Wednesday, April 17, 2024

All of us should dread the “Pearl Harbour” moment in this war

The same cabal of warmongering pundits, foreign policy specialists, and government officials, year after year, debacle after debacle, smugly dodges responsibility for the military fiascos they orchestrate. They are protean, shifting deftly with the political winds, moving from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party and then back again, moving from ‘ cold warrior ‘ status to that of neoconservatives or liberal interventionists. Pseudo-intellectuals, they exude a sickening Ivy League snobbery as they sell perpetual fear, perpetual war, and a racist worldview, where the lower races of earth only understand violence.

They are war pimps, puppets of the Pentagon, a state within a state, and the defense contractors who generously fund their think tanks – Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, Institute for the Study of War, Atlantic Council and Brookings Institute. Like some mutant strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they cannot be eradicated. It doesn’t matter how wrong they are, how absurd their theories are, how often they lie or denigrate other cultures and societies as uncivilized or how many murderous military interventions go wrong. They are immovable pillars, the parasitic mandarins of power who are vomited up in the last days of any empire.

I spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent reporting on the suffering, misery and murderous rampages these accomplices in war engineered and financed. My first encounter with them was in Central America. Elliot Abrams, – convicted of providing misleading testimony to Congress on the Iran-Contra affair and later pardoned by President George HW Bush so he could return to government to sell us the war in Iraq, – and Robert Kagan, director of the State Department’s Bureau of Public Diplomacy for Latin America, – were propagandists for the brutal military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, as well as rapists and murderous thugs who made up the rogue forces of the Contra fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, that they illegally funded. Their job was to discredit our reporting.

They and their war-loving coterie continued to push for NATO expansion into Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, violating the word not to expand NATO beyond the borders of a unified Germany and recklessly opposing Russia. They were and still are the cheerleaders of the apartheid State of Israel, justifying its war crimes against the Palestinians and confusing in their myopia the interests of Israel with those of the United States. They pleaded for airstrikes in Serbia, calling on the United States to “eliminate” Slobodan Milosevic. They were the authors of the policy of invading Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Robert Kagan and William Kristol, with their typical ignorance, the road through Baghdad “.

We have seen how it works. This road led to the dissolution of Iraq, the destruction of its civilian infrastructure, including the destruction of 18 out of 20 power stations and almost all water pumping and sewerage systems during a period 43 days of 90,000 tons of bombs being dropped on the country, the rise of radical jihadist groups across the region and failed states.

The war in Iraq, along with the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan, destroyed the illusion of US military and global hegemony. Iraqis, who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, were also inflicted with the widespread massacre of civilians, the torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners, and Iran’s rise as a power prominent in the region.

For war and ” regime change “

They continue to call for war with Iran, with Fred Kagan declaring that “  we can do nothing but attack to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons  ”. They pushed for the overthrow of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying to do the same with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. They targeted Daniel Ortega, their old enemy in Nicaragua.

They embrace a blind expansionist nationalism that forbids them to see the world from any angle other than their own. They know nothing of the machinery of war, its consequences or its inevitable boomerang effect. They know nothing of the peoples and cultures they target for violent regeneration. They believe in their divine right to impose their “values” on others by force. Fiasco after fiasco. Now they are fueling a war with Russia.

“The nationalist is by definition ignorant”, observed the Yugoslav writer Danilo Kis .

The Biden administration is filled with such ignoramuses, including Joe Biden. Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert Kagan, is Biden’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Antony Blinken is Secretary of State. Jake Sullivan is National Security Advisor.

They come from that cabal of moral and intellectual trolls that includes Kimberly Kagan, wife of Fred Kagan, who founded the Institute for the Study of War, William Kristol, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Gary Schmitt, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Frum and others. Many were once staunch Republicans or, like Nuland, served in Republican and Democratic administrations. Nuland was Vice President Dick Cheney’s top deputy foreign policy adviser.

They are united by the demand for ever-larger defense budgets and an ever-expanding military. Julian Benda called these ruling courtiers ”  the self-taught barbarians of the intelligentsia  “.

They once railed against liberal weakness and appeasement. But they quickly migrated to the Democratic Party rather than supporting Donald Trump, who has shown no willingness to ignite a conflict with Russia and has called the invasion of Iraq a ”  big, big mistake  “. Plus, as they rightly pointed out, Hillary Clinton was a neocon friend. And liberals wonder why nearly half of the electorate, who insult these arrogant, unelected power brokers, voted for Trump.

These ideologues did not see the corpses of their victims. I saw them. Including children. Every corpse I saw in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Gaza, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen or Kosovo, month after month, year after year, revealed their moral bankruptcy, their intellectual dishonesty and their morbid thirst for blood.

They did not serve in the army. Their children do not serve in the army. But they enthusiastically send young American men and women to fight and die for their illusory dreams of American empire and hegemony. Or, as in Ukraine, they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and logistical support to sustain long and bloody proxy wars.

Historical time stopped for them with the end of the Second World War. The overthrow of democratically elected governments by the United States during the Cold War in Indonesia, Guatemala, Congo, Iran, and Chile (where the CIA oversaw the assassination of the commander-in-chief of the army, General René Schneider, and President Salvador Allende); the Bay of Pigs; the atrocities and war crimes that defined the wars in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Even the recent disasters they fabricated in the Middle East have disappeared into the black hole of their collective historical amnesia.

American world domination, they argue, is benign, a force for good, a ”  benevolent hegemony  .” The world, Charles Krauthammer insisted, enthusiastically welcomes ”  our power  .” All enemies, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, are in turn the new Hitlers. All American interventions are a fight for freedom that makes the world safer. All refusals to bomb and occupy another country are a moment of Munich 1938, a pathetic retreat of the new Neville Chamberlain in the face of evil. We have enemies abroad. But our most dangerous enemy is within.

Warmongers build a campaign against a country like Iraq or Russia and then wait for a crisis – they call it “the next Pearl Harbor” – to justify the unjustifiable.

In 1998, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, along with a dozen other prominent neoconservatives, wrote an open letter to President Bill Clinton denouncing his policy of containing Iraq as a failure and demanding that he go to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. To continue ”  the trend of weakness and drift  “, they warned, was ”  to put our interests and our future at risk  “.

Huge majorities in Congress, Republicans and Democrats, rushed to pass the Iraq Liberation Act. Few Democrats or Republicans have dared to be seen as soft on national security. The law stated that the United States government would work to ”  eliminate the regime led by Saddam Hussein  ” and authorized $99 million for this purpose, part of which would be used to fund Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress which would become a instrument for disseminating fabrications and lies. used to justify the war in Iraq under the administration of George W. Bush.

The September 11 attacks gave the war its opening, first with Afghanistan, then with Iraq. Krauthammer, who knew nothing of the Muslim world, wrote that:

”  The way to tame the Arab street is not with appeasement and gentle sensibility but with raw power and victory…The basic truth that seems to elude the pundits again and again…is that power is its own reward. Victory changes everything, psychologically above all. The psychology in the [Middle East] is now one of fear and deep respect for American power. Now is the time to use it . »

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein, sang Kristol, “would  transform the political landscape of the Middle East  .”

We did, of course, but not in a way that benefited the United States.

They yearn for an apocalyptic world war. Fred Kagan, Robert’s brother, a military historian, wrote in 1999 that

“  America must be able to fight Iraq and North Korea, and also be able to fight genocide in the Balkans and elsewhere without compromising its ability to fight two major regional conflicts . And he must be able to contemplate war with China or Russia for a considerable (but not infinite) time from now [emphasis added]. »

They believe that violence magically resolves all disputes, even the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire. In a bizarre interview immediately after 9/11, Donald Kagan, the Yale classic and right-wing ideologue who was Robert and Fred’s father, called, along with his son Fred, for the deployment of US troops to Gaza so that we can ”  bring war to these people  ”.

They have long demanded the stationing of NATO troops in Ukraine, with Robert Kagan saying that ”  we should not worry that the problem is our encirclement rather than Russian ambitions  “. His wife, Victoria Nuland, was revealed during a telephone conversation leaked in 2014 with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt bashing the EU and plotting to remove legally elected President Viktor Yanukovych and install docile Ukrainian politicians, most of whom have done so, in power. finally take over.

They pushed for US troops to be sent to Syria to help “moderate” rebels seeking to overthrow Basha al-Assad. Instead, the intervention spawned the Caliphate. The United States ended up bombing the very forces it had armed, becoming Assad’s de facto air force.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, like the September 11 attacks, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Putin, like everyone he targets, only understands force. We can, they assure us, militarily bend Russia to our will.

”  It is true that to act decisively in 2008 or 2014 would have meant risking conflict  ,” wrote Robert Kagan in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs on Ukraine, lamenting our refusal to confront Russia militarily sooner. He wrote:

”  But Washington now risks a conflict  ; Russia’s ambitions have created an inherently dangerous situation. It is best for the United States to risk confrontation with warring powers when it is in the early stages of ambition and expansion, not after it has already consolidated substantial gains. Russia may have a formidable nuclear arsenal, but the risk of Moscow using it is no higher today than it would have been in 2008 or 2014 had the West intervened then. And he was always extraordinarily small: Putin would never achieve his goals by destroying himself and his country, and much of the rest of the world . »

In short, don’t worry about going to war with Russia, Putin won’t use the bomb.

I don’t know if these people are stupid or cynical or both. They are generously funded by the war industry. They are never removed from the networks for their repeated nonsense. They move in and out of power, parked in places like the Council on Foreign Relations or the Brookings Institute, before being called back to government. They are as welcome in the Obama or Biden White House as they are in the Bush White House.

The Cold War, for them, never ended. The world remains binary, us and them, good and evil. They are never held responsible. When one military intervention goes up in smoke, they are ready to promote the next one. These Dr Strangeloves, if we don’t stop them, will end life as we know it on the planet.

(This piece is courtesy 

(Panchmukha is interesting content floating on internet, brought by NewsBred for its readers. They don’t necessarily reflect our views but make our platform diverse.)

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