternity

Some experts, including ex-CIA director James Woolsey, say that the Cold War was World War III and that the war on terror was World War IV. Since we now know that the Iraq war had little if anything to do with terrorism--at least, not until we invaded that country--we might as well call that World War V. If they work it right, the Bush crowd can liberate the freedom loving people of Iran (VI) and Venezuela (VII) before the end of big brother's term of office. And if we can replace big brother George with little brother Jeb in 2008, we'll be off to the races. Jeb, after all, was one of the original PNAC members. He's all on board with this Hitler bashing and terror crushing and WMD eliminating and freedom loving people liberating.

With any luck at all, we can be well into the World War Xs by 2016!


  1. Any reason why your hyperlink for WWIII in the top is linked to a GAO report on CB defense?

  2. Yeah, J. I screwed up. Should be fixed now.



  3. They're going to try the same mantra with respect to Iran that worked with respect to Iraq (i.e. it got the people on-board prior to the attack). I don't think it will be successful again.

    One clarification - Iraq had little or nothing to do with al qaeda, and nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, but if memory serves it isn't accurate to say they had nothing to do with terroristm generally. Wasn't ansar al-islam conducting training in Iraq, at various camps and with a mock-up airliner? Also, Hussein did provide finances to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

  4. I have to correct you very quickly, musmanno, because I'm short on time.

    Yes about the airliner mockup. But, then, you can find airliner mockups in many countries.

    Hussein giving consolatium payments to Palestinian suicide bombers - how does THAT qualify him for removal by the US? Were Palestinians blowing up American cafes, buses and shops?

    No. I thought not. You see, one of the primary objectives of the Likudnik wing of the Republican Party/PNAC was the use of American blood and American treasure to conquer the Middle East on behalf of Israel.

    You remember Israel, don't you? The eternal war with Arabs? The folks who deliberately massacred American sailors during the 6 Days War?

    And, no. I'm not anti-Semitic. I just don't believe it's necessary for 8,000 or 20,000 Americans to die, and our Treasury be reduced to empty dustbins, in order to solve Israel's foreign policy problems with its neighbors.

  5. Anonymous2:21 PM

    I agree. Screw you Bush!

  6. Lurch:

    I didn't say anything about "qualifying him from removal from office," I just pointed out that Iraq was, in fact, involved in terrorism, contrary to what was originally posted. The payments to suicide bomber families were part and parcel of that, as was the support (at leat tacit, if not more) for ansar al-islam.

  7. Two comments:
    1. Now that we've shown the whole world our military capabilities (and shortfalls) in Iraq, Iran & N. Korea are in a much better position to mess with us.
    2. Will we ever be able to have a serious debate on our relationship w/ Israel without the terms "anti-Semite" and "Holocaust" being thrown up in the first 30 seconds? Jeff, you're point about how many American casualties and cost in US treasure are well taken and I, too, am old enough to remember the USS Liberty and Jonathan Pollard, not to mention the wheeling and dealing of AIPAC.

  8. 1. Now that we've shown the whole world our military capabilities (and shortfalls) in Iraq, Iran & N. Korea are in a much better position to mess with us.
    2. Will we ever be able to have a serious debate on our relationship w/ Israel without the terms "anti-Semite" and "Holocaust" being thrown up in the first 30 seconds?

    Bingo. What a mess.

  9. nav130:

    1) Yes, assuming we have the same morons in charge of any action (if ever) against N. Korea or Iran. Hopefully if it came down to it we'd have someone do it right.

    2) I didn't see anyone get called anti-semitic.

  10. 2) I didn't see anyone get called anti-semitic.

    I don't think he meant here at PS, Scott. In general, he's making a good point, though. You really have to walk on eggs when you start talking about Israel. I've been very tender on the subject for that precise reason.


  11. Jeff:

    Ah..yeah you're right about that.

  12. Anonymous9:46 AM

    About Iran:

    From Raw Story,

    "According to military and intelligence sources, an air strike on Iran could be doable in June of this year, with military assets in key positions ready to go and a possible plan already on the table."

    The USS Enterprise is on it's way over there right now. Btw, thanks for painting such a bleak, yet honest, picture of the future. Unfortunately, I do not see my husband getting out anytime soon. Even when his time is up in 2013, I fear they will not let him leave. I am just hoping that there is not a disasterous war before he is cut loose, but I think that is wishful thinking. I might as well admit that we are screwed.

  13. That's some scary news from Raw Story?

  14. At least if action is limited to an airstrike, the likelihood that our men and women will suffer harm is more limited. That's small consolation given the fact that such an action is likely to lead to a lot of unintended problems with our allies and other nations, but it's preferable to putting boots on the ground in Iran.

    Maybe the admin will get some sense and not strike at all. It's not like Iran is an imminent threat to start launching nuclear missiles.

  15. Anonymous11:36 AM

    Al-Ansar was in the NORTH-- in the Kurd no-fly zone areas patrolled by US planes.The camp could have been taken down easily with an air strike.

    Plus, Al-Ansar islam wasn't supposed to be on good terms with Saddam. We talked about this a couple of years ago, exhaustively--I included a million links to prove my point.

    I guess this proves your point: we only read & remember what we want. :-)


  16. Hi Cloudy:

    The comment was only regarding whether there was any terrorism or relationship to terrorism in Iraq before we invaded (Jeff's post said there wasn't, and provided info that there was).

    I didn't make any statements originally about Hussein and ansar al-islam (though if Hussein really wanted to get rid of them, or at least go after them, he could have - thus my statement that it may amount to tacit support), or whether he supported them, or whether it was sufficient reason to invade.

    You're reading far too much into my post ;)

  17. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Yeah, but it was most likely a small (700 member or so) radical Islamist group, probably trained and armed by Iranians & mostly fighting the peshmergas/Kurds/PKU, trying to bring the radical Islam way of life to Kurdistan. Terrorists? Depends on your definition. Is the PKU (the one that Americans supported in Kurd country) a terrorist organization? Ask the Turks. :-)

    Saddam, for all his other faults, was a secular leader. Okay, it's not inconceivable that he was secretly helping Ansar Al-islam--he was obviously not a friend of the Kurds in general, and provoking a little infighting would have served him well. Most likely, these guys were in no way involved in anything outside Iraq/anything most people are thinking about when they are talking about international terrorists.

    However, most Westerners cannot keep these motives/groups/"terrorists" apart and will automatically go "aha" and think they'd found the link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda and 9/11 if you can prove there were ANY splinter insurgent groups in Iraq that could by any stretch of imagination be called terrorists.

    But yeah-- I'm reading too much into your posts. Just had some free time and felt like a little fight, esp. noting that you are the Mus man again. :-)


  18. Cloudy:

    Good points all the way around. The public, of course, does not spend much time thinking about interrelationships and that sort of thing - they want something quick and easy they can grasp in a simple sound bite that can be repeated over the watercooler. So you're right - when you talk about terrorists in Iraq (and there were some) most people are going to assume you're talking about Al qaeda or ties with al qaeda, which were not there.


  19. Al Qaeda is myth, which as long as the Bush Regime can keep a green light will be given from the American Public for Bush(ism) to go and repeat Afghan and Iraq again and again. I mean, think about it, 9/11 changed the lives of American public for good, it sure changed the lives of people in Afghanistan and Iraq so don’t you think the public of America have a right to find out how exactly 9/11 happened just like an independent investigation has been denied into attack in the UK on 7/7. Don’t you really think Bush(ism) should tell us the results after all this time in hand to hand fights the US and allies have conducted with terrorists on the mountains of Afghan? Don’t you think an annual (for four years) report is due and should be posted in the letter boxes of all American (and allies) public, showing the statistics of how well the extremely long war on terror is going? But this will never happen.

    Bush(ism) have passed more laws and bills through congress than they have caught member of Osama crew members (that’s only if they really did exist). And, these laws and bills don’t effect the Osama and crew but have negative effect on American public and their rights which the laws would otherwise never get accepted by the public.

    People need to ask, how long will the war last against Osama (who once was sponsored and trained by America elite to fight Russia) and how long will it take for the people of Iraq to love and cherish America for their performance in protecting the people from Saddam WMD (which were sold to him by America and Allies to fight the war against Iran). People do not have another 20 years to find an answer they want it now.

    As I said before, as long as Bush(ism) can keep alive the myth of Al Qaeda they have the pass to do anything nationally and internationally.

    So help us God (to defend us against the real terrorists).

    Below for you all:

    President George W. Bush

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

    now do you believe me..