Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Still too soon to let the Democrats back in...

I wanted Bush to win in 2004.

I explained why in this K5 comment. In short, I wanted it to become unequivocally obvious - to every American with an IQ "above room temperature" - exactly who is responsible for the utter failure and chaos resulting from the Neocons' full frontal attempt to implement their wet dream - the Project for a New American Century.

Only the complete collapse of their strategy will sufficiently discredit this naive ideology to the extent necessary to extinguish the meme as thoroughly as, for example, Fascism.

It would be nice to pretend that the lesson has been learned and that it's time to let America off the hook; let it rejoin the human race. But it would only be make-believe.

I agree with almost every word written in this powerful piece by Robert Parry. I even agree with his conclusion. He regards anything less than Democrat takeover of both houses as endorsement of the Bush dictatorship,

He describes the Stakes of the elections in these terms:
If one combines the language of the Military Commissions Act with deputy attorney general McNulty’s vision of “preventive prosecution” – and then add in the growing possibility of another Republican victory on Nov. 7 – the United States is on the verge of being transformed into an Orwellian nightmare.
That is the only point on which we disagree. I think the stakes are much higher than that. For a start, we can't risk a marginal Democrat victory. And the lesson certainly hasn't sunk in deep enough yet. Parry provides the evidence for that with the example of the New York Times op ed (penned by Ted Koppel). He complains:

To say that “respected” figures like Koppel don’t get the magnitude of the situation would be an understatement.
And that's precisely my point. If even the NYT doesn't yet "get it", there's no chance at all that the average American voter is anywhere near getting it.

Unless the Democrats were to win on an unprecedented scale (taking, say 300 plus seats in Congress and 25 plus of the available Senate seats) they would effectively provide the Bush regime and the Neocons with an Exit Strategy.

If the Dems achieve even marginal control of just Congress, it will give them the clout they need to impede the President. So what will he do? He will up the ante (for example by proposing to double the forces in Iraq - bringing back conscription to get the numbers up) and challenge the Democrats to block it. Which they no doubt will.

As a result, Iraq will continue its descent into Civil War, a couple of thousand more Americans will be killed trying to keep the lid on and the eventual ignominious retreat can all be blamed on the Democrats for not allowing the President to put enough boots on the ground.

You get the drift. We can't be sure exactly which pretext will be presented but that's the broad game plan if the Democrats get even one hand on one of the levers of power. And the problem is not so much that such an attack would sink the Democrats. It wouldn't. What it would do, though, is prevent the demolition of the Neocons. And that is what must happen if we really want to destroy the Totalitarian tendency.

If even the Land of the Free can't resist dictatorship, what hope for the rest of the planet?

Bin Laden's strategy seems to be working very well. So well, you might be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that it was created in a Washington think-tank rather than Tora Bora.

They must be allowed to burn themselves out beyond hope of recovery. America - and the World - simply can't afford Neocons, any more than we can afford Nazis.


Jason said...

This argument has two major flaws-one is that US citizens will be disabused of the neocon fantasy by seeing it fail completely. The second is that we should critically support a deeply reactionary and destructive policy in the hope that it later extinguishes itself.

The first arguement first. If things go even more pear shaped in Iraq then may be the voters will indeed reject Bush- the signs are already there. But the idea that they will reject more military interventions aborad is not guaranteed. When the director of 3 Kings shook Bush jnr's hand (a dubious decision in itself) and said his film was a criticism of his daddy's policies Dubya just said, "I guess I'll have to go and finish the job." If there's another major terrorist outrage on US soil then neocons will be strengthened. The only way out is to strengthen grassroots opposition to Bush and his policies.

Secondly, why should hundreds of thousands of Iraqis/ Afghans/ Africans be hostage to waiting for the fantasise of right wing US voters to collapse?

The only bit I agree with is that a Democrat win (looking likely now) is not going to make a qualitative difference. It might be an expression of public revulsion against the war in Iraq but only if this spills over into a mass movement demnding the troops home now is this likely to make a significant difference.

Harry Stottle said...

"If there's another major terrorist outrage on US soil then neocons will be strengthened."

This is the nub of the problem. I am dealing with the same issue in regard to my Trusted Surveillance project. The gist is that the argument (Security v Liberty) has been naively subverted by both sides to the point at which both sides essentially accept that we either have Security or Liberty.

Now, in those circumstances, when those who argue for Liberty have a temporary victory, and we then suffer another attack, the sheeple flock quickly back under
the protection of the Security blanket.

We need to break this cycle by - first - demonstrating that the Security blanket actually makes things less - not more - secure (by massively increasing both external and internal hostilities and thus exponentially increasing the population of potential enemies) and - second - by educating people to understand that there are genuinely Secure protocols and practices which promote rather than restrict Liberty.

The Democrats are simply opposed to the current regime which is not a bad thing itself but is merely necessary, not sufficient.

Their partial victory (and their level of awareness of such matters) will not equip them to propose the kind of radical alternative we really need (and which I'm labouring to put together). As a result, the scenario I predict is, I suspect, now almost inevitable. Bush and the Neocons will make some drastic proposals; the Dems will block them; the situation will worsen and the Dems will be blamed.

The American media has not shown itself capable of sorting the wheat from the chaff, so the sheeple will, once again, "follow their leaders, down well trodden corridors, into the valley of steel"

"Secondly, why should hundreds of thousands of Iraqis/ Afghans/ Africans be hostage to waiting for the fantasise of right wing US voters to collapse?"

They shouldn't. Unfortunately, however, they will.

"but only if this spills over into a mass movement demanding the troops home now is this likely to make a significant difference."

The "beauty" of the current American dilemma is that they can't win.

They have ensured that Iraq is ungovernable, whether they're in or out. They can't leave because they're responsible for the mess. Staying, on the other hand, does nothing more than than - almost - keep the lid on.

They've now been fighting this "Mission Accomplished" longer than they were involved in the Second World War. They still haven't even got the basic utilities (Power, Water, Sewage etc) back to the state they were in on March 19, 2003. Even some Shi'ite Iraqis are openly wishing for the return of Saddam.

Their failure could not be much more comprehensive.

We would like, of course, to be able to wave a magic wand and fix the problem, but, in the absence of that, we can at least take some comfort from this ongoing demonstration that Imperial Might no longer has the "Shock And Awe" effect they wish it had.

I want - we all need - to see that lesson burned into the psyche of every control freak on this planet. I fear that the partial victory the Democrats have just achieved will dilute that message.

Harry Stottle said...

I should have commented on:

"The only way out is to strengthen grassroots opposition to Bush and his policies."

the keyword there is "strengthen" and I suspect that a minor difference between us is that you are using the term to mean the same as "build"; as in the classic working class maxim - "build grassroots opposition" (or support)

Conversely, I would argue that there is no shortage of opposition - be it from the working class or the middle class - to Bush and his policies but that they do indeed need strengthening - in the direct sense that their views should count. The deficit is democratic.

The existing opposition to what is going on in Iraq is already - or rather should be - sufficient to force a change in that policy. And not just any old change, but a change of which they approve.

This complex concept is called democracy. It should be applied across the board. All the important decisions should be made by We The People. Merely electing dictators to make decisions on our behalf is buggerall to do with democracy.

If you're a syndicalist or similar, then you'll help the cause greatly just by getting people used to the idea that they should no longer be held subject to the whims of the decision makers. THEY themselves should BE the decision makers.