Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Plot Thickens or the President who cried Peace

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, military force is now apparently an option on the table in US deliberations over Iranian Nuclear Fission ambitions. Of course, I breathed a sigh of relief when, upon carefully reading the text, I discovered; "The use of force is the last option for any president." Alas, I should have stopped reading there as President Bush finishes the sentence," and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

There is an old expression, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, which I imagine is running through the mind of German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder. Or, from a more cynical perspective, he might simply think this is the best tactic to help him retain his party's leadership position.

I too have been thinking about the shame on me thing. After all it was but 30 months ago, on Feb 20, 2003, that this same President, in reference to Iraq's supposed weapons program, told a group in Georgia, "
Military action is this nation's last option." Perhaps someone needs to go over the definition of "last" for these guys, as in final. Wasn't someone suggesting a few weeks back that the Iraqi insurgency was in its "last" throes. Oh well.

Alternatively, and this is where is the real fruits of mendacity are harvested, Iran might well be on their way to nuclear armaments. Getting the US population back on board the war bus will require some heavy lifting. We will see if the credibility account is still in surplus.

Memories of Ron Suskind reporting on the Bush White House in a NYTimes article, Without a Doubt, keep coming to mind these days, particularly this passage: The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'' What strikes me is the amazing naiveté of the speaker. While it is true, in a sense, that each new administration is a new lease on life for United States government, past actions still have an effect on current operations. Further, once once "creates a new reality" in this case a radical new reality, the pre-emptive use of military force by the US, the world responds, national goals and aspirations re-align. Then when the empire crowd opts to create further new realities they are doing this is a still changing world. It's the Sorcerer's Apprentice all over again as the ripple effects of previous "realities" interact with the new.

One such ripple effect, Cindy Sheehan's protest, is still ongoing down there in Crawford Texas, while the indictments of leadership party affiliates and executive branch members keep rolling in, with perhaps more to come.

It should be an interesting fall.


jeff poppenhagen said...


While I am very aware that "past is not always prologue" the current situation here has a very definite 1968 feel to it for me.

To restate the obvious: The U.S. is again running deficits with the rest of the world. We are fighting an expensive war that we are going to lose. The civil unrest in NO mirrors the unrest in LA and Detroit in the summer of 1968. Foreigners, who had thought the US invincible are startled by the sight of the US military reeling while fighting a bunch of rag-tag insurgents and the simultaneous chaos in the states. While France had exchanged its dollars for gold in '67, the real run was on in 1968 and the the monetary system was on borrowed time.

While the foreign private sector gave up on the US quite some time ago, the official sector (foreign central banks) filled the gap with dollar based debt purchases. I am startled here watching foreign reaction to the NO tragedy and wonder if this might finally force upon them the realization that the US is largely a "paper tiger" and no longer credit worthy. Will the run on the US start right here? Your thoughts?