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September 25, 2007


I think Bush is just trying to sell the idea that no matter who wins the next presidential election, the war will go on as before. That is, he's trying to take the Iraq war issue away from Democrats.

"Vice President Dick Cheney...think(s) we’ll increasingly see a lot of emphasis on deciding who the next occupant of the Oval Office is going to be.”

Deadeye has been busy cornering the willing Junya's choices on the ME. Think Iran with that faux binary decision of "Bombing or Appeasement."

Unnoticed by many, and surely unreported by the OSM (Old-Stream Media), is also how Deadeye has been busy cornering the choices the nation itself has on the ME.

Be very, very afraid!

Something suggestive in this category (we aren't being allowed to discuss the real reasons for the neocons' wars) that I ran across. Missing Links looks at various sources in Arabic and tries to give English readers some perspective. About the recent Bin Laden communications, the site offered this:

Increasingly people are speculating about the possibility that Bush will have to forego some of his warlike plans because at some point his term of office will run out, and the question then becomes how he will go about setting the table to make sure that a successor Democratic administration is faced with no alternative but to continue down the same road. Surely (just thinking of the logic of it), if the Bush-Cheney people were able to ratchet up the "AlQaeda" issue as an imminent threat to, say, the nuclear state of Pakistan, or to a cleansing of white people from North Africa, that would go a long way to serve that purpose.
The linked post is a discussion of the provenance of the recent communications that I can't evaluate.

I instinctively shy away from conspiracy theories because I figure if you look at the interests involved, the answers will be in plain sight. But since the neocons have worked so hard to convince us that here is something they call "islamofascism" I wouldn't put it past them to try to make sure we have "evidence" of dubious reality.

I don't think there was a real reason for this war. Thinking there was a reason gives entirely too much credit to the people who started it. Bush is desperately delusional in wanting to create a situation where we have to stay in Iraq so that he can claim some justification for having started this disaster in the first place. The truth is we can't stay in Iraq much longer, no matter who is President. Unless by bombing Iran we can provoke them into a response that can used to initiate a draft. I'm not sure that would work, but I suspect that as soon as the Republican convention is over and the party nominee has to back away from the war, the probability that we bomb Iran will skyrocket.

My read is slightly different. I agree that they're holding their cards close to the chest and all their public comments are a facade. But I think what's behind the door is more like, "When you get in the White House you're going to find out what a really huge mess we're in - a huge multidimensional mess." What they're either not aware of (or won't say) is that the really huge mess is one messes are ones that they created - ones we might recover from by Y3K.

I think Bush is more concerned with creating obligations for Democrats thatn he is with creating leeway.

I think Bush is more concerned with creating obligations for Democrats than he is with creating leeway.


It's not so much a "reason," as underlying crisis. Some things are clear: the Saudis wanted us out. The Saudi oil fields have peaked. The basis for the dollar reserve (mostly, stability) is no longer unquestioned, given the Euro. China cannot continue on its growth path without huge amounts of energy of some sort. Much of existing reserves are under control of a national company (Venezuela, Saudi Arabia), meaning the Seven Sisters have much less direct control over oil than in the past when they've been able to withstand the ME wielding the oil weapon.

All of these things mean the US is living on borrowed hegemony. Period.

A successful invasion of Iraq would have sustained that hegemony, without having to substantially alter the underlying structures of power in the US and the world.

There was another solution to these problems (investing in renewables, moving away from a consumer driven economy, returning to more localized production except when there is a reason to do so), but that's the option that was ruled out because we didn't discuss this as a society (and it's not entirely clear we would have been able to convince Joe Sixpack to give up his SUV, anyway). Given the 2 trilliion we've spent on this war, though, it almost certainly would have been doable.

But the problem is still there.


Yeah, that may be it as well. The vacuum will have already been created. But we--and hopefully all the Senators--know that.

I refer to my favorite quote: "No problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it." (Albert Einstein).

If one's consciousness has been entirely shaped and formed by corporatism, then of course any president sharing that consciousness will see the same thing. With consciousness being defined as one's experience of reality, we can see that they are stuck, STUCK in the reality they created, and cannot see that we do not share it.

What concerns me more is that we cannot see the problems they will continue to create because they are so stuck. "...a lot of emphasis on deciding who the next occupant of the Oval Office is going to be..." Does this mean they are soooo stuck that they cannot see any way to resolve their problems except to steal an election again? How are we supposed to interpret that from where we are in a different reality, one with an entire different math?


Joe Sixpack is going to have his SUV, but I think there will either be no gas for it, or no gas he can afford. (I'm going to blame Bushes for this one too, since GOoPer economic policies were partly responsible for the number of SUVs out there.)

Borrowed hegemony!!!--great description of the Bush economic (I hate to say policy, that seems way inflated) approach. Again, thank you, EW...

Rayne, are we 'Stuck!' with being two peep holes in a meatball?


mighty mouse

Understand--Bush was not the first to benefit from borrowed hegemony. Arguably, we've been living off of borrowed hegemony since Nixon took us off the gold standard, and certainly the way Clinton supported globalization in the 1990s was based on extending this borrowed hegemony.

EW--would it be fair to say that, as in so many other areas, Bush has taken a precedent, a previous practice--not necessarily the wisest previous practice,taken that precedent to the limit, and driven this country into a ditch?

I don't think there was "a" reason, but I think that when people say oil was the reason, there are also lots of different components of even that aspect. Greenspan was looking at it from a broad economic view - a view military types might take as well. Then there is the aspect of the effect on the dollar of the shifts brought about by the nationalizations of the oil production in some of the states.

But the effect of the big oil companies' interests (not US interests - Exxon, BP etc. interests) get understated or spun wrong a lot IMO. Growth, control of the market, etc. - those are all lifeblood to a large corporate enterprise. And the truth of the matter is - the big mega players have nowhere to grow and are rapidly losing control over the market.

Central to the oil business (and business in general) is the concept of OPM - other peoples' money. To the extent you are going to take risks, the more risk, the better to do so with OPM. What Bush and Blair gave Exxon and BP was the chance to use OPM from the middle and lower class of the US (primarily) and UK to take a huge risk - that a US invasion of Iraq would result in the eventual hand over of control of the Iraqi oil fields (and a hugely healthy production payment) to the MajorMajors.

That risk hasn't played out so well - but it has played out in many ways. Even though Hunt snuck in and the oil law giving the stranglehold to the majors doesn't look likely, Iraq is incapable right now of nationalizing its production. It needs outsiders. So in essence, a part of the gamble has paid off. WHere the majors were closed out, they'll be players now.

SaltinWound - I agree. I'm reminded of Waco and Somalia, both of which were "presents" from the outgoing Bush Sr. Administration, but were hyped as Clinton Administration "failures." This is coupled with the fact that the Bushies have never thought further ahead than the next election (weirdly, even in '04 when they were up for reelection.) As long as they can keep the balls in the air, they just don't care how badly things crash and burn after they're gone. So I think the next eighteen months will be devoted not just to stopping Congress from getting us out, but making it as hard as possible for anyone to ever get us out, regardless of the damage it does to the country or even to their higher priority, their party.

This is consistent with what Hillary said at the AARP debate. While Richardson pushed for withdrawl, Hillary said that she didn't trust anything Bush was saying so she would have to evaluate the situation before making a decision on a pull out. (Sounds like she must have Rove on retainer.)

I think that many of the top GOPers (not the ideologues, but the business wing) see Hillary Clinton as the best candidate because she is smart, won't do anything stupid and understands business. The GOP candidates are second raters, or worse. None, including Romney, have the background to keep the world safe for business. At this point (barring any more candidates) I'd say we are looking at Hillary-Romney and she wins that one, with a lot of confused fundies sitting it out.

So it is really a matter of co-opting the candidate and restricting her maneuverability once elected.

On the subject of what is really going on here, read Naomi Klein's article in Harpers (or her new book) on Disaster Capitalism. She suggests one reason that the petro-based elites aren't worried about global warming is that they think they can survive in their gated communities and basically don't care about the rest of us. Global climate collapse is the wild card here, because it is proceeding so much faster than the models had predicted. Dubai is being built to withstand a 5 foot sea level rise by the end of the century but it looks to be more like 20 feet by then.

It is useful to recall Daniel Ellsberg's warning in his book "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" 2002 Having access to whole libraries of 'hidden information' due to his numerous top secret clearances led him to discount as foolish civilians' opinions about world events.

From page 238:
"...you'll be thinking as you listen to them: 'What would this man be telling me if he knew what I know? Would he be giving me the same advie, or would it toatlly change his predictions and recommendations?' And that mental exercise is so torturous that after a while you give it up and just stop listening."


"The danger is, you'll become something like a moron. You'll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they may have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours."

This description might apply in spades to BushCo, mindless Neocon lemming stampedes aside.

Ironically, the above warning was the advice Ellsberg personally gave Henry Kissinger in 1968 after President Elect Nixon named Kissinger to special assistant for national security.

The Queen and King like Royals alot? Jordan was a real close pal. Why would Bill and Hillary like royals so much?

Ellsberg is a trained economist, and he studied decision theory. His 'Ellsberg paradox' might apply to Bush's decision to solve the peak oil/American hegemony problem with Bush's ill-fated Iraq War of Choice.

IANAE, so please correct any of my misuse of his idea:
The Ellsberg paradox deals with deciders making choices between ambiguous outcomes: when a person has to choose between an outcome that is ambiguous vs. an outcome that is less vague, he or she chooses the less vague outcome often violating the expected utility hypothesis.

How do you think Bush would react to the choice: 100% chance of kicking out Saddam and taking hold of oil vs. "unknown chance" that we can wean ourselves off oil with new technologies.

Well, that last option most likely was never put before him if Cheney and his oil partners (and Kissinger?) were the ones arranging the invasion of Iraq, but you get the idea. It is 'ambiguity aversion' and not risk aversion in this case. That and the inability to calculate not-so-hidden costs to Americans and citizens of Iraq and the world.

mighty mouse

No, honestly, I just think Dick Cheney didn't have the courage or leadership ability to choose a new path. Everyone--especially Clinton--just keeps doubling down in hopes that the next bet will work. Plus, they're all terrified of Carter's malaise.

That Florida vote purge before the 2000 election determined America's future for this whole century, if not forever.

William, how can you think 'EVER' that there was no reason. There was reason behind it and evil ones. Evil, thrifty and greedy minds. They plopped our a&&'s over there to occupy. For oil, or for occupation or both, a foothold was to be established there...that was the whole reason. Last night on one of the new's shows they had a segment on the Blackwater Security...they said there are 180K troops that are private security for Dipolats etc...yadda yadda yadda. Why are the poor kids dying then...when they have their paid assassins....what a cover up...! Yeah they want this mess to continue or it will mess up their foothold. We should pull out and let it all implode and starting cleaning up from the perimeter, but with the Middle East countries doing it. He wants to string a story along for the next prez to be shaking in his boots or heels.

Ditto Rayne, plus

1. Currency.
2. Oil.
3. Oedipal issues (in Bush43, envy of Bush41; in Cheney's case, loathing of the CIA and bureaucrats in general).
4. Narcissistic people who thought they were entitled to swagger around the world because 'power' was all about military and economic force. (Bush43, Cheney, Condi, Wolfie, Kristol, Ledeen... the lot of them.)
5. These 'conventionally successful' people seem to be strangely 'mindblind' about the world as it is.

Had any of these fools taught in the Peace Corps, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, struggled for research grants, backpacked through foreign countries, or stayed at an ashram, they would have better understood the world, and probably been far less captivated by delusions of their own importance.

Privilege is a powerful, and often debilitating, addiction.


There were never any clear-cut objectives in attacking Iraq. Trying to define reasons blinds one to the truth of the bumbling nightmare. We are in Iraq because George W. Bush is a weak-willed, emotionally damaged, incompetent blunderer. We are in Iraq because the Iranians wanted to make sure we attacked Iraq before we attacked Iran (and so paid off a bunch of Iraqi exiles to lie about WMDs). We are in Iraq because Dick Cheney is an evil man. We are in Iraq because the neo-cons believed their own bullshit about remaking the Middle East. We are in Iraq because 9/11 provoked a bloodthirsty response from the American people, making us susceptible to the blatantly false propaganda cooked up by the Administration and the Iranians. We are in Iraq because the normal brakes on an out-of-control Administration (the media, the opposition party, the professional bureaucracy) had been cowed by the Clinton impeachment. We are in Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a psychopathic dictator who was easy to caricature. We are in Iraq because some folks saw an opportunity to make a quick buck. We are in Iraq because some folks thought we could secure oil that way. We are in Iraq because Karl Rove needed a war to win some elections (and Afghanistan just wasn't divisive enough). We are in Iraq because a whole lot of people didn't think Bush would really start a war (until it was too late to stop it). We are in Iraq because George W. Bush only wanted to be President so he could start a war (don't take my word for it, he told Mickey Hershkowitz that before he ever ran). Ultimately, we are in Iraq because there weren't enough people who were willing to stand up and say "This is wrong".

There is no reason behind this war because it was nothing but folly.

Bush gave the neoCons their fling at trying to move a moderate nation to serve their grandiose schematic; but he probably was too detached to coordinate the people who surround him. The executive branch employs tens of thousands of people, requiring lots of leadership and vision. Instead what Bush got was coteries. It was striking reading an academic website regarding how little even Goldsmith saw until one personal encounter with one prisoner, but explaining his remarkably missing the way to apply his learned lesson more broadly to possibly a hundred or more other prisoners in similar plight. Vladek and Lederman have only a few remarks, there. The realm of executive confidentiality facing security threats needed more than the compartmentalized, dissociated leadership Cheney Bush supplied.

Indeed. Probably too much norepinephrone swirling around in the limbic systems of far too many Americans. Our were rewired as a result of neurochemical (toxic) overload. This affected the ability of millions of people to accurately assess, analyze, and respond to perceived threat. Massive cognitive dysfunction. Starting in the WH, then spreading through the administration to the wingnut, incredibly corrupt Congress.

Cautionary tale.

The real reason. All of the above, plus a major, strategic location to launch military operations designed to enslave the eastern hemisphere to America's benefit, accomplished by exterminating Iraq's population. That's what all war is about. But, the real reason is described in this article, which is not something new, and which I linked in another thread (apologies). Fascinating! It says the mechanism of violence is caused by a perceptual "deficiency" (defect) caused by extraordinary brain architecture (in some individuals). People bent on violence don't experience pleasure normally; they experience pleasure by causing others' suffering. It suggests possibilities for dealing with it. Informative and revealing.

Seems to me, a democratic Iraq is as improbable a goal as weapons of mass destruction. I do not believe we know what game Bush is playing in Iraq.

William, I pretty much agree with your snynopsis! Surprised about Bushey wanting to make war...tsk tsk...it's not like the little plastic soldiers in the bathtub Georgey....lol!

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