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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:56 AM
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Robert Parry: The 'Triumphant' Neocons

The 'Triumphant' Neocons
by Robert Parry | Nov 28 2007

Citing signs of military progress in Iraq, Americas neoconservatives are reasserting their vision of the United States as an imperial power that can reshape the Muslim world in a way favorable to the interests of Washington and Tel Aviv.

Casting aside the image of the war as a bloody quagmire, the neocons are again selling Iraq as a vital beachhead in the Middle East from which the United States can project power throughout the region and achieve victory over Islamic militants hostile to Israel.

It does not have the drama of the Inchon landing or the sweep of the Union comeback in the summer of 1864, wrote neoconservative columnist Charles Krauthammer. But the turnabout of American fortunes in Iraq over the past several months is of equal moment a war seemingly lost, now winnable. (Washington Post, Nov. 23, 2007)

Krauthammer and other neocons also are back to baiting Democratic war critics for supposedly living in a state of denial and refusing to acknowledge President George W. Bushs wisdom in dispatching more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops for a surge under Gen. David Petraeus.

Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus' new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, a neoconservative Independent from Connecticut, in a Nov. 8 speech.

After nearly five years of carnage the deaths of almost 3,900 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis the neocons finally see vindication for themselves, at least within the Washington news media where they maintain a powerful influence.


As the United States heads into Election Year 2008, the neocons may need all their media clout for making their case and all their skills at exploiting the fears of Americans to ensure that one of their favored candidates again lands in the White House.

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:04 AM
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1. It's Been Tried Before

The historian Tacitus explained the secret of the peace that prevailed in the early Roman Empire. Romans used their military might to create a desert, then called it peace.

The Bush administration is now seeking a Pax Americana through nearly unilateral use of military power based on a similar principle: Make a desert and call for a public relations campaign.

Admittedly, this is several stages better than what we did with bombs, artillery, napalm and Agent Orange in Vietnam. As the fictional Capt. Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" describes it, "We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid."...

Image is close to everything now in our domestic politics, business and life in general. So it was perhaps inevitable that our commander-in-chief would extend the power of positive advertising to foreign policy as well. But it strikes me as either myopic or hubristic to ask the nearly 50 percent of American citizens who did not want him to continue his policies as president to participate in this bit of Wag-the-Dog-ism. And how about the two-thirds of Americans who think our military is bogged down in Iraq, and the 60% who think the war is not worth fighting (Washington Post-ABC poll)? And that is with an all-volunteer force that does not force most families to worry about their children being drafted into the war, and with most Americans being in cloud-cuckooland about the catastrophic state of our economy, our consumer debt, our balance of trade deficit, and the precarious weakness of our dollar.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:11 AM
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2. Well, there is an election coming, it's less than a year off now.
And the primaries, which are critical to control of the government, are just a few weeks away now. So of course we have a big success all of a sudden, regardless of what the "reality based" community thinks. The question is whether they can get anyone to buy it for long enough to do them some political good.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Tacitus is a good read, BTW.
I was surprised by how "modern" his point of view was. I wish more of his work had survived.
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:15 AM
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4. Many Repukes embrace genocide as a method of peace in the Middle East
when they say "nuke them" ...
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. At Home AND Abroad
Such children of Christ, aren't they?
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:18 AM
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5. Common theme over the last two weeks WE WON!
the latest presidential medal recipient --name?
Kathleen Parker :eyes:
all of them are writing about the same thing, just like how they all wrote about the war beforehand.
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HowHasItComeToThis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #5

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Krauthammer dove into a pool as a college kid, sued the hotel and pool contractor
for a million dollars ... spent a little while doing stuff for Dems, and now embraces the party which would tell him he was stupid to dive into the pool and that he shouldn't get any money ... he had a dumber reason to sue than those who are injured by a product which the manufacturer knew was dangerous, and yet, like Clarence Thomas and Condaleezza Rice, he got his, screw everyone else ...
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:42 PM
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9. A little context on Iraq:
While violence is reportedly down in Iraq, there are (apparently) a number of important factors related to this (apparent) drop that have nothing to do with the use of military force, but rather are (apparently) a matter of diplomacy/strategy/realpolitik/historical-course (apparently):
* The US military is dealing with (even supporting) a number of armed groups (Sunni/Shia), as opposed to fighting with them;
* There is a Sunni reaction against outsiders/extremists making trouble;
* There has been extensive "cleansing", eliminating some grounds for violence;
* Al-Sadr has ordered his militia to stand down for six months;
* There is a truce between SCIRI and al-Sadr's militia;
* The British withdrawal from Basra; and
* Historical chance (eg, a change in the nature of the fighting).

Now, the use of military force/power (the increased presence of US security forces; fortifications and barriers; etc) as part of the surge has probably had some influence (whether this has been a net plus or minus is another matter), but the former factors would seem to be of the greater influence.

However, while a drop in violence is to be applauded (insofar as this is real, anyway), changes in the underlying dynamics are what's required if the course of events is to be altered in a fundamental and lasting way. These changes include, but are not limited to:
* Reconciliation of a permanent sort between the various parties;
* Acceptance of the Sunnis of their diminished status and power, acceptance of the rights of the Sunni minority by the majority Shia;
* The federal government becoming effective, holding sway throughout Iraq;
* The security services becoming non-partisan, effective;
* The people being provided basic services on a dependable basis and having gainful employment;
* The elimination of the "street"-power of the armed militias;
* Law and order prevailing so that reconstruction can take place and so that honest on-the-ground reporting can happen;
* Corruption, cronyism, etc, being eliminated.

However, there seems to be little progress in these areas (although great efforts are being made to create an appearance of improvement in Iraq), and on the whole, the various ill-currents still seem to flow strongly. And whether this (apparent) reduced violence is just a lull while the various forces refit and reorganize (etc), preparing for the next phase, or a real turning point is very debatable. Moreover, if the conflict does move-on to some new phase, then it might prove difficult to stay "allies" (whatever) with the disparate groups the US military is dealing with. Indeed, one can argue that the various groups the US military is cooperating with are just using us to further their agendas (and fill their pockets), and that such efforts will prolong and complicate the fighting.

(There appears to be no (coherent, actual) group who can completely take-over Iraq at this point, and if everybody realizes this, then maybe some kind of deal becomes possible. However, I keep reading unrealistically bold talk from some Iraqis, especially Sunnis; and there are no limits on human ambition, etc.)

Time will tell. (I'd like to see things work out for the Iraqis and us, but I'm not going to let these desires color my thinking, as this sort of thing clouds, predisposes, one's judgement (etc).)

But where people try to create the impression that military force is primarily responsible for the (supposed) reduction in violence, this seems more like propaganda (wishful thinking; puffing perspectives that suit one's predispositions or wishes; etc) than reporting. (However, we're used to this sort of thing; although it still has effects on the legions of the clueless.) And it's impossible to rationally accept that the current state of Iraq is a desirable end of military action, much less that it has been worth the cost (like the apparent continuing deterioration in Afghanistan). (Not that rationality has much to do with the current state of affairs.)
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