How the hell do you interpret this interview, clearly heavily edited? Note again Bush speaking about those “awfully difficult decisions”, previously mentioned here, and the nonchalant reference to “World War III”, suggesting its a term Bush and his ilk bandy about a lot.

Me, I just can’t help anticipating another Gulf-of-Tonkin-type* incident, doubling as another Reichstag fire, providing the neocons with an excuse to launch an attack upon Iran and at the same time use the mass protests against it – which I imagine it would spark – as a means to impose some form of martial law.

I’m just so mindful of that incident in the Straits of Hormuz, on the eve of Bush’s trip to the Middle East to drum up support for tougher action against Iran, a move to create another “alliance of the willing”. And I’m mindful, too, that he went there with the CIA’s National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) fresh off the press and dismissing Washington’s line that Iran was an inch away from a nuclear capability. He told Israel that he doubted the report’s reliability and Israel concurred, cautioning that they could go it alone, launching an Osirak-like attack against Iran’s fledgling nuclear installation - and which brought no condemnation from Congress.

And if Bush doesn’t attack Iran, then his successor will.

Many US “liberals” I’ve argued with in recent weeks (in chat rooms and via emails resulting from posts I've made on Yahoo Answers) seem to think presidential hopeful Barack Obama signifies the changing tide of US politics, that he’ll not be the war monger Bush is. However, in a speech delivered before AIPAC lobbyists in Chicago, his language was clearly jingoistic. He stands, like the neocons in Washington, on a strong pro-Israel platform. He argued that the US must preserve ‘total commitment to a unique defence relationship with Israel’, that it must work to stop Iran’s nuclear program even if military action is necessary. He said that “no option, including military action, (should be taken) off the table” in the effort to stop Iran gaining a nuclear capacity. The world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy.”

On the Sunday before the Florida primary, John McCain sounded off just like Bush: “It’s a tough war we’re in. It’s not going to be over right away. There’s going to be other wars. I’m sorry to tell you, there’s going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars.”

Prior to the the New Hampshire primary, January 3rd, McCain was asked how he felt about Bush’s remarks that the US would be in Iraq for 50 years. His reply: “make it 100 [years]".

McCain, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, shot down after a murderous bombing run over Hanoi, has, for many years argued for unleashing hell on countries from Serbia to Iraq and Sudan to Iran. Indeed, Matt Welch , in his new book The Myth of a Maverick, argues McCain “envisions a more militaristic foreign policy than any US president in a century."

Not only would he let loose the US war machine on large parts of the world, he’s all for the militarization of US society too. Check out this piece of writing from The Washington Monthly, back in 2001, entitled Putting the “National” in National Service.

In the meantime, Bush is making sure that if he doesn’t flatten Iran and similar defiers of US hegemony, then whoever succeeds him as president has the weaponry at their disposal to pursue US interests for a few years to come. His demand for $515.4 billion for the Defence Department is minus the expenditure of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which accounted to nearly $200 billion over the last budget year and which is estimated to cost $140 billion in 2009. Then append to those sums $17.1 billion for the Department of Energy's weapons program and over $40 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and other national security initiatives spread throughout the federal government, and you begin to realise just how obsessed with militarism, at home and abroad, the forces of reaction are in the US. This is one huge amount!!

Remember also that the $3 trillion budget, released Monday, includes $2.55 billion in defence assistance for the US Middle East satellite Israel and which increases in increments until 2013, when it will settle at $3.1 billion a year until 2018.

Call me a panic merchant, but maybe it’s because I’m all too aware of the nature of the beast! What was that line from Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, the one where the protagonist, who traipses her family around with her, as she makes a living from trading with Europe’s war machines of the 1600s, despairs at the cessation of hostilities? Oh yes, “Peace will wring my neck.”


* The Gulf of Tonkin incident was an alleged attack by North Vietnamese ships upon American boats. As a result of this alleged aggression, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson permission to expand the Vietnam War.


ajohnstone said...

About the Reichstag Fire . This was indeed an attempt by a member of the ultra left council communist movement to jump start the resistance against the new Nazi regime - propaganda by the deed.

Paul Mattick dedicates his final book "Marxism, The Last Refuge of the Bourgeoisie " to Marinus Van Der Lubbe .

It also lead Anton Pannekoek to critically write

" Of course, all revolutionary class struggle, when it takes the form of civil war, will always provoke destruction. In any war it is necessary to destroy the points of support of the enemy. Even if the winner tries to avoid too much destruction, the loser will be tempted to cause useless destruction through pure spite. It is to be expected that towards the end of the fight the decadent bourgeoisie destroys a great deal. On the other hand, for the working class, the class which will slowly take over, destruction will no longer be a means of struggle. On the contrary it will try to pass on a world as rich and intact as possible to its descendents, to future humanity."


and the incident spurred him to write in another article

"The idea that in the present period an individual act could set the masses in movement is based on the bourgeois concept of the 'chief', not an elected party leader, but a self-appointed chief, whose action mobilizes the passive masses. The proletarian revolution has nothing to do with this out-dated romanticism of the chief. All initiative has to come from the class, pushed forward by massive social forces... Separated from mass action, the act of an individual who thinks he can accomplish great things on his own is useless. But as part of a mass movement, it's of the greatest importanceBut as part of a mass movement, it's of the greatest importance...In an ascending movement, this inter-action of strengths and acts is of the greatest value, when it's directed by a clear understanding by the workers about what needs to be done and about how to develop their combativity. But in these cases, it takes a lot more tenacity, audaciousness and courage than it takes to burn a parliament. "


Too often the lessons gained from the burning the Reichstag is overlooked .

John: said...

Thanks, Alan. Good quotes. I'm aware of the info about the real cause of the fire, but used the Reichstag fire as a reference point to an event that lead Hitler to dictatorship. I think a lot of people still use it as kind of a "false flag" reference. Sloppy maybe, considering history is littered with such false flag incidents that have served as the pretext for war or invasion.