Sunday, January 30, 2005

Disasters, military and economic

From John Emerson at Seeing the Forest (my emphasis):

". . . Seymour Hersh has reported that the Bush administration plans to begin air attacks and covert actions against Iran this year, with the goal of toppling the Islamic regime. Bush himself has made it clear that he believes that the voters have given him a blank check, and that his critics (left, right, and center) are now irrelevant. I think that we can count on these attacks as a done deal. (The 'Salvador option' we recently heard about might also still happen, though it might very well have just been a smokescreen. Even the Social Security reform he's been talking about might just have been intended to distract us from his big international plans.)

These new attacks are presumably just the second stage in the multi-nation plan Wolfowitz spoke about right before the war. In other words, we can plan to be at war for five to twenty years.

The Army and Guard are already being pushed to the limit. Thus, there will have to be a draft. But in order for there to be a draft, anti-war groups and spokesmen will have to be marginalized and crushed. So those of us who are anti-war should prepare to be called traitors and cowards with an intensity that we haven't seen so far. Ann Coulter is soon going to go completely mainstream.

As long as the wars are going reasonably well, they will be almost impossible to oppose. A lot of so-called moderates decided last November 2 to take another chance on Bush, and if they change their minds now it won't make a damn bit of difference. A big chunk of the Democratic Party will try to curry favor by supporting the new wars, too, but that won't do anyone any good either. The Democratic hawks won't be able to bring the whole party with them - and anyway, why would the voters want to switch hawks in midstream? Bush is going to be in the driver's seat for some time.

As soon as the Iran phase starts, all of our criticisms of what happened before will be forgotten (if they haven't been already.) This is what Suskind's source meant when he talked about 'creating reality'. By using the power of the Commander in Chief to completely change the ball game, Bush is going to make a big chunk of recent political discussion permanently inoperative.

I always hated the complacency of the people who smirkingly bragged about being 'reality-based'. They missed the point of what had been said. Democrats figure out what past reality was like, and assume that future reality will be pretty much the same. Republicans figure out how future reality will be different from past reality, and then ask themselves what they can do to change and exploit this new reality. And they win that way."

It has become fashionable every few months to rely on small signs in Washington and proclaim that the rule of the neocons is over, but nothing could be further from the truth. Their essential plan continues completely unopposed, and there is no prospect that Bush will even attempt to rein them in. The sole impediments to what amounts to a World War against Islam and much of the rest of the world are logistical, not political. Their immediate problem is that they are suffering from an extreme case of the shorts in the troop department, as there are still a few adults in the Pentagon who insist on having sufficient troops around in readiness to fight any war of necessity that might come up, in between the neocon wars of choice. That explains Wolfowitz' extreme haste in wanting to pull American troops involved in tsunami relief out of Asia (presumably whatever secret military deliveries they have made under cover of the relief efforts have already been made), the new PNAC order to American politicians for an increase in American troop levels (with the unstated requirement for a draft), and ideas being floated that the attacks on Iran and Syria will take the form of aerial bombardments rather than Iraq-style occupations (I'm not sure how they'll spin the idea that aerial bombardments bring 'freedom', but rest assured they will), with the Iran job actually being subcontracted to Israel (appropriate, don't you think?). If Iraq hadn't proven to be such a quagmire, there is no doubt that new wars would have started already. While the neocons are consumed with plotting war after war, the American ecomony continues to deteriorate. The Chinese, who are desperately trying to get somebody in the Bush Administration to pay attention to the American economic problem, have had to resort to making a public announcement of their lack of confidence in the American dollar (something central bankers never do, particularly if they are holding massive amounts of these rapidly depreciating dollars). This is their vain attempt to find someone in the Bush Administration who would help them let the dollar down in an orderly way that won't ruin the American economy and the golden goose of the consumer demand of Americans for cheap Chinese consumer goods. When it comes to responsible economic policies, no one in the Bush Administration is at home. Americans find themselves in the odd position that their only hope is that their economy tanks sufficiently quickly to save them from the warmongering stupidities of their own government. Unfortunately, they'll probably get both the wars and the ruined economy.