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Interesting diary, but on this:

However misguided the Iraq War may have been . . . it attempts to attack the real root of the world's problems, which are always material. It was attempting to [change?] material conditions within the Islamic world, however hamhandedly.

You've got to be kidding me. I doubt there is anybody in the Bush administration who actually thought the Iraq War was about altering the material conditions of the Middle East. Certainly not Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, or any of the other main players. Hell, these people are themselves a corrupt authoritarian elite trying to turn US politics and society into something like the oligarchies they have in the Middle East. They cozy up to the very Saudi and Dubai oligarchs that you claim they are trying to supplant. Who are you kidding? The only ones who get whacked (Iraq, Iran, Syria) are the ones who don't toe the US line.

Sure, they'll say for public consumption that it's all about "democracy" or whatever, in order to give this fiasco a veneer of morality, and to give idiots like Tom Friedman an excuse to divide "liberal" opinion, but it's really about showing off to the world unilateral US military (and corporate -- don't forget about the oil, the contracting fiascos, the plans to neoliberalize the economy) power against (what was thought to be) the easiest target in the region. To show that the US is the 800-pound gorilla on the block.

Oh, and by the way for domestic political consumption too. It's always good politics to divide the Democrats with a war and convince "mainstream America" that the left "can't be trusted" with foreign policy. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Those people don't give a damn about the Iraqi people or any other people in the Middle east.

by TGeraghty on Wed Mar 1st, 2006 at 11:32:28 PM EST
I think the reasons for the war were a combination of the base and the idealistic (foolishly idealistic). It'll be a fascinating subject for future historians.

Indeed, one of the war's major problems is its very vagueness and the inability of its architects to put forward a convincing rationale.

by Ben P (wbp@u.washington.edu) on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 12:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe neocon "true believers" bought the war as for democracy, but the real powers behind the throne -- Cheney and Rumsfeld -- never believed that, I'm sure. They are the heirs of the old Midwest/Rocky Mtn isolationism. They're not strictly isolationist anymore, but their guns are still trained on Wilson/FDR-style liberal internationalism. They are unilateralists who believe that unchecked American power should dominate the globe (and beyond), and they have no use for international institutions or alliances that are not completely controlled by the US. And they have no use for fantasies about "democratizing" the rest of the world. They cozy up to anyone who will toe the US line, as when Rummy went to Baghdad and planted a nice big sloppy wet kiss on Saddam back about 20 years ago.
by TGeraghty on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 12:51:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree generally, but think that it is not so much the "us" line that they want the world to toe as the inside elitist cabal of thieves that they embody.  It is not like they actually give a shit about the people of the US either.  Still, I suppose we deserve to be painted with their brush since those of us who fought against the regime lost, and what they do they do in our name.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Thu Mar 2nd, 2006 at 05:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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